Busty Bits and Pieces

I’m slaving over instructions to the revised size chart on the Campbell & Kate website today, but here are a few thoughts that haven’t been dedicated to that process:

1.  Is it possible for women with large busts to take dressing our shapes too seriously? I ask because I’ve been noticing quite a few tiny women dressed in baggy clothes recently, and their clothes were just as unflattering on them as they would be on us.  Each of these women worked in the creative field, but I’m not sure that each one was expressing her personality.  Some I suspect of hiding beneath black sacks that, because they were black, allowed them to say, “I’m creative” on the surface, when they really probably meant, “I’m playing it safe.”

Anyways, I’m such a stickler for finding things that flatter an hourglass shape, that I too quickly reject anything that breaks my rules.  Sometimes it’s good just to be playful . . . but not $740 playful, like this Jil Sander dress for this season, or whatever Drew Barrymore paid for dress below (cinching the knees is one way to distract from the bust!).  (My current Jil Sander preoccupation began with this dress that I posted on the Campbell & Kate Facebook page recently.)

2.  As you know from Tammy’s The Rack series last year, I support women who decide to get breast reductions, but I ADORE Les Gros Bonnets’ H+ perspective on the matter.  My favorite line comes at the beginning because even Tammy wrote about this happening to her in the lead-up to her decision to have a reduction:

“…[I]t would be quite nice if they [women who get reductions] could educate their siblings, nieces and nephews and all and let them know that it is not appropriate to tell a complete stranger how breast reduction changed the life of their sister, aunt or whatever for the better.”

Interestingly, right after reading her post, I also read Ali Cudby’s perspective, based on her personal experience:

“Ultimately, I had the surgery because I felt uncomfortable in my skin, and a large part of that feeling was related to my inability to find bras that fit. I think if I’d had a selection of pretty, feminine bras that fit — like those available today — I wouldn’t have made the same decision.

Both views are much more body-affirming than the plastic surgeon’s statement to a 34H woman at 5:32 in this YouTube video from The Doctors (warning-if you’re like me, you’ll feel pretty indignant at his ignorance AND arrogance):

“I think your body is telling you that maybe the breasts are a little too big for the rest of your body. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so hard to fit, and you’re suffering with the shoulder straps, the excess weight, causing back and postural problems. You know, breast reduction would help alleviate some of those problems, and make her a little easier to fit, possibly.”

(See 5:06 for a comparison of her bras pre- and post-fitting.  I think she could get a much better lift than what she ends up with, don’t you? But regardless, she looks amazing in what she’s wearing–where’d she find that blouse?)

3.  I’m glad to be able to report that the refund for the  BiuBiu returns that I mailed back to Poland on December 28 was credited to my account on February 4.  I expected the long wait, but I’m glad I didn’t have to do any following up to get my money back. It’s simply a matter of being able to have your funds tied up in waiting for returns if you order from them.  By the way, they have a new English language Facebook page for you to like, and it has a 5% discount.

4.  Did you fall in love with Mimi Holiday after reading about the brand in Off the Rack on Saturday? You can find more luscious photos in Cheryl’s post about them over at Invest in Your Chest. I’m looking forward to her reviews of them in the future.


Making Red Carpet Looks Work for D Cups and Up

Besides Best and Worst, I bet you have two other categories for Oscar dresses:

Gorgeous and Impossible for Large Busts

Gorgeous and Totally Possible for Large Busts

Actually, those of you who wear 32-36E are pretty lucky because you have this option from Va Bien. You can see photos of the back on the Bare Necessities website.

And those of you who wear 34-40F have this Va Bien option. It won’t allow you to go backless, but notice the nice little dip in back.

What really impresses me about this piece is the extra panel of fabric that covers the front boning so there’s less chance of it showing up under slinky fabric.

Judging from the Herroom reviews for this product, it’s a good idea to go up in the band and down in the cups, so there’s a chance this bustier could even fit women who wear a G cup.  As a 34H, I’m actually hoping that a 38F will work for me. Ever since reading about Christina Hendrick’s shapewear for Mad Men, I’ve wanted to try something like this. However, I haven’t wanted to go the whole lace bullet bra route that seems to be common in old-fashioned bustiers.

If you remember my earlier review of the Spanx open-bust bodysuit and are wondering why I’m still on the hunt for shapewear for G/H cups, it’s because I still have back rolls in my Spanx, and I’m not noticing a ton of difference in the room it gives me under my 14L Campbell & Kate shirt. I may be looking for a Holy Grail, but when the founder of Va Bien explained the difference between Spanx and cut and sew options like Va Bien’s bustier, my hopes rose again:

  • Shapewear knit on a rotary machine CONTAINS YOU
  • Cut and sew shapewear SHAPES YOU

In other words, cut and sew shapewear gives you more hourglassy-ness.  Lucky for me, Va Bien is going to send me a bustier to review.  Lucky for you, they’re also going to give three lucky Hourglassy readers their choice of a Va Bien piece–look for details about this upcoming contest soon!

Finally, if you are above an F cup and have a red carpet strapless you’re dying to wear, you should look into Va Bien’s Ultra-Lift Stapless Bra that goes up to an I cup.

Each of the pieces I’ve mentioned in this post use Va Bien’s “ultra-lift” technology, or three stays in each cup that help prevent droopiness.

I felt the stays when I handled the strapless bra at Curve last week, but I’m very curious to see the effect when actually wearing one.

It turns out that this patented technology has been around for five years.  I go to Curve to find new developments for women with large busts, but it looks like I have some catching up to do.  In fact, I wouldn’t even have discovered Va Bien if I hadn’t been eating my peanut butter sandwich at the same table as its founder, Richard Gimble, last Wednesday. For those of you who are bra geeks like I am, read more about what I learned from Richard after the jump. [Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Bra Trends for D Cups and Up and 28 Bands and Down at CurveNY

My first trip to Curvexpo was pretty good. Most of the brands were only too happy to chat with the press (Claudette, Curvy Kate, and Le Mystère especially), though some were…less than friendly. Panache USA was oddly eager to get rid of me even though there were three reps sitting at the booth doing absolutely nothing. In Part 1 of this post, I’m going to focus on trends I gleaned from the show; in Part 2, I answer some of the specific questions we received in the comments here on Hourglassy. There’s even a Part 3 for a blast of an attitude that will—hopefully—soon be far in the past.

Part 1: Trends for D+ and -28

First off, I was shocked by the number of manufacturers whose bras go up to an F or G cup. I was expecting to find only the usual suspects offering anything above D, but I was pleasantly surprised! Though F and G really aren’t that big a cup size in the grand scheme of things (especially when you’re talking sub-36 bands), it tells me

  • manufacturers are finally recognizing that the alphabet does not stop at D (or DDD),
  • that those letters are not set in stone (but rather, are contingent upon the band number), and
  • that sizes beyond D are something that consumers are making clear they want to buy.

Likewise, I was also pleasantly surprised by how many brands offer 30 bands, or are at least testing it out with one or two models. We’re still a long way away from regular 28 bands, much less 26 or 24, but even an increase in 30 bands proves that manufacturers are finally recognizing the need for an expanded size range.

In fact, while some manufacturers told me they have never received feedback from customers or retailers asking for smaller bands (a Betsey Johnson intimates rep said there are no plans to expand the size range because “the ones we have work so well” [that would be 32+ and no bigger than DDD]), there are store owners who are in tune with their customers and are paying attention. At the Bra La Mode inaugural Intimate Affair on January 29, for example, Bra*Tenders owner Alan Kaplan commented on the large number of women with 28 backs that they fit. And at Curve, one highly respected Manhattan storeowner told Darlene, “Whenever I see 28’s, I buy them. It is the most underserved market.”

This is a long and photo-heavy post, so click below to read the rest…

[Read more…]

A Little More Leg Interest for D Cups and Up

Leah has a ton to write for Off the Rack, so look for it here later today or tomorrow.  In the meantime, these two pics from Curve this past week are great reminders of what a great pair of stockings and red shoes can do for us:

This lingerie store owner from New Foundland is wearing Commando stockings--they're $35, but she says they don't roll or sag, and she won't wear anything else.

These are the legs of the designer for Claire Bare Eco Lingerie. She herself does not wear a D cup or up, but I couldn't resist the fishnet/red shoe combo. Besides, her lingerie is custom-sized, which is GREAT for D cups and up.

Here is one of Claire Bare’s designs, and yes, that’s a 14M Campbell & Kate shirt you see in the background!  See more from Claire Bare on her Etsy site.