Look for Mia’s Best Breast Forward column on SATURDAY, the day after the ball she’s been preparing for. She’s promised pictures!

I’m still packing for our trip, but I can’t resist slipping in a thought prompted by my personal shopping session at Anthropologie (that I still plan to write about in more detail). The actual thought was prompted by the Spotted Brunia Henley blouse.

big bust polka dot 1

Again, it’s another item I would never have taken back to the dressing room with me, but it felt like “me” once I had it on.  The irregular polka dots on the navy background made it both fresh and sharp, and the fabric felt wonderful.

I suspect the personal shoppers chose it because the inverted pleats at the chest ensure enough room for an ample chest. But you and I both know there’s more to the story than enough room for our chests.

big bust anthropologie polka dot flaws

Before I put the blouse in the “no” pile, I tried it under this super soft cream cardigan that redeemed my profile with its waist darts in front. I also like the neckline.  I didn’t buy it because I felt like the cream color washed me out and its light shade made me look bigger, plus I wasn’t certain about the attached belt. Now I’m having second thoughts, but I can’t find it on their website!

big bust anthropologie cream cardi

Since I want to wear woven blouses that don’t need a cardigan to show my waist, I didn’t buy the polka dot blouse, but it made me understand where other bloggers are coming from when they complain that full bust clothing companies are stuck in a style rut (links to come, I hope!). It made me yearn for more style options that also fit and flatter.

And this is why Wardrobe Oxygen’s recent posts about fear of missing out (“FoMO”) wardrobes hit a chord with me. In her first FoMO post, Alison writes, “While buying in multiples can be quite sensible, a lot of times such stockpiling and over-buying is a waste of money and a killer of personal style. Women often do this because they find themselves hard to fit and shopping a stressful and unpleasant experience.” Can we relate??!

In her second FoMO post, I thought she was writing about me:

The FoMO Closet is about the woman who loves the look of a knee-length sheath dress with a draped neckline. It makes her feel sophisticated, lean, elegant. Any time she finds a dress with the right neckline, she buys it and now has over 10 drape-neck sheaths in her closet.

She goes on to write, “There’s a difference between being smart and purchasing multiples, and creating a FoMO closet out of fear and frustration.”

I’m not sure that I shop out of fear and frustration, but the polka dot blouse woke me up to the fact that I’ve been dressing by rote, closing myself off from the fun of new discoveries. However, by not fitting correctly, the blouse  simultaneously brought me right back to the reason I’ve done so!

I admit that I sometimes consider women who complain about limited options from full bust clothing companies to be ingrates (I’m remembering Bras I Hate‘s “Pepperberry Has Problems Part 1“and “Part 2“). Do they have any idea how lucky we are today compared to just ten years ago? Do they not understand the economic risk involved in offering more fashion-forward clothing?

As a business owner, I certainly understand the economic risk, but I now understand some of the consumer dissatisfaction. As consumers, are extremely fortunate to have the options that we have today, but sometimes it’s not we who are shopping out of fear and frustration, but the manufacturers who are producing out of fear and frustration. Do we really need another faux wrap top option? (I could say “another classic white shirt option,” but that hits too close to home!) It’s fabulous that full bust companies recognize the style details that work best on busty women, but when they produce them again and again in only slightly different iterations, they create our FoMO wardrobes for us.

There are many possible partial solutions to this dilemma. For instance, at the market level, if we weren’t guilty of stockpiling garments that narrowly follow the rules for busty dressing, companies might be more open to changing. (On the other hand, I’m nervous about what would happen to these businesses if we stopped buying from them!) More competition is also a good thing. It’s wonderful to see the changes that companies like Urkye (new blazer!), DD Atelier (pockets over the chest!) and Saint Bustier (ready-to-wear!) have introduced to the market.  On an individual level, there is a lot to be said for taking the basics  available to us and making them our own through accessories. Finally, on a community level, the busty blogosphere and forums let women share what they’ve done individually and encourage us to try new things. What other solutions do you see?