Book Review: Earning It (and Executive Presence)

When Joann Lublin’s book Earning It launched last fall, I couldn’t wait to read it—and not just because it pictures a woman wearing a classic white shirt on its cover. Lublin interviewed 50 female executives for her book, and I wanted to know everything about their rise to the top.

The book covers such a wide range of real issues that any reader is sure to relate to at least one woman's story. Perhaps most refreshing is Lublin's own admission of mistakes she has made in her career. My only frustration with the book was that I wanted more from each storyteller. Reading it felt like attending a panel discussion where one panelist captured my attention, but the moderator had to give equal time to everyone on stage. It raised mulitple questions without the benefit of a Q&A session afterward! Fortunately, many of the women interviewed have written their own books, which Lublin lists in a helpful bibliography.

As a company that helps busty women dress for leadership, Campbell & Kate's review wouldn't be complete without highlights from the chapter on executive presence. Here are our favorite pointers.

Power Up or Power Down? Large Bust Dressing with Purpose

As you might imagine from a company inspired by the powerful look of men's crisp white dress shirts, we're all about the authority that our shirts impart to large-chested women. However, sometimes you may want to go in a softer direction.
 
Take, for example, the executive who let us sit in on her speed styling session with preeminent style strategist Carol Davidson at our pop up shop in April. The executive told us that during contract negotiation sessions in Japan, she was asked to sit in the same chair every time she entered the conference room. What was so special about that chair? It wasn't at the head of the table. It wasn't more comfortable than the others. No, it had been altered to a lower height than every other chair in the room! 
 
You see, the shorter chair gave this very tall executive the same seated height as everyone else around the table. In a culture that values conformity, a simple furniture adjustment helped her blend in. Because her goal was to close the deal rather than stand out, she went along with it.
 
Clothing can be used to the same effect. To amp up her presence in a Campbell & Kate shirt, Carol suggested that the executive pop the collar. To dial it down, she could wear it flat and roll up the sleeves.
 
    
 
 
 
 
Carol pointed out that accessories such as glasses can change our effect on others. For instance, the executive might want to wear more bold statement glasses to make an impact in front of a large group but selected more undertated frames to convey a more approachable message in a one-on-one coaching session.
 
Intrigued, we asked Carol for examples of other pieces that work this way.

Coffee Cups and D+ Cups at Bras & Brunch

If there's one thing near and dear to a busty woman's heart, it's the garment that she wears closest to her large chest. So it was only natural to host a Bras & Brunch event at our pop up shop last month!

Velaire Elliott and Jen Baker, co-founders of the exciting new startup My Bra Concierge, flew in from opposite coasts just to help each guest discover her best size and style. If you'd like to help Velaire and Jen prepare for their launch, please complete this survey!

Of course the guests of honor were the gorgeous bras. The Soraya by Elomi was a big hit, especially since it comes in 32-40 DD-JJ.

Longline lovers were big fans of this Freya Fancies version that goes up to an H cup in 30-36 bands.

From Desk to Dinner and Down Again

We have BIG news for women with big busts: Campbell & Kate is having its first Manhattan pop up shop at the Of Mercer flagship store from April 6-9. To celebrate, we've styled our shirts with a few key pieces from Of Mercer's desk-to-dinner collection.

Sheath Dresses that Flatter a Busty Figure

Of Mercer has great sheaths that look amazing on women with large chests. Some of them, like the Bryant and Bedford dresses below, can easily accommodate a G cup.

  

(Wonder what our model is reading below? You'll definitely want to read our review of it in our next blog post!)

Full Bust Bra Flashes Can Be Fashionable!

When we showed you how to layer this loungewear look last month, we promised to share a great sports bra for busty women who want to wear ultra-wide armholes without broadcasting a beige bra.

Introducing the Lynx ladder back sports bra. Not only does this bra look fine under wide armholes, it looks FABULOUS in back. Women with a large chest can now wear back-revealing athleisure tops instead of sticking with standard bra-covering tees!

While the ladder back only comes in black, Lynx offers cross back and racer back options in GREAT colors and patterns.

Big Bust Blues You'll Be Happy to Sing

Of all the colors we offer, navy has never been at the top of our list. We should have known better. When a customer ordered it for the first time, we were blown away by the sharp and versatile result.

Now we're so obsessed with dark blue that we couldn't help but see it everywhere at yesterday's trade show. Which of these bras for a large chest would YOU choose to wear under a navy shirt?

Gossard

Big Bust Layering by Example: One More Time!

For the past month, we've been showing you how to build a polished look from a comfortable base. We even revealed stylist Christina Frik's formula to take you from working from home to running around.

Today's look begins with a striped tunic over leggings. Don't even worry about the ultra-wide armholes. These are usually off limits to busty women who don't want to flash their bras at the world, but we've got a great sports bra to share with you in our next post.

Next, Christina uses a grey blazer and one of our button front shirts for large busted women to add structure and polish to the look. Instead of ankle boots, she's chosen knee-length boots. When it comes to proportion, her rule of thumb is to pair "low" shoes with low hems (like a knee-length dress) and high boots with high hems (like this tunic).

Six Bags that Belong in Every Busty Woman's Closet

If you've been following stylist Christina Frik's work on this blog, you may be curious about her bag choices. Instead of treating a purse as an after-thought, she treats it as a finishing touch. It looks like magic--especially to those of us who rely on a single bag for everything. Even when she showed us how to wear one bag four ways, she didn't choose a quiet little black bag that blended in. Her choice was more like a piece of jewelry!

How does she do it? Today she shows us how to create our own wardrobe of six essential bags based on just two factors:

More Lounge-to-Town Looks with a Full Bust Layering Formula

We don't have to leave our comfort zone just because we've left the house. In this post, Christina shows us two more ways a loungewear base can take us from hanging out to running around.

Her first look begins with a simple white tank top and boyfriend jeans.

Next come taupe ankle boots and a classic white shirt. A button-front shirt is great for adding structure to an otherwise soft or slouchy look, and Campbell & Kate shirts are especially suited for big bust layering because:

From Lounging Around to Getting Around, Refine Your Large Bust Look without Sacrificing Comfort

What's the best part about working from home? Being able to wear the most comfortable clothes in your closet! If you've ever tried it, however, you know there's one drawback--it can feel brutal to transition to a more polished public look.

Thanks to tips from our stylist Christina, you don't have to compromise comfort to run around town. She's put together great layering looks that begin with loungewear for the base. Today's look starts with a soft dolman top over leggings.

To make it city-ready, she slipped a classic white shirt from Campbell & Kate under the striped tee. Next, she added a chunky link necklace on top and black ankle boots on the bottom.

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