So let’s talk fashion. Specifically women’s fashion. Even more specifically large-breasted women’s fashion. As a woman who suffers from large breasts—and yes, suffer is the correct word—I have the authority to enlighten you on a few things.
Perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves in fantasy or sci-fi is to see a large-breasted woman in wholly unsupportive clothing, often breasts revealed in some way, running, jumping, fighting and all over being a badass.
They might as well be naked for all that does to support/protect them, big or small.
Don’t get me wrong, more media needs to offer badass women of all shapes, and I encourage you to create them, but when you’re forming your world and its clothing—especially if you are in a visual medium such as comics, video, video games—please think about practicality before aesthetic, especially overt sexualization.
What do you need to take into consideration when dressing an active, large-breasted woman?
If your world is set in an era before bras, then your woman will need to bind her breasts in some way. This is not meant to be alluring or a way to enhance cleavage. Her breasts need to be pressed as tight to her body as they can without impairing breathing or movement.
A secure bodice would help in everyday wear, but it’s not going to be enough in a fight. And, please, remember that corsets were not made to support but to shape, and that fainting couches were common because of how terribly it constrained breathing.
In a post-bra world, your woman will be wearing a bra. Not a sports bra, either. I’ve never found a single sports bra that could do anything more than cower at the thought of trying to support my breasts. More than likely she’s going to be wearing a binding bra. It is about the shape of a sports bra, but will have about a dozen or more clasps in the front to press the breasts against the chest and will cover all cleavage.
For everyday wear, a bra will do, but it’s not going to be the kind you see on Victoria’s Secret commercials. Once again, underwire was made to shape, not support. Support comes from a bra with good coverage and tight fabric. That’s not to say off duty she can’t show off her ample bosom, but I’ve found that the less fabric covering, the less support it offers, and I usually need to adjust it at the shoulder more often.
Fun Fact: Grooves in the shoulder are real. Large breasts weigh quite a bit. Once you’ve contained them in a bra, all that weight is concentrated on your shoulders, and over the years grooves form on the shoulder. It’s not huge or noticeable to the eye, but we can feel it, and if a new bra doesn’t sit where it should, it’s very annoying.
Why is this so important?
If you haven’t figured out yet, the key is breasts need to not move. There should be no bouncing!
Gravity is not you friend. Bouncing is the worst thing that can happen to a large-breasted woman for several reasons.
- If you are in a fight, you don’t want things moving that can impede your range of motion or could accidentally be injured because it’s flailing around.
- Breasts are connective tissue. Constant straining on that can tear that and cause other problems along the way.
- Muscles are connected to each other. When large breasts drop (remember, gravity is evil) with significant force there is a chain-reaction of muscles being pulled beyond their limit. If I don’t hold my chest when I need to run or jump, pain shoots through my shoulder up my neck and into my brain until I am dizzy, nauseated, and basically semi-immobile until the pain recedes. That is not the place you want to be if you’re a badass needing to fight.
So, please, I implore you to think more about her needs than her looks and give your character the support she deserves.
Final Note: DO NOT MAKE BOOB ARMOR! I cannot stress this enough. Boob armor is deadly to a woman. It is the most impractical armor in history. Armor is meant to protect the body, but boob armor concentrates all the force of an attack into a single point, a woman’s sternum. If hit, it will break her sternum and kill her. DO NOT MAKE BOOB ARMOR!
Thor actually has good armor. Feminine and sleek while still protective and practical, except for that hole at the stomach thing. But hey, they gave her pants and that makes me super happy.