London - So much for all the talk of “the new demure”. When it comes to getting noticed on the red carpet, some celebrities are still prepared to plumb any depths to send those flashbulbs into a frenzy.

I’m talking about the fashion for dresses with necklines cut so low the wearer has to check her belly button for fluff before leaving the house.

The Oscars - and the Brits and the Grammy awards shortly before that - were awash with nubile young starlets (and one or two old enough to know better) who were all flashing a lot more than just their smiles on the red carpet.

It’s certainly not a fashion for the fat, frumpy or faint-hearted.

To carry off the extreme cleavage look you need to be determined, daring... and perhaps a little desperate. Designer Julien Macdonald’s latest catwalk collection was full of slashed-to-the-waist dresses which, horrifying as this may sound, means it’s a look that will soon be filtering to a High Street near you.

If designer dresses can veer so easily into cheap and tacky territory, I shudder to think how the cheap version will look after pub closing.

Because this is a look that can go horribly wrong if you don’t follow a few hard-and-fast rules before you dare to bare - the single most important one being: make sure your boobs are up to the job.

Plunging necklines are all about showing the world what a crackingly perky pair you have, so it’s vital to take a good hard look in the mirror before you trade in your casuals for a bit of designer plunge.

Rule two: if your breasts are bigger than the average baby’s head, have surrendered to gravity, or have a space between them you could fit a bus through, then slasher fashion is a trend you’d do well to swerve.

In most cases, this style of dress means no bra, so if your chest is normally encased in a reinforced boulder holder, think twice before imagining a flimsy piece of fabric will provide the necessary level of support. Double-sided fashion tape is a wonderful thing, but it’s not a miracle worker and can only do so much. It may keep fabric in place on someone who is a size 0, but it’s almost certainly asking too much of it to do the same on a size 16.

You wouldn’t expect Prestik to keep a mirror on a wall, would you?

And bear in mind that you may have to sit down at some stage.

While sucking your stomach in works a treat when standing up, we all know it’s game over as soon as you sit down. A plunging neckline is meant to reveal a tanned and taut tummy, not pale and squishy rolls.

Finally, as some celebrity plunge wearers have shown, it’s important to leave a little to the imagination:never flash leg as well as cleavage.

Aim to look chic and seductive - not like a dancer searching for a pole.

So, shoulders back, stomach in... and don’t forget to pack a cardi. - Daily Mail