Jesse (UK size 10, 30HH) models a Jack Wills size 10 shirt, which adds bulk to her frame which isn’t there, strains over her bust and sags around her tiny waist.
Any full-busted woman (or even ladies with a medium-sized bust!) will tell you of the difficulty of finding shirts to fit both your waist and your chest. The blouse or shirt is one of the most notorious items of clothing when it comes to failing to fit or flatter curves, something that even I (someone with not much more than a handful) can empathise with.
With brands such as Pepperberry launching onto the market declaring ‘designed with your boobs in mind’, with a size range of ‘Curvy’, ‘Really Curvy’, ‘Super Curvy’ and in some items ‘Super Duper Curvy’, even this promising range lets some of us down. I know from experience of trying the range that I often have to reach for a ‘Really Curvy’ and sometimes even a ‘Super Curvy’ in a UK size 8, finding the bust may fit but the waist is far too large for my (usually UK size 10 in most high-street stores) frame.
I’ve been in touch with Darlene Campbell for a fair while now as she is a fellow booby blogger – she writes the wonderful Hourglassy blog, dedicated to fashion, bra and style advice for the full-busted lady. Darlene has become a bosom buddy thanks to the wonders of email and Twitter, but don’t think for a minute that that will affect my opinion on her product.
The Campbell and Kate shirt comfortably covers her ample bust, nipping in at the waist creating a sophisticated silhouette. I made Jesse wear a black bra underneath to demonstrate the great quality and how thick and opaque these shirts are – even with a black bra and flash photography her bra is barely visible. It was practically undetectable to the naked eye and I imagine that a white, nude or pale-coloured bra would be completely invisible.
As I said, sometimes I struggle to find blouses and shirts to fit my figure, often settling for a flowing blouse as more of a ‘one size fits most’ item. For Invest In Your Chest model Jesse, however, it’s quite a different story. With a Pepperberry 8 ‘Super Duper Curvy’ failing to even fasten, she doesn’t shop for blouses as there is simply no clothing manufacturer which makes one which will either fit or flatter her bust and waist. She wears a 30HH or J bra, a 40 inch bust and has a teeny 27 inch waist. As I’m sure you can imagine, Topshop shirts are a no-go.
Jesse Demonstrates how adding jewellery or accessories can really jazz up this garment, or wear plain for a crisp and clean finish.
Darlene loved Jesse’s ‘Style File’ post, and was kind enough to send one of her gorgeous shirts to us to have a look. The brand is new so has just the one item for sale so far – the classic white shirt. Despite being a very limited selection, Campbell and Kate still promise to solve the fashion dreams of women worldwide who have experienced the disappointment of a poorly-fitting blouse. Available for sale on the Campbell and Kate website, with only a size US 4-14 S-L size range as of yet (with plans to expand).
The Campbell and Kate website states:
Put our Signature Shirt to work in your wardrobe. Pair it under a suit or cardigan for work, with jeans for brunch, and with a chunky necklace for drinks. The crisp fabric will keep you looking cool and collected, whether in the boardroom or on the beach.
According the Campbell and Kate size chart, Jesse should be just outside of the 4L size, however as you can see there was no gaping or pulling on the buttons and the waist fitted wonderfully. Even with her arms held back or on her hips there was no straining or puckering – it seems that this (apart from the cut) is partially down to the buttons being so close together – very clever! The buttons are fairly chunky and great quality – they will not be falling off any time soon!
I can’t wait to see how Darlene’s work of genius expands – fitting an epic hole in the market with a beautiful shirt which not only looks flattering dressed up for work or down for play, is comfortable, washes wonderfully and looks so effortlessly elegant on curvy ladies. As the pictures clearly show, due to the sophisticated simplicity that this garment possesses, the key to making a classic white shirt work is all about the fit; and with Campbell and Kate, full-busted girls may have finally found a solution!
In future, I’d love to see an expansion of sizes, in particular a size down (for my own selfish reasons) and of course larger sizes. Also, I’d love to see a black shirt and some fashion colours… but all in good time. For now I’d like to congratulate Darlene for her impressive new shirt – you’ve done it!