The Bust of My Prom Dress Is Too Big: What Can I Do Without Tailoring It?

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The bust of a prom dress needs to fit properly in order to stay up, especially while dancing.
The bust of a prom dress needs to fit properly in order to stay up, especially while dancing. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

An ill-fitting dress can ruin your prom experience. Constantly jerking up your dress as you walk and dance because the bust is too large can put a damper on the evening’s fun. Tailoring a dress is not always an option. Some girls do not have time to take it to a seamstress, some dresses are borrowed and often alterations are expensive. Whatever the reason, all is not lost. You have options that will help you fit the dress to your bust and still look fabulous.

Tape

Often thought of as a Hollywood secret, you can use fashion tape to prevent the bust from gapping. When dresses, especially strapless designs, are too large in the bust, they have a tendency to gap and slip. Fashion tape is a double-stick tape that is designed to stick to your skin and the dress. The adhesive is strong yet gentle on your skin. The pieces of tape are skin toned so they easily blend into your skin if seen. The tape comes in various sizes to accommodate different sections of the dress bust, such as the sides of a strapless dress, spaghetti straps that won’t stay on the shoulder and the curve of a sweetheart neckline.

Pinning

You can use safety pins to fit your dress better for your bust. Try on your dress. Have a friend or your mother help gather the extra fabric at the side seams of your dress. Have her pin the dress with safety pins. Take off the dress and measure how much fabric is pinned at the seam. Remove the safety pins. Flip the dress inside out so you can reach the interior side seams. Gather and measure the same amount of fabric as you had pinned on the outside of the dress. Pin the fabric on the inside of the dress. Always use safety pins instead of straight pins as it is not safe to wear straight pins inside your dress.

Undergarments

Purchasing the right undergarments could help your dress fit correctly. If the bust is too large, fill the extra space with a bra or bustier. A padded bra could help the bust fit closer to your chest. If you already have a bra that will work with your dress, you can purchase silicone inserts to help fill the space. The inserts are worn inside your bra and help keep strapless dresses from slipping down.

Velcro

Another trick to a bust that is too large is sewing Velcro inside your dress. Sew a strip of Velcro to the sides of the dress, under your arms. Use the soft, loopy side in case it rubs against your skin. Sew the rough side to the side of your bra. Do this for both sides of the dress. You can also do two small pieces on either side of your bra clasp in the back. The Velcro will help hold the dress to your body, eliminating gapping and slipping. You may need to try on the dress and the bra and have another person mark where they meet.

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