Large Bust Wedding Dress Dreams with Curvy Custom Bride

Scrolling through Instagram recently, I stumbled across Curvy Custom Bride and was excited to recognize its founder, Leila Breton, the columnist who gave us incredibly helpful instructions for big bust alterations for coats, armholes, waists and more. I link to all ten of her posts at the bottom of today’s interview. Leila had to scale back her extracurricular activities in 2014, but she didn’t scale back her sewing trajectory. Instead, it moved from hobby to full time profession, and you’re going to love reading about it today.

Darlene: We are super excited to hear from you again after your last column in 2014. Tell us what you’ve been up to!

Leila: It’s so great to be back on Hourglassy. You know I’ve been obsessed with fit for some time now, starting with my own closet, and now helping women get a perfect fit! I recently rebranded from Three Dresses Project to Curvy Custom Bride. While I still do TDP social media-ing, my energy is focused on reaching out to curvy women who are tired of shopping for a wedding dress that exists only in their imaginations! You know, that dress that is the exact look and the perfect fit? For a lot of us with fuller chests, that just doesn’t exist.

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Darlene: You describe hiding behind your bouquet on your wedding day. What else led you to wanting to serve the busty niche?

Leila: I’d have to say being busty myself, and feeling the pain of trying to buy clothes that made me look and feel worse than I already did. Shopping made me feel like I didn’t belong. Wearing clothes that don’t fit affects your daily life. The most frustrating thing is that I don’t fit in “standard” sizes or plus-sizes. It’s the in-between gripe. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way, and now I have the skill to provide a valuable service that I think goes beyond just fitting or just creating an awesome gown. Sometimes I feel like an Alterations Therapist. There are a lot of emotions that come up with what I do and I believe in holding space for my clients.

Darlene: Can you share some of your clients’ pre-Leila horror stories with us? [Read more…]

Impish Lee and You and Me Next Week at Nora Gardner

Words and images on a blog don’t do justice to encountering Impish Lee in person, but Leah did a great job trying when she told you how inspired we were by Impish Lee at Curve in August.  If you’re in or near Manhattan next week, YOU can  design your own lingerie with the two sister co-founders themselves! Here’s the Eventbrite link with all the details.

Below you can see Leah coming up with the color combinations she wants for her own design.

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We loved the metallic waistband on these shorts.

impish mesh metal shorts

This is co-founder Kali, and yes, her bodysuit CAN be made to fit fuller busts.

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Finally, I’m especially excited that Nora Gardner has opened her flagship store to us. Remember the Evelyn dress I raved about in May? Nora Gardner’s recent IG post further proves how bust-friendly it is!

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We’d LOVE to see you there!

Solid Rock Cotton, My New Bust-friendly Everywhere Piece 

My most profuse apologies!!! I hit “publish” on this post from my phone on September 29, but I just saw today that it was still labeled “draft”. And I was so proud of myself for squeezing this post in during my whirlwind trip to Atlanta. I wore this on my flight to AND from Atlanta, and when I got home, I slept in it AND wore it one more day after that. It is so soft that I just didn’t want to take it off. With so much wear, the fit is more relaxed around my thighs, but it hasn’t lost its shape.

You already know how much I love my tie-dye Rock Cotton tunic (Leah, not so much). I wear it on flights and to the beach, church, shopping, and dinner. Even though I have no business wearing black or gray, I always get compliments in it.

Since the same company is also responsible for creating my favorite at-home braless lounge top, the Bra:30 (also reviewed by Leah), I make sure to stop by their booth at every Curve. Last month I discovered a rack full of new Rock Cotton colors and shamelessly hinted that I would love to review one. I was thrilled when the rep took my hint and let me choose one.

[Read more…]

Pockets & Shirt Dresses . . . Full Bust Fit and Proportion Considerations

[Leah is finishing a busy stretch of weekend weddings and lots of work, so Off the Rack will be back soon!]

I was reminded of our big bust fit issues after I bought this size 12 Ralph Lauren shirt dress at my favorite discount store.  Sure, the dress gapped in the dressing room, but I figured I’d safety pin it and be good to go. The first day I wore it, I was constantly aware of the fabric straining at my chest and pulling from my armholes to create enough volume. I’ve been wearing my own shirts so much that I’d forgotten what it was like to wear a button up that doesn’t provide enough fabric for a large bust.

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The ace bandages have been replaced by a cast for my wrist and a boot for my ankle–I fractured them on Saturday when I landed on a dumb bell in boot camp and reached back to catch myself.

Now I’m used to it (is that a good thing?), and there are three reasons I bought this dress despite the gap: [Read more…]