D+ Donation Dreams

Leah isn’t able to post today, so I’m using her space to link to my blog post about Bottomless Closet on the Campbell & Kate blog. What important work this non-profit is doing! However, I admit that I’m slightly conflicted about encouraging Hourglassy readers to donate their bust-friendly tops, jackets and dresses to this organization. If you do that, how will you have anything left for our next Big Bust Clothing Swap? I should probably just get over my scarcity mentality, shouldn’t I? Sounds like another blog post topic worth exploring.

When I visited Bottomless Closet a few weeks ago, I already knew that they didn’t accept used bra donations, but I hoped to encourage them to reconsider. After all, how can anyone dress for success without the right foundation? But when I saw all the clothing that they sort and heard about all the services that they provide, I realized there was no way this non-profit could also take on all the sizes and fit issues that bras present.

If you check out the pictures that I posted on Campbell & Kate, you can see that the boutique is pretty amazing. Here’s a picture of one of the back rooms. The wall of cubbyholes is just for shoes. Can you imagine adding bras to the mix?

bottomless closet shoe donations

So if you’re a bravangelist looking for her calling in life, this could be it. Why not set up a non-profit that does nothing but provide bras to the clients of other non-profits? A woman could pick up a referral to your fitting room at the same time that she picks up her interview outfit from Bottomless Closet! (One problem: many Bottomless Closet clients visit the boutique the day before their interview–NOT an ideal time for breaking in a new bra!)

You would have no problem getting bra donations. The now defunct Support 1000 has already proven that women everywhere want to help other women in this way. It wasn’t lack of donations that caused Support1000 to shutter. It was lack of time. The organization was 100% volunteer driven. To resurrect its mission, there would need to be salaried staff.

I’d better be careful or I’ll talk myself into starting something myself. However, if anyone out there wants to dream with me, let’s set up a conference call!

 

Best Breasts Forward ~ Wasting Money on a Sports Bra?

I know what you’re thinking. “What in the world has gotten into Mia?” Don’t fret ladies. I have not gone mad. I did however happen upon a bra designer who is of the opinion that we don’t NEED sports bras. They believe sports bras are a waste of money.

Okay. Knowing me as y’all do, I’m quite sure you can imagine my initial reaction.

(Pause for laughter)

So let me get this right. I’ll use my favorite, most comfortable, supportive and well fitting bra, the Andorra as an example.image

This perfect everyday bra should also be the bra I train in . . . the bra I run half marathons in?

Rather than just telling you, I can show y’all why this is an absurd notion. A couple months ago I had my Andorra on and I had dressed too warm for the weather. I did not have a chance to change clothes so I hurried around town running my errands. Two hours later I was in pain. When I got home I saw that I had sweat through my bra under my bust and the lace that I adore had rubbed me raw! It has since healed but I do have a scar.image

Moral of the story is your everyday bra was not made to stretch, move or react to sweat the way a sports bra is.

For us busty ladies there is no doubt that a properly fitted sports bra is NOT OPTIONAL. It is a MUST! Your sports bra should provide optimum support while adding to physical ease and comfort. It has to hold your breasts in place without being too tight. Because larger breasts are heavier, we need to be sure that the straps will remain secure and won’t slip, allowing them to loosen. Too much bounce can lead to the stretching of the ligaments.

Sports bras also help in absorbing sweat and keep you comfortable and dry while exercising. Larger busts will create more sweat in between your breasts and especially under the bust. Special attention must be paid to the fit and feel of the band.

I’m always open to others’ opinions, but I draw the line where it comes to spreading misinformation that is harmful. Especially for those of us with very large breasts, wearing properly fitted sports bras is not just about fashion; it is a health and wellness issue. Wearing an everyday bra in place of a sports bra is simply not ok.

Behind the Scenes

My writing lull continues as I wait for a few ideas to germinate, so while that’s happening, I want to try to use this time to do some much-needed blog housekeeping and organizing. Feel free to weigh in with any ideas of what would be helpful to you. I know that the “Big Bust Clothing Options” page is practically obsolete. Also, last year  seemed to have a dearth of swimsuit reviews to link to on other blogs, and I want to avoid a similar famine this year. If you know you’re going to buy a swimsuit this year and would be willing to review it for Hourglassy, would you shoot me an email  at darlene [at] hourglassy [dot] com? Or  if you’re a blogger who is planning to review swimwear, please make sure I catch your review! Later this week I plan to post on the Campbell & Kate blog about Bottomless Closet, a NYC non-profit that provides a valuable service to disadvantaged women entering the workforce, and I’m going to link to it here. I hope you’ll click through and read about it . . . and perhaps dream with me about how we can support organizations like it.

Off the Rack ~ My Core Bras

Hey readers, I’m back from my honeymoon to Yellowstone National Park! We saw tons of animals (wolves, coyotes, foxes, bighorn sheep, elk—a million bison), got up before sunrise nearly every day to squeeze in as many activities as possible, and enjoyed all sorts of winter fun—cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and visiting the otherworldly thermal features in the park. It was amazing.

While on the trip, I had planned on piggybacking on Darlene’s recent post about discovering her core wardrobe through travel. But since all I wore every day was a bunch of thermal layers and a down coat, my “core” wardrobe consisted almost exclusively of winter gear—not very helpful. However, I did wear one busty item every single day, and that was my Panache sports bra.

I know I’ve written about this bra before in a conventional review. But I think my original review was a little mixed, and at this point I absolutely love these bras. I now own three, and it seems like every season Panache comes out with another color that I adore. I’m currently lusting after the lime colorway from last year and the new magenta with black trim. But I don’t think I can justify owning five of these babies, especially since they don’t fit in my bra drawer and have to live in a pile in my bedside table’s open cubby.

pan_lime

pan_mag

I wore them every day of the trip because I wanted to be strapped down during strenuous activity, avoid boob bounce on a snowmobile or bumpy snow coach ride (a mini-bus outfitted with treads instead of wheels, for driving over snow), and also take advantage of the bra’s general comfort.

Well the comfort was definitely the best part! Unlike most of my regular bras, I completely forgot I was wearing it at all. The sweat-wicking capability was also stellar. One of the worst things you can do in cold weather is get overheated. As I understand it, since sweating cools your body, becoming sweaty can actually lead to hypothermia faster than if you were just a little cold. Of course, it wasn’t even that cold while I was there (only a few degrees below freezing most days, while back in New York it was barely above zero [Fahrenheit]) and there was no threat of hypothermia.

But when we went cross-country skiing and worked hard enough that our thermal underwear got sweaty and sticky (pleasant!), I was nice and dry on the skin under the bra when we finally finished.

Further, on a more vain note, I really, really appreciated the fact that the Panache Sport doesn’t hide or even minimize my breast size or shape. If I have to be swaddled in several layers, I’d prefer to maintain at least some semblance of my figure, and this bra let me do it while still being practical.

Aside from my Panaches, I did also pack three other normal bras. Well really I packed two and wore one on the plane. I guess you could say the two I packed are my “core” styles. It was the Fantasie Molded Smoothing Tee Shirt bra and the Ewa Michalak S Bambino.

The Fantasie is a core piece because it’s the smoothest tan/nude bra I own. I always, always bring one with me so I don’t have to worry about print or seam show-through. The Ewa S-style, on the other hand, gives me my favorite profile. If I could own every single S bra that Ewa makes, I would be a happy camper. It’s slightly more open than the CHP and has slightly better uplift than the PL, the other two styles I own.

As for the one I wore on the plane ride, well for that I just wanted something really light and with a non-pinchy band. The one I chose is a bra I never even got around to reviewing on here! It’s a somewhat generic Gossard full cup lace bra, pictured on the left here:

gossard

I find that Gossard runs small in the band and a little small in the cup, so I size up from 28G to 30G. With this one, the cup is a bit big on my smaller boob, but perfect on the bigger one. It’s smooth, non-itchy lace with a satiny, floral-print side sling to keep everything tucked in. What I really like about Gossard bras, though, is the back of the band:

gossard2

This thing is so cool looking! And also really comfortable when I want a band that won’t dig into my back while wearing a backpack or being stuck in the uncomfortably upright seat position on the plane. It’s maybe not quite as firm and supportive as a normal bra band, but I really like it anyway. I’d love to get more Gossard bras, in fact, but most of the time I’m not thrilled by the design, and non-padded ones are few and far between.