Exhibit No. 1 is Oprah on the cover of the December issue of her magazine. The only way she got away with the poofy gathers and the neckline that paralleled her bustline was by draping herself with a huge wreath of red ornaments. I had heard she had gained weight, and I thought it would be perfect if she’d address it in her magazine. She thought the same thing because January’s cover has Oprah at 160 pounds in 2005 next to Oprah at 200 pounds in 2009. This puts Oprah back on my list of admirable women. Sure, her article naively expresses the expectation that she will “conquer this battle once and for all,” but for those of us who know what it is to work with our weight, it’s reassuring to have a symbol of that struggle acknowledge the struggle.

Here’s my one concern about Oprah: At 160 pounds, will she still be my customer? Tell me what you think after you’ve seen the January cover. That photograph has to be photoshopped. She looks tiny on top. It doesn’t help that her 2009 arm is placed across her 2005 chest, and the white crewneck offers absolutely no cleavage visibility. Plus, she could be wearing a sports bra to smash her in.

One thing I’m realizing as I go forward with Red Violet is that what works for one full-breasted woman does not necessarily work for all. For instance, just because I struggle with my weight doesn’t mean that everyone does. In fact, I recently met a woman who shops for button-down shirts in the boy’s department because she wears a size 2 but can’t find non-gapping shirts to fit over her boobs. Looking at her, I would never have thought she faced that issue, but we totally related to each other as we talked about it.

I’ll be posting more about what looks good on full-breasted women, but I’m counting on your insights about what works for you and what you’ve seen work for others.