Is a sports bra a top? Is it OK to leave jeans unbuttoned? | Opinion

They say that in tough economic times, women start wearing tighter clothes.

That could be because we want to show that we’re in control of our bodies in turbulent times – a theory behind the rise of the bikini – or perhaps because it’s cheaper for manufacturers to use less material. Whatever the reason, it seems we’re back in the “less is more” fad again.

A college professor friend — someone who’s more fashion-conscious than I am — recently wrote to me, “I feel like such an old lady, but I’m not sure how much more naked these kids could get without actually being naked.”

And some recent articles suggest she’s not exaggerating. Last week, The Wall Street Journal asked, “Is a bra a shirt?”

The author explained:The piece has actually become as essential as a t-shirt for some; Celebrities like Zoë Kravitz, Kaia Gerber, Gwyneth Paltrow and Florence Pugh, as well as everyday women like a Brooklyn barista, who I got to meet particularly well this year, use bra tops as building blocks of their day and night wardrobe.”

yes to be clear The bra is a brick – the kind that sits underground where you can’t see it.

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And then there was this from the New York Times a few days ago: “She’s Come Undone (on Purpose”), which examines why “the jeans of the young and stylish are unbuttoned, unbuttoned, and undisturbed.”

A model the author interviewed walked around New York wearing ablack lace lingerie top paired with an oversized pair of Levi’s high loose jeans that remain unbuttoned and folded down.”

The model explained: “It looked a bit baggy and oversized but without me having to worry about a little mishap. … The zipper fell off a bit, but my pants didn’t fall off.”

Well I think we can count that as a win.

A film student at NYU, who also wore her pants open, told the reporter, “You don’t have to feel bad if your pants don’t fit. Wear them unbuttoned and it will be sexy and cool.”

Nothing beats the optimism of youth.

Two University of Utah students showed up to a football game recently wearing body paint instead of shirts. The school issued a statement saying that anyone violating Utah state law regarding indecency involving a child may not participate in games. One might have thought that was self-evident.

The truth is, if you’re a model or a film student or even a barista in a big city, you can get away with these looks. Nobody will bat an eyelid on the streets of New York, and maybe not in the coffee shop or in the classroom either. But I’m puzzled as to which female Wall Street Journal subscribers are suddenly deciding they’re going to wear bras around town.

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And that’s what my friend asked himself too. “Well, if the bra top is your new favorite t-shirt, that’s all well and good. But I do lecture to prospective financial planners at an accredited institution that grants a degree. And these women are seniors. Now I need to talk to them about how to dress appropriately for their interviews.”

I have warned you that this could be a violation of Title IX.

It is certainly not easy for young women to enter the business world today. For decades, there was little guidance from schools and workplaces about what was acceptable attire. Dress codes are considered sexist. After a few years of working from home, many adults have also lost track of how to dress. They have forgotten that most women want to be taken seriously at work and at school. They want to be respected and rewarded for their talents, not how many inches of waist we can see.

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A lot of young women have been taught that people dress in a sexy way and make people sit up and take notice. As one of the other “unbuttoned” women remarked, “When you wear something confident, the people you see will absorb your confident energy, and I can assure you they’ll be like, ‘Damn… you look amazing!’ “

Nobody over 25 believes that. As my friend remarked, “The girls get embarrassed in those tops and then they hang together and look uncomfortable, which makes the whole outfit way sadder than sexy.”

In fact, most women who wear these outfits don’t look confident at all. They look like they were caught wandering around in their underwear. What they have.

Naomi Schaefer Riley is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, and a contributor to Deseret News. She is the author of “No way to treat a child: How the foster care system, family courts and racist activists are destroying young lives‘, among other books.

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