Thursday, November 15, 2007

RitS Presents: Advice from a Fashion Genius

Once, not very long ago, one of my many anonymous readers requested a post about fashion besides for the big-busted young lady, besides a plethora of Lucky-recommended blazers. I sort of dragged my feet, because it's always easier to randomly find photos and make fun of them than it is to seek out photos that fit a specific criteria, but now I have done it! So here we go!

In general, I dislike fashion rules, especially those geared towards certain body shapes, because they are limiting and there are usually exceptions to them, and there are few absolutes (alright, I have many absolutes, but they are usually more along the lines of "Tie dye is fugly!" and "An ironic mullet is still a mullet!" than they are about wearing black with navy or what have you.)

One classic tip: "Wear all one color for a long and slimming line." As someone who always looks at the fashion tips for the short, I have read this one well over a million times. Maybe it works if you are inclined to wear all black (which I am not) but seriously, do they expect you to pair a green top with green pants or something?

Another stupid one: "Large prints overwhelm the small." Whatever. Print size has much more to do with the shape of the garment. And, my personal favorite: "To lengthen your legs, wear a high cut swimsuit." I remember first reading this one on my friend's older sister's bunkbed, in one of her teen magazines, probably while listening to her tape of that Beck sing "Loser" which I thought was so crazy and teenager-y at the time. And even at ten or whatever, this idea repulsed me, and filled my mind with images like the one above left and this (I seriously tried for like 20 minutes to find more hilarious pictures of high-cut bikinis but could not), and today I only wear swimsuits that resemble this one, which is pretty much the opposite shape, and I have deemed it a million times more flattering than whatever crotch-exposing nightmare ( that one is pretty funny, but I was hoping for, like, a black and neon yellow one on an 80's lady with a huge perm) I have been guided towards.
Anyway, even though it's not usually a good idea to follow all the prescribed fashion rules, it's a good idea to know them because they are based in some ideas about symmetry and balance, however out of whack. If you have big boobs, you want to balance them with the rest of your body, creating a harmonious look.

Wrap dresses are often recommended for the big-boobed, and I selected a few examples from neimanmarcus.com and pasted them together for inspiration. (I am not linking to them, because they're all hella expensive and similar styles can be had for less.) While they may not all be to your liking, and the print on the last one might really be sort of ugly, the general idea of the wrap dress is solid, whether the sleeves are short, puffy, three-quarter, or not existent, and the skirt is full or more narrow. The wrap style has a flattering waist-defining tie---or at least a faux-tie or button with the same effect---that also allows accommodates one's boobs, whatever size they may be, without any pulling or the worry that the bust area will be too tight. The v-neckline is flattering because it shows off the chest while creating the crucial separation (more on that later.)
Secondly, if you are narrow of hip --meaning your hips are not much wider than your waist--you can wear a jersey dress with a closer, clinging knit skirt, whereas if you have more ample hips it's better to go for a fuller skirt or a heavier fabric. I know this because I tried on a jersey wrap dress recently that was a lightweight knit, and it clung to my hips in a non-lovely way. Wrap dresses are nice because they are comfortable, appropriate for work, and come in so many varieties that it's not that hard to find a cute one. There are even vintage wrap dresses- I just found a rayon one in my mom's car from the 40's! They can even be layered over tanks or possibly turtlenecks come winter.
The looks above, all from the less classy forever21.com are looks that, generally, will not work so well with a larger bust. The first dress, which almost might work in a flapperish way but is probably really ugly in real life, provides no definition for the boobs, not even one seam or pleat, as well as no waist definition, so the whole thing will just hang down from the bust like a curtain. The second top, which no one should ever even try on or think about buying anyway because it's poly satin, would work if the neck was more of a v or scoop style, but as it is will just make you look like you are all boob. The last top, again, doesn't provide any definition for the boobs, creating a sports-bra type effect, and cuts across the bust in not the best place.

These dresses, also selected from f21, also will work well. The first one works for the same reasons a wrap dress does- it has a nicely defined waist, room/definition for the boobs, and a flattering v-neck. The second one is kind of blousy, but the elastic waistline gives it shape, and the sheer fabric showing the v-neckline will show off a little cleavage without being in your face. The last dress also hints at cleavage but the bow makes it demure, and again it has a shape and a waist and blah blah blah.
Which brings me to my final point: a little cleavage does, indeed, go a long way. Because people are probably going to notice your boobs anyway, you don't have to show them all off at once- you're already showing them off by not wearing a sack. It's always good idea to invest in a few lacy tanks or comfortable camisoles to wear under clothes so you don't, you know, fall out.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

mary,

black and navy blue is the ultimate taboo. like it or lump it.

gerard

M said...

i hope you read every word of advice in here young man!