Clothing tips to enhance a small bustline

Simple tips for those with a small bust who are seeking ways to enhance or flatter their bustline - create the illusion of a more defined or enhanced bustline with good clothing choices.

This post is not meant for everyone with small breasts; Only for those who wish to have a more endowed look. And not every one do.

In my opinion, most clothes look good on people with a small bustline; they have less back pain, can jump at will, face no problems with gaping buttons, going braless or dealing with people’s stares. If you dress reasonably well, you are called elegant and you look graceful and classy, almost always.

But still, if you really want a fuller look or at least some more curves up there, here are some tips on what to choose

Tips to enhance bustline with clothes

Correct Bra

Correct size bras

You are aiming at owning clothes that will accentuate the bust you have. So choose the best bra which will maximize your bustline, without it looking fake. The bra should fit right with firm supportive cups. It can have soft thin padding which will give shape to the cups and create rounded curves. Ensure that the shaped cups are not very loose or too stiff that they look artificial. Padding will give a well-proportioned look to small bust lines.

For small breasts that sag (maybe due to rapid weight loss) Push up bras can be a lifesaver. It can give that lift up that makes the breasts look good. You can also choose bras with underwire – this will give the right support. Correcting your posture, building stronger back muscles with exercises are all beneficial

Demi cut bras (Balconette bras/shelf bras) are best to enhance breasts. These are low cut contoured bras with underwire. With this bra the upper part of the breasts are exposed and the padding combined with this gives the illusion of a fuller bustline

If you want more, you can go for Liquid gel filled bras – they are meant to boost the bustline by 1 to 2 cup cizes.  

Related posts : 45 different types of bras ; How to buy a bra.


Cinched waist

When you wear clothes that emphasize your waist (the narrowest part of your body) your busts get emphasized and look fuller. 

Girl wearing a dress which is cinched under the bust.

Empire style bodices are good  – as it has a tightening just under the breast emphasizing the breasts.

Embed from Getty Images

Sleeveless styles

You can bring this style to other tops by wearing a wide belt just under the breasts.

sleeveless dresses or tops can make bustline look bigger

Sleeveless styles are good to emphasize the upper body curves, especially those with a high neckline.

Princess line Seams

Princess seams create curved contours along the body. Offshoulder styles with princess seams can create an impression of fuller curves. Choose an offshoulder bodice with a soft ruffley layer (lace) to add volume up there.

Another style that works is a fitted buttoned jacket. It should have shaping at the waist. If both princess line and button up style is combined, a winner.

Fitted jackets

A top with a yoke with gathers falling over the bustline can also create fullness where there is none or little. 

A top with gathers falling over the bustline

Button down styles also work. A fitted button down shirt can look really good on a person with a flat chest. It should not be baggy.

The cropped top is another style that makes the bustline wider in appearance.

Whatever style you choose, it should be fitting and you have to wear the right bra.


tops with turtle necks, polo necks

Select tops with a high neckline like a turtle neck, polo necks, and a halter neck. A bateau neckline is another enhancing neckline option.

Wear round necklines that sit well above the chest.

round necklines like jewel neckline

A halter neckline never fails to help create an illusion of fuller upper curves.

halter neckline

Rounded necklines are preferred over V necklines, because angularity of a V neck can create a slimming effect; but if you want to wear a V neckline choose one that sits well above your bust. 

Bodices with very low necklines – deep plunging necklines, wide scoop necklines, can make the upper body look hollow rather than well endowed.

If you are wearing a revealing neckline, and you want to take the attention away from your bustline, wear a nice short necklace with a pendant with it. 

If you want a plunging neckline opt for a deep V neckline that ends at the middle of the bust. 

Embellishments & Prints

enhance small bustline with prints and patterns strategically placed across the chest

Choose tops with pritns, ruffles, frills, flounces and other embellishments along the front, preferably along the bust line. This can enhance the look of your bustline.

Do not go overboard with prints. Medium prints are the best. 


Remember, light colors can make things look bigger. Shiny fabrics like velvet also works to enhance. Sheer fabrics (almost see-through) fabrics can also make the bustline look bigger. 

For bodices, drapey, stretchy fabric like thin knits, chiffon is better than stiff fabrics. A one-shoulder top in a drapey fabric can look very good. The supple fabric will hug all the curves and make them look fuller.

But even with these fabrics, there is a caveat – figure-hugging styles with thin fabrics can make the other parts of the body look bigger when compared to the breasts. So choose drapey styles with thin stretchy fabrics.

Embed from Getty Images

You can also ignore all the advice here and follow the styles of not-so-well-endowed in the chest department but absolutely stunning celebrities like Kirsten Bell, Victoria Beckham, Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Gwyneth Paltrow and Emma Watson. You can see some of their photographs in this Pinterest Board.

All these tips are actually opposite of what you would do if you want to know – How to reduce the look of a big bustline

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

1 thought on “Clothing tips to enhance a small bustline”

  1. Hi,
    I love this website. You have great tutorials! The topics are things that are really useful and easy to understand. I haven’t had a chance to use a lot of them yet, but it’s like having an encyclopedia that I can refer to.
    —This topic – Clothing tips to enhance a small bustline – is well done, but I have the opposite problem. I have been top heavy for a long time, even when I was at my goal weight. I am “between diets” right now and I could use tips on taking attention away from a large bust line (I don’t want to do surgery). I also have a large tummy (apple figure) and I am not tall – 5’4″.
    —Have you done any topics for my problem? I know that vertical strips generally do work. I avoid horizontal or diagonal stripes. I know black doesn’t always work if the silhouette is wrong. Tight clothing is bad, but I don’t want to look like I am wearing a tent. I can use any help you can give me!
    Thanks for your help!

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