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At the Grammys, Lady Gaga took the underboob trend to another level with her gravity-defying top, showing the kind of reverse decolletage usually reserved for men’s magazines like Playboy and Maxim. Halsey, Bella Hadid, Demi Lovato and Jennifer Lopez have also recently worn gowns that left little to the imagination, let alone room for an underwire.
In 2017, cleavage isn’t spilling over, it’s spilling under. “The trends are always shifting, but cleavage will never go out of style,” says Santa Monica’s Dr. Chia Chi Kao, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. “Showing the side or under breast just offers a fresh appeal to a classic.” Adds Dr. Peter Capizzi, double-board certified plastic surgeon, “Underboob cleavage has a more natural appearance and is a goal for many of my patients. It allows one to play up the natural sensuality of a woman’s breast in a more formal setting.”
Plastic surgery trends may have contributed to the new fashion craze, experts say, namely the popularity of smaller, more natural breast implants. Dr. Capizzi says his patients are favoring cohesive gel gummy bear implants, which come in many shapes and sizes — the teardrop shape is particularly hot — to enhance the chest in a more natural way than standard round silicone- or saline-filled bubbles.
“I see an increasing number of patients wanting smaller breasts,” says Dr. Kao. “Some women still want to go bigger than what they were anatomically born with, but not big or out of proportion to their size.” The surgeon also has seen patients asking to remove larger implants from years back and do a simple lift and fat transfer instead.
He sees breast implant placement and choices shifting with clothing styles. In the ‘80s, when bathing suits were high cut on the hips (think Christie Brinkley), tummy tucks needed to follow those lines, for example. “Now people want perkier breasts so we are putting in implants smaller in diameter and higher in projection, which creates a beautiful silhouette.”
“Size is not everything anymore. Collectively it’s about size, shape and projection. My patients want the pencil to fall when they take the Pencil Test,” in which a pencil is placed underneath the breast, says Dr. Kao. “Women used to want more of a slope to the breast, now they’re increasingly asking for their breasts to be lifted and elevated.” For a lift without a telltale scar, he performs a procedure called a Bennelli Lift, with or without implant, that leaves a fine scar only around the nipple. Requests for firmer breasts are also increasing, he says.
All of which make for great underboob. But Dr. Kao says there are likely wardrobe tricks at play to make the latest revealing gowns wearable on the red carpet, too. “A lot of people use tape on the side temporarily to hold up the breasts…but there really is no permanent solution other than surgery.”
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