My friend gave me a polka dot dress a few months ago, and I wore it for the first time on Easter Sunday. It was a pretty cool day, and since I didn’t have the perfect jacket or sweater to wear over the dress, I wore one of my button fronts under it. I was so pleased with myself that I took this picture afterwards . . . and got a shock at how prominent my boobs were.

big bust neckline polka dot rolled sleeves front

They were much more dominant in the photo than they had seemed in the mirror that morning. After mulling it over, I came up with three observations:

  1. Other busty women do fine with boatnecks–Miriam Baker likes the way they balance her out. But every time I try a  boatneck, I look bustier.
  2. Using sleeves to avoid grouping my boobs with my waistline didn’t work any magic with this neckline. At best, it only neutralized the effect of so much fabric above my chest. All the fabric on top (including the added collar) makes me look like I’m hanging low, but at least the sleeves show how much lower I could go.
  3. This is very thin, super stretchy fabric, and it has to stretch the most at my bustline, which makes the print around my chest bigger there than anywhere else.

I couldn’t do anything about the neckline or the print, but look what happened when I got rid of all that extra fabric from the shirt.

big bust prominence better with less fabricMy boobs are still front and center, but they look more lifted, and I look slimmer without all that cluttery fabric.

Since layering underneath isn’t an option anymore, what happens when I layer above? I found this knit Calvin Klein jacket on sale at Macy’s last week and thought it would be perfect. A jacket definitely reduces boob prominence.

reduce boob prominence but jacket too longUnfortunately, this jacket also makes me look frumpy–a common issue for busty women. I mentioned this problem to my stylish friend Carol last week, and she said that length is often the culprit. It certainly is here. Look what happened when I pinned up the hem.

reduce boob prominence with jacket but remember proportionI should have learned this lesson from my Express jacket experience, but I guess I need to be hit over the head a couple of times before something sinks in.

This isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of this dress. That bare neckline is just begging for a necklace, and I’m going to show you my discoveries on that front as soon as I make them.

Addendum: As promised, this wasn’t the last of this dress, although I didn’t expect to make the discovery I write about a week later.