Career Woman

You’ve got this: How much cleavage is too much?

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew answers your questions, putting her years of experience and practice into the goal of solving those knotty problems that beset us, and assuring us: ‘you’ve got this’. If you’d like Froswa’ to look at your particular problem, email it to [email protected].

What is the acceptable amount of cleavage for the office and business world? I’m a big girl, and while I don’t want to be baring too much skin, I don’t want to spend my corporate life in turtlenecks either! Love, Monica

Dear Monica,

Your question took me waaaay back to my childhood.  I remember when I was in third grade, I started to develop.  I would sit at the table for dinner and place my arms over my chest to hide my changing body.  I hated wearing a bra because boys would pull the straps.  As I got older, I would wear bigger clothes to hide.  As a young adult, I wore minimizer bras to appear smaller.  I’ll never forget as a young woman in my 20s, a man approached me in a store and began a conversation.  The entire time, he stared at my breasts.  There was NO eye contact.  I finally became fed up with his inability to recognize my eyes were not below my neck and I finally stated, “Oh my God!  Are they speaking to you????”  I grabbed my breasts and replied, “I’ve been talking to them waiting for them to respond!”  Needless to say, he was babbling and could not take his eyes away from my eyes.  Since that time, I came to the realization that there is nothing that I can do to change that — I have always been endowed with ‘my girls’.  It isn’t my responsibility to make others comfortable because they are unable to control their eyes, their envy or even their e—– (you get the idea).

However, some attire is not appropriate for work. Wearing pasties to a business meeting might not ensure job security and could limit your growth in an organization.  If you are like me (a double cup girl), it doesn’t matter what you wear, you will still be noticed.  The goal is to make sure that your clothing is professional.  There are times that some of my shirts might show some cleavage.  I just try to make sure that my attire is tasteful and conveys the message I want others to receive.  So, no, you don’t have to wear turtlenecks every day (although they are one of my favorite styles!) I do believe less is more but if you have more to begin with, make sure your bra is the right size and fits well.  It is sad to see women with large breasts without the necessary support and takes away the pop from their fashionable outfits. Wrap dresses can be our best friend along with accentuating our clothing with necklaces above our cleavage or consider wearing the longer, hanging necklaces.  No jewelry that lays on the boobies.  If at all possible, make sure you are highlighting your waistline with the tops/dresses that you choose.  Just some of my personal tips.  The fact that you are thinking about this says that you are being proactive.  Looking forward to hearing back from you, my sister in the struggle.  You. Got. This.

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe.

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