The Best Blouses for the Busty

The Best Blouses for the Busty | CorporetteWhich are the best blouses for those of us who are on the busty/hourglass side? We’ve talked about how to dress professionally if you’re busty and how to fix your own gaping shirts, as well as where to get bespoke dresses for work, but we haven’t totally talked about the best blouses for bustier women. Reader A wonders:

I am an older woman who wears a 44 DD bra. The blouses in the larger women’s department are sized with armholes and sleeves that are too big. I would like to find a silk professional button down shirt, or have one tailored to fit. We live in Montana so I have to shop online. Any suggestions as to where I can find this blouse?

There are a ton of places that make shirts like this, and I’m also going to refer you to the blog Hourglassy, which I enjoy as a reader.  I was particularly intrigued when one of the bloggers there tried to get an off-the-rack shirt tailored for her (which is what I’ve always heard people recommend). (Pictured: The Signature Silk Shirt, available in four colors at for $138.) Readers with bust issues — which are your favorite stores for blouses? Has anyone had custom shirts made from scratch?

That list of stores that I know of in this space:

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How to Wear Dresses If You’re A Size 4 On Top and Size 12 on Bottom

bespoke-dressesLadies, do you buy bespoke dresses and clothing?  How else can you wear dresses if your top and bottom halves are very different sizes? Reader N wonders:

I would like to wear dresses more frequently to the office, but I find it very difficult to find a good fit. I wear a size 4 to 6 on the top, and a 12 to 14 on the bottom (I definitely carry all my weight in my bottom half). Any suggestions on a style/cut of a dress that might work? I don’t always want to wear a wrap dress.

We haven’t talked about how to dress professionally if your top and bottom are different sizes for a long time, so let’s discuss.  My immediate thoughts for reader N:

eShakti sounds PERFECT for you.  Not only can you customize dresses in “standard” sizes — for example, for the dress pictured above you can choose from five different sleeves, four different hem lengths, and two necklines), but you can also get the dress entirely custom made to your exact measurements for just a few dollars more.  (Portrait collar poplin dress, starting at $59.95 at eShakti.)

– There are a number of new specialty boutiques popping up that do custom sizes, as well.  For example, Carrie Hammer[Read more…]

Suit Jacket Ripped? Some Thoughts on Repair…

What do you do if the elbow of your suit jacket ripped? Reader K has a great question…

I just had the elbow of a blazer (mid-price point Club Monaco suit) tear. What do you suggest I do? Can I put elbow patches on it and turn it into a casual piece for Fridays? It is about a year and a half old, so it is unlikely I will be able to return it.

Hmmmn. Hmmn. This one has me stumped.  I have never had an elbow rip in all my years of wearing blazers — so this may be a problem with that specific garment you bought.  A few ideas:

First, contact the company. They may offer to put on the elbow sleeves for you, offer you a new blazer, or (one hopes) at least offer you a sizeable discount on a new blazer. (Here‘s an interesting blog post from the blogger at The Post-Grad Blog, who — when her J.Crew blazer ripped — had them offer to first put on elbow patches, but who then wrote to the president and got the entire jacket replaced.)  According to the Club Monaco website you can call a customer service representative at 1-888-733-6410.  Some tips before calling: [Read more…]

How To Buy Quality Pieces Without Looking Old

Armani jacketCan younger women buy quality suiting pieces like Armani and St. John’s, without looking old?  Reader J has an excellent question:

I recently bought this Armani Collezioni jacket on an impulse. The price was too good to pass. But after I got home and tried it on a few more times, I start to wonder if this jacket would make me look too old if I pair it with a black skirt or a pair of black pants. I’m in my mid 30s and I thought this jacket could add 10 years if I appear all in black. What do you think? What should I wear with it to show the fine detail of the Armani design without adding 10 years to my age? I’d really appreciate your advice.

What a great question.  I think some pieces — particularly higher-necked, conservative pieces — can tend towards looking a bit “older”.  Here are a few tips off the top of my head for how to look your age, but I’m really curious to see what the readers say: [Read more…]

Sponsored Post: Quincy Apparel’s Tailored Looks (And a Much Smarter Sizing System)

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Quincy Apparel, stylish work pieces with a smart approach to sizing.

“What if there were clothes that were boardroom-appropriate but still allowed the young, on-the-go professional woman to feel as stylish and authentic at work as she did in her downtime? And, what if those clothes actually fit well and didn’t break the bank?” Those were the questions that led two Harvard Business School graduates, Alex Nelson and Christina Wallace, to launch their own line, Quincy Apparel. The online-only brand (which offers free shipping and free returns) gives everyone a quiz to find your perfect size* — and offers a second size for free when you order from them. [Read more…]

Tailoring – What Are Your Top Five Alterations?

The Top Alterations Women Request at the Tailor | Corporette“Tailoring can really make or break an outfit.” We’ve heard it a million times! On blogs like Extra Petite and Alterations Needed, the bloggers talk — a lot — about what alterations they get done to make things fit. (Jean from ExtraPetite even guest posted on which suiting alterations you should consider.)  I always think every body is different — but that said, there is a lot to be learned from which are the most COMMON alterations. So I thought we’d have a poll: which are the top 5 alterations that you get the most often? Do you think tailoring makes a big impact in your wardrobe? For those of you who’ve lost or gained weight, have you had success with altering older clothes to fit your new body? (If relevant, please consider disclosing your height, body type, and maybe even your weight in the comments.) (You can answer up to 5 times in the poll.)  (If I haven’t listed something that you get done frequently, let me know and I’ll try to add it to the poll.) (Pictured: Expert Tailoring Alterations, originally uploaded to Flickr by Jeremy Brooks.)
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