The Busty Girl's Ultimate Styling Guide

If you're anything like me, scoping a new collection or shopping on an e-commerce site takes two sets of eyes: one that's all about the innovation and right-off-the-bat beauty, and another that has a trained sense for knowing what will realistically work for 5'4" gal with a chesty frame. As much as I may love fashion, when proportions come into play, it doesn't always feel like a mutual admiration society.
For a woman with curves, knowing what to wear is not about limitation, but rather about really perfecting what works. I credit my know-how from countless hours in store dressing rooms and the experience of always ordering everything in two sizes, but I've also tapped some real professional help to assemble the tips every, ahem, extra-blessed woman should know.
Jessica Paster, whose past celebrity clientele including curvy beauties like Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson, is a wiz when it comes to what to wear to keep it classy without hiding your frame. Pulling out some tried-and-true items from my own closet, I've taken Jessica's tips to heart (and added in a few of my own) to help demonstrate the six ways to show off your personal style without ever making a sacrifice for the sake of anatomy.
Photographed by Mark Iantosca
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The Perfect Jacket

Try to avoid anything double-breasted and skip any styles that add extra bulk on top. Instead, choose streamlined fits that will elongate your shape. Look for a nipped-in waist, too, giving just the right balance to the bust and hips. Don't get frustrated if you can't find the blazer that covers all these bases — according to Paster, tailoring is a major for women with a larger chest. Find a good one, and keep that number on speed dial.

Blazer and necklace from; H&M skirt, Uniqlo tights; Michael Kors watch; tank borrowed from old college roommate (promise I'll return it!).

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
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Under Wraps (But Not Really)

This may be the oldest trick in the book, but there's a reason it's stuck around so long. A pretty scarf adds just a touch of coverage if your neckline happens to drop a little lower than you're comfortable with. And, if you choose an option in bright colors and patterns, it won't look like you're trying to conceal anything.

Lauran Vitonahu scarf; Topshop dress; Club Monaco bag (borrowed from Piera).

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
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Belts Are Your Bestie

When it comes to oversized pieces and clothing that's extra voluminous, cinch your waist with a belt for the best fit. "You have to balance it out," Paster advises, which especially applies to women on the shorter side (à la me). The best place to add a belt is at the natural waist so the garment doesn't overpower your body and really emphasizes your curves.

Forever21 sweater; Topshop belt; Zara pants; Michael Kors watch.

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
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Be Strap Conscious

A good rule of thumb, especially for a nighttime look or special occasion, is to choose an outfit that allows you to still be supported. "Anything where you can't wear a bra, I would avoid," Paster tells me. Halters and crisscross backs: yes. Backless and cutouts: probably not.

Borrowed tank; ASOS skirt; belt, no label; Loeffler Randall boots (borrowed from Piera).

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
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Too-Small Tricks

"I think that when most designers make clothes, they make them for women who are small chested," Paster says (and I agree). "So, even if it's a size six, you still have to go a size bigger to accommodate the bust." However, if you find yourself with tops that just wont lay perfectly, I love to tie them up and layer. The knot naturally cinches the waist (check), creates a faux crop top — which would normally be a no-no for busty girls — (check), and keeps you from throwing a great top to the back of the closet (triple check!).

Whistles button-up; Zara dress; Uniqlo tights; Dolce Vita boots; Columbia hat I stole from our photographer, Mark.

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
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Know Your Necklines

Sometimes it can take a little extra awareness to make sure your look is always PG for work (PG-13, depending on office dress code), but I must insist: Don't avoid V-necks. The shape actually lengthens the neckline and slims your upper half, as opposed to high collars and crew necks that tend to draw attention upward. Just remember to leave the plunging V's for after hours...or not at all — your call!

Mango sweater; Silence & Noise top; H&M shorts; Uniqlo tights; Dolce Vita boots; Michael Kors watch; thrifted necklace

Photographed by Mark Iantosca

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