". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Thursday, August 14, 2008


No, this is not a post about Vacation Bible School, but about Visible Bra Straps. One the one hand they seem to be the fashion statement of the moment for females of all ages. In fact, you can now just buy the straps, all by themselves. Yet a web search can pull up plenty of people who, like me, don't get it.

I did some more thinking about this yesterday when one of my piano students--a teenage girl--showed up for her lesson displaying no less than three different bra straps under her tank top. I found myself thinking that she must be very uncomfortable wearing three bras under there! But having done a little more research, I now wonder if she was not wearing three bras at all but simply attaching extra straps for the sake of adornment. By the way, the student in question is a lovely and beautiful young lady with a great fashion sense, and seeing her sport this style makes me wonder if I am just being a fuddy-duddy. Because she is just one of a number of young ladies I know being raised in Christian homes with wholesome values and standards of behavior who nevertheless make this same fashion choice.

I was led to think about this some more yesterday when another of my piano students, a much younger one (age 7), showed up wearing a tank top with adjustable spaghetti straps. Looking at her shirt, it struck me that due to the adjustable feature, her straps looked a lot like bra straps. So then it occurred to me that maybe what my older student was wearing under her tank top was not multiple bras but multiple shirts with bra-like straps.

Musing over all this, then, I found myself wondering if my problem with the VBS style is not so much that it is revealing--my student was wearing a tank top, after all--but that the straps look like bra straps, which in my mind are not supposed to be shown. But what is it that makes them look like bra straps? Is it just that they have that adjustable slider feature? Well, what's so wrong with that? Would I have the same reaction if someone wore a tank top with a spaghetti-strap t-shirt (and no adjustable feature) underneath it? If my 7-year-old student's shirt has the adjustable feature, it is clearly not something that is limited only to bra strap use, right? And what's wrong with it anyway? Isn't it there just to assure a good fit, whether it's on a bra or a shirt?

I'm probably overthinking this. But as I look at the females out there who wear this style, it does strike me that it is possible to wear it in an aesthetically pleasing way and possible to wear it in a trashy way, and my piano student was definitely modeling the former. It's not a style I would choose for myself, nor would I allow my daughter to wear it (I am quite sure she wouldn't want to anyway). But maybe those of us who don't care for the style should simply count our blessings: after all, an easy alternative to VBS would be no B at all!


elephantschild said...

Some girls wear multiple tank tops in an effort to cover more midriff and bum, actually.

It's rough for modest girls. For several years, all the jeans were LOW, LOW and LOWER, and the shirts were all SHORT. Now, you can get LONGER tank tops to wear under your older SHORT stuff so that your bum and tummy are covered, but then you've got all those extra straps to deal with.

I have mixed feelings about the straps. When it's clear that there are a couple of tanks worn together, it bothers me less. I'd rather see bra straps than the tops of some girls thong underwear, which I've been "treated" to on more than one occasion.

Let's all poll our Dh's on how much trouble the sight of bra (or bra-like) straps gives them. I'd be curious!

Phil said...

I don't like the straps. Period.
Multiple tanks are OK, but I just think the tank strap should be thick.

I'm really happy women aren't all covered up in the West like they are in Muslim countries. However, I just don't get why women increasingly want to show off MORE of themselves than men. Example: Beach Volleyball in the Olympics. The guys looked fine. The girls looked somewhere between Abercrombie and Victoria's Secret. I know I would have dug this when I was 19, but I don't think it is good for our culture or civilization to have ANYONE (male or female) running around in their underwear, what appears to be their underwear, or what passes for underwear.

So put this dh down as a vote for modesty.

Cheryl said...

I had the very same thought about beach vollleyball last night. What on earth are they thinking? I suppose the idea is they're wearing what they would wear to play on the beach--a swimsuit--but considering the athleticism with which they play and the fact that millions of people are watching them I was stunned at the paucity of clothing.

Phil said...

I almost gave it a pass at first, too, because it is "beach" volleyball. But then I noticed what the guys were wearning.

Interestingly enough, the new swimwear - worn to maximize speed - is considerably less revealing than 20 years ago.

Karen said...

I might be wrong, but I think the clothing worn by Olympic athletes are chosen by some committee. There were several comments by announcers that this countries uniform was designed by a particular designer or former athlete. Btw, I agree that some of the "uniforms" don't cover enough.

elephantschild said...

Re: the beach volleyball. What are we really saying about women when the women are dressed in almost nothing but the guys are wearing normal athletic gear?

Feminism, scheminism. Bah. Actions speak louder than words!