It’s always exciting to me to see more and more companies springing up which cater to fuller busted women – especially when they aren’t solely related to bras or lingerie. Exclusively Kristen is just one of those companies. Founded by natural entrepreneur Kristen Allen, the company was born out of Kristen’s own frustrations and recognition of the fact that women in the D+ bracket are largely overlooked in the fashion industry. Her clothing is designed to fit busts up to a H cup.
If you have bigger boobs, I’m sure you’ll be well aware of the fact that tops, dresses, blouses – basically anything you wear on top very rarely fits the way you’d like it to. Designs and patterns become distorted as they stretch across your bust. Normal length t-shirts become crop tops. Button up shirts gape and look indecent, and safety pins become your best friend. Very often, women with a fuller bust have to buy tops several sizes too big for their body just to fit over their busts, which leaves them with saggy shoulders and shapeless waists. We all know clothes are designed with one particular body shape in mind, and boobs above a D cup are not usually part of the equation. This is unlikely to change anytime soon in the clothing of high street stores, but thankfully, people like Kristen are here to create something new for us.
The clothing from Exclusively Kristen has a slightly professional look, and is intended to be suitable for work wear. This is again another area where women struggle to find appropriate attire. I tend to be a very casual (aka lazy) dresser, and don’t have an office job so was worried I wouldn’t get the wear out of the Classic Polka Dot shirt Kristen very generously sent me, but the cute patter and trendy, contrasting cuffs and collar make it extremely wearable. It would look just as good with black skinny jeans and flats as it would with a smart pencil skirt and heels.
Onto what matters: the fit and quality. While clothing designed with the fuller bust in mind is not the norm, it was not new to me. Many of you may know I worked in Bravissimo, which also has a clothing line (Pepperberry) with a unique sizing system designed to fit and flatter women’s bodies. I had come across Exclusively Kristen a while before I was contacted, and assumed the fit would be similar to Pepperberry. However, Kristen actually asked for my specific measurements and determined which dress size I should go for from that. On the Pepperberry website, there is a calculator which uses your measurements to tell you your ideal Pepperberry size, but I always ended up needing a different size from this, so was worried I would get it wrong here too. Aside from gaining a little extra weight between telling Kristen my measurements and the shirt arriving – the fit is perfect! (For reference, my measurements are (usually!) 38-28-38, and the size 8 shirt fits me beautifully.) The material easily covers my bust, without any weird sagging or extra pockets of material, but also really neatly nips in at my waist. I personally like my clothes to be quite fitted, so when something properly shows off my waist it makes me really happy! There is no gaping at the buttons (after I shifted the weight!) and thankfully the cuffs don’t cut in on my arms. This is something I sometimes struggle with in short sleeved shirts – quite often the cuffs can be too tight and it makes it really uncomfortable when you have to move your arms around.
The quality is also really important to note. I couldn’t find anything to fault with this shirt. The material is soft against the skin, and although it is white, it isn’t horrible see through. It’s also 100% cotton which makes it easy to wear in the warm weather (and if you follow me on Instagram I’m sure you’ve read my woes about sweating too much!). It also irons super easily, which is another thing I like, mostly because I’m lazy and hate ironing. Kristen recently informed me that she has changed the placement of the buttons on her shirts, putting a button at the fullest part of the bust to further eliminate any gaping. This surprised me because – aside from the gaping when I was heavier – I couldn’t see that the shirt needed any improvement! But it does make me happy, as it’s so encouraging to see someone who really cares about their product and is constantly working on improving and growing – even if nobody else thinks it needs to improve. Kristen is clearly a perfectionist, and it shows!
All Kristen’s tops are available on the website. Shipping is free in the US and paid shipping is available to several other countries. Stock is also available in The Rack Shack in Brooklyn NY, The Heavy Hanger by Melons: The Complete Bra Shop in Wichita, KS and Broad Lingerie in Toronto, Canada. Be on the look out for pop up shops as well – you can stay up to date by following Exclusively Kristen on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I would highly recommend you give Exclusively Kristen a go – I’m certain it would change your wardrobe for the better!