How to master the style challenge top heavy

#dressyourbodyshape what to wear when you are y-shaped post banner

Full bust and barely there hips

One of my readers asked what clothes are best for a Y-shape body. In her case, it is a size 8-10 top due to a DD bust and a size 0-2 bottom on a 5 ft 4 (1.63 m) frame. While such a big difference between the chest and the bottom is rare, her case gives an example of the Y-body or so called inverted triangle body shape. It means that the top is 1 to 2 sizes larger than the bottom. People often call this body shape top heavy. The description or name is due to the breasts being the prominent feature.

A friend of mine, who has a size 44DDD once said “Guys just stare at my breasts. Sometimes it’s so bad that I want to wear a T-shirt with an upward pointing arrow saying “My face is up here.”

Of course, minimizer bras can squeeze the girls in, but only so much. And who wants to be in such a “cage” day-in day-out or even when the temperatures are in the 100s (>37.8oC)?

In case, you don’t know your body shape, you can determine your body shape type with this free body type finder.

Since I am the opposite of full breasted, in other words flat like a pancake, I will use photos from affiliates to demonstrate best clothes for the yY-shape body. Nevertheless, I will show you my OOTD at the end of this post.

What works for gals with a full bust

The styling goal for women with full breasts is to downplay their breasts and create a long lean vertical line. Your styling rule No. 1 should be to put the fit of your breast first.

blouse full breast
Office appropriate outfit women with full breast: Brown QICAISHANGDAO
long sleeve folds stand collar solid beaded blouse available at StyleWe with light loss trousers

Try a fitted collarless double breasted coat with vertical darts. Key is to focus on great fit in the shoulders and bust. Princess cut blazers and dresses slenderize. They curve up from the waist to the shoulders and draw the attention up to your shoulders and down to your waist. In other words, away from your breasts. Pick clothes in substantial, crisp fabrics like cotton or popelin.

Add your brooches about an inch under your color bone half way between the collar bone and your armpit like Liz Taylor often did when she wore a LBD. This trick draws the eyes away from your cleavage and breasts.

When wearing button down shirts, Princess cuts are your friend. Make sure you don’t have a gap between your second and third Button. Riders by Lee has a push button right there. In case you misses my Riders by Lee button-down shirt review, here is the link to the post. Always make the “reality check” with your button downs. Bend over – do they spill out? Do the buttons pop open? Is there an unwanted gap?

V- and scoop necks are office appropriate. Try slight shoulder pads to balance your top. For going out, try a strapless fitted camisole with pants. Always wear the darker color on top and the lighter colors on your bottom to balance your body.

Have the right bra! Your girls shouldn’t spill over. Invest in a great strapless bra for bare styles.

When you are tall try loose pants to balance your top. Try a loose (not oversize) top with a straight denim skirt, straight pants, or pencil skirt.

#dressyourbodyshape full bust
Shirt with Princess seams and peplum to balance a Y-shape body. Available at eShakti as ruffle trim peplum poplin top.

When it comes to dresses go for shapes that offer fit on the top and are fuller on the bottom to balance your body type. Define your waist. When belting, go for a belt in the same color. V-necks are your friend as they draw the eye up.

#dressforyourbodyshape little white dress for busty women
Perfect little white dress for vacation and the weekend with eyelet, Princess seams and a slight full skirt to balance the top. Available at eShakti as floral eyelet cotton belted dress.

Go for structured dresses rather than stretch dresses. Look for a Princess cut dress that balances your bust with the skirt like the American classic little white dress.

#advancedstyle best dresses for full bust women
Trudy – Black with white pin dots. Available at Karina dresses. This dress is made in the USA.
#styleyourshape dress for full bust
Tara floral dress. Available from Karina dresses

For tops and dresses try small, read 1/8 inch thin horizontal stripes.

What doesn’t work for busty gals

Steer away from anything cropped that is shorter than your hip. It would just emphasize your girls. Avoid ruffles or embellishment like embroidery or other stitch on on the breasts. They make them just look bigger and are best for women with small busts. No fur collars! They add weight where you won’t need it. Avoid flimsy fabrics and anything oversize. It would make you look heavier than you are. Who needs that?

Avoid spill over. Quadruple-boobs are never stylish, they look trashy.

When you liked the outfit tips inthis post, and want recipes for all kind of dressing situation in midlife, buy my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.

P.S. Like this post, but you have a different dressing challenge? You can find tips how to dress when you are petite, how to wear red when you are a red head, or how to dress when you have a short torso in the posts add the links. When you have a body challenge you want me to address let me know. Send me an email.


I wore this navy floral dress with boat neck to work. This Karina dress is perfect for women with a cup A. You don’t want much cleavage where there is no view.

#fashionover50 woman with dress and coat
Karina Dresses boat neck dress with A-line skirt, Anne Klein nude pointy toe pumps, and Burberry Brit trench coat (all own)

As it looked like there might be some rain in the mix, I added my Burberry Brit trench coat.

#fashionover50 midlife woman in floral dress with pointy toe heels and trench coat
Karina Dresses boat neck dress in navy with red abstract floral print, Anne Klein nude pointy toe pumps, and Burberry Brit trench coat, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Jord wooden bamboo watch, vintage bangle (all own), and halftee c/o Halftee

If you liked any of these outfit inspirations, it would help me if you pinned them to your own Pinterest board. It’s a great way that your friends, family, and others can see them too.

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. You don’t pay more when you purchase a product through my link. These links just make it easier for you to find something, and I get a few cents when you purchase it. I so appreciate your support of High Latitude Style. Thank you!

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