Did you know that last Friday was National Cleavage Day, according to lingerie company Wonderbra? To celebrate the dubious holiday, the brand shared the results of its latest study, which shockingly revealed that two-thirds of British women use their cleavage to get ahead in life, with one in seven (14%) admitting to wearing plunging tops in the workplace to boost their chances of success.
“Showing your cleavage is the embodiment of empowerment,” a spokesperson said of the study, which also found that women rely on their breasts to get better service in bars, skip ahead in line, and get out of a speeding ticket.
I’ll let you argue over whether or not flashing cleavage is actually empowering, but as an image and etiquette consultant who works with successful business people on a daily basis, I can tell you that dressing provocatively at work is not appropriate. It makes people question your professional image and can make others feel uncomfortable. For example, I once heard of a business owner who had to send an employee home to change because she had shown up to work in a busty tank top that left little to the imagination.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to drown yourself in shapeless pants suits. In fact, in my wardrobe consultations I often advise female clients to invest in a good bra that fits perfectly, as it improves the silhouette and can help a woman feel more confident. But if you’re falling out of your top, have unbuttoned your blouse too low, or are wearing a sheer blouse, you’ve breached the limits of good workplace style.