How to master the style challenge top heavy

Nobody can chose their body shape, but everybody can choose how to dress their body. This post helps to dress big boobs to achieve a proprtionally balanced look.

  1. Full bust and barely there hips
  2. What works for gals with a full bust
  3. What doesn’t work for busty gals
  4. My challenge: Small bust
  5. Wrapping up

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

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 most 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 (higher than 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 Y-shape body. Nevertheless, I will show an outfit of me at the end of this post as an example for the opposite challenge: Small bust.

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

Here are my stylist’s secrets to balance a top heavy body.

  • 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. See the guide at the link for how to accessorize with brooches.

    blue warp dress with pockets
    Karina Dresses Joan wrap dress in trendy blue. The build-in pockets add some volume at the hips.
  • 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 missed 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 the girls spill out? Do the buttons pop open? Is there an unwanted gap? Add a press button if needed.
  • Try a Princess-cut blouse with vertical stripes.
  • V-necks are your friend as they draw the eye up.
  • Heart- and scoop necks are both office appropriate.

    dress cut friendly for full bust women
    Tara floral dress. Available from Karina dresses
  • 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. Neither on top (quadruple boobs alert) nor on the side. Invest in a great strapless bra for bare styles.
  • When you are tall and top-heavy try loose pants to balance your top. Try a loose (not oversize) top with a straight denim skirt, straight pants, or pencil skirt.

    shirt falttering a 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. See this style guide on how to best accessorize with belts.

    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.

     best dresses for full bust women
    Trudy – Black with white pin dots. Available at Karina dresses. This dress is made in the USA.
  • For tops and dresses try small, read 1/8 inch thin horizontal stripes.

What doesn’t work for busty gals

When dressing for your top heavy body make sure that you

  • 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 situations in midlife, buy my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.

My challenge: Small bust

I wore this navy floral dress with boat-neck to work. This Karina dress is perfect for women with a cup A. Boatnecks are your friend. You don’t want much cleavage where there is no view. 😉 As it looked like there might be some rain in the mix, I added my Burberry Brit trench coat.

woman with dress and coat

#fashionover50 midlife woman in floral dress with pointy toe heels and trench coat
Outfit details: 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 like these outfit inspiration photos, 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.

Wrapping up

Your goal is to balance your body by playing down the top and creating the illusion of wider hips. Fitted tops, blazer, dresses and coats are the top heavy lady’s best friends. Get them in the dark colors of your flattering color palette and use the lighter colors for the bottom.

Like this post, but you have a different dressing challenge? You can find style tips for petite women in this guide. When you are both – petite and top heavy use the combinde tips that don’t contra-dict each other. You can find in the post at the link style tips for outfits for short waisted women, i.e. when you have a when you have a short torso.

What is your body challenge to dress for? Let me know so I can address it with a post.

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

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