Boob Taming or Boob Shaming?

When someone suggests that you downplay your décolletage or minimize your large chest, are they boob shaming you? I suspect “yes” would be the answer from Ella Alexander, who wrote, “Is the Décolletage Really Out of Fashion Again?

Not all of us fall into the industry’s beloved androgynous mould. […] So what are the unfortunate few of us still with unfashionable boobs supposed to do or wear?

Well, the resounding answer is hide them. Don’t let anyone catch a glimpse lest you be labelled “inappropriate”, “tacky” and “brazen”. Forget what you read about displaying your female sexuality; if you are over a C cup it makes the dinosaurs uncomfortable so the best thing for everyone is just to conceal them.

I found Alexander’s article through an Amanda de Cadenet tweet. Given that both Alexander and de Cadenet work in media and were responding to criticism of a red carpet gown for a major media event, I’m not surprised at their perspectives. Given the context, I share it!

amanda de cadenet tweet

The more surprising “yes” comes from a Wall Street veteran– [Read more…]

Positive Selfies for Big Busts & Brands

You know how after you’ve shopped for something, it shows up everywhere you go online? Well, the same thing happens when you write about a body positive subject like the Embrace documentary (that is opening in the United States today and inspired this heartfelt post from Shari Deutsch at The Strap Saver). That’s how I discovered a workshop called “Body Positive Selfies” given by Embodied State of Mind on September 3.


Me with Natasha Overton and Kira Munoz, the Body Positive Selfies team from Embodied State of Mind.

Last week I wrote about Campbell & Kate’s recent photo shoot. We worked hard to show my shirts to their best advantage with actual models, hair and makeup artist, stylist, professional photographer and great lighting. As a blogger who wants to portray all bust-friendly clothing that I wear to its best advantage, however, it’s just me and my cell phone or camera. When I’m at home with my tripod and a lot of time, I’m happy with the outcome, but when I’m on the road and just want to give a shoutout that I’m wearing a certain brand, I’m rarely satisfied.

Most recently this happened with my amazing Riley dress from Bitter Lollipop (which is planning to have new styles available in 2017, by the way). I rediscovered it in my closet and have been wearing it weekly ever since. I didn’t want to write a complete new post about it; I just wanted to remind readers how much I love it with a tweet like, “I’m in the muggy train station feeling sharp in my Riley dress from @bitterlolli.” But every selfie was a dud that did NOT show the dress to its best advantage.

So of course I signed up for the selfie workshop.

Like you, I wondered, “What makes a selfie ‘body positive’ instead of just a selfie?” Workshop leader Natasha Overton didn’t give me a cut-and-dried answer, but she gave a ton of tips for taking good selfies that I won’t want to delete . . . and that’s an answer right there. Here are some of her tips: [Read more…]

Full Bust Finds from Big Bust Startups: Exclusively Kristen & More Front Room

First up is a second look at Exclusively Kristen. When I introduced you to Exclusively Kristen in February, I didn’t have a lot to say. Then I had coffee with Kristen in October and learned some important details that I think you should know. The biggest revelation is that even though her website says her button front shirts best fit UK cup sizes DD-F, they’re actually more generous. In the photo below, Kristen is wearing a size 10 shirt, yet underneath she’s wearing a 32G bra. She measures 29″ in the waist and 39″ in the bust. Ideally, she’d like to wear a size 8 shirt in her own brand, but that will happen when she expands her bust size range. Frankly, I think she looks great in the size 10.

Exclusively Kristen white button front

Kristen’s spaghetti-strap tank top is the surprise bestseller for her company. Since the built-in shelf bra doesn’t offer any support, I naively wondered about its appeal.  I should have known from her website, but Kristen patiently set me straight:

  1. It has a higher neckline. We all know what it’s like to wear a cami for cleavage coverage only to find our breasts stretching the neckline lower than we’d like.
  2. The shelf bra is especially deep so there’s no boob bifurcation. And even though there’s no bra-free support, it’s an extra layer against headlights.
  3. The high armholes mean there’s no underarm bra playing peekaboo.

Exclusively Kristen tank

When we got together, Kristen was wearing her Urban Gypsy top and looked amazing in it. However, if you think that Kristen is one of only a few women who can pull off the Urban Gypsy top, you’re probably right–which explains why it’s on clearance. It may not be everyone’s favorite Exclusively Kristen piece, but at least she learned from the experience of producing it. As Kristen told me, “I think I played it too safe in the beginning because I assumed that busty ladies would more . . . appreciate function but now I see that style is more important.”

We had a great time daydreaming about the styles she will produce in upcoming seasons. Kristen is an amazing woman who is working full time, finishing a dissertation, AND starting her own company. She’s also a world traveler. I would love to see the influences of that travel in some of her clothing in the future.


I just added a Canadian newcomer to our Clothing for Big Busts page, and oh how I admire the clever name that founder Melanie Love has given her company! I’ll be writing more about this new brand soon, but here are the pieces that have caught my eye.

more front room silk cowl neck knit shell

She has a striped version of this top that looks really neat–especially with the unusual touch of a silk cowl neck. You can see it on the main page, but I’m not sure why it isn’t an option on the shop page anymore.

more front room peplum top

At first I thought, “Ho hum, peplum.” Then I noticed the half-zip at the neckline and the kick pleat in back. Together with the 3/4 sleeves and blue (also available in black) this looks like it could be really flattering and versatile.

more front room scoop neck sheath dress

You already know how much I love scoop necks and sheaths, and here I love how Melanie executes them in an interesting print “in wearable colours of blush, grey and shades of plum”.

more front room silk blouse

I’ve heard so many busty women long for a silk blouse.



Could You, Would You Wear a Nude Neckline?

While preparing to photograph yesterday’s dress, I stumbled across a beige camisole that I haven’t worn in years. I’d just been looking at this woman’s skin-tone camisole in a 2011 Hourglassy post, and it made me want to try mine again.

nude camisole follows neckline

I’m glad I did because I like the look! It covers my cleavage without sacrificing the flattering neckline.

nude neckline do or dont

L to R: no cami, beige cami, black cami

It’s one of those trade-offs for a big-busted woman to consider. On the one hand, a beige camisole looks underwear-y. Kat at Corporette hates nude camisoles for most office looks, which is why I left my beige cami alone all these years. On the other hand, see how much nicer the center neckline looks than the right neckline. Even a black V-neck cami wouldn’t have the same effect. A V-neck cami in another color might, but not if I want uninterrupted black at my neckline.

So where are you on this trade-off?