Ask FGG: What Styles Are Best for My Large Chest?
Posted by Toni in Ask FGG
Designer Monif Clarke knows a thing or two about dressing up our curves
Dear FGG,

HELP! I always have a hard time finding tops and dresses to fit my large chest. By the time I actually find something that fits me on top, I'm swimming in it on the bottom. I'm desperate for tips on what styles to wear!

I learned the hard way that dressing my pear-shaped bod in baggy, straight tops made me look like this, so it took some trial and error to find clothes that flattered my body type. But even on my biggest, non-pregnant days, I maybe make it  into a C cup, so I turned to an expert to help us answer this question: Monif Clarke, CEO and Designer at Manhattan-based Monif C. Plus Sizes

FGG: What are some common fashion mistakes you see large-chested women make?

MC: I am large-chested myself and I think the biggest mistake we make is not wearing the right size bra. Sometimes women come into my plus size boutique in New York, and when I take a look at their bra that they got for $20 at their local mall, I tell them it’s so important to invest the money to go to a bra shop, get fitted, and buy the right size bra. [FGG here: I've had great luck with Nordstrom for personalized bra fittings]

FGG: How important is a good bra, and can you suggest any brands to our readers?

MC: A good bra is very important because it will improve posture, make your clothes look nicer, and help alleviate the additional weight from our large chests. I don’t have any particular brands I love, but I do shop quite a bit at [FGG here: Readers, if you have any faves, we want to hear from you in the comments on this one!]

FGG: What should busty girls look for in tops and dresses that will fit and flatter their curves?

MC: I think that we look great in wrap tops and dresses, and V-necks are universally flattering. Often when women are large-chested, the chest pushes out the dress/top, which can make her look like she has no waist or hips. I think it’s important to look for dresses with empire waists and wraps to highlight your waist. Also, short jackets with curved seams are great to pull in our figure at the waist.

FGG: Do any fashion lines - from budget buys at Wal Mart to high-end couture - really "get it" in terms of fitting bigger breasted women?

MC: As a large chested woman, I’ve never really felt too limited to stick to particular brands for clothes. I think rather you want to look at an entire line of clothing and figure out what pieces you can pick out of the line to highlight your curves. For example, when I shop, I usually look for fitted dresses or fitted tops to wear with A-line skirts. I try to minimize volume on the top half of my body and concentrate it in the lower part of my body to avoid looking bigger on top.

FGG: Anything else you'd like to add?

MC: There are more options than ever for large-chested women to find bras that are pretty and supportive, and many more options for clothes out there, but we have to be willing to seek out these options. When designing clothes for Monif C. Plus Sizes, I always make it a point to pay attention to necklines as well as things like the width of shoulder straps on a dress, so I can know it can universally work for all women. We recently expanded our product line and are now designing plus size swimwear for sizes 14 – 24. One of the main features of the swim suits are halter neck ties, which work especially well for large-chested women because they help to “hoist” up the girls in the swimsuits.

Thanks for your insights, Monif, and for creating such vibrant, fun, and fashionable clothing in our size! Readers, we know we'll be hearing from you on this topic because you always seem to know the best places to find fashion that actually fits our figures. Share your favorite finds and tips in the comments.