Why did women show their decolletage so much in the past?

Every period movie shows ladies in low cut decolletage with their breasts fairly exposed and cleaved together.

Yet today you dont see it as much – it is risque and wouldn’t normally be done at a dinner party.

In fact it seems like breasts are considered extremely erotic, and suppressed to a beyond neurotic level in the old US. A woman showing too much cleavage at a office-based business would be gossipped about, if not disciplined or even fired.

So in other words: Why were breasts considered pure in George Washington’s time, but now somehow the ‘puritans’ have repressed them?

Most countries aren’t hung up about this issue – it confuses me as to the motivation of someone like the former attorney general, who actually ordered the statute of Justitia at the DoJ to be covered up because she was portrayed as bare breasted.


My only guess is that in the past, way more women used to breast-feed in public and the breast was therefore slightly de-eroticized. I have no idea if this is the case or not, it’s just a guess.

By the way, on a related note, why the hell is it that there’s this new trend of male cocks in movies? Dewey Cox? Forgetting Sarah Marshall? Why are filmmakers shoving cocks in our face and getting away with it? You never, ever see a pussy in a mainstream film, but the cocks are everywhere.

What a bunch of tits!

Haven’t an answer to the OP but I rather thought the opposite - that there seems to be a trend towards exposing more cleavage lately - and I am all for it.

Doesn’t appear to be as prevalent as portrayed in films about the mid 19th century but that may not be an accurate depiction of how things really were back then.

It’s all pretty much arbitrary. The prudishness version of fashion. Here and now, showing breasts is a big deal; a woman with exposed legs is trivial. In another time and place, women have those ultra low cut gowns but a naked leg is unthinkable. And in others, women go bare breasted and it’s perfectly normal.

I don’t think there is any reason behind it but fashion.

With me it’s not intentional. I would just have to get my dresses cut lower and lower.

Why do women show their ankles so much in modern day?

The naked male junk is because the censors of american films allow it to be show (if flaccid). It’s supposed to not excite anyone.

Welcome to america . . . where the puritans came to die.

They’re not doing it fast enough…

What people said about time and place and fashion is all correct, but I always thought it was something else. Just my guess, but maybe all the period movies are inaccurate? As in the costume designers came up with a cleavage revealing style because there wasn’t much else sexy about period clothing? It’s what I thought whenever I noticed it in movies.

It was actually quite variable in the past. There were certain periods of the past, say, four hundred years in which it was acceptable to show more cleavage than today. There were other periods in which it was not acceptable and it was necessary to cover up more. To say in detail in which periods it was acceptable and in which periods it was not acceptable would take a more detailed knowledge of the history of fashion than I have. If an historical film had a good fashion designer with an accurate sense of history, it would have the clothes looking right. If the filmmakers simply didn’t care, the clothes would be anachronistic.

In Gone With the Wind, it was considered unladylike to show your arms, shoulders or bosom before 4:00. What you could show after 4:00 is never covered.

ELEANOR: I made Louis take me on a Crusade. I dressed my maids as Amazons and rode bare-breasted halfway to Damascus. Louis had a seizure and I damn near died of windburn. But the troops…were dazzled.

You have to hear Hepburn say it (Lion in Winter) to really get the full impact. It’s brilliant.

I got nothin’ else.

When women worked or conducted business during the day, they didn’t wear evening gowns. They wore daytime dresses that were much more modest. When women started going to office jobs, they would wear high-necked, long-sleeved dresses in order to look professional. Ordinary women going about their daily business dressed the part, as we still expect to do today. Fashion has changed wildly over time, so it’s difficult to generalize, but evening wear just isn’t the same as daywear.

One of the most frequent topics I have to discuss with our young interns is appropriate office wear–too tight, too low, and too much T&A are out. Some young women are very surprised to hear that showing your breasts is considered “unprofessional.”

She would be disciplined you say? Really how?

I’ll be in my bunk.

I believe there used to be a maxim in the fashion industry that hemlines and necklines rose and fell together. When skirts were long, lots of cleavage was shown, and as the skirts revealed more leg the tops became less revealing. I do remember as a high school student at the height of the miniskirt craze that the tops the girls wore with the barely ass-covering skirts were actually quite demure - they tended to wear fuzzy turtlenecks and so on. Of course, one paid more attention to the other end, as suzy attempted to sit down without flashing her panties at everybody in the room.

The Victorians were weird-their woman went extraordinary lengths to avoid any nudity. I remember seeing “bathing machines”-little wheeled booths which were wheeled into the water, so the woman could emerge and go into the water without beeing seen. In the “Regency” period 9just before Victorian) woman had those bodice-revealing dresses, and nude swimming was common.
Why did Victoria f*ck everything up?

You must spank her well, and after you are done with her, you may deal with her as you like.

That was in the Confederate States. Here in the Union States, we always had the right to bare arms. :stuck_out_tongue:

At my workplace, I was leading a seminar for students wanting to enter the profession. One of the women came in with a relatively low cut dress that definitely made me take notice. And, like a lot of guys, once you notice something like that, you CANNOT look away.

I told my bosses, who are female, to talk to her about this if she came dressed like that again. Fortunately, she did not. Perhaps she saw how other women in the workplace dressed and got the message.