A Prom Rack is an Important Rack

I received an email from a reader, and discovered that I have readers who go to prom!! How exciting. I didn’t get a chance to attend my high school’s prom, because I was enrolled in a program called “Running Start” which allowed me to take my classes at a local community college. I wasn’t on High School’s calendar, and they weren’t on mine. Someday, though, I want to have a prom. I will throw this prom, actually, I’ve just decided, and it will be great.

Anyway, here’s the email:

heyy! first of all i’m a huge fan of your site. it’s really fun to read, and it cheers me up, haha. Sooo, prom season is around now and i’m having a hard time finding a dress. First, my school has this kind of weird prom. The dresses have to have a weird mix of artsy and formal-ness. Like…urban outfitter’s prom. Then, I have pretty big boobs(D) and finding a dress that looks good is hard. so, if you have any ideas for things that would be cheap, and cute. Or any ideas silhouttes would be sooo awesome. Thanks!!!! plus, i’m sure many of your readers are having prom dress dilemmas, soo yeah. thanks again!! byee <3

Ahhh, how exciting! I imagine that the days leading up to prom are filled with gut-bombs and beating hearts… But maybe that’s just me. It’s like a girl’s first wedding, really. The dress? Must be perfect. Date? Perfecter. Parents? Soooooo not even involved in the entire process, plz. It’s like a wedding with a little less commitment (uh, hopefully?) and cake. Actually, I don’t know… maybe there’s cake.

Anyway, I digress. An artsy, Urban-Outfitters Prom deserves the best artsy non-Urban Outfitters dress, because there’s nothing less artsy than selling knockoffs “inspired by” real designers and being anti-gay, right?! And girl, you came to the right place for big boob-talk. I spend the majority of my shopping-time wondering if there’s any way I’ll ever be able to wear something with spaghetti straps. The answer is no, by the way. Not without a super-power bra, which I’m sure doesn’t exist yet (but suggestions are welcome!).

A lot of people would tell you that having large breasts means 3 things: 1) keep them under wraps – don’t be indecent!, 2) Wrap dresses,  supportive halters, or thick-strapped sheaths are your best bets, and 3) since your boobs are large, don’t flaunt the rest of your figure – you’ll look like a tart!

The good news (for you) is that I’m not. Prom is a big deal, and you’re most certainly not going to spend the closing dance to your high school life in a flipping wrap dress. But, being memorable is kind of the theme of the night, so these dresses can’t be blah…

But first, there’s an element of “perfect prom outfit” that we really need to address before the actual… dress. This element is crucial to a successful dress experience, as well as key to the confidence you’ll need to truly Wow! people… The appropriate bra. Now, I could easily write a novella-post-per-day about how to pick the right bra, the best brands, the best construction… But we don’t have that kind of time here, people! Prom is COMING!

I completely suggest a strapless or convertible bra regardless of what kind of dress you’re wearing. If you have a good one, it’ll support you and keep you stationary throughout the evening. Also, with all that dancing, dress straps may slip, and a good strapless keeps and bra straps out of sight.

This bra by Va Bien comes in a ton of sizes, and at $55, it’s a bit spendy but it will last you through more than enough dresses to pay itself off. Be sure that, if you’re buying a strapless bra for a larger chest, that the back has at least 3-4 rows of hooks. Anything less won’t be supportive enough.

Okay! Dress time. I’d like to start by saying that, while it’s stinks, there are some types of dresses that busty gals simply shouldn’t wear. Whether it’s for comfort (sometimes, boobs make things worse), fit, or while-wearing-appearance… They’re just not good for us and our girls! Here’s the scoop:


A. The Boob Scooper
Uniboob with unattractive cleavage line.
Summary: The front of this dress basically scoops up both of your boobs, pushes them together, and ties it with a bow. The little gap in the center will show a gigantic “\)(/” that just… isn’t… good.

B. One Shoulder Off(-ering)
You might lose a boob.
Summary: The side of this one-shoulder dress is cut SO LOW that you will surely have sideboob offerings for all your Prom-attending friends. If the shoulder-less side were cut a little higher (i.e. closer to the armpit), then things would be okay.

C. Flat Top Strapless
The old flatten’n’pop.
Summary: This dress’ top has some darts to allow for some flesh in the bodice, but not enough. If you attempt to wear this, not only will your boobs be as flat as a pancake, but you’ll get a healthy dose of double-boob at the top of the dress, as well.

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D. Too-small Triangles
Literally, nipples everywhere.
Summary: The “boob” areas of this dress are actually triangles, similar to the bikinis that you always almost fall out of. Since the majority of the support from this top comes from the sides of the bodice, it’ll end up pushing your girls to the center, causing several opportunities for “nip slips” to occur. You definitely don’t want to be that girl at the high school reunion.

E. Smocked Up
Literally NO support, and uniboob.
Summary: “Smocking” is basically a way of elasticizing fabrics in a garment. This will possibly fall down, give you one big, lumpy boob and make your glorious girls look saggy.

F. Shapeless Frock
Making you look like a big, booby box.
Summary: This dress has no shape, and the fabric basically covers your boobs and, at the fullest point, just drops off, leaving you with a big sheet of fabric that extends from the tip of your bust, down to… well, wherever the dress ends. Yuck.

So now that we know what we can’t use, let’s see what we can


I don’t have to list through these, because they’re the good guys (i.e. no “Offenses”), but keep an eye out for these styles while you’re shopping! F is a little shakey, depending on how you’re shaped, but a good option if you’re still pretty *ahem* firm on top. I also wanted to mention A, because it could be considered a “one shoulder” dress, but because of that extra supporting strap, as well as the rise under the arm, this would accomodate a strapless bra and give you an extra hand with that little, decorative strap.

Okay! 16 paragraphs and 4 photos later, let’s get to the actual dresses!

Floral Shop Dress
ModCloth Floral Shop Dress

Prom Flora

The belt on this dress, with a larger bust, is going to be crucial to the proportions while wearing this dress. The belt will make your waist tiny which will contrast to the boobage going on up top (nothing indecent – swear!).

Alloy Prom Tank Dress ($44.50), Charles by Charles David Women’s Fanciful High Heel Sandal ($60-$90), MICHAEL Michael Kors Reversible Belt ($25)

Young, Vibrant and Demure

Gold and vibrant pink are a great way to salute your youthful high school experience, as well as create a lasting impression. Also, that pink dress is too cute to just wear for prom… Take it into summer with you! You can accessorize it 500 different ways… Plus, the bands are sweet, but wide enough to fit a bra strap under. Feel free to stack on your own bling, this dress can take it.

Chadwicks Border Print Charmeuse Dress ($17.99)

Understated, yet bold

I admit – this is not your typical prom dress. However, this does not sound like a typical prom… And what better way to really shine than to wear an actually beautiful dress that you can guarantee no one else has, style-wise, color-wise, and cut-wise. Truly an original!

HALTER MAXI ($39.50), Charlotte Russe Knotted Pearl & Chain Necklace ($6.99), BCBGirls Women’s Alga Sandal ($98.90)


Okay, I have to say that if I were the one going to prom, this would totally be my perfect outfit. The long, summery maxi dress screams laid-back and casual… But the knotted pearl & chain necklace, get-your-attention red… It’s all perfect as long as it’s topped off with a super sexy black heel (that Miss Jennifer Nicole and I have been literally drooling over for weeks)… Vampy, yet smart and stylish. If you’re uncomfortable with the amount of chest showing through that dress, just safety pin the bottom couple inches closed – voila!

So, Julie, I hope you have an amazingly memorable prom, and I definitely hope that my tips have helped you… at all!

Much love!


PS! If you ever have an apparel or style-related question, feel free to email me at miss.elle@brokeandbeautiful.com! OR! You can use the Contact page, there’s a form you can fill out that lands right in my inbox – front and center!

  • The Le Mystere strapless bra is pretty good (saying this as a 32G, so I DEFINITELY know the pain of which you gals speak), although I wouldn’t wear it for 10 hours straight or anything. Well, I did, and it got uncomfortable after about six or so. Also, it runs REALLY small in the band – I would order a size up. I know strapless bras should be firm, but I had to get a bra extender to be able to breathe! Eesh.

    Good luck to the questioner in finding that perfect dress! Also, thanks for pointing out the bad with Urban Outfitters. Stealing from indie designers = bad! And I totally didn’t know they donated to Santorum too – so thanks for informing me! :)

  • Great advice!

    lisa´s last blog post was My Vancouver Fashion eZine Debut!!

  • I do love those shoes. :)

    Jennifer Nicole´s last blog post was What About Wednesday?!

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