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Image / Fashion

The struggle finding summer clothes when you’ve got big boobs


By Erin Lindsay
12th Jun 2018
The struggle finding summer clothes when you’ve got big boobs

Yay, it’s summer! Bardot tops, itsy-bitsy bikinis, all the plunging necklines I can handle!

Except no. I cannot wear any of those things. Unless of course, I want to spill out obscenely from all angles.

Being well-endowed in the chest department is no picnic in the summer months. Every piece of sun-ready clothing seems to be designed for our smaller-chested sisters, who appear to sport the majority of summer styles with no issue. No squishy bits of side-boob, no under-boob peaking out, and sometimes, they can even get away with no bra at all. Can you imagine? Being able to wear no bra during the day? That’s the promised land.

I am not oblivious to the fact that 90% of you are collectively groaning in exasperation right now. “Who on earth would complain about having big boobs?” I hear you say. Well, me. And the other 10% of women who are furiously nodding their heads while throwing out any strapless tops they thought were a good idea.

Summer clothes are designed for the willowy and small-chested. Bralettes, cami tops, complicated straps, off-the-shoulder dresses, halter necks; if these are included in your summer wardrobe, you’re one of the lucky ones. I, and many other women, actually feel quite uncomfortable in these clothes. And that’s just the summer wardrobe. In winter, I don’t feel great in turtlenecks either, but that’s for another article.

I will clarify that this is not a piece centered around shaming my body. I really love how my body looks, and I wouldn’t change it at all. I also really love clothes and fashion and have found plenty of pieces out there that I feel gorgeous in. And, in the interest of total transparency, I am a size 8 and 5ft10 and absolutely am not discriminated against in the sartorial department in the same way as many other women. But I also have a big chest, an oddly shaped torso and weirdly proportioned hips. And sometimes I just want to wear a goddamn string top in peace.

It’s odd how your body shape can dictate how appropriate you look in certain clothes. Pieces that would look acceptable on any other body type can look oddly vulgar on someone with larger breasts. I always feel very exposed in a skimpy top, whereas a friend with smaller breasts would be, and look, very comfortable.

It probably it comes down to the fact that a woman with larger boobs in a low cut top is more likely to be commented on than a woman with smaller boobs. It might be understood that because the twins are busting out for attention, the woman’s sex drive must be too. This, of course, is not always the case. And if a woman wants to have sex with you, she’ll tell you, not just wear a certain style of top.

But alas, we have a long way to go before breasts are framed as anything other than sexual playthings. So what should busty ladies do in the meantime? I could advise you to steer clear of spaghetti straps, avoid Bardot necklines, cover yourself up at all costs. But I won’t. What I will say is to invest in some good quality bras (and if you find a strapless one that actually works with bigger boobs, the staff at IMAGE will forever be in your debt) and then wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Don’t blindly go along with trends that you don’t feel flatter your body, but don’t be afraid of clothes either. Summer is a whole lot of fun, and it’s even more fun when you feel confident.

And if you are still on the hunt, we’re loving some of these options below.

Silk short sleeve top,€320, Helmut Lang

Cotton jersey Tshirt,€130, Re/Done
Gingham poplin wrap, 93 Madewell

Top with embroidered bib,35, Zara

Zip crop top, €60, Karen Millen

Cotton poplin top,€98, J Crew


Silk blouse, 30 Zara

Elton John printed Tshirt, 402, Gucci