How to Dress With a Big Chest and a Skinny Frame

Victoria Beckham cuts a flattering figure at a Walk of Fame ceremony.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Dressing a woman's drastically disparate body proportions can be frustrating, especially if she's big on top. Although a large bust can often correspond to a curvy, balanced body type, not all large-busted gals come big all over. If you're skinny, clothes that fit your chest are usually too baggy for your small waist and simply won't flatter. A large-busted girl may want to instead balance out her shape by de-emphasizing the bust and building up the hips, or show it off with figure-skimming silhouettes.

Big Balance

Balancing out a thin, big-chested girl's proportions often means de-emphasizing the bust, but not necessarily hiding it behind baggy clothes. The eye is easily drawn away from the bust by playing up the hip and thigh areas with A-line skirts that end at the knee, brightly-colored, printed trouser patterns and the combination of a dark top with a lighter bottom garment. Low waists and loose, flowing pants shapes help complete the illusion, while a girl's upper half stays simple with solid colors and few decorative details.

Figure Fit

Showing off a slim figure means a girl needs to closely fit her waist as well as her bust, without the typical wrinkling and gaping an ill-fitting shirt provides. Tailored tops, which feature darts at the bust and sides, give a girl a smooth fit while still hugging the body closely. Other slimming garments include corset blouses, which are strapless tops with plenty of structure to hold up the girls. Keep all tops long, as a short shirt can cut your body awkwardly and make you look wider than you really are.

Flattering Shapes

Whether a girl wants to show off her bust or play it down, she needs to pay attention to the shape of her garments to get the most flattering look. Necklines in V, sweetheart, square and plunging styles help flatter the upper body without making a girl's breasts the center of attention. Tops with thick straps and sleeves add balance, and open single-breasted jackets give a chic, slouchy shape without being too big and baggy.

Diva Don't

Some styles to avoid, no matter what effect you're going for, include too many shirt details that add bulk to the top such as ruching, ruffles or lace. A girl should also refrain from drawing attention to her bust with graphic tees that have a big, printed slogan across the chest, button-down tops that gape in front and tucked-in shirts, which can emphasize the bust instead. High-necked tops and empire-waisted garments can also be unflattering, and any bottoms with a high waist will definitely detract from your small frame.

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