Big Busts and Uniforms

After last week’s Modesty Panel (click through for up-to-date links to everyone who wrote on the subject), it’s time for something light this week.

I won two tickets to watch the Knicks beat the Pacers last Thursday for the NBA playoffs ($116 each for the second-to-last row of the highest section!). The game was great, but I was wowed by the cheerleaders, aka the Knicks City Dancers. This is one of the uniforms they wore to dance in that night. Can you see why it caught my eye?

large breasts can't dance in this Knicks City Dancer uniform

big busts can't wear backless cheerleading dress

big bust can't wear backless cheerleader uniform

That’s right. No backs = no bras. And these women did a lot of jumping jacks as part of their routine. As a D cup or higher, could you imagine doing Zumba in one of these dresses?

Here’s another uniform I saw that evening.

big busts and baggy tee bad combo

It was worn by the people who shot the tee shirts into the stands.

baggy tees still need a good bra

The jumbotron captured a closeup of one of the women shooters in mid-jump as her big boobs did an extra jump. At the time, I thought, “So I guess this is the busty woman’s uniform–a baggy tee shirt.” Later it dawned on me that no matter what she wore on top, that woman needed a supportive bra more than anything else. Of course there are limits to how much even a good sports bra can improve the look of a man’s tee shirt on a woman’s body.

Finally, my husband and I were introduced to the another time traveling television show called Continuum this weekend. I love the heroine, Keira Cameron, and I really love her protector uniform. It’s a uniform that both small and large-chested women could fit and look good in.

 big bust could wear continuum protector uniform

You can create a V-neck with the zipper to give yourself more neckline boob than waistline boob. For real life, a suit with princess seams and zippered closure is even better than being bullet-proof!

big busts like zippers for fit and versatility

So far we’ve only watched the first four episodes of this Canadian show, but I really like how the focus is on Keira’s intelligence and fighting skills more than her looks. In one episode, a local policewoman tries to make nice with her by saying, “I really like what you’re doing with your hair.” Keira just stares at her, like “What does that have to do with anything?” The show also revolves around her devotion to the husband and son she left behind in 2077.

Sadly, according to TVLine’s interview with Rachel Nichols, the actress who plays Keira, it doesn’t look like her super suit is going to become a reality for the rest of us anytime soon:

On Twitter, everybody always says, “Oh, that’s suit’s so sexy,” and I always say, “Yes” — when I am zipped in it and sewed into it and pushed up and pulled out and tucked in, it is hot. It is sexy. Getting me into and out of that suit? Not so sexy. Also, the copper one is a two-piece suit, so there’s this huge sort of granny band sort of stretchy… It’s an elastic-waistband pant, actually. And I say to people, “And when it’s cold, that suit is freezing — it doesn’t retain any heat. And when it’s hot, you sweat to death.” “Form before function” as far as I’m concerned. As long as it looks good, I will tough it through!

I bet we all have some uniform stories in our past. Share some of the winners and losers that you’ve worn or seen!

Picture Perfect Posture When You’re Busty

“Stand up straight!” Have you figured out how to do that with big boobs yet? I’m still trying, as evidenced by this photo that I took with Tina and our friend Melissa in the TJMaxx dressing room two Sundays ago.

As soon as I saw the above picture on my digital camera screen, I wanted to see how Tina approaches posture.

On the left is the posture that she avoids (and that I happen to like on her), and on the right is the posture that’s closer to what she aims for after receiving advice from a photographer for a well-known British full-bust clothing brand. (I’ll ask her to describe the advice in more detail in the comments.)

These pictures remind me of an experience that SweetNothingsNYC relayed recently:

“I remember being a teenager and having [a relative] tell me not to slouch and stick my belly out, and then if she caught me with my back straight she’d tell me not to stick my boobs out. WELL, YOU GOTTA PICK ONE, FRIEND, otherwise what . . . am I supposed to do?”

Given a choice between slouching or sticking my boobs out, I’m gonna go with sticking my boobs out. After all, they’re not going anywhere, and slouching makes me look apologetic for being alive. However, this gets me into the same trouble with my oldest sister that it did with Sweet Nothings and her relative. In sixth grade, my sister saw me riding a horse and announced, “You look just like Lady Godiva!” My posture was never the same after I looked “Lady Godiva” up in our encyclopaedia. (Hint for all aunts, mothers and big sisters: never tell a self-conscious sixth grader wearing her first bra that she looks like a naked woman on a horse.) I finally recovered from the mortification all those years ago, but now when I pose for photos, my sister says, “Stop sticking your boobs out!”

As far as I can tell, I’m NOT “sticking my boobs out”. I’m simply rolling my shoulders back like I’ve read that you’re supposed to do for good posture. It turns out that rolling our shoulders back can lead to unintended consequences. Instead, it may be better to imagine that we’re riding a horse instead.

Getting ready for today’s post, Tina emailed me what she learned from her riding instructor. Her teacher explained that a straight spine and an arched back are not the sameAn arched back is what happens when you pull your shoulders back. When she relaxed her shoulders, “It felt more natural and made riding easier,  and even though I felt like I was slouching, I had to admit it did not look like that on the video she recorded of me riding with the straight posture she taught me.”

I’ll be experimenting with this as I take future photos for this blog, and if I weren’t so busy learning how to knit, I’d be tempted to take up riding as well.

What about you? What tricks do you use to stand up straight, and what posture stories do you have buried in your past?

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Curse of the Big Bust Beige Bra Band

Here’s what I’m adding to Sweet Nothings’ full-bust wishlist: wide bra bands that are meant to be seen.

Although a gorgeous brick red or patterned bra under a different colored blouse may have been an improvement to this woman’s outfit, it wouldn’t have been enough. The bra would still have distracted from an otherwise amazing look vs. complemented it. The truth is, wide bra bands as they exist today are not pretty enough to display.

It’s another hard truth that backless dresses and deeply scooped backs are off limits to women above an F cup who still want lift and support. No one has yet engineered a substitute for the support of a properly fitting bra band, and I’m still searching for a G+ basque that plummets in back (please tell us if you’ve found something in the comments, though!). For now, these are our options:

  1. Go ahead and wear a deeply scooped back with your regular supportive bra and forget about it since you can’t see your own back;
  2. Avoid anything bare in back;
  3. Wear a camisole or Perfect Cami;
  4. Look for cutouts that leave fabric over the bra band, such as the David Meister gown below;
  5. Alter the garment to add fabric over the bra band; or
  6. Alter a basque to go deeper in back.

I want a seventh option:  Attach two panels of gorgeous fabric (that are the width of the band or a little wider) at the point where the straps meet the band (or a little further back). Then fasten the open ends together with decorative buttons, an elegant zipper or a chiffon bow. I’m picturing something like the new Claudette ouvert bra, except the buttons are in back.

Or like this zipper . . . but in back.

Something more eye-catching could work with a simple black evening gown. I’m picturing this.

Although it would be wonderful if the actual bra had these features, I’m sure there’s a way to create detachable panels that can be used on the variety of bras that each woman owns. That way she could get the support and lift she prefers, depending on the outfit, and look amazing from the back. She can even be comfortable with her “boring” beige in front under a sheer top, and wow people in back with a fabulous print. Wouldn’t the Claudette snakeskin print look amazing peeking out from the back of the woman’s blouse at the beginning of this post?

Oh my goodness–we could even have something in leather!

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for a new idea, please take my idea and run with it. Only promise that you’ll let Hourglassy readers test your product for you and that you’ll give us a discount when it goes to market!


Corporate Curves Report: Strength from Beneath

Welcome to the sixth Corporate Curves Report – the very first one discussing lingerie (strapless, plunges, integral bras)! I’m focusing on how lingerie makes me feel, how I choose which set to wear and why some bras are just my absolute favorites. I only discovered my true bra size about four years ago – I tried to go bra shopping in Helsinki and ventured into a store called Change where a very nice fitting lady ended up telling me they don’t carry my size although we had figured out my most likely size. Then she was kind enough to point me into the only store in Helsinki where she said I’d for sure find something – FunkyLady on Fredrinkikatu Street. I headed there, but unfortunately the customer service was so poor that I didn’t want to go there again, although I did manage to find two bras that fit – quite boring ones but at least I knew my size.  I think I went at least two back sizes down and three cup sizes up!

Then I wondered, “Hmm . . . OK, now I know my bra size, but surely there must be nice looking bras available, too.” I googled “32G bras” and found Bravissimo – the UK lingerie store for bigger busted ladies. Soon after, BraStop also became familiar to me. So those are mainly the places I shop for my bras. I don’t really follow trends but just buy what I like.

First I heard of the Deco bra by Freya which is said to almost give you a new pair of boobies – it sure did, too! The shape and the uplift of this staple plunge bra is unparalleled – though as breasts come in all sizes and shapes, it isn’t ideal for everyone but for most it is! And what a joyful day it was for well endowed ladies when the Freya Deco strapless came out. I got it and could not believe the support.  I jumped around and bounced up and down and it stayed in place. It kept  the shape, allbeit not as round as the regular Decos but pretty darn amazing! Here are my basic Decos and strapless worn with a Pepperberry dress to a wedding.

Pepperberry dress 16RC, Decos.

Pepperberry dress 16RC, Decos I own are 34GG. Bras not worn by me here.

These bras give me comfort, a nice shape, uplift and a great deep plunge if needed. They are excellent t-shirt bras, smooth and round. But there’s no extra oomph in them. If I’m feeling rather fun, happy and playful I tend to gravitate towards patterns. I’m not so keen on flowers or lace but luckily there is so much variety these days. My most fun dress is seen below, and if I go out for an evening in this, I’ll make sure my undies are as fun or sassy, too, to complete the feeling even while I’m putting on my makeup before putting the dress on!

Pepperberry Fire Print Dress, Cleo, Freya

Pepperberry Fire Print Dres 16RC, Cleo Zia bra – this color exclusive to Bravissimo, and Freya Crystal – same shape as the Decos. My number one fave bra! Again, bras not worn by me here.

When it comes to office clothes,  I often need to tone down my natural smiley and happy nature, so I dress the part on the outside but quite often not under. It’s almost like a silent inside joke you can giggle to inside your head all day at work, something to make you happy. Sometimes I even try to guess what type of underwear sets other people are wearing under their tidy office attire. Wouldn’t it be fun to know! It would reveal so much of everyone’s personalities. 🙂

KrisLine, Freya, Masquerade, Pepperberry

Freya Hatty set, me wearing a Pepperberry dress 14SC with NewLook boots, KrisLine Barbara bra, Flirtelle Rose bra in red, under it KrisLine Taboo bra in black/velvet, and bottom right is the new Masquerade Rhea set which I own in purple and in powder colors. Bras on me about 34GG, some are H. Bras not worn by me in this photo.

But as much comfort, attitude, fun and most of all support these favorite bras of mine do give, what to do when lounging on a work trip in the hotel room, perhaps while finishing up some work or just reading a book or watching telly in a language I often don’t understand? I find bras a bit too uncomfortable for that so I’m a big fan of Bravissimo racer back PJ tops. They have wire free integral support with bra back fastening. It’s not as uplifting as a bra but gives great support and is very comfortable to wear. I have worn them with jeans as well for a casual look. And I simply love the strapless tops with halterneck support Bravissimo make. They have the, same integral bra system minus the straps!

Bravissimo

Bravissimo integral bra on their pj tops.

Bravissimo intergral bra tops

Bravissimo racer back PJ top in brown 32GG/H and their bandeau strappy top in 34G. Worn with a Pepperberry shrug size 14.

Bras used to be my enemy for so long but not anymore. They are a source of joy and something I love to shop online for (still limited selections in Finland unfortunately). They are an everyday accessory with a real purpose that affects my health, but I’m no longer bound by restrictions on what I can or can’t wear! I was sure I’d never be able to wear a strapless dress or a top, but as seen here, I should not have been so sure 🙂 Now I and my ever growing collection of bras are living a happy life together 🙂