Here’s the shape I’m looking for. No surprise it’s an hourglass, right?

big bust preferred coat shapeWhat has been surprising is the discovery that certain coats make me look like a rectangle.

big bust rectangular coat shapes
L to R: Ann Klein in 16P; Jones NY in 16; Cinzia Rocca in 16

Part of this is because I am kind of rectangular, but it’s also because of the coat styles.  On the other hand, here are two examples of how a coat’s design can make a rectangle look more like an hourglass.

big bust hourglass elements on a rectangle

One of my most important findings? Lapels matter. When I’m bundled up in a coat to stay warm, my boobs are covered in bulky fabric and can’t do their job of making me look hourglassy (the way they can in form-fitting tops and blouses). On top of that, if I’m wearing a high collar or a lapel that fastens far above my cleavage starting point, I get serious waist boob. On the other hand, a dramatic lapel or a collar that fastens at or below my bustline restores my lost hourglassiness by acting as a proxy for my boobs, and because I now have neckline boob, my waist looks thinner.

Here are some of the coats I’ve tried that either demonstrate this principle or create an hourglass with other design details. Unfortunately, the largest sizes are all too small for me so I can’t size up, but for those of you who can size up, styles like these are worth a try!

1. French Connection Assymetrical Zip Tulip Coat in size 14. I was not looking for a red coat (my camera made it look orange), but if this had fit, I would have snatched it up. Sadly, the side profile shows some pretty smashed in boobs.

big bust French Connection flattering coat shape

 (I must have a thing for tulip coats because I showed you a Mackage tulip coat in 2010.)

2. Betsey Johnson Coat in size 14. The collar is high, but we can achieve neckline boob by unbuttoning a few buttons and filling in the space with a warm scarf if necessary. Don’t you LOVE the button detail that emphasizes the waist?

big bust betsey johnson coat find

3. Rachel Roy Transformer Coat in XL (found at Macy’s, but it’s not showing up online).

 big bust rachel roy winter coat

4. Finally, here’s a Dawn Levy Adelaide Bouclé Coat in L at Bloomingdale’s that gave a very flattering shape (and of course I must like it because it’s tulip-like).

big bust winter coat search dawn levy large

 Now that I better understand what I’m looking for, I kind of wish I’d bought this Radzoli coat that I found at the Brownstone in 2011.

big bust radzoli coat

I’ve spent most of my time looking for coats in big department stores. However, two weeks ago I visited Lee Lee’s Valise for a sneak peek at their winter coats. I figured a boutique that begins at size 10 must have something amazing in my size. I’ll show you what I found in my next report. And if I make it back to the Brownstone, I’ll show you what I find there as well!