Disclaimer: I’m not saying that I’ve won the war against frump in these pictures, but at least I’ve won a couple of battles!

The first time I tried this Alfani top in medium, I was sure I’d found a big bust winner because of the close fit, stretchy (albeit polyester) fabric, interesting pattern, and buttons down the top half of the front–a welcome break from the ubiquitous solid surplice tops that dominate the full bust market. Even though it gaps between two of the buttons, the stretchiness and pattern will easily disguise a safety pin. However, when I was ready to wear it out for the first time, I had second thoughts about the tightness and changed.

Alfani short sleeve dot print polo shirt

To decide whether to tear off the tags (I’m still deciding), I HAD to try it in a larger size. Unfortunately, this print was sold out in large in the next Macy’s that I visited, so I bought it in a different print in both sizes for the sake of comparison here. I’ve also been meaning to see whether hemming my denim pencil skirt by 1 5/8 inch would eliminate the frumpy way I’ve felt every time I’ve worn it, so I’ve added that to the mix as well.

Here are the results. Between the more fitted top and the shorter hem, I think the most important factor in getting rid of frumpiness is a closer fitting top. Agreed?

fit factors fight full bust frumpiness

Here’s the original top with the two hem lengths (and the top scrunched up at the hips in the second pic).

handkerchief before and after

And here’s a 3/4 sleeve version that I’m also considering . . . with before-and-after hem lengths.

blue animal print before and after-001

Here’s a tangential discovery from this experiment: with stretchy fabric, all-over-the-place prints can minimize or disguise a large bust, but vertical patterns highlight the curves!

Note: I’m wearing the Chantelle Pont Neuf in 34H in these pictures. A better-lifting bra would have won yet another battle for me.