I’m fascinated by the fact that horizontal stripes are not off limits for those of us who are full-busted or full-figured (I wrote about my discoveries here, here and here), but until shopping trips over the past 2 weekends, I NEVER would have considered stripes placed ONLY at the bust area.  That would cause the eye to stop and linger on my largest feature . . . wouldn’t it?

Maybe it would, but fun colors, super soft fabric and front panels that stay put above my bust (vs. sliding to the sides) trumped that rule for me. I couldn’t resist this long cardigan that I found at Marshall’s for $30.

stripes highlight large bust but do I care

If you totally disagree, there’s still time to tell me because I haven’t removed the tags, but here’s why I think it works:

  1. The second set of bright stripes at my hips helps the eye continue to move down. It gives some verticality.
  2. So does the cardigan’s length.
  3. The V-neck is also good, along with the wide tan band from neckline to hem.

The profile is entirely unflattering, isn’t it? Two reasons:

  1. I guess if you’ve got a little (or big) hill, the road’s gotta go up! What looks horizontal from the front suddenly becomes diagonal from the side. (However, since I’m wearing a Bad Bra, higher-up colors actually makes me look a little more lifted!)
  2. There’s the ever-present tent issue of a straight line from the apex to the hem.

If I keep it, I’ll need to be sure to wear the right shoes to keep it from looking cluttered and frumpy.

Next, I fell in love with this August Max knit top at Century 21.

There’s no hiding in this one, is there?  That wide pink band says “Big Bust Here.” It’s very See Me, and maybe even Look at Me, depending upon how I wear it.  Here’s why I think this one works:

  1. The great scoop neck.
  2. The lavender stripe above, and the orange stripe below, the wide pink band actually serve to minimize my bust!! If they were pink instead, they would highlight the actual area of my bust.  As it is, it looks like my bust only falls inside the pink stripe.
  3. The stripes blend into the sleeves, making it harder to tell what is bust and what is arm. If the sleeves were black, the bust would stand out even more.
  4. The stripes even stay horizontal in the side view.
  5. You can’t see it in the photos, but there are some interesting black straps crossing the scoop neckline in back.  It actually gives me the interesting back I’ve always wanted without showing any bra!

Again, I have NOT removed the tags yet, so let me know if I’m totally off here.  After the jump, I post a photo of the Lafayette 148 knit top that I almost purchased because it had no stripes and all the features I look for in a top. Yet it said “Look at my boobs” much more loudly than the top above.

I loved the color, neckline and sleeves of this top, AND it had the interesting straps across the back.  But all that unmitigated bright color, especially compared with the variety of the striped shirt, ultimately worked against it in my book.  My boobs are much more “in your face” in this top.  However, if this were my only choice and I hadn’t compared it against the other, I would certainly have bought it.  This goes to show that sometimes we have to try “off-limits” clothing in order to expand our options.

Finally, the striped top I bought is in size medium. Here it is in size large. Can you stand yet another lesson learned from this experience? Buy what fits!! Don’t assume you wear the largest size!
do not assume a d cup and up means size large