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Are *any* curves appropriate in the office? Reader L worries about how to dress professionally with a bubble butt (her words, not mine!)…
You’ve covered dressing with curves at least twice before (how to dress professionally if you’re busty and whether curvy girls can wear sheath dresses), but I’d love to hear you and my fellow readers weigh in on a curve that wasn’t mentioned in either post: the curve from lower back to tush.
I’m a 4 top/ 8 bottom and have a small bust, but I have a significant bubble butt. My waist looks pretty straight from the front but very, very curved from the side. When I wear shirts tucked in, I’m afraid that the curve from my back to my butt looks too suggestive.
I’m tired of feeling obligated to always cover my waist with a jacket or cardigan. Am I just too paranoid?
Well. Of course, looking around the web, there is lots of advice on how to minimize a big butt — wear bootcut pants! wear dresses! wear tops that end at your hipbone instead of your natural waist! make your shoulders seem broader by wearing boatnecks! Here on Corporette we’ve also given suggestions for how to dress professionally when your top and bottom are two very different sizes.
Update: Where to Find Work Pants in Curvy Sizes
The easiest way to fix the problem of dressing in a polished way with a big bum is to buy clothing that is intended for “curvy” sizes, i.e. people who have a larger than average hip to waist ratio.
Hunting for curvy pants? As of 2023, you can find them at Ann Taylor (regular and petite sizes 00-18), Banana Republic (0-20, 00P-14P), Banana Republic Factory (00-20, 00P-14P, 00T-20T), Loft (regular, petite, and tall sizes 00-18), Express (regular, short and long sizes 0-18), and White House | Black Market (00-18, regular, short, and long). Talbots also offers some options in sizes regular, petite, plus, and plus-size petites as does Lane Bryant.
General Advice on Dressing Professionally with a Bubble Butt
I have a few opinions here, but I’m curious to hear what the readers say. (And of course, sometimes curves are great — Tyra Banks considers the “booty tooch” up there with smizing.)
a) Women have curves. It’s OK to have curves because you’re, you know, a woman. (It’s also ok if you’re a woman who doesn’t have curves.)
Some women (like myself) are large busted, and I would never think we have to wear minimizers or athletic bras to squash “the girls.” That said, am I going to avoid wearing push-up bra at the office, and am I going to be extra sensitive about dresses and tops that show a bit of skin on top? You bet.
Similarly, I would draw the line for you there — don’t do anything to enhance your bum (such as this), and be wary of anything that shows any skin. In fact, I think it’s even more important for you to make sure that your clothes are tailored to avoid the gape at the back of your pants when your bum and waist are much different sizes.
(I would beg of you to avoid too-small pants, but really that goes across the board for all women. If your pants or skirts are smiling (pulling taut against the front so the fabric creases up into a smile), then you need to go up a size.)
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b) Do I think that you have to hide all evidence of your curves and always wear a jacket or cardigan to hide your curves? I don’t. I know this is easier said than done, though, because this is primarily a comfort level for you. If you take your jacket off to go get coffee and feel like everyone is staring at your bum, that can sap your confidence and distract you from other, more productive thoughts. So do what makes you comfortable. But ultimately: I think everyone else can handle it.
Readers, what do you think? Should women with larger bums dress to hide them? Are pronounced curves unprofessional, even if they’re 100% natural?
2022 updated images (peach) via Stencil.