We gasped in awe at Helen Mirren's magnificent, sixtysomething bikini-clad bosom, emerging from the sea like the proud bow of a ship - she has now graduated from national treasure to national treasure chest. We were scandalised by Sienna Miller flaunting bare-naked bee-stings while on holiday with her married boyfriend. And we worried that Jordan's ever-morphing mammaries would get in the way of her Olympic dressage dream.

This year's most talked about plastic-surgery procedure involves injecting breasts with the filler Macrolane. Less invasive than a boob job, it will plump up those puppies by an extra cup size, and lasts for up to 18 months.

For others, big breasts could be troublesome. Here's some to note:

* What you must realise about displaying your cleavage is that men will look. They cannot help themselves. The area of flesh between the breasts has an ineluctable power over the male gaze. This is a good thing and can be used to your advantage.

* If you wake up with a huge spot on your chin, you can't face sorting your hair out or psoriasis has broken out over your nose, undo a few buttons and your self-confidence should return.

* Because the cleavage is a sexual display, there are occasions when it is inappropriate. Receiving communion, supervising young offenders' community projects and, especially, school sports day spring to mind. People (for which read other women) will assume you are desperate and looking to grab a man. So, cover up - unless, of course, you are desperate, and don't mind being regarded by your flat-chested sisters as a scheming tart when all the fathers present are glued to your perky performance in the egg-and-spoon race, hot in anticipation of more than the egg bouncing out.

* Traditionally, good taste dictates that one should display breast or leg. Only prostitutes flaunt both, so have a care, unless you are looking for more adventurous ways to supplement the housekeeping.

* How low you go depends on your nerve and sense of adventure - though, if your nipples pop out, you've probably gone too far. As a general guide, the later the hour, the more you can display. What is alluringly sophisticated over dinner in the evening is slappertastic on the bus to work each morning.

* There is much debate about the age at which one should start covering up. Obviously, it can vary. A few summers of topless sunbathing can give you crepy, wrinkled jugs by your mid-thirties, while a woman who has kept them covered might have smooth, milky-white orbs right through her sixties.

* As soon as you can have a conversation with a man in which his gaze only briefly slips below your chin, you have reached the point of covering up.

* While a good display of cleavage can be useful in making difficult meetings with bosses and bank managers go more smoothly, be aware that too much cleavage can make a man deaf: “Hmm, what? Sorry, I was miles away.” It's not only men who need to learn how to handle breasts with care.

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