Living: Going Public, Coming Out on Top

When Carla Francis had finished dressing for a Dallas dinner party, her lawyer husband James took one look at her laced-up Merry Widow costume and expostulated, "Mercy! Are you going out that way?" "It does call attention," agreed Carla. "But Yves Saint Laurent says it's O.K."

The garment in question was a corselette, which earlier generations of women wore for "support"—under a dress. Now, along with the camisole, which used to be the slip's better half, the corselette has gone public and come out on top. Even in staid Boston, Saint Laurent's revealing, sleeveless...

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