Thursday, October 20, 2005

How to Wear a Tube Top

A while back, I found myself in a dating crisis. I wanted to dress to impress, and therefore chose to wear a new tube top for the first time. The problem was, I had no idea how to go about wearing it. What goes on the bottom? What goes underneath? I frantically emailed my girlfriend, Stephanie, since I knew I could count on her advice. What I found in my inbox was so helpful and informative, I have to share it with other tube top wearers, or wannabes. Please enjoy "How to Wear a Tube Top" by Stephanie Lane:

Ok, explain the tube top again??? You said it was light blue with silver? Is it a half tube (bandeau— band across like a bikini) or a full tube (covers the tummy)? Here’s my advice on how to look hot in a tube:

BRAS and TUBE TOPS: It's not impossible to support yourself in a tube. The thing is, tubes accentuate your bust and your shoulders. But you don’t want to look tacky like you’re wearing it to advertise. This is where the bra comes in (or not!). Some tubes have built in support or are thick enough to ensure that no one sees what they shouldn’t see until the shirt’s off anyway! If the tube doesn’t have appropriate coverage, here’s what to do:

TO BRA OR NOT TO BRA? I myself have two kinds of tube bras, in addition to a strapless underwire bra: (1) a full tube that is a lycra (leotard-ish) material that I wear with full tubes or with anything strapless; (2) I also have a bandeau lycra bra for half tubes; (3) You can also wear a regular strapless underwire bra; (4) Or nothing at all if the tube provides adequate support (see section on dancing!)

FINDING THE RIGHT BRA COMBO: You might have to try a few options; and every tube is different, so you never know what’ll look best until you experiment ahead of time. Sometimes, I wear an STRAPLESS underwire bra with the tube bra over it and then the tube shirt over that. This is to make the bra seem seamless. But sometimes it just makes it look like I’m really padded down, so use your own discretion. Also, if you are eventually gonna lose the tube later that night with that person who’s been admiring you in it, don’t present yourself with too many layers, as it could KILL the romantic moment. Nothing’s worse than having to stop in the heat of the moment to peel off three layers of clothing. I use this method ONLY if necessary and when I’m going to a business lunch or dinner with my parents! Another downfall of the multiple bra method is that you don’t want to give the impression that you’re big and busty and once all the layers are off, you’re nothing but a meager B.

LYCRA TUBE BRA: If you are popping out and the underwire option doens’t work, it might be good to wear a Lycra tube bra that pushes you down a bit so that the tube stays in one place and doesn’t slip down. It’s almost like a jog bra underneath so it really supports. **This is great if you’re going dancing since you DEFINITELY DON’T want to be the center of attention when you realize the tube is around your ANKLES!** You also don’t want to be hiking the thing up all night, so bras are good for your own self-security, especially for the first time you wear one.

UNDERWIRE BRA:Sometimes if I feel like the tube is really tight and stretchy and it’s pressing my boobies down and I look too flat, I wear a strapless bra with underwire to keep everything up so I don’t look flat. But sometimes it’s obvious that I’m wearing a bra underneath. (That’s when you either ditch wearing a bra altogether or put the lycra one over it.) I don’t think you’ll have that problem. In which case I would suggest, if you really need a bra, wearing a lycra bra that keeps people from sensing when you’re cold, if you know what I mean. Nothing worse than advertising the weather!

CREATING AN OUTFIT: The tube top is 70’s influenced, so go with the flow and do some sorta hippy-ish sandals and bell-bottomy pants and the look will be consistent. I’d say a pretty flowing skirt and sandals with a little sweater if it gets cooler, or else pants that flow. I suggest flowing pants because the shirt is revealing and fitted so it’s nice not to show too much skin or wear too much tight stuff at once. The point of a tube is that is reveals your shoulders, so maybe a pretty necklace (if the shirt is silver, a dainty silver necklace might bring out that nicely) would be nice to accentuate your neckline.

Thanks to Steph, I looked hot, even though the tube top's first date was a disaster. The tube has since, however, gone out to many successful dates (see photo of tube successfully salsa dancing) and has provided me with much enjoyment, whether paired with a bra, or not.


captain court said...

I -definitely- think this needs to be made into a stick figure pamphlet, a la Michelle Alexander's "How to Lose a Guy." I also love that the tube is personified, as it should be ... awesome :)

Steph Buxbaum said...

Steph Lane here....( and actually I ended going back to Buxbaum these days, but I still respond to both.)
Okay-- this is my very first BLOG expereince and I don't know whether to be proud or embarrassed that at some point in my recent past I had so much time on my hands that I felt inclined to write a lengthy essay on tube tops. (At the time, EC and I joked that we should make this kind of article standard in our own new mag-- "27 Magazine"-- if you're too old for 17 and too young and poor for Vogue, there seems to be nothing in the middle.)

Anyway, the mag never came to fruition but I do still firmly believe in everything I advised and in fact am so inspired I might just throw on a tube today which would require me to replace the one I have on now-- my Chanukah gift from last year-- a t-shirt from none other than Erin Cristall herself-- that politely draws attention to my chest while still proclaming "Everyone Loves A Jewish Girl"...appropriate toss to the next topic of Blog:
the Yom Kippur service at the Laugh Factory!

Erin said...

Steph don't be embarrassed. Your wise advice will now go on to save women across the globe from chicken cutlet shoulder blades and droopy boobs.