Asian-chested is not an oxymoron

Big Boob Meltdown

Infamous big boob problem: button-down shirts.

Unavoidable situation: ultra-formal interview.

Countdown to interview: nervous googling, unsuccessful shopping, major profanity, unbridled frustration and tears melting together into one giant hot mess.

I have a suit that is pretty fantastic and fits me well. I got the sleeves tailored a few days ago, but put off figuring out the clothes underneath until two days pre-interview because I was busy, you know, working the job that I do have now. It’s my first skirt suit (and I will never understand why it’s more conservative to walk around pants-less) and the super-high waist of the skirt was really awkward at first but now I’m used to it.

But holy shit, how am I supposed to dress underneath without looking like
I got run over by the distressed wrinkle monster;
b) I am all boob and nothing else;
c) I am tent, hear me swim;
I am balloon, watch me float;
e) I am being asphyxiated by my own clothing;
or f) all of the above plus some??

If I size down, I gape through the top buttons and destroy all semblance of being in a piece of shaped clothing when I lift my arms.

If I size up, I gape through the bottom buttons and destroy all semblance of being in a piece of shaped clothing when I lift my arms.

In both cases, the shirt folds in under my bust in the most amazing display of awkwardness since ever, and tucked-ness goes straight to hell if I move a muscle. Also, I can basically fit another person on my back in my shirt. All the shirts.

Because it’s fun to have my nerves played with by unwieldy clothing rather than making myself the best interviewee for the job, right? RIGHT?

(I am now home from this interview, and I’m having no luck trying to calm down about it. I’m thinking about giving myself some temporal leeway with this blog just to ease off on self-pressuring for a while, but I wanted to get this post out and away first.)

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12 thoughts on “Big Boob Meltdown

  1. Have you tried Campbell & Kate? I know they make shirts specifically for this problem!

    Good luck with your interview! They are extremely stressful.

    • I’ve heard of Campbell & Kate, but I personally can’t justify a $100+ piece of clothing. Not yet, at least. The great feedback pushes Campbell & Kate high up on my “practical splurges” list, though.

      Thank you so much! I’m crossing my fingers for good results.

    • Those look really great, actually. Thanks for the link! I’m a little worried about the shirts not fitting well and the possibility of having to do return shipping to Poland (!).

  2. Campbell and Kate is a great suggestion! I hardly ever wear button-downs, but it’s good to have one that fits in your closet for this type of occasion. Pepperberry, BiuBiu and Urkye also make bust-friendly formal shirts, but Campbell and Kate’s seems to be the one with the most attention to details in the fit.
    Best of luck for the interview!

    • You’re right, I guess it is a pretty essential piece. I got away with a shell kind of top, but that won’t always be a possible escape. So out of all the bust-friendly tops, would you say that Campbell and Kate’s has the more effective cut/style? Ahh but so expensive.

      Thank you!!

  3. I totally get you! Formal wear + interviews = my worst nemesis. The previous commenters had some great suggestions for bust-friendly wear, though! I’ve tried out a lot of Urkye and found it good; BiuBiu has also been great in my limited experience. Worth checking out, definitely!

    • The interview is a tougher battle than the actual position it leads to, I think! I am definitely going through all those suggestions. Happy to hear that they have your approval too. 🙂

  4. My solution: button-down shirt that fits everything except boobs + tank top underneath. Sometimes I wear the tank backwards for a higher neckline. Might not fly in extremely formal situations though!

    • The problem with that is all the wrinkling and riding up/down that result from not fitting my bust. It’s really, really extreme and really, really obvious that the shirt does not fit. I do the shirt+tank on a daily basis, but I haven’t tried putting the tank on backwards. Doesn’t the tag itch? Thanks for the new idea, though. I’ll try it out sometime!

      • Ah, I should have mentioned that I leave the top half of the shirt unbuttoned, so it forms kind of an extremely wide and deep V-neck, hence the tank underneath. The shirts don’t seem to wrinkle or shift when I do this — maybe I’m lucky! My tanks all have the tags on the side instead of on the back, so no itching. You could also cut off the tag or round out its edges.

        Seconding the BiuBiu recommendations too, their button-down shirts are awesome.

  5. Hi, Arlene. Would you contact me by email? I only just found your post, and it’s given me an idea.

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