I am going to the races today and would like to know if it is ok to wear strapless? I have a strapless peplum dress, and I was hoping this was race fitting?
Dearest Meg from Marrickville,
The question is: Should you be wearing strapless at all? I hate to be brutal Meg, but I need you to look at yourself in said strapless dress and ask yourself the hard questions.
How are my shoulders? You see Meg to wear strapless, be it at the races or anywhere else, one must have fabulous shoulders. Not too narrow. Not too broad. And certainly not slopey. Remember, anything strapless will draw attention to every flaw of your upper body. Be honest. Instagram filters can only do so much.
How are my arms? This really takes an honest woman to look at those tuckshops and surmise, “Are these best concealed under a sleeve?” Because, Meg, to wear strapless one really must have lovely arms. They don’t have to be the result of three times weekly private Pilate sessions as young Jennifer Anniston or overly worked like our fitness-obsessive friend Madonna, but the arms must be pleasant to the eye. Not fat (yes, in my time we could use that word quite freely) and in general, good nick. A strapless outfit will draw attention to an ample arm.
How does my bust-line look? Am I wearing the right bra? Things can get particularly tricky for the well-endowed lass in strapless, especially after a few Chandons. The right bra is absolutely imperative. But the conundrum being, that you need support, yet you don’t want the undergarment too tight for fear of creating the dreaded Verjayjay Arm (the wretched result when flesh spills over the strapless causing an extremely unflattering situation near arm-pit). You certainly don’t want to be sporting such a look whilst spending a day with a menagerie of drunken Australians. Embarrassing.
The last and most important question is: How is my posture? If you are a little hunched over now, how will you be after 25 sparklings with aching feet? Not pretty. You must have the posture of a great racehorse to really wow in strapless. Shoulders back and walking proud. And to be frank, I haven’t seen too many fillies after a day at the races truly holding their own in this arena (eyeliner smeared for days, fake tan blotchy and fascinators down to their you-know-where, coupled with an ill-fitting strapless ensemble…well, I’m sure you get the unsavory picture).
So darling Meg, having not met you, and for all I know you could be a gym-bunny with the posture of my dear friend Sharon Stone – yet after a belly full of Chandons even the most agile, lithe creature can look tawdry.
My advice to you: opt for something a little less perilous. Perhaps a lovely understated sequinned bolero could cover any potential arm issues?
However, when in doubt, it’s best to leave strapless out.