Would you love to just downsize your best and make it look a cup smaller? The right clothing can do just that.
First, let’s talk about what makes you a “curvy” girl and that’s actually the most challenging part.
Some girls will say “My problem zone is my chest I find my breasts too big. When I wear T-shirts it pulls on the sides horizontally and I feel uncomfortable”. Others will tell you “My problem zone is my waist. Others will say “Well, definitely my hips” and the other group will say “Well, I hate my legs”. So, once you’ve set your plus size you still don’t know what to do with information so to say. The one thing that you guys have in common is that you have problems to find clothes in stores that actually fit you even if it’s your sign on paper because most brands make patterns for a model sizes with no curves and then they just scale up the pattern two by two and you end up with the size that actually fits you on paper but that looks like no real person. Yeah, you do want clothes to fit, right?
Conclusion: if you’re plus size girl, you still have different proportions. Plus size is not a homogeneous body type. Right, so how do you do it?
What’s the best strategy to suit your body type? Here it goes.
You need to define, identify the parts of your body, the zone that you like most. That’s the zone you want to highlight, no matter where it is – your arms, your waist, your legs, your shoulders – it doesn’t matter. Find that zone, so to say, and then highlight that zone and build all the rest of your outfit around it.
Let’s have a quick look at celebrities and see how they do it.
The first one is Adele. Adele typically works longer sleeves, at least below the elbow. Her hem on dresses is always below the knee (I think always – no exception). She rarely shows any cleavage and she always has a marked waist. When you look at her, you can immediately see which parts of her body she likes and which one she doesn’t like? And this silhouette, this dress shape is really flattering on her. Actually, it’s the perfect outfit for her.
Another good trick is to wear big sleeves. On that outfit, she does it really well. It makes your core, which is hips, waist, and torso look thinner and that’s quite smart of her.
The second example, I really wanted to show you is Amy Schumann because she’s quite a personality, right? But she’s also a plus-size model, so she’s more body positive in body confidence than Adele. And that’s quite a contrast you will see.
Her dresses are always shorter, usually, mid-thigh at least above the knee. She often has a cleavage. It seems to be a part of her body that she realized to show. She doesn’t mind wearing bear arms on red carpets and she likes to show her shoulders. She plays with decorations and drapery. And that is another smart trick for your body type.
Now those were examples were red carpets (I’m with you☺), so let’s switch to ready-to-wear. And I will show you types of clothing that can work really well on your body.
First, read these 10 fast and useful hacks
Let’s start with dresses pack 1
If you’re top-heavy and shopping for dresses, then dare to wear stars with plunging V-neck lines. This elongates the torso, making the neck look longer.
2- If you do not feel comfortable with a low-cut model, there are other options as well. A narrow hike art dress softly follows your contours and is irresistibley seductive.
3- Embrace the wrap style. It will bring focus to your slim waist and give a flattering hourglass figure.
4- Shirt dresses that link at the wheist have the same effect and are easily adjustable depending on your body type.
Now, on to wearing tops
5- The trick is opting for simple styles. Don’t go for elaborate ruffles as these will make your bust even bigger. Instead, find a pretty pattern and leave the top button open to create a V-neck line. This easy styling trick draws the eye down and visually streamlines your shape.
6- With knits just make sure to keep the fabric thin as it will bring a danger of hugging you in the wrong places and can add extra bulk.
7- Don’t forget – everyone knows black is the most slimming color,too. Such an easy trick, so take advantage of this. But, always pair with a pop of color.
8 – Make sure that your bra is the right size and fits you properly. Not only will it shave centimeters off your bust, but it will also slim your look as a whole. Think about it. If your breasts are sitting down, here rather than upper it takes an area from your waist. Defining your waist makes you look much slimmer. So your bra will help to emphasize your waist and make you look fabulous.
9 – You want to wear V-neck lines and scoop neck lines. Avoid anything high cut, because it makes you look like you’ve got one big boob. It’s not a good look. Rather, wear V-neck lines or scoop and this doesn’t mean that you have to flash a whole bunch of cleavage. It just means that your beautiful face has space and that your breasts are then separated and lifted. Who doesn’t want that?
10 – Avoid wearing clothes that try and cover up your bust. It’s not going to work. Many women really struggle to find clothes that will close properly or fit their bust properly and give them shape. Rather, wear clothes that fit you well in your shape. And if you need to, if it’s a blouse or jacket, wear it open wear something underneath it and it will draw the eye down the body as opposed to across. Does that make sense?
Types of clothing
The first technique was to have large sleeves. They can be large and flowery all along or just there at the bottom. Like you saw on Adele – that’s a very smart technique.
The other one was using decorations and drapery to attract the attention away from your silhouette. You have to look at the decorations first. So, that’s the Amy Schumann technique. Those were the two first ones.
Then, if you’re going to wear jeans or pants made of stiff fabric that doesn’t stretch – jeans are a good example, then it doesn’t matter if you take them in the low waist or high waist, but take them loose. The waistband should not compress your belly. Otherwise, you’re going to feel Uncomfortable.
The next thing that works well for you: an empire waist. So, it starts at the top of the breasts, and just below the breast, it starts to flare out towards the waist. When you’re looking at the waist to make sure it’s long enough to not show a part of your belly between the pants and the top. Or you go for really cropped, really, really cropped just below the breasts, and very boxy because it will make your waists optically look thinner. So that’s also a smart technique. Since we’re talking about crop the thing that you should avoid though are pants that are 6/8 or 7/8 of the full length. I would go for full length or really short. But with something that’s just a bit cropped it can make your legs look shorter and that’s not just for you it’s on everyone. Let this be clear. One more thing – it is about the waist. If you feel uncomfortable with your waist another method is to wear a jacket or cardigan or something on top or a blazer that you leave open and that’s in a stiff fabric because it will stand a little bit stiff in front of you, and it will also make your waist look a lot thinner so nobody’s going to notice if you had too much food for lunch. That also works for every woman, by the way. P.S. And for men!
How should I match the shoes?
The shoes that match the leggings, the tights, or the pants that you’re wearing it will also visually, color-wise, extend your legs. That’s another way to make you look Taller.
Next step: When you look at fabric while you’re shopping, you have thin fabrics, you have heavy fabrics that are stiffer – go for the stiffer fabrics because they are not going to follow all the contours of your bodies so precisely/
A.k.a they will hide your flaws. Everything you’re not completely comfortable with, it’s going to disappear under the thick fabric. If you’re looking for a dress now, for example, a festive look you can go for one that’s fitted at the top than at the natural waist, it starts to flare out and it ends somewhere between mid-thigh and mid- calves. That’s the Adele technique. That’s perfect for a party. Or you wear a cardigan on top. Those are two examples that I found on Pinterest.
One more tip: If you’re not happy with your outfits and you can’t find the solution in clothes, then why not think about accessories? You could use a statement necklace that hangs at the height that you want to highlight. It’s going to distract from the rest of the outfit. Or you add a purse or you play with fancy shoes, you play with makeup. You have many more options to create the image you want than just the clothes.
Don’t forget to choose the right bra!
Before you even choose clothes, having good bra is essential in your case. Bra with good support is a great example for several reasons. First, it really wraps well, covers the entire breasts and ends up high enough. That’s extremely important to support. You want your breasts to be covered. Then the straps here on the shoulders should be wider which helps carry the weight without hurting the shoulders which are also very important. You have proper boning under the breasts and underneath the bones, you see an extra band of fabric – elastic. That really adds comfort. So, a bra like this (this type is especially good for curvy ladies, by the way) gives you support and comfort. That’s something I would look for.
Then let’s talk about shirts if you have a large bust, you probably have the feeling that shirts, for some reason, never fit right. There is a reason for that and there’s a solution. If you have a large bust you know what I mean. Now, the solution – for you – is to look for shirts that have darts like this one (picture 1).
Picture 1: Van Hausen Shirt
This one is a good example. See how the fabric is taken in on each side under the breast down to the hem level. Those two lines are called the prince lines. It’s not your center. It’s not your sides, where you have seams, two – side seam. It’s exactly in between. You have the same space to the center and to the side. Shirts that are taken in exactly there give you more space for the bust and are better fitted at the waist level because you have this whole line to play with the fit. So, shirts like that are much more likely to fit you and your curves. As an alternative to that could be a dart placed on the side, beside the breasts – from the breast to the side. It would give you a bit less curve, but that can work too. It really depends on the sides and on the shape of your breasts. Technically, darts can be placed any way. On the princess line, you can do whatever you want. You can even combine them. You can have a side dart and the princess starts. The more darts you have, the better fitted, the shirt is likely to be. This dart thing is true not just for shirts, but for any kind of top or dress. That’s in a woven fabric it means that it doesn’t stretch. You need to make it fit yourself and darts are the solution for that.
What should I mainly focus on if I want to wear a top?
If you shopping for tops now, I’d basically focus on two things. First thing, you want the part that sits on the shoulder here to be rather wider than having a thin strap like a tank top. This one is a good example. If the lower area of the neck is wider, your breasts are going to appear smaller in comparison. So, it’s really an optical effect and that’s a smart trick. And then the texture can also help distract the eye away from the breasts. So, to speak lace works really nicely or mini embroidered flowers. I wouldn’t go for big flowers for size proportions reasons. I would stick to small prints repeated prints.
The perfect type of dress
I’d like to add one type of dress that I think is perfect for curvy figures and that’s a wrap dress, typical V-shaped. It’s not tied anywhere. It’s slightly loose and it’s tied on one side asymmetrically to the length that you can really make vary from supermini to floor-length. The brand specializing in wrap dresses, the designer who invented them basically is Diane von Furstenberg (DVF, if you want to look it up), a very smart lady from Belgium. She married a prince, moved to the US and became extremely successful. So, it’s even a nice success history. I like her. I’ve met her when I was in university and she’s really a nice, friendly and smart lady. So, her dresses are even knitted which adds comfort compared to woven fabrics.
Talking about knitwear, when you choose a sweater, I would look rather for finer knits because chunky knits, big sweaters with cable needs and stuff like that might leave you under the impression that you are hiding bulk at the level of your bust and if you have a larger chest already I’m guessing (but it’s really up to you) that you want to try to stay away from that. So, fine knits over chunky knits.
Tips on how to hide the tummy, and still not to expose my large breasts
If you feel uncomfortable in the tummy area, this article is definitely for you. It may be a permanent thing or a temporary phenomenon. Normally, if you are having larger breasts, your thummy is hidden at some level. But, sometime both of the things may be ‘really visible’, and that may impact to your daily life. There are many good reasons why you might want to conceal your tummy at the moment.
Ummm. For instance, you went on holiday and you ate too much. So maybe you gained a bit of weight or you are pregnant and you don’t want to everyone know yet.
So, I wondered as I get the question super often.
How can I help? I went and looked through tons of different garments looking for silhouettes, for shapes, for design details, for examples of garments that I think do the job and conceal your belly area. The result is a list of ideas that I would like to share with you and for each example that I show, I will explain why I think it does the job.
Take it as an inspiration list for your own wardrobe and really just keep the parts that you like. Rather than going for a skin-tight design I would try to add fabric and drapery to the silhouette. The question is where and how to add fabric.
Let’s start with dresses
So, a straight dress works well, I think (picture 2). It’s not just boxy. It is just a bit loose. Because boxy looks like you are trying to hide something. I would go frankly oversized.
The length between the hips and the knees is great if you want to wear that as a mini dress or in winter, over pants for example, skinny black jeans – perfect. It is quite a stiff fabric. Rather heavy weight. So it’s going to keep its shape. And it looks like you’re properly dressed. It doesn’t look like you’re wearing pajamas or sweat pants.
The only thing is that such a design probably works better on taller girls, than on shorter ones.
Let me know in the comments if you disagree. But I think so.
Here is another example (Picture 3), with even more fabric. It’s even more oversized and the length is below the knee this time. It’s a knitted dress, extremely comfortable.
Then, we have A-line dresses. They are always fitted at the top. At least here, around the bust or around the shoulders. And then they flare out as you go downwards. So, the overall look is still very, um, put together. It looks like it’s fitted but it leaves lots of space around the belly area.
This one here (Picture 4) adds a little almost invisible belt element, not too tight, placed at the level of the natural waist, so that’s above the actual belly area, that you want to keep comfortable with. And it brings just a little bit of definition this way.
That one (Picture 5) really only fitted around the chest and it flares out immediately. So, the effect is more dramatic. This fabric is specially liquid-looking. But any other fabric that you take and cut in an A-shape will gather as it folds naturally and that’s called gravity. And create nice and flowery folds in the middle.
If you like long dresses why not look into empire shapes. An empire dress typically is fitted around the breasts, until underneath the breasts, and then it folds in a way that it seems straight. It’s actually a lot of fabric in there, down to the floor.
This is an example, that is actually from a maternity collection (Picture 6). Exactly because it leaves so much space and comfort around the belly and your weight around the waist can vary without you having to switch garments. Um, very practical.
A more casual version because you can also wear empire dresses if you’re not pregnant, obviously, is this one here black, super simple (Picture 7), same effect. For some reason, when you think empire dress you already think of an evening gown or a wedding gown, something dramatic and with beads and bright colors. It doesn’t have to be really. I wish there were more empire dresses meant for daily wear.
Moving on to tops!
I would always try to go for slightly longer ones. If your top ends where the waistband of your bottom- skirt or pants, then the top will ride up- and/or it will create this horizontal visual line exactly at the level that’s your widest point. So, that’s something I would try to avoid. And I would choose tops that are 2 or 3 inches longer than the waistband of my bottom that will be 5 to 8 centimeters. I also wouldn’t tuck the top into the pants for the same reason.
When you go shopping for tops, asymmetry is a smart thing to look for. It’s technically completely closed, but it has one extra panel at the front that’s flowery. It’s in fact the perfect top to conceal a belly.
Longer on one side, much longer, is a great option, too. It will move nicely when you walk.
This one (Picture 8) is interesting because they achieve a visual layering effect. Layering is good, through the fact that they’re using two different colors. That’s also something smart. Um, gray on grays so it’s still monochromatic, very easy to pair with the rest of your wardrobe.
Then a peplum (Picture 9) is a nice shape, also very feminine, if you like that at the same time. Definitely appropriate for the office styled this way. But if you take a lighter fabric, something with a print or brighter color, then it also definitely works in casual situations.
Ruffles are a great design element to distract people (Picture 10). Layered like this- as a dress or a top- works both ways – no one can really say if you’ve gained a few pounds around the waist. Especially because the ruffles are organized asymmetrically. Perfect!
Talking about pants now:
In general, I would rather go for higher waisted pants.
A wrap, or a belt, um type like this one works really well (Picture 11). It’s flexible, you can tie the belt more or less tight, depending on the day, right? This one is the version with slim legs.
If you like rather wider pant legs, then you can definitely find wide leg pants with a high waist like this one here (Picture 12).
Or If you want, um, the higher budget option, there is one designer called Dries van Noten who created pants that are meant for women but inspired by 50s menswear. He’s been doing that for a few seasons now- a few runway seasons- look into that. The pants are high-waisted, closed with a belt extremely comfortable, and I think that’s an optimal shape, really, for your need.
Finally, some thoughts on over-tops.
If I had to choose one type that would be a long cardigan (Picture 13). Long, long, to lengthen the overall silhouette worn open, like this one here. It conceals eventual love handles, and it really makes you appear slimmer, leaner. If the cardigan has pockets, then I would make sure the pockets are placed below the waistline for sure and also below the hipline- really low pockets! The cardigan has to be really long indeed.
A blazer would have the same effect as a cardigan (Picture 14), if you leave it open as well. And a vest, for instance a double breasted one is something chic and tailored- with or without sleeves, longer than the hips, would work as well for a more tailored and formal, um, kind of look.
So, these are general tips for ladies who would like to downsize a bust. I hope you felt inspired, and that you’ve found a couple of ideas or shapes that work with your body.If you enjoyed this article, then we're probably very similar. I'm Victoria Melo, and I know what it’s like to be busty and struggle finding the perfect bra. Not long ago, I was just another girl wearing the wrong bra size. When I finally discovered my real size and found great bras for my busty figure, it felt like a miracle. Now, I'm a bra fitter helping hundreds of women like you find their own miracle. Click here to read my lists of my favorite bras for you.