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Because the Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

By Amalah

Hey Amy,
I’m hoping you’ll be able to assist me with a fashion dilemma. I’m 21, I have no idea how to dress for my body type, and I’m hoping you’ll give me suggestions on things like shirts, dresses, and pants that won’t make me look ridiculous. My main issues are that I have huge boobs (36D, sometimes 36DD depending on the bra), I am very short (not quite five feet) and to add insult to injury, I have virtually no torso to speak of. Basically, I’m short, but not petite.
My normal attire consists of scoop-neck t-shirts from Old Navy and jeans – I’m all about comfort. However, I’d like to look a bit more hip, a bit more my age, a bit less frumpy. Please, please, PLEASE give me advice on what I should wear so I don’t look like Lil’ Kim (even though we seem to have the same body type) or anything found on Go Fug Yourself. I have faith in your fashion sense – I believe you can help me.

Except that…I totally can’t. I mean, if we were to go shopping together I would stand outside the dressing room and give you an honest opinion when you came out, and I would hold your Frappaccino for you and promise not to drink it, and then maybe I could brainstorm and run around the store in a caffeine-fueled frenzy because OF COURSE I drank your Frappaccino, and I could bring you specific things that might work better since I am extremely skilled at spending my friends’ money, but sight unseen, over the Internet? I’m afraid that my 32AA boobs and I cannot be much help.
Which means it’s time for (ba da da daaaa!) the AlphaFoxyMamas to come and do their thing. I sent your question to our self-identified well-endowed experts and asked for their help. And oh, did they EVER rise to the occasion. I love you guys! Maaan!
First and foremost — get yourself some good bras. I don’t mean those thin-strapped pretty little lacey demi bras. I mean thick-strapped, under-wire, minimizer bras. Support is key otherwise everything will look sloppy.
Buy button-up collared shirts in a size that fits your chest. Then go to a local tailor (they are all used to this so don’t feel weird) and ask them to put darts in that fit to your waist. TADA! Hourglass figure immediately. Be sure that when you are buying the shirts that they really do fit your chest though. Don’t go squeezing into them and “oooh that looks sexy” Because it doesn’t. Really and truthfully it looks like you’re about to pop a button — just buy big and tailor to fit.
Little jackets/blazers are a big-breasted girls best friend. Find some that are cut in at the waist with two to three buttons that sit right below the bust line. This will also give you more shape and will definitely minimize the largeness. Once again — you can always buy big and tailor to fit.
Cardigans and sweater sets are always nice for a larger chest. Anytime you can layer is good without adding heaviness to the top. I have cardigans/sweaters that are all the basic colors (black, white, beige) and then I can put a pop of color underneath them to change the look.
I’ve always heard people suggest the wrap dresses to those with large chests but I’ve never been able to make them look nice on me. Usually the cut is weird and my boobs are falling out and they just look sloppy in general. I would recommend skirts and tops for dressing up. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to find a cute dress that works – but my best advice here is to try on EVERY shape of dress even if you don’t like the print/colors. Eventually you’ll find one that flatters you. Halters make you look boobie as do strapless dresses. I usually go with a fitted boat neck or wide-strapped dress. If I go spaghetti straps I usually get a wrap or something since you KNOW you’re not gonna have much bra support with a spaghetti-strapped dress.
You may even find some cute jackets in the petite section since you’re on the short side and have “no torso”. My guess is with a good bra and some tailored shirts you’d be surprised at the reappearance of your torso.
oldnavy.jpg You like Old Navy? They have the shirts — buy for chest, tailor the rest (I’m gonna have to trademark that saying). They have cardigans and twinsets.
So as not to sound like an ad for Old Navy. Look here and here for jackets.
And here and here for dresses.
Well, I’m kinda opposite on the body front with the huge boobs (I’m 5’11”), but I understand what you’re getting at.
I follow by one simple neck-line approach: The V-neck. Yes, its going to draw some attention to them, but more importantly, it’s going to draw even more attention to the hint of skin around the collar-bone area. That means you don’t have to wear a low-cut v-neck to make this work – you can do one that’s higher, or a lower one with a camisole in a contrasting color underneath. Also great with the v-neckline is a wrap shirt or sweater. It also helps with waist definition, and can pull so many outfits together.
I also wear a lot of boat-neck shirts (I have one from Banana Republic a few years ago that is divine), as it also shows off the pretty collar-bone/shoulder area.
Since the weather is getting cooler, I also recommend blazer/jackets, but make sure they’re nipped in at the waist, both to accommodate the chest and define your waist. Just make sure that the length of the jacket hits right around your hips – too short and it will be unforgiving if you have any curviness in the hip area, too long and you’ll get lost under the fabric. I have probably four or five, in both dressy ones that can double as a suit jacket if necessary, as well as a nice dark denim one that can run the line from casual to dressy-casual, depending on whatever I’m pairing it with.
The things to avoid? High-necked shirts. Why? Unless they have a cute design that makes having them worth it, you just end up with an expanse of color across your front. There’s no where for the eye to travel, which makes the area look even larger.
My last bit of advice is to find a tailor you trust. I know finding well-fitting button-down shirts can be a nerve-wracking experience when you have curves, but a tailor can add princess seams under the bust or take it in at the waist, and it looks so refined. With a tailor, it doesn’t matter if the shirt was $4 on the clearence rack from Old Navy, or $64 full-price from Banana Republic, a good tailor will make both items fit immaculately, which helps you to feel better when you’re wearing it.
Okay, now you’ve inspired me to go shopping…
Ok, well, I’ll give it my best shot: I myself have a huge rack but a fairly long torso to go with it, so I don’t experience precisely that same set of problems. My first advice would be this: Go into one of the department stores or GOOD lingerie shops and let one of the old ladies feel you up and get your true bra size. I cannot possibly emphasize how
important it is to feeling good and looking good in clothes, that a woman of ANY breast size, but particularly when one is large breasted, have the absolutely correct bra size. It changes with time… if we’re on the ball, we’ll get our boobies sized every year. So, first the right bra, and a good bra. A high quality, excellently fitted bra is the best
clothing investment you can make.
Secondly, my thought is that since you are short, you probably will do well with plus-size petite clothing. Go into one of the better plus stores (Lane Bryant is my favorite) and TRY. SHIT. ON. Try on as many styles and colors as you can stand, and try on different sizes. This is the only way, as far as I know, that you will get a decent assessment of what fits, what suits your coloring and your size, and what you really like. It took me years to understand this. Additionally, buy clothing that is well made and tailored properly… if a button down blouse does
not have darts in the front, if it is not shaped to the curve of your body, you will look like you are wearing a sack, and that you do not want. Girls with tits and curves must wear clothing that is tailored to fit them… even Wal-mart now sells blouses that are cut properly, in some cases.
Since it is getting cold, you’re probably in the market for blazers and jackets. I watch a lot of ‘What Not To Wear’,
and aside from telling the big girls to get good bras, they often emphasize how important it is to only wear three-button blazers, otherwise the effect is off balance and lumpy looking on a busty woman. I never
realized it until I finally tried on a three-button jacket, and saw the immediate slimming effect, so I can attest that this is true.
A-line skirts often work well on a figure like yours. I don’t think I personally would go for a pencil skirt… you want somehing with fullness at the bottom to balance out the top. As far as pants, don’t be afraid to have them tailored, if need be. This is very important. Don’t buy for cheapness or trend; only buy for fit, quality, and how it looks
and feels on YOU.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Isabel Kallman
Isabel Kallman

I am short-waisted and busty, and I love me those button-down shirts. What I do is I find shirts made of stretchy fabric so that they give me a lot of torso-definition. But, then to avoid popping buttons, I go to the tailor and ask them to sew down the middle of where the buttons are– no looking at my bra through gaping holes. It looks like a button-down, but my shirt is all sewn up. I now pull the shirt over my head to get in. But it works, because I’ve only done this on stretchy fabric shirts.


Meggan, you could be my sister! I am also a munchkin (5’0″), size 4 or 6 with a 34D chest. Fun, isn’t it? I completely agree with what these ladies have said. The most important thing (& seriously, the importance cannot be overestimated) is a really, really, REALLY good bra. Go to Nordstroms (or wherever, but they’re my favorite) & get fitted & then buy the best bra you can afford. My days of buying the cute, flimsy, ribbon-&-lace bras at Victoria’s Secret are gone. It’s amazing how much nicer clothes look when the girls are where they are supposed… Read more »


I have tiny boobs and therefore nothing to say other than I love that the AlphaFoxyMamas all independently came up with the same answers. There’s nothing I love quite like consensus.