What Not To Wear If You Have A Big Bust – Don’t Wear These 9 Things!

While I personally don’t have a large bust, I have styled many women over the years that do. In fact, what not to wear if you have a large bust and what to wear instead is a popular topic among 40+ women. You want to look and feel sexy and confident. And…you don’t want to hide behind oversized, tent-like clothing. Your curves can give you a feminine look when you know how to stylishly accentuate them to your advantage. But I get it, it can also be a challenge to wear tasteful outfits that take the focus away from your breasts while still flattering your shape. To take the guesswork out of it, I’m sharing a roundup of items that ladies with big busts should not wear…and some flattering alternatives!

From big busts to narrow shoulders to short legs, in this post I share all my stye secrets for how to dress flattering for YOUR body shape.

Fashion Tips For Larger Busted Women

Tips For Larger Busted Women

Before we dive into the “shoulds” and “should (probably!) nots” there are 3 really important tips I want to share first.

  1. One Size Does NOT Fit All – There is no one-size-fits-all approach for dressing any body shape. But these tips are helpful for most large-busted women. Wear what makes you feel good!
  2. Bra Size Fitting – I can’t stress enough how important getting a proper bra fitting is. If you do nothing else, start here! Childbirth, menopause, weight gain, weight loss, and gravity all play into your band and cup size. Wearing properly fitting undergarments is a game changer that drastically changes how your clothes will fit. Period. Exclamation point! You’ll want to keep the girls locked and loaded and in the upper hemisphere.
  3. Tailoring– There is a chance you’ll need to have your clothing altered. Having a great tailor can make a world of difference when it comes to fit! Department stores like Nordstrom offer tailoring services on-site. This might be a necessary step if your bust size is significantly larger than your waist and hip measurement. The right fit can visually shave pounds and increase confidence!

What Not To Wear If You Have A Big Bust

What Not To Wear If You Have A Big Bust

So, let’s talk about what is typically less flattering for women with a larger bust size.

Boxy Fits

In general, tops or dresses that have a boxy, billowy, or oversized fit will not be the most flattering. The temptation might be to hide in tent-like silhouettes. But shapeless pieces can make your mid-section look larger than it is. Instead, focus on waist definition. For example, you can tuck in your top and add a third layer over it like a longline cardigan, jacket, or blazer to create a waist AND add coverage on the sides. You can also try a peplum top. Here are some pretty peplum tops that will cinch the waist and draw attention away from the bust area.

how to dress with big bust

Spaghetti Straps

If you have a large bust, spaghetti straps might not work for 2 reasons. For one, it will be more difficult to get the support you need from an uber-thin strap and more difficult to conceal supportive (usually wider) bra straps. And secondly, those super thin straps can look disproportionate next to a large bust! Sharing some great tanks and camis, with wide straps that will hide your bra straps and offer that added coverage. Most of these come in multiple color options too!

Style Tip: If you’re worried about showing too much cleavage, camisoles and tanks are perfect to wear underneath a deep v-neck blouse!


unflattering clothes for big bust


High necklines like turtlenecks, mock necks, and boatnecks create a lot of mass at the upper body which draws attention to the bust area. In contrast, shallow v-neck tops and dresses will deemphasize the bust and draw the eye downward. Therefore, taking the focus off your bust area. Scoop, square, draped, and cowl necks are also ideal necklines for a large chest.

For more detailed specifics on the types of tops that DO flatter a large bust, I share more tips and 20 flattering tops here.

Ruffled Top - What Not To Wear If You Have A Big BustWhat Not To Wear If You Have A Big Bust

Ruffled Tops & Dresses

Adding any extra volume at the chest area will make big breasts look bigger. Even shorter voluminous sleeves that hit right at the bust line will only exaggerate the size of your chest. If you want to minimize the appearance of your bust you’ll want to stay away from ruffled bodice dresses and tops. And tops or dresses with large pockets at the bust. One universally flattering option to consider would be a wrap top or dress instead like I’m wearing on the right. You’ll get that flattering v-neck effect AND minimize your bust all at the same time. Here are some super chic and flattering options for wrap tops and dresses.

before and after wearing a big striped top

Horizontal Stripes

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but worth repeating! Horizontal stripes will add width and volume. As you can see in the example above, on the left my upper half looks wide and unshapely. On the right, the vertical lines and v-neck add a MUCH more flattering shape, elongate my torso, and minimize my upper half. So, if you are someone with a large bust that loves stripes, just go vertical!

alice + olivia butterfly printed top, What Not To Wear If You Have A Big Bust

Large Prints

Large prints and bright colors will draw attention to the bust area whereas darker colors, in contrast, will make it appear smaller. So, as a general rule, very large prints are likely not the most flattering to wear on top if you are trying to minimize your large bust. Wearing brighter colors and large prints on your bottom half, however, will draw attention there if that’s an area you do want to highlight!

Wide Belt - What Not To Wear If You Have A Big Bust

Wide Belts

Whether or not you can wear a wide belt really depends on how large your bust is and how long or short your torso is. If you are a very busty woman and have a regular to short torso, a wide-set belt might look more like a boob shelf than add flattering waist definition. So, as a general rule, I don’t recommend them for large busts. A thinner waist belt worn lower on the torso will likely be the more flattering option.

Double Breasted Blazers - What Not To Wear If You Have A Big Bust

Double Breasted Blazers

This one just sounds like a bad idea for large-breasted women, doesn’t it? I mean if you already have a large bust, adding “double-breasted” anything into the picture is probably overkill, right? A single-button blazer that can either be left open (elongating!) or buttoned below the bust line will be a better choice. The double-breasted option will add volume and might gape when buttoned which will only draw attention to that area.

Chunky & Long Necklaces - What Not To Wear If You Have A Big Bust
Chunky & Long Necklaces

Chunky necklaces fall into the maybe yes maybe no category. On one hand, a classic choker-style chunky necklace can draw the eye upward and take the focus away from the girls. But, it can also add bulk and overwhelm your frame if you are on the petite side. With longer-length necklaces, you run the risk of them not laying flat over your large bust..unless you are standing completely still! So in terms of jewelry, some fail-safe options would be a short delicate necklace (or layers of them), a short pendant necklace, or a fabulous pair of statement earrings to draw the eye toward your beautiful face.

If you have a large bust and have a styling tip that really works for you, please share it in the comments below! And, if you’d like to share this post with a friend or loved one, please do so using the buttons below. And don’t forget that you can get blog posts, delivered directly to your inbox, along with SO many incredible style resources, by signing up for our newsletter here. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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8 thoughts on “What Not To Wear If You Have A Big Bust – Don’t Wear These 9 Things!

  1. Thank you for the tips! Speaking of busts, I just have to vent about button-down shirts. Why is it that nobody seems to account for the fact that women have breasts when they make them? It seems impossible to find one that accommodates breasts unless it is oversize all over. They could put darts in the shirts to make them fit, but they don’t.

    1. I’m glad these tips were helpful for you, Jenni! You are right… it’s a detail that often gets overlooked. There is this amazing button up that has patented “No Gape” technology to help with the issue. It is called “The Shirt” Hope this helps! ~Erin xo

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