Off The Rack ~ Happy Halloween!

I finished my Cheetara costume today! I thought it was going to be really easy and quick—just buy a leotard, tights, and orange boots—but it turned out the leotard I mail-ordered was 4 inches shorter than my torso and too small across the bust. It was unwearable! It tugged uncomfortably and looked like a full-body sports bra (i.e. flat everywhere). After trying to cut it up and re-shape it, I concluded that it was a lost cause. So instead I made my own!

As usual, leotards are another piece of clothing simply not designed for women with a large bust and small waist. So here are instructions for how to make your own from scratch, based on panties (or a bikini) and a tank top that you already own. I wouldn’t recommend using it for gymnastics or other extreme exercise, but it’s great for costumes and light wear!

Materials: 1 to 2 yards four-way stretch fabric (must be four-way, not two-way—a high spandex content is your best bet), thread, needle, measuring tape, white chalk
Time: 2 hours to 2 days, depending on your sewing proficiency

Click below for illustrated instructions (and a picture of my costume!).

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Rules, Shmules. Should Women with Large Breasts Care about Proportion?

Does the question in the title seem rhetorical? It sort of is. After all, isn’t it obvious that we should care? Proportion helps draw attention from our breasts to our other attributes. If our bodies conform to conventional proportions, people are more likely to notice our charm, wit and intelligence (for an amazing post about blending in for other reasons, see today’s post on The Beheld).

On the other hand, if you’re like me, rules make you feel rebellious.  That’s why I was delighted last March to find a post entitled “Dressing Like a Feminist?” on the now defunct Fashionable Academics blog.  The author, Shakespeare’s Feminine Ending, wrote her piece in response to another article, “How Do You Express Feminism in the Way You Dress?“  She posted this photo of her outfit.  My favorite excerpt from her piece is below it (emphasis added).

I really do think it is necessary to be acquainted with the wearer to know how exactly she expresses feminism through fashion, because there’s no way you can tell I’m a feminist by looking at me. One of the major emphases of this blog is that fashion is a verb and not a noun dictated by someone else; fashion is to self-fashion and part of that is rejecting bizarre expectations about what the female body, especially, should look like.  I chose to photograph this outfit because I know that a women’s fashion magazine stylist would never do this:  this skirt, leggings, and shoes on my body type make my legs look stubby and do not lengthen me.  And while I know that rejecting all the ways I could “lengthen” my 5’0″ curvy frame is a fucking cardinal sin in their book, it is part of a pathology that I find ridiculous.

“Hear hear!” I thought when I first read this.  Our bodies are beautiful. Why must we conform to what the media considers acceptable? If we want stumpy legs, let us have stumpy legs!  If we want to display big boobs, let us display big boobs!

After publishing my last two posts about vertical proportion, however (here and here), I’m revisiting my initial response.  No one is forcing anyone to conform to anything.  If Shakespeare’s Feminine Ending wants to divide her body into three equal parts instead of following the Golden Mean, who is to stop her?  And she looks cute doing it.

There is nothing inherently right or wrong about the proportions we choose when dressing.  Proportions are just numbers:  2:3, 3:5, 1:2, etc.

However, if you’re like me and have always admired the way certain people dress, chances are they’re following the Golden Mean or strategically departing from it.  For some, fashion is intuitive.  For others, like me, it helps to understand the logic behind why certain looks are more appealing to me than others.

The danger comes when we think that we must follow certain principles at all costs and that our bodies are somehow defective for failing to do so naturally.  Hence Carla Mathis’s emphasis on “easy to dress” rather than “ideal” body type in my last post on this subject.

So take my upcoming posts on this subject with a grain of salt.  My intent is only to understand principles of proportion better and to experiment with them in dressing the full-busted body.  If I begin to denigrate our body shape, please challenge me on this.

I would love for you to share your own experiments with these principles with us.  Imogen Lamport has recently shared more of her knowledge on the subject of the Golden Mean here.

You D+ Bra May Fit, But Does It Have the Profile of a Heavy Lifter?

In my quest to own 7 everyday bras, I finally used my La Petite Coquette store credit a few weeks ago and experienced yet another bout of buyer’s remorse afterward. Can you tell which bra is my newest and least favorite based on the profiles below?

From left to right, they are the (a) Wacoal Alluring in 36G, (b) Chantelle Rive Gauche in 34H, (c) Prima Donna Madison in 36H, and (d) Empreinte Kaela in 34G.

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Big Busts, Small Options?

Thanks to June’s Saturday post on Braless in Brasil, I’ve found two new “curve friendly” clothing lines.  Unfortunately, my initial excitement for the German brand Maximila changed to dismay when I visited the company’s website.   Below is their Penelope dress.  Do you understand my consternation?

How about if I place a photo of the Penelope dress next to the  Carissa Rose Lola dress?

Or the Maximila Artemis blouse (on the right) next to the Carissa Rose Nora tunic?


Seriously, Maximila?  When I hear that a new clothing line for full-busted women has just launched, I want to find that I have more options, not simply more of the same.

Competition is a good thing.  Full-busted women everywhere benefit when companies try to outdo each other in meeting our needs.  But we have so many clothing needs that are still unmet that it’s a waste of resources to duplicate each other.

Perhaps Maximila’s goal is simply to save full-busted women in Germany the hassle of ordering from England, Poland and the United States.  Perhaps Maximila just loved Carissa’s designs so much that they had to make them their own–I admit that I like the buttons they’ve added to their version of the Justina dress.

I’m looking forward to new full-busted clothing lines that will ADD to our options, which is one reason I’m excited about the blogger from Poland that June mentioned.  Will she really do jackets for us?  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

What else would you like to see from new full-busted clothing designers?