Sometimes dressing an hourglass figure elegantly or casually can feel like a complicated mass of curves that each need flattering in their own individual way. This is why I need to ask you: what, ladies, is your boob strategy?!
What I mean is: boobs have the ability to change the entire overall effect of an outfit, and represent an important consideration when planning your outfit. Instead of feeling constrained by having either big or small boobs as an hourglass, I see this as being an adjustable aspect you can use to make your outfit work better (obviously there are some limitations to the ‘adjustableness’ of A-cup or K-cup boobs but there is a good degree of playing up or playing down one can achieve :p). So when you have a certain outfit/look you want to achieve as an hourglass, but you think the boobs may get in the way or spoil the line, have a think about how to improve the fit and look of your garments with a few careful tweaks to your underwear. I’ll be focusing mainly on larger busts in this article.
So first let’s deal with how you decide which approach to take.
Firstly, playing up the boobs.
What? Closely fitted, bust emphasizing outfits on top of a good boobs-up-front-and-centre bra (or an excellent push up bra for smaller busts and those who want cleavage).
Why? A busty lady will tend to look slimmer with her boobs perked up high, brought in from the sides, and some say, ‘lifted and separated’. You provide the perfect contrast to your tiny waist, and counter-balance to your rounder hips. Another benefit is that this look can be pretty show-stopping and your man will probably love it! And an hourglass figure really will speak for itself aesthetically when the figure is undisguised by baggy clothes. Smaller boobed hourglasses may wish to play up their bust with add-two-sizes bras from Victoria’s Secret (the Bombshell is a good one I believe) in order to add curves to your top half – especially a good idea if you are an hourglass who veers towards a pear shape.
Good for: More dressed up outfits; fitted, waist-emphasizing clothing shapes – tight tops, pencil-shaped dresses; balancing wide hips/thighs; more feminine silhouette; v-neck and wrap tops/dresses; jersey or stretch items, skirts and dresses.
How? Obviously getting an excellent bra fitting so that you lift your boobs and can define your torso beneath the bust better. You will want a bra with a good T-shirt bra shape so that your outline in fitted clothing is attractive – in specific, you won’t want too pointy boobs or a double boob silhouette, and saggy un-lifted boobs will make you look older. To narrow your torso, find a bra that can lift and project your breasts so the fullness is up front rather than out at the sides where it will make you look wider. Freya is a very good brand for projection, although you may want to browse more specialist lingerie blogs to find out if they’re good for you in relation to full-on-top vs full-on-bottom boobs and wide-set vs close set boob shapes etc.
To achieve the slimming effect of fitted outfits, the top should follow the line of your body under your boobs rather than hang/drape from the apex (which would add volume to your torso). You need to separate your boobs from your torso, and ensure your outfit fits your waist – achieving both of these can be surprisingly hard for many hourglass women. Regarding clothing, Pepperberry, which is the clothing brand of the bra brand Bravissimo, is good at creating pieces which fit your boobs underneath, separating them from your ribs and belly, and creating a very flattering profile. Their clothing comes in normal UK dress sizes but has another measure that takes into account just how busty you are. I need to do a post specifically on this brand at some point – they don’t do edgy cool casual looks but are good for staples for busty women such as cardigans, jumpers, Breton style t-shirts and plenty more. Don’t forget shape wear for your middle section if needed. This look emphasizes the midriff section so make sure your waist is tight and flat so your fitted clothes don’t cling to too many lumps and bumps.
Secondly there is the option of minimizing the presence of your boobs for your outfit. Why? It’s useful to be aware that smaller boobs tend to come across as more youthful, and casual outfits tend to project a more carefree, youthful look, so you can harness this knowledge to make your casual outfits work a touch better for you. Another reason you may wish to compress your boobs is if you want to amp up cleavage, but have boobs that are wide set or on the smaller size. Using compression is actually an option I use quite frequently for a variety of reasons, such as the following examples:
- tight fitting sheath dress with racer back, worn with Converse or heeled boots
- drapey grey wool poncho that makes my upper body look like a chunk unless I minimize the boobs or wear a slim belt over it (see this link to Jean’s ‘Extra Petite’ blog for the inspiration I used for this outfit – oh how I love this blog, no matter how not-extra-petite I am haha!)
- work blazer – I can fit into mainstream blazers as my boobs aren’t huge (versus having to buy them from specialist stores like BiuBiu), but my blazers will hang oddly over my boobs when undone, or fail to sit correctly when done up sometimes, whilst fitting my waist and shoulders fine; minimizing the boobs lets me get away with more, and provides a chic-er line for my professional outfits
- high neck tops and crew neck sweaters – avoid a great big visual monoboob effect from your neck to your underbust by minimizing your boobs 🙂
What? Although you don’t seem to hear much about minimizing bras these days, I find them to be a useful aspect of my wardrobe. I don’t think it should be an every day thing: don’t quote me on this but I think continually compressing the breast tissue can cause some longer term loss of fullness, so make sure you give your boobs a good break from compression. But occasional minimizing is utterly harmless, and works by compressing the fatty tissue in breasts into a more compact, smaller shape (fat tissue is readily compressible as the cells are not tightly packed).
How? I most often use a sports bra (I get mine from Cotton On in Auckland – actually I have one of their sports bras under my fluffy top in this post), but you can purchase a minimizer bra (I learn from Her Room that they often only go up to a G which is a bit silly but anyway…). If you’re much over a D-cup, this gives you a few more clothing options, as the difference of a cup size or two can mean the difference between fitting into mainstrem clothes vs needing specialist clothes like Pepperberry or Biubiu. Also having less fullness up top can mean you can wear looser tops without looking too bulky, or make those straight-ish shift dresses or boho looks work a bit better. If you are after killer cleavage, you can use your push-up bra under a sports bra, or just wear a well fitting minimizer which should push everything closer to your body, and smush boobs together a bit in the centre.
Anyway, there’s a few of my personal tips for coping with
the complicating factor of boobs when dressing your gorgeous hourglass frame. Any more suggestions or comments are welcomed, thanks for reading!