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Co-founder of The Own Studio, says…
Waisted styles with fuller or more A-line skirts are perfect for balancing out fuller busts. This doesn’t have to mean layers of tulle – you can still achieve a sleek and contemporary look with more A-line skirt shapes. Another option is a more fishtail skirt or bias-cut shape that hugs the bottom and creates an amazing hourglass silhouette to really show off your shape.
The most important thing is to find a neckline that makes you feel confident and comfortable. There’s no one go-to neckline for certain body shapes, but if you have a curvier bust you might want to consider something that allows for a bit more support. For example, if you’d like to wear a bra or an underwear solution, opt for a neckline that will allow you to integrate underwear seamlessly. Square necklines are great for this, as are subtle V-necklines and higher-backed strapless options. Soft scoop or cowl necks are another option to look at, as they are subtle and romantic and work really well for bigger busts.
A fixed waist is a great way to create a more defined silhouette. By cinching in the waist, you create that lovely hourglass shape. If you want to go for something more empire line (which can also be incredibly flattering) make sure you have enough space in the bust area, so you don’t feel constricted, and make sure the under-bust seam sits below the bust rather than cutting across it.
If you don’t know where to start, think about the silhouettes and necklines that make you feel best when you wear evening dresses or even in your everyday wardrobe. It’s also worth keeping an open mind and trying on a range of styles. You might surprise yourself in what you like. Remember there are incredible underwear solutions available on the market now, so don’t feel you have to compromise your look. All our bridal styles at The Own Studio are made to measure, so they are crafted perfectly to suit your body, and we can make tweaks to the design to work with any specific underwear you’d like to wear.
Founder of Halfpenny London, says…
Don’t focus on the idea that a bigger bust needs disguising. Try to think of this as a chance to highlight parts of your body you love. If you’d prefer to take attention away from your bust, there are lots of options. Many of our dresses and separates have an incredible inner construction which can minimise your bust, if that’s what you’d prefer. Talk to us when you come in and be honest about the look you’re going for, but also try to be open minded as you might just surprise yourself.
Start by trying on different silhouettes and see which one you feel best in. Remember, no two bodies are the same, or have the exact same proportions. Don’t be put off by all the dos and don’ts you read about. Being able to wear a bra can be a concern for curvy women but a well-structured, expertly made dress may mean you can go without. There are also some great underwear solutions available now, so don’t rule out backless dresses if that’s what you’ve had your heart set on.
My best advice is to highlight the feature you love the most. If you love your décolletage, then an off-the-shoulder or sweetheart neckline would look amazing. Equally, if you love a particular high-neck style and feel great in it, then wear it with confidence. I’m a big proponent of breaking old-fashioned style rules which stop you feeling like yourself. So many brides surprise themselves by insisting they don’t want strapless, then try one on and love it. Our strapless dresses have a clever inner construction which hold you in and support you – most of our brides don’t need to wear a bra at all.
If you’d prefer to wear a bra on the day, choose a dress with the appropriate coverage. If you’d like a more fluid, non-structured dress then that’s fortunate – there’s so much choice now with dresses and separates, from tops to capes. We have a number of base dresses (which also look amazing on their own) with a variety of strap options to suit every style.
Sleeves, veils, capes and other accessories are a wonderful way to change the silhouette. They can also add some extra drama if needed. If you’d like to cover your arms – for a church wedding, for example –a pretty top is a great option, and you can always remove it for the party afterwards. If you want to wear a structured dress which nips you in at the waist and showcases your curves, a waisted dress is perfect. Equally, if you’re blessed with a larger bust, a higher back will give you the maximum support.
Owner of Phillipa Lepley says…
A drop waisted bodice can lengthen and define the body if the bust is large. A fuller skirt could also balance out a full bust. As for necklines, my advice is not to go too high – doing so can emphasise the bust, and a low decollate scoop neck works better, in my opinion. No cleavage – just the right line. A wide neckline can also open up the top half and minimise the impact of a full bust, assuming you want to minimise and disguise the area. Finally, I wouldn’t recommend a very low-cut dress. With bigger busts, corsetry is everything and positioning the bust correctly will create that extra space to properly define the waist.
A strapless dress isn’t out of the question. It just has to be built correctly with a strong corset and the right cut. You definitely don’t want to be spilling out of your dress. That’s where straps can help, of course. The bolder the strap, the more attention you’ll draw away from the bust.
A veil will frame the look and help distract from a larger bust. I love the triangle frame a veil can create, as well as the softness and romanticism it lends. Sleeves can also work – shorter ones look fresh and young and longer would be more formal, but the latter might work for more religious ceremonies and settings.
The one silhouette I might avoid is an empire line with a large bust. In my opinion, it’s better to see more shape at the waist to counteract the volume, while a patterned or textured fabric – like lace or embroidery – can also help balance out the proportions. Large, clean and plain expanses of fabric can somehow look bigger, even more so if the fabric has a sheen to it, like classical satin.
Owner of Emma Beaumont says…
There are certain silhouettes that work better for bigger busts. Opt for a nipped-in waist to really define the line under the bust. If you’re also curvier on the bottom, go for a more fitted silhouette to the hip. A more A-line shape can work if you have a less of a hip to balance out the fuller bust. Support is crucial, so find a dress which cups the bust rather than pushes it up. If the dress doesn’t offer internal support, do your research and shop for a well-fitted bra before attending any dress fittings.
A square or scoop neck works really well for girls with a fuller bust who are still looking for modesty and support. I would tend to avoid high neck or collared dresses as this style of dress creates a large expanse of fabric and rarely includes any support built into the dress. Strapless can work but must be well fitted to avoid the dress falling down. I would recommend having a dress made bespoke if you are looking for a strapless gown but have a fuller bust.
The majority of support for the bust comes from under the waist. Straps will help for extra support, but I would avoid very delicate thin straps which may dig into the shoulder if there’s a lot of weight bearing down. Accessories can definitely help to add balance – the key is to stick to minimal details around the bust area. Adding a veil can also lift more simple design with added drama.
I would never recommend a low back for anyone needing extra support. Anywhere below the natural waist is a no-go when it comes to support. Instead, opt for silhouettes with a neat, fitted waist, avoid fussy or busy details around the neckline of the dress. Try and keep the dress simple with details in the accessories.