dressing for a full figureTreat me like one!

I have always chuckled at the saying, “I am in shape – round is a shape!”

It pretty much sums up the fact that we as women come in all shapes and sizes and each one comes with styling challenges. We are who we are, so let’s just embrace our genetics and work with what we have. Clothing can become our ally when we want to highlight our assets or disguise our liabilities – that’s called ‘styling’!

There are some common words used to describe our basic body shapes and I pretty much hate them all. For some reason being referenced as a piece of fruit doesn’t make me feel very pretty. So I promise to not include any ‘produce’ references here. Let’s term it like it is: bigger on the top, bigger on the bottom, curvy, not curvy and extra in the middle – simple enough?

Now ladies – bigger on the top means bigger assets – and assets need to be insured! Insure the ‘girls’ with the best fitting bra you can afford.  As Oprah exposed (pun intended) eight out of ten women are wearing the wrong size bra. Why is that? Would you walk around in the wrong size shoe??  A properly fitted bra will improve your posture, make you look almost ten pounds thinner, and your clothing will fit much better.  Women strive for wardrobe perfection in their outerwear, but it all starts with proper fitting foundations. And did you ever hear of purging bras (not burning bras)? I have never heard a woman admit to that. They keep holding on and on. I am reminded of our local mattress hucker who shows up on TV twenty times a day reminding me my mattress might be as old as Carl Yastrzemski (think Red Sox ladies). I think the demographics would appreciate him asking just one time how old is the bra you are wearing today?

There are so many bras in the lingerie drawer that don’t fit or are too old to do their job.  You should be fit for a bra every six months, okay-okay, once a year at least!  Weight gain or loss of even just five pounds may change the fit of your bra.  And for those of you with bigger assets, there are bigger fit challenges that go along with that.

If the bra band is too big, your bust will droop.

If you don’t have enough coverage in the cup you’ll have breast overflow which results in triple boob syndrome.

Your bra band should be parallel to the floor, low and snug on the back, not hanging off your neck.

The cup of the bra should contain all your breast tissue and shouldn’t pinch, bind, bite or annoy.  You want your breasts to be lifted, contained and happy!

Invest time to have a professional bra fitting. You won’t believe the difference it will make in how fabulous your clothing looks on you.

Here are a few universal styling tips for dressing to flatter your full figure.

Styling the top half:

  • Choose structure – multi-button, narrow lapel, high stance jackets to support the bust, cinch the waist and fall just over the top of the hip. Show some skin at the neckline to lengthen the line.
  • Wear darker colors on the top half and lighter colors on the bottom as darker colors camouflage and lighter colors emphasize.

Styling the bottom half:

  • Don’t accentuate your slimmer bottom by wearing narrow/skinny pants, as this will draw attention to the disproportion between your upper and lower body and create the light bulb silhouette.
  • Do create balance by adding a bit of volume to your bottom half. Think wider leg pants, A-line skirts or adding color or texture with your fabrics. Remember, you want to add volume as opposed to bulk on the bottom half.

Truth be told, the tailor is your friend! Many items will not fit off the rack. You have to ‘fit’ the largest part of your body and then tailor down the rest! We are not built like mannequins – just accept that you might need a nip in the waist, some sleeves shortened, a button or two re-aligned, skirts shortened and pants hemmed. Consider those the final touches to great style!

Are you in need of more styling tips?

Doreen Dove will be leading an afternoon workshop at She Did It/Bostonon March 24, 2014 at Babson College, Wellesley, MA entitled, “Does Your Image Match Your Next Phase?”

Connect with Doreen in advance here: http://www.DoreenDove.com

You’re My ‘Breast’ Friend was last modified: by

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