Friend and Foe to the Buxom: Side Rib Knit Panels and Little Breast Pockets

Here’s an interesting camp shirt that I found for some of you when my nieces dragged me into Old Navy last Sunday.  It was low enough on the Gap-O-Meter (would you say a 5?) that I was almost tempted to buy and pin it.

I like the way the side rib knit panels expand for the bust without expanding for the waist.  This feature keeps the waist from being overwhelmed by the fabric necessary to accommodate a large bust.

Now some of you are wondering, “What about the pockets?” So did I, which is why I sent an email to Judith Rasband, one of only ten Certified Image Masters in the world.  In the short time that I spent with Judith at the AICI convention last month, I was impressed at the way she digs beneath the surface on image issues.  I was also blown away by the fact that she has developed a book about fitting and pattern alterations for 85 figure variations

At the convention, I remembered her saying that breast pockets are not automatically off limits to the full-busted. However, here’s what she had to say about this camp shirt:

Whoa-a-a there girl regarding this shirt! The pockets are way too small for the full-busted figure. They look silly. You want to go to Norm Thompson and Orvis Catalogs or maybe online to see their silk shirts and blue chambray sportshirts with breast pockets. The flat-lying pockets feature a centerfront inverted pleat. With each increase in bust size, the pockets must be made a little larger to stay in proportion. Sorry, but I wouldn’t [recommend] this pocketed shirt. Keep looking.

Her point about proportion makes a lot of sense.  Little pockets on a big chest make the chest look even larger in comparison.  It reminds me of the Imogen Lamport piece about chunky necklaces that I referred to last year.

I’m not absolutely convinced that this shirt is a bad idea for every full-busted women.  Those of you smaller than a 34H may look great in this.  And those of us who are an H cup and larger and want to emphasize our busts can definitely accomplish that goal with this shirt. 

By the way, I tried the same shirt in an XL, which you can see below.  Needless to say, it didn’t come home with me.

Comments

  1. Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP says:

    I'm not a lover of pockets on the bust when you have a large bust, as you can see they become the focal point – particularly in a white shirt. In a dark colour you wouldn't notice them as much as there wouldn't be the 'see through' effect that you get with pale colours which emphasise the cotton. I agree with Judith that a larger pocket is required with a larger bust. I love these real life examples you do Darlene.

  2. Darlene C. says:

    Good point about darker colors (or even prints) working better in this case. But there's still something I love about what breast pockets add to a crisp white shirt.