7 "Busty Girls Can't Wear That" Rules to Throw Out the Window

Boobs. Many women have them, our culture is hyper-focused on them (just take a look at any Kate Upton coverage), and yet clothing companies pretend they don't exist. I'm 5'0 and weigh about 105 lbs. My bra size is a 30F. For a long time, I thought this made me a freak. I fretted over breast reductions and how badly I wished I could go braless on hot days. 

I also used to spend a lot of time reading articles with advice about what I should or shouldn't be wearing. I thought this would make me feel less alone, knowing that other women were similarly shaped. These articles had titles like "How to Dress for Your Chest!" or "The Dos and Don'ts of Dressing The Girls," and the "rules" they espoused left me with the idea that I could only wear tasteful wrap dresses for the rest of my life.

Many of these articles put so much emphasis on covering up and not enough emphasis on embracing your assets... or your own sense of style. They often lumped "breasts" in with overall curves, leaving out women like myself who are chesty but not curvy all over (plus-size women have their own set of "rules" they should be ignoring). I found myself regularly disproving the things I read by wearing the exact articles of clothing I was told I couldn't pull off. Once I realized that fashion is about the individual, about what makes you feel good and not some arbitrary ideas about proportions, I started to embrace my body. 

That's why I'm sharing pieces of my wardrobe with you — to prove that you can wear horizontal stripes and ruffly tops and long and short necklaces, regardless of the size of your chest. Besides, shopping is so much better without the laundry list of "dos" and "don'ts!" Wear what makes you happy.

1. Chesty Girls Can't Wear Horizontal Stripes

This rule comes from the (false) belief that horizontal stripes make everyone look wider and if you're already working with a lot of boob the stripes will emphasize that area too much. Well guess what? I love horizontal stripes and wear them all the time. The key is simply to choose a garment that doesn't cling and to define your waist (that's why I've tucked the shirt in here, otherwise I would look like a box).

2. Chesty Girls Can Only Wear V-Necks

I love me a v-neck t-shirt, but some people act as though a chesty woman wearing a high-necked garment is one of the most horrifying sights ever known to humankind. Calm down, everyone, it's a neckline. I've worn this t-shirt (and yes, that is Macaulay Culkin's face) alone before, but the tuxedo jacket has a plunging neckline which draws the eye downward and takes some of the focus off the chest. 

3. Chesty Girls Can't Wear Long Necklaces

I find this rule laughable because the long necklace is a gift to the large-breasted community. Long necklaces have a similar effect as the jacket in the above photo — they break up a high-neck or boxy silhouette and prevent a uniboob situation (separation is KEY). Many people seem to think that long necklaces just sink into your cleavage, as if your breasts absorb everything in sight like quicksand. Yeah...no.

4. Chesty Girls Can't Wear Short Necklaces

Yup, long necklaces and short necklaces are both supposedly off-limits. If that isn't proof enough that these rules are total B.S. then I don't know what will convince you! Sure, you may not want to wear a choker with a skintight turtleneck (or you might), but wearing short necklaces, even dainty ones, won't inherently make you look bustier.

5. Chesty Girls Can't Wear Busy Tops

You've heard this one time and again: Avoid tops with detailing near the chest. Things like ruffles and bows add "bulk," which might as well be akin to the Plague according to the Rule Makers. Guess what? I have a large chest so sometimes it's okay if I look like I have a large chest.

6. Chesty Girls Can't Wear Boxy/Baggy Clothes

While many of the rules about dressing a busty figure involve promoting "modesty," one oft-cited piece of advice cautions against loose-fitting or oversized clothing. Apparently we all look huge and shapeless in things that aren't skintight... except we don't. Besides, loose-fitting pieces are comfy. I don't need to dress like Sofia Vergara all the time just because we have a similar cup size. If you're going for something boxy or oversized, make sure it still has a tailored fit so you don't get lost. And accessorize wisely (I'm wearing a mood ring in this photo).

7. Chesty Girls Can't Wear Backless Dresses

Who says small-breasted women should get to have all the cutouts fun? Sure, you likely won't just toss on a bandeau and head out the door. But there are pretty lace underthings that make backless dresses look killer on busty ladies. I still wouldn't go braless, although if you are down for that, more power to you!

Bandeau, $40, Nordstrom

The next time you come across a list of guidelines about what you shouldn't be wearing, don't bother reading. As you can see, the rules simply do not apply.


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