I wanted to ask for your fashionista advice. Since I have had a breast reduction, I was wondering what type of clothes would work best for my frame. Before I went with just whatever would fit over my chest but now I don’t know how I should dress for my straight figure. I don’t have much of a difference between my waist & hips, more of a boyish frame, although not athletic. How can I create the illusion of a better waistline, & avoid muffin top pants when they are all cut for someone with bigger hips?
What an incredibly exciting time this must be for you, learning your new body & being comfortable in your own skin! I’m happy to answer this for you.
First of all, I want to make sure that you know that these are only guidelines; it’s very important to trust your own eye in the dressing room. This means looking at things critically, ignoring sales clerks & pushy people who think you asked for their opinion!
Your first priority in learning to dress your more boyish frame is learning how to create a great waist. I assume when you had a larger bust that all you had to do was hoist those girls up & your waist looked small by proportion, yeah? Luckily, in the same way that was visual trickery, there are lots of weapons in the “create a waist” arsenal at your disposal.
- Don’t forget everything you learned about bras when you had a larger chest. The same rules still apply. Make sure your nipple is halfway between your shoulder bone & your elbow. Once I had a friend measure this for me, & put a big black line at the halfway point on my arm in magic marker before I went bra shopping. It totally worked.
- Your new best friend? Wrap tops & dresses. The line of these makes your waist look smaller, really creating some great shape & va-va-va-voom curves.
- Look for dresses constructed in three separate sections: bust (with detailing), waist (generally cinched) and skirt (falling away from the waistline).
- Dresses that also work on you are sheath dresses, bias cut, & generous A-line dresses. Make sure your skirts hit at or just above the knee.
- Now that you can, embrace tailored button-down blouses with lots of waist shaping & darts. Shirt dresses with a belt and fuller skirt are also a good choice.
- Show off your sexy shoulders! Bare skin in a halter top will create the illusion of an inverted triangle, making your waist look smaller. If that’s not for you, a puffed sleeve has the same effect.
- Necklines to look for: V, boat, sweetheart, scoop. All will draw attention upwards. Any top that has visual interest from the bustline & as high as the shoulder is a good choice. Frills, ruffles, bows, bibs, rosettes & lace are all good bets. Pair it with a bottom that has some shape. Add a camisole to low necklines to add some dimension & visual interest.
- Wear belts at your natural waist, where you are the smallest, to really draw the eye there. You always, always want to define your waist. An undefined waist is going to make you look shorter, &, well, dumpier. Which you aren’t! Keep your belts simple, dark & wide. (Psst… belts with a bit of stretch can hide any “muffin top” you might be concerned with!)
- Get your cute self into a pencil skirt and heels to really work that butt! Tuck in a blouse with a wide belt & hello nurse.
- In addition to pencil skirts, A-line skirts (especially those with stitched-down box pleats) & trumpet skirts will particularly make you look curvaceous. Since they’re trendy right now, why not give a tulip skirt a try, too?
- Dreaded pants. Be picky. So, so picky. Don’t ever shop for them when you’re desperate. Look for straight legs with a flat front. Make sure you have a lot of time to try stuff on.
- Look for skinny jeans (you’re one of the few body types who can pull them off) or a pair of bootleg jeans (not flared).
- When it comes to outerwear, look for belted jackets, trenches, & coats.
- Avoid waist-length purse straps, go shorter to keep the eye up.
- Take a look at my corset coquette article for some great inspiration for your shape!
- General clothing rule: don’t buy clothes that are either too stiff or too shapeless. Clothes need to have a nice drape or “hand” in order to really flatter your shape. Flirty skirts & dresses (but nothing too frothy) create a more feminine shape.
Please keep me updated with pictures. I’d love to see how you progress!