Pictures in response to the awful “bra fitting scam” post…

Edit: Bianca James did not intend to offend anyone with the post she wrote. It did, however, offend many people. The following post was written in response to what read as body snark and policing other women’s bodies.

You’ve probably heard of/seen this nasty little post about how “bra fitting is a f*cking scam” over at MsBehaved. No sh*t, it is a scam… except that the “scam” she is talking about is fitters who don’t add inches to the underbust. How is it a scam? “Vanity sizing”, she claims.

She tells the horrible story of her fitting at Nordstrom in which her 42DDD body was shoved into a 38H. It was, apparently, difficult to breathe. But most importantly,  “H cup was bra size no-woman’s- land, inhabited by porn stars with massive implants who looked like they might fall over from the weight of their breasts.” Oh, I must be a porn star! And I don’t recall getting implants… but I guess I did!

OF COURSE the 38 band felt too tight! If you’re used to wearing a huge band, going down even one band size will be a big deal. You need to take it in small steps. For example, I went through every intermediate band size on the way from 36 to 30. Had I immediately gone to 30 or even 32, I would have felt like I was being suffocated. (edit: this isn’t “corset training”. Big changes in band size just feel weird.) She should have started out with a 40GG. And she asks “How does one push one’s breasts back into one’s armpits, exactly?” Um… most people do it. If you’re wearing a bra that is too small in the cup, the breast tissue will migrate to the armpit. Look in a mirror. Is there breast tissue beyond the side of the cup? If so, it’s getting shoved into your armpit. It’s not rocket science…

It’s bs like that terrible post that made me afraid to try on bands smaller than 36 or cups larger than DDs. Even now, I still tend to buy the smallest cup I can cram myself into. I actually cried when I first read that post. I wanted to respond to it weeks ago, but felt like my words would fall on deaf ears. Perhaps images will be better?

So without further ado, I present two images in response to the infamous post:

36DD:

30GG (altered from 32G):

See the difference? (Hint: it isn’t just the colour of the background.) Hun, I’m not wearing a 30GG to flatter myself… I’m wearing it because it fits.

Reading Recommendation

I’ve included the Butterfly Collection blog in my list of US and Canadian D+ bra blogs, but I want to draw special attention to it for a few reasons. Every time I pop over to look at new posts, I am amazed at the work that Claire is doing. Her posts frequently cover matters of body image, fitting, and feminism… three of my favourite topics. She manages to express things that I’ve struggled to find a delicate way to phrase. For example, her post on topless sunbathing deals with our culture’s oversexualization of the female body, which is something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. The most recent post is a guest post by her sister-in-law about the amazing things that a well-fitting bra can do for one’s self-confidence and overall body image.

Her posts are really uplifting (pun intended) and I’m really excited about the work that Claire is doing. Check out the Butterfly Collection blog here: http://blog.butterflycollection.ca/

Pretty Dress!

If you live in New England, you might have seen a”Second Time Around” consignment shop. There are a bunch of them, mostly clustered in MA. My mom is mildly obsessed with Second Time Around and, almost every time I visit her, she drags me into one. This past weekend, while we were in Portsmouth NH for the day, I found this knee-length dress, by Diane von Furstenberg:

Sorry for the bad posture!

Doesn’t the print look like Shel Silverstein’s Giving Tree?

It’s a size 6, so I though I had no chance of getting my chest into it. But I tried it on anyway, and lo!, it zipped! The fabric is a slightly stretchy silk material, which helps. The band below the bust actually sits where it’s supposed to! I wouldn’t say that it “fits” my chest, but I think it looks reasonable enough to wear. My boobs are clearly a bit squished (sneaking out the top and sides) and I would need to find a lower-cut bra… but I can wear it without a belt!

When I got home, I looked up the designer. She is apparently well known for her wrap-dresses. From the looks of pictures of non-models modeling her dresses, the brand seems to be fairly boob-friendly. For example, I saw a listing on eBay for a size two dress and the person modeling it looked like a 28J (UK). I’d be interested in trying some more Diane von Furstenberg dresses. Her pieces are pricey, though, so I wouldn’t advise looking at full price items.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the dress was new, with the tags still on it. The original price was ~$400. Who pays $400 for an awesome dress and then never wears it?!

Size Fluctuations

I’m hoping this is due to my period, but I’m currently a solid (US) 30K/(UK) 30H. My 30G Deco is clearly too small, a 30GG would work… and the Deco runs almost a full cup size large in the cup. Whoa. Anyway, I’m definitely feeling like they are “huge” right now (and my abdomen is fairly bloated as well), which is a strange feeling for me. I’m hoping they “deflate”, but it might be tissue shift from wearing better fitting bras, so I’m a little nervous that they will stay this size.

I did, however, find a size 6 silk dress (with a crazy print) that fits me beautifully. I don’t even need to wear a belt with it! It’s spandexy, which is why it fits. I’ll post photos soon.

Lyla and the Mystery of the Poking Underwires

Okay, so maybe this isn’t as thrilling as a real mystery novel, but I’ve done my google sleuthing and have found nothing! Most sources say that it means that the cup is too small, but I have this problem even in too-large cups: my underwires are digging in painfully at my armpits. And it’s not breast tissue… it’s really poking my armpit!

This is really the only uncomfortable thing about my bras at the moment; the bands are totally comfortable, the cups are fine, and I’m getting a good amount of support. And I would be totally comfy too, if it weren’t for those meddling underwires!

I’ve wondered if it’s the band being too tight and dragging the underwires into my flesh… but a bigger band is just too big. And maybe the cup IS too small and the underwire is just being pulled in too many directions. So is the culprit the shape of the underwire? Are the only solutions to try a different style or to bend the wire out a bit? Or is it a fit problem?

(If I can get a picture, I’ll post it tonight. But it’s a little tricky to photograph, since the poking usually happens when my arms are down. Also, I’d post to Bratabase, but I need a photo in order to submit a fit help request.)

Edit: I realized that my language was fuzzy… it’s not really my armpit… it’s a few inches below my armpit.

Cleo Lucy (Butterfly Collection has incredibly fast shipping!)

So I placed my order on June 28th (Thursday) and it arrived on July 2nd (Monday). I was expecting shipping from Canada to take at least a week, so that was a pleasant surprise! The bra (Cleo Lucy) and soak packets were wrapped and sealed in a ziplock plastic bag, which is a great idea when shipping, in case the package ends up left in the rain. Since they email receipts, there was no receipt/packing slip in the package, which is fine with me. Good job, Butterfly Collection!

The bra itself does run small in the cup. I could probably have bought a 30H and been fine, but I think the 30GG works… and I’m currently about 5 lbs heavier than I usually am. Here’s how it looks:

Side, after scooping and jiggling back into cup:

Sizing: available in 28-38 D-J (US D-M), which is great. The cups run small, so if you’re a true UK J cup, you might be out of luck. The band also runs a tad loose (as compared to many other 30 bands).

Fit: As has been stated in like every review of this bra, the Cleo runs small in the cup. If you’re a 30GG in most bras, try a 30H in this one. (Every Cleo bra I’ve tried on has been small in the cup. Jude, for example, is small on me even in a 30H.) Lucy’s band runs looser than some Panache bras, so I might have been able to do a 28 in this bra. So I’m normally a 30GG, but this bra would probably be better in a 28HH or a 30H. I think I’m keeping the 30GG, though, since this is the upper limit of my weight fluctuation and I just switched medications (anticipating more weight/boob changes).

Comfort: OH MY GOD THIS BRA IS COMFORTABLE. The band and straps are totally different from Sasha’s. The straps are lined with a soft, fuzzy material, and are thick (like, Deco thick), so they don’t cut in. The band is similar and the elastic is not firmer than the rest of the material, so it doesn’t cut in weirdly. The cups are breathable and, though they don’t make me jiggle-proof, they are fairly supportive in terms of keeping my breasts up. The only uncomfortable thing about the bra is that the underwires dig in under my arms rather sharply. I want to try to pad the underwires, but can’t think of an effective method of doing so.

Looks: I usually go for elegant, but this bra isn’t elegant. It’s what I’d call “cute” or “pretty”… so it’s pretty much like the rest of the Cleo collection. The black lace section at the top of the cup has a cute floral design and the bra, while sturdy and supportive, still looks playful.

Shape: The shape that it gives my breasts is wonderful… not quite as round as a moulded cup bra, but it’s still very, very round. If you like a round shape, but aren’t fond of the “unnatural” look that moulded cup bras can give, this is a nice alternative.

I haven’t tried the soak yet, but I’ll let you know what I think of it once I use it.