I'm a 34F, and This Is the Only Cocktail-Dress-Shopping Rule I Follow

I don’t really believe in giving other people rules for how to dress, but it came to my attention recently that there is one I’ve enforced pretty strictly upon myself for as long as I can remember. And specifically when it comes to one of my greatest dressing challenge: What do I wear to a wedding? In perfect timing, I have two such occasions coming up.

As a woman who wears a size 34F bra, there’s a nice little internal monologue that happens whenever I’m shopping for nearly any item of clothing, but specifically dresses: Can I wear a bra with this? Ergo my one rule: If I can’t answer that question positively, I don’t purchase. Does this limit my options? Absolutely. Will I change my rule? Never say never, but no.



While I love the look of a backless dress or teeny-tiny straps, the best way I can think of attending any special affair is in an outfit that makes me feel comfortable and in a bra that fully supports (strapless usually doesn’t cut it). There will be no sneaky tugging, hiking up, or adjusting. If I want to be on the dance floor (I often want to be on a dance floor), I should be able to lift my arms above my head or bop around without any distractions.

So with my one rule in mind, I went hunting for cocktail dresses for big busts in a plethora of styles. Some show cleavage, some don’t. Some are floor-length and others are quite leggy. The one common denominator: You don’t have to worry about concealing a single bra strap. If that’s as important to you as it is to me, keep scrolling.

Nothing to see here—just the tie-dye dress of your dreams.

Available in sizes IT 36 to IT 44.

Lavender FTW.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

This bold print is perfect for a very special occasion. 

Available in sizes 0 to 14.

For a more laid-back affair, this striped dress is perfect.

Available in sizes XS to L.

Clean, simple, and the perfect shade of green.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

That little center twist will totally define your shape.

Available in sizes 16 to 20.

We’ll always love an LBD.

Available in sizes 2 to 12.

Bring on the midriff cutout, but I just like to keep some of the shoulder covered.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

A wedding guest look for under $40? We’ll take it.

Available in sizes XS to 4X.

A simple way to wear a dramatic hemline.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

For those whose live for sequins but also a regular bra to wear beneath them.

Available in sizes 0 to 8.

Have you heard ruching is back?

Available in sizes 0 to 10.

Bonus: Those oversize bows will provide extra coverage of your bra straps.

Available in sizes 8 to 12.

The beauty of this deep-V wrap style is you can tie it to show as much or as little cleavage as you’d like.

Available in sizes 0 to 22.

This kind of has an off-the-shoulder vibe without actually being off the shoulders.

Available in sizes 12 to 24.

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