The Best T-Shirts When You Have a Large Chest

large chest

I am not going to say that having a large chest is a bad thing.  I think there are pros and cons to having all chest sizes.  However, I am not going to lie and say that having big boobs is always a picnic either, especially as I get older.

While it should be simple, finding well fitting t-shirts that work for a large chest can be about as difficult as finding the perfect bra (I’m a Primadonna bra girl, myself).  Ask any large busted woman and she will tell you this.  The neckline needs to be perfect, the length just right and the shape need to be fitted, but not too fitted, like freaking Goldilocks.  The list goes on.

The Best T-Shirts When You Have a Large Chest

If you are looking for the perfect t-shirt shape and style that will work for your large chest, check out what to look for in these tips.

Neckline

If you have read at least one book on dressing your body (you can check out mine), then you know that high necklines, like jewel and crew necks, can be difficult to wear. You are better off with deeper necklines like scoop and v-necks which break up the space and keep it from looking like you aren’t smuggling water cantaloupes under your top.

You need to be careful with this tip.  If a neckline is too deep or low it can look overtly sexual, especially if too much cleavage is exposed.  It’s a tricky balance.  Be sure to bend over in a t-shirt with a deep neckline to make sure you aren’t revealing too much when you wear it.

Here are some examples of necklines that work and don’t work.

Length

The proper length of a t-shirt is also important to consider.  Shorter tops are not your friend when you have a large chest, and forget cropped tops.

When you optically shorten any part of the body with clothing it also makes that area look wider.  Women with large chests optically appear to have short torsos, even if they don’t, and a shorter top will only emphasize this.  Unless you want to look top heavy and extra booby, or like you are boobs and a waist, avoid t-shirts that are short.  Ideally, the perfect t-shirt length is 1-3″ below the pelvic bones on the body.

Here are some examples of lengths that work and don’t.

Shape

Shape is the next important feature to consider.  Shapeless t-shirts are a no go.  Not only do boxy, wide styles have the same widening effect that shorter tops do, boxy tops also bypass a crucial part of a curvy woman’s body, the waist.

I wish I could say going out and buying t-shirts with shape was going to solve all your problems but, alas, it isn’t.  There are some shaped t-shirts that have so much shape you might as well stick a blinking neon sign on your chest that says, “Boobs here.”  Be careful of excessive lycra, too much stretch and t-shirts that cling to the body versus gently shape the body.

Here are some examples of what to and not to look for.

Sleeves

Sleeves can be equally perilous when shopping for t-shirts for large chests.  Full short sleeves, and those wide bell/statement sleeves can visually add unnecessary fullness across the bust line.   Choose short sleeves that fit close to the arm instead.  Alternatively, 3/4 sleeves are ideal because they draw the eyes away from the bust line.

Thickness

Lastly, fabric thickness.  Tissue weight and super flimsy fabrics rarely work with large chests. Instead, beefier fabrics have substance and will contain the curviness of the body.  If you prefer fabrics that are lightweight, look for styles with gathering or ruching over the tummy to add some substance and to conceal unwanted lumps and bumps.

It’s not easy to find t-shirts for large chests that hit all these points, and when you do find them it is a small miracle.  However, by hitting on at least a few of these points you’ll be able to wear a t-shirts and look great at the same time.

  • Pat

    Great tips, Bridgette!
    If I ever find the perfect (near) tee I am going to purchase as many colors as possible. This tutorial helps me eliminate before getting to the dressing room. After your recent weight loss (bravissimo) you must be looking for new sizes as well. Please share when you find a style that works…your suggestion would save this fan a lot of frustration.
    Thanks for the tips,
    faithful fan,
    Pat

    • Hi Pat, I’m hardly in a new size t-shirt, mainly because of the size of my chest. Right now I wear Lord & Taylor’s t-shirts.

  • K

    Thanks Bridgette! This will be very helpful in finding that perfect tee!

  • Interesting post! I agree with just about everything. I personally prefer a collar-bone height neckline. It may not look the best, but I’m certainly the most comfortable being covered up entirely. Three-quarter sleeve, thick fabric, nice & long, et al – YES.

    • I understand that. I think it is all about making informed choices. If we followed every rule to the letter we’d drive ourselves nuts. You have to do what works for you.

    • Heather

      I sometimes like a crew neck too. For me it helps to wear a mid-length necklace with these. It gives the outfit a focal point a bit north of the concealed melons and adds interest to a plain neckline. Other high necklines, like boat are terrible for me with my combination of a large chest and short neck.

  • Pixel Clicks

    I don’t see any “large chests” in this article at all. The author appears to have a very skewed view as to what is large…and none of these qualify for that description. I’m a 46 DD, (I’ve been told I’m actually an F) and I really cannot wear a T-shirt that is not 4X or 5X regardless of the neckline or length. Please show appropriate pictures for truly large women who would love to be able to wear T-shirts without looking like a sack of watermelons

    • I’m sorry, but I was at the mercy of the types of models the retailers use. And as far as not having experience with a large chest, I wear a 34G bra size, which is certainly not small. In addition to this, I have been dressing women for 15 years and wrote a book on dressing the body. If you can look past the fact that retailers put emaciated twigs in their clothing, you can glean a lot of workable tips.

    • tgchi13

      I think your tailor should be on speedial lady!

  • stacie

    I personally do not have a large bust, but my sister and niece have very large bust…Thanks for these wonderful tips I will pass them along!!!!!!

    • I hope they help! At the end of the day, there is no way to eliminate the look of a large chest completely, but if you can at least not make them the main attraction that can make a huge difference. The problem is that often a large chest can look overly sexual and looking like a sex kitten isn’t always ideal.

  • Carol

    Thanks for the great tips! I have had good luck finding flattering tees for a large bust from Talbots, Eileen Fisher, and a brand called Wilt (carried in department stores).

  • tgchi13

    At your size, I think your tailor would be a BFF on your speedial!

  • molly

    i just wondered if wearing a longer top works when you are petite, as we are always told to wear shorter tops.

    • Well it’s all relative. A longer top for a petite person would be shorter but I would still choose a length that hits slightly longer than your pelvic bones

  • Heather

    I noticed at least one of these shirts has a decorative chest pocket, which is something I always avoid. I feel like nothing draws attention to my big boobs more than a pointless (and often tiny in comparison) pocket smack dab on one of them. What is your take on t-shirt pockets for busty women?

    • Good catch. I was focused on fit that I probably missed that. I tend to avoid them too, but if you find a shirt that hits all the other points and has a pocket, I think it is figuring out if it is worth buying it. I’m not entirely sure why they even bother putting breast pockets on t-shirts. What are women actually sticking in there? Pointless, for sure!