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Jun 5, 2011

Strapless Gowns - yea or nay?


Friends, I need your help.  What do you think of the strapless look?

Strapless gowns became popular in the Postwar Forties, ruled in the bosom-worshiping Fifties, held on through the early Sixties, and have made a major comeback recently with the popularity of the breast implant and vintage red carpet looks.


Back in the day they were considered daring, and initially only the sexiest movie stars would be costumed in them.  Vixen characters went strapless; wives and girls-next-door didn't.  Neglected wives or divorcees could go either way.

Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth could definitely pull off the strapless look.



So could Dolores Gray (left) and Joan Collins (far right) in the dreadful MGM remake of The Women, retitled The Opposite Sex.  Notice how loyal wife, June Allyson, by contrast, is covered up.


Lena Horne, almost always referred to as sultry, rocked the strapless look.


Judy Garland...not so much.


For day, strapless looks odd, or maybe it's just this cigarette-girl-on-top, malt-shop-date-on-the-bottom dress modeled here by glamorous Arlene Dahl.  (Do buxom beauties still stroll strapless through nightclubs shouting Cigars, Cigarettes?)


Cousin Cathy loves the strapless look; I'm on the fence, especially for her.  To me they're a little over the (hardly there) top and with Cathy's swimmer's shoulders.... 

Which of these two patterns do you prefer, Simplicity 2815 from 1949, or McCalls 9152 from 1952?



The Simplicity has sat in my Etsy favorites for months.  I don't like the jacket and I loathe dirndl skirts.  The McCall's, on the other hand...I don't know, maybe it's the woman-as-candy-box thing that leaves me cold.  I do love the bolero jacket (View B), and done in lace, it could provide Cathy some necessary coverage.

Regardless of which I choose, I'll need to put boning in the corset, which thanks to Susan Khalje's book, Bridal Couture, shouldn't be too much of a nightmare.  I'm putting Gertie on speed dial. 

Friends, your thoughts.  Are strapless gowns a tired cliché of feminine glamour?  Do they make you think of Merry Widow corsets, road-show productions of Guys and Dolls and all things Jayne Mansfield?

Strapless gowns-- yea or nay?


71 comments:

  1. I say yea.

    I think the Simplicity will be a better look for Cathy The cleavage detail will flatter her bussom, while the straight line of the McCall's would direct attention to her shoulders

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  2. strapless - yay! dirndl... nayyyyyyyyy. even the name sounds frumpy.

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  3. If you've got it, fault it, but if you don't got it... welllll.....

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  4. I think strapless dresses can be lovely and I adore the detail of the Simplicity one! The McCall's is a bit of a boring shape in my opinion. Perhaps you could sew the bodice of the Simplicity to a different skirt?!

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  5. Peter, i'm a little disappointed that you're even asking whether or not Cathy should wear strapless gowns because of her shoulder structure. I understand that you want Cathy to maximise her positive features and minimise her less than positive features but shouldn't we just accept Cathy for Cathy and let her wear whatever she wants to wear? Don't the 'rules of fashion' and social norms of age, gender, body structure etc limit our choices far too much already? Shouldn't we each construct our identity as we see fit rather than bow to external stimuli of who others think we should be?

    Even if we should care what others think, wearing a strapless gown when you've been blessed with broad shoulders is hardly a 'Cher on a cannon' fashion moment is it? ;P lol

    Quite frankly, i think Cathy could carry off the McCalls 9152 with great style and class; although i should say 'yay' to the other because i've had the McCalls on my fav list since finding it on a search a few days ago;)

    Create a Hollywood movie star gown for Cathy and turn that gal into the goddess we know she is!

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  6. I think I may be one of the few women who don't like strapless dresses at all. It seems like all of my friends have chosen strapless wedding gowns lately and while their happiness on the big day made them radiant, the gowns didn't do their figures any favors.

    To me, it doesn't necessarily have to do with how well endowed a person is. I just don't like how it cuts one's upper torso in half.

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  7. Ahh. Strapless. I like the McCalls, but for a woman with "smaller assets", it's really uncomfortable and difficult to wear. They don't stay up.

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  8. I love the Simplicity dress, especially in length C, but always see the advantage of a longer style. You could see if Cathy would go for ribbon ties on the inside. That would make it more fun and detract the eye from her swimmer's shoulders. Also, what about just adding a triangular cap sleeve with lace? Then you get the look of the strapless dress and it stays up! And either way, she can wear a bolero.

    As always, it comes down to what she's comfortable in, and you won't know until she's tried it on. :)

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  9. It very, very much depends, I think--it's a style your body has to be the right shape to wear well. I can't pull 'em off--I have a long torso and the region between my shoulders and my bust is proportionally long--no matter how well secured a strapless bodice or tube top will always look on me like it is falling down. My little sister, on the other hand, looks gorgeous in them--her body is the right shape in the necessary places. Her prom dress was the strapless one I'd wanted. Mine was shoulderry.

    I don't feel it's an issue particularly of having a lot on top--especially with a less sweetheart/vee, more tube-top-ish cut, like the McCall's pattern (while I agree that the candy-box-ribbon is goofy, surely you could simply omit it?) It won't look Mansfield-va-va-voom, sure, but it could still look cool.

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  10. LOVE strapless gowns, but success wearing them depends on both the fit of the gown and either what's built into them or worn under them. A strapless gown needs to fit tighter to the torso than gowns with straps, and unless really killer boning and support is built into the gown, a long-line strapless bra is a must. Either way, padding in the cleavage area is fair game imo. If I were Cathy, I'd go for the McCalls and go all-out glam.

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  11. I'm with Amy for the most part. I like strapless gowns ok, but they are not for everyone. That however does not stop anyone from wearing them, so I see ones I don't like more often than not.

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  12. Yea! Strapless gowns are appropriate for all occasions, whether it be dancing, drinking, eating, sleeping, snuggling, or streetwalking. Especially the more formal ones. Remember, the support in a strapless dress does not come from one's shelf, but one's waist.

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  13. Strapless depends very much on the person and the dress. I, as a long torso, swimmers shoulders and small bust owning woman, have rocked exactly one strapless in my life. It was my prom dress, and it had a white bust with ruffles, then a slim waist and full skirt all in black. It worked for me then, but as I've gotten older and my bustline moved down (happens to everybody, darling, even the small of boob), I've steered well away from them. They tend to look ridiculous on my shape.

    My BFF, on the other hand, has a short torso and a generous bosom. Straps are always too long on her. She has the ideal body for a strapless dress. My big beef is that well-endowed girls really need to make sure that the dress is supportive when they move. If I never have to watch the Shimmy Dance again, it will be too soon (Shimmy Dance -- hook your thumbs into the front of your dress, tug upwards and wiggle).

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  14. Strapless, yes, but not for me-I don't have the attributes to do it justice. I am working on one right now, though, for a show. They do look lovely on the right gal, and you can add bust pads as well as boning, if Cathy needs a little help keeping it filled out! Maybe a stole to match, rather than a bolero?

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  15. I guess they're ok for other people, but not for me. I'm young, but somehow I feel immodest and too 'out-there" if I don't have some type of strap. I don't like them for events that are formal and traditional such as weddings, either.

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  16. Absolute yea from me! I love 'em. I made a strapless dress and blogged about putting in a corselette which was boned and made from powernet. As I'm "blessed" in the chest department this was an essential for me. Works every time!
    I love the McCalls pattern. Put in some bikin cups (not bridal cups) for Cathy and she will be laughing all the way to the next Memorial Day!!!!

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  17. I am very tired of seeing strapless bridal gowns, that's for sure. For a formal gown, I am on the fence (due to the aforementioned bridal fatigue).

    For a summer dress, I think of the dress Gigi sewed at Camp Couture and oh.my.goodness.SO.beautiful. She'll be gorgeous on the deck sipping cocktails at sundown in her strapless cotton pique dress.

    A well fitted, well boned (LOL) strapless bodice will stay up on any figure except maybe the very robust figure.

    As far as Cathy and strapless, I think a darling sheer bolero will mitigate any aesthetic shortcomings. Go for it!
    signed,
    Pro-Strapless for Cathy
    Anti-Strapless for all brides, forever and ever.

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  18. If it works on Cathy's figure then she should go for it! But I'm with Lenora Jane - cup size is not the only factor, and if it's going to work then really close attention needs to be paid to the fit and support.

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  19. I think I'm with WhoFilets on this one. I have fallen out of such garments! While I am not exactly prudish, I have to be practical with my particular endowments, so I'd at least want a spaghetti strap and sturdy undergarments to avoid future accidents.

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  20. Depends on who is wearing it. Long necks, thin arms, not too much up top, long and learn usually look classy in strapless gowns. I think there are many that wear them, but they don't suit them, and they are far too heavy on the top. I could never wear a strapless gown, the top would look like loaves of bread slowly rising out of the pan.

    Josette

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  21. My two cents: Both of those strapless dresses are dependent on an hourglass shape which, as we all who are Cathy's international fan club know, Cathy just..doesn't...have. So, if Cathy is really really bent on a strapless formal, I'd try to put together more of an Audry Hepburn 1960s column strapless than a bouffant wonder.

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  22. She's definitely more of a cuckoo clock...

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  23. I am with those who are tired of strapless. When I think of interesting dresses - strapless does not come to mind. There are so many construction elements that provide visual interest in the shape of sleeves, straps, collars, etc and strapless just eliminates all those.
    Also - truth be told, it is a great look on a small percentage of figures, a just OK look on many, and a really poor choice for some. Why not make/wear something that complements one's shape, adds visual interest and looks different from the rest? Plus, as someone who has worn strapless on occasion, I can say - not really very comfortable and one must remain vigilant, no matter how good the fit or corseting underneath, to keep everything in its proper place :)

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  24. I do like strapless, but as a garment for myself I have always avoid it, because I also have the swimmers' shoulders and does not fit, I think.

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  25. I think strapless dresses are best for either well endowed ladies (to show off cleavage) or very small ones (to show off how delicate their arms/neck/collarbones look).

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  26. It might not be the dress Cathy is actualy interested in. Maybe it's just the corsette? If Cathey wants a waspie, just say yes.

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  27. I'm a definite yea for a strapless gown, as long as they fit perfectly (which Cathy's would) and are worn with good posture - again, Cathy's would be. I prefer the McCalls, but the sweetheart neckline of the Simplicity could flatter Cathy's cleavage - perhaps you could gently combine the two?

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  28. These days, I think strapless is overdone. Everybody and their uncle (or aunt ;) ) is wearing strapless to the point that I sometimes wonder if anyone has even heard of sleeves.

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  29. Strapless can be stunning, but I worked 5 years as a bridal couturier, and more often than not appearances were improved as soon as you draped a bit of cloth over the shoulder! It adds 'height' to the dress and overall silhouette, and some width at the shoulder gives the illusion of a smaller waistline too.

    But do give it a go - it will be such fun to make! I like the McCalls (I agree, dirndl = yuk!), give Cathy a waspie waist and some bust padding and she'll be right. (Tasia did a tutorial recently on bust padding)

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  30. Cuckoo clock! hee hee! I'm on the fence about the strapless gowns. I don't know if Cathy would like the style or not but I think she would look stunning in Vogue vintage 2494 from 1948.

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  31. I like the strapless look, on the right person. I think lengths and proportions of the neck, neck to bust, and torso length are all factors, as well as the construction of the garment. My sister had a strapless prom dress - she is a bit short, but the skirt was big, so the strapless-ness prevented her from looking like she was being swallowed by fabric. As for bridal, well, I think the strapless is much better than the 80's and 90's poof sleeves so I am ok with it, although, yeah, it would be nice to have more options on the market. But then, I guess that is part of the fun of sewing - we make our own options.

    In any case, for Cathy, if she wants to go strapless (it would be fun! at least as an experiment), I like the McCall's pattern. For some reason I just really can't get behind that Simplicity pattern. Although, if you plan on making the bolero, why bother with the strapless? I think a shawl/wrap would be better to emphasize the strapless-ness, but still provide some coverage/modesty up top.

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  32. I think strapless gowns are fabulous and love the McCalls pattern. For me, pulling off a strapless well is more a matter of shoulders than bust, which can always be lifted and padded. I do have one caveat, however. I am sooooo tired of strapless wedding gowns. I was never too crazy about them to begin with. It was so refreshing to see the gown worn at the Royal Wedding and I do think that will turn the tide. The strapless trend in bridal is so overwhelming that many, too many, were going strapless when they really shouldn't have. For me this style is far more effective when it is worn by the stunning few. It gets boring when everyone does it.

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  33. My eldest daughter (23yrs old) wanted a strapless for her daytime graduation ceremony so I made one in a fabric with bright floral pattern and a dark navy background colour. She has a broad back like me, but she's naturally a perfect hourglass shape (90-70-90cm, lucky thing) and has the padding at top front to carry the styles well. I initially mucked up the boning but fortunately it was easier to correct than I'd thought though it did involve some unsewing of dark cotton on dark fabric which was a headache.
    View the finished result here http://robs-stitchintime.blogspot.com/2011/04/done-and-displayed.html

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  34. Oh, the pattern is New Look 6379. It also has a jacket.

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  35. Cathy should rock her shoulders proudly as I can't stand the debutant slouch. I also love the Simplicity patter and can see it in a moire fabric. I know that's more of a fall/winter thing. Sorry, wish I could think of some fabric that's more Summery. But on the bright side, Cathy's pretty tall and with her tall-cool-drink-of-water figure a full skirt swishing around would look pretty cool. Has she thought about evening gloves to go with the outfit?

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  36. I like the Simplicity bodice with the McCalls skirt. It would be easy to draft the skirt, so you wouldn't need to buy both patterns. Are you making the dress for evening or day wear? If you made the dress tea length in your rose print fabric, Cathy could wear it sipping cocktails in the afternoon, or to a garden party, or even to the races with the right hat.

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  37. I'm with you that strapless is not for everyone. Lena Horne is not everyone. I'm not sure what the magic ingredient is, but there is one.
    Now Cathy ... you are right about the swimmer's shoulders - so my vote for her would be the 1952 dress with the smart little shrug in the back left corner of the picture made of something very sheer - extra sheer lace made of dots or even that sort of net fabric for which I have no name. Kind of sexy and come-hither.
    That's what we like here on the Left Coast.

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  38. Peter, I vote for the McCall's "candybox" view C. You live in the trim capitol of the world so the bow detail could be amazing. I think Cathy could get the fleet to come back in wearing that number!

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  39. I'm not a fan of strapless. But I do quite like that McCalls pattern. I think everyone needs to give strapless a go at least once though. Get it out of the system. They are fun. But very hard to pull off for most people. I recently had to make three bridesmaid dresses for a friend. She insisted strapless, long flowing chiffon and empire. They would have looked so much more flattering with straps. That project killed off strapess for me. From now on - interesting shoulder detail all the way.

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  40. I am tired of strapless, most of the ladies look about ready to "pop" & what is left for the imagination? However, I believe that could be because newer strapless dresses seem to be designed to have a "how low can you go" look.

    I do like the McCall's pattern - no gathering at the waist!

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  41. One of the best things about Cathy's figure is that she is so tall and slender with a perfectly flat tummy. I don't know that this look is the best one to show that off. That said, it's worth trying it out to see if you can make it work, particularly if her heart is set on it.

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  42. Yea on someone with good posture. Nay on me, with my round upper back. Also, I think a lot of the strapless gowns we've seen lately are too low-cut, which makes it look like they're about to fall off. Like in the last picture you posted (Jayne Mansfield?).

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  43. What is it with the popularity of strapless wedding gowns throughout the noughties? So few women can rock the strapless look, yet so many choose to have it for a day that may or may not be one of the most important days of their life. I just don't get how so many women can get it so terribly wrong.

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  44. If Cathy loves the strapless look go for it. Just to add to the multiplicity of possible choices I prefer the McCalls bodice, but the Simplicity skirt.

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  45. Cathy should go with the Simplicity but with a different skirt, skip the candy thing but think about the bolero and maybe a different skirt for the simplicity.

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  46. I suspect that the prevalence of strapless weddding dresses is just a reflection of the tendency towards poor fit in RTW in general. From a bridal boutique's perspective it must be so much easier to do strapless gowns - no worries about the sleeves fitting properly, no concerns about the shoulder seams falling in the right spot, or where the bust point lands. Why go to all the trouble of making dresses where everyone can see if they fit properly? Put those poor girls into a tube and send them on their way!

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  47. Oh, the Simplicity is soooo lovely! I have broader than average shoulders for a lady, and I'm a ballroom dancer, so I often wear very formal dresses that have to stay put - not very glamorous to be tugging at the frock while waltzing. The design of the Simplicity will complement the shoulders while enhancing the smaller bust.

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  48. Yea for very structured evening wear (although I'm busty so the structured bit is very much required) and nay for anything else strapless!

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  49. A chiffon strapless is different from a satin one. Texture, weight and detailing can do a lot to change the look. Has Cathy tried on some strapless dresses at a department store to get a sense of which style looks best on her? That may help in choosing a pattern.

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  50. Structure of the dress (it's got to stay upright) and posture of the lady (she needs to stay upright) are all important, especially if she has wider shoulders or much of a bust. I like the strapless look very much for party dresses, but wish it would go by the wayside for a bit on wedding dresses; there are so many other pretty looks to be had! Brides tend to look too similar when they all go strapless and, really, if you're spending that much on a dress, stand out! Ok, rant over ...

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  51. Strapless OK for a glam evening party, but not for wedding gowns, and for Cathy--maybe with a wonderful jeweled necklace? plus bolero? I hope never to see another strapless (topless?) bride--used to think modesty was a bridal attribute and a requirement for church weddings, but RTW and Hollywood combined seem to have banished such thoughts. Ballerina types can wear strapless well, but most others, not so much. When did it become OK to bare a maximum of skin? In the tropics it makes sense, but I agree with those above who see the dress riding too low. I just don't want to see every asset of a stranger. Cathy is tall enough and thin enough to carry it off if she wants to--ballerinas have great shoulders! anna in the midwest

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  52. I'm clearly a "yea."
    http://www.bymaggie.com/?p=202

    I rocked a strapless at my sister's wedding last year, and again at a movie premiere a couple weeks ago - the former bought, the latter I made. Strapless is FUN. The one suggestion I have is to add a belt to the inside if there's a lot of weight on the bottom or you're in for a wardrobe malfunction.
    And as for that swimmer's shoulder thing? I swam competitively for 9 years and still find time to slip into a strapless when I can.

    Try it out! You might like it. :D

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  53. Topping Cathy's shoulders with a lace bolero, forming a sweetheart neckline will draw the eye to her face, neck, and upper chest.

    The bolero will help create an hour-glass silhouette, which certainly pays our gal dividends.

    With summer due to start soon, doesn't McCall's view "C" make sense? We all know there isn't anything quite like Cathy showing a little leg.

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  54. Strapless? Only if you look just like Lena, or Ava, or Rita, or Liz. NOT like Jayne, and not like the girl next door either.

    That McCalls patt looks like something designed for Barbie.

    -- stashdragon

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  55. I say, go for it! But do remember, as Daniel said, the support comes from the waist. You'll need a good waist stay that fastens separately in the back, to hold the boned bodice up where it needs to stay. Nothing worse than seeing Cathy pulling that dress up! And you could just remove the bust fullness and make the bodice fit her actual body. That could look good too. Make a muslin!!!!!

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  56. I love a strapless dress! As long as you work out issues of support/boning, it's a style that looks great on all sorts of figures, including those with more athletic shoulders, like Cathy.

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  57. You know, Peter, I'm on the fence about strapless too. I really like the style, but I think the designers have gone overboard - you can hardly find anything else when looking for a party-type dress.
    I got married 3 yrs. ago, and there was not ONE dress that wasn't strapless, halter or tank. Come on, April is still cold in the Northeast! And besides, I was 45 and quite well endowed. I thought strapless would have been inappropriate.
    However, if I were on a cruise, and the undergarments were supportive enough, I would go for it!

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  58. I am so tired of seeing the bride hitching up her ill-fitting strapless dress. (Reminds me of one wedding nightmare where Jabba the Hutt-- I mean the bride, had a bridesmaid behind her hefting up her assets. SO attractive and bridelike). I digress--I love vintage ball gowns and I think the McCall's is better, the skirt is neater, no bow on the bodice and a cute little point d'esprit bolero would be fabulous on those swimmer shoulders.

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  59. Difficult question, really. On the whole, I'm not opposed to the strapless look but it might not be the best choice for Cathy.
    I'm fairly flat-chested myself and I've dabbled in making strapless dresses last summer. My results looked more ballerina than vava-voom but they were nice. However, I do have a rather feminine-looking waist-to-hip ratio... (contrary to popular opinion, it's definately not just breasts which make for a feminine figure)
    Maybe Cathy could consider trying on a waspie?

    Now, I work with strapless bridal gowns four days a week. It keeps surprising me for how many women this shape (strapless bodice, A-line or full skirt) will be flattering. On the other hand, I am getting rather tired of the look as well. When I started, I thought I would put this experience to work making my own dresses, but now, the idea seems just plain boring to me.
    Although I can still get interested in vintage-inspired strapless things...

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  60. I think that the strapless look is unflattering on many women. And it's marketed so heavily, that too many people are wearing it who would look so much better in another style.

    As others have mentioned, looking good in strapless doesn't have anything to do with bust size. I think it is more a matter of proportion and balance. I think that the shoulders probably matter more than the bust for this style.

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  61. We're going on a cruise this summer and I'm really itching to try making a strapless dress for dinner. Ok truth is I'm really itching to make a whole new wardrobe but strapless dress out of pretty summer fabric is on my wish list. I'm just scared of getting it to stay up.

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  62. I like them...if they fit correctly. Is there anything worse than watching a bridesmaid tug at her bosom to hike up her dress all wedding day? Well, maybe there is...but anyway, I have seen many that work well and many that don't.

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  63. Yea for me......but they should be in proper taste and well engineered. Jayne Mansfield's doesn't work. Ava's is great as is this Helen Rose gown worn by Dolores Gray. The costume clicks for the song and dance number that Dolores is in, but I'm not sure about the poofy fox hula-hoop.

    [IMG]http://i51.tinypic.com/2a4zsjp.jpg[/I

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  64. I personally have to confess to be rather fed up with the strapless look having been around for so long now... Mostly because most of those you see are badly fitting loaned ones, and that it seems you don't see anything else but strapless dresses in wedding parlours. (Living near one when at school does not help.) However, I do like it if done well and well fitted - my best friend looked simply gorgeous in her strapless gown on our graduation ball, and she's not very gifted in the bosom area (I hope she'd forgive me for using her as an example...) - but then her dress was bought, not loaned, and she had it altered to fit her.

    I cannot give Cathy much opinion on the exact style, because I have no experience with this style myself (and would not wear it myself - on 50s-Hollywood-style reasoning grounds ;). I just wanted to give another vote to well-fitting strapless gowns as opposed to not-so-well fitting ones... and a real life example that good fit helps, no matter what the wearer's figure (and assumed ideal figure).

    So... even though it's something I would not do myself, I guess if Cathy wants to try and you want to learn how to deal with this style, I'd say go for it, even if only for the learning factor. Just make sure that if it turns out to be a mistake in the end, you use something you will not regret having used for it, so it's not an expensive mistake. :D

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  65. I like strapless gowns. I'm tired of strapless wedding gowns. That's been the trend for too long, and too many brides would look better in a more flattering gown. I'd love to see wedding dress designers broaden their horizons a bit more beyond strapless dresses.

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  66. FYI - the photo of Elizabeth Taylor is likely a promo photo for "A Place in the Sun;" dress by Edith Head.

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  67. When I wear this it makes me feel girly and cute. It fits just right and goes perfectly with any empire waisted tank.

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  68. There is no choice regarding strapless gowns, it is the ***only*** style available these days. Heavy set gals look for a large cup strapless bra (Linda "the bra lady" says there's no such thing) for a strapless wedding dress. So only solution is a dress that fits very high up and extremely tight (making the girl look a lot fatter).

    Problem is lack of choice, back in the days of Rita Hayworth, Liz Taylor, Ava Gardner, women can get strapless or a dress with shoulders. They could also store buy different kinds of shoulder designs, profiles, etc. Because manufacturers are so obsessed with reducing costs, the business plan is to eliminate shoulders (fitted gowns are a bitch to fit) and framing a shoulder style to the woman's face profile takes skill. Get rid of the shoulders and get rid of that problem.

    And it is even going further, take a look a "fitted gowns" such as wedding and prom dresses. Besides all being strapless, they are now becoming lace-up on the back. Manufacturer's business plans are driving the fashion design and I think for the worst. I see much knowledge on how to make a fitted gown like was done in the 1950's is lost. Yes, it is not easy when using non-stretch materials and it does take more work to ensure proper fit in the bust, torso, waist, shoulder, etc. for a flattering look. Yes, like building a spaceship to go to the moon is a lot of work but the results are stunning. It is difficult to recreate what used to be especially with so many Chinese firms undercutting fashion design. Take a look at wedding and prom dress sites, listings on ebay, these are completely overrun by Chinese companies.

    But then women typically do not wear fancy dresses except on two occasions: Their high school prom or their wedding.

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