Ever since Real Simple excluded busty women from its spring trends in 2009, I’ve steered clear of its fashion advice. However, I couldn’t resist studying this month’s tips for wearing tropical prints if you have a large bust.

large bust tropical prints advice real simple

Personally, as long as there’s no bull’s eye, I think prints on top look great. I’m more concerned about their advice to wear a white tee shirt with the shorts, and the white top they show with the pants. It gives me nightmares of the summer that I wanted to look like a Gap commercial. Unfortunately, I tried to create the look with a crew neck. Suffice it to say, I did not look like this model.


Since then, I’ve learned the importance of deep necklines to keep my chest from looking like a mountain that begins under my chin.

After we took this picture together, Imogen Lamport tactfully suggested that I unbutton one more button. Lesson learned (and illustrated by what Imogen is wearing).

I’ve also learned about the importance of balance points, third pieces and neckline boobs. With these tools in mind, I might possibly try another white tee this summer. However, this spring I’m more excited about white sleeveless jackets. I’ve wanted one ever since seeing this $450 Rag & Bone version a few years ago.

rag and bone sleeveless jacket finn white

In April, I found this $27.99 Mossimo version at Target. Two large-busted reviewers give it five stars and say that it runs large, but I felt like the giant armholes made it shapeless on me.

Mossimo collared vest from targetThen I passed a Mango store, saw this $89.99 Sartorial vest, tried it on, and loved it. Now it’s in my closet . . . waiting for me to figure out how to wear it.

sartorial vest mango

Here’s why I love it:

  • the deep V groups my bust with my neckline
  • it’s a great third piece that layers without adding bulk
  • the white is energizing without taking over
  • it gives the polished effect of a blazer without its formality (I like streamlined looks)
  • the length elongates me, although I need to experiment with proportions to see what else I can wear it with–probably not a knee-length skirt?

Here’s how it looked on me today with a very basic base of jeans and a tee shirt. How would YOU would wear it?

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I also experimented with it with my Henley top. My first impression is no. Do you agree?

mango vest and henley top

Finally, here’s a cropped white jacket to add to the mix. I’ve owned it for four years now, but I think it shows that we shouldn’t automatically assume that short lengths won’t work on us.

cropped lord and taylor jacket

And one more thing–take a look at Tina’s recent post about her own white tops.