Monday, March 1, 2010

Clothing for the curvy: Vol 1, Shirts

I think the 'curvy' label gets overused a lot.  Too often it is a euphemism for plus size when in fact they are very different things.  You can be curvy and not plus size.  Case in point: Me.  I wear a size 8 or 10 in pants, but have to buy a 12 or 14 in dresses and tops in order to accommodate my chest without gaping buttons.  I'm also cursed with (and maintain with food) thighs that don't have an inch of space between them when I walk.  This means finding clothes to fit is much harder for me than my 5'6", size 4 friends. 
After about 15 years of feeling bad about my body, I've learned to accept that the overall shape is not going to change much and I've gotten pretty good at knowing what will look good and what to leave on the rack (and avoid disappointment in the fitting room).  Since I'm often asked where I find clothes that fit, I thought I'd share the knowledge. 

I wrote this series of posts all at once, but rather than create the longest post ever, I'm going to spread this out over several days.  I hope it helps, even if it does create lots of women who dress like me.  ;)

Shirts:  If you're busty but don't have a large waist to match, you probably wear a lot of knits that stretch and do a lot of layering.  It's easy but gets boring sometimes.  If you do want a button down shirt that isn't huge under the bust, try the styles at The Limited.  They cut for a woman, not a 17 year old, and the shirts usually have seaming at the side of the best to create a good amount of boob room.   If you see that diagonal line on the side of the bust (hard to tell in the picture, but you can zoom in on the site) you know it has a chance of not making you look pregnant.  I've tried on countless tops of the past few years and this is the only store that always has shirts to fit.  Plus, they're usually under $50 to start with and quickly get marked down.

The Limited - Short Sleeve Button Front - $23.70


Knits:  Cable knits are not your friend if you're busty.  When a sweater is ribbed, you look bigger when those vertical lines start to curve outward around your chest.  I think that smoother fabric is much more flattering unless the sweater is oversized and the cables aren't distorted.  Of course, I think that cardigans are God's gift to busty girls because they aren't meant to close across your chest and you can create a smooth line and the illusion of a small waist.

Fabric is important too.  I try to only buy knits that are thick enough to not show every detail of my bra and have a bit of stretch so they don't look misshapen by end of day.

Gap - Silk blend v-neck - $30.00 (I'm waiting for these to go on sale a bit more but they appear well made in person and the silk blend means they won't stretch out as much as the 100% cotton version)




 Martin & Osa - Soybean Ribbed Cardigan - $24.95  (I have this in green from last fall and I love it.)





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