How to Dress Big Boobs to Make Them Look Smaller

How to Dress Big Boobs to Make Them Look Smaller | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

This week it seemed I “outranked” a friend in the cup size department, much to her surprise.

This friend – a fellow blogger – and I chatted on the phone this week. The conversation swung round to our outfit posts and the way we look online, and we bemoaned the fact that being on (film) camera really does add ten pounds. She was being really complimentary about the way I dress (bless her!) – then she mentioned something about how her big boobs are so hard to dress.

This was what shocked her: Me saying that I too am a very busty girl (I got a bemused “really?!” in response). When we shared our bra sizes it seems I actually outranked her in the cup size department.

(I probably should have put a disclaimer at the beginning to say Warning: Much boobage talk will ensue in this post. If you’re not a fan this may not be the post for you. Though I may also have attracted the wrong sort with the post title – they will be disappointed…!)

Anyway just for the purposes of this post, I will reveal my bra size. It’s usually a huge surprise to those that I choose to tell because I think I am able to dress my big boobs to look smaller… a LOT smaller. I’m often confronted with shocked reactions when I find myself in a situation where bra sizes are discussed.

I do not dress to show off my boobs or my cleavage, and that’s just my choice. As you probably know if you’ve ever read my blog before, I believe in #iwillwearwhatilike – so that means if you want to show off your boobs, no matter how small or large they are, then go for it. Same goes for covering them up. There are no rules, no right or wrong.

So how is it that I am extremely blessed in the chest department but no one seems to know about it?

It’s all in the way you dress and the clothes (and the fit of your clothes) that you choose to wear.


Why I choose to dress down my boobs

Personally, I’d always wanted smaller boobs when I was growing up. I developed very early so by the time I was 14 I was pretty well endowed, and I guess I was self-conscious about them to a certain extent. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have a huge hang-up about them, but when you have a very little frame and a tiny back then large breasts are pretty cumbersome and to me, somewhat out of proportion. So I always dressed with the intention of not showing them off.

The tiny back and big boobs equate to a bra size of 30F. I may not have boobs that are as big as some, but the massive difference between back and boobs means a large cup size of an F.

And yes, when I finally got myself measured properly I was SHOCKED.


Breast cancer awareness

I never thought I’d mention the word “boobs” so much in one post (I’ll add them up at the end) – but seeing as October is breast cancer awareness month it seems only right to talk about this now, no?

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Just as important as getting yourself measured properly – no matter how large or small your boobs – is checking yourself regularly… again, no matter how large or small your boobs. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to the doctor to ask him/her to check some lumps I’ve found. 9 times out of 10 they were fine and just fatty deposits (I guess I have naturally lumpy boobs), and even that 1 time out of 10 I was sent for a mammogram to be safe – and it was all clear thankfully.

So don’t delay booking that appointment, ladies, if you think you’ve found something. Get them checked ASAP – it could literally save your life.


How to dress big boobs to look smaller

I know this may be a strange desire to some – especially if you’re on the smaller side – but I LOVE it when an outfit makes me look flatter-chested. I guess we always want what we don’t have, eh?

Now I know that my large cup size is mostly due to the great difference between back size and boob size, but if you want to see the difference between something that enhances them and something that hides them, just check out the two pictures below:

How to Dress Big Boobs to Make Them Look Smaller | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
As you can see, depending on what I’m wearing I can either look like I have almost no boobs – or very large boobs indeed. The dress I wore to the UK Blog Awards was so stunning but I knew it was going to put them out on show for everyone to see. It was one of the few times that there was nothing I could do about having my boobs “out there”… I simply HAD to own them.

But oh, how it proves what a difference your clothing can make! Here are my four top tips for how to make big boobs look much, much smaller:

1. Get yourself fitted properly for a bra

Finding out your proper bra size is the best piece of advice I can give you. Don’t go to a department store – go to a bra specialist because measuring boobs is what they do all day. The really good ones can usually tell just by looking at you what bra size you should be. I went to Bravissimo and highly recommend them. I’d always thought I was a 32D – turns out I was a 30F. My boobs were transformed.

2. Wear minimiser bras

As lovely as it is to wear pretty, lacy bras, on an everyday basis I always wear a minimiser t-shirt bra. If you get one with thick straps it will hoick up and flatten your boobs and make them look seriously smaller. I can remember the first day I wore a properly fitting, minimiser bra to the office: I actually showed off my “flat” chest to my female colleagues, I was that proud of my minimising achievements (and yes they were quite astonished at the difference).

3. Wear slim, but not tight, tops

Anything that skims loosely over your boobs and isn’t fitted at the waist will give the illusion of a flatter chest. You don’t have to restrict yourself to V-necks as the style “rules” say – I often wear round necks and they don’t make me look busty at all.

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How to Dress Big Boobs to Make Them Look Smaller | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Above: Some of the types of outfits I wear that make me look a lot smaller-chested.

4. Choose straight, not fitted, jackets

There are a couple of items I tend to avoid as outwear/cover-ups: fitted cardigans and fitted jackets or blazers. Anything that’s either knitwear and clings to my boobs or is tailored and nips in at the waist causes me grief. What happens is that the front “panels” don’t hang straight over my boobs – they curve round the outside and simply emphasis their shape, thus making them look even bigger than they really are. Straighter, looser jackets are my friend.


Do whatever YOU want

Please remember that none of this should be taken as gospel… if you have really big boobs and want to do exactly the opposite of all these things to show off your assets – GO FOR IT, and good for you I say!

As always my “advice” is not advice at all – it’s just ideas for those that want to learn the tricks I use to look more flat-chested. I just know that when I used to bemoan the size of my boobs I would have killed for some pointers like these… I wish I’d learnt them sooner.



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How to Dress Big Boobs to Make Them Look Smaller | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style



  1. Pamela Heim
    December 4, 2019 / 4:47 pm

    So glad you acknowledged this desire. I too wear a minimizer daily. I got the 50+ bust (a gift I didn’t want) and went from a 32B to 32DD. No thanks for that gift. It’s very hard to dress a bigger bust and I really thought the only thing to do is wear fitted or look fat. I really appreciate the advice on body-skimming tops. I think I may have come to that conclusion as well but really great to hear from someone else. Thanks so much for your great blog. I enjoy it every day.

  2. February 22, 2018 / 11:07 am

    Dressing big boobs has been the bain of my life. Totally agree with your suggestions. Great post.
    #brilliant blog posts

    • catherine
      February 23, 2018 / 12:51 pm

      Thanks Kirsty – bain of my life too!!

  3. October 24, 2017 / 3:29 am

    I'm very booby. I should get measured by a professional. I really should. I've always dreamed of having a flat chest–I think it's so sexy! Especially those women that don't even need to wear a bra. Oh….in my dreams! It's like contacts: the first thing I put on and the last to take off!

    I've even been to two different doctors for a reduction and lift. We'll see. Only if I can maintain a good weight for one year. If I can do that, I might consider it….

    It is funny. We always want what we don't have!

    Great post. Keep the boob talk up I say!

    Love, Annie from Kremb de la Kremb

  4. October 21, 2017 / 7:14 am

    Catherine, just wanted to let you know that I had an appointment yesterday at my nearly local new Bravissimo, what a wonderful experience! Everyone there was so warm and welcoming, and my new bras are completely different to my old ones, was I wearing the wrong size! I walked out of there feeling and holding myself so differently. I can't thank you enough.

    • October 22, 2017 / 6:14 pm

      Judy I saw that you said you were going… you won't believe how pleased this has made me!!!!!!! Comments like this make me so happy (well ALL of them do, to be honest, but the ones when you've really helped people are the cherry on top). Thanks so much for letting me know, my lovely – I'm so happy you had a fantastic experience!!

  5. October 18, 2017 / 11:35 am

    You've inspired me to hunt for a minimiser as I feel my boobs make me look frumpy. I'm a 30F too and can't find anything in that size (and can't find minimisers on the fantasie website at all.) Does anyone have any tips?

    • October 22, 2017 / 8:17 pm

      My best advice would be to get in touch with Bravissimo direct, Pia – they really are the bras for big boobs experts. You can chat live with someone on their website Monday to Friday 8.30am to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm, just scroll to the bottom of their website and you'll see "Live chat" there.

      I think it's because they don't seem to be called minimisers specifically that you can't find them, so I reckon talking to someone who works there – they're all experts – will be the best thing to do! Hope that helps πŸ™‚

  6. October 16, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    That is an awesome post – the title got me right away since I share a similar perspective to you and have a similar "problem" if you can call it that! I'm a 32D, 5'2", so you have me beat, but I still spend a good deal of time minimizing the look:) xo Trina

    • October 22, 2017 / 8:11 pm

      Thanks so much Trina!! I'm a fair bit taller than you (5'7") so I can understand with a D cup you'd want to minimise them, we think the same really…!

  7. October 16, 2017 / 7:54 pm

    I too surprise friends when I say I’m a 34G. Shorter than you Catherine and rather pear shaped or is it a larger hour glass shape, can never work that one out. I need that nipped in waist else I look huge. A straight dress would just ski off the end of my boobs and hang- flapping in the wind, like a maternity dress (anyone remember those)?

    I only wear the brand Fantasie as I find them comfortable and stylish, my luxury in life is matching lingerie sets.

  8. October 16, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    I got fitted (for the first time) at Bravissimo after losing the baby weight 8 years ago and was shocked to find I needed to go down two back sizes and up two cup sizes from my pre-baby bras! I used to avoid round neck and high neck tops because I thought anything other than v necks made me look dumpy, but it's all about getting the right fit. I prefer to cover up a lot more these days – no particular reason, I think it's just that my style has changed over the years. Plus, I don't like having a cold chest!

    Emma xxx

    • October 22, 2017 / 8:09 pm

      Sounds about the same as what I had wrong with my perceived bra size, Emma! Plus I don't like a cold chest either ;))

  9. October 16, 2017 / 10:33 am

    I think how we – and maybe others – perceive the size of our busts has a lot to do with our overall body proportions. I'm only one cup size smaller than you (I wear a 30E), but always think of myself as being pretty flat-chested, because unfortunately I'm rather pear-shaped, and my bust sadly is not in proportion to my bottom half. So, I'm usually in the position of wanting to maximise what I have, rather than minimising it!

    • October 22, 2017 / 8:08 pm

      I totally get that, Fran! Because I have such a skinny back and arms I feel that's why my chest is out of proportion, hence why I minimise mine. It makes perfect sense, really, doesn't it?!

  10. October 16, 2017 / 3:53 am

    Thanks for hosting and hope you had a wonderful weekend. Very informative post.

  11. October 15, 2017 / 12:53 pm

    I also like to dress down my boobage! I get very self conscious if they are spilling over. And I also am often met with surprise when I reveal my bra size which is a 38H. Once I was fitted properly and started wearing the correct size (and quality) bras, it was a game changer. Great post for October, by the way! I have my mammogram this week! #savetheboobies


  12. October 15, 2017 / 9:08 am

    Oh my goodness, what a great post! I have small boobs and am fine with it. I feel bad for you girls that have big, big boobs…what a back breaker! The other thing about really big chests is that it looks like it would be really difficult to pick blouses. I see some that make the person look almost chubby, but in reality, it's just their boobs making a tent out of the shirt. I guess the solution is a fitted shirt. I'm glad I don't have to worry about that!

  13. October 15, 2017 / 5:11 am

    I always used to wish I had bigger boobs – especially in my early twenties but now I'm almost 42, I love my 34B size! They actually seem bigger now than when I was younger even though the actual size doesn't really seem to have changed which is odd. Having smaller boobs means I can wear just about anything on top so I'm lucky I guess.
    Suzy xx

    • October 22, 2017 / 6:05 pm

      Good to hear someone who likes their size, Suzy! πŸ˜‰

  14. October 14, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    Wow, I wish I had to worry about making my breasts look smaller. I am completely flat chested! Your outfits all look absolutely stunning. Pen x

  15. October 14, 2017 / 12:11 pm

    I'm big busted and I hate it. Of course, hubby loves it. I'm always complaining about my boobs and how much I hate them and then he gets mad because he loves them. πŸ™‚ I would give anything to be flat chested. I envy flat chested girls. I think it's like the curly/straight hair issue. If you have curly hair, we wish it was straight. Same with boobs. I think flat chested women always look better in clothes and can dress more fashionably, whereas I always struggle with certain clothing items (like button downs, or deep, plunging necklines). I also feel being big busted makes me look heavier than I am. These are all great tips, but when you're really big busted, it's almost impossible to hide it.

    • October 22, 2017 / 6:04 pm

      Oh Amy I can understand your hubby loving them (!!) but then as someone who suffers from having painfully heavy boobs I'm siding with you…! I too struggle with some items – there are a LOT of clothes I can't wear. But I still believe there are some things that make them look a LOT larger (fine if that's what you want) so you have to dress them very carefully if you don't.

      I feel your pain!

  16. October 14, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Dearest Catherine, you look stunning in both dresses. Great tips on getting fit for the perfect bra. I was stunned to find out I'd been wearing the wrong bra size for years! Great post, darling. Xo Jonet

    • October 22, 2017 / 6:01 pm

      thanks Jonet, good to hear you're now wearing the right size!!

  17. October 14, 2017 / 10:31 am

    Very important message about checking boobs – I know someone who found a lump within a week of it appearing, her regular checking actually saved her life, because it was malignant – early detection meant early treatment, and she's fine now, but it was a scary time, particularly as she's still young and wasn't especially 'at risk'.

    I do check mine, doesn't take me long as I'm only an A cup πŸ˜‰

    • October 22, 2017 / 6:00 pm

      Yes you're so right – good to hear about your friend/family member. I wish mine wouldn't take so long… there's a lot of surface area to cover…!! πŸ˜‰

  18. October 14, 2017 / 10:06 am

    Amazing post-thank you so much for writing this and I LOVED chatting on the phone (doesn't surprise me it was an hour)! We need to meet for lunch when you're next in London. You look stunning in every single photo, you always do (adore the red dress and think the boobage needs to go out more). I'm the same though, I rarely show cleavage. Adore your tips as I find it so hard to dress my 32Es! I too felt shocked when I got measured properly at John Lewis 6 months ago as although I'd lost weight by the time I had that fitting, I was wearing a bra that was HUGE on me and was offering zero support. I agree too of course about checking your boobs often, and getting a second opinion if you discover anything at all. I found a lump last year which was also just some fatty tissue but vital I got investigated. Your post will inspire many to do the same xx

    • October 22, 2017 / 5:58 pm

      Aww thanks Vicki, and yes I can't believe the hour went so fast!! I too wore bras with no support before I was measured properly. Shocking, isn't it…?!

  19. October 14, 2017 / 9:48 am

    Great post. I am so curious to know what a minimiser bra is. You have to mail me an example haha. I might have a few without knowing it.
    I am always afraid that a minimiser (what I think it is) will make me look as if I have a spoiler at the front, a big thick line. A broad lump. Contrary to you I have a broad back and no hips. So a straight jacket or cardigan makes me look like a guy. I only have one straight boxy jacket (bought in London when I was there in April for the blog award).

    • October 22, 2017 / 5:57 pm

      A minimiser bra minimises your boobs, Greetje – in other words, makes them look as small as possible, probably what you were thinking! Mine definitely don't g into a lump (I can understand your fears though) – basically I don't want mine to "stick out" by being lifted up and forward.

      I'm now laughing at this conversation, lol ;))

      Everyone's different with what they want… usually the opposite of what they have!!

  20. October 14, 2017 / 9:02 am

    Thank you for this post, Catherine. I have never found a comfortable bra although I have been measured/fitted at different places. I have googled Bravissimo and see they have a new store just 28 miles from me, so I will be going there next week. I take off my bra the minute I get home, how sad is that!! You look great in every single pic!

  21. October 13, 2017 / 11:35 pm

    Over the years I've gone from wearing no bra at all, to all strapless all the time (I'm a 32C, but that's not a "professional" measurement) to – currently – favouring a bralette almost exclusively. I love the versatility of a strapless bra, but was getting tired of the "enhanced" look that all that padding gave me…I kinda prefer a smaller profile, too!! You look absolutely AMAZING in both your lady-in-red gown AND the layered jumpsuit ensemble, dearest Catherine…proof that wearing what you want ALWAYS wins, amiright?! XOXO

    • October 22, 2017 / 5:48 pm

      You're right that we always want what we don't have, Monika (or in my case, I don't want something I DO have)!! πŸ˜‰ thank you sweetie x

  22. October 13, 2017 / 10:24 pm

    To be honest I always thought you have small breasts…and now this article surprised me. I enjoyed reading it. Even in the red dress it did not look like you would even need a minimiser but when I look more carefully…. πŸ˜‰

    You always look great no matter the boobs size.

  23. October 13, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    To be honest I always thought you have small breasts…and now this article surprised me. I enjoyed reading it. Even in the red dress it did not look like you would even need a minimiser but when I look more carefully…. πŸ˜‰

    You always look great no matter the boobs size.

    • October 22, 2017 / 5:47 pm

      Goes to show I'm doing something right, Martina!! Thank you x

  24. October 13, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    You disguise your cuppage well, Catherine. I'm a big girl and I have tried minimisers, they just seem to push my boobs under my armpits which seems a worse look full frontal, though side on they are minimised. They've got to go somewhere, eh! Maybe they've improved, it's about 15 years since I had my last shot at minimiser. Hugs, x.

    • October 13, 2017 / 9:37 pm

      I think it definitely sounds like you've either got the wrong cup size (to make them spill out at the sides) or it wasn't a good style. I'd try again if I were you, as you say it's worth a shot!! x

    • October 13, 2017 / 9:38 pm

      I should have also said that even with a minimiser bra a fitted t-shirt will make me look more boobilicious… it's the combination of minimiser bra and the right fit of clothes that works for me x

  25. October 13, 2017 / 8:47 pm

    Boobage…. such a great word Catherine. I use it a lot when taking to girlfriends…. as well as bazungas!
    (A big thumbs up for disappointing any booby fans that were expecting a different type of post. I had a similar experience with my post on a "Pussy Bow Blouse"…. hehehehe, we are naughty)
    My boobage experience is a small bust that I am happy with (30D)
    No cleavage for me… except when I was feeding my children, then they were HUGE!!!
    I could hardly manage them and my clothes looked totally different.
    I'm not a fan of flashing boobs or cleavage (even if I could manage it!).
    I'm glad my whoppers were only temporary!

    I've always admired your contained curves, if that makes sense.
    Your outfits are about the clothes and not "look at my boobies!!!"….Even in that AMAZING red dress they don't take centre stage.
    {I left a comment to that effect AGES ago…and I think you quoted it once too :o))
    Anyway, we get what we are given don't we?
    And we either worry about it, and try to change things, or just get on with it!
    Making the most of our good points is the best thing about modern dressing.
    We are free to accentuate or minimise as we see fit.
    A great post…. as always!
    Fake Fabulous | Style and fun with fashion, over 40

    • October 15, 2017 / 3:19 pm

      Ooops….. yep a moment of WiFi connection and I couldn't resist a nosey! :oP

  26. October 13, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    I never would have guessed you were a 30F! :0 Thank you for all the tipsβ€”as a fellow stealth busty gal, I need all the help I can get!
    Cheryl Shops

  27. October 13, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    It's always amazing to see the difference in how dressing in certain cuts and styles can totally change the way our bodies look!! And your advice is spot on! Although I do think I need to try a minimizer bra—I have yet to get one.
    I know when I first decided to get fitted—I went 3 different places (because I wanted to compare) and was told 3 different sizes. Isn't that shocking??? And crazy. Not that any sizing is regulated or the same across the board, but still. And I've found, just like with clothing, that I can't get hung up on the numbers. There still are times that I can actually be a different size.

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