Expensively girded for battle

One can now accessorize one's chic military couture with a chastity belt and nipple enhancers.

By Janelle Brown
Published April 30, 2001 7:14PM (EDT)

Camouflage this, bondage that: You'd think the entire world was preparing for war, based on a quick flip through the monthly fashion spreads. Helmut Lang's strappy bondage tops, Gucci's cuffed stilettos, Miguel Adrover military dresses. Yes, folks, it's a dangerous world we live in, and one must square one's shoulders, fish out one's credit card and fork over $800 for a Christian Dior camouflage miniskirt in order to be girded for battle.

But perhaps there are more utilitarian forms of self-defense than couture (you try putting an attacker in a headlock while wearing 4-inch heels). Like, say, the SuperBra, which Fashion Wire Daily is touting as a practical alternative to the black leather holsters that Helmut Lang sent down the runway earlier this year.

The SuperBra, designed by defense expert Paxton Quigley, not only has a built-in holster to hide that adorable .357-caliber gun and a hidden pocket for a pepper spray canister, but it also keeps your breasts looking pert. Sure, that gun might cause some odd unsightly bulges, but such are the sacrifices we make for safety.

Of course, if you're really serious about your safety, we might also suggest a little something we picked up from Daily Candy: the Tollyboy Chastity Belt. For only $375 you can help further the comeback of that Victorian-era torture device, conceived to ensure that no knave could ever burrow his way into your bustle (or under your Earl jeans, as the case may be). And since we live in a gender-equal era, they come in boy versions too (to describe how they do this requires only two words: "penis sheath").

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The "look but don't you dare touch" bondage/military trend is merely one side of the current fashion coin. On the other side, it's all girly and sexy: sky-high miniskirts, never-ending necklines and the long-awaited return of the baby doll dress. (C'mon, you know you're coveting that ruffled white Fendi baby doll.) Consider it clothing for people who are more interested in flaunting their wares than hiding them.

In other words, think Jennifer Lopez. Conveniently, the one and only J.Lo is taking a cue from her ex, Puff Daddy (er, P. Diddy), and his fur-laden couture line Sean John, and plans to launch her own fashion line eponymously (and unoriginally) titled "J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez."

At the press conference last week, Lopez explained that "everybody gets to be sexy." Given the unforgettable outfits that Lopez has worn in the past, we can probably expect plunging necklines, transparent dresses and taped-on tops. You know, perfect everyday office wear.

So in anticipation of Lopez's line (which, sadly -- and perhaps ironically -- won't be available until the winter), we'd like to suggest three must-have accessories: First off, there's the Breastee cleavage pendant, which balances neatly between your (tight) bosoms and "frames the beauty of a woman from the neckline up to her eyes." Perfect for those plunging tops, so long as you buy a turbo push-up bra.

Second, if you plan to wear a down-to-there neckline, à la the infamous jungle-print Versace scarf (er, dress) that Lopez wore to the Grammys, do yourself a favor and buy a blinking Belly Light. It adds a touch of class to any dress that plunges to your belly button, and your date will always be able to find you in a dark room.

And finally, in honor of the sheer Chanel dress that Lopez wore to the Oscars, purchase a pair of Body Perks nipple enhancers. Though the rest of the world may have marveled at the way Lopez managed to keep her highly visible nipples perky under those hot television lights, you shouldn't leave such things to chance. As the Body Perks Web site gushes, "Nipples are in!" -- or, at least they are when they're sticking out.

Janelle Brown

Janelle Brown is a contributing writer for Salon.

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