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.
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?
Here’s the original top with the two hem lengths (and the top scrunched up at the hips in the second pic).
And here’s a 3/4 sleeve version that I’m also considering . . . with before-and-after hem lengths.
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.
I think that it’s more about skirt shape and top hem then skirt length or tightness of the top (it plays its role of cause, but it’s less important I think). When a skirt is straight and a top hem is on the widest place of the hips you are getting large solid rectangle in the bottom. To avoid that unfortunate result skirt should be made more pencil (more narrow in hem) and it’s better when top ends somewhere in the middle between the waist and hips (after shortening you can’t wear it with lowish cut jeans, but it looks much better with everything else).
Middle top looks better not only because it’s more form hugging, but also because it’s slightly shorter.
And with current skirt and top length proportions between them is about 1:1, golden ratio is 1:2, so I would say: make skirt hem a little bit more narrow, but don’t cut it and make top shorter (and M fits better, but still too long).
Great points, Malica! To make this a better experiment, I would factor in the variables that you suggest. I was also thinking about the golden mean when I scrunched up the top bottom, but I didn’t even consider skirt shape.
In the end, I have a feeling the Petite Large would have been the best size, but I couldn’t find it in the physical store and only just found it online as I was preparing this post.
I like the shorter skirt with the looser top better. The pattern looks better and more slimming when its not so tight. I love this website! I need all the help from my big busted sisters!
I agree that the medium is too tight, but I’m realizing that it’s especially obvious because of the additional factors of the inadvertently curvy pattern PLUS the cap sleeves pointing like arrows to my largest feature. I could probably get away with just one of these details, but three is too much! If I see one of these in petite large, I’ll take a picture to compare. I’m on my way to return all these tops even as I write this!