Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

April 1, 2009

Plumcake’s Home Truths: The Tip of the Iceberg

Filed under: Honey. No.,Plumcake's Home Truths,The Fat's in the Fire — Miss Plumcake @ 4:11 pm

To my Racktacular Sisters,

Can we talk about cleavage? Because I feel we need to talk about cleavage.

Y’all need to put that mess away.
Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield (hint: you want to be La Loren)

Now I don’t mean ALL of it, just you know…if it looks like a small child is full-parade mooning me from out of your sweater, that officially qualifies as a Festival of Oversharing and I do not need to see it.

Let’s think about the iceberg. The iceberg is a powerful force of nature. They float and sailors spend a lot of time looking out for them. The same can be said for cleavage.

Icebergs, however, only ever expose 1/10th of their surface area. Do you see where I’m going here, ladies?

this = you

This? This should be you.
It’s not like I’m against cleavage. It’s a natural treasure and I deploy it myself to great effect. The era of big girls in muumuus is over –except where culturally appropriate– and I have the sort of driving record only an $80 bra can achieve.  I also realize that if you’re a petite-framed girl with ginormous jugs, there’s just no hiding your lightbulbs under a bushel basket, so it’s definitely a sliding scale.

BUT we all know that there is such thing as Too Much and, okay, I’m just going to say it:

That much cleavage is for ugly girls.

I know, I know, “Blah blah blah it’s my body I’ll show what I want/ you’re not the boss of me/why should I listen to Some Internet Chick?” Whatever. I don’t care. You don’t have to listen to me. You don’t have to bathe everyday either, but the world is a sweeter smelling place when you do.

Aside from miles and miles of mams just looking trashy and low rent, my theory is:  if you feel the need to draw attention away from your face THAT badly you either feel ugly or in fact ARE ugly.

Now, since Plumcake doesn’t DO ugly (at least not on the outside, where it counts), and like attracts like, it stands to reason that none of you fine folks reading this are double-bag uggos. So the only option that occurs to me is that you want people to look at your breasts as opposed to any other part of your body.

Well, what’s up with that?

Breasts have limited capabilities of expressing emotion. It’s pretty much “Hello!” “Brrr!” and “Perhaps bra burning was in retrospect not such a great idea” and that’s about it. So why would you have someone look there first instead of at your face, which –unless you’ve had it shot up with the bo’ — is almost guaranteed to express more emotion, reveal more of who you truly are?

Just some food for though.


  1. Darlin’ it needed to be said. Thank you. I’m tired of looking down the fronts of all my friends blouses. Not that I’m trying to – it’s just . . . THERE. Kinda like Sophia and Jayne there in the picture. It’s a TMI thing – leave a little to mystery, ladies!

    Comment by Karrol — April 1, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

  2. Oh my! That look says it alllllllll!!!! :) Amen & Halleluiah…you’ve done it again, Plummy! God bless!

    Comment by Lilly — April 1, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

  3. While I rarely show that extensive of cleavage, I have to admit, I would rather people look at my breasts than my face. I have never liked my face, and don’t like much of my body in general, but my cleavage is typically the only part of me that reliably looks great. It makes me feel better if I show off a little of it, even if it’s the only part of me that’s showing.

    Comment by BrieCS — April 1, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  4. Dear Plummy, I am afraid I also cannot begin the flame wars you predicted in your tweet. I am a small chested skinny girl, but as is evidenced by Christina Hendricks as Joan in Mad Men, a chest (even when on a small frame) can be displayed/hidden classily and to great advantage without any of it hanging out at all. I am a great admirer of smooth voluptuousness, and baring skin has very little to do with it!

    Comment by Nariya — April 1, 2009 @ 4:56 pm

  5. A plunging neckline improves the line of my figure. It’s that deep V. It makes things look more balanced. It’s not the boobage – it’s the V.

    But – Problem – I can start out with a nice tiny bit of cleavage showing out of my low cut 42DD bra, but give it a half an hour and I could serve you wine without ever touching the bottle with my hands.

    So, how does a big breasted girl get the lovely lower cut V (which, by the way, much of the fashion highlighted on this blog, er, highlights) without the girls making a break for it?

    I think what I need is bra suggestions.

    Comment by Christine — April 1, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

  6. Christine, I have the same issue, which was under control until my proportions changed a bit in that area. I’ve been using layered tanks, and going to invest in a good demi bra.

    This might be another good option:

    Comment by GoP — April 1, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

  7. Thank you, Plum!

    And Christine, I definitely recommend the cami-under-plunging-V look. I started wearing camisoles (the stretchy cotton knit kind) under everything as a nursing mom who wanted to expose just enough boob to make the baby happy and not enough stomach to make my husband happy. I find that they transform the look of a date night black dress from sexy to distinctly office appropriate, and are a nice way to add a complementary color to the look, but they do not take away from the neck elongating, shoulder skimming, balancing effect of the V.

    Comment by mini_pixie — April 1, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  8. I never get attention for my cleavage, or non-cleavage. Like BrieCS, I’d rather get attention there than my face (not that I think my boobage is all that – I have uneven skin decollatage, and visible stretchmarks that angry up when the weather turns). My friends have suggested that I dress the girls up to get some bloke attention, but it doesn’t work – I noticed the other day that the dogs were out of he kennel, due to an unfortunate wardrobe mishap, but I hadn’t had any customers or co-workers give me the ‘look’.

    Comment by Margo — April 1, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

  9. Oh man. That lady on the right could be a boob donor to me and we’d still both have enough. Couldn’t she just give me a little bit from the bottom? I mean, that’s just not fair!!

    Comment by class factotum — April 1, 2009 @ 7:01 pm

  10. The cleavage thing is tricky. My coworker has dynamite legs, and can look very elegant and sexy with a short skirt, because she covers up her upper half and wears a nice shoe. As one NOT blessed with good gams, and as a bigger girl with admittedly excellent breasts, I often feel that the only way for me to not appear matronly is to hoist up the girls into partial view, but it can really be a fine line between sexy cleavage and skanky cleavage. And I’ve learned the hard way that what appears to be an alluring neckline while I am standing up, often turns into Boobfest when I sit down.

    Comment by La Petite Acadienne — April 1, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

  11. I dunno. How do you really disagree with this one? No, no, be trashy that’s the thing! At the same time, this photo never says the same thing to me that it does to other people. The whole media sensationalizing of the episode, the fact that Sophia herself built up quite a bit of her stardom based on the girls (though not as openly), etc, just makes me think this whole thing plays into body-comparing and body-selling that makes me uncomfy.

    La Petit and Chistine hit it on the head. It is a LOT easier said than done to do the right thing by your rack when we are talking E cups. Covered=matronly and not covered leads pretty fast to where Plummy is telling us not to go. Suggestions would be a wee bit more useful than simple exhortations to cover that all up. If it were all that simple, we could just refer to all the mean things my mothers has said about my bust over the years and be done.

    Comment by Chaser — April 1, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

  12. Oh, please, Plumcake! This hits me too close to home now. At a 44DD, I am larger than most women in my family and they have let me know ad nauseum. Mine can’t seem to stay under wraps either except when wearing a crew neck t-shirt.

    Most days, all I care about is a bra that fits my one decent part of my body. If you or Francesca or Twistie have any words of wisdom on finding great bras in larger band and cup sizes, that would be super fabulous.

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — April 1, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

  13. To be honest, I’ve always wondered about the “I have cleavage sticking out unless I wear a crewneck!” claim. I mean, doesn’t even the most extreme cleavage start about four inches south of the collarbone? Is it a factor of bras that don’t really separate the girls that well? Or is it just that I’ve got wide-set boobs?

    Comment by Maureen — April 1, 2009 @ 11:54 pm

  14. If I can see your bra cups, there is a problem.

    Comment by JR — April 2, 2009 @ 7:58 am

  15. dcsurfergirl, I’m about to deliver some good and bad news. Good, comfortable supportive bras in your size do exist, but they are pricey — and by pricey I mean $80-$200.00 sort of pricey, and they almost never ever go on sale. I resisted this for years because I was horrified by the idea of spending that much for underwear. I finally broke down, saved up and bought two after several friends raved about them.

    Do a websearch for “specialty bra shops” and see what’s near to you. I went to a place called Intimacy for mine, but there are other stores out there. Good hunting.

    Comment by Sidian — April 2, 2009 @ 8:51 am

  16. Maureen, I think there are differences in where they’re attached and how they point. I’m a D-cup and can wear some pretty low, wide necklines without the “full moon” effect Plumcake mentions, while my C-cup sister has a lovely decolletage.

    Comment by TeleriB — April 2, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  17. I have very large breasts and even when I wear a sweater and a coat, you can still see how big my chest is. Most of the women in my family were blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with ample wachungas.

    The cami under a deep V is something I always do, even in the summertime. I look just plain tacky and desperate with the girls spilling out of my tops. I’m much more conservative anyway with style, so exposing even a tiny bit is a lot.

    Besides, there’s something more alluring about us gals when we do leave more to the imagination.

    Comment by Bree — April 2, 2009 @ 9:04 am

  18. Maureen, my cleavage in a proper bra starts about 2 inches below the base of my neck. It’s not even that they’re big(44H/I/J depending on brand or design), it’s that they attach to my ribcage that high up.

    Comment by ChloeMireille — April 2, 2009 @ 10:03 am

  19. The funny thing in the photo of Ms. Loren and Ms. Mansfield is that they are more similar than Ms. Loren seems to think: if the point of view is shifted in front of Jayne and offers a side view of Sophia, I don’t think there would be a huge difference between them. Eye-rolling beside the point. I agree with Chaser on this: no one can resist a cat fight, no?

    Comment by Mrs. Hendricks — April 2, 2009 @ 10:42 am

  20. Try brands Anita and Wacoal and remember: if you are chasing kids or biking, everyone can see to Tokyo if you wear a vneck.

    Comment by slownews — April 2, 2009 @ 11:02 am

  21. And I’m done reading this blog.

    Comment by MSN — April 2, 2009 @ 11:21 am

  22. I am already paying those prices for bras. I just wish they were more available at brick-and-mortar stores so I can try on different bras. I go to two lingerie shops in the DC area (Sylene (a block from the Friendship Heights Metro station) and Dor-Ne Corset Shoppe (about a block from the Silver Spring Metro station)). It’s still frustrating (like the time I found a used bra in my size in a box at my local Walmart).

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — April 2, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

  23. My laughing at this post pushed me to comment. Not derisively, of course, but in agreement — something needed to be said eventually.

    I’m just a plain ole D (or DD, depending on the manufacturer) whose cleavage makes few appearances; most times the girls stay where they are, and then there are those rare occasions when they threaten to jump.

    I like vnecks; my neck and chest (and/or decolletage?) need the fresh air. I leave so much to the imagination that I sometimes check to ensure everything’s still there.

    Comment by raine — April 2, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

  24. This has to be one of the funniest posts I’ve read here. As a 42DDD, I understand the need for just the right amount of exposure. Not too much, just enough. (And I’m far from ugly)

    Also “Breasts have limited capabilities of expressing emotion. It’s pretty much “Hello!” “Brrr!” and “Perhaps bra burning was in retrospect not such a great idea” and that’s about it.” AND “Let’s think about the iceberg. The iceberg is a powerful force of nature. They float and sailors spend a lot of time looking out for them. The same can be said for cleavage” have to be two of my new all-time favorite quotes. You should receive an award just for those two statements.

    Comment by Idalin — April 2, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

  25. *claps*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You could not have said it better.

    Fabulously Broke in the City
    Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver.

    Comment by Fabulously Broke — April 2, 2009 @ 8:16 pm

  26. With great breasts comes great responsibility.

    Comment by Maureen — April 2, 2009 @ 11:32 pm

  27. Here’s the thing: I have huge boobies. I have a thing about stuff being too close to my neck (I will FREAK OUT in a turtleneck, seriously). I also have a thing about wearing layers, so camis are right out. I would love a dress that didn’t show a ton of boob, but they just don’t make them in plus sizes. Everything’s got a stupid surplice neckline.

    So what I’m saying is: I know showing a ton of cleave is a bit trashy, but I have no other options. But I’m 21, so I feel like I have a few more good years before it becomes too much.

    Comment by harveypenguin — April 3, 2009 @ 12:11 am

  28. This is something I regularly worry about and if you’ve got fashion suggestions for those of us with giant breasts (38G in my case) I’d love to hear them. I have the professionally fitted good bras (usually costing me over $100 a piece) yet I still find it really hard to find clothes that cover them without looking matronly.

    Sorry Nariya, but finding clothes like those Christina Hendricks wears on Madmen in real plus sizes is just not a possibility. If you know differently, drop us some links.

    A line across my breasts is just about crucial to distract from the fact that each of them is bigger than my head. A crew-neck is practically obscene unless it’s super baggy because it just emphasizes how huge they are. If you look at Christina Hendricks’ pictures you can sometimes see this effect. You immediately look at her breasts, not her face just because they’re so big and prominent. It’s like a car accident, it’s hard to look away even though you know you should.

    And camis, well let me get on my cami soap-box. V-necks, wrap dresses, all other necklines but crew almost always show too much boob and so I usually wear a cami. Unfortunately I have a really tough time finding decent camis that aren’t made from horrible fabrics. The few natural fiber ones that come in plus sizes are cut like boxes and are almost all too short so they don’t tuck well into slacks. I hate having a cami line when I’ve worked hard not to have panty lines! Wearing a cami under a summer dress is an absolute must for me but finding them in a fabric that doesn’t make me sweat is almost impossible. And let’s not get into how much they cost. I need to have enough to wear them every day and I haven’t been able to find any that are well made enough to withstand frequent washing so I have to buy a gaggle of them every few months in black, white, and brown. It makes me so mad to have to pay through the nose because they’re plus sized even though they’re made from crappy fabric and put together poorly. I’d be happy to pay more for quality ones but I just can’t find them!

    I too would love to see a post that makes suggestions instead of just trying to find humor in the misfortune of how others look. We get enough body hatred elsewhere, I really would prefer not to see it here.

    Comment by Kimocean — April 3, 2009 @ 4:04 am

  29. dcsurfergirl – There’s a lingerie shop up by Laurel, MD called Bra-la-la that opened a year or two ago. You go straight up Rt 29 N to MD-216 and it’s in the Maple Lawn development. I’m mainstream-sized enough that I can buy off the rack usually, so I’m not sure how they are with sizes bigger than DD, but it might be worth a call. They’re not readily accessible by Metro, though.

    Comment by TeleriB — April 3, 2009 @ 7:59 am

  30. Taking the warnings about camis into consideration, thank you all for bringing them up – I don’t wear them am will start.

    Have you seen those new cami bras? the ones that have a pretty piece of lace over the cleavage so you don’t have to wear a cami? I’ve never seen them in my size, but the concept is fab. I would think that sisters who sew could come up with some sort of, I don’t know, bra dickie (gosh that sounded dirty) to solve this problem. A little cami for your bra to wear…

    Comment by Christine — April 3, 2009 @ 10:11 am

  31. OT: I didn’t know until recently that Jayne Mansfield was Mariska Hargitay’s mother; you can sure see it in this picture though!

    Comment by Hermione — April 3, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  32. At the risk of sounding smug, it seems like only one sector of people complain about this phenom: women of unspectacular boobage. Now big doesn’t equal better: many boobies that see the full light of day should take cover. But if you’re blessed and they’re beautiful, why not brighten up the world?

    Comment by emmme — April 4, 2009 @ 4:48 am

  33. Maureen, my cleavage starts virtually just below my neck. It has more to do with position and distribution than size, per se; I’m not much more than a D/DD.

    I do wear slips and camisoles, but I also feel the heat terribly; I have taken to altering some of my stretchy camis – the ones I never intend to wear solo; I measure down a couple of fingers’ worth below the edge of my bra, and I cut off the bottom of the camisole. If I feel like it, I’ll run the raw edge under a serger, but I don’t bother with a stretch lace camisole. Then I just tuck the bottom edge of the lace UP under my bra. This gives the extra bonus of a little padding around the edge of my bra.

    I don’t want to poke anyone’s eye out, of course, but some cleavage (as opposed to all or most of it) is the difference between my looking sharp and my looking matronly. Guess which one I don’t want?

    Comment by La BellaDonna — April 4, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  34. I mean, doesn’t even the most extreme cleavage start about four inches south of the collarbone?

    Umm, no. Mine starts about 1″ below my collarbone. I’m very short and have very large boobs. Like harveypenguin I can’t wear high collared shirts, and even if I could, they make my boobs look just ridiculous. I spend way too much time obsessing over not showing cleavage at work, I’m not going to fret over it on my days off.

    Now, I still try not to walk around with half my boobs hanging out, but if I end up with more cleavage showing than some would find appropriate.. *shrugs*

    Comment by Becky — April 5, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

  35. “That much cleavage is for ugly girls.” Really? For shame, Plumcake.

    Judgemental talk like this is just what most of our big boobed sisters don’t need.
    If I hide 90%, I either look like there’s a loaf of bread up my jumper or I’m 20 years older.

    Personally, I’m going to continue to dress the way I want, and stop reading this blog. Narrow-minded, unsolicited advice that belittles the wonder of my tits and the way I choose to dress – it’s just not on my shopping list.

    Comment by Nessje — April 6, 2009 @ 10:36 am

  36. Definitely not a post safe for reading while drinking coffee. :)

    Thank you for saying what needed to be said, Plummy. The only time and place for the gals to be falling out over the top is at the Ren Faire. Otherwise it just smacks of desperation.

    For what it’s worth, similar advice to could be given those who are less endowed, especially when they resort to the push up bras that moves everything abnormally front, up and center. It’s sadly funny to see a size 2 toothpicks parade two little tennis balls, oh-so-artfully arranged to be peeping out from a V-neckline.

    Boobs are great in just about any size. And desperation, in any size, ain’t.

    Comment by SusanC — April 6, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

  37. i really appreciate this, and will try it. Yeah, very true. Added to my RSS.

    Comment by Dog Clothes — April 7, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  38. I read this post when it was originally published, and it has continued to niggle at me, and disappoint. I am a 34GG (UK). No matter what anyone tells you, it’s difficult to balance things between appropriate coverage and matronly. This post made me feel bad in so many ways – sluttish, trampy, less than classy. Not what I needed.

    Comment by Margaret — June 24, 2009 @ 9:09 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress