Have you ever worn a blouse or dress that buttons at the centre front (imagine an invisible line in between your breastbone), only to find there are gaps where your bra, or other parts of your anatomy can be seen?

Well there are a few reasons for this:

  • The garment may be too tight in the bust area
  • The garment may be too small
  • The garment may be too small across the back
  • You could be wearing the wrong size bra

It’s not just the gaping in this area, it’s also the visible strain which can be seen across the bust area; the button looks to be on the point of popping, as it tries its hardest to maintain your modesty.  Some women have small cup sizes in bras but may be slightly wider across the upper back, it’s not unusual for swimmers for example to have a wider frame in this area.

Women’s bustlines vary, as do their cup sizes, so the placing of buttons and buttonholes in ready-to-wear garments is an approximation, it’s usually based on the companies’ fit of their in-house model for the size they are producing.

The following remedies are not a cure alls, but they can assist, whilst also helping you with your shopping and fitting choices when next trying on a garment that buttons at the centre front. It’s always best to start with your undergarments first, and the fit of your bra. A padded bra can add a few centimetres to the fit, will you be wearing a padded bra with that garment? Take an additional bra with you when shopping so that you can test out the two.

Does your bra fit your correctly; if it’s a bra you have worn for ages, do the straps still have their elasticity? Bras do have a shelf life, thus straps that are no longer as elasticised when first purchased and worn consistently, can cause the look of your bust to be more south than north! You will be amazed at the simplicity of adjusting your bra strap, how this lifts your bust.

If the garment appears to be too tight in the bust area for closure, consider a size up, don’t get hung up on the size label, a garment that fits you well, and correctly will always make you look slimmer. If the garment is too big in the side seams, away from the ‘peek a boo’ area you can have it taken in.

If you have put on a few pounds or your weight is fluctuating, wearing a light-weight sleeveless t-shirt underneath, buttoning just under the bust area, adding some colourful necklaces, and you’ll have created a styled feature look of your own!

If the gaping is not too great, but you are self conscious, you could stitch a press stud on the underside of the facing to keep it closed, however you definitely want the stitching to not be visible from the outside to keep the line clean.

These are just few suggestions to take into consideration; a good fit is crucial to your overall appearance – as the saying goes ‘if you look good you feel good’ and that’s a great feeling to have with what you wear.

 

Coral Turner is a couture designer based in London. She specialises in unique ready-to-wear handmade garments, as well as bespoke pieces made to measure. "My dresses are just like you... one of a kind."

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