The backless bra
I don’t know when this tradition started, of offering the parents a summer ball at the end of each year, but I have to admit it’s one I’ve grown to like; it’s a chance for us parents, after a year of early starts, of relentless homework and sweaty school runs, to let our hair down with a bit of middle-aged dancing on a dance floor that’s not populated by pouting skinnies with an average age of 21.
So, this year’s ball is fast approaching. The purchase of ‘the gown’ has been the focus of much discussion at DS’s classroom door. I was lucky: I spent a sum total of zero minutes searching for mine – a dress that answered all my hitherto unspecified requirements literally jumped off the rail and into my hands when I was trying to find football boots for DS.
The other matching bits, though, have been far trickier. It took several trips to the mall to find suitable shoes and that was before I got onto the requisite underwear.
The dress has a strange structure that requires a backless bra (I am no Cressida Bonas – see today’s Daily Mail). The last time I wore a backless bra – aka two cups that were supposed to stay in place with little more than a spit and a promise – was at the Dubai World Cup in 2003. Before I even made it as far as the Bubble Lounge, said backless bra had loosened its grip first on one side, then on the other before finally sliding inelegantly down the inside of my dress.
By the time I greeted my race-horse-owning friends at the paddock, the bra had slipped past the hem of my dress and was lying in full view on the grass (needless to say, I stepped aside and didn’t claim the bra; I give you that tip for free – it’s not in Debrett’s).
I’ve been assured that the new generation of sticky-tape bras are much more likely to stay in place than was that poor prototype.
But please let me tell you this now: if you’re at the school summer ball and you see a backless bra lying on the dance floor as a 40-something in a weirdly structured dress throws herself about to some ‘80s throwback tune, please don’t pick up the bra and shout ‘Mrs Dubai! Yours, I believe?’ Do me a favour and kick it under a table, thanks very much.