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Why are women wearing tops with open backs?

  1. Jul 2, 2012 #1

    cepheid

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    I hope that my thread title does not sound too risqué. I have noticed in my city, now that it is summer, that many women are wearing tops that are completely open at the back, exposing the undergarments. This got me thinking (always a dangerous thing)...why are so many women wearing these tops? It seems to me to be not very classy to have one's bra strap showing.

    Don't get me wrong: I think I know why they are being widely worn. It's because somebody decided that this should be the latest fashion, therefore that is what is sold in stores, therefore that is what young women are buying. I guess my question is more along the lines of this: why has this trend been so readily adopted? It seems disconcerting to me that so many women would seemingly allow fashion to redefine their sense of what is acceptable dress so easily. That is discussion point #1 that I would like people to weigh in on, if they could.

    I know that some women here might accuse me of being old-fashioned and even chauvinist. They might say that it is unfair for me to infer anything about the quality of a woman's character or about her intentions to attract males simply from the way that she dresses. I don't want to be perceived that way. But I just couldn't help feeling that these tops looked kind of trashy. I know the argument goes that just because a woman wears revealing clothes certainly doesn't mean that she is promiscuous, and it may not even mean that she wants any sort of attention from men. Supposedly she wants to look attractive for herself and not for the benefit of men. But that last argument has always seemed kind of weak to me. I mean, at the end of the day, why does it make one feel good to be attractive? Isn't it because one knows that one is desired (or at least admired) by others? I guess I'm sort of claiming that although vanity might be an excessive pre-occupation with one's self and one's own looks, there really wouldn't be any vanity in the absence of others to judge those looks. It's the perception of others that seems to be the primary motivating factor. This is discussion point #2 that I'd like people to weigh in on if they could.

    I'm only in my twenties, and you might wonder, now that we're several decades firmly entrenched into the era of mini-skirts, really short shorts, tube tops, sleeve-less tops with spaghetti straps, bikini tops, and any number of other revealing female garments, why am I making a such a big deal about these open-back tops? I don't know, to be honest. All I can say is that something about them struck me as being in especially poor taste, and it bothered me.
     
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  3. Jul 2, 2012 #2
    I don't think I've seen that yet.
    Do the shirts you're talking about look something like this?

    springcliftonopenback.jpg

    Well, my opinion on that is if they're wearing them with bras, then it probably looks pretty tacky. I don't think you're supposed to wear bras with them. The girls doing that are probably trying to be fashionable, but at the same time they don't have the fashion sense to do it right.
    I don't think they're too revealing or anything like that.

    And yes, I agree, the motivation to look attractive is to look attractive to the opposite sex (or same sex if you prefer). I don't see any reason why you would just want to impress yourself with your good looks.
     
  4. Jul 2, 2012 #3

    D H

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    It's not as if males aren't immune from this disease. In ten or twenty years a good number of you young men are going to very embarrassed by those fading and trashy tattoos that have become slightly disfigured thanks to your now middle aged physique. And no, boxers pulled up higher than the height at which an 80 year old man wears his pants is *not* attractive. Counterbalancing the overhigh shorts with sagging pants does not fix this trashy/unattractive problem. At least that fad seems to be fading.

    Back to that alien species, the young female. They don't know it, but inappropriate wear is a benefit to you, the discerning male. You've just seen someone you do not want to chase after.
     
  5. Jul 2, 2012 #4

    Ben Niehoff

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    Fashion? What if it's just because it's hot outside?
     
  6. Jul 2, 2012 #5
    I agree this is serious. I intend to look into the matter.
     
  7. Jul 2, 2012 #6

    cepheid

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    Yeah, the image you posted is exactly what I'm talking about (there are variations with smaller or larger openings EDIT: well actually I don't think it could get too much larger).

    It does look pretty tacky. Maybe you are right about how they are intended to be worn. I do not know.

    Cool. Thanks for weighing in, I want to hear opinions about this. I get the impression that you're a guy. It would be interesting to hear women's opinions on this point as well.

    I don't have tattoos, nor do I wear really low pants, exposing my underwear. However, I do get the point that you are making. Both sexes are guilty of this type of slavery to fashion that leads them to make questionable choices when it comes to attire. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Again, really good point. I guess the classy ladies will always stand out, and hopefully one of them will deem me to be worth her time!

    It is indeed around 30 celsius, but I think that one could find ways to wear less clothing without exposing one's underwear or looking quite so tacky. For example, I have no problem with a sleeveless top (with straps) and shorts.

    Excellent! I'm glad you're on the case! Let me know what you turn up. Perhaps it will be appropriate for the FCC (Federal Clothing Commission) to get involved. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Jul 2, 2012 #7
    I guess to show their back muscles :confused:
     
  9. Jul 2, 2012 #8
    I believe going out naked in the sun is worse than covering up the skin.
     
  10. Jul 2, 2012 #9

    George Jones

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    I sometimes don't like what my wife wears, but she tells me that she feels better when she looks good according to her tastes. I have heard other women say the same.
    The high here today was 16 C (61 F), but my wife just left to visit her family in a part of Canada where the highs will regularly top 30 C (86 F). I guarantee that she will have no desire to wear open-backed tops. I pity the fool who suggests that she should.
     
  11. Jul 2, 2012 #10

    D H

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    I've heard the same, too. Women dress for themselves, for other women, and every once in a while, for men. Do you know if the clothes your wife is wearing came from Walmart or Le Haute Boutique? What brand shoes she's wearing? The names of all of the shades of red? We're clueless. Why would they dress for us?
     
  12. Jul 2, 2012 #11

    turbo

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    This is indeed a serious matter. For some reason, older heavier women can feel free to follow this trend, while younger slim-but-curvy women can avoid it. There should be some rules!!
     
  13. Jul 2, 2012 #12

    turbo

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    Why is the open-front trend not catching on?
     
  14. Jul 2, 2012 #13

    DaveC426913

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    It accomplishes what every fashion trend since the dawn of time is designed to do (and - as evidenced by this thread - has done) - which is to get noticed. To get talked about. You don't get talked about by following the rules.

    The only thing worse than be talked about badly - is to not be talked about at all.
     
  15. Jul 2, 2012 #14

    Curious3141

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    Remember to probe the issue from all sides. Leave no stone unturned. Strive to reveal all.

    And don't be a boob about it. At the end of the day, I hope your study isn't a bust.
     
  16. Jul 2, 2012 #15

    Curious3141

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    Exactly what I was wondering.
     
  17. Jul 2, 2012 #16

    DaveC426913

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    :tongue2:

    Here in Ontario a few years back, the law requiring women to wear tops was repealed and they were legally allowed to go topless. A few women decided to make a point of it, and announced they were going to go topless. But they were pretty much swarmed by reporters and non-reporters alike with cameras that they chickened out.
     
  18. Jul 2, 2012 #17

    Evo

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    Is the trend to show off bra straps, or is it ignorance?

    There are special bras that are designed for backless dresses. Or you can go without a bra.
     
  19. Jul 2, 2012 #18

    DaveC426913

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    It is. Showing straps over the shoulder has been generally acceptable in the younger generation for decades. (I distinctly remember one older woman writing in to Dear Abby decades ago wondering the same thing. Abby's response was: "Deal with it.") This is just an incremental progression.
     
  20. Jul 2, 2012 #19

    Evo

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    Another tacky trend. I think the bare back is much better, and sexier, if you have a nice back. Otherwise it looks like you don't own a mirror. :uhh:
     
  21. Jul 2, 2012 #20

    cepheid

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    For women who make an effort to look fashionable, chic, trendy, elegant, whatever, I agree that their primary audience is other people who understand and appreciate the nuances of such things, and that group does not include many men. But I'm not really talking about that. I'm talking more about women who wear revealing outfits in an attempt to look "sexy." Do women wear extremely short skirts, tight-fitting outfits, uncomfortably-high heels, and display a lot of cleavage *solely* for the benefit of themselves and other women? I don't think so, but I have come across some women who claim that they do dress in this way for themselves, that it makes them feel confident and powerful, and that it is not for the benefit of men -- it has nothing to so with attracting men whatsoever. They do this and then they complain about how they receive all sorts of unwanted attention from men and how they are tired of being objectified. They seem to have the unreasonable expectation that this ought not to happen. This, to me, seems contradictory. So I'm trying to understand how this can be a legitimate argument. I don't buy it. Even if the claim is that being and feeling "sexy" makes you feel good about yourself, I'd argue that the primary reason for that is because of all of the attention, notice, praise, desire, admiration, envy, etc that it gets you from *others* (just as I stated in my previous post).

    Well, that's depressing. So the only way that I could have maintained my air of superiority and disdain (EDIT: disdain is too strong a word: disapproval, maybe) for this fashion trend would be been to ignore it completely and not say anything about it at all? By reacting to it, I have allowed it to win? :tongue:

    Yes, I'm "here in Ontario" as well. Equality of toplessness exists, I guess, in the letter of the law, but social conventions still prevent it from happening in practice.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
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