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.

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!

Why I’ve been gone

Hi all,

I don’t usually like talking about my non-boob-related life on the blog, because I feel like it would be boring or irrelevant or whiney, but since it’s kept me away from blogging for a while, I feel like I should at least let y’all know what’s up.

Since graduation, I haven’t had the best luck finding jobs (it’s apparently really hard to get a job waiting tables if you have a degree… apparently, they are afraid that I’ll leave for something better) and, consequentially, have also not been able to find housing. Sleeping on floors and couches since May means that:

1) I have no privacy

2) I am stressed beyond belief

3) 900% of my mental energy is focused on trying to find somewhere to live

So it’s not that I’ve disappeared or that I suddenly have nothing to say about bras, bodies, and other such things… I’ve just had no energy to write and no privacy to take photos for the blog. I’d love more than anything to be writing again and hope that I’ll be able to soon!

Fingers crossed, I’ll solve my housing problem soon and will be back in full-force! (But seriously, send good vibes my way! I’ve been searching for housing since April, damnit!)

A Review of Parfait’s Recent Size Expansion – 30H Charlotte!

So it’s no secret that I love Parfait. I’ve gushed about their bras more than a few times here… even though they didn’t really fit. I sent a request (or 5) to the company to expand their size range and crossed my fingers. Other bloggers and customers did the same.

While I was hoping that the Casey (like the Deco, but better) would be the first bra available in larger cup sizes, I’m not at all disappointed that the Charlotte was first in line, along with the Alexis babydoll and Sophia bra. I’d been wanting to try the Charlotte for ages, but had heard that the cups ran small, so even a 32G (my usual trying-to-make-parfait-work size) wouldn’t have worked. Thus, I was very excited to hear that Parfait was going to expand the size range of the Charlotte to 28-40 D-K!

charlotteset

(Sorry for the not-great photo… I’m currently staying in a friend’s dorm room!)

When Parfait asked me to review the Charlotte, I had no idea what size to order. I heard that the bra (after working out the new sizes) now ran true to size, so I thought I’d try ordering my current average size: 30H. And I’m happy to say that that was the right call! The 30H fits quite well. There is some space in the bottom of the cup, as well as some overspill at the top, but a 30HH wouldn’t really fix that, as the issue is with cup-depth.

charlotteside charlottequad

 

Speaking of which, the underwires on this bra are narrow and the cups are deeper than other US and UK brands. I could have used a bit more depth toward the center of the bra (right around the gore), but this is probably the deepest-cupped non-Polish bra I’ve seen!

The band has 4 rows of hooks and is extremely supportive. It runs slightly snug (my ribcage is 28.5 inches and the 30 fits well) and is supportive enough that I could probably hack the straps off this bra and wear it as a strapless (with some minor adjustments to the top of the cup).

charlottefront1 charlottefront2

I’m in love with the fabric and design- I chose dusty rose and I’m glad I did. I don’t usually like pink, but the rose color is muted and looks great with my pale yellowish skin. It’s really sophisticated and, wow, I want it to be seen! I’d consider wearing it under a sheer lace top.

Wow, this bra…

Good job, Parfait! I’m really excited to see the more bras in the extended size range!

Diversity in Lingerie: Gender

I’ve been thinking about writing a post on gender for a while now, and #DiversityInLingerie seems like the perfect opportunity to talk about this:

I am transgender*. The asterisk there signifies that “transgender”, as used here, refers not just to binary trans persons, but also to genderqueer and agender individuals. More specifically, I am agender. That means that I don’t identify as female… or male… or genderfluid… or anything gendered at all. I am not a woman- I’m just a person.

diversity diversity2 diversity3

In the realm of lingerie, there’s a lot of pressure to conform to traditional gender roles… a few months ago, I was even afraid to post photos that showed my armpit hair.  Over the past few years, I’ve seen a lot of transphobia in the realm of lingerie, and it makes me really sad.  I’ll talk about a few things here:

1) I wear lace and frilly things. I cannot for the life of me understand what lace and frills have to do with “womanhood”. But I’ve had countless people tell me that clearly I am female because I like to wear dresses and velvet and lace. Or that I have large breasts and don’t try to minimize them means that I identify as female.

Nope. I like lace and velvet and dresses because I like the way they look. It’s as simple as that.

2) Lots of bra forums and related websites are “for women only”. I know the intent is to keep out fetishists**, but what about people female-bodied persons who are not women?

3) Related to the last point: a lot of hate spouted at transwomen. My hunch here is that people just don’t get that there is a difference between people who wear bras or who post on bra forums because they find it sexually arousing** and transwomen (non-female-bodied women). Transwomen aren’t “sort or women” or “men pretending to be women”… transwomen are women.

(**I’m bringing this up not because fetishes are “icky” or “perverted”, but because there is a big difference between crossdressing and being transgender. When you’re involving sexual things (fetishes), you need to make sure all involved parties are consenting… which isn’t the case on forums for bra-fitting, which isn’t a sexual subject.)

I haven’t nearly exhausted my thoughts on this subject, but I think this is a good place to start.

Great news: Parfait is expanding their size range!

Remember how I fell in love with Parfait? And how I’ve been hoping that they’d expand their size range? Well, the other day, I got an email from RichPR (the PR company that Parfait works through) announcing the size expansion for their A/W 2013 collection! They’ve added GG-K cups and are testing the new sizes in 3 styles: Charlotte Padded Bra (28 band available), Alexis Babydoll, and Sophia Wire Bra. The new sizes will be available starting in August!

I’ve contacted Parfait a few times about expanding their size range… and I know I’m not the only one. It looks like Parfait has heard out pleas! While I would have loved the expansion to start with adding a few more cups sizes in the Deco-rivaling-Casey bra, D-K is quite an impressive jump from D-G and the options sound great. I don’t know if the new Charlotte bras will continue to run extremely tight in the band, but even a slightly tight Parfait 28 would be good news for the 26-band-needing crowd! (I’ll be sure to update on band tightness one I try one.) And a babydoll in a K cup? Awesome. And they are planning to expand the size ranges of other styles in coming seasons!

Charlotte Padded Bra: 28-40 D-K (Peach/Black, Red/Black, Dusty Rose, and Wild Pink (new colourway))

Charlotte Padded Bra & Bikini in Wild Pink_Parfait

Alexis Babydoll: 30-40 D-K (Ivory, Black)

Alexis Babydoll in Black_Parfait

Sophia Wire Bra: 30-40 D-K (Black, Pearl White, European Nude)Sophia Wire Bra & High Waist Brief in European Nude_Parfait

“We have heard and listened to the growing feedback from our dedicated fanbase for expanding sizing, and are so pleased to be able to meet their wishes after extensive research, development and fit testing. As a brand committed to providing full bust women worldwide the best in quality, fit and style, we couldn’t be happier to announce that expanded cup sizes are here!” –Keng Zhang, President, Parfait by Affinitas

Since I’ve been lusting after the Charlotte Padded Bra for ages, but was very sized out, as the old model ran very small in band and cups, I’ll be trying the Charlotte Padded Bra in a 30H (I’m usually a 28HH or 30GG) and my fingers are crossed that it works out. I’ll be sure to update once I’ve tried it! (And my fingers are still crossed that they come out with larger cup sizes in the Casey soon!)

Grab Bags

Sorry for the long hiatus. I had some rather large and unexpected things come up. I should (hopefully) be posting regularly again.

Over the summer, I’ve lost about 10 lbs and (with some gained in my boobs). At the moment, 28HHs are fitting relatively well.

I recently ordered a “grab bag” of 2 bras from Breakout Bras. It appears that they are not currently offering the grab bags, but it’s a pretty good deal when it’s around. You get two mystery bras (not new styles) in the size of your choice for $35. While you can’t exactly ask for specific things, they will try to honour requests for certain colours/styles/brands. I ordered a grab bag of 2 28HH bras and said that I preferred padded plunge bras (unpadded Cleo bras okay). After dealing with some issues with my shipping address, I received two Cleo bras: Lucy and Chloe.

I love Lucy (haha) and the 28HH was a perfect fit… but I’m very much not a hot-pink kind of gal. I’m hoping to sell/trade this for something a bit less hot-pink:

Chloe is gorgeous, but the fit is strange. It’s definitely a tight 28 (mostly due to the non-stretchy fabric that makes up part of the band) and, though the bottoms of the cups fit perfectly, the lace section at the top is huge on me. I have “full-on-top” breasts, so I really wasn’t expecting this:

Since the band and bottoms of the cups fit, I’m considering just altering the lace section. Plus, I prefer low-cut bras.

So I’m still sort of without well-fitting bras (with the exception of the hot-pink Lucy), but I am hoping to remedy that soon.

I’m (Mostly) Back!

I spent the past two weeks on the opposite coast and am now back… though I am currently a bit preoccupied with things like moving into my dorm and working on my thesis. :)

While I was away, I got into quite a few conversations with people about bras and bra sizing (I mean, of course I did). I quickly realized most people have no idea that UK sizing doubles D+ letters and, thus, they assume that an H cup is only a few cup sizes larger than a DD (like, DD, F, G, H). And when they hear something like GG or HH, they have no idea what it means. Given this confusion, I’ve decided to start using my US size (28L… I think) when talking to people. And no, not because it makes me sound larger, but rather because it emphasizes the fact that an L-cup isn’t comically huge.

I have more thoughts on US vs UK cup sizing and I’m working on a longer post about it. While I’m working on it, though, I’d love to know of any reasons that people prefer the UK cup sizing system. Thoughts?

C’est Parfait?

It’s time for a happy post!

A little over a week ago, I posted about my hopes to find a Deco-alternative. I had been curious about Parfait by Affinitas, but was nervous to try them out, since I couldn’t find anywhere to try them on and I’d heard that sizing was a little difficult. Chrystal of By Baby’s Rules (which is an awesome blog that you should follow, if you don’t already) left a comment offering to send me two Parfait bras (30G Casey and 32G Anna), which she had won, but which did not fit her. I took her up on the ultra-generous offer, and the two bras arrived in the mail a few days ago.

30G Casey:

Sizing: Parfait bras are all available in sizes 30-40 D-G. The sizing is a little strange for some bras, though. Parfait would do well to extend their bras to at least an H cup and down to a 28 band.

Fit: I’ve heard a lot of people say that the band and cup run tight. Oddly, the 30 band feels a bit loose for a 30 band (my ribcage is 30 inches now) and the cup seems only slightly tighter than the 30G Deco. With that in mind, I’d say the cups fit like a 30G/GG. At the moment (given my current “inflated” state), the cups are a tiny bit too small. If I jiggle back into the cup, it isn’t too noticeable. A 28H or 30GG would be great if they made it, but I’d have to buy a 32G to get a good fit in the cup… and I’d have to alter the band.

Comfort: The band is my new favourite band. It’s sturdy without causing any back flub, which is amazing. It’s probably because it’s wider than average. The fabric is also about as tense as the elastic, which helps. The straps are also comfy, but not as amazingly comfortable as the straps on the Cleo Lucy. The cups are fine, but obviously less breathable than a sheer material.

Looks: The lace is cute and the colour is rather yellowy, which is good for my skin tone (flash makes me look pink). Obviously, I’d prefer if it were paler, but I can’t expect people to cater to my ghostly skin. The cups are a little more low cut than the Deco, which I like.

Shape: The shape is very similar to the shape that the Deco gives: round and cleavage-y. It’s a bit less round, though, and center gore is much lower than the Deco, so there is more cleavage.

Overall: I’d buy this in a 32G (and take in the band), but I wish they offered a 30GG or 28H. I wore the 30G out today, though, and it was fine under clothing. Sizing aside, this might be my new favourite moulded cup bra.

32G Anna:

Sizing: Available in sizes 30-40 D-G.

Fit: Again, I’ve heard a lot about the band running tight, but this seems like a fair 32. Maybe 31? I can stretch it to 34 inches, and easily to 32. For some reason, this bra appeared to be 3 or more cup sizes too small, but I think it’s a shape issue, rather than a size issue.

Comfort: Again, I love the band construction. The 32 is probably a little bit too large for me, even though this band does run a bit tight. The straps are also very comfortable. The cups seem like they might get a bit itchy, but I didn’t have it on long enough to judge.

Looks: The Anna bra is a demi sheer-cup bra. Parfait also makes a half-padded version of this style. I’m not usually into pink, but this is cute. The tassel and lace are reminiscent of the Masquerade Persia. The strap details are a really nice touch.

Shape: Eek. I can’t say what shape it actually gives, since this one just doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t seem like a sizing problem as much as a shape problem… for this bra to work, the cup would need to be more open at the top. I love demi-cup bras, but since I’m top-heavy, they need to have open tops in order to accomodate my shape. This one just doesn’t work on me. If you’re bottom-heavy, this is probably the style for you!

the mega quad-boob:

Overall: I love demi bras, but the shape of this is just wrong for me. Since Anna doesn’t fit me, I’d like to continue the bra karma chain by giving the 32G Anna to someone who needs it. I’ll be listing it as a “giveaway” on Bratabase, but I wanted to give y’all a heads up before I do. Once it’s up, you can message me via Bratabase if you’re interested! (But seriously, if you’ve got top-heavy breasts, don’t even think about it.)

Strange, no? I was totally expecting the 32G to fit better than the 30G bra, but I guess the rumours about their strange sizing are true. I’m really glad I’ve had the chance to try on Parfait bras before guessing and ordering. Since I’m so unsure of how the different shapes fit, I think I’ll stick to Parfait’s moulded-cup styles for now. I really like Casey and wish it were available in more sizes (sub-30 bands and G+ cups!). The best news is that I’ve found a moulded cup bra that I like more than the Deco! Oh, and the prices are very reasonable ($40-$60ish) and they occasionally pop up on zulily for much cheaper ($12-19).

Thanks again to Chrystal of By Baby’s Rules!

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.