imagesCleavage.  Where to begin?  In a world filled with silicone, the real deal can be something of a holy grail, depending of course on your personal preferences. In an unscientific poll, those who lack it want it, and those who have it are split between rocking it and bitching about it. Regardless of where you are on the spectrum, there are certain things to keep in mind about keeping the girls in good form as we round the mid-century mark.

Obviously good health practices and regular beast exams and mammograms should be part of everyone’s routine, but from a fashion perspective you may be overlooking a few key things. ¬†In case you hadn’t noticed, gravity is not your friend, and in all probability, if you haven’t been nipping and tucking and hoisting on a regular basis, things have migrated south in the past few years. Which means if you haven’t updated your lingerie lately it’s time to do so.

Getting a professional bra fitting is one of the best things you can do for your state of mind. ¬†A well fitting bra makes everything look better and feel better, and when you look good AND feel good the world is your oyster. ¬†Skip Victoria’s Secret and go to a department or specialty store. ¬†While you’re at it, take a look at your low cut dresses and make sure that you’re showing what you want to show and no more. As our bodies shaft and change our clothes fit differently. A plunging neckline has its time and place, but nothing is more awkward for everyone than an overly exposed chest. Exhibit A: Angela Merkel is an intellectual and political powerhouse, but all anyone notices – and remembers – in this outfit is her ample bosom. Is that really the message you want to send?

Once you get a good fit, consider your bra wardrobe. You need straps that accommodate a variety of tops, and those all-in-one numbers are a waste of time and money. You should have at all times a racer back, cross back, regular strap and strapless bra in your drawer.  Build from there.  Super-low plunge bras come in handy, demi cup bras work well with scoop neck shirts, and everyone needs one bra that their mother would give the side-eye to.  Save it for hot dates and days when you need an emotional lift.

Don’t forget to tend to the delicate skin on your decolletage. The same high power facial moisturizer that you slather on your face should be slathered on your chest. Just like the backs of your hands, the area between your collarbones and sternum typically gets more sun exposure and less sun block than the rest of your body. ¬†So lather up and take care of your skin.

If your DNA is closer to an A than a C cup and you want a lift, invest in a pair of removable silicone chicken cutlets. ¬†These small packets of padding slip into the bottom of your bra and provide a natural looking boost to less than ample breasts. And who says you can only wear them on special occasions….

We may be Better After 50, but we still need to keep an eye on things. Update your underwear as you feel or notice subtle changes in your body. Take the time to tend to the foundation and everything will look sharper and neater. And remember…we can get away with a LOT of things we couldn’t in our 20s, but going braless is never one of them!




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