Bras are not the secret they used to be.
Remember when it was a kindness to discreetly tell someone her strap was showing? My sisters and friends would give me “the look” accompanied with a casual tug on their shirt collar. Then three things would happen: My hand would fly to my bra strap and I deftly shrugged my shirt around to cover the exposed lingerie. My cheeks burned red. And I’d return the look with one of silent gratitude.
And THEN I’d glance at whoever else happened to be in the room to make sure they hadn’t seen anything. Chances are, they had, but like ignoring a dab of mayonnaise in the corner of someone’s mouth when dining, any eye witnesses would mercifully play dumb.
Slips, too. Do you know how much time women have wasted swishing this way and that in front of a full-length mirror to make sure their slip didn’t show? And don’t think you could just hike it up around your thighs and step out worry-free. No, no. Slips had to fall to just shy of the length of the skirt or dress. You want the sun to shine through there and reveal a slip halfway up your legs? Come on.
The idea was to make it look like you had no need for undergarments at all. Victoria’s—and Deb’s and Kim’s and Laurie’s—secret was just that, a secret women helped each other keep.
We were cool in the 60s and 70s, so we said things like “Make love, not war.” We might have burned our bras, but we never let them show beneath our collars.
Today, the bra is part of the look. Shopping with my college-aged daughter I saw a cute white tank top paired with a royal blue, lacey bra. You couldn’t possibly conceal that bra beneath that tank. They were made to be seen, shirt and undergarment alike. “Nobody puts baby in the corner.”
One could argue that a bra is no different from a bikini top, which is made for public wear. Why should the bra be a secret?
You would think a kid from the 70s would be cool with that logic. But listen, girlfriends, if you see my straps peeking out and you give me the look, I’ll take it as a kindness. It’ll be our little secret.