Dare to Ask: What's wrong with using bra as a purse?
By Phillip Milano
When I go out to a nightclub dancing, I carry my change purse and cell phone
inside my bra cup. I can lock my pocketbook in the car and not have to worry
about losing anything. A few people said I look cheap when I reach into my dress
to get at my money. It hurt my feelings. If you're a woman who does this, what
reaction have you had? I do this often and never lost anything. It works on my
Linda, 50, Boston
If it was good enough for Mae West, it's good enough for anyone.
Hope, 38, Pittsburgh
You must be a heavy gal for that to even work. I think it's pretty white
trash to go digging in your underwear to tip the valet. Besides, YOU'RE 50! What
nightclubs and dancing are you involved in? The behavior might be acceptable to
someone in her early 20s. A middle-aged woman should have more class.
Dot, Los Angeles
Cue the stiff announcer in the tinny-sounding high school etiquette film:
"And for our female students, remember, at age 25, it begins to look skanky to
plunge your hand into your cleavage for cash. Before that age, however, boys
will find this empowering activity a sign of independence. What's that (sound of
vibrating ring tone) -- is that your modern, small cell phone alerting you to a
friend or extended warranty salesman? No need to keep them waiting. Get in there
and dig around."
What, that wasn't shown junior year?
Well, we'll let Susan Huston unearth some truth nuggets for us. She's an
etiquette expert with more than three decades' experience (SusanHuston.com) and
has been interviewed by all sorts of media. Maybe not about bra-diving, but
about other stuff.
In this day and age of lax decorum, some girls and women may need some
training about their bras, she said (note with humor our use of "training" and
"bra" in the same sentence).
"This is a habit some women got into back in the grandma days, when they had
a hanky in their bosom," Huston said. "It can be difficult to break. If I could
invent something fashionable to use instead of the bosom, I could be a
But it does look pretty cheap to do that, she added, whether in a club or on
a job interview, so for those women who actually don't know this: Don't do it!
"Women need to stop and think, your breast is part of you ... it might be
seen as an open invitation. Women might think it's OK for convenience sake, but
it doesn't appear that way. And so conflicts can arise."
And especially in an era of camera phones and social networking sites, what
you do may be seen by millions, so be forewarned, she said.
"With women, it's about protecting their reputation. Maybe a man can still
get away with a little scratching ... but with a woman, people seem to take it
more seriously, and it's more noticeable, too. It's right in your face."
Her solution? Put the cash, plastic and lipstick in a small pocketbook with a
long strap. Then there's no need for a multi-tasking bra.
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Phillip Milano, author of I Can't Believe You Asked That! (Perigee),
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