It was the iconic Coco Chanel who said: “Fashion is architecture; it is a matter of proportions.”

After breast augmentation, it can be a challenge to find clothes that work well with your body’s new silhouette, accentuating rather than hiding or distorting the  shape that’s finally yours to enjoy.

Post-surgery, if you’re a “C” cup or larger, especially with a lower body in the petite-average range, you’re considered “busty” and should make clothing choices accordingly. Here are some tips about what works and what to avoid from the dressing room to the streets.

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New Challenges of Great (Fantastic) Proportion

Your new bustline will make your waist appear smaller, giving an overall appearance of curviness, but it will also shorten the waist, so a good starting point is balancing proportion by elongating the torso. Make fashion choices that ensure the breasts are supported and lifted; for instance, belt a top at the hip, instead of at the waist.

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For outside inspiration, train yourself to be a copycat. Observe the non-red carpet ensembles of busty celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Eva Mendes or Selma Hayek for specific inspiration. Remember, you don’t need their budget to mimic successful styles—look for similar designs from mainstream retailers.

A word of caution: Follow your surgeon’s recommendations and wait at least a week or two following surgery to give new clothing a try. Allow immediate swelling to subside to determine the most accurate size. Avoid raising your arms to get into certain kinds of tops; stick to styles that open towards the front, like zip-up hoodies and button-down shirts. For undergarments, a supportive bra without underwire is best until the breasts have dropped. (This happens usually between four and six weeks after surgery.)

Once you’re ready to wear typical styles again, it’s time to shop and talk specifics—hint: think halter-tops—and find your best, well-balanced accessory.

Tops

  • The more fitted the better, but never at the expense of personal comfort.
  • Halter tops, halter tops, halter tops! Since these cuts are often made with a tie, they give you the freedom to adjust the depth of your neckline and offer good support while doing it.
  • Fitted V-necks or scoop necks are flattering to the eye, yet still tasteful.
  • Fitted sweaters, practical staples in any wardrobe, cater to a great shape, while providing some extra support.
  • Jackets or coats: Anything trench-shaped or belted will support and accentuate the bust line.

Bottoms and Dresses:

  • A-line cuts are universally flattering, whether as a skirt or dress. These will forever be ideal for balancing curvy or busty figures. A-lines soften the appearance of the hips while minimizing the waist.
  • Pencil skirts balance the figure by highlighting curves in the right places, drawing the eye to a full bustline without making it look overpowering.
  • For pants, whether they’re denim, linen or cotton, anything boot cut balances curviness, since it sits low on the waist, falling neither too tight nor too loose around the calf and ankle.

Swimsuits and Lingerie:

  • Whether you’re beachside or pool-side, look for maximal support in tops with a thick strap, or a band underneath the bust.
  • There are plenty of companies that target their designs toward busty women; check out Bravissimo, a manufacturer of lingerie and swimsuits for ladies of a D-cup or larger. 

A Final Tip

Loose and baggy tops will fit your chest the easiest, but they will make your midsection appear thicker and unflattering. Above all, definitely dress according to how you feel most like yourself; your implants are now a permanent part of you, so give them a well-attired welcome.