Maria writes, “Hi Claire. I’m a 28-year-old woman from the beautiful twin island country of Trinidad and Tobago. I’m a 34G bust with 29 waist and pretty much zero hips. I happened to come across your info when I hit a low point re: body peace and acceptance and was Google-ing how to dress for your body type when nothing seems to fit. I came across this article on Elle.com.”
“… I was so ecstatic. Not only do we pretty much have the same measurements but you’re black and have locs…just like me! I’ve pretty much always been top heavy. I remember starting off at age 10 or so wearing a C cup bra and was the only girl in my class that age who had boobs. And boy was I teased.”
“Since then it’s been years. I’m now 28 and recently finished my internship as a pediatric ER doctor at one of our local hospitals here. It’s taken a lot of effort on my part to get to a level of body acceptance. Sometimes I get so frustrated I feel to cry. I’ve done it all: gym, diet, lots of cardiovascular exercise. And I eat healthy, but my boobs will not shrink. If anything they’ve gotten bigger. It’s impossibly hard to find clothes to fit me in Trinidad. Everywhere I go, the sales clerks watch me and say, that’s not going to fit your boobs. So I’ve stopped going to the malls. I try to travel once or twice per year to Florida, but mostly for sightseeing, I also try to shop. But the exchange rate is 7TTDollar to 1 USD so you can see how with conversion, prices would be an issue.
I don’t even know where to begin searching for clothes to fit me. Everything I purchase online either fits my boobs but then is way too loose at the waist and hips, or if it fits the waist and hips, but doesn’t zip at the boobs. I think it may be a case of watching other women too much and feeling bummed out because I know I can never wear all these backless and strapless styles. I recently just started following you on Instagram. I love your style. Your confidence exudes through all your pics. How did you get to that level of body confidence? And where do you get all these amazing clothes?
I guess my problems is, I’m wondering do I have to just accept that I cannot wear any strapless or off the shoulder styles from now until I die? I’m still young and in my prime and I don’t want to dress like an older or middle aged woman in “frumpy” clothing. I still want to dress my age with a hint of sexy sophistication. Any suggestions?”
Hey Maria! Thanks for writing in. And congrats on completing that internship, girl! That said, the short answer is yes: with big boobs, you are going to have to accept that there are some styles you can’t wear. Now, I’ve managed to wear backless styles, but the amount of finagling I had to do was EXHAUSTING (for this dress, I had on a low back converter, held it down with large safety pins, put on Spanx…I’m getting tired just thinking about it!).
If you don’t want to go through that struggle, just know that strapless and backless dresses and tops are pretty much out of the question, though one shoulder styles can work (have you heard of Freya? Their strapless bras are pretty solid!).
And with that, I’m going to offer a few tips:
1. Make sure you have great undergarments.
If you have big boobs, you need the right support. This is non negotiable. And unfortunately, when your cup runneth over, there are no shortcuts–AND undergarments can be VERY pricey. I shop at Rigby & Peller and at Iris Lingerie in Brooklyn because they are experts at finding you the right fit. You could want to go in for a few bra and panty sets, and realize that each beautifully lacy bra is $150 each (to start) and the matching panty is $60! There are no discounts (even if you have a huge following *cough*) and no shortcuts. You have to swallow that bitter pill at least once every 6 months.
These are the breaks, children. But they are necessary. The right bra can help minimize your bust, and offer maximum support. Shop Rigby & Peller here (my two favorite bras are by Primadonna). Get directions to Iris Lingerie here. I’d recommend going in so that you can get fitted properly.
2. Wear V Neck or Scoop Neck tops. Balance out your top half with wide legged bottoms, wide legged pants, and A line skirts.
There are some optical tricks you can use to minimize and balance out your top half! Wear v neck or scoop neck tops.
Wide legged pants are a good option, as are A line skirts and any voluminous bottom.
Draw the eye to your smallest part, which is your waist! Also, don’t be afraid to wear crop tops.
I’m personally a little self conscious, but my waist is one of my (and probably your) assets. Show it off! Same goes for your legs. If you still want to look cute and hip, crop tops and skirts are good options. Both together can be a bit MUCH.
So maybe go for one or the other.
3. Find a good tailor
I live at the tailor. LIVE. This is another expense that can make cheaper items look expensive. Everything looks good when it fits properly! So if you have problems with the top fitting and not the waist, just take it in to your local seamstress or tailor. They’ll hook you up.
4. If you want to add to plump to your lower half, get a butt pad.
So…sometimes I wear a butt pad. And when I do, I think it is the funniest thing ever. But yes. I got a butt pad at Dillard’s one day down in Atlanta, and I wear it sometimes with tight dresses or jeans. I know y’all saw this pic and thought: where did that rump come from?!?!
It came from Dillard’s, Ok? Dillard’s. I mean…we all know the Kardashian/Jenners have gotten all sorts of plastic surgery to achieve their rotund behinds. Which is fine if they or you want to do that. This is a judgement free zone!
But if you just want to give it a test run, spend very few dollars, and avoid the pain and down time, get a butt pad.
Buyers note: wear spanx over it because sometimes it can LOOK fake. Thank me later.
5. Shop in other cities/towns
Yes, shop it up in Miami! The exchange rate might suck, but you don’t need to spend too much. Go to Zara, Topshop, and H&M (a lot of the items I’m wearing above are from Zara, Intermix, and Topshop). Search for wide legged pants, A Line skirts, v necks, blazers (!) and scoop necks. If something doesn’t fit all the way right, get it tailored! And of course FashionbombDailyShop.com is always open for business:)
Also, just looking at your pictures, I’d say to steer away from bodycon dresses (unless you have a butt pad). Tight dresses will only accentuate your bust/hip ratio. Get some separates to mix and match, or just start searching for new dress silhouettes. It can be tight up top, but you need it to be flirty or A line at the bottom.
Do you guys have anything to add?
Love + Light,