My Loft Likes for Busty Basics

Shopping maxim: You always find something you love when you’re looking for something else. That’s what happened to me at the Loft yesterday. Usually, I find something I love when I don’t have any money, either, but this time I was armed with a store credit! The 40% off Friends & Family sale helped, too. (I’m not sure how much longer the online sale is going. The in-store sale ended yesterday.)

I was looking for pants, but I only found a couple of pairs of jeans. However, I also found some fresh basics to update my wardrobe for the spring and summer.

First up is the surprise winner, a jersey black and cream polka dot blazer in 12P. The 100% cotton fabric has  super soft sweatshirt feel. And look, Ma–no rolled up sleeves! (If you decide to try this, order two in the same size. The lapel in the first blazer I tried didn’t lie correctly, but it was fine in the second.) [Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Curvy Kate Revisited: A Review of the Eden Bra

The last time I tried Curvy Kate, it was an unmitigated disaster. I had to go up two cup sizes, the wires were too wide, the cups too shallow, and the straps were so far apart that they were essentially growing out of my armpit and rubbing me raw.

This was two years ago, and in the time since I’ve heard that CK has improved some of these flaws, including narrower wires and deeper cups. There have been a lot of CK bras that I’ve thought were simply lovely and really wanted to try, but knew they wouldn’t work. With the most recent season, though, there were so many that I liked that I just had to try again. Surprised by the price point (were they always under $50?) and armed with a fat coupon for Figleaves.com, I started with the rose-print Eden. Something about the print just spoke to me:

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I ordered my usual 28G and a 28GG, since I had to size up in the cup last time. First impression upon unwrapping it: so pretty! The darker pink is much brighter than the manufacturer’s photos would lead you to believe, and it’s mixed up with very pale pink flowers and very pale green leaves. What a perfect spring bra. The quality, too, seemed top notch. The fabric is smooth and strong and totally opaque.

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As for fit, well it’s a vast improvement, but it still doesn’t work on me. The internets were correct, the wire width and depth are much better. But the straps are still so far apart! They’re growing out of my armpit again and it’s completely ruining the fit. Here are two shots from ever so slightly different angles to illustrate how deep into my armpit the strap’s base is:

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Now, because the straps are so far out, they can’t provide any lift. Shockingly, 28G is the accurate size this time, but the bra still has the appearance of being slightly big since the cups are basically limp on me no matter how tightly the straps are shortened. There’s simply nothing holding the cups up.

Aside from looking loose, I’m also getting a gap in the very far corner of the bra where the strap is attached. This is because my arms are pushing the straps far inward, and the cup corner is along for the ride. Here’s a photo illustrating this phenomenon:

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Lastly, that lack of support is giving me sad ski slope boobs. My breasts have very narrow roots and are quite full all around. So ordinarily it’s very easy for me to achieve a preternaturally round profile. But in this bra, I’ve basically got a straight line leading from my collarbone down to my boob’s apex. This is unacceptable. The profile I want is a pair of grapefruits glued to a board, not a straight 45-degree angle!

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It’s such a shame. The band felt really good, the price was right, and the bra is so darn pretty. But these ridiculous straps are just unwearable.

Best Breasts Forward ~ Giving All You’ve Got

I wanted this week’s column to be about what spring collection offerings were in my “hood”, but unfortunately I didn’t find anything worth mentioning.  I’m sure this is something that has happened to us busty ladies often as finding clothes off the rack isn’t easy for us.  I admit that I was frustrated,but after reading Darlene’s post from yesterday realize that there are those that have bigger things to worry about than what’s the latest warm weather wear for us.  There are those that have nothing that fits from last year or the year before.  So, instead of venting about what I didn’t find, I’ll be digging in my closet to find clothes and bras for those who are in need and am hoping that all Best Breasts Forward readers will do the same.  Let’s do our best to get these ladies into bras and clothes that make them look and feel as brave and strong as they are.

Full Cups with Full Hearts: Let’s Help Aging-Out Foster Teens in Florida

We all know (from experience!) how hard it is for a large-busted teenager to find a well-fitting bra, but at least the majority of us had parents to help with the cost once we found one. A full-busted teen that ages out of the foster care system in Florida, however, has an entirely different experience. In fact, for her 18th birthday, she receives notice that she’s no longer the state’s obligation.

When I turned 18, I thought I was the smartest girl in the world, but if my parents had turned me out on my own, I would have discovered right away how much I didn’t know. For instance, I knew how to drive a car, but I had no idea about insurance. I knew how to budget my allowance, but I’d never had to support myself. I knew how to make fried rice, popcorn and brownies, but I’d never had to plan for a week of meals.

There’s an organization in Sarasota, Florida, that understands the challenges of being 18 and on your own. Among other things, Joining Our Youth gives youth who are aging out of foster care:

  • bicycles and bus passes so that they can get to school and work;
  • a housekeeping starter kit with things like sheets, towels, tools and cleaning supplies;
  • free age-appropriate clothing through a store called Trendy Threads.

I’m writing about Joining Our Youth because Cheryl Burke, the owner of Sea Cup and Up who herself wears a 32G, is asking for new and gently used bras for the young women who shop at Trendy Threads. Right now her project is in its early stages. Trendy Threads is only open once a week, and it’s a challenge to coordinate schedules with every young woman who needs a bra. But from what I know of Cheryl’s passion to put women in the right bra, it’s only a matter of time before Cheryl is putting these aging-out girls into bras that make them feel like they can conquer the world. [3/27 update: Cheryl hopes to fit each girl with at least three new bras.]

The more bras we can donate through Sea Cup and Up, the sooner Cheryl’s vision becomes a reality. Right now, many of the donations are 36D’s because that’s the size Cheryl’s customers donate once Cheryl puts them in the correct size. We know all about being mis-sized in 36D, don’t we? And we know there are a lot of teenagers out there who are nowhere near a 36 . . . or a 34 . . . or a 32.

Why not spring clean your bra drawer this season? Then ship the bras that you love but don’t wear to a full-busted teen who will wear them? Mail your bras to this address, and include a little note mentioning that you heard about this project through Hourglassy:

Cheryl Burke
Sea Cup and Up
1810 S. Osprey Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34239

If the bra’s size is no longer visible, write that down for Cheryl as well. Finally, if you’re wondering whether your bras qualify as “gently used”, check out my post, Is Your Old Full Bust Bra a Lost Cause or Can It Go to a Good Cause?

If you don’t have any bras to donate, send a check instead. That way Cheryl can fill in any gaps in her donation inventory.

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Here are two other non-profits that would also be happy to receive your donations:

Foster Care Support Foundation in Georgia

The Gathering Place in Colorado, via SOL Store of Lingerie

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If Sea Cup and Up sounds familiar, here’s where I mentioned the store last year:

Bolero Beachwear

Physical Features in a Brick and Mortar Store that Make a Difference to Bra Shopping