Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dear Daddy Likey: Let's Talk About Neckline Issues

Dear Daddy-Likey,

I have a problem and I know you are just the person I've never met who can solve it!!

I had a shopping miracle the other day -- I scored a totally awesome DKNY dress for moi for only $34. It was one of those things where they don't have your size but then you mope about it for a couple of days and go back and THEY HAVE YOUR SIZE and it's half off the sale price and the peasants rejoice.

Here it is:

I would estimate that this dress is about 300% adorable (ballparking) BUT I am a chesty, hourglassy girl and thus I have neckline issues. I wear a 36DDD and between the low neckline and the spatial warping effects of my bust, my usual grandma bra clearly isn't going to work here. I've been shopping for a strapless for other reasons but I kind of think there must be limits to modern bra engineering and I am a little half-hearted on this point. Plus, it is a really low neckline.

Bottom line, I think I am going to have to go with layering something under or wearing a cardigan or something, since I don't think I'm ready to just be out in public with my bra showing. This is where I need your help, because whenever I think about having to add something to this dress I get a little sad. I just don't want to ruin its cuteness! HELP ME DADDY!

Love for you and your awesome blog,
Triple DDDistress

Dear DDDistress,

I totally understand your dilemma. For a strapless bra to be effective on me, it would have to look a lot like the industrial-strength sling Michael Madsen used to transport an Orca in Free Willy, and although things don't seem to be going that well for Michael Madsen right now, he's still not a viable option to hoist my breasts around everyday.

But anyway, I love the dress (and the price! hell yeah!), and I see a couple of ways to remedy your neckline issue:

1. Buy a mega cute bra (with straps), and just OWN it. So what if a pink lacy strap dares to peek from beneath your adorable dress? It just counts as another layer of adorableness, which makes your outfit....hang on a second while I make some quick calculations...mmhmm...carry the three...ah yes, double adorable.

Now, now, I know what you're thinking: "Nice idea, buster, but mega cute bras for mega big boobs don't exist!"

While it's true that most bras larger than a C-cup resemble two cotton trash bags hastily sewn together, I urge you to not give up hope! Tomorrow I'll write about my favorite bra brands for bigger busts. Apparently, this will involve a lot of alliteration. But for now, take this photo as an advanced guarantee:

Look deep into this model's eyes and repeat after me: Cute, large cup bras do exist! Cute, large cup bras do exist!

2. If you're totally against the strap-showing idea, or it won't quite work for your job as a preschool teacher or something, take a step toward professionalism and modesty (it's a step I rarely take so I don't know much about it) and try a cute camisole instead. I can see this dress working really well with a lace-trimmed or patterned cami underneath.

Something like this:

Ruby Sky Forsyth Cami, $18,

You could also see what a classic collared shirt looks like underneath. I can't really tell from the picture, but it's possible that a slim-fitting white button-up would look pretty damn funky/cool. Maybe layer a few necklaces over it to bring out the funkiness? But be sure to stop before you reach this point.

As for putting something over the top, I'd probably do a shrunken cardigan or a structured blazer. Don't worry about ruining the dress's cuteness--try a bright color like pink or yellow, which would look amazing with the brown, and, if I may speak like Lucky magazine for a moment, be "totally on-trend."

p.s. Have any of my big busted readers ever found success with a strapless bra? Any favorite brands out there? Any horror stories? Anyone paid Michael Madsen to drive their boobs to the ocean?


Mandy said...

Oh does this post strike a chord for me. I'm a 36H...and there are times I hate my life. However, thanks to a study abroad stint in England where they're way better about bigger bras, I have learned to love the chest.

I order most my bras from when I'm in the states. They have ADORABLE bras in tons of sizes, and they have some strapless ones too. (Of course, they don't have any of those that go up to an H-cup...i'm not bitter, I swear.)
My favorite brands are Freya and Panache, if you can find those brands in the states. carries these brands too.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll find something! Oh, and I agree with Winona about just rocking a slightly showing bra. Just get a cute one. :)

Regardez Moi said...

I, too, am larger chested (DD). It's not out of the D-range, but I still have issues finding cute bras. Ever notice how when you go into a store like Macy's, they do have some larger sized bras for some larger sized boobs, but the brand names are like - Jezebel. Excuse me, but, having big boobs does not a Jezebel make. I refuse to buy those bras - plus they are all lumpy as far as stitching goes and never look nice under a cotton shirt. Anywho - I digress. I, too, am interested in finding some good, pretty bras that are not named after whores. (And if I can find them in a store, not online - even better. I have a thing against ordering bras if I don't know how they fit. Return shipping things for me goes against my laziness).

Anonymous said...

I disagree with allowing the bra to show. I think that would distract from the dress' cuteness more than anything else.

However, the collared shirt idea would totally rock. Even a long sleeved version would rock, as long as it is very fitted. has such things; however I warn you that they are bodysuits. that does help keep the shirt from riding up, though.

Anonymous said...

Oh oh oh!!! Fredrick's of Hollywood has great bras that make you feel super sexy without breaking the bank! Im a 32DDD and its a store for women with breast implants so they have every size under the sun.
And i totally agree with Winona here when she says own it. just say in your super sexy-cute voice "oh dear! my strap is showing isnt it..." and then kinda fix it but not really.


Goodluck on your journey!

nonailstoday said...

I wear a 36C and I have problems finding clothes that don't make me look like Dolly Parton. And mind you, I'm not this tiny little stick girl. I'd say I'm average. But STILL I struggle to find anything cute that I feel comfortable wearing around my dad.

Victoria's Secret does not solve my problem. I spill out of all their cute bras, and the full coverage ones are so ugly and make me feel so bad that I refuse to wear them.

Oh, and don't even get me started on finding cute summer dresses and nighties that fit.

*sigh* It shouldn't be this hard. :-(

the upper vest side said...

Haha...hooray for busty girls! I once found an amazing strapless bra at Victorias Secret, about 5 or 6 years ago. It was a bandeau style, but also had underwire construction on the inner layer. I could run and jump in this thing, and it would never fall down! I should have purchased their entire stock, but alas, I only had 45 dollars that day. It has since fallen apart from wear and tear, and I have been searching for a replacement for about 3 years! Please please include some good strapless options on your next bra post, if you can.


P.S. Love your blog!!

Liberty said...

34DD over the pond, if you have La Senza over there they do pretty bras for larger sizes, about the only place that does my size except for Marks and Spencers which is the granny type lingerie) I got a really good strapless bra from there holds everything in, only regret is it's black not nude, ah well. British Vogue have just done a spread on dressing women wth larger chests this months, I'm going to scan it when I get a chance, keep checking back.

Laura V said...

I am a 32HH and I buy everything from either or

I do have a convertible bra (including a strapless mode) that I bought from Bravissimo several years ago; it worked well for me until I lost weight and went down a band size!

I believe it may be the bra listed on their site as the "Smoothing Strapless Bra by Fantasie".

I will say, though, that it is a Serious Bra. It is not some wimpy little thing and it doesn't work as well under Low Low Necklines as, say, a plunge balconette style does, in my experience.

Anonymous said...

Actual Michael Madsen quote:
"Well, one things for sure, I won't be remembered for Free Willy"

K.Line said...

Bras are my favourite topic! (I can't shut up about them on my own blog.) I like the Freya one you posted and I agree, Freya, Fantasie, Panache are all great brands for women with large breasts. Freya is particularly suitable for women with large breasts and a small ribcage (my backsize is a 30 and my breasts are large. Try finding something to work that in a dept. store...)

I think a gorgeous cami might be just the ticket with this dress but, IMO, the optimal support of one's breasts WITH BEAUTIFUL LINGERIE is de rigeur. And I mean, every day. It will cost a small fortune, but is it not worth it to ensure that your clothes fit that much better and you know you've got a gorgeous secret that may or may not peek out.

I'm passionate about this, as you can see:-) K

K.Line said...

Oh, and I totally forgot to comment on the viability of strapless bras on busty girls. I recently bought a strapless bra, which works adequately but isn't daily wear, for sure. It has detachable straps (silicone) and silicone padding on the inner band and cups so if you put it on with the straps and let your body heat work on the silicone, it adheres to your body quite well (then you can remove the straps without losing the lift straps provide). Thing is, you can't thwart gravity and, depending on the shape of your breasts and their heaviness, you may be screwed nonetheless. If you're going to do strapless, it's key to ensure that the back is as snug as you can make it - corset-style - so that it can do its constructive part. And, if the underwire doesn't lie flat at your breastbone, just put it back because it will sink like a stone in no time leaving you uncomfortable and droopy all at the same time. K

Anonymous said...

Hey! I've never tried these before, but I saw them on the other blog: the Winkee, at, seems to be like a cami that's built-in to your bra. (Bad description...maybe go look at pictures). Let me know if you use it because I've been thinking of buying one!

Crimzen Creative said...

HaHa! Completely loved your solutions and fun explanations. I only wish I had the big breasted dilemma...but then maybe again I am better off?

Sophie said...

I'm 36DDD! I brought a strapless bra that had like, a built in corset thing, once.. that worked really well!

I'm excited for your next post.

Anonymous said...

Wacoal's all-lace strapless bras are amazing. I'm a 32DD and that bra stayed up through 4 hours of dancing without any "sneaky" pullups. They're a bit more expensive ($50), but their definitely worth it.

Kaume'alani said...

There must be something in the water, I too have started writing about clothing/bras/swimsuits for busty girls on my own blog as well (34F). Nordstrom has served me well occasionally, and my favorite websites are and I have my eye on a strapless bra that I think will work for me.

Anonymous said...

Sweet!! Thanks! This is all great advice; I haven't worn the dress yet, but only because it is flippin' cold out and I have been survival-dressing. So I have another reason to look forward to Spring! Haha. I anticipate your brastravaganza post greatly.

/// said...

I LOVE that idea! :)

Anonymous said...

Felina, Felina, Felina!!! I'm a 38E (or DDD, depending on what country/bra manufacturer is doing the sizing) and Felina bras are the only ones that have the same consistent good fit and shape -- plus, they're under $40-ish. most stores that carry them (like Nordstrom) don't always have the best selection of the larger sizes in stock, but ordering from their website is easy and pretty hassle-free -- i like Freya and Fantasie, but i find the sizing and fit to be a bit hit-or-miss (plus, they often only have 2 rows of hook-and-eye closures in back, and i really prefer 3) -- also, they're at least $50 -- usually more. Felina!!!

STEPsHAtepoNIEs said...

As a 36-DDD myself, I literally sighed with relief when I read this post (yay! I'm not the only one!) I've been having trouble myself trying to find a decent prom dress that conquers the middle ground between old-ladyish and whoreish. I think the only way a strapless bra would work would be if it was more of a corset, but without lace or any noticeable protruding details so that it could be worn in public.

I have to add to the Fredericks Of Hollywood praise. It's got some amazing bras, and the clothing section (!) has a lot of wrap dresses and other things that us chesty girls can pull off well.

Oh yeah, if my novice experience has taught me anything, it is to AVOID BUILT IN BRAS LIKE YOU OWE THEM MONEY. My friend affectionately refers to them as "breast-suicide machines". Or if you simply can't resist the overwhelming cuteness of the shirt/dress itself, cut the bra out when you get home. Turn it into a headband or something.

Flashy_Shades said...

i had never seen your layering post before and i was just cracking up in my cubicle. now all my coworkers think i'm crazy. i think i'm fine with that.

Anonymous said...

I completely understand! I recently found Chic Peeks. They were on The Big Idea (love that show). Anywho, decided to try it. They are fabric pieces that stick in the neckline, so you dont have anything attaching to your bra (THANK GOD!!). Really simple and made with moisture wicking fabric.

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