Body Image: “curvy”, “fat”, and “plus-sized”

One of the things that drives me absolutely batty is when people assume that large cup size = fat person. Sure, a lot of people who wear D+ cups are overweight, but there are plenty of overweight people who are smaller than a D cup and plenty of tiny D+ people out there. I happened to realize that I needed a larger cup size after I started gaining weigh, but the truth is, even when I was underweight, I needed a D+ bra. It’s not the amount of fat you have… it’s where you have it. Cup size is a proportion. So it drives me nuts when my mother insists that, if I lose weight, I will no longer need a D+ bra. That just isn’t true. If I happened to lose weight mostly from my bust, then it could happen… but when I lose weight, I don’t lose from my chest, I lose from my stomach. Sure, I’ll probably go down a few inches, but I will lose more from my waist and underbust. In fact, it’s very likely that I’d need a larger cup size (and smaller band size) when I lose weight. So “D+” and “fat” are not the same things. “Fat” and “plus size” are not the same thing either. Many plus sized people are overweight, but some are just tall. Again, sizes are relative to height! I am suspicious that the reason for the conflation of the terms “D+”, “fat”, and “plus size” is due to the fashion industry’s (often inappropriate) use of the word “curvy”. “Curvy” usually refers to “plus sized”… and is frequently used as a “polite” alternative to the word “fat”. Plenty of curvy people are neither fat nor plus sized, plenty of fat people are neither plus sized nor curvy… etc. For example: I am currently fat and curvy. I am overweight, but my waist is a US size 6 or 8, which is far below plus sized. When I was at a lower weight (almost underweight), I was very curvy, but neither fat nor plus sized. Plenty of thin, large-busted people are told that their bust size makes them “fat”… and many are effectively forced to wear plus-sized clothing to accommodate their chests. And plenty of overweight people feel insecure about having small breasts and not really being “curvy”. Please, let’s stop conflating these terms. Maybe then the fashion world might realize that the needs of “curvy” people aren’t covered by plus sizes and start making clothing for us!

Things I’d Love to Have in My Closet…

So in my last post, I mentioned that I was waiting to lose weight until buying properly fitting clothing. Here are some of the things that are on my list:

The Evelyn dress from Pinup Girl Clothing.

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The Ava dress from Pinup Girl Clothing.

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The Long Cap Sleeve Dress from Get Cutie

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Any number of blouses and shirts from Biubiu… maybe a dress if another comes along that I really like. :)

I’m also waiting to buy new bras, because I don’t want to lose weight and suddenly be a 30FF and get stuck with a bunch of 32G bras. (I already had to get rid of all of my ill-fitting 34Cs… and then again with my 34DDDs!) On that list:

A Freya Deco that actually FITS.

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The Curvy Kate Tease Me bra…

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Clothing

I don’t usually think of myself as having a HUGE chest… until I try to find clothing. My waist is a size 6/8 (US), but I need a 14/16 to accomodate my chest. The other day, I tried on a dress in a Large (12/14), and, while the waist was huge, the top didn’t even manage to cover my bust. In all honesty, I generally prefer to wear a size or two smaller in the bust than the size chart puts me at… but WHAT CUP SIZE DO THEY MAKE CLOTHING FOR?

My waist is 30 inches, my underbust is 31 inches, and my bust is 43 inches. I wear a 32FF/G (UK). I’d love to be able to wear fitted clothing again, but I’m just not up for investing a large amount of money in clothing that I hope will not fit me in a few months. I currently weigh about 160 lbs (5’5″) and just started medication for hypothyroidism, so I might be able to lose weight for the first time in years! When I’m back at a normal weight, however, I do plan on getting some items from BiuBiu and possibly getting some items tailored, but it’s a big investment.

Meanwhile, I am wearing stretchy tops with skirts/leggings and stretchy dresses. I managed to find this super flattering top at Marshalls for about $16:

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Not a terrible option… but I would love to see some D+ non-stretchy items that I can afford!

Inventory, part II

My bra drawer currently holds 10 bras, only 4 of which are wearable (not necessarily “well-fitting”). Organized by cup volume, the contents of my drawer:

  • 2 32Gs (1 is a 34FF with a very tight band):Image
  • 4 32FFs (2 are 34DDDs, worn on tightest hook and with padding removed):Image
  • 3 32Fs (2 were 36DDs and 1 was a 34DDD, but I took in the bands):Image
  • 1 32D (it’s really a 34C, and it’s hilariously small):Image

Guess which ones fit? Well, none perfectly.

  • The black 32G (Masquerade Tiffany) is a little too big in the cup (but really close and it works with cookies).
  • The burgundy 32G (34FF, Masquerade Rhea) is… really stiff, so I can’t quite tell. I haven’t worn it yet.
  • The black and white 32FFs (Chantelle Rive Gauche) are close enough for me to wear, but the cups are too small.
  • The purple 32FF (fits like a 30G, Cleo Sasha) is close, but the cups are a little too tight and the band is a little too snug.
  • The burgundy 32FF (Masquerade Rhea) and all of the other bras are way too small in the cup.

So about 4 of these bras are wearable… 1 is questionable… and the other 5 are way too small.

My favourite bra (that doesn’t fit)

I have a confession: I love my Chantelle Rive Gauche push-up bra. It’s a 34DDD… and I’m still wearing it. I’ve taken out the removable cookies and I’m wearing it on it’s tightest hook (so it’s probably equivalent to a 32FF?). But as you can see in the photo, the cups are slightly too small still (it shows under t-shirts) and the band is a little too loose and is not quite sitting horizontal.  It’s just such a wonderful bra….

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This was one of the first bras I bought last autumn, after realizing that I was not a 34C. So, for that reason, it holds a good deal of sentimental value. But on a purely practical/aesthetic (contradiction?) note, it’s a gorgeous bra that gives a gorgeous shape. Chantelle should consider seriously offering it in larger cup sizes…

I also own it in white, and my white bra is only a few months old. The band is tighter (the elastic is newer), but I am already wearing it on the tightest hook. The tightness in the cup is more evident in the pictures of the white bra:

(The above picture shows how the band normally fits… but since I’ve got a bit of back fat, I do get rolls when I slouch.)

In case you are curious, I am wearing my Rive Gauche in this picture:

I pulled myself into my bra for this picture, so thankfully the quad-boob isn’t showing, but if I really lift and scoop, I pop out a fair bit. At least this is evidence that wearing a too-small cup can give you great cleavage *cough*ChristinaHendricks*cough*.