Boob Taming or Boob Shaming?

When someone suggests that you downplay your décolletage or minimize your large chest, are they boob shaming you? I suspect “yes” would be the answer from Ella Alexander, who wrote, “Is the Décolletage Really Out of Fashion Again?

Not all of us fall into the industry’s beloved androgynous mould. […] So what are the unfortunate few of us still with unfashionable boobs supposed to do or wear?

Well, the resounding answer is hide them. Don’t let anyone catch a glimpse lest you be labelled “inappropriate”, “tacky” and “brazen”. Forget what you read about displaying your female sexuality; if you are over a C cup it makes the dinosaurs uncomfortable so the best thing for everyone is just to conceal them.

I found Alexander’s article through an Amanda de Cadenet tweet. Given that both Alexander and de Cadenet work in media and were responding to criticism of a red carpet gown for a major media event, I’m not surprised at their perspectives. Given the context, I share it!

amanda de cadenet tweet

The more surprising “yes” comes from a Wall Street veteran– [Read more…]

Positive Selfies for Big Busts & Brands

You know how after you’ve shopped for something, it shows up everywhere you go online? Well, the same thing happens when you write about a body positive subject like the Embrace documentary (that is opening in the United States today and inspired this heartfelt post from Shari Deutsch at The Strap Saver). That’s how I discovered a workshop called “Body Positive Selfies” given by Embodied State of Mind on September 3.

selfie-group

Me with Natasha Overton and Kira Munoz, the Body Positive Selfies team from Embodied State of Mind.

Last week I wrote about Campbell & Kate’s recent photo shoot. We worked hard to show my shirts to their best advantage with actual models, hair and makeup artist, stylist, professional photographer and great lighting. As a blogger who wants to portray all bust-friendly clothing that I wear to its best advantage, however, it’s just me and my cell phone or camera. When I’m at home with my tripod and a lot of time, I’m happy with the outcome, but when I’m on the road and just want to give a shoutout that I’m wearing a certain brand, I’m rarely satisfied.

Most recently this happened with my amazing Riley dress from Bitter Lollipop (which is planning to have new styles available in 2017, by the way). I rediscovered it in my closet and have been wearing it weekly ever since. I didn’t want to write a complete new post about it; I just wanted to remind readers how much I love it with a tweet like, “I’m in the muggy train station feeling sharp in my Riley dress from @bitterlolli.” But every selfie was a dud that did NOT show the dress to its best advantage.

So of course I signed up for the selfie workshop.

Like you, I wondered, “What makes a selfie ‘body positive’ instead of just a selfie?” Workshop leader Natasha Overton didn’t give me a cut-and-dried answer, but she gave a ton of tips for taking good selfies that I won’t want to delete . . . and that’s an answer right there. Here are some of her tips: [Read more…]

Posture Power When You’re Busty

If you’re like me, you probably always thought that proper posture was simply a matter of aesthetics–it makes you appear taller, slimmer and more confident. It takes a lot of discipline to maintain, though, so it’s perfectly understandable when we allocate our energy to nice clothing and makeup instead.

Bad idea. It turns out that proper posture isn’t just about looks. It affects the way we think, feel and act, and there’s a physiological reason for it: When we strike expansive poses, our  testosterone (the dominance hormone) increases, and our cortisol (the stress hormone) decreases, causing us to feel powerful and in control. I learned this from Amy Cuddy’s 2012 TED talk that I only discovered this summer. Now whenever I’m feeling nervous before an event, I strike Amy Cuddy’s Wonder Woman pose that I write about on the Campbell & Kate blog.

wonder woman pose

After the TED talk, I marched to the library for her book Presence. The concepts of personal presence and power are much more nuanced than I can develop here, but when she discusses power, she doesn’t mean becoming a blustery bully. Instead, she means the ability to be ourselves and to tap into the resources available to us when we’re feeling calm and capable: [Read more…]

Bending the Rules, Part 1

Guess what unexpected bonus I found while I was looking for a fit model? Another writer!  Kimberly is a recent college graduate looking to begin a career in social media.  When we met, she was wearing an old Target bra and had never heard of any of the large bust friendly clothing brands that we love on this blog.  We immediately got her enrolled in Ali Cudby’s one-hour bra course and set up a fitting with the famous Freddy from Eveden. Now she’s ready to write for Hourglassy. Some day she’ll tell you all about her fitting experiences, but you’re going to love the topic she’s decided to begin with.

Hi, readers! My name is Kimberly, and I’m thrilled to announce my guest series on Hourglassy. With Bending The Rules, I’ll attempt to dissect the various “rules” that have been sartorially imposed on big-busted women. I’ll also try to provide examples of ways to stick to the rules — or break them, if you’re so inclined.

Because I’ve been considered “busty” for over ten years (I was a 34C in the seventh grade and my boobs never looked back), I’ve had plenty of time to figure out the ways society dictates that busty women should dress. Along the way, I’ve thrown caution to the wind and gone against the rules when I felt like it, but I’ve also gone along with them at my own discretion. I’ve been reprimanded for showing “too much” cleavage and praised for being able to “hide” my boobs well. Basically, my closet is full of busty dos and don’ts, and this is my chance to share that with you.

One thing I tend to hold conflicting opinions about is showing my bra straps — it seems like one of those things that’s taboo, ugly, or tacky for no particular reason, and I’ve always resented that. Friends have pointedly told me that my bra was “out” when straps were showing, as if I hadn’t noticed. Family members have shaken their heads at the sight of a bra peeking out the side of my dress. Just because you never see bra straps on the red carpet, people have treated them as something to be hidden.

Living through countless New York summers has presented me with many opportunities to be jealous of the smaller-busted women who can seemingly wear whatever they want, especially in the sweltering heat. They don’t have to wear bras with those halter crop tops or flowing strapless blouses or backless dresses. They can even wear cute, underwire-free bralettes under them if they want to, and since those are lacy and delicate, they’re not considered a fashion don’t. Meanwhile, I’m stuck with huge, sweat-inducing bras, and according to the rules, I have to make sure to cover. those. straps.

It’s a bit ridiculous. If I need to show those straps in order to wear a cute outfit, who cares? I don’t really ever have the luxury of going braless, and plus, if I pay so much money for these special bras, why not show them off?

I do try to buy clothes that cover my bra and its straps, but sometimes that means giving up on a beautiful dress or cute summer shirt. If I want to wear a crop top, I’ll get one in more of a t-shirt style, like this black one:

image1

(shirt by Bershka)

Plenty of the (numerous) dresses in my closet have thicker straps and fuller coverage, in order to pander to the “no straps” rule and hide the bra. These are more for the occasions when playing by the rules is necessary, like in professional environments. I got this pink dress to wear to a work event:

(dress by Ann Taylor Loft)

(dress by Ann Taylor Loft)

But then there are times when I just don’t care about the scandal my visible bra straps will apparently cause, and I buy a tank top like this because I want to be able to wear what other people wear during the summer, even if my boobs are fully out, along with my bra. If someone with a 32A bra size can wear the tank top without any hypersexualized commentary and opinions, I can too:

(tank top by Project Social T)

(tank top by Project Social T)

Or backless dresses like this:

(dress by Kimchi Blue)

(dress by Kimchi Blue)

image5

And I deal with whatever negative comments I get. Bra straps may be considered unsightly to some, but they support me so that I’m able to wear those cute outfits in the first place.

On that note, if I know I’m going to wear an outfit where my bra straps or band will be visible, I try to match my bra in some way. I once wore the green dress pictured above with a neon purple and pink bra, and my mother (rightfully) told me how ridiculous I looked. Also, I wore it to work earlier that day— not my best choice, but thankfully, no one said anything. I bought this light-blue Claudette Dessous bra specifically to wear under a grey dress, and ended up loving it! The straps are delicately detailed, and the bra is supportive without any extra padding — perfect for summer.

claudette-periwinkle-dessous-mesh-bra-product-0-405193457-normal

The straps on lots of Simone Perele bras like the Amour are also pretty enough to show, and in a color like black, they go with a lot of different outfits:

SIM13R330_anthracite_PD

So go forth and wear whatever you want, readers. If you need a bra, wear one. If you need to show that bra in some way in order to wear something you like wearing, don’t think twice. Anyone who will criticize you over the sight of a strap obviously doesn’t understand the heavy lifting you have to do on a daily basis, and for that — you are strong.

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For more on visible bra straps, see Leah’s post from our hot September last year.