Large Bust Size
April 13, 2015 1:15 PM   Subscribe

How can I be more accepting of my large bust size?

I don't know how to explain this exactly, so this will probably involve more words than it needs to. I do want to state beforehand I am in therapy for other reasons and it hasn't been really successful and I don't have health insurance for complicated reasons so not looking to do more therapy.

I am naturally busty (38DD). It doesn't matter if I'm thinner or larger, so losing weight has no effect.

I have always been made fun of about this. My dad is always asking if I want a breast reduction (despite this question, I'm not interested in surgical intervention and they cause me no pain). My female relatives would always comment on my "development".

I have only dated one person, and true he liked them, but he is dead now. I have never had sex, or any such thing. What I'm saying is, there isn't anyone making me feel positive about the way things are.

I will read forums about my favorite shows, and it feels like all the comments are about how her breasts are too big, without anyone understanding it's a lot harder to be modest when you're large on top. I feel like I need to hide under layers, and I can't just wear normal clothes.

It makes me sad I can't just throw on a button-up shirt or wear the shirts everyone else can. I feel like an ugly monster.

I feel bad about things, but I also don't want to be someone else, I want to like me the way I am now. I just don't know how.
posted by Aranquis to Grab Bag (33 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
It's not much, but Busty Girl Comics is great, and at the very least, will let you know that you're not alone.
posted by damayanti at 1:22 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

First, make sure you're wearing the right size bra. Get fitted at Intimacy or any other specialist bra shop - not a place like Victoria's Secret, for sure. Once your breasts are properly supported and lifted, your clothes will fit much better.

Second, buy shirts that fit in the chest, then have them taken in. It's minimal effort and pretty inexpensive, and you'll have clothes you love that look good on you.

Third, double Ds are kind of a desirable size by today's beauty standards. For what that's worth.
posted by Dragonness at 1:25 PM on April 13, 2015 [9 favorites]

My dad is always asking if I want a breast reduction

He is being a jerk if he is continuing to do this after you've said you're not interested.

My female relatives would always comment on my "development".

That's obnoxious but unfortunately a bit typical.

I am a smallish person with a decent sized bust and my sister is a larger woman with an awesome rack. She has a hard time getting good clothes that fit but when she does, she really rocks her outfits.

So some of this is bundled in people being thoughtless jerks to you (and getting and maintaining boundaries about shitty comments you put up with) and some of it is just making sure that you're just being the best you that you can be, whatever that you is like and getting comfortable and confident on how you look generally. Some of this is clothes that fit (and really good bras, my sister's cost a fortune but they look great on her) and some of this is being in a supportive friends group (online or offline) where you can just be a big busted person and not have to put up with weird comments or crap.

Make small steps. Get a few bras and shirts that fit. Practice saying "Please do not comment on my chest" to people who are being thoughtless. Look through pinterest or other places to see what busty women are wearing that you like. This photo spread from Cosmo (I know...) has a model that wears things that look flattering but aren't all "Hey check out my rack!" Her stuff fits. Find an online group for Health at Any Size or similar where people talk about clothing issues and other stuff in a matter-of-fact way without apologizing for not being right in the middle of the normal curve. Best of luck.
posted by jessamyn at 1:35 PM on April 13, 2015 [9 favorites]

I agree with the suggestion to get a bra fitting and buy some high-quality bras. Honestly, 38DD isn't THAT big, but they will look big and unflattering if your bra isn't doing its job. I remember reading something like the average cup size in America is now an F - yet most women I see appear to have small perky boobs. It's the magic of the bra.

It's true, there are some tops that are more challenging to wear with larger breasts, but not impossible. Bra-sized swimwear and button-down tops do exist. Tailoring exists. It's fine! I don't feel like I have to special order all of my tops, and I am an H-cup!
posted by joan_holloway at 1:38 PM on April 13, 2015

I've been your size (full disclosure: I had breast reduction surgery, but totally get that it's not for everyone.)

My answer to your question is: in any way you can!

For some, it's surgery, for some it's playing them up, for some it's hiding them, for some it's exercise. For some, it's all of these over a lifetime.

I'd be happy to share my journey with you by memail (spoiler: I regret the surgery, but only after a couple of glorious post-surgery years of having smaller breasts.)

For now, my number one suggestion is to somehow get a fashion makeover. Even if it's thrift stores. Start noticing women your size and what they wear. Read some busty fashion blogs. Find your body twin who is getting it right. Ask a friend to help you try on clothes even if you can't afford to buy clothes right now. Snap some pics of the outfits you like. Then head to a thrift store. If the salesclerks check in with you in the dressing room, ask them if they have any advice for dressing "these" (point to your breasts). You will likely grow into them - you won't figure this all out at once.

How old are you? It's totally okay to tell your dad that if you ever want surgery, you will bring it up, but for now, it's innapropriate for him to keep bringing it up. Tell your relatives they're being creepy.
posted by vitabellosi at 1:38 PM on April 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

Here is my prescription: look in the mirror and tell yourself "I like me the way I am right now." Repeat as needed, over time, until it eventually becomes the truth.
posted by aniola at 1:41 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm actually a big bigger in the bust than you are (34F, which is a really weird size), and first thing I can tell you is, yeah, go to a specialty bra shop. Honestly, at places like that, 38DD isn't even considered large. But getting a decent bra really was a game changer for me; my clothes look good and I don't have the third boob problem. DO NOT go to Victoria's Secret or those places; those bras are really a joke for women with large breasts. It seriously does make a massive difference to have a good bra; once you have that done, you'll find that all of a sudden, your clothes fit better and look right.

Although I know it's hard, I think you'll feel better if somehow you get your father to stop asking you if you want surgery after you've said no. I sat up a little straighter when I read that, in fact, because your father is being seriously inappropriate on a couple of levels by discussing that with you -- repeatedly, no less. I've had success by just practicing telling people that I've answered the question already and the subject is not up for further discussion, full stop, and then actually physically leaving the room if they continue.

I'll also say, incidentally, that not one single man has ever looked at me and said, "Mm. You're a pretty woman, but you know, I just don't care for women with big boobs." Just...never happened. Quite the opposite, believe me. (And I'm not thin by most standards, either.) So if you're worried about how sexual partners view you, I think that's not a realistic worry, really. I know it feels like it is, but that's because your relatives have kinda gone out of their way to be jerks to you about this and that's tainting your view.
posted by Button-down sock at 1:47 PM on April 13, 2015 [14 favorites]

Totally treat yourself to good bras and seek out clothing lines that cater to busty ladies.

This askme has some good links.

You can also check out Pepperberry, Thin and Curvy is a great blog with lots of links to clothing stores.
posted by brookeb at 1:47 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Camisols under button downs help tremendously, not only for inevitable gaps and buttons undone but also for raising the decolletage so one doesn't look or feel so busty while wearing any type of shirt.
posted by waving at 1:50 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm currently a 32F and I only wear sports bras ccurrently because I have no need for any kind of lifting separating action that imo will make them even more noticeable. Mine hurt a lot right now so the added boobcrushing support of a sports bra is very welcome indeed.

My non-sports bras are all from Freya, they do a pretty good job supporting the really big sizes while still being appealing clothing items.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:57 PM on April 13, 2015

You absolutely need to be in the right bra size. That will make clothes fit so much better. A 38 DD means that your bust is only 5 inches larger around than your underbust - which I assume isn't the case. I'm tiny and have barely a handful and I wear a 30C and measure as a 28D. Go on a Bra That Fits and use this Calculator.

Don't think about anything else until you have your side done. Okay, got your size? Planning on a new bra? (Figleaves is great!)

NOW we can talk about the body issues. It's difficult to accept your body if your clothes aren't fitting right. Now, I have the opposite problem as you, but I can tell you that a properly fitting bra did tons for my confidence. I've been made fun of because of lack of bust. Everyone's got something that they don't like or is difficult to love. And yet again my old standby is the Nu Project (NSFW nudity). Which is real people, modeling nude. Everyone has a different shape, and you're not a monster. Maybe that means you have to find different tops, and that's okay! Every man (or woman) also has different preferences for what they're attracted to, and that's okay too. Spend more time pampering yourself. Find clothes and a bra that flatter you and you'll start to feel better.

One thing my busty friends do is wearing a cami or tank underneath and/or wearing blouses that are higher neck and less V Necks or button downs. Stretchy tops like sweaters can help too!
posted by Crystalinne at 2:01 PM on April 13, 2015 [5 favorites]

I understand, OP. I'm a 34G and people often comment on it in ways they would not comment on other body parts. I have had countless people say "Wow, you have huge boobs!" I have been sooooo tempted to respond with "Funny you should mention that. I was just noticing how gigantic your ass is!" but that would be childish and hurtful and I refuse to stoop that low. Now when people make comments like that, I smile and say "What an odd and inappropriate thing to say to somebody!" That usually leaves them flustered and embarassed, which they deserve. Your dad is, quite frankly, being a fucking creep by bringing this up repeatedly.

It took me years to come to terms with it. I wanted small, perky breasts that didn't head in opposite directions when I lie down. I wanted to buy cute little B-cup bras from the sale racks at Victoria's Secret. I wanted to look sleek and slim. But guess what? That's not my body type and it never will be. So I have to work with what I have.

Nthing those who say advise you to get properly fitted for bras at a specialty boutique. This was a game changer for me. All of the sudden, my large breasts looked damn good and I wasn't stuck with strictly white or beige. Seriously, get fitted if you have not already. I am so much more confident now and it's part of the larger journey of not only being okay with my body, but loving it and appreciating it.
posted by futureisunwritten at 2:10 PM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]

Agree with everyone else about finding a properly fit bra. I am a 32H (for real, that's 5 Ds on a small frame, it's like an apartment number not a bra size) and I mostly gave up on button-down shirts a while ago (because that advice about fitting the chest and having altered - doesn't work so much when the shoulders and sleeves are way too big). I just wear good-quality knits on top, and I'm also big on cardigans.

I think you should be careful not to fixate on one aspect of your physical appearance. Try to cultivate an acceptance, even a sense of humor about it. As things go, people face a lot worse than a little extra in the bust. Also, get out there and date people if you can - a little good feedback goes a long way. But really, focus on what you like about yourself and don't limit it to the physical.

Also, Chantelle bras are great. Lots of variety, color, lots of sizes. They cost a pretty penny, but if you can find Nordstrom sales, it helps.
posted by vunder at 2:11 PM on April 13, 2015

Oof, I wish there had been an AskMetafilter when I felt like a monstrous big-boobed beast in college! It's really hard--I feel like on the one hand everyone is "supposed" to want big breasts, and on the other hand, nobody actually does ever want them and people are, frankly, often really shitty to girls who have 'em. There is just a weird, crappy dialogue around breasts, probably because there is at least some tenuous mental connection to being or appearing fat, and being or appearing sexual, two things about which we as humans are ALSO really a lot of judgmental idiots.

OK, advice. Everyone has given excellent advice re: proper bras, flattering clothing, and telling inappropriate dads to shut their yaps. I will add a couple of things that have really, really helped me in coming to terms with my disproportionate chest:

-Minimizer bras. Or even looser binders. I wish to god someone had told me these were a thing 15 years ago! They don't make you flat, but they really help to keep things in place and smooth out the line under clothing. That whole thing where it feels like the boobs are just *there* and being all floppy and awkward? Minimizers really help with that. And the less you worry/fret about them or how they're fitting in clothes, the less you'll care at all, really.

-Remember that people are idiots. Like, everyone. The shitty things men and women say to you about your chest are just them putting their own neurotic bullshit on display. When they give you crap, visualize them holding up a brightly-lit billboard that reads I'M SUPER INSECURE AND PETTY!

-Getting older. Seriously, most women's bodies change a lot in their late 20s, early 30s, and beyond--and I'd wager you will definitely not find your size to be an outlier for very long. You may be too young yet to see a lot of this happening but in the meantime, it may just help to remember that this future is out there.

Contrary to Button-down sock's testimony, I have actually been told by men that they would date me if I had a reduction, but definitely not otherwise. But that was in college, when people are still learning not to be horrible children. I bring this up because from your post history, it looks like college is maybe not that far in the past for you.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:15 PM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]

Lots of wonderful advice in this thread. I've been your size, but I seem to be a DDD/E, with band size varying depending on my weight. My cup size never seems to change. I have a lot of body issues, but, after the initial awkward developmental years of 9-12, my breasts have been the one thing I feel pretty good about, other than my face. Certainly, a proper fitting bra makes a huge difference. You can find pretty ones, too. Be prepared to pay extra, but it's a worthwhile investment. Necklines and sleeve lengths also change someone's overall look significantly. I gave up trying to wear button-down shirts ages ago, choosing blouses, sweaters, & buttonless tops instead. Also, anyone one I've been intimate with has been an enthusiastic fan of my breasts, so if that's a concern for you, I don't think you need to worry. I embrace and try to showcase my bust because I consider it to be my best body part, other than my face, but this might not be the approach for you. Start with a professional bra fitting and some good bras and go from there. If you've already done this before, keep in mind bra size changes more frequently than we think and style is just as important as size. Good luck!
posted by katemcd at 2:36 PM on April 13, 2015

I'm a 34f and used to HATE my boobs because of the attention they got from guys and the derision they got from other women. A few things helped me:

1. Getting fitted for the right size. I was trying to squeeze into a 36 D or DD because that was the biggest size in Victoria's Secret. It's harder to find cool, affordable bras in my size, but they are totally worth it.

2. Exercise/weight loss. I lost about 20 pounds and my boobs stayed the same size, but they felt different to me - less like additional blobs of fat and more like a feature. It also helped me stand up straight, which makes a huge difference in how people perceive me. I stopped walking around like I was trying to hide my chest and magically women (especially my family members), stopped treating them like they were a problem to be solved.

3. Learning how to dress for my shape. I stopped trying to squeeze into strapless dresses and button-down shirts, and started buying clothes that worked with my shape. It takes a lot of trail and error and one of the things that worked best for me was taking a daily outfit picture. It's easier for me to be completely objective about how an outfit looks when I'm looking at a picture (for me it's just a selfie in a full-length mirror), than looking in the mirror or trying something on in a dressing room. I slowly weeded out the clothes that just didn't look good.

I'm not sure how old you are, but I had mixed feelings about my boobs until I was around 33, and even seriously considered getting a reduction. I'm so glad I didn't because I really learned to love them and I think they are awesome (so has any person I've gotten naked with).
posted by elvissa at 2:52 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

I don't like the way your dad talks to you. I bet you'd feel better without his unsolicited dumb comments on your body. Try telling him to cut it out, it's unnecessary. And gross.

there isn't anyone making me feel positive about the way things are.
I don't like the way YOU are talking about you, either. In the absence of positive reinforcement from the outside, which you can't always count on, you could also try talking to yourself a little nicer. I.e., don't talk about yourself like:

I feel like an ugly monster
I'm a petite woman with a bust about your size. I agree it's tough. Certainly not all it's cracked up to be. But would you see me as "an ugly monster?" I doubt it; you seem like a very nice person. Try to see yourself as you would a friend, or any other woman.

I seem to meet more "ass men" these days and the ones that are super into breasts seem to be into the implant look over the natural look. But you know who loves my breasts? Men who love me. That's nice when it happens but there's no guarantee of that. You can't rely on men for self-esteem, that gives them way too much power over your body. But if you are ready to date, look for men who make you feel good generally, not just about your body parts.

All the industrial-strength bras and appreciative dudes in the world can only help so much if you are talking to yourself so negatively. I don't know how to fix that, I struggle with it myself, but when I catch myself thinking something hateful about myself, I imagine saying it to a friend or relative and immediately I see how wrong it is to be so mean to myself.
posted by kapers at 3:02 PM on April 13, 2015 [10 favorites]

And don't listen to internet commenters, sitting on their butts criticizing the women attractive enough to be on TV shows. One time I read a negative comment about some sexy starlet's thumbs, of all things. Who can take people like that seriously? Don't waste your time.
posted by kapers at 3:07 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

You might be interested in the web comic Wapsi Square. It has a long and hugely confusing plot about various human and paranormal characters, but it also frequently touches on the problems experienced by large chested women. There's currently a storyline about a teenage Siren who finds her body at odds with her personality.
posted by MsMolly at 4:09 PM on April 13, 2015

Your relatives sound like the kind of people who would tell you you're ugly no matter what. If you had smaller boobs, they'd bitch that they were too small. If you had average sized boobs, they'd complain that your ass was too big. Or your legs are too skinny. Or your nose is a potato. Just anything to make sure you know that you're worthless and ugly, you know? Or just to nitpick and scrutinize.

I don't think we're born hating ourselves, I think we learn it from other people. They outnumber us, after all, so they must be correct, right?
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:43 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

On the topic of getting an appropriate bra fitting, check out this amazing FPP. A lot of comments there affirm the whole fitting-is-harder-than-we-thought thing.
posted by R a c h e l at 5:55 PM on April 13, 2015

Some things that helped me:

1. the correctly fitting bra thing. Yes. And there is a HUGE variation in how those suckers fit, even in the same size. I've tried on a few recently that made my boobs point outwards, in different directions, you know? And I didn't realize it in the mirror, because one's own eyes sort of correct it. Took a photo for me to be like whaaat?? And I know to watch for that now.

2. Button downs are not happening. I don't try. But, if for some reason you must, Fashion Tape will hold the seams closed unless your top really fundamentally doesn't fit.

3. Wrap tops ARE happening, but I take them to the alterations lady and have her stitch them shut along the seam. I used to do this with fashion tape, but it's so much better to have them sewn. Such a relief!

4. I also got a couple of cami bra thingies, similar to these. They have made all kinds of necklines wearable that would have been too deep for me.

5. The biggie for me was when I left my hometown and went to an enormous state university where no variation of body was unusual. I have to say 38DD is not that big, which makes me think that either you ARE busty but wearing the wrong size; or not all that busty but thinking you are because you live in a tiny population of people. Your prior question says you're in grad school. Is it by any chance a small program? I really think that just being out among a greater variety of people will show you that your body isn't particularly remarkable. Good luck!
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:19 PM on April 13, 2015

So I have essentially the opposite problem as you, in that I spent most of my life with barely discernible breasts. I also measure as a 28-D (Crystalinne! twinnies!) and I think you should try to remember, too, that everyone feels like an ugly monster occasionally, and gets unsolicited and unpleasant comments from family and other horrible people.

Something that really changed the way I think about my body was going to art school. I took as many life drawing and anatomy classes as I could, and everyone's body is so beautiful and interesting in so many different ways. I don't feel the same about my body post-life-drawing, as I did before.

Even if you have fairly rudimentary art talents, consider going to some life drawing events (most cities have them) and sketching the models. It's amazing how looking at the human body as curves, angles, surfaces, colours, shadows, soft edges and symmetry and un-symmetry makes you think "wow."

The NU project is great. Everyone is so different, and society needs to change so that none of us feel about our body the way you're feeling. My sister is a double D, and I spent my entire young adult life looking at her filling out shirts and dresses properly, not being mistaken for a teenager, and having cleavage, wishing that we could somehow trade, as she was stressing out over looking too exposed in shirts, wishing halter tops weren't in style, trying to minimize her cleavage, looking at me wearing whatever I want, picking up dresses from a store without worrying about the size of arm holes, and wearing tube tops, wishing we could trade.

Being a woman is hard. being constantly judged by your appearance is hard. being sensitive about a part of your appearance is hard. try to love yourself as much as possible, and when you're feeling like an ugly monster, first of all stop it, and then try to think about something you like about your body. (for instance, I have really long arms. that seems like a weird thing to like, but I love it. when I feel sad about my love handles or whatever, I like to stick my arms out in front of me and be like "wow! those are great.")

Also when I had really horrible acne and people brought it up (which was about 3 to 5 times a day for 10 years, it was really bad. strangers are FULL of advice.) I eventually just started saying "I'm sorry to interrupt you, but my skin is not up for discussion." I highly recommend you practice saying this 1000000 times out loud to yourself so that you can inflect it with zero emotion, and then just use it any time anyone starts to say anything about your breasts unless you have initiated the conversation. Repeat it if necessary.
posted by euphoria066 at 8:21 PM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]

A friend finds to be helpful, friendly, and welcoming.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:44 PM on April 13, 2015

Lots of good advice above; I wanted to pop in to recommend two specific bra brands/styles. I'm a 38DDD as well, although you'd never know it. If you have the money to get fitted at Nordstrom, I cannot recommend the Wacoal Full Figure Underwire bras enough. They're even on sale now, $37!

BUT. Ambrielle full figured bras at JCPenney are an almost exact match; regularly priced they are about $38, but they're often on sale, 2 for 1 in-store.

Best of luck. I used to get a lot of comments, too; some of it I aged out of as people got more mature, some of it was getting into the right bras, and some of it was developing a withering side-eye for anyone who thought they had a right to comment. It sucks but I'm hoping it'll get better for you, too.
posted by stellaluna at 9:47 PM on April 13, 2015

I don't know if this will help at all, but I hope it will: I envy the hell out of you. I really do. I was born the wrong sex, and I have always ached to have a big ol' pair of boobs. I think boobs, especially big boobs, are basically the best things ever. For various reasons, I'm never going to have a pair I can't take off at the end of the night. And oh, lord, do I envy you. So much envy!

You must know that big boobs are generally highly prized in Western society. A lot of folks would envy you. I mean, not to belittle the many complications and potential drawbacks of actually having them! One person's gift can be another's curse, and I definitely don't mean to suggest that you've lived a charmed life and have no right to be unhappy. I'm not trying to hit you with a bunch of snarky "first world problems" bullshit. If you've suffered, you've suffered, and that's real.

But the thing that's made you suffer is something a lot of people dream of, and hopefully realizing that will make your curse feel a little more like a gift, or at least like less of a curse.

Your family has done a number on you, focusing on your chest like that and making you feel weird about it. They've made you ashamed of your big beautiful boobs, and that's all kinds of wrong. I don't want to conjecture on their motivations, but know that other people do not see your chest that way. You are not a monster. You are a real live unicorn, and people aren't staring because they think you're ugly.

It sounds like you are an introvert with a body that makes it hard to blend into a crowd. That's tough, and I can relate. But your body probably stands out because people find you so distractingly attractive. Take my word for it: things could be worse.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:16 PM on April 13, 2015

I love my Panache bras. I don't really love my boobs - the other day I realised that if I lay on my back with my head propped up to read my chin is resting on them which was disconcerting - but they are what they are. So I wear stuff that fits, I don't try and wear things that don't, and I refuse to listen to 'advice' from assholes (your dad, other relatives, internet commentators for the most part).

I've also learnt that a lot of clothing advice about boobs is just flat out bad. I'm narrow through the shoulders and ribs - something like a 32J at the moment? - and so most 'big boob fashion' looks like shit. Batwing and dolman tops look great on the other hand. Boatneck tops are amazing as well. Fashion advice is almost always predicated on a sexual version of 'better' so I stopped giving a shit about 'wear rockabilly 50s stuff!' and wear what I like. Sometimes that's even men's clothing, particularly v-neck tees since the fabric is nicer and the v is higher.
posted by geek anachronism at 10:27 PM on April 13, 2015

I'd like to change my second paragraph's "you must know" to "I hope you know". If you already knew it, you'd probably feel a lot better about your body.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:49 PM on April 13, 2015

I feel like I need to hide under layers, and I can't just wear normal clothes.

I hate wearing layers, too, and have resorted to wearing half tanktops like these under shirts that are low cut on me (I'm sure there are other brands out there as well). 38DD is well within the possible in terms of finding well-fitting clothes, but it does take some effort and trial and error. Once you figure out styles that work, it will get easier. Susannah from Trinny and Susannah is busty and writes about how to find flattering tops, bras, and dresses (if you search around on their site).

Please don't think you're a monster of any kind. Breasts are wonderful, and gossipy family members and crappy people on tv forums are not the best people whose judgement you should trust.
posted by bluefly at 4:18 AM on April 14, 2015

and I can't just wear normal clothes.

What I eventually learned, after decades of saying this exact sentence, s that the important word here is "just," and not "normal." You can absolutely wear normal clothes. Every stitch of clothing I wear is something I bought at a perfectly ordinary store. I didn't have to buy them at the secret boob monster store; I bought them at Target and Modcloth and other places where millions of other people shop. I have seen my dresses and sweaters and jackets on other women all over the place (and not just fellow chesty women, either!). I've even seen my favorite t-shirt on a TV character. They're normal clothes.

The problem is you can't JUST wear them, as in, grab any old thing without thinking and know it'll just fit and be flattering. So some of my clothes have been tailored, and yeah, some years the "trendy" thing just won't suit me at all. (see my last 2 questions on AskMe--my current fashion plague has nothing at all to do with my boobs!)

But one thing I've learned from talking to other people--and not just women, everyone--is that nobody who really cares about how they look can "just" wear anything. It's frustrating to have to give thought to your appearance this way, if it's not naturally interesting to you; but it's a frustration shared by most people, in their own particular ways.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:59 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seconding that you absolutely can wear "normal" clothes -- or, phrased better, clothes that you can get in "straight" (as opposed to plus-sized) stores. Again, 38DD is really not all that large -- not trying to diminish how you feel, but objectively, that's just not a really huge size. As I said, I'm a 34F, and I buy clothes in regular stores like Macy's, Banana Republic, Loft, etc. Yes, I have to buy XL or size 14, but it's not difficult to find those sizes in straight stores.

To be sure, there are certain things I can't wear -- the foremost example is crew necks, which look awful on me, as does any high-collared garment. But that doesn't translate to not being able to wear normal clothes; it just means that I have to look for things that look good, like V-necks and scoop necks. But I'm no different from anyone in that regard.
posted by Button-down sock at 10:14 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

I also would like to note that I don't even mean straight sizes vs plus sizes. Plus size clothes are also normal clothes! When this mindset of feeling unable to wear normal clothes was affecting me most strongly it was actually a sense that there were not clothes invented for me and that I needed some kind of mystical magic garment (or failing that, nine shirts at once). The whole concept of flattering clothing eluded me for a long time, because I thought that for something to be flattering, it had to look like it did on the mannequin/model. Eventually I learned that some things--for example, V-necks--can look good on me even if they also look good, differently, on a flat-chested model.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:21 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

My first thought was to wonder if this was a joke. I am 36DD and LOVE 'em. I feel guilty for being born with such a wonderful gift. It's like being a man who's tall and gets undeserved attention/respect/lust for THAT physical characteristic. A former roommate of mine was 30F and it looked even better; I was a bit envious of her since she's petite whereas I'm tall so my large bust is merely proportional to the rest of me.

Embrace it. Step outside your mean-spirited family and see how others (silently) react to your beautiful female form. I have never heard of anyone in pop culture being derided for having *too* large a bust. If I did, I'd chalk it up to envy! As for clothing, sure it's hard to find clothes, but I've had great success with certain brands and materials with some cling to them. I stay away from high collars. Prefer v-necks. Button-downs are tricky (though I'm wearing one today but it's stretchy and has a built-in belt so I can draw in that part of me, since despite the boobs I'm otherwise thin). Talk to friends and you'll find out everyone finds shopping difficult. Nobody is actually an "average" body.
posted by Guinevere at 8:38 AM on June 8, 2015

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