Busty Styling Tips

If you’ve been well-endowed since junior high, you may know all the tricks to conceal or reveal at your discretion. I avoid stiff fabrics, shiny tops, ribbed and cable knits, or clingy jersey. Simple tops with a V-neckline worn with a vertically styled scarf and soft outer layers give me a more slender line.

Layering my oversized blazer over a denim jacket instead of wearing a long heavy coat is a favorite option since I also have short legs. My Everlane oversized blazer is a couple of years old, the current style is here. My v-neck bright pink cashmere sweater is also old. Similar style here. Boots here. The black jeans are here. My denim jacket is here.

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Square, cowl, polo, boat, and crewnecks highlight the bust, so V and scoop cuts are always my first choices. I avoid wearing statement necklaces, fussy tops, or scarves that add bulk at the bust.

Wearing a vest is an excellent way to visually minimize the bust. This classic one is still available here. I have it in black (above) and in blue (below), and I’ve worn them hundreds of times. They are great as a thin layering piece since they are not at all bulky. I wear them with sweaters and also under jackets.

Short sleeves that finish at the line of the bust call attention to it by creating a horizontal line. Drop shoulders, raglan, and kimono styles can make us look matronly. Tops with natural shoulders (where the shoulder seam sits on the edge of the shoulder) and long sleeves that flare below the elbow are much better choices.

I look for open or one-button style jackets with stretch or a semi-fitted soft jacket with narrow lapels. Steer clear of double-breasted cuts, and any jacket or cardigan with a flyaway detail or large lapels.

Layering a short fitted jacket or moto-style jacket over a longer top that skims the body gives the illusion of a more slender upper body and waistline. Wearing a darker color on the top also helps to minimize.

A similar Teddy Blake bag is here. The Ralph Lauren shoes are a couple of years old. Similar here.

Shift dresses with darts, A-line, wrap dresses, shirt dresses, and fit and flare shapes are flattering dress options.

High-neck style winter coats in belted styles with breast pockets can make us appear more top-heavy. Look for streamlined, semi-fitted single-breasted shapes with a deep V-neck closure.

A good tailor can be our best style-friend. Bring your waist back into focus to look more balanced. Wearing oversized tops and jackets to hide our shape, can make us look more substantial than we are.

I share some of the tips I’ve learned here on this blog site. I hope to help you save some money or maybe give you some outfit ideas. I am not an expert on style, so I will never tell you what you should or shouldn’t wear. Don’t worry too much about strict rules. Wear what makes you feel confident and happy. Style is a way to express yourself. Fashion should be fun at every age.

33 Comments
  1. Once again, you are right on! I so enjoy your wonderful column with helpful tips. These are tools, not rules, but they can so enhance our confidence when curating a wardrobe. Thank you again for all you do.

    1. I was going to say the same thing so adding my comment here! I have both of those vests, but forget to wear them. I will put them in a more visual location in my closet

  2. I ordered that green faux leather purse from Nordstrom from your site. I called in the order since I had a gift card, so hopefully you got credit for it. Sara Culler

  3. I also am very busty. The only other tip I would add is the importance of a good supportive bra. It really helps make you look smaller in that area to have the girls up where they belong. No style tricks can down play a sagging chest.

  4. I’m not well endowed, but I love vests, whether thin like this one or a packable puffy, as a third piece that easily fits under an outerwear jacket or coat. Jackets are sometimes tricky to fit under a coat. I have the Chico’s vest, and other items from their Zenergy line that mix and match. Very versatile wear. Love your everyday at home looks, casual and comfortable but put together.

  5. I am built very much like you but am larger all over…including my height. I am 5’10. You wear many lovely necklaces. Mine all stop right on my chest and therefore “bounce” when I walk so I don’t wear necklaces at all. How do you find them long enough? Or because of my height will I simply not be able to? Thank you for all your suggestions!

      1. I am short in height (5’ 3.5”) and I use extenders on most of my necklaces because I have a thicker neck. The pendant should lay mid chest for busty women like me. No longer or your eyes go right to the chest!

  6. you are not only a fashion expert who gives me good advice but good friend too!
    I love the last part : Fashion should be fun at every age. Perfect !!!!

  7. I really look forward to your emails and susanafter60.com. I would love to buy a scarf like the one you are wearing here with your grey oversized blazer. Do you still have any in your shop to sell? I am really interested in buying a red, white and navy scarf like this one. Perhaps the same one. You seem to be able to wear it with a lot of your outfits. I love it.

    Would you please let me know. If you have none to sell, perhaps you could advise me where to purchase one. Thanks in advance.

    Pat Perkins.

  8. I wish I had a book by you. it would be great fun to take it out and reread from time to time. I hope you will consider writing one some day. You have so much to share and although I love your blog. Pinterest etc, there is still nothing like a book in your hands.

  9. Susan, As always, you provide us with wonderful tips (no rules)….just great ideas for when we aren’t sure what to wear. Thanks for reminding us that vests are wonderful. I have several to wear at home (while designing jewelry), and others to wear to exercise class, etc. It was fun seeing how beautiful your kitchen is too!

  10. I always had to laugh in high school and as a young adult when girls/women would complain about their small bust. If they only knew…..I would have traded in an instant. I went from an A cup to a D seemingly overnight. Yes a good supportive bra is absolutely necessary for Busty women.

  11. I love your blogs. I have always struggled with shopping. I am too self critical, and end up being a bit old fashioned and boring. I appreciate your advice to wear what makes comfortable and happy. I will continue to learn from your tips. Thank you.

  12. Great tips Susan !
    I too am busty and follow a lot of these tips (avoiding bulky scarves, wide lapels, etc) But did not think about the sleeves of my tops stopping at the bust line level. Thanks for your thoughts.! Always helpful.

  13. I’ve followed you since you did Fifty Not Frumpy. Loved it! I’ve used the outfits you’ve posted to buy similar ones for myself. Thank you for your insight & style. I just read your post/blog for busty women & I so appreciate the info & tips. Thank you, thank you & thank you!

  14. I love your style tips but have a dilemma: I’m busty but don’t like V or scoop necks because I don’t like the skin on my decolletage. Flowy scarves are not an option because of my casual lifestyle. I tend to lean more toward crewnecks but sometimes V-necks are the neck on an item I might like. Any advice? Thank you Susan!

  15. I have just found your site and looking forward to reading it. One thing – you are American – by vest, are you referring to a gilet? Here, GB, a vest is what we wear next to our skin under shirts, jumpers.etc.. Thank you.

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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