Summer weddings and graduation parties are upon us, so we’re highlighting “special occasion dressing” on Hourglassy this month. We want to help you find the perfect dress–and what to wear under it.

My first contribution to this topic came out of my accessories field trip with Carol. Before we met at Macy’s, my assignment was to arrive an hour earlier to find a little black dress. I felt completely confident that I could find one to fit me in an hour because knit LBD’s are so ubiquitous. Also, based on Gina’s great success with a Ralph Lauren LBD in 2011 and my own favorite Ralph Lauren print dress (that I wore to Leah’s wedding), I planned to make a beeline to the Ralph Lauren racks.

I found this dress there immediately.

big bust find lbd lauren caterpillar necklace

Here’s what I love about it: the neckline hits right at my lower balance point, and I don’t absolutely have to wear a cami. In this picture, I also discovered that I can wear statement necklaces like this Bar III Caterpillar necklace to maintain the neckline while masking my cleavage!

bar III caterpillar necklace.tifI wish I could take credit for this necklace discovery, but it’s all Carol. She also found what I call a “Flintstone necklace” that does the same thing. I would never have noticed it in the store, but now I want to keep it! I’m sorry I can’t find it on the Macy’s website for you.

flintstone necklace no cami

Back to the dress. Here’s what else I like about it:

  • There’s no boob bifurcation. I’m wearing my 32FF Panache Hepburn balconet in these photos, and I accidentally brought this size 6 dress home because I thought the tag said “8”. So I think this dress is generously sized, which means plenty of room for my boobs. I’d love to see what size would accommodate a 32J, but I’m too afraid to ask Mia after the Express jacket–I only hope that she’ll humor me again after reading this!  My apex measures 40 1/2″, and I’m guessing I could still wear this size if I measured 42″.
  • There’s no armhole bra.
  • Even though it’s a cap sleeve, it isn’t the kind that acts as an arrow pointing to my chest. Instead, it has the effect of going sleeveless, but the caps and shoulder pads extend past the shoulders and widen them. I haven’t explored this in depth, but I think the contrast with my shoulders makes my bust and waist look smaller.
  • The fabric is matte jersey, my favorite.
  • It can be worn from work to cocktails–and to weddings and graduations.

It’s also available in the stores in eggplant and royal blue, and I found a photo of it in navy with white polka dots, but I haven’t seen that in the store or online. If I did, I don’t think I could resist buying it! As it is, I’m seriously considering keeping this LBD because I don’t have one, and even though LBD’s can be a dime a dozen, it’s pretty rare to find one this flattering.

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