Q&A: What to Wear to Flatter a Small Bust and Larger Middle

August 12th, 2008

Q: I have recently lost 40 lbs and my bust is considerably smaller than it was before.  My stomach still has a ways to shrink, which leads to gapping and looseness across the top.  Any suggestions for what to wear for a small bust and a somewhat bigger middle?



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by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: Congratulations on losing 40 pounds!  We encourage you to celebrate with some brand new clothes to fit your new body!  You deserve a treat–and the encouragement to keep the weight off.  Here’s what to look for to flatter your body:

Add visual volume at the bust.  Pleating, shirring, or ruching will help to add visual volume to your bust.  With your body shape, you’re going to look great in empire waist tops.  A shirred empire waistline will add some extra volume in the bust, and the fabric will drape nicely over your middle.  Try empire waist dresses as well–the empire waist creates a nice long leg line.

Draw attention up to your face or down towards your legs.  Redirect attention towards your face with jewelry or special detailing at the neckline.  Or direct attention towards your legs with a great looking skirt.

Define your waistline.  You can flatter your middle by defining your waistline as best you can.  The right undergarments are a great first step.  Wear Spanx or other bodyshaping garments in order to create the longest, leanest line possible.  Choose tops and jackets with distinct waists so as to suggest an hourglass shape.

While you wait for your stomach to shrink, you may want to consider tailoring to adjust your tops.  The proportions of your body aren’t going to fit most "off the rack" clothing.  Fit is absolutely essential to making you look your best.  So if you cannot find clothes that fit you perfectly, do consider paying a visit to your tailor so that your clothes fit you not only at the bust, but also at the shoulder and the waistline.  Believe me, it’s worth the expense to feel and look great!

Have a great tip about what to wear to flatter a small bust and a larger middle? Share it with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: Figure Flattery Guide, Q&A, Women, Women's

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MsKatieKat  |  August 20th, 2008 at 7:22 am

    You can never go wrong with a well-cut blazer. For larger tummies, I find that one-button blazers are very helpful (since I have that issue myself - although I’m large-chested). One button creates a more “hourglassy silhouette as the button pulls the fabric to the centre and allows the side to somewhat “flare out” for a peplum effect.

    Slimmers such as Spanx Higher Power or their Hide and Sleek camisoles work very well in times that you need them. This will somewhat nip a few inches off the waistline, giving you a more hourglassy silhoutte. I also highly recommend The Body Wrap high waisted panties. Maidenform has very good camisole slimmers as well

    Hope this helps and good luck!

  • 2. Trisha  |  August 20th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Excellent tips, MsKatieKat! I think the one-button blazer tip is especially helpful.

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