Dear Designers, Please Stop Putting Boobs in Cages

Forget "Free the Nipple" — free the whole damn breast!
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Tyler McCall
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Forget "Free the Nipple" — free the whole damn breast!

Lately, I have been left wondering: Do fashion designers even know what boobs are?

I ask this because I have noticed an uptick in what I refer to as the "boob cage" on garments intended for women, which do not belong on any piece of clothing outside of haute couture. Before I begin, let me admit that I do not know the formal name for the type of garment to which I am referring, which features built-in cups at the bustline.

You know what I'm talking about, though: It's the silhouette that basically made Proenza Schouler famous and the one currently doing really tragic things to Bella Hadid's body. So far, I have traced its comeback to Maria Grazia Chiuri's first designs for Dior, but versions have popped up at Valentino pre-fall, Raf Simons's preview designs for Calvin Klein and Ulyana Sergeenko's spring haute couture collection. If I know anything about fashion, it's that it's incredibly likely the boob cage will continue to trickle down the industry before it ends up in a Zara near you. ("You think this has nothing to do with you," Miranda Priestly is uttering under her breath in a well-lit room somewhere.)

But it shouldn't! Because here's the thing: These garments were not made with boobs in mind. As with all samples, these are fitted to models with slim figures who very likely sit on the flat-chested part of the spectrum. That means that, when purchased in stores or borrowed from the designer, instead of magically cupping the boob just so, it just....sits on top of them. It makes my boobs hurt to even look at it! It ruins the line that the designer had in mind when the cups sit flat against the upper part of the chest, but also, man, free the boobs!

And the real kicker is, they don't even look right on the models 99 percent of the time! Bodies are weird! And different! The odds that a pre-fitted cup is going to fit someone straight off the rack is highly unlikely. Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski are both models, and thus should fit in a sample size, and these boob cages are trapping their bodies in a pile of mesh and wire! I mean, even Chiara Ferragni is on the smaller side, and you can even see where the Dior dress just sits on top of her boobs. It's insanity! Beautiful, imprisoning insanity!

The sole exception to this is haute couture, and that is because, theoretically, the garment will be fitted precisely to the measurements of the person wearing it. Otherwise, what designers have made is a wonderful, beautiful garment that will never, ever quite look right off the runway — and in some cases, not even then. 

Ahead of the fall 2017 shows (or spring 2017 shows, who the hell knows anymore) I beg of all the designers: Just say no to the boob cage.

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