Behind the Scenes

My writing lull continues as I wait for a few ideas to germinate, so while that’s happening, I want to try to use this time to do some much-needed blog housekeeping and organizing. Feel free to weigh in with any ideas of what would be helpful to you. I know that the “Big Bust Clothing Options” page is practically obsolete. Also, last year  seemed to have a dearth of swimsuit reviews to link to on other blogs, and I want to avoid a similar famine this year. If you know you’re going to buy a swimsuit this year and would be willing to review it for Hourglassy, would you shoot me an email  at darlene [at] hourglassy [dot] com? Or  if you’re a blogger who is planning to review swimwear, please make sure I catch your review! Later this week I plan to post on the Campbell & Kate blog about Bottomless Closet, a NYC non-profit that provides a valuable service to disadvantaged women entering the workforce, and I’m going to link to it here. I hope you’ll click through and read about it . . . and perhaps dream with me about how we can support organizations like it.

A Cure for D+ Indifference

Well, my long weekend ended at midnight last night, which was the departure time our surprise weekend guest thought best for avoiding traffic. We thought she would stay one night when she arrived on Saturday, but then she spent Sunday night with us as well, so we thought her plan would be to leave on Monday. However, on Monday we learned that her son had no school Tuesday. So the afternoon that I thought I would spend blogging was spent entertaining instead. We love our weekend guest with all our hearts, but I am SO HAPPY to be back to work today.

When it comes to blogging, however, my current 32FF bra size is causing me a bit of an identity crisis. I feel like I have it so easy now! More clothes fit me off the rack than they did as a 36H. I’m also not spending a lot of time shopping–I have that capsule wardrobe I told you about, and my clothing budget is miniscule–so I don’t encounter D+ retail challenges on a regular basis. It’s also because I’m tapped into a network of women with far larger breasts than mine who have figured out how to make their wardrobes work for them. In my head, I know there’s still so much to explore and write about being big-busted, but I’m just not feeling it in my chest–er, heart!–right now.

Then I got a phone call Sunday night from a woman I met in October. She and I have a lot in common, but the last thing I ever thought we had in common was our busts. When I told her about Campbell & Kate last fall, I assumed she couldn’t relate, so I wondered on Sunday why she kept asking me about my company. Finally, she mentioned almost as an aside that everyone always feels the need to tell her how big her breasts are.

Was I hearing her right? When I’d met her, I’d done my quick surreptitious boob check and assumed she wore a C cup. Now she was telling me that any time she dons a swimsuit, her friends tell her, “I had no idea you were so huge!” She also told me that, as an adopted child in a family of ten kids, she was the only girl in her family not to turn out small-chested. Her adoptive mother always made her feel bad about her breasts, so my new acquaintance wears her baggiest clothes and hides all cleavage whenever she goes to visit her.

Of course I had to ask her bra size.


And her pant size?

12 or 14.

I’m thinking there’s no way she’s a 38DD. How about you?

I hope to explore this subject more with her as I get to know her better. We may even get together for coffee this weekend (instead of my idea to meet at a lingerie store for a bra fitting–another sign that I’m de-sensitized about big boobs. It doesn’t seem strange to me to suggest to a stranger that we meet for a bra fitting!). I think it will be extremely informative to explore the challenges of having a D+ chest with a woman who has never even heard of Pepperberry.

I know I can help her. That’s the point of Hourglassy. And thinking about how to help women like her is one antidote against my current identity crisis. But I’m also curious: how can we help those of you who are well beyond this woman’s beginner stage when it comes to big bust knowledge?

Cleavage Coverage Cami Wish

It’s me (Darlene) again–you’ll see a post from Mia on Friday or Saturday, and you’ll see a post from Leah when she gets back from her honeymoon in Yellowstone (because “Off the Rack”  is literally off the grid).

In 2013 I told you about the DVF Cala stretch slip dress that could be perfect under a wrap dress. Then last fall DVF produced this look.

DVF wrap sweater

The item that most excites me in this picture is the cami that looks like it was designed to complement the neckline of the wrap sweater.  How wonderful would it be if the wrap dress creator who started creating slips to go under her dresses were now creating interesting camis to go under them as well?

Unfortunately, she isn’t. The Cala stretch slip dress isn’t even available anymore, and I can’t find this cami anywhere. But it’s an idea I would love to see come true–so much better than your typical cami’s horizontal line that forms a solid block above a plunging V-neck.


Business Briefing: Fabric Fantasies

I had an epiphany about my favorite polka dot jacket that I wrote about last week: why not ask my sewing contractor to create a new one just for me? And if it works, why not grade it and sell it? To that end, I attended the DG Expo on Monday, searching for a knit polka dot fabric that I could order in small minimums and re-order as needed. Finding fabric that meets these two requirements is one of the biggest challenges for a small clothing manufacturer. I didn’t find the fabric I wanted, but I found some other possibilities: a solid soft viscose knit that feels like a sweatshirt and is actually milled here in the States, a solid heavier knit, and polka dots in a “sweater weight” that would require lining. Unfortunately, the solid heavier knit is the one I really want, but the company requires a minimum purchase of 20 yards–quite an obstacle when all I want to do is make a sample to see if I like the fabric enough to order more. So I’m going to order just three yards of the sweatshirt-like knit and see if I like it.

I think I’ve written before about how inspiring fabric stores can be, and I found some beautiful pieces at Monday’s show that make me want to create something special . . . like this dotted Swiss cotton batiste. Which color would you choose, and what would you have it made into?

dotted swiss

Or this black lace that also comes in other colors.

black lace

Happily, both the batiste and the lace can be ordered in small quantities and re-ordered as needed.

Below are some prints that I fell in love with at a jobber’s booth. A jobber buys the end rolls from other garment manufacturers and re-sells them. Sadly, once the roll is finished, it can’t be re-ordered.

St. John print

Who was I kidding when I said that I have all the tops I need last week? I NEED a top in this St. John print.

theory print

A cotton/viscose/elastic from Theory, and only 10 yards left.

Karen Kane print

I want a sheath dress in this Karen Kane print.