Off the Rack ~ Boob-Friendly Finds from ModCloth

As I’ve written about before, I have a love/hate (mostly hate?) relationship with online retailer However, they do have a great sale each year for Black Friday, so I purchased two boob-friendly dresses.

First is the ever-popular Coach Tour Dress in spearmint. I don’t really have anything new to say, as there are hundreds of reviews on ModCloth. But I will make the point that this is one of the most versatile garments the site offers. This is the rare find of an empire-style waist that actually sits low enough to stay below your boobs and has waist detail so it doesn’t make you look pregnant. It fits and flatters many different body shapes, is easy to dress up or down, and comes in a range of colors and patterns. I already own one in black, and I plan on eventually getting the black and white houndstooth version when it’s back in stock.

One thing to note, this particular color has a weird sheen to it that my black one does not possess. I suspect the current black one has that sheen too, since it looks like an updated version of mine (the old one has different buttons and no pockets). It makes the dress look a bit cheap, to be honest. The pockets are a nice addition in theory, but my left one is smaller than the right, to the point that I can barely get my hand into it.

In summary, the Coach Tour Dress is adorable and very boob-friendly. Buuuuut it’s not really worth paying full price. I got it half-off, and in fact got my black one half-off during last year’s Black Friday sale. They do get marked down every once in a while, so if you want one without paying full price I’d recommend signing up for the site’s newsletter.

The second item I ordered is the Glasses Half Full dress. Inexplicably, it’s no longer available. Normally when ModCloth sells out of an item, it’s still listed for a while as “sold out.” However, the Dance Floor Date Dress is the exact same item in a different pattern.

The day’s full outfit. Cool grey tights don’t really go with it, but it is way too cold to go bare-legged!

Love that waistband!

Closeup of the bust and neckline—and the adorable pattern!

I was a little hesitant to purchase this garment because it’s all polyester and spandex and the description said it was sheer. But the price was low enough that the cute sunglasses print and the vaguely ’50s look that I love won out. And I’m really glad it did! Though that poly mix feels rather cheap (as I expected), the busy, cramped pattern keeps it from looking totally acrylic and gross. It’s also not sheer, though you should probably stick with nude or neutral-colored bras. The hips are loose enough that you can’t see panties through it no matter how bright.

The stretchiness means it fits over boobs without crushing them, and the ruched waistband really nips in the waist and is extremely flattering. Though a high neckline is usually a big bust don’t, again I think the pattern makes it okay. The little neck bow also breaks up the expanse of chest. One thing to be wary of, though, is that as the pattern stretches across your chest and the fabric pulls more, the print appears to fade.

Off the Rack is coming up!

Don’t worry–Leah has two great dress reviews for you today. We’re just waiting for a little laptop confusion to be sorted out in order to get the photos up. Be sure to check in a little later today or this weekend to find out about her Modcloth finds!

Big Bust Cleavage Control: Perfect Cami in an Imperfect World

In a perfect world, we’d only have camis in our drawers because we liked them, not because we needed them to make up for neckline fabric shortfalls. I realize that cleavage starting points aren’t standard for all women, but I’m pretty sure that the cleavage lines of only a tiny minority of women begin where designers want them to.

Being a holdout against forced camis, I implemented a wrap dress embargo for my closet that I only recently lifted because of how amazing I think Curvy Wordy looks in the dresses she reviews, camis and all. Unfortunately, as I begin again to wear dresses that require camis, I’m reminded of why I avoided them in the first place:

  • they’re hot (not in a sexy way);
  • I have to hoist them up at the neckline periodically;
  • they ride up my waist, making me feel frazzled when I want to feel calm and collected; and
  • they destroy the line of the neckline.

I’ve mentioned cami options on this blog before, but I haven’t been very interested in them since I try not to need them. Now that I need them, I was very interested when Erica wrote about Perfect Cami on her blog in October. I tweeted about her post and received a phone call from Ann, Perfect Cami’s founder. It was great talking to another entrepreneur, especially one like me (shameless self promotion) who (1) is very picky about the quality of fabric she uses; and (2) manufactures in the United States. She offered to send me a Perfect Cami to try, and even had a navy blue basic made just for me. As you may recall, I’m currently in my Navy Blue Dress Period.

Bottom line: I love it.

First, I wore it for a few hours with the Calvin Klein striped dress that I bought over the summer (no more diagonal profile).

Next, I wore it for our car trip down to  D.C., Thanksgiving dinner, and the long hike from the parking garage to our hotel last week.

Each time, I forgot that I had it on. No sliding neckline, no riding hemline. It’s practically weightless, although the fabric is definitely a good quality. It’s silky, stretchy and soft. They even send it in a little organza bag that I at first thought was only pretty packaging, but when I unpacked my suitcase, I realized it was a necessity to keep the velcro from catching on my other clothes. Note that it does NOT gather at the top like you see it doing on the model on the website’s basics page. It lies perfectly flat, probably because we have enough to fill it up.

Speaking of filling things up, I especially appreciate that the sizing chart specifies that a 34GG would wear an XL (that’s what I have), and a 36 FF would wear an L. Someone has been listening to her customers!

Are there any negatives? Just one and a half:

1. the plastic piece that adjusts for the width of your bra strap is a little bulky and occasionally dug into me. Since I’m always going to need the widest setting, I will try to remove it;

1.5. as you can see with my striped dress, the straight-across line of the Perfect Cami alters the scoop neckline of the dress, but that just can’t be helped. If I want a rounder neckline, I’ll have to wear a regular cami.

I’m tempted to consider the $26 price a negative, but that’s only in comparison to my $8 camis that slide down, ride up and add bulk–three problems that this product solves. Currently, Ann is offering a fall discount of 25%, so now would be a good time to stock up or buy them for your mom and sisters for Christmas.

Speaking of stocking up, I really, really, really wish the basic Perfect Camis came in a million colors. I would like more options than black and white, especially since camis can be a great way to put color next to my face when I’m stuck wearing a black tee shirt because all my lighter tops have stains. As a small manufacturer, I know how challenging it is to find companies that will sell small fabric quantities that are re-stockable or take small dye jobs for an affordable price, so my wish for Perfect Cami is that they sell so much of their product that they can begin to meet the minimums necessary to carry a ton of gorgeous colors. Until then, I may try to dye a few.

Finally, Ann also sent me two lace Perfect Camis, one in white and one in navy, which I unfortunately don’t have much use for. I took the navy lace to wear under my tee shirt last week, but my only goal is modesty, and it was too thin to accomplish that.

I do like what she’s doing with some of her sheer options, however. They almost make me want to have them in my drawer because I LIKE them, and not simply because I need to make up for a designer’s fabric shortfall.


Glasses and the Large Bust: Do the Eyes Have It?

If you wear a DD+ bra and wear glasses, it may not be necessary to say, “Hey, buddy! My eyes are up here!” Your glasses might do it for you.

I made this discovery by accident. For the last six years, I’ve been wearing a pair of ultra-light, ultra-expensive Lindberg glasses from Denmark that matched everything and were as close to invisible as anything I could find. The problem was, the frames were so delicate that regular labs wouldn’t touch them when it came time to replace the lenses.

With my last prescription change, we discovered that I could get two new frames and progressive lenses for only $425 from Costco–less than half the cost of simply replacing the lenses in my old everyday and sunglasses frames at the boutique where I originally purchased them. It was a great excuse to try something new.

Taken via cellphone just after picking up my new glasses.

Initially, the only thing that struck me about my new glasses was that I should never allow myself to wear black again. The tortoiseshell/aqua frames flatter my complexion, and I’ve discovered that choosing clothing that goes with my glasses makes me look more vibrant.

The second thing I realized is that these glasses really stand out. I’ve always been reticent when it comes to glasses, very similar to how I used to be with my big boobs–always wanting to hide them!

Next, it dawned on me that prominent eyeglasses might draw attention away from a large bust.  I tested this theory on Monday night.

Does my bust look any smaller with my new glasses? No. If anything, it looks larger in the photo on the left, but for some reason, I prefer the look on the left. Everything looks more balanced and finished. On the right, I look tired and unfinished. Regardless of how my bust looks, however, I think you’ll agree that my new glasses draw more attention to my eyes than my old glasses. So when you want someone to make eye contact instead of focusing on your boobs, glasses that draw attention to your eyes can help.

However, more attention-getting frames aren’t as boob-deflecting as I expected. Instead, I think the main lessons to be learned are ones of proportion and presence. Regarding proportion, I’ve already discussed the implications of delicacy when you have a large body or body parts here and on Holly’s blog. There is so much more to explore on this topic, but my takeaway is that on my size 14/34G frame, my smallish eyes get lost in delicate glasses.

Presence is a more challenging lesson because it has to do with attitude. I chose my delicate glasses in 2006 because I didn’t want to commit to one particular look. I wanted to blend in, to be a chameleon. My husband says that my old glasses made me look more like the practicing attorney I was, and my new glasses make me look more like the creative I am now. I see his point, but I’m not sure I agree. I think a stronger visual presence and expression of my personality even in my former law firm could have been a good thing, but either (a) I was either afraid to show myself, or (b) I didn’t yet know this side of myself. It turns out that the Big Breast Dressing Attitudes I discussed in 2010 relate to more than just big breasts!

Without my large breasts, I’m not sure I would ever be thinking about accessories like glasses in such a granular fashion. Lately, I’ve been doing the same thinking with regards to purses and bags, and I hope to learn something that I can post here. I’ve been having a lot of fun with what I learned about tights last year, as you can see in some of my November OOTD Challenge pins. I’m so obsessed with the power of tights to liven up my plain navy dresses, that I’ve just ordered this pair from Anthropologie.

How, and with what attitude, are you accessorizing these days?