Thanksgiving Break

I’m simply going to yield to the vacation mindset and say that we’ll be back next week. I hope your Thursday is a thankful one!

Darlene pics

I persuaded my mother to try Chairobics at the senior center yesterday. She liked it!

Off the Rack ~ Adventures with Bettie Page Clothing

One of the goodies we got at the Busty Clothing Swap was a coupon for the NYC Bettie Page Clothing store. The Alika dress fit me perfectly, so I was super excited to get 20% off something else. I spent a good hour and a half one day trying on everything that even remotely drew my attention, but it turned out to be decidedly unsuccessful. It seems the Alika was a fluke, because nearly everything else has no room for boobs (or a butt if the hips are tight) and the waists were nearly all unflattering.

Apologies for the poor quality photos. I forgot to bring my real camera, so had to do it all with iPhone selfies. And unfortunately, the changing room doors are black, so it was hard to see the edge of anything dark-colored. Click to view any of the pictures bigger.

Malibu, size M. At first I thought this one was too costume-y, but one of the shopgirls was wearing it and she looked smashing, so I decided to try it too. As you can see, the waist seam angles upward in front, a sign that it’s not designed for big boobs.

Malibu, size M. At first I thought this one was too costume-y, but one of the shopgirls was wearing it and she looked smashing, so I decided to try it too. As you can see, the waist seam angles upward in front, a sign that it’s not designed for big boobs.

Worse than the angled seam was the excess fabric at the waist. Look how much I can pinch. No thanks!

Worse than the angled seam was the excess fabric at the waist. Look how much I can pinch. No thanks!

This image shows that there was some gaping at the buttons. This dress just did not work all around.

This image shows that there was some gaping at the buttons. This dress just did not work all around.

Next I tried the same polka dot dress in teal, and it actually fit quite a bit better even though it’s the same size.

Next I tried the same polka dot dress in teal, and it actually fit quite a bit better even though it’s the same size.

Unfortunately, the angled seam is even more pronounced when the bodice is tighter.

Unfortunately, the angled seam is even more pronounced when the bodice is tighter.

What a nice faux pregnancy tummy. Next!

What a nice faux pregnancy tummy. Next!

Sea Breeze, size M. This one’s a little hard to see because of the black door behind me, but it was made of a non-stretch fabric and had more tailoring.

Sea Breeze, size M. This one’s a little hard to see because of the black door behind me, but it was made of a non-stretch fabric and had more tailoring.

The straps laid over my Ewa Michalak bra straps perfectly!

The straps laid over my Ewa Michalak bra straps perfectly!

However, you can see some looseness under the bust here. I just wasn’t really feeling it with this one even though it was an improvement over the Malibu.

However, you can see some looseness under the bust here. I just wasn’t really feeling it with this one even though it was an improvement over the Malibu.

Here’s when the shopgirl starting bringing me size small items instead of M. This blouse is awful. It is so not my style, and it gapes at the buttons. You can’t tell in the photo, but the skirt was so small I couldn’t zip it up all the way. It’s open about 5 inches in the back.

Here’s when the shopgirl starting bringing me size small items instead of medium. This blouse is awful. It is so not my style, and it gapes at the buttons. You can’t tell in the photo, but the skirt was so small I couldn’t zip it up all the way. It’s open about 5 inches in the back.

Brigit Circle, size S. After I complained that the waist was too big in the Malibu and the bust too small, the shopgirl brought me this in a small. It’s stretch bengaline with a zipper up the back, so it fit my waist and bust much better and felt pretty good.

Brigit Circle, size S. After I complained that the waist was too big in the Malibu and the bust too small, the shopgirl brought me this in a small. It’s stretch bengaline with a zipper up the back, so it fit my waist and bust much better and felt pretty good.

Look, the waist seam only angles up a little bit this time!

Look, the waist seam only angles up a little bit this time!

However, Brigit suffered from one fatal flaw…the arm holes were way too small and tight.

However, Brigit suffered from one fatal flaw…the arm holes were way too small and tight.

This photo is supposed to show you how much it was cutting into my armpit. If it doesn’t look that obvious, let me just say that it was more painful than the worst armpit-chopping bra I’ve ever tried. There was no way this could work. Such a shame, because I quite liked the rest of the dress and probably would have bought it if not for the stupid arm holes.

This photo is supposed to show you how much it was cutting into my armpit. If it doesn’t look that obvious, let me just say that it was more painful than the worst armpit-chopping bra I’ve ever tried. There was no way this could work. Such a shame, because I quite liked the rest of the dress and probably would have bought it if not for the stupid arm holes.

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Charlie Jumper, size M. I was so excited to try this skirt. It wasn’t even out on the floor, but the cashier showed me photos of items that had just come in and I got to try it in small and medium…but it was awful. The polyester/spandex blend has some kind of weird proportion so that it’s not actually very stretchy. As such, the small was crushing my butt like a sports bra and I could barely move my legs to walk. The medium, as you can see here, had a massive amount of excess fabric at the waist.

Here’s me making a fist out of all the extra fabric. God, what is this?? It’s like they forgot it was supposed to be high-waisted, so they put the room for the butt under the waistband (which went almost up to my boobs) instead of low enough where a human butt would actually be.

Here’s me making a fist out of all the extra fabric. God, what is this?? It’s like they forgot it was supposed to be high-waisted, so they put the room for the butt under the waistband (which went almost up to my boobs) instead of low enough where a human butt would actually be.

Ice Coffee Pencil, size S (shouldn’t that be iced coffee?). And here we come to the worst of the day. This was another new item that wasn’t on the floor, but unfortunately it was only available in small. Again, not enough spandex to be stretchy, so it just compressed all my curves.

Ice Coffee Pencil, size S (shouldn’t that be iced coffee?). And here we come to the worst of the day. This was another new item that wasn’t on the floor, but unfortunately it was only available in small. Again, not enough spandex to be stretchy, so it just compressed all my curves.

Where are my boobs?? It looks like I’m wearing a minimizer bra and three layers of Spanx!

Where are my boobs?? It looks like I’m wearing a minimizer bra and three layers of Spanx!

Note that it’s flattening my chest when it’s still 5 inches unzipped. That’s right, I couldn’t even zip it up all the way. And WHERE DID MY BUTT GO??? It’s completely flat! Of course the waist fit perfectly, so even if there had been a medium, it probably wouldn’t have worked either…

Note that it’s flattening my chest when it’s still 5 inches unzipped. That’s right, I couldn’t even zip it up all the way. And WHERE DID MY BUTT GO??? It’s completely flat! Of course the waist fit perfectly, so even if there had been a medium, it probably wouldn’t have worked either…

Finally, I made one last ditch effort to find something that worked, and pawed through the sale rack. All stuff from the previous season, there wasn’t a single small or medium to be found. Just the ends of the spectrum—xxs, xs, xl–4x. However, I did pull out one size large and realized that it looked a little small…

Wha-bam! Finally! This dress is awesome! And it actually fits! Maybe a touch loose under the bust, but good enough.

Wha-bam! Finally! This dress is awesome! And it actually fits! Maybe a touch loose under the bust, but good enough.

Look how awesome this thing is! And it was made of lined jersey fabric, so it felt really comfy. Since it’s not too tight, it also doesn’t ride up when I walk around.

Look how awesome this thing is! And it was made of lined jersey fabric, so it felt really comfy. Since it’s not too tight, it also doesn’t ride up when I walk around.

The print is little antique cars! Too cute. Also, it displays a surprising amount of cleavage.

The print is little antique cars! Too cute. Also, it displays a surprising amount of cleavage.

This beauty ended up being on sale for more than half-off so I didn’t use my coupon. I had planned on going back and trying a few more things when they came in to the store, but never got around to it so this ended up being my only purchase.

Moral of the story: Do not assume anything from Bettie Page will fit you even if a previous purchase worked well. You must try on everything!

And one last photo to compare to the Ice Coffee no-butt. Here’s what my rear looks like when it’s not being crushed to death…

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Big Bust Dressing and the FOMO Wardrobe

Look for Mia’s Best Breast Forward column on SATURDAY, the day after the ball she’s been preparing for. She’s promised pictures!

I’m still packing for our trip, but I can’t resist slipping in a thought prompted by my personal shopping session at Anthropologie (that I still plan to write about in more detail). The actual thought was prompted by the Spotted Brunia Henley blouse.

big bust polka dot 1

Again, it’s another item I would never have taken back to the dressing room with me, but it felt like “me” once I had it on.  The irregular polka dots on the navy background made it both fresh and sharp, and the fabric felt wonderful.

I suspect the personal shoppers chose it because the inverted pleats at the chest ensure enough room for an ample chest. But you and I both know there’s more to the story than enough room for our chests.

big bust anthropologie polka dot flaws

Before I put the blouse in the “no” pile, I tried it under this super soft cream cardigan that redeemed my profile with its waist darts in front. I also like the neckline.  I didn’t buy it because I felt like the cream color washed me out and its light shade made me look bigger, plus I wasn’t certain about the attached belt. Now I’m having second thoughts, but I can’t find it on their website!

big bust anthropologie cream cardi

Since I want to wear woven blouses that don’t need a cardigan to show my waist, I didn’t buy the polka dot blouse, but it made me understand where other bloggers are coming from when they complain that full bust clothing companies are stuck in a style rut (links to come, I hope!). It made me yearn for more style options that also fit and flatter.

And this is why Wardrobe Oxygen’s recent posts about fear of missing out (“FoMO”) wardrobes hit a chord with me. In her first FoMO post, Alison writes, “While buying in multiples can be quite sensible, a lot of times such stockpiling and over-buying is a waste of money and a killer of personal style. Women often do this because they find themselves hard to fit and shopping a stressful and unpleasant experience.” Can we relate??!

In her second FoMO post, I thought she was writing about me:

The FoMO Closet is about the woman who loves the look of a knee-length sheath dress with a draped neckline. It makes her feel sophisticated, lean, elegant. Any time she finds a dress with the right neckline, she buys it and now has over 10 drape-neck sheaths in her closet.

She goes on to write, “There’s a difference between being smart and purchasing multiples, and creating a FoMO closet out of fear and frustration.”

I’m not sure that I shop out of fear and frustration, but the polka dot blouse woke me up to the fact that I’ve been dressing by rote, closing myself off from the fun of new discoveries. However, by not fitting correctly, the blouse  simultaneously brought me right back to the reason I’ve done so!

I admit that I sometimes consider women who complain about limited options from full bust clothing companies to be ingrates (I’m remembering Bras I Hate‘s “Pepperberry Has Problems Part 1“and “Part 2“). Do they have any idea how lucky we are today compared to just ten years ago? Do they not understand the economic risk involved in offering more fashion-forward clothing?

As a business owner, I certainly understand the economic risk, but I now understand some of the consumer dissatisfaction. As consumers, are extremely fortunate to have the options that we have today, but sometimes it’s not we who are shopping out of fear and frustration, but the manufacturers who are producing out of fear and frustration. Do we really need another faux wrap top option? (I could say “another classic white shirt option,” but that hits too close to home!) It’s fabulous that full bust companies recognize the style details that work best on busty women, but when they produce them again and again in only slightly different iterations, they create our FoMO wardrobes for us.

There are many possible partial solutions to this dilemma. For instance, at the market level, if we weren’t guilty of stockpiling garments that narrowly follow the rules for busty dressing, companies might be more open to changing. (On the other hand, I’m nervous about what would happen to these businesses if we stopped buying from them!) More competition is also a good thing. It’s wonderful to see the changes that companies like Urkye (new blazer!), DD Atelier (pockets over the chest!) and Saint Bustier (ready-to-wear!) have introduced to the market.  On an individual level, there is a lot to be said for taking the basics  available to us and making them our own through accessories. Finally, on a community level, the busty blogosphere and forums let women share what they’ve done individually and encourage us to try new things. What other solutions do you see?

 

 

 

Business Briefing: Cutting Up

Today I indulged in wishful time management and thought I’d be able to write about camisoles. Instead, I’ve spent the day organizing patterns and preparing to do more cutting. This picture shows what I was doing last Saturday–experimenting with the placement of pattern pieces to avoid any fabric waste.

fabric cutting for big bust shirt

That’s a fabric weight on the right. It keeps the pattern in place on the fabric so that I don’t have to pin it. Instead of scissors, I’m using a rotary cutter (it looks like a pizza cutter).

So far I have cut the fabric for four shirts, but I just realized that I cut two of them in the WRONG SIZE.  I would love to tell you more about my new role in this phase of the production process, but I have to get back to work. Cutting takes me FOREVER, and even with wishful time management, I don’t see how I can get the remaining seven shirts cut before our flight leaves for Florida tomorrow!