How to dress when you have a large bust

by Sylvia

how to dress for large bust

Women come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and you will need to decide which parts of  your body you want to highlight and which you want to downplay. Only you can decide this for yourself. For example, if you are adorned with a large bust, some of you may want to downplay this while others may want to celebrate this part of your body and accentuate it.

Today I will look at some ways on how you can dress when you have a large bust. If you are looking for advice on dressing the small bust you will find ideas here.

Highlighting your bust

If you are proud of your big bust and like to show it off even more or want to give the illusion that your bust is bigger than it actually is, then here are some tips on what to wear to enhance your bust:

  • The right bra: always choose a good bra underneath that supports your breasts and lifts them up.
  • Deep V necklines with cleavage will focus the eyes’ attention on your bust.
  • Halter necks: the ultimate bombshell look.
  • Adding a pendant between breasts will focus the attention on them.
  • Cowl neckline: any drapes that fall on top of the bust will always enhance them.
  • Ruching: See how it appears that I have a full bust in the picture on the right! Created by the ruching and higher waist.
  • High waistline: emphasizes your breasts.

Downplaying your bust

If you are very well endowed you may want to downplay your bust so it does not overwhelm your look. Here is what to do:

  • Again a good bra is essential. You still want your breasts up high, so you can bring more attention to your waist. You will want a bra which offers good support and keeps you in place without boosting your cup size any further (unless that is your preference!) Here are some good options for large busts.
  • V-necklines are your friend, although you don’t want it too low or show any cleavage. Scoop, sweatheart and square necklines also work. The eye will focus on your exposed skin and not so much your breasts. If you are layering you can also use your jacket as the v-line as Georgette from GrownandCurvyWoman shows in the pictures below.
  • Opt for large necklaces: if you choose anything small your bust will just appear a lot bigger. It should rest above your bust line.
  • Other accessories can work well too. Direct attention away from your bust by having a different focal point like a nice belt on your hip or a hat.
  • Avoid baggy tops or ill fitting clothes: tops and dresses should be fitted and show a clear waist definition.
how to dress when you have a large bust
  • Avoid skinny straps: you need much more support.
  • Cap sleeves, shoulder pads or shoulder details can help to draw attention away from the bust and up.
  • Don’t wear sleeves that end at the mid section of your bust.
  • Buy shirts that fit; never wear shirts that gape at your bust. If you can’t find any that fit you, go for knitted tops instead. Alternatively, buy your shirts to fit your bust and have the rest taken in by your tailor.
  • Wide collars will draw the eye upwards and away from your bust.
  • Avoid lower armholes like dolman sleeves or batwings. The eye should be drawn upwards.
  • Play around with belts: belting high usually emphasizes your bust (as shown in the picture from myself in the red dress above) and you may look better with a lower belt.
  • Lengthen your torso: so tucking blouses and tops is best avoided.
  • Avoid stiff fabrics, boxy blazers and big cable-knit sweaters. You will look much better in a torso-skimming dress that you can belt. A wrap dress will suit many busty women.
  • Prints can also be very effective in distracting attention away from your bust as Georgette so effectively shows above.

 Did I miss anything? What do you use to either highlight or downplay your bust?

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Greetje Kamminga

I am following most suggestions, so I am coming to terms with it. Lovely to see Georgette again. I am going to follow her, she seems so nice and daring.


2 Sylvia

She is! Constantly dressing with patterns and colours!


3 Marla

Very informative post.


4 Suzanne

I am like the Baby Bear in “Goldielocks” – mine is just right. LOL! But I think a wrap dress is probably one of the most flattering styles any woman can wear. It balances out the top and bottom halves and gives you a tiny waist. Love them!


5 Sylvia

A little firmer would be nice 🙂 but other than that I can’t complain either… Do you know that I don’t have even a single wrap dress in my closet….


6 Raquel

Sylvia, this is the kind of very helpful article for which I treasure your site. Thanks!


7 Sylvia

Great to read that this was helpful to your Raquel!


8 Petra

Thanks Sylvia – good article. I also find that a long (length stops below bustline) slim silver chain with something nice hanging from it (there are so many attractive “baubles” to hang on chains these days) helps draw the line elsewhere from the bust – kind of like a v-neckline.


9 Sylvia

Thanks Petra. Great feedback!


10 Phyllis Edson

Good tips. Some of these I had not even considered. Chunk jewelry? Great! Shoulder pads and capped sleeves and wide collars? Never would have thought of those.


11 tseli

i would like to be a fashin model for full size woman i am from Africa and i believe what it takes to be full size top model. please help


12 Sylvia
13 Diana

This is helpful do you have an suggestions for camp type t-shirts you know the one that say the camp or group on them I have church ones and they just come in one look. I have to wear them a couple times a year and the pic in them always make me look 40-50lbs heaver I cant destroy them I though of taking then in at the sides around the waist have to keep the word visible. and suggestions. I wear them for our church camp and mission trips its hot out then so layering does not work. Any suggestions would be great as I hate being that person hiding from all the pics.


14 Sylvia

Well that’s a tough one as these are not the best t-shirts for you. Perhaps you can cut a v-neck into them? Tucking them in the waist could help too. Or perhaps layer it with a really thin chiffon sleeveless vest?


15 Denise

Hi. A tad confused. I’m 5′ 2″ with a large bust. Advice for a petite woman is to not wear large jewellery & tuck blouse/shirts in & wear belts same colour as trousers. Advice for a large bust is the opposite of all that so what do you do!! I’m trying to change my dress style as I noticed in a shop mirror I looked too squat & baggy in casual wear. Please help!!


16 Sylvia

All my articles provide guidelines, not clearcut rules. Every body is different so each woman needs to try and see which tips apply to them. What you need to try and achieve is to create balance and create a silhouette that pleases you. Mix and match, try different things, take photos and see what works. My best advice and a step and step guide is in my style course where I explain the concept of balance and silhouette more clearly and can also look at photos (optional) and give feedback.


17 Julie Baker

Being well endowed at a 32D by age 14 (I’m 44 now and a 36 DD) I’ve discovered a few timeless tricks to lessen the attention on my boobs. Dolman sleeves on a dark colored blouse or sweater with a pinched (elasticized) waist work great for the hourglass/pear body; curves shown, bosom size diminished by the batwing sleeve! Black anything is great at minimizing more than a $60-70 bra with wires sticking you in the armpits (you still need a supportive bra). And for light colored or bright prints, wear them in a fabric that flows as well as a style that does not bind the girls up thus drawing more attention to them.


18 Sylvia

Thanks for the feedback Julie!


19 designersandyou

1. I would like to go with Stretchy fabrics, will be most convenient and perfect for busty type of body shape.
2. Solid-color dress with contrast color matching of top & bottom is an ultimate solution.
3. Heavy fabric’s open jacket will help to maintain shape and look.
4. I would suggest avoiding horizontal stripes top
5. Pair of sweatshirt top with skinny jeans OR Crew-neck T-shirt and tiny skirt will help to look slimmer
6. Easy-to-wear and most flattering shaped outfits for women with larger bust are Rompers and jumpsuits.


20 SuM

Has anyone found a good bra that is not underwire. They poke and dig into me.
Also I want to minimize my size and underwire just makes the boobs stick out more.
I am a 40 DD Not happy with my size!


21 Jean

When I was a 34KK I wore Decent Exposures as I couldn’t get a payment out to the Polish brand that actually makes wired bras in that size. Now that I’m back down to a 34H post reduction I need to figure out my new size in that brand. At my largest their 34L should have fit. However their 32H worked better for me. Now that bra is too large so I need to down size again. I also want to try Bra 30 and Breast Nest. According to reviews on Amazon and on Hourglassy blog Bra 30 lifts and supports via compression and there is under bust sweat. Breast Nest leaves them looking droopy but no under bust sweat. Seems like a fair trade off to me as that’s the bane of my existence when it’s hot. Unlike the rest of my body that area itches and rashes. Also it pretty permanently stinks in the Summer. Probably would only wear it around the house though and wear the Decent Exposures and Bra 30 outside. I’d just have to apply cornstarch to eliminate the moisture. In a pinch though Genie type bras worked while I was waiting for all my swelling to go down. They however don’t work very well in the heat. I’m not happy with my size either. I plan to get another reduction to hopefully lose another 5 or ideally 7 inches to get back to a 34D which is the size that balances with my hips.


22 Angelina

I hate shoulder pads; they give me 80s flashbacks. I also have broad shoulders so I feel like shoulder pads highlight that. Everything else I follow.


23 Liz Hands

Yes you’re totally right – it’s all about dressing for your own bodyshape and taking the bits of advice which work for you!


24 Kammi

Although I see the logic in not tucking in your tops to elongate the torso, I find that by doing that it leaves me with a very pregnant look as the fabric just hangs straight down from my large bust making my stomach look like it is just as big, even though I am a size 6 on the bottom. By not tucking, the blouse looks like a maternity top (the old fashioned kind). Tucking doesn’t work either. Not sure what the answer would be.


25 Sylvia

It all depends on the kind of top. If you top is a bit more structured or has a waist it may be better. The length of the top also makes a real difference.
You may want to try semi tucking with creates an asymmetrical vertical line. You have to find a way to add more structure to your top. You can play with belts also and see if that is helpful to you. You may like to go by my friend Greetje for more inspiration. She has a large bust but has learned how to dress for it.


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