How do I get Dolly Parton's cleavage?
October 24, 2009 3:35 AM   Subscribe

How can I get cheap, comfortable, semi-realistic giant fake breasts for Halloween? Yes, I'm going as Dolly Parton. I'm also a girl with some already not-insignificant boobs going on. (And yeah, we may well be overthinking this giant plate of beans.)

I've got a nice shiny red Western-style shirt that I need to fill. The costume shop told me they had some "inflatable inserts," but they were sold out. I'm normally a C-cup. My plan was just to grab a roll of toilet paper and go to town, but my husband doesn't think that will work. I can see his point; I don't have a lot of extra room in my existing bras to work with. It might just crush down within the first hour. Should I go to Kmart and get a big bra and go from there? What do I stuff it with? I know you can get those silicone push-up "chicken cutlet" things, but they're probably not cheap and I highly doubt I'd ever use them again. And I really don't think those novelty plastic breasts they sell for bachelor parties to wear are going to work. Maybe something a little more substantial, like wadded up panty hose? Shoulder pads? Should I stuff "underneath" so I've got some actual cleavage, or will that just look bad?

Somebody has to have done this before. What worked (or didn't) with your big fake cleavage? (I've tried to google this, but that failed just about as spectacularly as you might imagine.)

My husband is, of course, going as Kenny Rogers.
posted by web-goddess to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Perhaps try building up your bosom using the duct-tape body-building method?
posted by zippy at 3:41 AM on October 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

More specifically, put t-shirt on over bra. Maybe build up the front of the t-shirt using foam or cheap plastic bowls. Wrap tape over the whole thing. Cut t-shirt (and tape) in back so you can slip it off.
posted by zippy at 3:44 AM on October 24, 2009

Couldn't the inflatable inserts be replaced with party balloons inflated to a low volume? Place them in a structured/lightly padded bra (to hide the line of demarcation and generally hold things in place, perhaps one or two cup sizes too large,) under your god-given talents.
posted by biggity at 4:46 AM on October 24, 2009

Best answer: Not sure if this would work, but I'd probably try this: wear a push up bra to make the most of your natural cleavage. Buy a padded bra in a more Dolly-like size to wear over the push up. Extend the straps so that the top edge of the cups drop lower than your cleavage and then stuff the outer bra. If the second bra is padded, you should be able to stuff with something like pantyhose and still retain the appropriate curve.

I'm not sure how comfortable this rig would be, or if the second bra would ride up (maybe you could stitch the top edge of the big bra to a point below your cleavage), but since Dolly is fond of showing off her most famous feature, I think showing a little skin would be more realistic than just buttoning your shirt up to the neck.

On preview, biggity's idea might be easier.
posted by contrariwise at 4:53 AM on October 24, 2009

How about these on eBay?
posted by essexjan at 5:08 AM on October 24, 2009

Buy two large balloons.

Fill them with water, for that realistic bounce. Do not overfill. Test for strength ahead of time. Powder them liberally with talc or cornstarch to prevent chafing.

Acquire cheap megabra, put it on, and layer your own girls over the balloons. Victory!
posted by Jilder at 6:08 AM on October 24, 2009

Shoulder pads. If you can't find them in an old shirt or sweater, you can get them at a sewing/fabric store. Get a really Dolly-ish big bra, and glue the should pads in place.
posted by theora55 at 6:23 AM on October 24, 2009

There are some good suggestions in this previous askmefi.
posted by Billegible at 7:48 AM on October 24, 2009

Instead of balloons filled with possibly spilling water, try a pair of pantyhose filled with birdseed. Pour the seed into each foot, then tie them off so that there's plenty of slack, like a loose bean-bag, and insert them in your larger bra.

Yay, high school drama club stage manager knowledge!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:08 AM on October 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

Two bra thing is a good idea if you want cleavage. Another funny thing to do is to take eyeliner and draw a cleavage line, or if you want something more subtle, take bronzer or dark powder to enhance your cleavage.
If you want actual falsies, put water-filled balloons in, fill them with cornstarch instead. They won't burst, and it will actually be more comfortable and realistic-looking.
posted by ishotjr at 3:56 PM on October 24, 2009

*that should say DON'T put water-filled balloons in.
posted by ishotjr at 3:56 PM on October 24, 2009

I did this once, just borrowed a bra from a very busty friend and stuffed it with socks, looked fine under a tight-fitting top.
posted by mareli at 5:16 PM on October 24, 2009

robocop has the right idea. There are plenty of other options but for the time allotted and the cash to spend, pantyhose with birdseed (I used rice) is the way to go.
posted by chairface at 8:38 PM on October 25, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everybody! I decided to give the two-bra method a try. A very busty friend sent me over all the necessary bits. First a set of those silicone stick-on "strapless bra" chicken cutlet things. The real advantage here is that they hook together in the front, so they bring the girls together for some nice cleavage. Then my own push up bra for the necessary support and comfort. Then the giant bra, straps lengthened, stuffed (for the test run) with about 8 sports socks. It worked great! I had enough cleavage to undo a couple buttons and enough mass to approximate Dolly, and it didn't feel too cumbersome to wear.

I may still try the cornstarch-filled balloons on the day if I have time... (Photos, of course, will be forthcoming next week.)
posted by web-goddess at 5:03 AM on October 27, 2009

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