Two Kickstarter Picks for Big Bust Chicks

Do you remember how much I loved Keira Cameron’s protector uniform on Continuum? To refresh your memory: princess seams + zipper front = flattering options for both large- and small-busted women.

big bust could wear continuum protector uniform

Now there’s a designer on Kickstarter who wants to bring this style from fantasy to reality. katracksuit

The “KaTracksuit” would come in long or short sleeves and either velour or cotton/lycra fabric. Unfortunately, there are only three days left to get from $526 to the designer’s goal of $40,000, so it looks like the KaTracksuit is going to stay in the realm of science fiction for now.

The second Kickstarter option looks like it could really happena new full-bust clothing designer has 35 backers so far and is $3440 closer to her $10,000 goal, with 28 days left to reach it.


 The designer is starting with beachwear for now, including bikinis for U.S. cup sizes D-K and band sizes 28-40. If you pledge $100, you might even be able to wear one to the beach this August. I’m impressed with the designer’s plan, especially that she plans to test “the fit of each style on fit models of different sizes within our size range to ensure the reliability of our fit guide.”





Full Bust in a Corset–the Quintessential Hourglass

I love how a corset top highlights an hourglass figure, and I even purchased an off-the-rack Grenier corset a few years ago. Back then I told you how great it was to be able to use the laces to make it fit a larger bust, but back then I didn’t realize that my method of making it fit was simply smashing my boobs under my arms. You can avoid the underarm boob smash by either (1) purchasing an underbust corset like the What Katie Did Morticia reviewed by Georgina and Cheryl, or (2) ordering a custom-made overbust corset like the ones made by Larissa Boiwka of Wilde Hunt Corsetry.

When I discovered Larissa through the Fashion Incubator forum recently, I had a lot of questions for her, and I thought you’d be interested in her answers.

1. Where does everything go?

Your size doesn’t change when you wear a corset, but the placement of everything makes you look smaller.  Larissa calls it “vertical compression”. Lacing down brings everything in and up, including your boobs. In a custom corset, your boobs  aren’t smashed under your arms because a good corsetiere will take it in at the waist but add to the bust. This explains why the room for your bust may be larger than your natural measurements.

2. Who wears corsets?

I have worn my own corset out of the house a grand total of ONE time, and that was under a dress for a date night. So I wanted to know who wears Larissa’s corsets and where? Although her corsets can easily be worn beneath other clothing, they are intended for outerwear. Usually a Wilde Hunt corset is commissioned for a special occasion, such as a client’s recent 40th birthday party, and there is no one “type” of customer. Larissa’s clients have included:

  •  an outgoing vaudeville performer;
  • a shy and conservative woman who wanted something dramatic in her life;
  • an Iraq war veteran who commissioned a pinup corset with insignia on it;
  • the owner of a prestigious art gallery;
  • the owner of a tattoo and piercing parlor;
  • a California doctor that Larissa later heard quoted on NPR for an important study.

Recently Larissa has created a bridal line. Imagine the versatility of being able to wear your bridal corset after the wedding–you could even have the leather painted a different color (Larissa cautioned me that dyeing it could cause the coating of the steel to crack).

This is Wilde Hunt bridal underbust corset costs $675.

Back to who wears corsets, when I watched the first season of Downton Abbey, I was obsessed with trying to identify the outlines of corsets under the costumes. “Did everyone wear corsets back then?” I asked Larissa. Yes.  She told me about an advertisement she’d seen from that period for a corset called “The Pretty Maid” that was designed for servants–working corsets tended to be shorter and more functional. They even had ventilated corsets for hot weather.

3. Isn’t it hard to get the right fit remotely?

Surprisingly, no. Larissa conducts fittings via snapshots from all angles to determine where to sculpt. A customer will first be photographed with the laces loosely tied and again after they are tightened. One customer had her neighbors take the photographs–two 70-year-old twin nuns. Larissa wishes she had a photograph of the photographers!

When Larissa studies the photos, she is concerned with what she calls “negative ease”. When I create my Campbell & Kate shirts, I’m concerned about giving the wearer enough ease in the waist and bust to be able to move comfortably. Larissa, on the other hand, is concerned with taking that ease away. She finds that working with steel and leather is very similar to actual sculpting.

It can take as many as three photo sessions to get the fit perfect for a woman with a large bust.

4. What’s her favorite corset?

Larissa’s favorite corset is always the one she’s currently working on.

She created the Ammonite corset as a personal challenge. It has a three-dimensional spine feature that mimics a vertebral column and is ornamented with mirrors set in pearlized patent leather. A typical pattern consists of 10-12 pieces, but this one consisted of 18 different pattern pieces.

You can probably tell from these photos that Larissa watches a lot of fantasy and science fiction (wouldn’t the Ammonite be perfect in a movie?). She also has a degree in anthropology, so she is very interested in cultural dress.

5. How does a client decide on a design?

The possibilities are endless, but Larissa is careful not to overwhelm. After talking to a customer, Larissa hones in on what the customer is really looking for and sends her a few sketches. Of course price will be a factor as well. Wilde Hunt overbust corsets begin at $600, and Larissa walks a customer through the price ranges for each option.

Do you have more questions?

I do. I want to know:

1.  the time range from commission to final product;
2. whether the mockup is created in leather or fabric;
3. the advantages of using leather (i.e., more breathable, moldable, etc.); and
4. if Larissa has ever created (or would consider creating) corsets as built-ins to other designers’ dresses (such as a wedding gown).

What would you like to know?

Look for Larissa’s answers in the comments over the next few days.

Fun with Boobs Designs . . . When You Just Want to Make a Big Deal of Your Assets

Leah is on vacation, so Off the Rack is off for two weeks. Today I give you a Fun with Boobs Design by Stella McCartney that I discovered on Catherine Zeta-Jones in the June issue of InStyle Magazine.  Catherine Zeta-Jones says in the magazine blurb that “Sexy is not something you can put on like a coat or a dress,” but I think sexy is definitely something you can put on with this dress, especially if you wear a D cup or higher!

Here’s the same dress on a model on the Stella McCartney site.

And here are more Fun with Boobs Designs that I featured in 2010:
Imagine (very similar idea to today’s dress)
On the Carpet (purple cinnamon rolls, anyone?)
Guarded Optimism and the Prada Breasts

D Cups and Up in the Pink . . . and Orange and Purple HORIZONTAL Stripes

I’m fascinated by the fact that horizontal stripes are not off limits for those of us who are full-busted or full-figured (I wrote about my discoveries here, here and here), but until shopping trips over the past 2 weekends, I NEVER would have considered stripes placed ONLY at the bust area.  That would cause the eye to stop and linger on my largest feature . . . wouldn’t it?

Maybe it would, but fun colors, super soft fabric and front panels that stay put above my bust (vs. sliding to the sides) trumped that rule for me. I couldn’t resist this long cardigan that I found at Marshall’s for $30.

stripes highlight large bust but do I care

If you totally disagree, there’s still time to tell me because I haven’t removed the tags, but here’s why I think it works:

  1. The second set of bright stripes at my hips helps the eye continue to move down. It gives some verticality.
  2. So does the cardigan’s length.
  3. The V-neck is also good, along with the wide tan band from neckline to hem.

The profile is entirely unflattering, isn’t it? Two reasons:

  1. I guess if you’ve got a little (or big) hill, the road’s gotta go up! What looks horizontal from the front suddenly becomes diagonal from the side. (However, since I’m wearing a Bad Bra, higher-up colors actually makes me look a little more lifted!)
  2. There’s the ever-present tent issue of a straight line from the apex to the hem.

If I keep it, I’ll need to be sure to wear the right shoes to keep it from looking cluttered and frumpy.

Next, I fell in love with this August Max knit top at Century 21.

There’s no hiding in this one, is there?  That wide pink band says “Big Bust Here.” It’s very See Me, and maybe even Look at Me, depending upon how I wear it.  Here’s why I think this one works:

  1. The great scoop neck.
  2. The lavender stripe above, and the orange stripe below, the wide pink band actually serve to minimize my bust!! If they were pink instead, they would highlight the actual area of my bust.  As it is, it looks like my bust only falls inside the pink stripe.
  3. The stripes blend into the sleeves, making it harder to tell what is bust and what is arm. If the sleeves were black, the bust would stand out even more.
  4. The stripes even stay horizontal in the side view.
  5. You can’t see it in the photos, but there are some interesting black straps crossing the scoop neckline in back.  It actually gives me the interesting back I’ve always wanted without showing any bra!

Again, I have NOT removed the tags yet, so let me know if I’m totally off here.  After the jump, I post a photo of the Lafayette 148 knit top that I almost purchased because it had no stripes and all the features I look for in a top. Yet it said “Look at my boobs” much more loudly than the top above.

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