You know the challenge of dressing with a large bust isn’t only about finding something that fits.  If that were the case, we would all happily be wandering around in black tees.  But some of us look terrible in black; or we need to dress a little more formally; or we really, really, really want to wear a dress.

I love the simplicity of dresses, and I vowed that when I found another Laundry by Shelli Segal dress like my brown one, I would snatch it up.  Its sleeves, unfussy line, and collared V-neck are good features for someone short with a large bust like me.  That’s why, when I found the Laundry dress below at Bloomingdale’s a few weeks ago, I marched it straight to the cash register.

Tomorrow, I march it back to Bloomingdale’s for a refund of $165 because for that price, the fabric pattern should match across the seam that goes down the center of the back.

I had hoped that photographing the back of the dress would prove that I had exaggerated the problem in my mind. The thing is, I noticed the mismatched pattern before I even paid for the dress.  I just didn’t want it to matter.

When your body type lies outside the parameters of what most clothing manufacturers consider “average”, it’s tempting to lower your standards . . . to  be like the woman who’s afraid to dump her loser boyfriend for fear of never meeting anyone better (for a great comparison of bras and boyfriends, you must check out How Bras Are Like Love over at MissUnderpinnings).  In other words, sometimes being large-busted can make us desperate.  We’ll wear almost anything that fits.

There is no guarantee that I’ll ever find another dress in this style and color that fits, meets my quality standards and is affordable.  But I’m willing to take the chance that there is another style and color out there that will fit, make me look fabulous and be technically excellent.  And when I find it, I’ll have an extra $165 stashed away to pay for it.