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Absolute Cleavage
For once, people were not commenting on her rear.

"You know what's holdin' that dress up, doncha? A city ordinance!"
Red Skelton

There are low-cut outfits... and then there is Absolute Cleavage. This is when a dress or top is specifically cut to show the entirety of the wearer's cleavage and the top half of her stomach...or the bottom half, if they really want to court tabloid immortality.

A Spy Catsuit is frequently one zipper away from this trope. Very slightly justified in that, if you're dumb enough to wear a tight-fitting catsuit on a spy mission, unzipping the front will give you a lot more mobility in the arms and shoulders.

There may be a visible bra underneath, and sometimes there is an invisible onenote , but generally there isn't. In any kind of real-world or live-action context, the latter case generally requires some form of adhesive to avoid a Wardrobe Malfunction.

Absolute Cleavage can also be the unintentional result of a Wardrobe Malfunction. This can be Played for Laughs or for Fanservice or both, and is, of course, quite common in Real Life as well (where it is much appreciated by Paparazzi).

Compare Sideboob, Underboobs, Impossibly-Low Neckline, Cleavage Window. Its Spear Counterpart can usually be found on the Walking Shirtless Scene, complete with MANLY chest hair. Any woman who ends up in an outfit like this is probably Ms. Fanservice.

Examples

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    Advertising 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Ah! My Goddess, one of Urd's signature dresses features this, her being the seductress of The Three Faces of Eve. She apparently got her dress sense from her mother, demon queen Hild.
  • Blue Drop: Pretty much all of the Arume uniforms.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Presea Testarossa's outfit, after she went completely crazy and evil, is a black cape over a body-length black dress that displays both her cleavage and navel.
  • Sprocket from the Viewtiful Joe anime kept featuring this, despite how often she'd try to zip her suit up.
  • Bleach: Matsumoto Rangiku, who uses it to her advantage. Tia Harribel goes from showing the lower half of her breasts to everything but the nipples.
  • One Piece
    • Amazon Lily boasts a large number of these, more prominently Boa Hancock. Nico Robin also fits the bill in certain outfits.
    • In Chapter 664, during his "Freaky Friday" Flip with Tashigi, Vice Admiral Smoker retains his habit of wearing his shirts open, much to Tashigi's annoyance. It has to be seen to be believed.
  • Macross Frontier: A male example: Brera Sterne, whose outfit has a gaping hole from the collarbone to as low beneath the abdomen as one could possibly get without something popping out.
  • Several incarnations of Cutey Honey.
  • Character designer Uno Makoto:
  • Trinity Blood: Sister Monica Argento. Apparently in the post-apocalyptic vampire world, the dress code for nuns has loosened somewhat.
  • Princess Kraehe of Princess Tutu has a dance outfit that really takes this to its logical extreme. Her bodice is entirely backless and sideless, with two narrow straps of black fabric rising from the waistline to cover her boobs. Now quick, without knowing another thing about her or her design, would you suppose she was a villain?
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has Princess Theodora, who somehow manages to have both this and Underboobs on the same outfit.
  • Rosemon X-Antibody from Digimon, with the only thing covering her upper body being a tiny red vest.
  • Fasalina from GUN×SWORD.
  • In NEEDLESS, Riru has absolute cleavage so absolute that there is barely anything covering her boobs at all.
  • Risty from Queen's Blade gains this after doing an Evil Make Over to the point where the only thing holding it on has to be magic.
  • Heroic Age: Nilval Nephew and Prome O. Prome's outfit is almost certainly reliant on Barbie Doll Anatomy to avoid indecency.
  • Cecile of Code Geass dresses up rather provocatively in one episode during a formal meeting. In the next episode, Milly dresses up like this during the pre-wedding ceremony between Prince Odysseus and Tianzi.
  • Early InuYasha villain Yura of The Hair makes use of this trope.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Angel and Ultear like this. It's more notable with Ultear because up until she donned it she'd been wearing a gorgeous, tame kimono.
    • Mirajane also when she activates Satan Soul.
    • Erza sports this in her Sea Empress Armor
    • Lucy wears her spa robe in this fashion.
    • Also Juvia and Erza in the fourth OVA.
    • Gonk!Virgo has this as well, because she's just too fat for her blouse to hold it all in.
  • Nyuu/Lucy from Elfen Lied, though her breasts are much smaller in the anime.
  • Vorona from Durarara!! can't seem to find the energy to zip up her biker suit...
  • Kaolinite from Sailor Moon sports one of these. Queen Beryl and Sailor Aluminum Siren as well.
  • In Urusei Yatsura, Oyuki usually sports a white Kimono, but for informal events she'll often take it off revealing an orange Absolute Cleavage swimsuit-type outfit.
  • Adelheid Suzuki from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! has this after activating her Simon Ring.
  • Kureha from Tokko. Her standard outfit is an unzipped leather jacket with no shirt or bra underneath. Also counts as the top version of a Magic Skirt, since any forward movement should by rights blow it open.
  • Some of Eriko's outfits from Dragon Crisis! include this.
  • Nabiki was forced into a dress with cleavage like this in the second Ranma ˝ movie.
  • Pirotess in Record of Lodoss War.
  • Inori Yuzuriha from Guilty Crown has a few outfits that provide this. Most notably: the skintight, red outfit she wears in the beginning, the black outfit of feathers in her Egoist music video in Episode 1, and the skintight white suit.
  • Pretty much all of the female characters in Rio -Rainbow Gate!- are guilty of wearing skimpy outfits. However, it is the main villain, Cartia, that walks around with not only the biggest breasts, but a dress that showcases most of her cleavage.
  • In Beelzebub, Yolda the demon manages this with a corset, as one of the things that distinguishes her from Hilda. Which Hilda uses to her advantage when she pretends to be Yolda.
  • Kyo Komachi of Tenchi Muyo GXP wears a lavish pirate coat as a top with only a belt to keep it closed.
  • Merlin from Nanatsu No Taizai wears a long coat that is completely open and only covers a portion of her topless breasts.

    Comics 

    Fan Works 
  • My Immortal: Ebony wears dresses like this.
  • In Harry Potter and the Four Founders the following conversation took place.
    Neville: I noticed Lavender's dress too.
    Ron: Yeah, that was a nice dress.
    Neville: Didn't know they made dresses with bodice lines that low.
    Ron: Almost see her navel, I could.

    Jokes 
  • "Dear, do you think this dress' cleavage goes too low?" "Do you have hair on your chest?" "Of course not!" "Then it's too low."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Casino Royale: Vesper Lynd wears such a dress, which ends up ruined when she takes a shower fully clothed after a fight scene. Bond states earlier that the point of the outfit is to distract the other players.
  • Legend: Lily's "Bride of Darkness" dress.
  • Death Becomes Her: That one gown Lisle wears, the one held together by one sole button in front of her crotch. And this is just about the largest and least revealing piece of clothing she is seen in throughout the movie.
  • The Brothers Grimm: The sorceress' red dress.
  • Yesterday Was A Lie: The dresses worn by Hoyle and Singer in the art museum.
  • Ghanima's wedding dress in the miniseries of Children of Dune.
  • Adrienne Barbeau in Creepshow.
  • Almost all of Amy Adams's wardrobe in American Hustle, which is set in The Seventies.
    • Also some of the clothes male characters wear, most notably Bradley Cooper in the disco scene.
  • A red carpet example is the black dress worn to the premier of Thor: The Dark World by actress Jamie Alexander, which had a sheer mesh panel from the neckline all the way down, baring everything from her neck to her right foot. Only a right angle in the black fabric forming the bulk (such as it was) of the dress kept her from giving the press an eyeful of her privates, as the cut of the dress prevented Ms. Alexander from wearing anything underneath. And it did the same thing in back.
  • In The Legend of Frenchie King, all of Maria's outfits are noticeably unbuttoned to show cleavage.

    Literature 
  • YT from Snow Crash wears a zipper-front jumpsuit, and unzips it further than modesty would have suggested to discomfit a (slightly) Dirty Cop who's not sure if he's up for some Prison Rape or not.
    YT: Make up your fucking mind.
  • Conan the Barbarian: The attire of Bęlit, the she-pirate in one of the most classic tales by Robert E. Howard, Queen of the Black Coast, is described as being only a "broad silken girdle", i.e. she is a rare case of a female Walking Shirtless Scene. This was obviously not carried over to the comics adaptations by Roy Thomas and John Buscema for Marvel comics, where she wears something similar to the description of this trope. Whereas in the Finnish comic adaptation by Petri Hiltunen, her attire is faithful to Howard's text.
  • During Rogue Squadron's insertion into Coruscant in Wedge's Gamble, Erisi Dlarit wears a rather loose outfit featuring this, only gathered at the waist by a belt. In the words of the narrator, anyone with the brain of a Kowakian monkey-lizard could figure out what she looked like naked.
  • In ex-OSS officer Roger Hall's semi-autobiographical You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger! he mentioned a notary public who was wearing a dress so low-cut that one of his buddies referred to it as an "Umbilical Special."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Manhattan Love Story: Normally conservative Dana wears a surprisingly revealing dress to a frenemy's wedding, looking more like extra-wide suspenders than anything else.
  • Commandant Mele-on-Grayza in Farscape There was a reason Crichton nicknamed her "Commandant Cleavage" after all. When called out on it by Akhna (the female Scarran War Minister), Grayza replied "Would you have a weapon in your armory and leave it unused out of squeamish good taste?"
  • Supreme Commander Servalan of Blake's 7.
  • Grace from Will and Grace has an outfit or two like this. Except her lack of, er, endowments come up.
    Will: "What are you dressed for? Open-heart surgery?"
  • Elvira
    Elvira: "If they ever ask about me, tell them I was more than just a great set of boobs. I was also an incredible pair of legs!"
    Elvira: "It's me again, yours truly, Elvira, the gal with the enormous...uh...ratings"
  • Unsurprisingly, Manswers once asked how skimpily a woman can dress before she's legally naked. The absolute limit consisted of two vertical ribbons in front and one slender thong in back; the ribbons' elongated-vee arrangement constituted this trope. Specifically, the garment (such that it exists) must completely cover the nipple and areola, as well as completely cover the vulva and anus, plus pubic hair. Less/no hair, technically less fabric needed.
  • Trillian wears a top with this in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer pulls this on the DVD even before the pilot episode, with a seductive and dangerous looking Sarah Michelle Gellar crawling towards the viewer.
  • Sherlock: Irene Adler wears a see-through green kaftan like this...for about two seconds, whilst looking for another outfit. Then she decides to go naked.
  • Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones has a wardrobe consisting almost entirely of dresses that expose most of her when they don't involve comically high collars.
  • Serena "Ms. Fanservice" van der Woodsen airs said cleavage rather a lot on Gossip Girl.
  • Debralee Scott had a Wardrobe Malfunction on the Game Show Password Plus that revealed a braless breast.
  • While Mayor Regina Mills is pretty conservative on Once Upon a Time, Evil Queen Regina is another story and then some. See also the Mother Superior/Boob... Blue Fairy.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Reckoning," Ba'al's nameless emissary to the other Goa'uld System Lords wears an outfit with this, despite not having much cleavage to speak of.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation the Duras Sisters, Lursa and B'Etor, sometimes wear outfits that cross this with Cleavage Window.
  • Bo in Lost Girl wears this more often than not, often with a black bra visible underneath.
  • Detective Beckett in Castle usually dresses quite conservatively at work, but in one episode she had to dress appropriately to infiltrate an underground night club, and improvised a party dress out of her jacket. The resulting cleavage not only completely exposed her bright red bra, but also her bare stomach below it.
  • Rizzoli & Isles has an example of (presumably) unintentional Absolute Cleavage: in a scene where Jane and Maura are discussing what Jane is going to wear to a party, Jane is sitting on her bed in her bathrobe, and doesn't notice that the robe has come open to her waist. Fortunately, she is wearing a bra underneath.

    Music 
  • Quite a few female musicians favor this outfit. Kylie Minogue is a clear example with her massive cleavage in the "Can't Get You out of My Head" video. Other examples include Britney Spears' Elvis suit and Lindsay Lohan's loose dress.
  • The white one-piece Britney Spears is wearing in the video for '3'.
  • Céline Dion (yes, Celine Dion) wears a futuristic outfit that features this in the music video for "Then You Look At Me", the Award Bait Song from Bicentennial Man.
  • P!nk has one in the start of the video for "Just Like a Pill".
  • Lady Gaga wears these a few times, and in the case of her "Telephone" video, it's questionable if they even count as shirts.
  • Trina in the music video for "Pull Over".
  • Moran Mazor, Israel's entry in the 2013 Eurovision dsipalyed her assets in such a dress.
  • The dress worn by the "beauty" in the "Beauty and the Beast"-inspired video for Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" is a full-length dress which is gaped open in the front and just barely held in place with lacing, to give it this effect.
  • The blonde girl's blouse has all but two buttons unbuttoned with the blouse being tied at the waist in the video for "Caught Up In You" by 38 Special.
  • Jennifer Lopez, the current page picture, delivered a Lampshade Hanging/Self-Deprecation of it during the 2013 Grammys while wearing a (comparatively) more conservative outfit.
  • Alison Krauss is known for occasionally sporting dresses that show a lot of cleavage.

    Pinball 

    Print Media 
  • Kim Cattrall appears on the cover of the April, 2003 issue of FHM wearing only a pair of black panties and a white dress shirt that's totally unbuttoned.
  • Many handbra poses fit this Trope.
  • Since launching in 1970 the Canadian Sun newspaper chain has featured daily glamor photos dubbed the Sunshine Girl. Based upon the topless photos published by some UK tabloids, the Canadian publications aren't allowed to have nudity, so this trope is often invoked as a result (especially on occasions when actual professional models, Playmates, strippers and porn stars sneak in amongst the amateurs). Maintained even in the online and calendar versions.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • This is played very frequently in WWE and TNA.
    • Of all people, STEPHANIE MCMAHON did this as frequently as any other WWE Diva.
    • Lita, after she hooked up with Edge, started wearing this sort of top. Even her "wedding dress" was made this way.

    Theater 
  • Elisabeth: Frau Wolf, the brothel madam, in the Essen and Stuttgart productions wears the lacy-bra variant with an otherwise Victorian dress.

    Video Games 
  • Metal Gear Solid: Sniper Wolf was dressed this way. (Lampshaded and justified in The Last Days of FOXHOUND. It turns out that her then reasonable jumpsuit shrunk in the wash (which may or may not have been done on purpose by Decoy Octopus). She was pissed because they were at Shadow Moses and she was freezing with it on. Later, there was The Boss during the final battle in Metal Gear Solid 3 and EVA during almost the entire game. Though in the case of The Boss, her open suit was meant to show off the scar running down her front. Also, Naomi and Big Mama in Metal Gear Solid 4 (though since Big Mama was EVA, to the surprise of some, this somewhat makes sense). Naomi's cleavage was later explained by Word of God in this tweet to be a reference to the outfit worn by Faye Dunaway in The Towering Inferno.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Morrigan's outfit, consisting of an oddly patched-together skirt and a mage's hood that looks more like she draped a scarf over her shoulders. Adding to this, her entire back is exposed and seemingly only a few strings are keeping the thing together. In Inquisition, she is somewhat more modest, but still has a plunging V-line, partly as a Call Back to Leliana's fashion advice.
    • The second game's Varric has a nice male example, showing off his Carpetof Virility.
  • Rayne in BloodRayne 2. A little more cleavage and the rating would have gone up.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Natalia has an alternate costume that's cut as low as the page image. The rest of the party comments on this. Natalia herself doesn't seem to actually realize it, as she's too excited about wearing the Spy Catsuit of a popular Classy Cat-Burglar character she read stories about when she was little. In the Japanese PS3 version, Judith also has an alternate outfit that is an evening dress with this. The difference being that she knows the effect she has.
  • The fan-made Neverwinter Nights module "Aribeth's Redemption" includes an item (female characters only, not that you are allowed to play one) entitled the "Armor of Impossible Cleavage." It consists of an ordinary suit of gold chainmail with a foot-wide strip of nothing down the entire torso. The person who wears it is a priestess of the setting's goddess of physical beauty and sex.
  • Linda Vermillion from Killer7 had an outfit like this.
  • Silvia Christel from No More Heroes. Appropriate, as she's named after a porn star.
  • From the Ace Attorney series:
  • Tomb Raider Legend: Lara Croft wears a slinky dress like this in one level.
  • The DJ MAX series has Elle, the mascot of DJ MAX Portable 2. And in DJ MAX Technika, when you play the "First Set" course, you are, before each song, treated to a very nice shot of her.
  • Ultimecia of Final Fantasy VIII wears a dress rather like J. Lo's example at the top.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit: Eva Earlong in the opening screen.
  • Arcana Heart: Lilica Felchenerow wears one with a sports bra underneath.
  • Kasuga of Sengoku Basara has this as part of her Stripperiffic catsuit, which actually defies the laws of physics by staying on her.
  • Rumble Roses has Rowdy Reiko after the Proud Warrior Race Girl's Face-Heel Turn has cleavage almost down to her crotch.
  • Final Fantasy X-2: Yuna's default outfit has this, but the best example is the Lady Luck dressphere, as well as the NPC Leblanc.
  • Rufus from Street Fighter IV. Especially considering that it goes to the point where you can see his pubic hair. A straight example is Hakan's wife, in Super SFIV.
  • Gloria's outfit from Devil May Cry 4. To a lesser degree there's also Trish (who is also Gloria) and Lady.
  • Catwoman gets one of these in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe and Batman: Arkham City.
  • In Mortal Kombat 3, Kitana, Jade, and Mileena wore an outfit consisting of a leotard like this, the two sides held in place by straps across the bust. (Indeed, skimpy outfits that look alike except for colors seem to be standard-issue uniforms for Shao Kahn's female minions, and they got even skimpier in later games.)
  • Every Female Character gets one of these in Mortal Kombat 9. It gets a little ridiculous how their vast tracks of land can stay in those costumes when there is more cloth in their mask than their tops. (Sonya is no exception, despite the fact that her top is supposed to be a bulletproof vest.)
  • In Fable II, if you're playing a female hero and put on the Bandit Shirt, you get this.
  • In Mass Effect 2, the Justicar Samara's "combat armor" features this.
  • Mai Hem in Perfect Dark Zero has this in mission 4, with a wraparound top that shouldn't be able to stay on.
  • In Neptunia, Nisa dresses like this despite being flat-chested. HDD Uni and HDD Vert have this as well. In Vert's case, it's slightly more egregious for her in Neptunia Victory.
  • In Catherine, the host of the Golden Playhouse, Midnight Venus, wears an extremely low-cut suit jacket with nothing underneath.
  • Darkstalkers character Morrigan's iconic outfit technically "only" possesses an Impossibly-Low Neckline and a cut-out right below said neckline that, combined, reveal her entire cleavage and the top part of her stomach.
  • Two Worlds has this in the case of Kira. The odd part about this is that Kira is the male protagonist's sister, making her an odd choice for the obligatory Fanservice girl.
  • Drakensang has this on the Big Bad Malgorra, in an extreme variation.
  • Fear Effect. Hana's green party gown in Fear Effect 2. As Rain said, "You're wearing that?! Why don't you just walk in there naked."
  • Azura's statue in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has this. Which is a bit odd, considering the two previous games followed her appearance in Daggerfall and had her statues show her topless, and her actual appearances in Morrowind had her dressed more modestly. Nocturnal wears a robe that shows off her cleavage, split down to her waist.
  • Lost Odyssey's Ming has a leather corset-thing under a cropped top that features a wide expanse of her cleavage almost down to her navel. How her cleavage doesn't pop right out is a mystery. We even get a cutscene that could be an excuse for a closer look.
  • Players have many ways of achieving this look in City of Heroes.
  • Zyra, the Rise of Thorns from League of Legends is "dressed" only in an arrangement of large leaves which expose her torso all the way down the middle of her body to below her navel. Although this raises the question of why she even HAS a navel considering she's actually a plant who constructed herself a humanoid body to live in. Nami's default skin is also a textbook example of this.
  • The Sexy Rider Suit in Lollipop Chainsaw qualifies.
  • In Dead or Alive, many costumes have this, of course. Notably, Leifang's leather shorts and top, which used to be zipped up to her neck, and many of Christie's outfits.
  • In Marvel Avengers Alliance, the devil's daughter Satana runs around in a halter-top outfit that shows cleavage from her neck to her navel.
  • Costumes with this are available in the Saints Row games.
  • Asheara's outfit in Diablo III, while much less revealing than what she wore in Diablo II, features a form-fitting tunic apparently only held "together" by her belt.
  • Aversa's outfit in Fire Emblem Awakening is a form-fitting version that goes just below her navel.
  • In Tears to Tiara 2, Ax-Crazy Izebel and Ojou Elissa have these in their outfit. The former use a spear, the latter a hammer.
  • In the cancelled sequel to Cel Damage, this was how Dominique Trix was going to dress.
  • In Wildstar, raid gear for Spellslingers features this... on both genders. Odd, as it's by far the skimpiest gear available in a game that otherwise averts the Chainmail Bikini beautifully.
  • In Senran Kagura, Katsuragi wears a completely unbuttoned shirt that somehow manages to cover up her lady-bits as she's kicking people.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, some of the female Great Khan outfits have this.
  • In World of Warcraft, some armor pieces are prone to this - especially cloth armor chest pieces, like this tailor-craftable low-level item.

    Webcomics 
  • Angels 2200: Hammer's zipper keeps riding lower and lower during her escape attempt from the Ellie Arroway
  • Looking for Group: Benny sports this sort of outfit all the time. How does she keeps it from slipping? A Wizard Did It. Probably Benny.
  • Erfworld: Resident Ms. Fanservice Wanda once showed up wearing this. She's wearing the outfit from Thriller, and didn't zip it up all the way. Later, her evil sorceress outfit qualified too.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Haley being persuaded to sport an Absolute Cleavage was taken as proof by Sabine that Nale intended to sacrifice her.
  • Monette in Something Positive once wore an Absolute Cleavage shirt in support of the Boobquake campaign.
  • In The KA Mics when Gertrude & Brunhilda got some "space suits", Gertrude's outfit demonstrated this trope.
  • Enforced when Tanna — normally a tomboy learning to track and shoot and disgusted by girly stuff — of Ears for Elves is played for fanservice by wearing high elf clothing in the first Q&A page. She is not exactly impressednote  with her new outfit. This version of her (nicknamed the "Anti-Tanna" by the artist) has a small reprise during the announcement for the second Q&A series.
  • Steph gets this along with a Panty Shot.
  • In Endstone, Cole has to be crazy to wear a dress like this.
  • Rebecca in Lady of the House.
  • Muh Phoenix: Black Widow usually exposes a lot of cleavage in order to distract the enemies (though nobody mentions that she can also distract her allies). By her own admission, this is the only thing she's good for.

    Web Original 
  • Obligatory Gaia Online example in Sam's old outfit, a set of coveralls unzipped in the front to show her bra. Handwaved as "They didn't have any in my size."
  • Marina Orlova, a.k.a. Hot For Words, uses this to great effect in many of her videos.
  • Many of the downblouse videos fit this Trope.

    Western Animation 

    Partial Nudity TropesAccessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal
    Fanservice CostumesAction Dress Rip
Jennifer LopezImageSource/MusicMadonna

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