I’m a Chesty Betsy, with some tig ole’ bitties. Huge knockers. Plus-sized funbags. Basically, I have enormous breasts, is what I’m trying to tell you. I was a 36H the last time I got fitted. 36H.
I’ll just let that sink in for a minute. For those of you who yearn for larger breasts, let me make it clear. Large breasts are annoying. And I spent a long time hating my giant ta-tas. But I’ve come to peace with them. And with a few small tricks, you other well-endowed ladies can too.
Go get fitted for a bra. Oh my god, go get fitted for a bra. And no, Victoria’s Secret is not an appropriate place to do this. Their sales associates are not properly trained and second, they only carry up to a DD (which, BTW, is secretly an E), so they won’t tell you you’re anything larger than that. Go to the fanciest department store you know of and find the oldest woman there. Tell her you need to get fitted. She’ll feel you up (the good ones don’t need measuring tape) and spit out a number that will be three cup sizes bigger than you thought you were. Accept it. That’s what you are now. Another thing you need to accept: if you wear above an E cup, even remotely pretty bras will run you at least $60 a pop. Suck it up and deal (and/or obsessively look for sales). Once you get a bra that fits right, it will all be worth it. A good bra lifts, separates, and makes you look like you lost ten pounds.
A quick word about sports bras: you will never be a runner, because there is no sports bra in the world that will let you jog without bouncing. That said, TitleNine makes a bra called, charmingly, The Last Resort, which comes pretty close, if you’re an F or under. They don’t make larger bras. What’s up with that?
Avoid turtlenecks. Here’s the bad news: you can’t wear crewnecks or turtlenecks, because anything with a neckline that completely covers the bust will make you look like you’ve popped out five kids. Shirts with writing are out: you’ll stretch them out and they look obscene. Halter tops are too much strain on your neck. Most devastatingly, the loose, flowy tops and dresses that look perfect on your smaller-breasted friends will just make you look pregnant.
The good news: anything else can basically work for you and, thanks to Christina Hendricks, designers are having a curvy moment. Choose pieces that show at least the very tippy-top of your cleavage – otherwise, it looks like no one told your clothes about your boobs. Go for structured tops and dresses – anything with darts or a fitted waist will make you look like a rock star. I wear an 8 or 10 on the bottom, but a 16 on top.
Find a good tailor and make friends with him/her. I buy the biggest size I need and then take it to the tailor or buy a giant waist belt. Done. Button-down shirts particularly want tailoring: buy a size big enough to accommodate your chest without gaping at the buttons and then get the rest taken in.
Note: the fact that you want clothing that’s fitted and not high-necked doesn’t mean you need to walk around in tight, low-cut ensembles (though if that’s your thing, rock it). The number one challenge of being ample-bosomed is that, as Tina Fey once put it, “I only have two speeds — either matronly or a little too slutty.” Learn to walk the fine line between the two.
Breaking: other people notice your rack, which is a whole set of issues when it comes to dating. I’m married now, but toward the end of my single days, I started appreciating my chest as a litmus test. If a dude couldn’t stop staring at my cleavage while my clothes were still on (or if he mentioned wanting to put his junk on my breasts two seconds after we started making out) he was probably not “in it for the right reasons,” as they say on The Bachelor. I also appreciate the fact that I can tell when someone’s comfortable with me by whether or not they mention my boobs, rather than just silently treating them as the lace-covered elephants in the room.
If you’re extremely well-endowed up top, you will never be a waif. I lost thirty pounds a few years ago and my cup size actually went up. The sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be. If I can learn to rock my rack, you can, too. But seriously, go get fitted for a bra. STAT.