Bustier Behavior

Big, bouncing, beautiful butts: that’s what pop culture is currently obsessed with. I can’t blame people, though. I mean, I get it. I love JLo’s luscious curves, Kim Kardashian’s arguably more-than-ample derriere, Miley Cyrus’ terrific, tail-twerking ways; I’m even warming up to Nicki Minaj’s booty-popping song and video, “Anaconda.” After all, the song reminds me, constantly, that men “don’t want none unless you got buns, hun!”

The thing is, as American pop culture continues to worship what’s wiggling and jiggling behind a woman, fashion has totally turned its gaze up and onward to “Bustier Behavior.” From the runway to the red carpet, 2014’s plunging necklines have never been so perfectly on point.

I first noticed the bold chest-baring trend late last year, as Hollywood served up a healthy dose of 70’s gangster glamour in “American Hustle.” Actresses Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence strutted around on-screen with necklines so daringly deep,  you’d have to be a complete dud not to notice.

Then came awards season, where the prettiest, plunging V-neck dresses showed off more than just a pair of Golden Globes. Necklines ran so deep, they dipped past the décolletage. The look, though a bit on the saucy side, ruled the red carpet and rightfully so. Everyone from Lupita Nyongo, Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron and Kate Beckinsale worked their upper womanhood like they’d just walked  off the couture catwalk. Speaking of…

Kim K took the open top trend one step further during Paris Fashion Week, wearing chest exposing Givenchy and boob-baring Valentino. Even though high fashion was fully turning its back on Kim’s butt, the most famous designers in the world were embracing, even celebrating, the reality star’s boob-a-licious bodice.

By the time her Paris wedding rolled around (about a week later,) the soon-to-be Mrs. Kanye West didn’t even bother buttoning her blouse. For her wedding rehearsal at the Palace of Versailles, she and her groom-to-be wore strikingly similar white and beige Maison Martin tuxedo-inspired suits that were (dramatic pause here,) fully open in the front.

No hooks, velcro or snaps needed, just silky smooth skin and I’m guessing for Kim, some extra-sticky, double-sided fashion tape. After Kim’s nuptials, for me, it all seemed official: Kim’s best “asset” was put on the back burner by the fashion world to make way for “Bustier Behavior.”

Just a few weeks ago, stars walking the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles followed suit. Beyonce, Demi Lovato, Rita Ora, Lil Kim, Kesha (even Kim,) wore and majorly worked dresses with provocatively plunging necklines. Surprisingly, though, it would be actress and singer, Selena Gomez, who would glam-up and finally graduate the look.

Underneath her deep blue, Atelier Versace VMA gown, was the most gorgeous, hand-crafted leather and lace-bound bustier. The dress was and is THE feel, texture and look of 2014 fall fashion. Matter of fact, as we move forward and embrace the chillier, or in South Florida, less hot and humid months, necklines will stay low, but detailed and embellished underpinnings will be the one garment that’ll keep on giving. Especially into the holidays.

When styling my “Bustier Behavior” blog look, I wanted to include shades of 90’s Madonna. More specifically, her “Vogue” years. I loved her brazen bra worshipping days. She singlehandedly gave underwear a new name; wearing it in the most badass, bawdy and beautiful way. Expressing myself like the Material Girl was easy, once I found the perfect underpinning: a cream-colored, multi-beaded bustier bra from Bebe (pictured in the blog.)

Channeling class and comfort in the cleavage area was important to the “Shireen’s Favorite Things” team, too. We all agreed (3 girls and 2 guys) that too much boob is never a good thing (unless you’re a Victoria’s Secret model, pregnant or dancing the night away at LIV on Miami Beach and even that’s questionable.) To soften the look, we studied old school pictures of Hollywood screen siren, Rita Hayworth. She was known for wearing halter bustiers that were sexy, but at the same time subtle.

Rita mastered the look with the peekaboo effect. In other words, she didn’t let it all hang out. She showed just enough to be intriguing and left the rest to the imagination, something you don’t see a lot of these days. Rita draped her “Bustier Behavior” with frilly, feminine dresses and terrifically textured sweaters. Taking a cue from the legend…

I chose a black and cream vintage sweater with a delicate, inner-lace lining. I bought it when I worked as an entertainment reporter in Indianapolis, Indiana at a charming store called Broad Ripple Vintage. It’s in mint condition and it’s one of the most luxurious articles of clothing that I own. I paired it with a black, knee-length, Ralph Lauren wrap dress.

I adore its round skirt, deep pockets and moveable material. I added my favorite satin, red ribbon shoes by Mix No. 6 to make the look more modern. (Side note: if, say, you want a stronger look, the trend totally works in pleather and leather, too.) Back to the butt thing…

Truth be told, I’m glad about all the recent butt (and now) boob worshipping. Especially from the fashion industry. There was a time, not so long ago, when being a hanger (an ultra skinny woman,) made you a haute couture hottie. Now, being curvy, whether it’s on top or bottom, isn’t just a healthier way to live, it’s a celebration of the female figure and that’s why “Bustier Behavior” is one of my favorite things.

Blog wardrobe:
Sweater – www.broadripplevintage.com
Bustier – www.bebe.com
Dress – www.ralphlauren.com
Shoes – www.dsw.com

Twitter @ShireenSandoval
IG @ShireenSandoval

photography by tod p/t4twophotography
Twitter @todp_t4twophoto
IG @Tod_p

Hair & Make-up by Odette Hernandez
Twitter @Odettehernandz
IG Odett_Herndz

Styling: Shireen & Tod

Editor: Matthew Auerbach