Frustrations with online shopping

I currently have about 1.5 bras that fit (mostly). For a total of 3.5, I have 2 more that don’t fit but are somewhat wearable. But, for the most part, I have a pile of bras that really, really don’t fit. Admittedly, I do keep a handful of sizes around, because my size does fluctuate. And of course, I’ve grown out of some of them… but I also have a bunch bras that I have never worn and never intend to wear sitting around and gathering dust. Why? Because I have to buy online.

When I buy online, I take a huge risk. Even if it’s a style I’ve tried before, a different colour dye or batch of elastic could cause it to fit quite differently. And what if the brand suddenly decided to change the construction or materials? And for styles and brands I’ve never tried before, it’s almost a complete shot in the dark. Often, if I hear tell that a bra runs large and order the smaller size, it ends up being too small… and vice versa. Bratabase is helpful, but only to an extent. I just can’t know how something will fit until I actually try it on.

But I can’t try things on… and so I justify each online (often non-returnable) purchase with something along the lines of “oh, if it doesn’t work, I can just resell it”. But it’s never that simple. In the past 3 years, I’ve swapped or resold about 15 of my ill-fitting bras… which is maybe half of the bras I’ve purchased that didn’t work out. I tend to buy my bras rather cheaply (average ~$30), but 30 “cheap” bras really adds up. Oh, and when bras are that far below retail price, they aren’t usually returnable. So I have a nice pile of unworn (but beautiful) bras. They aren’t fun to lug around each time I move, but I do so in hopes that I’ll eventually sell them or swap them for something that will fit me.

Often, I think I’d love it if brick-and-mortar shops would carry things in my size (if somewhere in MA starts stocking Comexim, I will be ecstatic). But, realistically, I can’t bring myself to pay full in-store prices, and things are much cheaper online. And that certainly doesn’t encourage store owners to stock things in my size. As much as I’d love to support my local businesses and encourage retailers to stock more sizes, I simply can’t afford to do so. And if you wear a one of the ten or so sizes commonly carried in stores, you can totally get away with trying things on and then bargain-hunting online, so it’s a little (okay a lot) frustrating that wearing a less common size means that you have to either shell out a lot of money for a bra or pray that your online order works out.

The moral of the story: If you can afford to buy DD+ bras in store, please do! If you can’t… well, join me in feeling frustrated and somewhat guilty.

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!)

Things I’d like to buy when I have money…

The “when I have money” part is important, since I’m a very, very broke college student, with plans to continue my studies in graduate school. So I might be broke for a while.

And (of course) being a broke college student, I do a lot of online window shopping (tab shopping, perhaps?). And sometimes a thing stays on my “I want this” list for a really long time, which, I think, means that I should eventually buy them. And this has been a crazy final semester, so maybe I can find an excuse to treat myself to clothing that fits? Here are a few things that I’ve wanted to buy for a really long time now:

Urkye blouse:

Urkyerohe

I’ve been looking for a blouse for ages. Truth be told, I don’t actually have anything events that would require me to wear a blouse, but I think the very fact that I have never been able to fit into a blouse (and had to wear them as part of my middle-high school uniform) makes me want to find one that fits me. The construction looks wonderful and the shape is perfect. Also, the style of the shirt is quite professional. I’d probably go for it in black, but a white blouse could come in handy and the blue is really pretty. I’ve been holding off, though, because I’m worried about sizing and ordering from a different country complicates things.

Comexim bra(s):

nadin

Really, there are a bunch that look nice. And I want some Polish bras, because the narrow/deep cup just fits my shape a lot better than the wide/shallow cups that most UK bras have. And all of the options are really beautiful. I’m just tentative, because I’m unsure of my size. I tried a used 60L, which I thought fit like a very snug 28J (though someone else thought was more of a 30H). I think I’d try a 65J? But I’m really not sure.

Ewa Michalak bra(s):

kobalt

Again, I’ve wanted a lot of these bras for a while, but I’m scared off by the sizing and ordering from another country. It’s a big commitment. I’m also not sure which style I want to buy. I tried a used 32G HP Kobalt and am thinking that a 30GG might be a better fit… but then I’ve also heard that the PL bras run small in the cup, so I have no idea. But I have a 100 zl voucher to spend, so this is definitely on my list of things to try VERY soon.

Clearly, the common theme here is that I’m worried about buying something from Poland when it’s really unclear what size I should wear… which is why I really love reading reviews of items. :) Hopefully, I’ll be able to purchase and review some of these things soon!

Bra alterations: sleep bra from a Parfait Casey

When my old (very, very used) 30G Casey first popped an underwire, I tried to fix it. It held up for a few more wears, but the wire popped out again. While the Casey is one of my favourite bras, the 30G had always been a bit too small in the cup and, after a few sad attempts to fix it, I figured I’d just give up on it and maybe use it for parts (I do occasionally sew). As I was cutting out the underwires to use in another project, though, I was inspired to try the bra on sans-wires.

wireless front 2

wireless front 1

wireless side 1

wireless side 2

While it didn’t give much lift without the wires, it was incredibly comfortable and the moulded cups left it with enough support to be useful. Excited by the idea of a 30G wireless bra, I sewed the underwire channels closed and took it for a “test-drive” the next day. While I did manage to wear it for the entire day, I think it’s much better suited as a sleep/lounge bra.

The cups were too small to begin with, and, without the wires, the gore sits even farther away from my sternum…

wireless gore

…but, for a sleep bra, it’s not a huge issue.

I’ve been wearing the bra to bed and while hunching over my computer to write papers, and I’m quite amazed by how comfortable it is. Going braless has always taken a toll on my back, but wearing underwires all the time is really uncomfortable. This seems to solve the problem quite well. So while I’d probably  never buy a wire-less bra (money is tight), this is a great way to get some extra mileage out of old bras after the underwires break/pop out/etc!

Deadly Dames Film Noir Dress!

So I’ve had my eye on this dress from Pin Up Girl Clothing for a while now… the Deadly Dames Film Noir dress in rusty rose:

noir

By a while, I mean well over a year. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’re probably already aware that, as a starving college student, I am quite thrifty… and, thus, tend to do more window shopping than actual shopping. But I needed a dress for my thesis performance and had been in love with this dress for a long time, so when infamous Black Friday came around and a 35% off coupon presented itself to me, I started thinking about it again. Amazingly (because almost never happens), my mother was willing to buy it for me.

According to the size chart, I should need a small in the waist and a large in the top. I considered a medium, but the website advised: “if you are between sizes we suggest that you order down if you desire a more snug fit like in the photos. We also suggest wearing like colored undergarments with this dress.” After buying the dress in a small, I found a bunch of photos/reviews on Pinup Girl Style and was a bit nervous to note that most the people who looked about my size had ordered the dress in either medium or large. But the deed was done and, I figured, the worse case scenario was that I would have to exchange it for another size. Plus, I have been losing weight and would rather have a dress that is slightly snug than one that I would hope to be too small for soon.

The dress shipped quite quickly and, upon opening the package, I was immediately struck by the quality of the velvet. THIS IS THE SOFTEST VELVET DRESS THAT I HAVE EVER FELT. I was worried that the velvet would be iffy-quality (part of my reason for choosing a light colour- cheap velvets are worse in dark colours), but it’s wonderful and I would seriously consider buying this in black or emerald (though I wish they had a burgundy or plum colour). Basically, I’m a huge fan of velvet dresses and would gladly fill my closet with them.

I did notice that the dress was tiny and I was worried that it would be way too small. But, lo and behold, the stretch velvet is quite stretchy. The small fit wonderfully. I wanted a snug dress (like in the photos) and I’m glad that I went for the small instead of a medium or large.

My crappy mac photobooth pictures don’t do the colour (or texture) justice, but here’s how it fits:

noir front 4noir front 3noir side 2noir side 1noir top 3noir top 1noir top 2

The weirdness of the lighting and the angle at which I took these made my cleavage invisible, but I assure you, it was there. but the magic of this dress is that, due to its stretchiness and mostly-unattached cowl, you can choose how much cleavage you want to show.

NB: The actual colour is somewhere in the triangle between the stock photo, my too-much-light-photo at the end, and my darker photos.

I guess I like garter belts…

It’s probably abundantly clear that, as a starving college student, I tend to be quite frugal. I had a pair of tights that I loved  to death. While the legs were mostly intact (or at least fixable), the waistband/crotch was made of a more delicate (nylons-ish) material and had become utterly shredded. Unwilling to part with my beloved tights without at least putting up a fight, I grabbed a pair of scissors and decided to make stockings. The experiment went well.

But after doing this, I realized that I didn’t actually own a garter belt. (If you give a mouse a cookie…) I decided to try to make one and started searching for the non-fabric parts. As I was searching for the non-fabric parts, I found a really cheap ($4.99) and pretty lace garter belt on eBay and decided to give it a shot (I also bought a cheap and ugly beige garter belt so I could use the parts to make something prettier). I figured that the cost of the garter belt would be worth the amount I would be saving in not having to buy new tights all the time.

Now I’ve had some weird experiences buying the one-size fits all clothing items from China via eBay. They always, always look lovely in pictures… and then nothing at all like that in real life. I didn’t have the highest hopes for the $4.99 lace garter belt, but figured that I could at least use the parts.

eBay pic:

When it arrived in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised with how much it looked like the pictures. The waist is non-adjustable, but quite stretchy. I took the picture with it high on my waist, but it does end up settling a few inches lower.

It took me a while to figure out how to get the clasps to actually hold the stockings (mine are thicker than normal, since they were super-thick tights), but once I did, I was excited about the fit.  Sooooo much more comfortable than tights, which feel really strange in the waist/crotch. I may even end up wearing garter/stockings more frequently than tights…

Oh, and I also might really like the way it looks… particularly with my Masquerade Tiffany set.  :)

So yeah, I intend to convert a few more pairs of destroyed tights to stockings and make/buy at least one more garter belt.

 

Closet Cleaning…

I’ve had a few major changes in my life in the past few months and, in the craziness, I’ve realized that the amount of stuff that I have is really weighing me down.

You might assume that, as a broke college student, I wouldn’t have so much stuff… but actually, being broke is the main reason why I hoard. Growing up, my family was poor, so I got used to wanting things and not getting them. So when I did get a thing, it was a big deal… and I clung to my things as though I’d never have a “thing” again. My family’s situation improved and I got more things… but I couldn’t quite shake the mentality of “you must keep every thing because you might never get a thing again!”. This seems to be a fairly common problem for people who grew up in similar situations.

Anyway, with all of the changes in my life, I decided to start making active and positive changes. One of those changes has been to get rid of all of my “things” that I can’t use anymore. Like books that I’m not going to read again… and clothes. I have incredible amounts of clothing that hasn’t fit me since 8th or 9th grade (I’m a senior in college now)… and incredible amounts of clothing that never quite fit me (damn boobs). I had considered purging my closet, but the very thought of it terrified me. But a few weeks ago, I finally sorted through my clothes and decided to get rid of roughly 1/3 of my clothing. I gave about half of it to a friend and am planning to consign the rest of it (since I do need money to buy clothing that actually fits me).

And I am so glad that I did. I had been clinging to all of that stuff for years… and it was weighing me down.