"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.
To review the body challenge - very broad shoulders, with a moderate bust resting on a very large rib cage, comparatively small waist, big bum. Finding a flattering top is a problem, because whatever fits around the shoulders and bust looks baggy around the waist, and what fits around the waist doesn't button up around the chest.
The answer came in the form of a ruched v-neck blouse in a fabric with some stretch to it. Never in my life have I ever suspected that one of my perfect garments would come from a catalog I never shop at, purchased completely on a whim. But there it was - and I still have it today and wear it often. The only issue with this piece is that it lacks structure. The fabric is stretch cotton jersey - very comfortable and fine for casual outfits, but not quite there when you want something more business-like
The search for more structured fitted blouse took me to a local upscale consignment store, where I tried thirteen different things before finally coming up with something that worked. These two blouses both come from New York & Company's stretch collection and are essentially identical in their silhouette. The only difference is that the white one is fitted through the use of ruching and and the striped one is structured by darts.
A word of caution - when wearing blouses with this nipped-in cut, beware of the dreaded "boob windows" - the gaps between buttons that pull apart. This was the case with the striped blouse and I had to sew in snaps between the buttons to get the placket to lie smoothly.
A friend suggested sewing up the entire placket, but that only works so far. For top-heavy ladies such as myself, that would make it very difficult to put the garment on, because the narrower waist part would have to somehow get over the chest without getting stuck. Either method works for getting rid of the boob windows, but consider your anatomy before choosing. Happy dressing!