So, I had a sort of obvious revelation today (at work of course where most “oh crumbs” moments happen). It became clear (again) that there is something about a “hint” of skin, a flash of a particular shadow or a peek of an undergarment that is actually sexier/riskier than seeing it all (ladies of the Jersey Shore take note).
Here is what I mean. You can’t show cleavage at work (see Cleavage at Work?). This is only mildly challenging for working women (harder for the busty-er gals) but again, a no-brainer for the majority of professional women (not that kind of professional woman). But, sometimes you make mistakes – or not so much a mistake as loving an article of clothing more than is prudent.
I have this super awesome vintage Valentino black wool sweater with two embroidered flowers at the shoulder area and a whole lot of awesomeness all over it. Anyhoo, it’s essentially sheer. It’s a thin knit merino wool so, since I don’t believe in flashing people at work or even on the street (this may come as a shock to many of you), I wear a black “shell” or tank underneath it to solve that problem.
Except it doesn’t. Unless the tank top selected has a higher neckline, I am still not covering up much. I might as well not be wearing anything underneath.
I have been suspicious of this false coverage provided by my beloved sweater for some time but have been blinded by that same love for too long to admit that there was a problem in our body coverage relationship. The veil was pulled from my eyes today when I leaned slightly over the sink to wash my hands and glanced into the mirror. “Well, crumbs!” I said to myself as I stared at the sweater-accentuated dark line of cleavage my sheer garment was providing to that which I naturally carry around. Crumbs indeed.
This reminds me of another black dress I own that is full coverage and surprisingly daring. I bought this kick-**s dress at Neiman’s when I was 19 (ok, Mom bought it. Thanks mom! We got such a good deal on Last Call on 4!). Since it was made of black velvet and a fine mesh with long sleeves and a high collar, I was concerned that I looked like an old lady. When I expressed my seemingly legitimate concern my mom scoffed at me and bought me the dress. What I didn’t realize, what I couldn’t see with my 19-year-old eyes, was that the only thing holding up the black velvet body covering was the transparent mesh. See? Risky*. The mesh went down to the small of my back and then some. It was technically high-collared but…let’s just say, I was one expensive looking, college co-ed that was turning a few heads! (What every mom wants to hear. Thanks again Mom!)
Moral of the story: You can wear full coverage and still get yourself in some sort of trouble. I am not going to stop wearing that great sweater but I am totally reconsidering the neckline of the next shell I wear beneath it!
Also, if your husband tells you that you look really good in your work clothes. Take another look in the mirror to find out why before you leave the house.
*I once explained to a friend that I was concerned about wearing this dress as an adult because it was a little “risky” to which that friend replied, “I like Risky B*tches”. Then I believe she bought a domain name related to that term.