Frankly I still have no idea if this is true or not; I suspect not, and I’m pretty sure there are prudes in every culture who dislike seeing cleavage on total strangers. But at the time, I didn’t want to make waves or send the wrong impression, so I packed my most hideous, frumpy clothes. I simply didn’t own anything that I felt cute in where I could guarantee NO glimpse of cleavage. Even in a well fitted, FULL-CUP bra, there always seemed to be a few inches escaping. So I only packed clothes in which I felt uncomfortable and unattractive.
I also brought a selection of hideous scarves, which I tied around my neck to hide any errant cleavage that might escape. I love scarves now, but back then I didn’t know what kind to buy or how to tie them, so the overall effect was quite unfashionable. Now I look back and regret taking the teacher so seriously; no one else took her seriously. I wish I’d had the courage to pack the clothes I felt the happiest in, even if my boobs were hanging out, because it would have felt extra-nice to feel beautiful in France.
My flatmates and I just booked tickets for a trip to Paris in January. As we did, I felt a thrill of excitement knowing that this time around I'm old enough to make my own choices about how I present myself. I'm going to pack the clothes I feel the most comfortable in, and yeah, that's probably going to include a little bit of cleavage.