The Best Solutions for Gaping Shirts

the best solutions for gaping shirtsSince it’s been a while since we last discussed this particular workwear issue for those of us on the bustier side, we thought it’d be a great time to talk about the best solutions for gaping shirts. Last time, we gave some DIY options for gaping blouses, including recommendations for sewing, taping, and pinning to close up the gaps — and more recently, we’ve talked about the best women’s dress shirts and dress shirts for for women with large breasts, as well as the best workwear for different body types, blazers for busty women, and clothes for the curvy professional.

Here are some suggestions from readers on the best solutions for gaping shirts (other than walking around with a folder in front of you all day like the model in the stock photo, that is):

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The Best Dress Shirts for Women If You’re Busty

The Best Dress Shirts for Women with Large Breasts

2018 Update: We still think this is a great roundup of the best dress shirts for women with large breasts, but if you’re a busty professional, you may want to check out some of our other content, including our most recent roundup of the best dress shirts for women with large breasts. 

When you’ve got a big bust, shopping for blouses that actually fit and flatter can be pretty frustrating (see: “Why does fashion ignore big breasts?”), but there are some quality brands out there that specialize in dress shirts for women with large breasts. We last rounded up these busty blouse brands back in 2013, but the landscape has changed a bit, so we thought we’d do an update!

Pictured, clockwise: black / white / orange / white

In the past we’ve offered style tips for busty women and talked about how to dress professionally if you’re busty. We’ve discussed issues such as how to fix gaping blouses and whether a blazer must button to fit, as well as rounded up companies making bespoke dresses and blazers for the busty. Note also that Hourglassy is an invaluable resource if you aren’t already following along. (By the way, before you consider any of the brands below, make sure you’re wearing the correct size bra, which of course can affect how your tops fit.)

Here are some brands offering dress shirts for women with large breasts:

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The Best Work Clothes for Different Body Types

best work clothes for different body types
2018 Update:
We still like this roundup the best work clothes for different body types, but if you’re a busty professional, you may also want to check out some of our other content, including our most recent roundup of the best lingerie to buy at Nordstrom.

Pear… apple… hourglass… triangle… ruler… what’s your body type? More importantly, which are the best work clothes for different body types? Whatever your size or shape, what is your power outfit — the general style/shapes of clothes that make you feel great? Kate and I have studied the comments on our last post on dressing for your body type, and Kate’s rounded up some helpful resources on the topic below, but let’s open it up to you ladies! For the sake of discussion, please note:

  1. your general shape and size
  2. which workwear brands you’ve had luck with and are the first you shop
  3. which workwear brands tend to be misses for you
  4. what your power outfit is for your workweek, OR what the building blocks of your wardrobe are (pants or dress? blazer or cardigan? what shape of dress? what length and type of pant?)

When we last talked about the best brands for your body type, commenters had a lot of notes. (This was from Feb. 2015, so pretty recently, but before the new pants regime at Banana Republic, and also before the lead designer change at Ann Taylor/LOFT.) I’ve tried to be helpful by grouping things below by the classic “body shape” classifications, but looking through comments it seems like people in different groups mentioned the same brands because the waist-to-hip ratios worked for them (so hourglasses and pears mentioned a lot of the same brands, while rulers and apples mentioned a lot of the same brands), as well as for bust-to-waist ratios (so hourglasses and triangles mentioned a lot of the same brands). Obviously bodies come in all shapes and sizes, so the classic “body shape” ideas are a bit of garbage; don’t worry too much if none of the categories (or several) seem to fit.

I found the lists interesting for two reasons. First, a few brands appear on almost every list, namely Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Classiques Entier, and J.Crew — some of that may be because they’re so common that everyone’s found SOMETHING. Also, both AT and BR are known for offering different pants fits, also, which may also explain a lot. The second interesting takeaway: some workwear brands appear on almost no lists. Ladies who love DvF, Rebecca Taylor, and Uniqlo, let’s hear from you!

The brands mentioned by commenters are below — note that brands mentioned most are listed at the top of the list.

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10 Workwear Style Tips for Busty Women

busty women style tips for work2018 Update:  We still stand by these busty women style tips, but if you’re a busty professional, you may want to check out some of our other content, including our most recent roundup of the best lingerie to buy at Nordstrom.

One of our top posts of all time is one a friend suggested I write, back in the early days of the blog: how to dress professionally if you’re busty. We haven’t offered busty women style tips in a while, so I thought we’d discuss. But let me be clear at the outset: there’s nothing inherently unprofessional about being busty — women come in all shapes and sizes.  I’m not about to suggest you go buy a minimizer and try to pretend that you’re a 34B.  But: dressing well while busty can be a challenge because so many clothes are made with other body shapes in mind — and for work it can be particularly trying since so many conservative styles are rooted in menswear. Furthermore, if you wear something that obviously does not fit or has fit issues (gaping, pulling) it reflects a judgement call. So — here are some new tips and guidelines on how to dress for work if you’re busty, from someone who’s been everything from a 30F to a 38G over the years…

(Pictured: If you’re petite and busty this is yet another reason to watch Crazy Ex Girlfriend — her work outfits are mostly hits for me. The video this screenshot is from is hilarious (“Heavy Boobs”), but it is probably NSFW.)

Finding the Right Bra is Half the Battle

If you're a busty woman looking for style tips for work and beyond, check out this post -- it's an update of one of our oldest, most popular posts, Ten Things about Dressing Professionally If You're Busty. While there's nothing inherently unprofessional about having large breasts, Kat's own DD+ boobs have taught her that there's definitely some finesse needed in dressing professionally if your have large breasts or are busty. So these are her top ten tips - please check the full post for more details and busty style tips.

 

  1. Invest in a great bra that fits you. The right bra will lift you up and support you. It will not give you quadboob. It may have an odd size that you’ve never even heard of before (28FF, for example).  The right bra will not make you worry about falling out of it when you bend over. It will not cut into your shoulders (that’s a sign your band size is too big) or fall off your shoulders. (Note that your straps can be shortened at the tailor — and that you can check out lingerie brands just for petites, like The Little Bra Company, Lula Lu, or even the Bare Necessities special section for petites). A good bra will take work to find and may cost you some money, but it will be worth it in spades. I highly recommend going to a bra shop and getting fitted — think Nordstrom, not Victoria’s Secret (link goes to to one woman’s fitting experience at VS with lots of pictures; probably NSFW). In NYC I’ve used Bratenders over the years and La Petite Coquette — I’ve also heard great things about Linda’s Bra Shop — and in London I’ve been fitted at Rigby & Peller. Ladies who have a favorite shop in your city, please shout it out in the comments. Once you know your size you can watch for sales; I tend to get new bras at Nordstrom’s sales, Bare Necessities sales, or even sometimes Amazon.

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Clothes for the Curvy Professional

Workwear Brands for the Curvy Professional | Corporette

2018 Update: We still like this roundup of clothing brands for the curvy professional, but if you’re a busty professional, you may also want to check out some of our other content, including our most recent roundup of the best lingerie to buy at Nordstrom.

Are there any workwear brands that cater to the professional curvy woman? Reader V wonders…

I’m not plus size – but I am curvy. As in, I hate most clothing stores as I actually can’t fit one size across my boobs but look matronly the next size up. I live in the UK and have recently discovered Pepperberry as a revelation (extra size options for boobs!), but the stuff does veer on the casual side (and the fabrics aren’t always the best). Any other brands catering for the professional curvy girl or is it just getting tailoring?

Interesting question, V! As someone who’s always been large of chest, we’ve talked a lot about workwear for the curvy woman — from curve-friendly blazers to bespoke dresses to blouses for the busty.  We haven’t done a roundup recently, though, so let’s take a look.  (And Reader V, consider yourself lucky to be in the UK — I’ve always found there to be a ton of great options there!) Pictured: an eShakti dress with tons of customizable options; it starts at $69.95. 

Some great brands and online shops to note:

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Busty Blazers

busty blazers

2018 Update: We still stand by this advice on where to find busty blazers, but if you’re a busty professional, you may want to check out some of our other content, including our most recent roundup of the best lingerie to buy at Nordstrom.

Which are the best blazers if you’re small and busty?  Reader K wonders:

One of my biggest obstacles when it comes to finding business appropriate clothes are my breasts. I feel like it’s impossible to find a jacket or blouse that won’t either pull or else drown me. Either my jacket is so big that I can’t find my arms (and definitely not my waist) or I can’t close it over the girls. I’m a 32G (by nature, not by choice) and a size two everywhere except my chest. I would like to look both professional and not like a child wearing her mom’s jacket. I work in banking, so jackets are a must. (And yet, I’m young enough that I don’t have the kind of funds to have tailor made clothes.) Am I all alone in the world? Is there anyone out there who makes professional clothes for small women with large breasts?

Interesting.  We’ve talked about whether jackets must button to “fit”, how to dress professionally with curves, where to get blouses for the busty, and even how to find such clothes on a budget — but not how to find blazers that fit an hourglass frame. In our last thread on the best suits for small women, Theory seemed to be the winner, which you may want to try — but I’ve never found the brand to be particularly curve-friendly. (If you’re petite as well as small-statured, here was our more recent thread on the best workwear for petites.) I’m curious to hear what the readers say, but here are some thoughts:

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