Carla Bruni has done it again. With two International Heads of State present – her husband, Nicolas Szarkozy and the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev – all talk was about Carla, and what she was wearing.
Or, in this case, possibly not wearing.
Because under a Roland Mouret dress so tight the wearer would be excused for feeling as though she’s wrapped in clingfilm, it’s very tricky to conceal any underwear.
The ‘was she/ wasn’t she’ question isn’t one that will last more than a passing moment – frankly, few of us care, and if you must know I think she was. And anyway she looked so jaw-droppingly elegant I don’t care what she had under there. Style like that has little to do with underwear.
No, what’s worth a little more time to consider, is should women ever go bra-less?
Germaine Greer famously wrote in The Female Eunuch that ‘Bras are a ludicrous invention,’ and ‘perpetuate the fantasy of pneumatic boobs,’ but I would beg to differ. And it’s not just because my boobs won’t look pneumatic nomatter what underwear I hoik them into.
For a start, well-fitted bras offer comfort and support to a once naturally pert part of the body that, after the age of twenty five or so, wants to get as close to the ground as possible. Sigh…Without a bra, most normal women have almost no shape up there at all, and, after much searching, will find their breasts somewhere near their midriff. Bras make a woman’s shape more beautiful – and no, we’re not doing it to please men. It’s makes US feel good, and clothes look better.
Anyone who has breastfed three children and then tried to walk bra-less to the shops for a pint of milk knows what I mean. And Wonderbra wouldn’t have done quite so well if Eva Herzegova had said “Hang on Boys, I Know They’re Here Somewhere…”
All of this is to say nothing of the fact that breasts are sexual organs, and let’s just say that if I walked about without a bra I’d never get any work done.
But fear not – bras as here to stay: according to one report, the average woman in western Europe buys two bras per year, and by 2016, the world market will be 1.64bn bras. That’s a lot of lift.
TV shows such as “How to look good naked,” have put the underwear industry into the retail spotlight, and this Christmas Selfridges reported that stocks of Bordelle’s £900 feather girdle sold out in 24 hours at its Oxford Street store. We’re not going bra-less just yet.
Last word goes to Ms Greer: ‘if you make bralessness a rule, you’re just subjecting yourself to yet another repression.”
Fine. But mine’s staying on.