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Absolute Cleavage

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The dress that launched an image search engine.

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

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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 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. Any woman who ends up in an outfit like this is probably Ms. Fanservice.


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Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ginga Teikoku Kouboushi: Volume 2: Foundation: Commdora Licia wears a body-length black dress that displays a cleavage down to her midsection, with a cut along the side of her left leg that goes up nearly to the same point. The dress, thin body and pointy shoulder/ear accessories are there to contrast against her fat bald husband, the Commdor.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has some male examples:
    • Noriaki Kakyoin from Stardust Crusaders is seen wearing pajamas in some scenes, and they expose a good portion of his chest.
    • Ringo Roadagain from Steel Ball Run wears an unbuttoned white jacket that causes him to show off a good portion of his chest.
  • 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.
  • My Hero Academia: Yaoyorozu's hero outfit has a plunging neckline that nearly reaches her waist. In this case, it's justified because her power is to generate objects from her skin, and so designed her outfit to reveal as much skin as possible without being completely indecent.
  • In NEEDLESS, Riru has absolute cleavage so absolute that there is barely anything covering her boobs at all.
  • 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.
  • 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 strips 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?
  • Ranma ½: In "Nihao My Concubine", the girls get kidnapped and taken to the island of Togenkyo. But as Nabiki and Ukyo explain, instead of being treated as hostages, the guards treated them like royalty and even let them choose their own gowns. Nabiki and Ukyo's parted down the middle and had split-seams showing plenty of leg.
  • Pretty much all of the female characters in Rio -Rainbow Gate!- wear 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.
  • Kureha from Tokkô. 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.
  • Jura in VanDread wears a slinky black dress that’s open to well below her navel, with the skirt split up to her waist on the left side.
  • Mai from the manga version of Yu-Gi-Oh! wears a corset top with a gap in the front held together by laces. In the anime it's less revealing, though.

    Comics 
  • Starfire. Most versions of her costume are sling swimsuits with boots.
  • Donna Troy's v-necked black ensemble is often drawn with an incredibly low cleavage-revealing neckline, though it was originally much more modest like the v-neck of her red jumpsuit. This is probably the reason her outfit was changed to a sleeveless turtleneck instead.
  • Jennifer Morgan's sorceress outfit from The Warlord has a neckline that plunges to her navel and a skirt that is slit to her hip.
  • Vixen from the Justice League. Vixen’s costume has changed with the times but her most famous outfit is a yellow/orange body suit with a long cleavage.
  • The second Cheetah, Deborah Domaine, wore a cheetah print bodysuit with a v-neck that terminated at her navel.
  • Mike Grell's design for Cosmic Boy's outfit is essentially two very wide pieces of black tape that start at his nipples and go down to his matching Underwear of Power, leaving the center strip down his torso bare to his hips.
  • In Wonder Woman (1987) one of Circe's favorite outfits is a slinky green dress with a v neck the lowest point of which is level with her hips and is slung with thin gold chains across the opening.
  • When Emma Frost first joined the X-Men, her costume was an unholy mix of Absolute Cleavage and Impossibly-Low Neckline, due to being a few strategically-placed scraps of clothing that formed a reverse "X" with her exposed skin.
  • Offset of the Shi'ar death commandoes from X-Men has metal armor (if it could be called that) that is made of plates of metal that only barely covers just the nipples and a thin strip beneath them, joining just a few inches above her...well, her hoo-ha. The rest of her torso and back is bare and it forms a thong...of metal...ouch (but her arms and legs are strangely covered) so this could also count as a boob plate and is a just a few pieces of metal away from being a Chainmail Bikini.
  • Satan's Hollow: The Devil's Queen is mostly covered by exoskeleton-type armor, except for her front, which has most of her body exposed from her clavicle down to her pelvis.
  • In Lady Rawhide: Other People's Blood, Pirate Girl Scarlet Fever wears a yellow silk shirt that is open all the way down the front and knotted at her navel.
  • JumpStart in Wildstar wears an outfit that's open all the way down to her crotch.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.

    Literature 
  • In Roger Hall's You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger! he mentions a notary public who wore a dress so low-cut that one of his buddies referred to it as an "Umbilical Special."
  • In Twilight, Rosalie's prom dress has a necklace down to her waist.
    Her vivid scarlet dress was backless, tight to her calves where it flared into a wide ruffled train, with a neckline that plunged to her waist.

    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.
  • Grace from Will & Grace has an outfit or two like this. Except for her lack of, er, endowments come up.
    Will: "What are you dressed for? Open-heart surgery?"
  • 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.
  • Lost Girl:
    • In the first scene of the first episode, Bo (who is tending the bar at a night club) wears a black shirt which is unbuttoned way below her breasts.
    • Especially in the first season, Bo's cleavage often extends below her breasts. Sometimes a black bra is visible underneath. In later seasons she still displays a lot of cleavage, but it's usually not of the absolute kind.
  • CSI: NY: Many of Stella's outfits highlight her cleavage, but in episode 4.03, "You Only Die Once," she wears a scintillating black dress that drops all the way to the top of her stomach.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, this is often gender-flipped. Picard and Riker's non-uniform outfits frequently include shirts with an incredibly deep v-neck, exposing much of their chests. And on one occassion, Riker donned the "traditional costume" of a Lady Land planet, which for men, was a shirt with a collar that plunged right to his beltline.

    Music 
  • In a Halloween photo shoot from 2017, Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil poses as a Morticia Addams-like vamp, wearing a dress with cleavage that goes down to her navel and exposes most of her chest and stomach, with a black bra underneath.

    Pinball 
  • Jinni Zeala features a male example, as Zeala has a shirt that is open from the collarbone all the way down to his waistline.
  • The Evil Sorceress of Ruiner Pinball wears a bustier to emphasize her cleavage... which is then cut down to her navel for further emphasis.
  • The female warriors of Laser War wear breast-separating jumpsuits that leave their centers exposed.

    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. Some variation on this is very common in most men's magazines, and even many women's as well, though the men's are more openly fanservice-y.

    Theater 
  • Discussed in West Side Story. When Anita refuses to lower the neckline of a white communion dress that Maria wants to wear to the dance at the gym by even one inch, Maria complains that she will be married next year "and no one will care if it is down to here," indicating her waist.

    Video Games 
  • In Skyrim, the avatar of the Daedric Prince Noctural (who only appears during the Thieves' Guild quest line) wears a robe that shows off her cleavage, split down to her waist.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Artemis' strapless white dress showing her cleavage in her first two forms is probably one of the more striking aspects of her design. In stages 3 & 4, as well as when she uses her Noble Phantasm, she switches it for a skimpier red dress that shows her cleavage all the way past her navel.
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light: The Nintendo DS remake added Nagi, the avatar of the Divine Dragon (see Awakening below). In her human form, her dress has a large strip going down the middle made of transparent material; so it covers her chest completely, while still showing everything between her neck and her navel.
  • Fire Emblem Fates: The *male* Dark Mages, whose uniforms include leaving their torsos all but bare thanks to this trope. It's especially notorious with Odin, who in addition to wearing a DM uniform is VERY ripped underneath, so his very well-toned abs are completely on sight.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • In Mortal Kombat 3, Kitana, Jade, and Mileena wore an outfit consisting of a leotard with two sides held in place by straps across the bust.
  • 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.
  • In Senran Kagura, Katsuragi wears a completely unbuttoned shirt that somehow manages to cover up her lady-bits as she's kicking people.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt lampshades this when Ves, who wears a very open silk shirt beneath an undone padded jack with little bits and bobs of plate here and there, gets chewed out for rushing into combat by her superior officer Vernon Roche without any proper armor.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Many armor pieces have necklines that extend down to the navel or even further. Sometimes this is only true for the female version, while the male versions are more modest. Even though all female player characters wear bras when "naked", the bra magically disappears as soon as they put on a top.
    • Some cloth chest armor is in the form of jackets or vests that are open in front, only held together by straps in a way that lets the region between the wearer's breasts as well as a strip of their stomach show through. This tailor-craftable low-level item doesn't even have anything holding it closed.
    • In the matriarchal night elf society, both men and women show off their bodies to display their power. One aspect of this is that almost all female night elf NPCs wear tops with cleavage down to their navel (or lower) and no bra, the exception being those wearing full armor (though even some plate armor has low necklines).

    Visual Novel 
  • Major Minor gives us Dazz, a female wolf who wears an open coat top with no undershirt, but somehow manages to keep it positioned so it doesn't slip. No wonder Acheron was distracted by her.

    Webcomics 
  • Girl Genius: Agatha briefly appears in a mostly unbuttoned white shirt that shows her ample cleavage when she wakes up after the events in Sturmhalten.

    Web Original 
  • On Miami T.V. this is Jenny Scordamaglia's trademark. She leaves her blouse totally unbuttoned and closes it by tying the bottom front into a knot.
  • In Pixiv community, this is denoted as "下ろしチャック" note . The tag is for characters wearing zipped down catsuits which show both their chests and stomach.
  • Whateley Universe: Valley Girl of the West Coast League was seen in "a shimmering purple ‘fuck me senseless’ minidress with a V neckline that came all the way down to her solar plexus.", as reported in Ayla and the Grinch (A Christmas Story).

    Western Animation 


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