Off the Rack ~ The Goal Is Not Perfection (Though These “Lady K” Curvy Jeans are About as Close to Perfection as You Can Get!)

It seems like so much of our self worth as women is wrapped up in fashion. From bemoaning ultra-thin models and excessive Photoshop, to bikini shopping and unhappy dressing room ventures, and even blogging about it (guilty!), we’re always talking about, scrutinizing, and (occasionally) loving ourselves based on how we fit into clothing.

I can’t even begin to remember all the times I’ve had a friend or acquaintance complain about her body in relation to clothes. Recently, a friend who has run multiple marathons and is in far better shape than I am despite my being thinner, stated that she was nervous about trying wedding dresses because she thinks they’re all going to be too small and will have to be held up with clips and will all look terrible on her. Instead of being happy or proud of what she has accomplished with her body, she was worrying about looking “bad.”

It seems like “perfection,” in terms of our bodies, is fitting in. It’s not clothes fitting us, but us fitting into a standard.

At 5’6” and about 145 pounds, I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever weighed. And while I could stand to be a little healthier in terms of physical activity and eating well at home, I’ve never felt more comfortable or confident in my own body. I’ve long since stopped trying to live up to what the rest of the world tells me is “perfection,” especially if “perfection” means torturing myself to achieve some unrealistic image.

Besides, there are so many different opinions on what “perfection” looks like, that it’s literally an impossible goal. There simply is no such thing as perfection, so why bother making it your goal?

Fabulous just the way I am! (Though a good Instagram filter helps.)

Fabulous just the way I am! (Though a good Instagram filter helps.)

All that brings me to the second half of this post, a review of the curve-friendly “Hug Me Baby” jeans from Lady K Loves—and a contest in which you can win your very own pair!
Lady K Love Hug Me Baby review

Disclosure: These jeans were received as a review sample. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.

Since I’ve stopped trying to force myself into clothes that don’t fit and flatter me, it makes it extra fun when I do find something that feels catered to my body, and those are the companies I want to support. Blue jeans are one item of clothing that I’ve just outright stopped buying in brick-and-mortar stores. Major brands simply don’t make them for curvy ladies. Yet instead of feeling frustrated or bad about myself, or buying pairs that only sort of fit, I’m just not giving them any of my money. I’m saving it for companies that embrace my shape.

So I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I discovered Lady K Loves. A cute, rockabilly-style shop located in the UK, they offer jeans in two styles—classic and the curvy “Hug Me Baby” curvier variety—and two lengths of 32” or 36” inseams in black or dark blue denim. With sizes XS through XXL, they fit a good range of sizes.

Upon checking out the Hug Me size chart and seeing how close to my measurements it follows, I was thrilled that Lady K herself agreed to send me a pair for review, and offered a pair to one lucky reader as well. The mediums are suggested for a waist of 28” and hips from 40”–42” (they can fit a range thanks to slight stretch). My measurements are 29” waist and about 41” around the widest part of my hips. You can find a complete size chart on each item’s individual listing, and feel free to contact the shop if you’re between size and unsure which to choose.

At £65, the jeans cost about $100 US, slightly more than a typical off-the-rack pair in the US, but certainly less than “designer” denim—and completely worth the price considering how perfectly they fit, how impressed I am with the quality, and how infrequently I buy new ones!

These are true high-waisted pants, reaching past my belly button and up to my natural waist. Since I’m on the taller side of average and have a long torso, that leads me to believe they may not work for very petite or short-waisted gals. But average height or even very tall ladies will be totally pleased with them.

With the legs folded up to ankle-length.

With the legs folded up to ankle-length.

The denim itself is thick with a little stretch. When I first put them on, they felt a little stiff, but now that I’ve been wearing them practically nonstop for the last few weeks, they’ve softened up nicely while still holding me in. I find them a little more flattering—and flattening—on my tummy compared to my Freddies jeans.

Lady K Loves Hug Me Baby side view

The Hug Me Babies really nail the vintage style with modern details. There’s a nice long zipper up the front, making them easy to pull on and slide up my thighs without any struggle. They also feature dark yellow stitching, functional front and back pockets (though I wish the front pockets were deeper), a suitably wide waistband, big belt loops, and grommets on the pocket corners.

Lady K Loves Hug Me Baby front

Lady K Loves Hug Me Baby front some more

happy in Lady K Loves

I love the sweetheart yoke stitching on the back above the pockets. Sometimes with high-waisted pants, your butt ends up looking weirdly tall and flat, but I think this extra stitch line breaks up the expanse of fabric and gives a nice, shapely appearance.

With my mini-legs (about a 28” inseam), the 32” inseam of these jeans is a bit long on me, but they’re just loose enough around my calves that I can fold them up or even fold them into ankle-length for these hot summer days. Too-tight calves is another issue I find with off-the-rack jeans, so I’m thrilled to be able to fold these up without cutting off the circulation in my legs!

Finally, these jeans solve the infuriating issue of the waist gap, which I know tons of women suffer from, including those with a smaller waist-to-hip ratio than I. When I wear normal mid- or low-rise jeans, I have to size up in the waist to fit my hips, so I end up with a too-big waist and too-tight hips. Then throughout the day, the pants slowly sink down my butt and I end up with a dropped crotch and visible underwear. With the Hug Me Babies, I can actually feel the waistband keeping its grip on me, and no amount of stretching, bending over, or sitting can manage to pull the waist down. It’s a miracle!

No visible underwear!

No visible underwear!

The waist stays in place even while awkwardly sitting on a planter.

The waist stays in place even while awkwardly sitting on a planter.

I’m so pleased with these that I’ve already donated a couple pairs of old, “regular” blue jeans from my drawer. I have to buy these in black when my size is back in stock so I can replace my ill-fitting black jeans as well.

Between my Hug Me Babies and my Freddies, I’ll never have to buy a badly fitting pair of jeans again!

And now the best news of all: One lucky Hourglassy reader will win her choice of Lady K jeans (you can see all the styles here. Enter with the Rafflecopter widget below. You’ll earn one entry for each activity you complete, and the contest closes at 11:59 pm ET Friday, August 7.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best Breasts Forward: The Goal Is Not Perfection

When you have to write about such a personal thing as being big busted, especially as a mother of daughters knowing that they’ll read it, it forces you to confront yourself.

As a J cup, my breasts are an unavoidable part of many conversations. What brought me to Hourglassy was seeing my youngest daughter’s reaction to MY reaction while looking at myself in the mirror. Watching my daughters negotiate life, I’ve learned that my imperfections ARE my perfections.

Particularly because I am a busty woman, I am conscious of what I wear. I let my youngest help me pack for a recent business trip. I knew I’d been doing something right when she reminded me to “take my good bras”. She said to wear my “pretty” scarf. She said I should wear my beige Pepperberry jacket (that I got at the swap).

business trip

My daughters don’t see me as perfect and because of that, they find it easier to embrace their flaws. When Mommy took her 6-year-old to the beach, she didn’t blink an eye when I took off my maxi dress to reveal my bikini. She just wanted me to build a sandcastle with an impressive moat.

sand castle vs perfection

For me, that is and will always be the point. I’ll never be society’s version of “perfect” and through my writing and talking with my daughters, I’ve learned that’s for the best.

I have a 23-year-old and a 6-year-old daughter. When they are with me, there is no judgment.  I’m the me I need to be for them . . . imperfections and all.

Back Up!

So July has turned into a pretty relaxed writing schedule, but we didn’t plan to be quite so relaxed as we were this weekend. Our website suffered a brute force attack and we’re only just now able to access it again.

Instead of writing every day, I’ve been sewing every day. Here’s my sixth attempt at sewing one of my shirts. It’s an inexpensive, super sheer, Swiss dot cotton voile that I thought would require a cami, but my purple Fraulein Annie bra stayed invisible beneath the navy so that I could enjoy the benefits of super light fabric on this hot and humid day.

I skipped the interfacing in the collar and collar stand because the fabric feels more drape-y than tailored, but I think they could use a little help the next time I experiment with light fabric. Also, I only put two (instead of four) waist darts in back because I wanted a more relaxed fit. I’m not sure what I think about the shoulders–would they look better if they angled in a little bit? Regardless, I’m super proud of the armholes because there is NO bra peek-through there.

I’m still waiting for my grader to create the other sizes in my pattern so that I can sew a 2M and 16M to check the specs. Until then, I’ll just keep practicing on more 8M’s. If you’d like one of my upcoming practice 8M’s for the cost of materials and shipping, contact me! Shirt #5 has already been spoken for.

Fresh Breasts: A Summer Sweat Solution for Big Boobs?

Fresh_Breasts__45974.1423169836.386.513

Four months ago, someone mentioned Fresh Breasts on the Big Boob Problems subreddit, and I couldn’t wait to try it. Maybe I did something wrong, but this product didn’t work for me. Here’s a rundown of the two days that I tried it.

Day 1

8:56 AM squeezed a handful of product out of the tube and rubbed it over and under my breasts

9:03 AM top of breasts dry

9:07 AM under breasts still wet

9:12 AM under breasts still wet while sitting at computer; icky feeling

9:20 AM still wet

9:44 AM still really wet

9:59 AM still wet

10:23 AM still moist but powderier

10:58 AM tacky . . . not quite dry

11:32 AM dry-ish

12:12 PM mostly dry

12:40 PM dry (if very slightly tacky)

1:24 PM totally wet again from sweat

Day 2

I decided to use a smaller amount this time and to follow the instructions to “shake well before use” (although it doesn’t feel very effective to shake a tube full of product).

9:40 AM applied product

9:58 AM left breast almost completely dry . . . only slightly tacky in the crease

9:59 AM completely dry left breast; almost dry right breast

10:00 AM right breast completely dry. Sat braless at sewing machine. The area where my breasts rested on my torso felt dry, soft and pleasant.

11:04 AM hot and a little sweaty . . . slightly moist where breasts rested on torso

1:30 PM completely wet after sweeping back porch

The same company makes Fresh Balls, and I get the feeling that a group of guys thought their product could do double duty for women. But this copy from their website makes me think that they just don’t get it:

“Let’s face it, how many more times can you walk into a room and let your boob sweat-soaked shirt make the first impression for you? Boob sweat, or “swoobs,” is a common, and uncomfortable, problem most women have to deal with daily – until now!”

Or maybe I’m the one who isn’t getting it. Do YOUR shirts typically show two sweaty orbs that result in “uncomfortable and awkward arm-crossed encounters”? For me it’s all about underboob sweat, and unless I’m going braless, I don’t get the tell-tale wet crescents showing through my tee shirts. What I get is the gross feeling of sweat trickling between and beneath my breasts, and the helpless realization that my dry bra will soon be drenched. But I never worry about my shirt itself being drenched.

The instructions say to “reapply if needed” and to “wash your hands” after you apply. Given how long it takes this product to dry beneath DD+ breasts, it simply isn’t practical to reapply throughout the day–it’s barely practical to apply after a shower in the morning. And it’s kind of messy. If you don’t wash your hands, they’ll turn white. The same white looks like snow salt stains on your breasts. And yes, it rubs off onto your bra.

If anyone wants the rest of my tube of Fresh Breasts, let me know and I’ll ship it to you (domestically)! And if you have a better experience with this product than I did, we want to hear all about it.

In the meantime, I enjoyed wearing my cotton-lined Fraulein Annie Falling in Love bra all day today without feeling a single trickle of sweat. I’ll give a full review here soon.

Need more help with stay-cool options this summer? Here are some of our past posts on the subject:

Don’t Sweat It

You’ve Lost that Soggy Feeling

Best Breasts Forward: Hot Mama

Big Bust Heat Wave Bras and Strappy Tops

Best Breasts Forward: Sweating Through Summer

Staying Cool

Summertime and the Living is Strappy

 Thanks to commenters on Mia’s last post and Big Boob Problems, here are two more products that I’d like to try:

Monistat Complete Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel

Pure Romance Between the Sheets Powder Spray