People with small to average sized boobs: “Yes! Summer. I can ditch my bra 50% of the time, get my shoulders out and feel wonderfully free in all my little strappy tops and dresses”.
People with big boobs: “Argh! Summer. I can feel my bust sweating just at the thought. What did I wear endlessly last year that will still come up trumps?”
Panic not. It doesn’t have to be like this!
You might have noticed that dresses are by far the most popular and widely available clothing option this summer. Long may it last because dresses are a superb option if you’re busty. You just need to pick the good ones. Here are some recommendations of styles:
- Skater and A-line dresses. These are your friend and have lots of sleeve types to flatter different shapes. If it’s strappy, go for one with a wider strap (2cm or so) to hide your bra. Stitch a loop under your dress strap to hold your bra strap in place. Necklines can be V, sweetheart, scoop or square.
- Tea dresses. Being sold in so many colours and prints this summer. Choose those with V necklines instead of the round neck options. I would personally opt for a slightly longer one as your boobs will take up fabric and make the hemline shorter. For an elegant look, select an over-the knee style and go easy on the ruffles, frills and oversized floral prints as you are feminine enough already!
- One shoulder dresses. Great if you have a bra with removable straps as you can remove one strap but still have support. They also allow you to have a bare shoulder and exposed décolletage, which is very elegant. Just make sure that your bra doesn’t show on the strapless side.
- Shirt dresses. Great for boobs. The style is sophisticated and gives you structure around your neckline but the fact that you can unbutton them means you don’t feel trussed up. You can go up a size to fit your bust and wear a belt as it suits the look. There are also great fabric options: cotton, linen, silk, tencel, viscose and so on. And you can find plenty of length options from full to above-the-knee.
- Wrap dresses. Flattering in many ways and the wrap-close front is flexible to allow your boobs to fit in. My caution comes as a lot of brands don’t design the dresses to accommodate so much boob so you end up showing your bra, having massive cleavage or having to ruin the neckline by wearing a strap-top underneath. Unless the brand has made enough wrap to fit your boobs (watch this space), opt for a dolman sleeve, which provides more fabric around the side boob and armpit, and will be a looser fit.
- Strapless dresses. Can look very sexy if you are busty. It’s best to choose something structured and even corsetted to achieve this look as these dresses will lift and hold the shape of your bust and waist. Do make sure all of your boobs fit into the dress (see last blog about being honest with yourself). Avoid elasticated bands at the top of some strapless dresses, which cut under your armpit and create an expansive shelf of boob underneath. If unlined, also avoid light floaty fabrics in the bodice of this style, such as tencel, chiffon and viscose, as they lack structure so don’t create an elegant silhouette on their own. These fabrics are lovely for the skirt portion of the dress.
- Swing dresses. 99% of the time, one word: tent. Yes, I know they are unbelievably comfortable.
- Maxi dresses. I’ve often thought that these should be flattering if you have a big bust, particularly empire-line styles that nip in at the waist, and particularly if you’re tall. But I’ve yet to come across a maxi dress that looks awesome on a busty person. My conclusion: the mass of fabric from your waist to your feet hides pretty much your whole figure so you tend to look bigger than you are. In addition, the fact that there is no one focal point below the waist for the eye to fall on means that the gaze is even more drawn to your bust. You can wear long dresses but opt for those that finish at or above ankle length and skirts without too much volume or that aren’t skin-tight.
I hope this helps. Of course, all of the above are general rules and everyone’s body is different. If you have a dress that makes you feel amazing, do send me a picture of you in it. I’d love to be inspired by you!
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