Corporate Curves Report: Pepperberry Full Skirt Coat

After Trinny and Susannah got me to see grey in a new light a few weeks ago, I finally purchased the Pepperberry Full Skirt Coat from the sale. Before this I always needed to buy a size 16RC in their coats despite fitting 14SC in their dresses, but since there was no 16RC left, I took a chance and ordered the 14SC. Thankfully I did as it’s a perfect fit! With my Fustra regime (which I will write about in my final post next week), I’ve managed to tone up enough to fit my shoulders in size 14, which makes me super happy!

Pepperberry full bust coat 1

The coat is a beautiful pearl grey with a blue-ish tone to it. It’s also well tailored and keeps its shape extremely well. With the full lining, it doesn’t itch even if wearing a short-sleeved dress under it–I’ve had to do that a lot as it’s actually a very warm coat even by my Nordic standards. It’s much warmer than my blue full skirt trench coat from Pepperberry.

pepperberry full bust coat 4


I haven’t bought much from Pepperberry in ages as a lot of their patterns are too flowery or ditsy for my personal taste. But one thing I do always buy from them is trench coats! There is just no way I could ever fit a high street one as trenches are so tailored.

This technically isn’t a classic trench as the buttons are hidden under the concealing panel. Also there’s no belt so this coat does kind of need to be a good fit.

All and all I love the coat. I’ve been wearing it almost every day. It makes it easy to look put together when running errands no matter what dress I throw under it, as it’s a beautiful, classic, tailored piece. I would recommend this as value for money! Thumbs up definitely.

pepperberry full bust coat 3

Corporate Curves Report: Part of Me

I was chatting with my fellow columnist Mia about a dilemma that I have: we are a bust-focused blog, but I sometimes struggle to  find a busty angle for my posts. I told her, “It’s just harder for me to be analytic over boobs as I never saw them as a problem even when it was harder to find clothes. I just became super happy over well-fitting clothes because I looked slimmer. So it’s hard to focus on anything specifically related to my bust size–it’s just a part of me, but I don’t really think about it that much. If I write about myself, it is busty because that’s how I physically am. That’s my take on it.”

I never really saw this as a blog topic, but Mia made me realize that it might actually make a good one! I’ve just been feeling a little guilty over the fact that I must struggle to make bust size a focal point in everything I write.

So why do so many women I know seem preoccupied with their bust size? I really had to think about it. I’m a person who just is; I’m generally not bothered about much, and even though I like analytic discussions about just about anything and love a great constructive discussion, I still don’t feel that strongly about a lot of things. The way I grew up, my self image and esteem just happened to be built around who I am and what I do over what I look like. I won’t go into specifics, but I’m one of the many in this world who has had a very winding path on my way to adulthood, so looks were not high on the priority list a lot of the time.

In a sense I do pay attention to my bust size, but most often in a joking way–as in when someone asks me to do something and I can’t do it in the same way because of my bust, I’ll just say, “Well, not with my boobs!” or something along those lines. A British co-worker asked me this week why I bought from a UK online store when the pound is so strong at the moment. I just said to him, “Well, if I want a trench coat that buttons all the way up, I have to order from a specialist retailer in the UK.” I’ve also told some co-workers that I write this column because it’s harder to find clothes when you are big-busted. Most people haven’t really thought of that actually! They often get an Aha! moment when they realize that it’s actually true.

My surroundings are definitely another factor in my attitude. Here men don’t catcall women or holler on the streets. Generally we are taught from childhood not to stare at people, not to point at people, and to give people their privacy. So while it is noticeable that I am above-average-busted, people usually don’t show in any way that they notice. Well, also I’m quite blind. Even if they do, I hardly ever notice if someone’s looking at me anyway! It has to be such blatant bust staring that even I notice. In those rare cases, it’s usually just something I can crack a joke about if it happens at work since I’m not bothered if it clearly is just innocent and not on purpose.

But I do wonder sometimes how I’m described to someone who is looking for me at the office and doesn’t know who I am!!! If I say that he’s the dark bearded, deep voiced bold guy in a hoodie–well, am I then the dark-haired, big-busted woman with the black specs who always wears dresses or something? 😀 I’d rather not know, but I know that I might be, and it’s ok. I am that way.

It might seem like a contradiction that I write for a busty blog, but I am big busted and love clothes, so why not? I just don’t always make a focal point over that as it just doesn’t come naturally to me. To me the topics I feel most deeply about apply to womanhood in general and from that perspective, accepting your body is not specific to any particular body type but to anyone in general.

My personal trainer Maria asked me yesterday at the gym when we were–again–fixing my posture during an exercise, “Have you ever considered a reduction?” I was a little stunned at first as the thought had never entered my head. I replied, “No, why would I have?” I understood her point after my initial reply, but then I continued, “If I hadn’t found my correct bra size when I did, I don’t know, I might think differently.” But I’m blessed with not having any pain because of the weight of my bust so that is essentially why. It’s also most likely why my bust is just one part of me just like the rest of my body. If there were any pain, I’d probably think about it a lot more.

Corporate Curves Report: Dress for success? Maybe there’s truth to it.

Seminars, I don’t know how I feel about them. If they are free, they often are too much sales pitch, too little real tangible interesting content. Great for networking for sure. But I suppose it’s mandatory to at least attend a few per year just for networking purposes.

The autumn seminar season has begun, and my first pick was a HYPE 2014 The Digital Revolution seminar by Gartner and a few other partners. It was pitched as the “Event for REAL future leaders” for ICT and business management.

Sea of dark suits, the lady in front of me became one of my new connections.

Sea of dark suits, the lady in front of me became one of my new connections.

This was not purely an ICT seminar and it also wasn’t free of charge, so I had to take it quite seriously. So the major problem “what am I going to wear” hit me. I hadn’t figured it out even the night before the seminar! I woke up really early before the alarm went off and just thought about it.

  • I wanted to feel comfortable
  • It was going to be a warm and sunny day
  • I could not wear heels because of a sore ankle

Ivanka Trump jacket from Macys, Milano jumsuit from Marshalls, Ecco loafers, Nine West watch.

I quickly decided on the black jumpsuit (the one I wore at the Big Bust Clothing Swap last month) because it’s super comfortable, goes well with flat shoes, and with its leather detailing and simple look it’s professional enough – but only with a formal jacket. So black jacket? White jacket? I was worried that I’d not feel comfortable in a white one and I could wear my colorful Marimekko accessories with the black to make it less dull. BUT I’d still be wearing all black in a sea of dark suits. So white it had to be. Black and white is always a classic! And I LOVE how Kerry Washington’s character Olivia in Scandal wears white jackets and coats all the time and looks so chic.

It was a chilly morning so added a Luhta snood. Bag is by Brooklyn Industries.

It was a chilly morning so added a Luhta snood. Bag is by Brooklyn Industries.

This was actually a replication of the look so my hair is messier and had time to play with my dog.

This was actually a replication of the look so my hair is messier and had time to play with my dog.

I’m glad I did! The seminar was a huge success and partly because of what I wore. I got complimented on my outfit by other professional ICT leader women and got to know people through that. I’ve always been a bit doubtful over the phrase “dress for success”, but hmm, maybe there is something to it after all. I made some pretty impressive new contacts there which I hadn’t even dreamed of and it was a busy and fun networking day full of great ideas.

Corporate Curves Report: Womanly Change Curve?

Note from Darlene: We all have days when we don’t give our big boobs a second thought, and sometimes Tina’s corporate report will reflect this. Today, Tina reflects on one aspect of what it means to be a woman in her field, regardless of bra size.

I had an interesting discussion with my work team’s senior project manager where he and I discussed how being a woman can actually work for you in change management. This topic was raised at a lunch discussion when we noticed that the people on our project who most successfully handle management level change resistance are pretty much all women, myself included.

This is also a cultural thing and doesn’t work in the same way in all countries (possibly not in many Asian cultures where losing face is a huge deal), but in many western cultures it does.

Change resistance is a natural phenomenon when there are big changes at ones workplace and even the top management can get very difficult over accepting the change. In Finland we do not have much hierarchy in workplaces, but there’s still some good old fashioned shouting culture present among the management–older men, that is–plus the ones who learned from them.
Emotional change adaptation curve.

Emotional change adaptation curve.

But all of those men have wives and daughters (okay, maybe not all, but as a generalization). On top of that, it’s common these days that women work in high positions even in male-dominated fields like Supply Chain or IT, at least in my home country. So there’s no Mad Men type of thinking present in workplaces anymore, nor has there been for a few decades.
Even the leaders are all just normal people with families, and I suppose many men have learned that sometimes it’s just better to give in and agree with the women in their lives. In deep change resistance where they have dug their heels in and refuse to budge, a smiling woman who just sighs at shouting and asks whether you are done with shouting and could we move on with the agenda as we’re not making progress here can be . . . disarming.
The majority will always adapt new anything late so early stages are always challenging.

The majority will always adapt to anything late, so early stages are always challenging.

She calmly explains the change over and over again as many times as is required, but if all else fails she will flash the HQ card saying that, well, we’re not really asking you to approve this, but it would go more smoothly if we’d get you on board. All with firm calmness and a smile.

Perhaps it’s less face-losing to change one’s mind and give in when it’s not to a career hungry man but instead a tough but soft woman. They won’t change their minds quietly or easily, but it seems that surrendering to a woman in the face of defeat might be a little easier to swallow than it would be to a male.
Of course there are sometimes those people who just shout and don’t listen to, well, anyone.