(or how to do ruffles with big boobs)
After months of searching, I’ve finally found a shirt with ruffles that doesn’t scream ‘LOOK AT MY BOOBS’. I do mean literal months of searching, I think it was spring last year when ruffles started to be cutely adorning jumpers and shirts, and I have looked at the ruffles on the clothes rails, and been tempted, only to look like I had udders rather than boobs when I tried them on. So, in having a break from ‘what to wear on your feet when your arthritis is killing you’, I’m turning to my next area of expertise: how to dress your big boobs when everything is styled on small boobs.
First up, the thicker the fabric: the more bulk it will add; you can wear jumpers with big boobs, but adding a thicker-fabric ruffle adds weight, and most ruffles are around the boob area:
So, I figured a shirt was probably my best bet, despite the fact shirts can be difficult to fit over big boobs because they can gape at the buttons. So over the course of last year, many ruffled shirts were noticed and many tried on, and many were decided against. I was most gutted about this (buttonless) ruffled lace shirt from Monsoon:
It’s so pretty and so elegant and lacy! So, this is how I wanted it to look versus how it actually look on me:
OK, OK, I’m not really trying that hard, I’ve not even tucked it in, because I already knew it looked ridiculous. My boobs are introduced by the horizontal lace pelmet like a compère introducing the star performers in a show. The rest of the shirts hangs off the boobs like a baggy sack because, in order to accommodate the boobs, it’s voluminous on the waist and back making my tummy look enormous and, to complete the ensemble, the ruffled sleeves (so chic on the model), have a certain ‘je ne sais clown’ about them on me. And so it went on, and on, ruffles and my boobs were not mixing.
Then last year, I had a birthday voucher from Boden that needed using up, and I saw this shirt in their discounted next-season preview:
And so it came, and I am loving it! Because the ruffles are small, and not directly over, around, or touching the boobs in any way, they don’t add emphasis:
The shirt is not particularly made for big boobs, so I still have to wear a size larger than my back size, but the fabric drapes nicely but is sill crisp, so it looks slouchy rather than tent-like. If you prefer a fitted shirt, M&S make ‘fuller bust’ shirts, which are a good shape and have a ‘no-peep’ button system that all shirts should have to prevent gaping (though the cotton is a little cheap-feeling and style a little dull — it makes me think of ‘generic smart shirt’ of the sort I would have bought for a Saturday job when I was doing my A-levels):
The Boden shirt fits really nicely under sweaters, and the ruffles on the collar and the cuffs add a nice contrast when you’re wearing ripped jeans and boots that are a bit rock n roll, so it’s going to be a staple for me this winter:
While I’m on the white shirt theme, there are lots of shirts with interesting tie details coming out for this season, which are a good alternative to ruffles if they are not your thing:
Although I have seen bows and ties across the body of shirts, that is a bit too ‘straight-jacket’ for my liking, but when the weather warms up enough not to be wearing a jumper and a coat every time I leave the house, the bow sleeves are a nice touch for spring.