Badassery in midlife; take your lingerie out of the closet
“Bold, rad, badass,” were the comments on my outfit, a 60s crochet bra on bare skin appearing under an oversized coat. My booties said “Do Ya Thing.”
So what, you might say. Celebs started in 2017 to show their bras on naked skin, under jackets and even instead of a top. Now it’s a trend, big deal… You’re right. Badassery is easy when you’re famous, young and with a physique chiseled to society’s perfection.
In midlife our bodies are often not what perfect describes. Worse, ageism awaits us with jail jackets of suffocating judgments. The reaction to older women claiming their sass is answered with belittling ahs and ohs and casting calls for the crazy old chick. The media presents sassy grandmas, who are “so cute” making the best of saggy features. Some of us chime in and self deprecate. I swing weights lying on my blue exercise ball and tell my boobs to keep it up.
To experiment with out-of-the-box fashion like showing our lingerie is playful and more; we are training our fierce like in a boxing ring where we exercise who we are and what we want. Do we throw the towel adhering to old-fashioned values or swing the red bralette of liberation?
“Take your lingerie out of the closet” is the challenge of today. It’s also a giggle.
The first time I safely revealed what’s underneath was at an art opening where bold fashion is applauded and age is left at the door. Afterwards, I stepped into a late-open supermarket to buy dog food. A couple criticizing smirks hit my warrior’s shield. A head was shaken. I smiled back. I did my thing. No eggs were thrown.
Not every fearless fashion rebel act, which is anything I am afraid of, worried or judgmental about, has made me happy. This outfit did. Old chicks aren’t sexy? Give me a break.
As woke women we dislike bras because of the negative sexist connotations. Badassery in midlife puts a new spin to it; showing off bras is rebellious. It says old chicks are a sensual force to reckon with, sexy in an evolved, aware, fiercely self-loving way. I don’t reveal lingerie as a lure on a cougar path but style myself like art, which explores meaning and ruffles mindsets. My curious inner child enjoys dismantling her toys to get to their secret, and my adult smiles about our sometimes-silly daring.
Sexy at 60 stands up to ageism and takes a punch at sexism. We reframe how we want to be seen; the path to our truth might guide us to the wisdom of Rebel Barbie, the power of Barbarella’s innocence or our victorious secrets. Wearing bras for all to see provokes us to explore what they mean to us and that counts for all ages; are we following the herd or styling from the insight out?
I’m often bra-less under my outfits as less restriction lets me breathe easier. And, even if I never was a hippie, the passionate calls for liberation of the 60s and 70s left an undeniable imprint. Bare boobs were cool then like in ancient times when women were revered like goddesses.
The history of women’s breasts and how they were wrapped or not could fill a 500-page book, a fascinating account of women’s repression and liberation. Women have used a variety of garments and devices to cover, restrain, hide, reveal, flatten or enhance the appearance of their breasts. The style responded to society’s demands disrupted by a few attempts to reclaim ownership of our bodies.
Before they became push-up and plunge bras enhancing cleavage or padded to pretend big boobs, bras began as a powerful anti-repression and physical freedom support. Only about 120 years ago the separation of bras and girdle ended the health threatening, suffocating, immobile dolls producing use of corsets. Feminists claimed that greater participation of women in society required emancipation from corsetry, a need for greater mobility outside and in. In 1874 Elizabeth Stuart Phelps urged to “Burn the corsets.” “Burn the bras,” was a feminist slogan in more recent decades.
Philosophic pondering about human physiques and my dislike of glorifying body parts aside, I appreciate my breasts. My social conditioning tells me they’re cute. My rebel tells me that in a society putting so much importance on their styling I shall continue to treat bras as a sidekick for women power.
You might discover a new fierce letting your bras come out of the closet.
How to style your liberated bras
- Bralette over a T-shirt for an easygoing and edgy outfit.
- Bustiers over blouses
- Bras over or under a transparent shirt or dress
- Go sans top and show a bralette under a blazer or coat like a top
- Pair it with an unbuttoned vest or kimono
- Show it under a loose crochet sweater
- Sport it under or over fishnet tops
- Let stylish bralettes peep out from beneath tank tops
- Wear a lingerie top under a jacket
Tricks for the midlife woman
Combine the bralette with high waist pants
Use mesh tops with long sleeves
Button your jacket on the lower end if you’re nervous to reveal too much belly
Try the style at home or in a clothing store’s dressing cabin, note the feelings coming up looking at your mirror image.
Take a selfie.
Post it on your favorite social platform; is this scary, fun, empowering, rebellious?
Use your followers’ comments to dig deeper, what’s your personal story with breasts, bras and sensuality?
Test your daring and wear it outside.
Post a selfie of your real world experience. Share your feelings.
What we wear is who we are, how and why we wear it is a path to self-awareness. Today I’m not in pushy mode and sport a vintage satin bodice under a denim jacket, the easy-going sass without stress.
My mantra for the day; empowerment lives outside of the box.