Parfait Fiona and Full-filled “mystery bra”

So neither bra turned out to be wearable. The 34G Parfait Fiona was too big in the cups (and, obviously, way too big in the band). The 28HH “mystery bra” technically fits well, but the cups sit too low and slide down my boobs… causing empty bottom cups and quad-boob. Sigh. So I can’t really do full reviews of either, but here are some thoughts:

Parfait Fiona (34G)

Fit: Everyone seems to think that Parfait bras run tight in the band. This one might have fit like a 32… but even on the tightest hooks, it was moving everywhere. Anyway, I thought the cups would fit since, theoretically, a 34G is the same as a 28HH. The cups, however, were a bit large. It’s hard to tell, though, since it would have sat differently with a well-fitting band. I tend to fit between a 28HH and a 28H, so I don’t think the cups were that far off.

Comfort: Not as comfortable as the Parfait Casey, but more comfortable than, say the Freya Deco.  The fabric was a little itchy, but the band seems to be the same soft band as the Casey.

Looks: It’s a gorgeous teal-ish blue satin… with black lace. Lovely.

Shape: Hard to tell, since the fit was so off. My guess, though, is that it wouldn’t have been as rounded as I would have liked.

Overall: A 32G (with an altered band) might have worked, but I don’t love it quite enough to buy another new bra just to alter it. It’s quite pretty, though.

Full-filled “mystery bra” (28HH)

Fit: The band seemed like a pretty standard 28. Tighter than a padded Curvy Kate 28, but looser than a 28 Cleo Chloe. The cups also seem to fit, but, due to the shape of the bra, they slide down my boobs, causing both empty lower cups and quad-boob… not a pretty sight.

Comfort: The bra seems pretty poorly made. The fabric is scratchy and the bra arrived with loose threads and some pulls in the material (hint: most of the things that look like wrinkles are actually pulls in the fabric). Cheap materials + poor construction = not very comfortable.

Looks: Eek. But, honestly, if it fit, I really wouldn’t care.

Shape: If the cups stayed up, it would be decent. It flattens me more than I’d like (ie: pushes my breasts up and back, rather than up and out), but it would work well as a T-shirt bra.

Overall: The shape is just all sorts of wrong for me. I wish it worked. And, honestly, it works well enough to serve as evidence that H+ MOULDED CUP BRAS ARE POSSIBLE!!!

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?

Brief update

No, this isn’t an update regarding panties… but it does involve bras.

My ribcage is now 28.5 inches. The number on the scale is exactly the same, but I’ve lost an inch from almost everything except my boobs. I think I need a 28HH now, so I plan to alter all of my well-worn (ie: unsellable) bra bands and to sell all of my like-new 30 band bras.

I want to order new bras, but my size is changing so rapidly that I fear I’d be a different size by the time they arrive!

Curveturiere: a new US D+ lingerie brand!

While checking out Butterfly Collection’s facebook page, I saw a post about a new US D+ lingerie brand: Curveturiere Intimates. As you may have noticed by now, few bra-related things get me as excited as hearing about progress in the US bra industry… so I decided to investigate a bit:

Their first collection, available in August, will include sizes 32/50 D-K (UK D-H) Now, if you’re used to buying UK bras, this doesn’t sound all that impressive… but for a US company, this size range is (I believe) unprecedented. Most “full bust” companies offer up to an F or G cup (UK E and FF). There are a few larger cups available, but it’s almost impossible to find them. Though US bands run slightly tighter than UK bands, I would still advise adding no more than 2 inches to your underbust. I haven’t yet had the chance to try out these bras, but I’d guess that the effective size range is 30-48.

Since most women who wear an XS (or even S) in panties probably wear a 26-30 band, I decided to email the company and ask whether they were considering smaller band sizes. As it turns out, I was not the first to ask. They are indeed considering smaller band sizes (28 and 30) and might introduce them even as soon as their Autumn/Winter collection, if the see a high demand. If you need smaller band size, contact them and let them know!

I was invited to their preview in NYC, but, alas, I will be on the other coast that week! I did, however, have the opportunity to speak with Mary Pifko and Kelly Moore on the phone and to hear a little more about the company.

Their story: Mary and Kelly both have many years of experience in the lingerie industry and met while working for the Home Shopping Network. Both women wear a US F cup and, with their experience in the lingerie industry, it became glaringly obvious that US D+ bras were just… ugly. Fed up with the lack of colour and style options, they decided to start a company that made lingerie that they would actually wear.

When I asked them what US brands inspired them, they couldn’t think of one (yes, the US bra scene is that bad). They did, however, tell me that they loved the way that Curvy Kate uses fashions colours. Though their products are meant to appeal to a slightly older customer base, they believe that D+ lingerie can and should be fashionable. Having a large bust doesn’t mean that you aren’t fashionable and feminine and Curveturiere makes bras that are practical and pretty. In their own words, they “aren’t reinventing the wheel”, but they are certainly revolutionizing the US D+ bra scene.

The products: Curveturiere Intimates aims to provide bras for the whole wardrobe. The first collection introduces 2 sleepwear pieces, 4 panties, and 8 bras. Some of their bra styles include: strapless, wire-free, moulded-cup, and a cami-bra.

Sizes: The first collection includes sizes 32-50 D-K (UK D-H), but they are considering adding more sizes. Though their moulded cup bra is currently only available up to an H cup, they are working with their suppliers to get larger sizes.

Oh, and the pricing? They aim to keep everything under $70, which is more good news.

Here’s a taste of what they have to offer:

This D+ strapless bra is more than just a feat of engineering… it’s also pretty!

Animal print isn’t usually my thing, but this is certainly an exception. The retro-vibe is great!

The mint-cobalt bra is definitely my favourite- the colour combination is unique and refreshing.

I’m really excited about what Curveturiere Intimates is doing for the US D+ bra scene. Again, if you need a smaller band, I would urge you to let them know. You can find more images and information on their facebook page.

Weight Loss

I lost a few (4) pounds over the past week (rather unexpectedly) and my underbust now measures 29.5 inches (down from 30.5 a week ago). My 32 bands really need alteration now… and even new 30 bands are starting to fit better on the middle hook. I’m planning on altering things, but I might wait a bit longer, since I could very well lose more weight from my ribcage in the next few weeks. My boobs are still semi-inflated (womp womp), but will hopefully shrink at least a tiny bit!

Normally, losing 4 lbs in a week is something to worry about, since it’s a lot of weight to lose in such a short amount of time. And it’s unexpected, because I’ve been eating a LOT (well, a lot for me… probably about 1,500 calories/day). To put this in perspective, prior to going on thyroid medication, I’d gain weight if I ate more than 900 calories/day. At my weight and activity level, I should be losing weight if I am eating less than 2,200 calories/day… but I’m just not used to my body working normally! It’s really nice to be able to lose weight like a normal person!

The weight loss is probably due to a combination of factors:

  • walking about 5 (hilly) miles a day
  • better selection of groceries (just moved back to college), more low GI foods
  • the changes in my thyroid medication starting to take effect (FYI: it’s a super-low dose… 35 mcg of Tirosint/day)

The other interesting thing is that I’ve been eating mostly carbs. I’m getting enough protein (there’s more than you’d guess in most vegetables and even bread is a great source) and the high-carb diet has also stopped the terrifying low blood sugars that I’ve always had problems with. The most important thing is that they are complex carbs. I’m eating boatloads (okay, not literal boatloads) of radishes, greens, fresh figs, sourdough bread, etc. Because they are more slowly absorbed, my blood sugar is staying at a good place all day. Some people’s bodies do well on a low-carb diet… and other people’s bodies don’t. What matters is that you eat what’s right for your body.

I’m cautiously happy about the weight loss, but am going to be extra-careful not to eat too little while exercising this much. One complication is that I still have no appetite. It’s not difficult for me to simply forget to eat… and when I do remember to eat, I have to force myself to eat more than I want to. To combat this, I’ve been trying to eat more calorie-dense foods (chocolate, avocado, olives, cheese, etc). My fingers are crossed, hoping that the weight loss continues slowly and safely.

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/