Dressing big boobs

Because I do what I do, my conversation topics with people can sometimes vary from the bizarre to the ridiculous. As human beings go, we are so complicated, sometimes so simple and other times…there simply are just no words to describe what can happen to us in any one day or even from minute to minute. We want to do our best, look our best, and get to the end of every day knowing that we put our best foot or shoe forward. So many pursue a life of happiness, when, in fact, there will only ever be moments of happiness in between the stress and strains that life undoubtedly will fling at us. These moments are to be cherished; they are the times that keep us going when days are grey.

“I have everything I could possibly want,” a client said recently, “absolutely everything.” Somehow, from experience I suppose, I knew that there was a big BUT coming. “BUT,” she said, “how do you solve the problem of these big boobs?” There it was. She said it and then laughed for a long time. “I’m so sick of lugging the weight of them around the place and constantly trying to cover them up; I’ve burst so many buttons that I’ve lost count at this stage.” This woman is close to six foot tall, and yes, her bust is bigger than average, but her personality has a flamboyancy that outshines everything else. “For years I have tried to compress my chest or hide my breasts in oversized shirts or loose-fitting sweaters, keeping everything baggy and shapeless,” she said. She needed clothes that accentuated her body…all of it, rather than clothes that hung from her boobs like a tent.

Dressing bigger boobs is hard but dressing them fashionably can be near impossible if you don’t know what you are doing. The fashion industry is continually designing clothes for flat silhouettes, which makes it difficult for those with an ample bosom to wear their boobs to full capacity. One thing is for sure, vintage clothes were tailored for women and their womanly curves and we have lost that; everything is now streamlined and it can often look like we are ‘jammed into’ a hell of a lot of outfits. There’s nothing sexier than a woman who is comfortable in her own body, a woman who embraces every part that she has been given. Others may disagree, especially those who are knee deep in their own body dysmorphia! The bottom line in this conversation is don’t try to dress like Angelina Jolie if you have a giant ass, or like Jennifer Aniston if you are endowed with breasts as big as granny’s famous plum puddings!

I have the utmost respect for this lady because a) she could easily afford a breast reduction but chooses not to have one; and b) she specifically asked me to write about this so that those, like her, suffering in silence, are given some options as to how to embrace their body.

How about we get the absolute ‘no-no’s’ out of the way first. Turtlenecks or polo-necks are out. Dresses or tops with spaghetti or neck-holder straps offer little or no support so best to completely avoid them. Backless dresses or tops will never be a part of your wardrobe – no matter what flash new ‘promise you the sun, moon and stars’ bra comes on the market. While strapless bras do exist for women with bigger breasts, it’s generally not a good idea to wear anything strapless because there will always be tugging and manoeuvring and re-organising! Tops and dresses with flounces and ruffles can make the bust look even more full.  

Start by spending an absolute fortune on your bras because you are fighting a losing battle if you don’t wear a decent bra with ample support. They can be better than Spanx at making you look slimmer and can even improve your posture. Get properly fitted and ask for the most expensive bra in that size, then work backwards in price so you can see and feel the difference that spending more or less on a bra actually makes. Do this before you buy another stitch of clothing for therein lies your holy grail. 

Learn how to accommodate your ample bosom in ways that flatter. High necklines can make your whole torso look shorter and larger and draw too much attention to your breasts so opt for an open or sharp V neckline to break up the space and create longer more flattering lines.

Wrap styles – whether it is a coat, dress or a top – allow individual adjustments, have an open neckline, flatter your waistline and follow the natural curve of your breasts, without that tent-like look.

Tops with ties or twists towards the bottom create a waist under your boobs, which is welcomed, very flattering, and gets rid of that shapeless look and feel.

Wear jewellery above your bust to draw attention toward your face. Wearing too long a chain can add unnecessary volume to your chest.

Look for ‘slightly’ looser fitting dresses in your ‘wow’ colours that can be tied with a belt. They give you enough room while still giving a beautiful shape.

Darts and narrow belts always accentuate the waist.

Voluminous skirts or trousers balance the silhouette.

A heart neckline with its curved lines is ideal for special occasions when you want to show off your cleavage in a tasteful way.

Find a great dressmaker who will put snap buttons into your shirts so there is zero gaping.

All of these tips will work for some of you and some of these tips will work for all of you, so enjoy, and you can thank my frank client for nudging me to devote an entire article to big boobies. Find a way to love and accept them, no matter how big or small they are. 

 Only two things are certain in life: Death and if you fall asleep in a tank top, you will wake up with a boob hanging out!

Louise O'Dwyer

Louise O'Dwyer is an Image consultant based in West Cork

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