For more than two years, Patsy’s comments on this blog have made me want to continue  a conversation with her off-line. I finally had the chance last summer, and just as I suspected, she was brimming with insights and stories about the full-busted experience.  Lucky for us, she has agreed to be more than a commenter on Hourglassy–she’s coming on board as a regular columnist! Since both Patsy (her pen name for this column) and Tina work in large corporations with significant responsibilities, it’s appropriate that they’ll be alternating in this space. Enjoy her first post, and be prepared for more good things to come.

Sometimes I wonder

Where I’ve been

Who I am

Do I fit in . . .

So goes the song rattling around in my head lately. It’s “On My Own” by Irene Cara, from the movie Fame. Some variation of the “Do I fit in?” question is often on my mind, figuratively and literally:

  • Will I fit in those clothes?
  • Will they have my size? Will it flatter?
  • Will it suit my professional life? How can I put together the right work wardrobe so I appear as one of the team and ready to work?

My bust takes me out of most conventionally sized clothing, so fashion is a challenge. I’m tall and typically wear a 40H bra, depending on the manufacturer. The title of the song may indeed be “On My Own,” but I’m certain that I am not alone in this.

How certain am I? My first hint was the recognition that as soon as the lovely Georgina Horne models something from Pepperberry or Biu Biu, the top size range will sell out in a flash. If I haven’t already snapped that item up, my chances are slim to none.

The next proof I saw, in person, with my own eyes. There were at least four of us, each with slightly different shapes and differing personal tastes, who each fit into the size 16’s at the  Big Bust Clothing Swap back in October. I’d headed off to Queens that Saturday, a couple of hours from my home, not sure that I’d come away with anything from the Swap. I knew it would be fun to hang out with Darlene and a few of her readers. I was happy to be finding homes for a few things that were in my closet but not getting worn. And I’d be picking up a special Campbell Plus Kate shirt (more on that in the near future). All reason enough to make the trip. What I came away with (in addition to several pieces of clothing) is the affirmation that there are many of us who are at or slightly above the top size ranges in most of the clothing options for full-busted women. So, I’m adding my voice to the chorus of bloggers helping each other while nudging designers and manufacturers to better serve this market.

There is a sweet spot between finding what fits; changing myself to fit; and changing my surroundings to fit me. I’ll be sharing my experiences, seeking that sweet spot, via these “Fitting In” columns on Hourglassy.