Book Report: a Review of Liz Kuba’s “How to Find a Bra That Fits”

A little while back, Liz Kuba reached out to me and asked if I’d like a copy of her book to review. I agreed, the book arrived, and my life promptly got crazy (had to move quite suddenly, lost my job, fell down a flight of stairs, etc)… and the book sat for a bit, unreviewed. But since digital copies of “How to Find a Bra That Fits” are FREE on Smashwords during the month of April, now isn’t a terrible time for me to finally post this review.

My first thought was something along the lines of “A book… on how to find a bra that fits? How on earth do you find enough content to fill a book?” But, rest assured, it’s a quick and engaging read! It’s 46 short pages, and light enough to read in one sitting. I’d personally prefer to read this sort of thing as a pdf (you can download the pdf on Smashwords) or blog post(s), but I know that there are people out there who strongly prefer physical books. This would also be a fantastic book to have lying around in a bra boutique.

“How to Find a Bra That Fits” is definitely written for someone with little to no knowledge of how bras should fits… so pretty much everyone who hasn’t devoted weird amounts of time to untangling this complicated subject. (I suspect that it won’t be a life-changing read for bra-fit bloggers like myself, but we’re certainly not the audience for which the book was written.) The book tackles such subjects as: the American bra industry, bra anatomy, size naming conventions, sister-sizes, signs of ill-fit, how to measure for a bra, trying on bras, bra care, and bra myths. If someone had given me a copy of this back in middle school, it would have saved me years of pain, frustration, and embarrassment. The text is approachable, amusing, engaging, and, most importantly, simple enough not to completely overwhelm the reader.

Unlike some more militant bra-fitting guides, “How to Find a Bra That Fits” does a fantastic job of acknowledging that every bra-fitting and bra-care “rule” has its exceptions. I did wish that Liz’s examples hadn’t all been of women who use “she/her” pronouns, since many bra-wearing people (myself included) don’t identify as female or see bras as a gendered thing, but I was happy to see that the book acknowledge transwomen.

Overall, I think this is a really helpful book for those just starting to learn about bra and bra-fitting.

Paperback copies of “How to Find a Bra That Fits” are $8.99 and kindle copies are $0.99 on Amazon. During April 2015, the book is free on Smashwords!

Why I suck at getting rid of bras I don’t wear

I’ve admitted this before: I have way more bras than I need.

drawer

(This is drawer 1 of 2. There are underwear/garter belts in there, too… but still. Eek. I can remember when I thought it was weird to own more than 1 or 2 bras at a time.)

There’s always the (semi-legit) excuse of “but my size fluctuates!”. That’s enough reason to keep at least a few bras in a few extra sizes.

But I have a few more excuses:

“I spent too much on that to sell it!” – Even if I’m lucky enough to get back what I spent on a NWT bra, I invariably lose money to PayPal fees and shipping. It adds up.

“But it’s GORGEOUS and I’ll never find another one like it!” – Often true, but goddamnit, I have too many bras that I never wear!

“But I lusted after this for months/years… I can’t just get rid of it now!” – Remember that 36DD Chantelle bra that I did major crazy bra-surgery on just because I had spent ages trying to track it down and ended up having to find a French vendor to special-order one for me? Yeah… I’m not a quitter. And I never impulse-buy bras. It takes me months (or more) of thinking to go after one I like, so by the time I get my hands on it, I’m pretty dedicated.

“I’m planning on wearing it, but it’s such a nice set… I don’t want to wear it out/mess it up” – Come on, really? You don’t buy things to keep them in a glass display case, do you?

“Oh, I’d totally wear that, but (insert problem here)” – Ugh. If everything in my bra drawer could magically turn into a longline with narrow wires, most of these issues would be solved. Considering just getting a few coordinating fabrics and seeing if I can make this happen. It’s a big investment, but it’d make a lot of currently-unwearable bras wearable again.

Those are my most common excuses. I did a clear-out recently, and picked 2 more bras to list… but I should have found more like 5-7. I have 3 bras on the way at the moment. Two are replacements for ones I’ve worn enough to break (which seems like a smart plan, since I know I’ll wear them), and one is a Comexim Longline, which I’m SUPER excited about (fingers crossed that it will fit!). I’ll do another clear-out once they arrive… but as you can see, I’m pretty clingy.

The Airing of Grievances (Happy belated Festivus!)

As a full-bust blogger, I’ve tried my very best to cheer on new brands that offer D+ styles. I’ve tried to write about new companies so people will hear about them, to offer advice, and to support them when I do have the funds to buy a full-priced bra. But when “fresh, innovative!” new companies are popping up left and right offering the same 28-40 D-G/GG range in bras that are poorly scaled and “bust-friendly” clothing companies are making clothing that just looks… large all over, I get tired of it.

We have enough brands that offer terribly scaled 28-40 D-G/GG bras. And to be frank, D-G/GG cups barely even scrape the lower end of the actual “full-bust” range. If you’re going to do 28-40 D-G/GG, do it well. Don’t just make the same crappy bras that every other brand offers.

One major thing we do need is H+ cups and sub-28 bands. Just fyi, when the few small-band H+ cup bras that are available all have wires that wrap around our backs, it barely even counts. Oh, and if you’re going to make H+ cup bras, maybe consider actually making a few longlines, which give SO. MUCH. MORE. SUPPORT. than standard bands… which is what we need. Why the hell are there no H+ cup longlines?

And clothing… oh god, clothing. (See Bras I Hate and Love’s post on this issue.) Do you know how many places I can go and find a cowl-neck shirt or sweater? Or how plentiful cheap stretchy spandex/jersey dresses and tops are? And if I wanted to wear a top/dress that I have to wear with a belt to get any waist-definition, I’d just get it at Marshall’s or TJMaxx. I’m so sick of seeing made-for-the-busty clothing companies build their collections on cop-outs. You know what we need more of? Well-tailored button-downs, non-stretch dresses with actual waists, winter coats that button…

I’m just so frustrated. I’m sick of cheering on every new and misguided company that tosses around the terms “full-bust” and “bust-friendly”. I want to see a brand actually listen to what we need and want. I’m not naming names, I’m not keeping a public shit-list… but I’m not going to cheerlead companies that aren’t clearly listening to the needs and wants of their target audience.

‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas…

… and Hanukkah was almost over.

Well, to be fair, I don’t really actually celebrate anything, but I do sort of get sucked into the “it’s cold as balls, so let’s get glitzy and eat a lot and give people nice stuff” mood.

Here’s another lust-list, this time with some Holiday glitz:

Naomi collection (yeah, the whole damn thing) from Edge O’ Beyond – $582 for bra, panty, thong, and suspender; $762 if you buy 2 of the gold-plated chains to go with it

 

(I didn’t include the eye mask in my pricing, since they are really not my thing.) This set is breathtaking. It’s also only available up to a 34E (or 36DD), which is heartbreaking. If I had money to spend on this, I’d totally buy a 34E and try to alter it to make it work. But even if they made a 30H, it’s obviously way out of my price range.

Comexim Sharon – $45 for the set

Sharon is a gorgeous half-cup soft cup bra- I don’t think I’ve seen this style at Comexim before. It looks like this set comes in a pretty limited size range, with a 65H being the largest volume available. Anna is pretty awesome about custom orders, though, so you might be able to get this in a larger cup.

Figleaves Tease Silk and Lace set in burgundy – $177 for bra, suspender belt, and either thong or panties.

Again, not including the eye mask because ugh. Anyway, I’m a sucker for lace, and burgundy is one of my favorite colours. Plus, the textures of this set would be divine. Available up to a G cup, though it looks like many sizes are already sold out.

Panache Clara in gold – retail $94, currently on sale for $59.60

While I respect Panache, I don’t normally think of their bras as *beautiful*. The Clara in this gold/black colourway is definitely unusual for Panache, and seems more like something from Fauve (maybe also Masquerade?). It’s available in 30-38 D-J, making it the only thing on this list so far that might actually fit my boobs. From my experience, Panache bands run tight, so this might work for those who need 28 bands.

Black Clair de Lune Robe by Angela Friedman – $265 (also comes in ivory, $295)

Sexy, simple, and downright gorgeous. I might be tempted to wear this over an evening gown or really fancy cocktail dress.

And I’ve saved the best for last:

Amoralle Magnum Almond Robe – Currently $1,179

I woke up a few months ago with a sudden and unexplained love of luxury robes. I do not have this kind of money. Stop it, brain. (But seriously, if you buy me this robe, I will love you so much.)

So yeah, there’s my list. Not everything on it would fit me, and my bank account is not nearly full enough for my tastes… but I’m certainly allowed to drool on my laptop.

Happy Holidays, if you’re celebrating, and just general happiness if you’re not!

 

Brief update

I haven’t posted in ages.

This year, it’s not because I don’t have housing (thankfully, that is settled). But I’ve been working the job from Hell (the one that has me standing for 10 hrs at a time and is killing my back). It’s left me exhausted beyond belief… too exhausted to apply to grad programs or do anything for myself… and it’s made me feel physically gross. I haven’t wanted to wear anything nice or well-fitted… and anything non-longline has been murder on my sensitive ribs.

I am in the process of quitting the Hell-job, though, which means that I will have time an energy again. Yay! I might even want to put on real clothes (I have a small pile of things to review for y’all)!

So, I haven’t forgotten about the blog… I’ve just had life get in the way again. But I’m excited to be back soon!

Bras, bras everywhere, but not one to wear…

I have too many bras.

I moved recently, so I had to pack everything and then unpack and try to fit my stuff into drawers… and it was a challenge.

 

I have a lot of different sizes going on… 26-32 bands, 30G-30J cups, all sorts of shapes… which is, I guess, fair, since my size does actually fluctuate quite a bit. Seriously, though, if I sold/donated the ones that don’t currently fit, I’d be screwed in like a week. (Thanks, body.) And I also have a bunch that are really more outerwear than innerwear, so that’s sort of explainable as well.

But all things considered, I still have a bunch of bras. I think back in my pre-well-fitted bra days I had 2-3 bras at a time? This feels like a crazy amount.

And yet somehow, there are some things I don’t have that could be considered huge gaps in a drawer of bras for all uses. I don’t have a strapless bra… which feels like a gaping hole, except that it’s freezing out now and I probably won’t even need one until next Spring now, if I ever end up needing one. I also don’t have a beige bra (got rid of my last one) or a proper T-shirt bra, but I reallllly don’t care about that.

The biggest thing I don’t have right now is a comfortable and supportive bra that I can wear for 14+ hrs while doing a fairly physically intense job… which brings me back to this post from almost a year ago. I have a sports bra now (which is good if I end up doing higher impact things), but I don’t quite need something to hold my boobs quite so flat against my chest. What I need is a truly longline bra (like the Freya longlines) with narrow/deep cups (like Comexim) and a band made of a sturdy elastic material (so not the classic construction of stretchy fabric with bitingly thin elastic at the bottom).

I got a 32G Freya Ivy longline secondhand and it’s doing the job for now… but it’s loose on the tightest hooks, the cups are too small, and the elastic on the bottom of the band is way too thin and ends up biting after I’ve been wearing it for 12 hrs. But what else is out there? If Comexim comes out with a longline with a comfy band, I’ll be in heaven. And honestly even if Freya longlines came in 30H or 28HH, things would be a lot better.

So while I’ve told myself “no more bras!”, I do have a pretty specific need right now. And even though the Freya longlines are quite far from perfect, I’m probably going to track down another cheap 32G longline (or two) so I can survive my job.

 

 

Fantasy wishlist…

In this post, I will tell you about all of the awesome things I want… that don’t currently exist for boobs.

A galaxy print bra/panty AND/OR bikini set with a print as beautiful as this handpainted panty:

244268_21Feb11_DSCF6460 244268_21Feb11_DSCF6457

Preferably Comexim.

A bra that actually manages to push my breasts up and in:

Our-Bra-Collection

Like What Braologie was thinking, only with much narrower underwires and a fabric front-sling that pulls the cups together.

This shirt:

dreamshirt

Maybe also in black/charcoal… or charcoal/black? Urkye, can you do this?

A dress like this (Nannette Lepore Heartstopper in Emerald) could look so great:

nannette1 nannette3

All I want is a full-bust dress that’s full of gorgeous details. I want to feel pretty, damnit.

Winter coats, like these:

il_570xN.497783319_o0t1 il_570xN.239950902

Fergies-Salvatore-Ferragamo-Double-Breasted-Wool-Coat l_men-s-leisure-stylish-double-breasted-wool-coat-m-xxl-b5b1

I want a coat that keeps me warm. As it stands, I either have a coat that doesn’t button past my waist… or that buttons but lets the cold air in up through the bottom due to it being a tent. But a few of these are made-to-measure, so if I have enough cash, I may go for it!