Cleavage is the partial exposure of the breasts. Extreme cleavage may also lead toward areolage, the partial revelation of the areola, and in the extreme to nippage, the exposure of the nipple. These exposures represent the extreme of cleavage because as they come into play, cleavage, because it involves fashion lines, becomes moot. At the extreme, the topless subject has no cleavage.
The Bikini Scientist recognizes four types of cleavage; these are controlled by three of the fashion lines: the neckline, armhole, and cutoff line. This page also illustrates some special cleavage cases.
The exposure code for cleavage is T.
Cleavage Décolletage (Top)
Décolletage is cleavage produced by a low-cut neckline that exposes the neck, shoulders and parts of the breasts.
Décollatage has a deep tradition in fashion, and has been one of the swimsuit's most consistent erotic variables. Décollatage is intimately related to how the breast is supported and held (if at all) and about what positions (e.g. leaning over) may be constrained upon the wearer if she is not to expose, for example, her aureola and nipples.
Décolletage evolves in Europe during the late middle ages, and is the first exposure to evolve in swimwear with the Victorian bathing dress. It remains in active pay in the unitard, leotard, maillot (CB192710), and bikini (FI8312).
Décolletage is manifest in all soutien-gorge topologies, including the shoulder strap maillot (CP8701) and the bra (CB9006, VD7010, SE9188), the halter tie maillot () and halter (SY6710, VB8406, Vero8401), and the strapless maillot and bandeau (MA5830, FI8302, FI8318). It is an exposure favored by women of all builds, especially full-busted types (JE9110) who often know how to push its limits (CB9111). Certain designs of soutien-gorge, e.g., the push-up bra, utilize foundation to magnify décollatage (FL8622).
A fine point on language: Décolletage is a noun and describes the exposure; décolleté is the adjective.
Cleavage Centros (Center)
Cleavage between the breasts also stems from European origins. It is primarely a function of neckline, where it ranges from the scoup neckline maillot (FI8306) to V-plunge styles (FI8310) that strike from below to xiphoid to as far south as the navel. Cleavage centros differs from décolletage in that décolletage focuses on the topside swell of the breasts, while centros on the space between them. Thus exposure of the xiphoid, the body landmark that marks the meeting of the lower center of the rib cage and which lies slightly below the breasts, provides a better indicator. This is not to say that décolletage and centros cannot play in tandem, and indeed they do.
In bikini, centros appears in the bra that spaces the cups apart (RL9115), in string halters where the triangle cups are gapped by a significant widths of bare flesh (AV198210, VB8420, FL8612), and in foundation bandeaus that incorporate a V or underwire to separate and uplift the breasts. The criss-cross halter can also drive centros (ZX3K90BS), as can the pretzel maillot (MF9001).
Foundation, both in maillot and soutien-gorge often plays an important role, but it is not always necessary, as with the string halter (VB8406), especially when the breast is allowed to sag naturally (VB8408, SM8517, CB9002, MP96A1).
The free-hanging vest or unbuttoned shirt also afford centros exposure. In the latter examples, the neckline and cutoff line flow into each other and merge. This look can be very casual and suggestive in women of all breast sizes.
Cleavage Côté (Side)
Cleavage côté is the exposure the side of the breast and is primarely controlled by the armhole (CI9270).
Côté also appears when the backline advances in front of the arm and unveils the side of breast, an exposure that occures in halter tops (FI8314, Vero8409) including the slide-side, as well as in the maillot, especially the wrap (FI8310)and the high-legline, open armhole variety (FB83P61, CS8430). Côté may be enabled by retie, as this sitting subject (WB8401), by rigid materials (GM4810), and by backStrapUnfasten, expecially when the subject is laying on her belly (Vero8404, CB9005).
Côté is also favored by smaller-breasted women who wear loose-fitting sleeveless blouses or croptops that permit the careful observer to not only detect cleavage but nippage as well.
Cleavage Neathage (Underside or Below)
Neathage, a term rooted in the preposition neath and similar to the word nether, meaning beneath or below, is an exposure of the underside of the breast, such as one might find when a portion of the breast lies exposed below the soutien-gorge or croptop. The controlling fashion line is the cutoff line, and thus it is always related to bellage, especially belly-up. Neathage may also be coupled with completely open center cleavage.
Neathage may occur when the breast pushes out below the bikini top, as if in an attempt to escape, and occures with bandeau (VB8409), halter (VB8403), and bra. Neathage is sometime also coupled with cleavage centros (VB8408). Neathage rarely appears with maillot, except with rare cutout designs and the every-which-way cleavage of the pretzel (MF9001).
Neathage may play a significant role with croptops, especially with loose fitting croptops where the underswell of the breast is aggrivated by actions such as the lifting of arms. As with other cleavage exposures, apparently careless maneuvers enable nippage.
Cleavage Cleavy (Multiple)
When cleavage occures from all directions the effect is called cleavage cleavy, or simply cleavy for short. The primary example is pasties, which cover the nipple but leave the rest of the breast bare (JE8907B); this is especially evident in graded sizes (LO8913, JE8912, KP88F8, JD89M0). Pasties may or may not involve areolage (again, JD89M0).
Cleavy may alse be used to describe micro and pico-sized halters where exposures advance from the top, center and sides (SA5810, JD89LC, JE8906), or the top center and below (FL8623). Cleavy may be accentuated by squeezing (WS8402), as well as halters that rides up (RP8809).
Leanovers, strictly speaking, are not a class of cleavage but an action that leads directly to cleavage or one of its more advanced exposures. Its most frequent manifestation involves the bikiniite leaning forward so that décolletage is advanced (SS6520, NR8501-03), either within the confines of a foundation (SS6530), or not, such as looking down a neckline to see nipples (GG191810). Leanovers may also include subjects lifting up from the prone (SS6510, WB8404) as well as leaning forward (SM8502).
Leanovers may exacerbate cleavage côté and nippage down armholes, cleavage underside, and nippage up the cutoff line.
Breast Sizes and Overweights
Cleavage may be performed by all weights and body types, from the flat chested (FI8322) to the mediums and large sizes (CP8701, CB9002). Breasts of all sizes are fetished in the media and popular culture, ranging from flats like Twiggy or Kate Moss to ads for breast enlargement (C198450). Very large breasts are also found on overweight and pregnant women.
Thin women, themselves in bikinis, often remark upon viewing other women who are often older or heavier, and who are also bikini clad, that "bikinis should not be worn by everyone." They often do not understand what it is that turns a boyfriend's head. Bikini Science recognizes that any woman may wear a bikini and that all people are beautiful. Of course on a larger woman the same size halter is relativistically smaller (e.g., WB8402, AO199110). It may be that the "normal" woman resents the larger breast advantage that comes with the larger weight and worries that her boyfriend's attention will be drawn away. The fact that an overweight would risk wearing a bandeau (e.g., RP8805) can be a curvy girl's worst fear.
Three fashion lines control cleavage.