When I read Refinery 29‘s recent post, “How to Dress When You’ve Got Big Boobs“, I thought, “Do we seriously need another advice-giver telling us to size up in dresses and shirts?” So I kind of enjoyed the indignant comments. But even more, I enjoyed finding Canadian full-bust clothing designer Miriam Baker’s links to her website sprinkled in some of the responses.
I clicked Miriam’s Fall 2014 lookbook and fell in love–not because I would wear everything in it (there sure are a lot of crewnecks in there)–but because finally we have a formally trained North American designer creating complete collections that take the sophisticated full bust customer seriously.
It’s reassuring that the technical requirements for large bust clothing construction aren’t mere afterthoughts for Miriam. She’s been considering–and experiencing the need for–darts, princess seams and extra fabric at the bust for a long time. Her clothing line emerged from her fascination with corsets and bras during her design training, as well as her inability to find the styles she wanted to wear in sizes that would fit her chest. Miriam herself wears a 32F in Prima Donna, or a 32G when she gains a little weight.
Miriam’s particular vision is not conceptual, cool or edgy. She doesn’t consider herself to be a trendsetter. Instead, she allows herself to be influenced by trends to create a look that will always be pretty, feminine and elegant. She sees her customer as classic, well put-together, polished and professional.
Interestingly, she breaks a lot of the full bust “rules” with her collections. There are those high necklines I mentioned.
And there is no way to “Show off your hourglass waist!” in this trapeze dress.
But if you saw these styles in a boutique and knew that they would fit your boobs, I bet you’d take them back to the dressing room. I know I would. Edgy or not, Miriam Baker is giving full-busted women the edge when it comes to choosing for themselves whether to follow certain rules. When you can’t try a style because it won’t fit around your chest, you can’t analyze whether a style will work for you. But if a line of clothing is specifically constructed to fit you, you’re more likely to take risks and try something new just because you can. Finding Miriam Baker clothing in a store would definitely put the fun back into shopping.
Unfortunately, finding a store that carries Miriam Baker isn’t going to be easy. She won the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels competition last year, but some of the judges wanted her to abandon her busty business model. Now she’s working to win over store buyers. Given that the average bra size is supposedly a 34DD, you wouldn’t think it would be that hard, but clothing stores are even slower to accommodate larger cups than lingerie stores.
It’s not as if Miriam’s inaugural sizes are ultra-busty. She’s beginning with American dress sizes 2-12 for D cups. (However, I’m hoping they’re more generous in real life. Her sample size 4 fits a waist slightly larger than 26″, and the models in her size 4 clothing on the runway and in her photoshoots wore stuffed 34D Victoria’s Secret bras. Since a 34 is usually much “more band” than a size 4 needs, I would love to learn that her clothes can be sister-sized to fit at least an F cup in UK sizes.) Ultimately, Miriam hopes to expand her sizing up to a Prima Donna G cup.
Even though you can’t yet find her clothing in stores, you can contact Miriam through the email address on her website to make a purchase. And here’s some spectacular news: she can still make pieces from her FW2014 collection for you.
All fabrics for Miriam Baker garments come from Europe, including this season’s cream silk gown covered in sequins.
Everything is sewn in Canada. As you would expect, the average retail price for a Miriam Baker dress is around CDN $430.
Have questions about a specific garment? Ask away in the comments!