Big Bust Boredom Dressing No More–Shopping My Closet with a Professional Stylist

Our tagline–“Above average style for the above average bust”–often feels misleading because I’m so far from a role model for stylish dressing. On the other hand, I aspire to look stylish, and I know our readers do, too. So even if Leah and I are not professional stylists, we give busty women pieces that they can put together on their own.

Last week, Christina Frik, a friend who IS a professional stylist offered to “shop my closet” for me. I was amazed at the looks that she put together. SHE was amazed that I had so many “great pieces to work with”. She thought she was going to give me a long list of basics to buy. Instead, she suggested just four items that will help extend my wardrobe (that I share at the end).

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I set everything out in our living room, and Christina flitted around creating combinations I’d never considered.

Here’s my biggest takeaway about the landscape of big bust dressing: companies that produce clothing for D cups and up are doing their job. They’re providing big-busted women with great building pieces for individual style. We may complain about the lack of options–my side of our closet is practically empty compared to my husband’s–but the truth is, we have incredible essentials that can take us in all sorts of directions without having to compromise on fit. We ran out of time before we ran out of pieces!

Christina came up with options that fit into dress codes that are traditional business (think attorneys) and business casual (think techies), and I finally understand the power of accessories. Look at what she did with just 4 pairs of shoes, 2 necklaces, and 1 scarf. A variety of jackets, cardis and sweaters also helps.

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I had planned to donate this Urkye knit blazer and Express dress to our next Big Bust Clothing Swap until Christina put them together with my leopard kitten heels and new tortoise link necklace.

You’ll see that Christina came up with a lot of big bust looks for a button down shirt. That’s because my first priority was how to wear my own button-front shirts without looking like I’m going for an interview or ready to take food orders. The biggest lesson that bust-friendly designer Patricia McCaw of Bolero has taught me is: Wear your own designs. Now every time I go to an event where I meet new people who ask what I do, I’m ready for the question, “Are you wearing one of your shirts?”

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This 4-button Jones New York jacket that I bought years ago actually buttons across my chest without straining. The patterned pants are a new find from Alfani.

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The more I wear my Paige dress, the more I look forward to new lines from Bitter Lollipop in 2017.

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I still love this knit blazer from Express that I found at a discount store last year.

 

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Recognize this duster from last week’s cardigan survey? I think I’m going to keep it!

 

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This is the other cardi from last week that Christina tells me is a keeper.

As you’ll remember, shoes are always a challenge for me, and I’ve finally found a pair of high boots that fit my orthotics. However, I have a lot to learn about proportion. Christina has encouraged me to wear my ankle boots, t-straps and kitten heel pumps with low hems (like a knee or midi-length dress) and high boots with high hems (like a tunic over leggings).

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This sweater and the tunic below are two of the bust-friendly dolman sleeve pieces that I wrote about in the past.

 

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I don’t plan to keep this pleather jacket from JCP that I wrote about last week–I’m more comfortable with the faux-leather lined cardi–but this look is making me reconsider. Also, note the ankle boots with the low hem of this Rock Cotton tunic (that I’ve used as a swimsuit cover up and wrote about last year).

 

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This picture doesn’t do justice to the texture of the silk blouse from More Front Room.

Finally, I never would have imagined combining my Pepperberry moss-colored linen biker jacket and a brown belt with this Riley dress from Bitter Lollipop.

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My Doc Martin shoes are meh with this outfit, but they’re just a placeholder for one of the items on Christina’s shopping list for me. Here’s the list I promised you:

 

  1. a pair of taupe or tan ankle booties (she also thinks they’ll look great with my Samantha dress from DD Atelier)
  2. a long boyfriend blazer or cardigan with a hem that falls below where my legs join my torso
  3. a layering “shell”
  4. a long hem tank that falls below where my legs join my torso (could also be the same as #3)

Basically, I’m looking for everything that I saw this woman wearing on the subway the other day!

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I hope today’s post gives you some ideas for shopping your own closet! What pieces are you looking for this fall that will extend your wardrobe even further?

 

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Off the Rack ~ Reviewing Miss Candyfloss “Gigi-Bo” Jumpsuit & “Weslyn-Hollis” Dress

My obsession with the vintage reproduction brand Miss Candyfloss continues unabated. I recently picked up a dress and a jumpsuit for fall. The dress was from last year with limited sizes left, and now it’s no longer on the MCF site at all. But I purchased the jumpsuit from ModCloth, which has it in five different colors for about the same price as MCF’s website. So if you wait for a coupon, you can actually get it for significantly less than the suggested retail (I had a 20% ModCloth code, they just finished a 25% code last week, and Black Friday is coming up next month…so it’s definitely worth waiting!).

For sizing, I’m wearing medium in both these pieces, and I measure 37”-29”-41” with a bra size of 28G – 30G (depending on the brand) and height 5’6”.

First up is the Gigi-Bo “pantskirt jumpsuit” in wine (aka ModCloth’s “Embolden Age Jumpsuit” in burgundy). I’ve seen a few reviews of this item before, but never really felt inclined to try it myself until this gorgeous wine color came out.

With my long torso and short legs, I don’t usually get along with jumpsuits. They’re often too short in the body and too long in the legs, leading to some unfortunate perma-wedgie. But since ModCloth has a good return policy, with the coupon I figured it was worth a shot. And I’m so glad I tried it, because, miraculously, the jumpsuit fits me perfectly!

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Off the Rack ~ DD Atelier Jersey Dress & Military Coat Reviewed

Apologies for three-week absence, friends! I’ve been super busy at work, was visiting friends in Seattle one week, and last week was NY Comic Con. But finally, finally, I get to share with you two fabulous items DD Atelier sent me for review.

DD has so many great items for this fall, including a number of gorgeous and practical coats and jackets. It was really hard to pick just one or two for review! But ultimately I went with a long-sleeved jersey dress and the absolutely stunning wool military coat.

Disclosure: These items were received as review samples. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.

First up, the dress: These days I only wear pants perhaps once a week or even less. I find dresses just so much more comfortable and fun (plus it’s easier to use the restroom in them!). But most of my dresses have short sleeves or straps, and I could use a few more with long sleeves for the fall and winter months. DD’s “Stretch Jersey A-Line Dress” is the perfect solution. It’s easy to wear, brightly colored (an absolute must for me!), and ultra-flattering.

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[Read more…]

Full Bust Find: DD-Atelier Cotton Ribbed Jersey Dress

When DD-Atelier founder Olga Promptova asked me to choose a dress from her site to review, I requested the ribbed cotton jersey dress in red. Then I worried that I’d chosen something out of my curve-hugging comfort zone. DD-Atelier garments tend to be very close-fitting, and the models on their site don’t show any bulges. Could I get away with it?

As soon as I slipped the size 80D-F over my head, I knew I could. Yes, the 5% lycra makes it form-fitting, but the generous amount of fabric keeps it from stretching too tautly over my frame.

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I only needed to make two undergarment adjustments: [Read more…]