Since May, I’ve been reenergized about my shirt company, Campbell & Kate. After months of back and forth among patternmaker, grader and seamstress, my shirts are ready for busty women again. Now my website needed the same new energy.
The prospect of updating the images seemed completely unaffordable until I asked a professional model at my church if she knew any photographers who were just starting out. Not only did she know someone who would work with me, she volunteered to help, too!
With her encouragement, I assembled an amazing team, and two weeks ago it all came together. Today I’m sharing some behind-the-scenes fitting stories that I think you’ll find interesting. If you like the Campbell & Kate Facebook page or follow the new Campbell & Kate Instagram account, I’ll be sharing more pictures there.
We updated the images on the C&K website last Friday. If you’ve visited the site since then, you probably thought, “There is no way the model on the home page wears a D cup,” and you would be completely right. Ideally, every model that I use would have my customers’ bust-to-waist ratio. In this case, however, there was no way I was going to decline a professional model’s offer to give me her Saturday afternoon with no strings attached.
Not only does Maria Golob not wear a D cup bra, but she also wears a 00 dress size! We put her in a 2S shirt and addressed the bust line with breast enhancers (more on that below) and the waist line with a binder clip.
I wish you could have watched Maria in action with us, but sometimes she posts videos on Instagram (that Marchesa gown!). It would be so great if you would follow her, too. Speaking of social media and models, this Racked article about the importance of IG followers is fascinating. It could have giant implications for the future of diversity in advertising (or the lucrative business of selling followers). Together with this recent Vogue article, you’d think the modeling industry was experiencing a major turnaround. However, Maria assured me that if she wore a size 4, she would see a sharp drop in casting options. Fortunately, maintaining a size 00 isn’t difficult for her. If you want inspiration from another model who struggled with diets, found freedom in intuitive eating and became a “plus” size model as a result, then I encourage you to read some of the captions on Nathalia Novae’s IG posts).
Thanks to hosting Hourglassy events where I’ve met our readers in person, I also knew an amateur model who really does wear a bra with a small band and large cup. You’ve met her, too–Veera authored a guest post about how it pays for busty women to try all the sizes when we go shopping. I was mesmerized by her elegance at a Harlow & Fox trunk show in 2014, and this image has stuck with me ever since.
I was thrilled when she said she could make our photo shoot, and from the photo below, you can see why. Veera is wearing a 30G Marks & Spencer bra in this picture, and a 6S shirt–no cutlets or clips required. (She is also the gracious before-and-after model for my C&K blog post about how to wear white when it isn’t your color.)
As you know from previous posts, it is a GIANT challenge to find models for my largest bust size shirts. I sent emails to anyone who might know someone, and I posted an ad on Craigslist. My search was over when Lela Hazary contacted me. As you probably realize, Lela can wear higher than a C up, but she explained that posting a D cup in her specs can scare some clients off. Incredibly, Lela is often a model for Curve, where the European brands fit her in 32E and 32F. If you’re thinking, “I bet her rib cage is smaller than 32,” you would be completely right once again. Surprisingly, she actually prefers a 34D because she doesn’t like tight bands.
At a pre-shoot fitting, we determined that Lela can fit both a 4M and a 6M in Campbell & Kate, but with a little help from a size 36D ultra pushup from Victoria’s Secret and a set of silicone breast enhancers from Fashion Forms, she can also wear a 4L!
After the photo shoot, I couldn’t resist trying the combination of 36D pushup bra and breast enhancers myself. If I had tried to wear the pushup and cutlets outside the house, I would have spent all my time playing a variation of whack-a-mole as I tried to push myself back in at all the points of spillage. I had better luck when I tried the enhancers with my old Fantasie 4520 smoothing t-shirt bra in 32FF. I recently read Hurray Kimmay’s post about using them when you can no longer fully fill the cups of a bra where the band still fits. Sure enough, I immediately became a 32FF again.