Best Breasts Forward ~ The Other Mia

I must admit that I went back and forth for a while on how I should word this post or if I should talk about it at all. Fortunately (or Unfortunately depending on your view) I think it’s important that I speak to you all the same way I would a friend, openly.

Being above a G cup makes it even that much more difficult to find examples of women who have bodies that look like mine. Whenever I do find that unicorn, I take notice. I came across Mia Zarring while doing a Google search for G cup and up women. It’s astounding to see what comes up when searching anything breast related. Sifting through the porn, I found that Mia Zarring is a 5 ft 5, 34K from Russia.  Obviously she’s beautiful.

image image

I can’t read Russian so I pretty much have made up her story in my head through her photos, kind of like how my children used to do before they could read.

The thing about that is that Mia Zarring is not a fictional character. She’s a person. If I took only the photos Google gave me and created her entire life story from them, what would that say about her? More importantly, what would that say about me?

image image image image image

Being the inquisitive woman that I am, I looked for and found Ms. Zarring on Instagram. Here’s where it gets interesting. The pictures on Instagram seem more personal. They aren’t just publicity shots. Because they are so much more candid we see a different side of her, one that feels very familiar to me.

image image image image image

Looking through both sets of photos brought up a lot of questions for me. As a women with very large breasts, I am keenly aware of what message people receive when the girls are “on display”. It seems as though in some photos she is purposely doing so as a part of her “work”. But, in other more candid photos is the message being sent the same as the message that is being received? And what if there is in fact no message being sent? What if she just likes that look?

What I’m getting at is, as busty women, we know assumptions are sometimes made about who we truly are. The way we dress can often swing an opinion positive or negatively. Once we’ve put our breasts out there, cleavage and all can we ever really go back?

Yes, we are in control of the message we are sending but are we ever in control of the message that is received?

Happy Holidays Hiatus

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been a very prolific blogger the past few weeks, and I have a feeling that my pared-down posting will continue for the rest of the month because I have a few non-blog goals that I want to meet before Christmas. However, I fully expect this hiatus to reinvigorate my writing in the new year!

 

Darlene’s Top Two Picks for Busty Christmas Gifts

Neither of my favorite items are sexy or glamorous–especially not my top choice–but these are two products that I can’t live without.  They work for almost any cup size, and they cost well under $50.

My unreserved NUMBER ONE TOP CHOICE is a wardrobe saver that rescues all my tops from the trash: the Albachem 1674 Spot Lifter II.

albachem-1674-spot-lifter-iiI went into great detail about Spot Lifter II on the Campbell & Kate blog last March (and abbreviated detail on Hourglassy), but since then I’ve come to love it even more. My favorite turquoise tee-shirts are like magnets for oil stains, but I just douse them with Spot Lifter and it’s like there was never anything there. In November, I ate spaghetti in a white Campbell & Kate shirt. I had JUST congratulated myself for getting to the last bite without any spills when–of course!–my last bite missed my mouth and landed on my chest. I would have been extremely annoyed pre-Spot Lifter. Instead, knowing I had Spot Lifter at home, I just laughed at myself and moved on. Sure enough, my shirt looked as good as new after treatment.

We have an extremely limited Christmas gift budget this year. Think $15 per sibling. Happily, AllStitch only charges $7.49  a can, so I bought one for each of my two sisters. Shipping is more expensive because it must go ground (if it weren’t for the aerosol, I’d  take them in my suitcase to Florida). One can costs a little over $11 to ship, but combining both sister’s cans into a single order only cost $12.22. If you’re wondering whether there’s enough time for an order to reach someone by the 24th, I think there is. I placed my order on Saturday, December 12, it went out on Monday, December 14, and it’s scheduled to arrive tomorrow, December 17.

Do I expect my sisters to be excited when they open their gift from me? No way! But I’m pretty sure they’re going to thank me again and again in 2015.

Now for MY SECOND TOP CHOICE: the Bra:30 hipster tank top that I wrote about in October. Back then, I predicted the cost per wear would be excellent, and I was right. I wear it all the time–first thing in the morning and again when I change into lounge-y clothes at night. It was a lifesaver at a family reunion I attended recently because I had NO privacy. If my gift budget were higher, this would be my main gift to each of my sisters and sisters-in-law, and I’d give them the Spot Lifter as a stocking stuffer.

 

Off the Rack ~ Trying a Custom-Made Coat from Etsy

I’ve long been an Etsy lurker, saving tons of items to my favorites list but never actually buying any of them. Most of the time it’s because it’s out of my price range. Custom, handmade clothing tends to cost quite a bit, and rightfully so. But I recently found a few China-based sellers that have the most amazing coats at a slightly more affordable price point.

I’m usually a little hesitant about ordering from China because I’ve been burned by China-based eBay sellers before and, more importantly, I’m concerned about contributing to sweatshop conditions. But the couple of stores I was looking at on Etsy have pretty extensive and legitimate-sounding shop descriptions, complete with names and photos of the employees. Can it be trusted? I don’t really know. I hope so . . . because these coats are so awesome I want to buy them all! It helps that the pricing is not exactly sweatshop-level. Most of the coats are around $130–$170, which is inexpensive for custom-made, but not at all what I consider “cheap.”

After trying on a full-skirted coat from Guess in a random store, I decided I needed a similar one. The skirt was so feminine and fun and it balanced my chest really well. But I did not want the Guess one, because it was mostly acrylic and was so itchy. All the Etsy coats I found were instead wool-polyester blends, which is exactly what I wanted. I know that blend is very warm and not scratchy because I’ve had coats in that material in the past.

After searching around, I found two shops that had a ton of coats I loved, including plenty with full skirts. The first is YL1dress and the second is Xiaolizi. I had such a hard time choosing from all their offerings, but I eventually settled on an asymmetrical collared one from YL1.

YL1dress black coat

The best part about ordering clothes through Etsy is that most sellers are happy to customize the sizing or design for you. So I requested to have plain straight sleeves instead of the “lantern” ones pictured, and I asked for houndstooth fabric that was in another listing in the same shop.

YL1dress houndstooth coat

YL1 offers customization for a flat $30 fee, so I got the sleeve alteration, the new fabric, and I provided my measurements (noting my long waist, especially) even though I’m right in the range of what they list as a size “medium.”

The shop had excellent communication, usually writing me back within hours of anything I sent them. They also included charts with instructions on how to properly measure yourself and requested additional measurements beyond the usual chest/waist to ensure the best possible fit (specifically, length from shoulder to waist, height, and weight).

It seems they forgot to mark the parcel as sent when they first shipped it, because I received a shipping confirmation that day after it arrived, so I have no idea how fast it was made or how fast it shipped. But the final communication occurred on November 14 and I received the package on December 10, so I’m pretty happy with that timeline.

So! How’s the final product? Here, have a photo essay (in front of our little Christmas tree that we just started decorating!):

IMG_1900

IMG_1909

IMG_1910

IMG_1908

IMG_1902

Love it love it love it love it!!

The quality is so far beyond what I was even expecting. The first thing I noticed is it is really heavy. Also, the lining is high quality and sewn perfectly; the fabric is nice and soft; and the care that went into the details is truly impressive.

The fit is just the tiniest bit off. I wish the chest was just a little roomier. You can see it pulling a tiny bit in the closeups below. And the armpits are attached a little low or at a weird angle or something, because when I lift my arms up high, the rest of the coat goes with them.

But there’s definitely room for layers under the coat and it certainly fits better than my old boxy wool peacoat I replaced it with. Plus the asymmetrical collar and high-low skirt are so fun! And considering that it kept me totally toasty in Thursday’s mid-30s (Fahrenheit) weather (and I was outside for most of the day), it’s practical even though it looks more “fashion-y.”

Here are some of those details I mentioned:

IMG_1903

The torso. Note the princess seams—a busty gal’s best friend. You can see here that the chest is pulling just a touch. Also please note the matching covered buttons. My old houndstooth peacoat just had black plastic. It even came with a spare button tucked into one of the pockets.

Princess seams from the side. Pretty good contouring, no?

Princess seams from the side. Pretty good contouring, no?

I just love this collar. There’s even a little hidden button that holds the larger side of the collar in place under the smaller piece.

I just love this collar. There’s even a little hidden button that holds the larger side of the collar in place under the smaller piece.

Fun, full skirt! I also appreciate that there’s a button on the lower side of the waist seam. The old peacoat (again) only had buttons across the bust, so it would fly open with a big gust of wind. That’s not an issue here.

Fun, full skirt! I also appreciate that there’s a button on the lower side of the waist seam. The old peacoat (again) only had buttons across the bust, so it would fly open with a big gust of wind. That’s not an issue here.

The pockets! They are a little high up, which I really like because it’s a perfect height for keeping my hands in them. And the inner panel is made of the wool, with just the outer panel made of lining fabric. Not only is this warmer for my hands, but all my coats that have pockets made of just lining end up shredding where it’s sewn together, so presumably that won’t be an issue either. They're also quite deep. I have no worries about my phone or Metrocard or gloves falling out. And the full skirt hides that I have all that crap in there too!

The pockets! They are a little high up, which I really like because it’s a perfect height for keeping my hands in them. And the inner panel is made of the wool, with just the outer panel made of lining fabric. Not only is this warmer for my hands, but all my coats that have pockets made of just lining end up shredding where it’s sewn together, so presumably that won’t be an issue either. They’re also quite deep. I have no worries about my phone or Metrocard or gloves falling out. And the full skirt hides that I have all that crap in there too!

Even with the minor fit issues, I am really happy with this coat and heartily recommend this Etsy seller.