The Rack–Going Through With It

(The Rack is usually a weekly Friday column by fit model, bartender/waitress, musician and future superstar, Tammy.  Because of the holiday weekend and Tammy’s exciting news, we’re publishing it today instead.)

Well, it’s really happening. After 6 months of consideration, 2 consults, 4 weeks of physical therapy and a lot of waiting, the date for my breast reduction surgery is set for June 21. I’ve been working non-stop, pulling 4-5 shifts at a new restaurant and devoting every spare moment to making music and working out, so I haven’t had as much time to reflect as I would have liked. I searched “breast reduction surgery” on YouTube the other day and watched a couple of videos of the procedure I’m about to have, and while the images of breasts being sliced open and trimmed down were gruesome, they didn’t shake my confidence that this is the best choice for me. My frustration with my breasts at a 34F far outweighs any of my concerns about the surgery– but there are a couple of things I’m scared about!

1. Recovery Time
My doctor said I’ll be able to go back to work in a week, but I’m worried that I won’t be ready to lift heavy trays and bus bins at my job with just a week of recovery time! I can’t really afford to take more than a week off, and since I just started this job, I’m not looking forward to explaining to my manager that in addition to the week off I requested after only working there for a week, there’s a chance I’ll need more time. I also don’t want to endanger my health, obviously. I plan to talk to my doctor about this more when I go for my pre-surgery bloodwork and health check on June 6.

2. Working Out
My doctor explained that I would need to stop exercising for 6 weeks following my surgery–that means no spin classes, no pilates, and definitely no kettlebell boot camp. Will my muscles turn to jelly in 6 weeks? My current plan is to eat nothing but salad until I’m allowed to work out again–but I plan to ask the doctor if I’ll be able to ease my way back into working out sooner– if I can at least work my lower half with squats and lunges and a LOT of walking, my muscles won’t atrophy completely.

3. Wardrobe
What am I going to wear!? On my list of things to save money for is the ever-important category of clothing. I’ll need all new bras (which will hopefully be less expensive), bathing suits, and probably some tops–most everything I own is stretchy, but it would be nice to be able to welcome my new breasts with some things that were purchased with my post-surgery shape in mind.

With three weeks to go, I’ll be working hard to save money, eat right, and spend lots of time at the gym! I will keep you all updated every step of the way.

Jessica Simpson Zip Front Seersucker: Summer Dress Discovery #1

In keeping with Imogen Lamport’s suggestion that we look for designers who are large-breasted themselves, I gave Jessica Simpson another try yesterday. 

This dress is too small for my G/H bosom (proof after the jump), but consistent with my finding last December, I think those of you who are an F cup or smaller will love this dress.  Why?  Because you won’t even have to wear a bra!  There’s a wide elastic band in back that holds everything in place, and the straps are even adjustable.

The cups are molded like a bra without any stretch, so no sagging.  I liked the a fun working zipper in front.  There’s also a side zipper for ease of getting into and out of the dress, but I only discovered it as I was changing out of it (of course).

If you’re lucky enough to wear a size 4, 6 or 8 and you order before June 2, you can get 20% off this dress (regularly $128) and free shipping from Jessica Simpson’s site itself.  If you wear a different size, check out your local department store.  I found the size 14 at Lord & Taylor yesterday.

Summer Dress Discoveries Soon, Summer Swimsuit Discoveries Later

I haven’t given you a view inside anyone’s closet recently, but I did take a fun trip to the Lord & Taylor dress department with Giselle yesterday. I’ll post what we found a little later today. 

Unfortunately, I’m once again behind in the swimsuit department.  I enjoyed wearing my coral Panache Geneva tankini to the beach in Florida last week.  Since it works fine for me right now, I’m not rushing to buy another one.  However, some of you are on the lookout, and I’d love it if you’d share your swimsuit findings in a post here.  I’ll also link to some of the great reviews I’ve found elsewhere.

One thing I’m noticing:  it’s getting hard to find cute bra-sized one piece swimsuits.  I think it’s because it’s easier to keep all body shapes happy with the versatility of a tankini.  However, I feel like one-pieces offer more support all around.  Thoughts?

A Tale of Two Fittings, Part 2

Actually, there are two and a half fittings involved here because the day before we drove to Unique Lingerie, we stopped at the Dillard’s in our local mall.  If Dillard’s offered a full range of band and cup sizes, I would feel comfortable recommending Lydia, our fitter there.  Without trying any bras on, Lydia predicted that my niece would be a 32D and my mom a 36D.

The next day, Edna, the owner of Unique Lingerie, fit my niece in a range of sizes, the most consistent being a 32E.  Although a 36D fit my mom, Edna recommended a 38D because my mother gets heart palpitations when something is too tight. 

The difference between their experience in Ocala, Florida, and my friend Ellen’s experience here in New York City, was night and day:

1.  Edna spent nearly three hours with us.  Even I was tired of bra shopping by the time we’d finished.  But Edna was willing to keep going as long as we were

2.  When Edna left the dressing room, she told us she’d be right back.  If it took longer than expected, she apologized upon her return. 

3.  We waited in a well-lit, roomy dressing room/office with three comfortable  arm chairs and a robe for the customer.  There were peppermints for us on her desk.

4.  Edna answered our questions graciously.  My first question:  Since my niece’s rib question measured 28″, why wouldn’t she wear a 28 band?  Edna didn’t just tell me they’d be too tight.  She brought out bras in a 28 and 30 band that wouldn’t fasten or pinched my niece’s back if they did.  However, we did find that my niece fit one Panache bra in a 30G.

5.  Edna had the typical bias toward seamed bras, but she accepted my niece’s preference for seamless; and although she encouraged my niece to get a sports bra, she didn’t push it when my niece said that she never exercises.

Before beginning this blog, I didn’t know what to look for in bra fitters.  My experiences in the past two weeks have highlighted three of the most important criteria to me:  (1) people skills; (2) knowledge & experience; and (3) a wide selection of sizes.

What criteria are important to you before you’ll recommend a fitter to someone?