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).

dsc08223-001

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.

dsc08225

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?”

big-bust-above-average-style-floral-pants

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.

big-bust-above-average-style-black-column-scarf

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

big-bust-above-average-style-black-column-camel

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

 

big-bust-above-average-style-cranberry-duster

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

 

big bust above average style

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).

big-bust-above-average-style-purple

big-bust-above-average-style-fluffy-sweater

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

 

big-bust-above-average-style-leather

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).

 

big-bust-above-average-style-silk-blouse

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.

big-bust-above-average-style-graphic-dress

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!

subway-dressing-ideas-big-bust-basics

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?

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Off the Rack ~ Spring/Summer 2017 Curve Expo Part IV: Fantasie & Freya

In my final dispatch from Curve, I’m sharing Fantasie and Freya. Overall, both brands demonstrated a lot of color-coordination across styles without being too “matchy.” I was impressed with Fantasie’s color choices and attention to detail, and found lots of Freya swimwear to love. Everything here will be released December 2016 – May 2017.


Fantasie Lingerie

Here’s that color coordination I mentioned. Clockwise from top: Rebecca Lace spacer bra in “Cherry” (starting at 30, up to H), Marianna side-support plunge bra in “Raspberry” (starting at 30, up to GG), and Rosanne side-support bra in “Ivory” (starting at 30, up to H).

Here’s that color coordination I mentioned. Clockwise from top: Rebecca Lace spacer bra in “Cherry” (starting at 30, up to H), Marianna side-support plunge bra in “Raspberry” (starting at 30, up to GG), and Rosanne side-support bra in “Ivory” (starting at 30, up to H).

Love that wide lace back on the Rebecca Lace. The rep told us it has a smoothing effect to avoid what I like to call “phantom back fat.”

Love that wide lace back on the Rebecca Lace. The rep told us it has a smoothing effect to avoid what I like to call “phantom back fat.”

I love black and white prints and digital floral prints, and the Abby side-support bra in “Monochrome” combines both! (Starting at 30, up to H)

I love black and white prints and digital floral prints, and the Abby side-support bra in “Monochrome” combines both! (Starting at 30, up to H)

It might look black here, but the Jacqueline Lace body is actually NAVY. The fabric felt super silky and slinky. Also note the adjustable length with the hooks and eyes in the crotch (though going to the restroom might be a serious struggle!). (Starting at 30, up to GG)

It might look black here, but the Jacqueline Lace body is actually NAVY. The fabric felt super silky and slinky. Also note the adjustable length with the hooks and eyes in the crotch (though going to the restroom might be a serious struggle!). (Starting at 30, up to GG)

[Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Spring/Summer 2017 Curve Expo Part III: Claudette, Tutti Rouge, & Passionata

Part 3 of Curve coming up. This time I’m sharing Claudette, Tutti Rouge, and Passionata.

Claudette

For the last few seasons, I’ve looked at Claudette’s offerings and my initial response is that the items look insane and useless. But then the reps start showing it off, I look at the model photos, I feel the fabrics…and it all starts to seem so cool and innovative. This year was no exception, with Claudette continuing to introduce more loungewear that could almost double as clubwear or even gymwear in some cases. Claudette is the only big-bust lingerie company I saw embracing the athleisure trend.

“The Cat’s Pajamas” is a whole new collection of sleepwear made of super soft rayon modal mixed with fishnet. It looks super comfortable. Check it out:

A romper with pockets? Adorable.

A romper with pockets? Adorable.

[Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Spring/Summer 2017 Curve Expo Part II: Curvy Kate

Last week I showed you Panache’s new offerings. This week I’m focusing on Curvy Kate. Everything featured here will be released during spring/summer 2017 (generally January through June).

CK’s latest collection is more juvenile and cute. There is lots of neon, especially neon pink, with a few pops of blue, as well as influences we were told include kitsch, fun, and surf. They’ve also expanded their molded options in response to demand from US customers.

New style Vegas really fulfills that kitsch influence, with a fun flamingo and floral print. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

New style Vegas really fulfills that kitsch influence, with a fun flamingo and floral print. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

The Daily Dream in “Aqua” is light and refreshing, one of many seafoam-colored options I saw this season. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

The Daily Dream in “Aqua” is light and refreshing, one of many seafoam-colored options I saw this season. (28-40 D-K, 42-44 D-G)

[Read more…]