The Empire Waist Conundrum

see what I mean?I like the current empire waist trend for tops and dresses. I think it’s a shape that’s flattering for a lot of figures as it emphasizes the bust and hides a thick waist or wide hips. Unfortunately, it’s surprisingly difficult to find an empire waist garment that fits properly.

The high waist is supposed to hit right below the bust, but for me it often seems to land right in the middle. I’m left wondering whether I should pull on the top as hard as I can and try to get the waist to sit in its proper place, tighten my bra straps to hoist the girls up closer to my chin, or else just push the empire waist up above my boobs like a sort of yoke.

For a while I thought I had this problem because I am large-chested and so many women’s clothes just aren’t made for my body type. Then I saw a friend of mine who is stick-skinny and small-chested wearing a faux-wrap empire-waist shirt that cut right across the middle of her bustline. So if manufacturers aren’t making these clothes to fit either the narrow- or wide-chested, either the petite- or ample-bosomed, for whom are they making them?

You may also like...


  1. […] King, The Wardrobe Miser, poses The Empire Waist Conundrum. […]

  2. Isn’t that annoying! What do they think they’re doing??

  3. After all, it is called an empire “waist” after all. I’ve tried on a dress with this problem and it just didn’t work. I looked at it and seriously wondered what they were thinking. 10cm lower and it would have been perfect. I ended up making my own version with the empire line in the right place, below the bust.

  4. yes! I am large chested, too (nursing) and this style has so much potential to flatter my body. so frustrating!

  5. I second that! I used to be huge-chested (but skinny) and thought it was just me. Even now, post-reduction, I still can’t wear most empire waisted outfits. My chest is still a bit large compared to the average, but some things I try on are just ridiculous. I want to scream at the designers! It’s a shame, too, because a lot of women that the style works for do have larger breasts. As for me, even when they do fit the tops tend to hide my nice waist and make me look pregnant.

  6. […] think I draw the line when they start looking prettier than me! The Empire Waist Conundrum I couldn’t agree more with this article: if you’re going to wear an empire waist, the […]

  7. I have the whole big chested little body problem and sometimes have trouble with empire waists too. It all depends on the cut of the rest of the top/dress on me. I can get away with it if the top has a low scooped or v-neck and an empire waist. As far as the empire cut landing mid-boob, this usually does look strange. But I have had some tops where the waistline does fall a little higher that it is meant to be and it ctually made my chest look smaller. Hard to explain but it’s true.

  8. Juicefairy, I notice that v-necked dresses and tops seem to fit better, too. I wonder why that is?

  9. […] The Empire Waist Conundrum I couldn’t agree more with this article: if you’re going to wear an empire waist, the waist sits directly under your boobs — not across the middle of them! […]

Comments are closed.