Here’s some news: not all small-busted women are slips of things. They may all have small bra sizes, but they can be skinny, fat, tall, short, pear-shaped or broad shouldered. When it comes to advising on how to dress, there’s no off-the-peg solution. That’s why I’m taking a closer look at the body shapes of all sorts of little breasted women and asking an expert friend, personal and celebrity stylist Martine Alexander, to share some know-how. Here are her golden rules for dressing to flatter your small-busted body, whatever its shape:

Body type Body shapeMartine's style tips
BananaSmall-busted & skinny, straight up & down, no defined waist or hips.Looks that capitalise on the 'draping' trend, where fabrics skim over the body, are a good bet. Dresses that drop from the neck and gather by the hips, will play up the strengths of your boyish body shape. For a casual approach, 'boyfriend' style jackets and jeans will also suit.
PearSmall-busted & pear-shaped.If you're bottom heavy, use your clothes to effect a balancing act, creating an illusion of having equal width shoulders and hips. Broaden the shoulders with 80’s style shoulder pads, embellished details and batwing sleeves. Military style jackets with detail on the shoulders, or jackets with wide lapels, are other instant body equalisers.
StrawberrySmall-busted with big shoulders & narrow hipsExploit your clothes to give the impression of having wider hips, balancing out your body shape to create the perfect ‘hourglass’ shape. Skirts that have fullness or pleating around the hips, like 'tulip' and 'balloon' styles, are your saviour. Detailing like hip pockets will also help. 'Peg' trousers are great for you. They make your hips look rounder and the tapered leg shape is bang up-to-date.
AppleSmall-busted with big build & weight around the tummy area.The main idea is to train the gaze away from the tummy area. Empire line dresses and tops do the trick. They are fitted under the bust and then flare out to skim the hips and tummy, showing curves, but not drawing attention to anything you want to hide. The perfect jacket for you is the 'boyfriend' jacket. Steer clear of anything too fitted as it will be tricky to find something that fits you around the shoulders and bust without creating tension around the stomach area. If you have great legs, get them out – leggings, skinny jeans and opaque tights are vital slimming ingredients. But make sure your tops finish below your tummy if you’re wearing slim fitting trousers.

To find out more about Martine’s personal styling services, visit her site. The Wardrobe Detox sounds like something I could use.

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6 Responses to “How to dress to rock your small-busted body”

  1. Kate says:

    My shoulders are 35 inches, waist 25, hips 34. What does that make me?

  2. Catherine says:

    You sound to me like a strawberry! Hope you get something useful from reading Martine’s great tips.

  3. Kate,

    You could be verging on hourglass which gives you the best of both worlds as you dont need to equalize anything out, your body is in proportion – although on some occasions you may feel slightly like a strawberry.

    For your shape, I’d advise you look at ways to make your bust look bigger rather than balance anything out….

    Look at ruffle tops and tops with pockets or detailing or a print on the bust area…

    Hope that helped?
    Martine x

  4. Kate says:

    Thanks Martine! That makes sense, sometimes my shoulders feel too big and sometimes my hips do!

  5. Gerri says:

    Hello, the advice I am seeking is for my mother. She’s 59
    To explain her bluntly she is around 5’5 or 5’6 with a round belly and a cup breasts. she is a breast cancer surviver and well showing her bust line just isn’t going to happen. She used to be pair shaped like me before she had me so she is a little wide bottomed as well. After having the cancer her self esteem has taken a huge hit, I would like to go shopping with her soon and pick out something that will really flatter her shape and make her feel good about the way she looks again.

  6. Michele says:

    I am having some self image issues and was thinking about buying some lingerie to make me feel sexy again. I have a problem though, I have small breasts like a B but I have a big belly. I was wondering what type of Lingerie I should consider getting.. I have tried the empire waist shirts before but have found that instead of camoflauging my tummy they make me look pregnant… I am in desperate need of some help! I have googled it and tried to find suggestions online but almost every site assums that plus sized women have large breasts.. Please help!

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