Pockets & Shirt Dresses . . . Full Bust Fit and Proportion Considerations

[Leah is finishing a busy stretch of weekend weddings and lots of work, so Off the Rack will be back soon!]

I was reminded of our big bust fit issues after I bought this size 12 Ralph Lauren shirt dress at my favorite discount store.  Sure, the dress gapped in the dressing room, but I figured I’d safety pin it and be good to go. The first day I wore it, I was constantly aware of the fabric straining at my chest and pulling from my armholes to create enough volume. I’ve been wearing my own shirts so much that I’d forgotten what it was like to wear a button up that doesn’t provide enough fabric for a large bust.

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The ace bandages have been replaced by a cast for my wrist and a boot for my ankle–I fractured them on Saturday when I landed on a dumb bell in boot camp and reached back to catch myself.

Now I’m used to it (is that a good thing?), and there are three reasons I bought this dress despite the gap: [Read more…]

Doing You a Full Bust Favor: Evie Curve on Instagram (You’re Welcome!)

What’s on your wish list when you’re looking for big bust fashion inspiration? How about someone who:

  1. has Sofia Vergara’s measurements (but “half her stature”),
  2. has a background in fashion buying and merchandising, so she’s on top of the latest trends,
  3. actually wears the trends, and
  4. makes getting dressed look fun and do-able again?

That would be @Eviecurve in Australia.eviecurve bell sleeves

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Naturally large-breasted, she’s posted photos of herself wearing Curvy Kate and Fantasie. Any guess as to what strapless she’s wearing in the pic below?

eviecurve strapless bra [Read more…]

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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Big Bust Cardigan Week: 2 Structured Options

Last week I shared the big-bust friendly dress alternative of combining a top and skirt in the same fabric, but the Liz Claiborne top that I featured had a high Look-At-My-Large-Chest quotient because of the cap sleeves. The easiest way to divert attention from our large breasts is to add a knit jacket or cardigan. This makes fall a great season for full bust dressing!

I’m especially interested in what’s out there because my current cardigans are feeling pretty worn out. I took these photos to show you the dangers of a frumpy-looking cardigan to an overall look, but I learned something by studying these images.

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FIT MATTERS MOST. I have always been obsessed with finding V-neck cardigans because I believe the rule that V-necks are best for big busts–but not when everything else is too big, it turns out. The cardigan in the center of this collage proves my point. It doesn’t have a V-neck, but it’s a size medium and simply works proportionally with the rest of my figure. The other sweaters are size large. They looked fine when I was larger, but now they’re more suitable for Hide Me dressing. [Read more…]