Cool Girl Dressing for The Busty Chick
As a fellow member of the blessed-in-the-chest club, I understand the plight of trying to dress a body endowed with a fuller bust. I gravitate towards a more relaxed and menswear-inspired aesthetic, but that kind of dressing is not as easy to wear for my body type. Clothes that look pixie-like and androgynously cool on the runway or on an e-commerce model can look, let’s call it “streetwalker-chic,” when worn by us, chesty ladies.
Shirts are too tight in the bust and too big in the waist, or dresses won’t zip up all the way, even when the garment fits everywhere else.
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We’ve all heard the advice that wrap dresses are our friends, and that tailored clothes work better because they don’t create a shapeless silhouette (when a garment hangs off the chest and doesn’t then tailor back into the waist or hips, it can sometimes visually add a few sizes). But sometimes those options just won’t do, especially when we want to look trendy, effortlessly cool, and tomboy-sexy.
There is a way to channel our inner Alexa Chung without simultaneously channeling our outer Sophia Vergara. I’m going to show you how to rock a cooler look by working with what our mamas gave us.
The V-Neck Sweater
Take a hint from one of the most famous boobalicious babes out there, Kate Upton (check her out in slide 1), and stack up on a collection of V-neck sweaters. Not only do we consider this item to be a wardrobe staple, no matter what your body type, but it is such a great silhouette for a bustier lady. It does that effortlessly cool thing so well as it is not skin tight or too revealing, but still shows a little bit of skin.
It pairs with flouncy minis (a la Kate), cropped trousers, any denim, leather skinnies, printed pencil skirts, cut-off shorts; the list goes on.
The Button Down
Button downs can be one of the trickiest items to buy when you’re chesty. The dreaded gape in those middle buttons is super frustrating, especially when the shirt fits everywhere else. Luckily, the boyfriend-fit trend is in full swing and is definitely in our favor. Try a shirt like this one, which was designed to fit in a borrowed-from-the-boys way. This style hangs a bit slouchier and allows for some extra room in the bust.
Not only will the shirt fit better, but it will create a cooler, more relaxed effect that will read as modern and on-trend. The best part is that any button-down shirt will yield the same result, as long as you just size up one or two sizes. Pair your shirt with anything from skinny jeans and flats to a mini skirt and heels.
We all love a great blazer, but jacket lapels can create a few issues for us bigger chested gals. They tend to lay awkwardly or gape, countering the chic, tailored look that a blazer is made for. So instead, opt for a lapel-free jacket in bomber or blazer form (try a slightly longer blazer). Both are equally cool and functional, but won’t cause any odd fit issues. Either silhouette adds an extra layer of style and edge when worn over t-shirts, button-downs, or dresses.
The Leather Jacket
Every girl should have a leather jacket to reach for on those days when she needs an extra dose of edge. A lot of bigger-chested women shy away from them, however, because it’s so hard to find one that fits snugly in the torso, shoulders, and arms but that will zip over the chest. I realized the answer to this issue was simple–buy a jacket that fits in all the right places, and don’t worry if it won’t actually zip past your waist.
NO ONE wears their leather jackets closed. I tested out this theory by finally investing in a solid leather jacket, and can promise you I never mind the fact that it doesn’t fit comfortably when zipped.
One of the easiest, chicest way to get dressed and go is with a jumpsuit. The one-piece dressing is seriously such a time saver. This particular silhouette, a pants jumpsuit with an accentuated waist and a flattering V-neck is the perfect way for a bigger-chested woman to look put together and effortless. The neckline flatters, the slim but forgiving pants (versus shorts) elongate, and the waistline creates an hourglass shape.
Style yours with lace-up flat sandals and a woven tote bag during the day, and then wear it out at night with strappy heels and a graphic clutch.
A lot of magazines will suggest a shift dress for a larger chested woman instead of a sheath dress, so as to avoid the big on top, slim on the bottom, off-kilter silhouette. But I would opt instead for an A-line or flared skirt dress, especially if the dress has a V-neck. The silhouette is incredibly flattering because it creates that coveted hourglass shape- full chest, small waist, full skirt. But it can also be really cool when done right, like this particular Rebecca Taylor version.
Wear it to the office with a blazer and ladylike pumps, wear it out with sexy heels and a moto jacket, and wear it to brunch with a denim jacket and loafers.
Busty women are often told to veer away from the crewneck and to instead rely on a scoop neck or V-neck to best highlight their curves. But I say a crewneck is totally doable, with a few rules. Instead of going for a fitted tee with a higher cut, opt for a more vintage-inspired fabric with a neckline that drapes a little below the collarbone. The material should be tissue-thin and flowy versus starchy and structured.
Paired with anything from minis to pencil skirts to your favorite denim, it works.