Reader Full Bust Find: Teresa Crowninshield Coats and Jackets

During last year’s winter coat search, reader Jame pointed me in the direction of Teresa Crowninshield, but it wasn’t until this past June that I was finally able to try one of her coats in person at the American Crafts Festival at Lincoln Center. So I’m interrupting my regular programming of swimsuits to tell you about this amazing company for two reasons: (1) they have thirteen days left to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter, and (2) once they’re out of a size, it can take several months to replenish–so even though we’re all still running around in strappy tops, if you want a new coat that fits like it was made for you this winter, now is the time to consider Tess Crowninshield Coburn’s designs.

As soon as I found the stall, I made a beeline for the Azurean evening coat in size 16. I felt comfortable explaining my size issues to Tess’s assistant Laura because she wears a 32G. Only after she helped me put the coat on did I discover she had put me in a size 10–and it fit! I’m wearing it buttoned-up for a super cold day in these pictures, and . . . there is no gaping or boob smashing. 

34G azurean size 10 coat three quarters

You can wrap the attached belt around and tie it in front.

34G azurean size 10 coat back

Or you can skip any belt in front and tie it out of the way in back instead.

However, I no longer shop just for myself–in my mind, I’m also shopping for Mia because she’s made me so aware of life as a 32J. So I asked Tess, “What if I wore a 34J?” Tess’s coats and jackets come with lots of seams that she can play with, so after we calculated that a 34J would add four inches to my bust, she said she would put me in a size 14 and nip it in at the waist. How much more would it cost to nip a coat in at the waist and shorten the sleeves (which you can see I’d need)? Alterations currently cost $30 . . . total. Including shipping. If you try a coat on with her in person, alterations generally take 2-3 weeks. If you order a coat from her online, she can work with you via Skype and pictures. (By the way, there’s only 1/8″ difference between each size for the shoulders, so going from a size 10 to a size 14 would only add 1/4″ to each shoulder.)

Two more styles that are especially popular with her fuller-busted customers are the Blue Patch Pocket Jacket and the Driving Jacket. When another full-busted shopper named Nautasha walked into the booth, I asked if she would try the Driving Jacket for Hourglassy readers to see how it fits. Nautasha told me that she can wear anything from a 32E to a 32H, depending on the bra brand. Tess put her in a size 2 jacket (which makes me think that Nautasha is well below a 32″ underbust).

Nautasha 32E to H

Nautasha size 2 front

nautasha front closeup

nautasha back

If you get the chance to shop for a Teresa Crowninshield jacket in person, take it! In the meantime, here are two more of her jackets that would look fit and look great on a woman with a large chest.

scarlet spring trench teresa crownshield

Scarlet Spring Trench

Teresa Crowninshield The Tails

The Tails

Get Ready for Our Big Bust Clothing Swap!

Don’t forget to register for our Third Annual Big Bust Clothing Swap if you’re in town on Saturday, August 2. We’re busy working behind the scenes to give twenty lucky busty ladies their best swap experience yet!

DD Cup and Up Swim Brands: A. Ché and Janine Robin

Both brands say they only go to an F cup, but it’s worth second-guessing the sizing of any swimwear brand that claims to fit above a D.  For example, can you guess the bra sizes that the following models say they wear?

A. Ché  Model Bra Sizes

The A. Ché model on the left says that she wears a 32B. The A. Ché model on the right says that she wears a 34C. The company rep thought the model on the right should wear a 34D.

janine robin model bra size

The Janine Robin model says that she wears a 34C/32D.

Here’s some background information about each company.

 A. Ché

I only discovered A. Ché in Sarasota last year, but the company is in its fifth year, and it is a subsidiary of the bra manufacturing company Parisa, which has been in the business for 30+ years. Amanda Ché, the designer, is actually the daughter of Parisa’s owner, Amir Ché. The company is based in north L.A. All designing is done in California, and all manufacturing is done in China.

A. Ché uses sister sizing for the cups plus tie backs for the bands to reduce the amount of SKU’s required for all the possible band/cup combinations. Because the largest set of underwires will fit cup sizes D, DD, E and F, Amir Ché said that it is unlikely to accommodate a G or H cup.  Their size guide is confusing and seems to utilize +4″ for the band, so I tend to believe him that their suits won’t fit a British H. However, given the model’s reported bra sizes, I wouldn’t be surprised if FF and G cups could slip into their swimsuit tops.

a che back tie

Here’s a closeup of the tie back for one of the underwired bikini tops. The straps are wide at the shoulders and also removable. There is side boning.

A. Ché  shirred one piece

A. Ché  shirred one piece back

Janine Robin

I fell in love with this company the very first time I attended Curve, but I have yet to find their swimsuits in a store in the United States.  Janine Robin considers itself  “bra-fit oriented”, and their patterns go through a fit certification process. They’re a French company,  so you know the fit for a G+ is going to be sketchy, which is super sad because the attention to detail in these suits is super great. Just in case you find one of their suits, here’s why you should try it on in case it will fit:

    • hardware is a zinc alloy that won’t rust, absorb heat or break
    • all bikinis have adjustable straps
    • hand-sewn gathers along the underwire
    • foam cups that are water-resistant so that you’re not “wearing a sponge”
    • microfiber fabric = UV protection and quickly air dries
    • bottoms have a band at the waist that won’t give a muffin top or fold over (unless that’s the style)
    • bottoms “cup rather than cut the derriere”–they noticed that most women don’t need help with extra bulges in the front bikini leg area, so that is flat; instead, most women need help in the back, so the bikini leg is ruched there

janine robin blue bikini back

janine robin blue bikini front

janine robin taupe drape one piece

jainine robin blue one piece

Summer Whites

I said I’d be writing about all swimsuits all the time for a while, but I’m on vacation this week, and I feel like showing you this strapless white eyelet dress from Laundry by Shelli Segal instead. Besides, Tina reviews the Deco longline strapless tomorrow, which sounds like the perfect foundation for this kind dress!

I kept running into smaller sizes of this dress in the Lord & Taylor clearance racks last week, but when I finally found it in size 12, I decided to bring it with me to the dressing room (I’d already read a draft of Tina’s post by then, so white dresses were on my mind). As you know, I was really on the hunt for a strapless dress from Shoshanna because I wanted to test its support. With its back zip, the Laundry dress doesn’t have a separate band that fastens in back, but it does have a separate cotton panel with boning.

First I tried it while wearing my Fantasie 4520 just to get an idea of fit. It fit great–no boob smashing, and the bust darts hit exactly where they’re supposed to.

laundry by shelli segal front with bra

It felt so sturdy, that I wondered how it would work if I went braless? So I tried that, too, and it also fit!

laundry shelli segal front no bra

Of course my bustline dropped closer to my waistline when I did this, but incredibly, if I really wanted to go braless and didn’t mind underboob sweat, I would feel totally secure in this dress. The woven fabric and boning seemed to mitigate any bounciness.

laundry shelli segal strapless side view

There wasn’t even any boob spillage when I leaned over in it!

no bending over spillage laundry by shelly segal

However, the entire goal of a dress like this is to feel pretty, cool and summery, and underboob sweat would totally defeat that purpose. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post to find out if the Deco longline strapless is the answer for busty women who want to look and feel cool without sacrificing lift.