As I’ve mentioned before, this blog is called “hourglassy” because of one common hourglass feature that we share: a large bust. Many of us also have a small waist in common. However, I’ve often wondered what it must be like to have a large bust and an apple shape. So when a frustrated reader recently commented on the challenges she faces, I invited her to share them in a post with the rest of us. Linda wears a 32G.  She is 36 and lives in Germany with her husband and their dog.

My whole life, I have been an apple/lollipop shape with very slim arms and legs, but–depending on weight–with a big or a really big tummy. Finding clothing has always been an issue for me. I have found countless nice tops over the years, but they are never suitable for my figure. Sweaters are easy to find. I tend to buy them big and thus try to hide my figure. Pants are a bigger problem. If they even fit my waist, they are too big around my thighs or have extra rolls of fabric around my crotch area. And finding pants with a really high waistline that will solve the muffin top issue is an even bigger nightmare.

Pants and Dresses

Just to illustrate how bad my problem is, let me tell you about my hunt for pants a while ago: once in Vienna, Austria, in the Levi’s store, and the other time in a leading department store in Munich, Germany. In both stores I got the staff to help me, but in both stores, after trying on lots and lots of pants, I came away empty handed. The lady in Munich even told me that my figure is so disproportionate that it would be pretty much impossible to find pants for me. Thanks to my Facebook friends, I did end up finding a brand of jeans made to fit my body.

Dresses are often also an issue. They won’t fit my bust, or if they do, they are made to show off the slim waist I personally do not have, and they have excess fabric around my (slim) hips. When I first discovered the online retailer Bravissimo, I took one look at the models and instantly thought, “They look nothing like me. The clothing is made for women with a tiny waist.”

A Babydoll Solution from Victoria’s Secret?

I turned to Victoria’s Secret and discovered babydoll tops, which was exactly what I had been looking for. I was so happy, so I ordered two tops and one dress and could hardly wait for them to come. They even had a built in bra according to their website. I knew that they wouldn’t support my (then) 36Gs, but I was just so thrilled–pretty clothing that would hide my tummy and cover my boobs!

The items arrived, and yes, they hid my tummy, but they were indecent. You could see at least 2/3 of my boobs. I went to a dressmaker and had extra panels sewn into the top to try to cover my boobs more (I wish I had taken before and after pictures) but even with those extra panels, you could see half of my boobs, and since I am in my thirties, this was just too much for my taste, so I gave the tops away.

Plus Sizes Don’t Work Either

After our wedding in 2003 I quickly gained weight thanks to crash dieting just before the big day, and suddenly I went from a bit overweight to obese. But finding clothing for my plus-sized body wasn’t any easier than for my size 16/18 body. The clothing all seemed to be modeled by curvy women with fairly flat tummies, wide shoulders, and big legs and arms. It was really frustrating, because the clothing just hung off my body like a tent, and again, it seemed to be made for bigger hourglass-figured women and not for apple-shaped women.

Health &Weight

As if this wasn’t enough, everywhere you turn there is another advertisement or story about weight loss, and of course it’s always telling you that if your waist is more than 88cm as a woman (I think that is the number), that you are basically overweight no matter what the scale says, that you are at much higher risks for many so-called lifestyle diseases, the “pear/hourglass shaped women store healthier fat”, and so forth.

Even now, when I weigh less than my stunning hourglass acquaintances, they can get away with a size 8 but I am a 12 to 16. Just because clothing is made to fit those with a much smaller waist than mine.

The hourglass figure is the new desired figure, according to magazines I have read. I certainly understand this, but I for one feel left out and looked down upon because I do not look like this at all but carry my fat where it is the worst for me. I have the desirable curves but not the flat tummy.

Busty Apples Speak Up!

I think it is about time us apple-shaped women speak out and say loud and clear, we want to be heard, we want clothing made for us, we want designers and retailers to understand, we might have a big tummy, but we are certainly not all overweight, and maternity clothing is not what we want. We want stylish clothing in all sizes to suit us, we want our needs to be catered to, and we want to be able to go into a department store and have a choice of nice outfits that are especially made to hide the “not so good” and bring out the “oh so good” parts of our body.