Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Curvy ASSumptions

What assumptions pop in your head when you see this actress?

What about when you see her here?

If you don't know who that is, it's the lovely Melissa Rauch from The Big Bang Theory.  What I LOVE about her character is that she's a busty blonde who's smart.  She plays a microbiologist who's the bread winner in her family. It's nice to see someone breaking the stereotype instead of having her appear as a cheerleader or ditsy.

Problem is that many haven't moved passed the stereotypes and ASSumptions associated with having curves.  Don't believe me?  Just read this article.  I'll be honest and say I couldn't make it very far into it because I feel pretty sick reading the stupidity from that author.  However, I think it's important to deal with the most common Curvy ASSumptions:

1. Large Breasts are Fake

Nope.  Mine are 100% real.  Actually, I've even thought about getting a breast reduction in the past.  My mom has had one and when I was younger I used to think that was what I'd do after I was done having kids.  My mind has changed a lot since then but I guarantee you that many, MANY women have naturally large breasts.  Actually, mine have gotten larger after pregnancy/nursing.

If anything, I'd wager that due to the number of overweight/obese women around the world that breast sizes have increased.  Certainly, not all women with large breasts are overweight (I'm only 9lbs away from a healthy weight at this point and I can promise you that those 9lbs aren't going to magically turn me from a 28HH into a 28C) but, in general, weight gain has to go somewhere and often it goes at least partially to your breasts.

2. Women with Large Breasts are Easy

Um.. no.  Sure, some may be just as some small breasted women are easy too.  But large breasts don't magically change something in our brain chemistry that makes us want to have sex with random strangers.  Actually, many of us large breasted women are happily married in monogamous relationships.   I promise you we're not all strippers. 

If you make this ASSumption, I've got to ASSume you're probably an idiot. 

3. Women with Large Breasts are Stupid

I have a Ph.D thank-you-very-much.  I also know a number of large-breasted women in my field of research and there is absolutely NO correlation whatsoever with intelligence.  That's one reason why I love  Melissa Rauch's character from The Big Bang Theory.  Up until this point in the show there has been absolutely NO reference whatsoever to her chest size.  She's treated like any other scientist, which is simply awesome. ;) 

4. Breasts are for Men to Oggle

Nope.  We do have faces you know?  I always enjoy Darlene's ideas on getting men's eyes off of our  chests.  Tights, and ideas on getting eye contact. Butterfly Collection and FullerFigureFullerBust have also had some good posts lately regarding cleavage.

Also, believe it or not but in the biological sense breasts are made for nursing our children (I should know after doing just that for 2 years!).  If anything I'd say that the sexualization of breasts has harmed breastfeeding efforts among women because some women are ashamed to nurse in public and/or seek out help even when they DO want to nurse.  

Don't get me wrong.  I don't have a problem with breasts being used for sex.  BUT that's not their only purpose in life and I think it's important to acknowledge that.   I've heard of women who choose not to breastfeed because they're worried that it'll affect the appearance of their breasts.  In reality pregnancy is already going to do that to you and I really do think it's a shame to avoid something that is good for both mother and child simply for vanity reasons.  Just to be clear, I'm NOT  criticizing moms who have to use formula.  I know there are a lot of valid reasons for that, but it bugs to me to no end that the sexualization of breasts can cause women not to nurse.

Also, some women with large breasts are not interested in men at all.  And I'd be willing to wager that most (regardless of sexual orientation) don't want some creep staring at them just because of the size of their mammary glands.

5. Large Breasted Women Purposely Show off their Chests

Of course, some women DO show off their chests.  Those women may have large OR small breasts.  Those breasts might be perky or they might belong to a grandma.

BUT some of us just seriously have a hard time finding clothes!  Either shirts are too big and make us look about 30lbs heavier than we really are OR we have strained buttons, empire waists that cut across our breasts and cleavage that goes on for a mile. 

Just think about Christina Hendrick's problems finding dresses. She's an A-list actress who designers refuse to make dresses for.  How are us everyday ladies supposed to find anything?

I count myself extraordinarily lucky because I know of clothing brands that cater to busty gals but I'd say that the vast majority of curvy women don't know about those brands and are still wearing the wrong bra size (if you are one of them check out my Resources and Finding Bras that Fit pages).

6. Large Breasted Women Enjoy All the Attention

 No.  No. NO.  Many of us have some MAJOR body image issues after years of struggling to find clothes/bras that fit, being told that we're fat when we're not, and having men stare at us while women jeer.  Do you think we actually like that?

Most of us just want to be treated like a normal human being, being judged on our merits, NOT our looks.  Actually, that's a big reason why I don't reveal my identity on this blog.  It's certainly not that I'm embarrassed by it or about my body.  But rather I don't want my coworkers to judge me based on my blog.  I want to be judged simply on my merits at work. 

How many times have you seen a gorgeous women dress in super baggy clothes to hide her body?  It definitely happens.  There's actually a book: The Astonishing Adventure of Fanboy and Goth Girl

wherein one of the main characters always wears extremely baggy clothes to hide her shape.  It's not 100% central to the main plot of the book but it's there and definitely something that I could relate to remembering my teen years.

7. Large Breasted Women are Plus-sized/Fat/Weak

I can't tell you how much I hate this one.  You can be curvy and plus-sized, straight and plus-sized, thin and curvy or thin and straight and there's also a whole lot in between!  I'm 9lbs from a healthy weight and still need a 28HH/28J bra size and curve id pants.  I have a feeling that's not going away in 9lbs.  I also do some serious strength training and have well defined muscles on my back, shoulders, arms, and legs.  I'm strong AND curvy!

It bugs me to no end when I hear women say "I don't want to exercise/lose weight because I'll lose my curves".  You might actually find that you get curvier with weight loss!! Now, I have no problem with a women saying "I don't want/need to lose weight because I like my body the way it is".  That's ok.  I'd actually argue that learning to love yourself for who you are with all your positive traits and flaws is extremely important. 

I DON'T think choosing not to exercise because you're worried that you're going to turn into She-man is remotely a valid choice.  Health comes before vanity every day in my book (ok, obviously there are some caveats and you have to consider the statistic chance of certain things but I think you can understand my basic point here).  Actually, I'm going to tell you that you WON'T turn into she-man due to exercise either.  You can look at any of my latest progress photos to see that someone who swims 3x per week, does heavy lifting 1x per week (and has been lifting heavy for about a year now), has a naturally large frame, and a muscular build doesn't look like she-man! Mostly, I just look like a shrunken version of myself. ;)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Underbust Survey Update

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Thanks so much to everyone who has responded and if you haven't yet please take a minute of your time and fill out the Underbust Survey.  I didn't realize how many wonderful ladies who'd fill out my survey would be under 5 feet tall so I have now changed the survey to include lower heights and also smaller underbusts (because it seems that many respondents also had 24" underbusts or smaller).  If you are one of those ladies I'd appreciate it if you could fill out the survey again (I can replace your previous data). 

Thanks again for all the responses!!!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

165: 10lbs away from a healthy weight!

First off... if you haven't yet filled out the Underbust Survey, get at it!!!! 

Today the scale finally showed 165lbs, a weight that I've been waiting for for awhile now.  It makes the point where I only have 10lbs left until reaching a healthy weight.  It's strange to realize how far I've come and that I really don't have much father to go. You can read about my weight loss journey here.

Also as of this point I'm 75% done with my journey (assuming I decide to go all the way down to 140lbs).

Ok, now for the progress pictures...

As for my stats:

Bust: 40"
Underbust: 29"
Waist: 31"
Belly Button: 33"
High Hip: ~36" (still varies a lot)
Hips: 39-40"
Thighs: 24"
Upper Arms: 13"
Calves: 13"
Clothing size: 6-8

10 or 25lbs left?  

I'm still not sure where I'm going to end up.  It's hard for me to imagine what the next 10-25lbs will bring so what I did was compared a 20lb loss (see the above progress pictures) vs. a 10lbs (see the progress pictures below)

I have to say looking at the pictures it's hard for me to see the difference for the 10lb loss. However for the 20lb loss I can see a pretty dramatic difference. 

Unfortunately, I can't find my measurements at 185lbs but the loss in inches from 175lbs is as follows:

Underbust: -2"
Waist: -1"
Belly Button: -2"
High Hip: ~ -1.5"
Hips: ~ -2"
Thigh: -1"
Calf: -2"
Upper Arm: -1"

At this point I'm pretty happy with my legs.  My waist is still larger than I'd like and my arms still seem to be larger proportionally than the rest of me (because tops will fit everywhere except in the upper arms).  My dream would be to end up as a 28G but since I appear to be losing in the underbust at the moment I have a feeling that's not going to happen.

It seems like I'm getting close to goal but I'm still not sure what that goal is going to be. ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Underbust Survey (please read!)

With everything going on with the latest War Against Plus-4 Campaign (see here, here, here here, and here), I thought it would be a good idea to actually figure how what band size women need compared to what stores are trying to force us into.  Thus, I have created the Underbust Survey.  For the next month I'm asking women to fill out the survey (only the first 5 questions are required so it'll only take a minute of your time!!) so that we can actually point to some number for bra companies, wouldn't that be great?

Please take some time to fill out my survey and pass it on to all your friends so they can fill it out too!!! The more women who does this the better statistics we'll have to show to companies what sizes women need!

If you have any questions/suggestions PLEASE let me know.  Also, I'll be keeping the survey open even after March 2012 but I'll be posting about it at the beginning of the month.

Oh, and if you're another Lingerie blogger, please pass the link on to your readers too!!!

UPDATE: I want to add that these results are 100% anonymous.  I can't see where you're from, who is doing the survey etc.  I don't even ask for an email address. 

Also, I changed the height into just inches instead of feet+inches because it's easier for me to make graphs that way. :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Heading into 28 Band territory

For some days now my underbust has been measuring 29".  I've also noticed that my Freya Antoinette (30GG) is getting pretty loose in the back (surprising since it's still somewhat too small in the cups and has been too tight to wear up until now) and my CH Onyx (70HH originally) was taken in 4cm and is still riding up in the back.  Sigh...

Lately I've found myself perusing the option over at Brastop, Figleaves, Ewa Michalak, and Bravissimo in 28HH.  The options are pretty sparse for a Freya/Fantasie girl! Thankfully, Ewa Michalak bras are always an option but I'm guessing I'll need to get 60's there, which means lots of special orders, and long wait times, something I can't do until I get to my goal weight.  Unfortunately, they also don't have sports bras, which is going to make things tricky. Getting into the 28's with a cup size of HH (plus or minus) means that I'm pretty much out of luck with a lot of the Freya/Fantasie bras that I've been lusting over.

I have been looking a lot at the Bravissimo brand bras and after reading this review, I'm thinking that might be my next purchase.  Especially because they still have a wide variety of bras in 28 brands, and they have lounge wear!!!  The prices are, unfortunately, a lot more than what I'd pay at Brastop BUT the shipping costs are less, which would make up the difference.  Some that I'm currently drooling over:
Moulin Rose Bra: Only goes up to 28HH
Rococo Charm Bra: Only goes up to 28HH
Lola Luxe Basque: Goes up to 28J

Sherbet Stripe Bra: Still has 28HH in stock but no 28J's available

Normally, I keep my eye on ebay.uk but the 28HH offerings are pretty much filled with Curvy Kate and Panache bras and I really do need narrow wires.

Now it's a matter of figuring out my size.  My first attempt will probably be ordering 28HH's with one or two in 28H and 28J.  However, if you look at my captions above that will be easier said than done because 28J's and above aren't always available, hmrph!

Unfortunately, this can't happen right now because money's tight for the next month or two, but one can dream, right?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Playtex handing out horrendous bra fitting info!!!

1 comment:
Check out the latest post on Busts 4 Justice.  Long story short they're telling customers to add 6 inches to their bust size to get their band size.  6 inches!?!?!??!  What the hell! I hope all my dear readers know that your underbust measurement (measured tightly!!)=your band size and then you work on finding the appropriate cup size from there (check out my resources page for further help if you need it).

Now get out and contact Playtex about this insanity!!!!

If you need some proof... my Freya size is about 30H and in Ewa Michalak it's probably something like 65HH/H, according to playtex I should be wearing a 34DDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Buying Bras (and sports bras and swimsuits) while Losing Weight

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Losing weight in and of itself is tricky enough.  It can be an emotional roller coaster at the best of times.  But  just ti add to the fun, it can also take a rather large toll on your pocketbook when it comes to buying clothes and bras that fit.  Many women get so excited with dropping a clothing side that they forget about the basis of the wardrobe... their bras!  Especially if a woman has a large bust and bras are tricky (and expensive!) to find in her size she might put off the process even longer.  Going from being a nursing mom that weighed 240lbs to a non-nursing mom who currently weights 168lbs, I've gone through A LOT of bras (and clothing!) sizes on a pretty strict budget.  I've learned a lot along the way and am posting it here in case this helps anyone else. :)

My Official Comments about buying bras along the way...

- If you buy anything new at all during your weight loss journey BUY WELL-FITTING BRAS  (if you don't know how to be properly fitted please check out my Fitting Page!!!!).  I'm not kidding. Put aside those skinny jeans that you've been drooling over until you hit goal and buy a well fitting bra.  You just need one and, yeah, it might get you through only a month or two but TRUST ME you're going to look way better in your baggy shirts with a well-fitting bra then in well-fitting shirts with a too big bra!

Plus, when it comes to clothes there are a lot of simple alterations you can do at home to make them last longer AND definitely check out used clothing stores too, I've found some great finds!  But that's a post for another day. If you still don't believe me see below...

 Me in a well-fitting bra, too baggy shirt (see how baggy it is..)

Even though this shirt is too big I was able to make a simple alteration to bring in the waist (post still to come...) with just a needle and thread.

- Shop sales.  Brastop is great for this (especially when they occasionally have free international shipping!).  Also check out ebay UK (normally cheaper than USA) and many of the vendors there sell internationally.

- Look for places with FAST shipping.  I love, love, LOVE Ewa Michalak bras but I've learned that unless the bra is premade it can take up to a month from ordering to when I get my beloved package in the mail.  That month can sometimes mean a band/cup size that has gone down.  So, if you're going with an Ewa Michalak bra get one that's ready for automatic shipping!!!

- Get boring practical bras.  I love red lacy bras with the best of them but you NEED a basic everyday bra first before getting something sexy.  I know, I know, that Freya bra has your eye and it's just so PRETTY.  Well, use it as motivation for once you hit your goal, but don't spend $$ on it now.  Instead pick up nude T-shirt bra that can be worn underneath everything or if it's hot in the summer pick up a multi-way bra.  Think practical for the time being.

- Order a lot of bras at once in multiple sizes.  I know,  I know, it's expensive!!! But in reality you need to try on a variety of shapes/sizes especially when you're losing weight.  Then return the too big ones.  If you're close to your goal you may decide to hold on to some of the too small ones for the future but keep the tags on because you can always resell them on ebay if not.

- Buy sister sizes.  It's always better to buy something too small in the band that you can use an extender with for a short period of time than something too big.  So if you have the cups right, why not buy down a band size?

- Just suck it up and wear the same bra everyday.  Yeah, it gets boring, yeah, it stretches out faster but in reality at this point I'm going through about a bra/month or two.  After that I need a smaller size anyways so it doesn't make sense to buy a ton at one time.  When I wash my bra I just wear my sports bra for that day while it dries.

- If you've lost A LOT of weight, you might find more luck with padded/moulded cup bras, especially if you're dealing with a lot of loose skin. It'll give you better shape and uplift.  

- Buy bras with more hooks.  If you can find bras with more rows of hooks, all the better! They'll last you longer as long as you make sure to buy the bra fitting on the loosest hook (should do that anyways!!!).

- Know your measurements and measure often.  Measurements can change overnight so keep a measuring tape at home and check your bras often to see if they still fit.  Don't be afraid to adjust what hooks you're using if need be.

- Check out bratabase.  See what bras fit in your size and put in the measurements for bras that you've tried (even if they don't work!) to help others like you. 

- Consider your breast shape.  Have you had kids?  How much have you lost?  If you haven't had kids yet and haven't lost much you might have fuller breasts so something like Panache/Curvy Kate might work better for you.  If you do have narrow, longer breasts (many times a results for pregnancy, weight fluctuations, nursing etc) then check out Freya, Fantasie, and Ewa Michalak. As for other brands, I just don't have experience with them so go on bratabase to check.

- Buy seamed bras.  I'll explain in the un-official section below...

My UN-Official Comments about buying (er.. altering) bras along the way...

- Check out how to alter bras.  Basically, seamed cups are going to be the easiest for that.  Also, extenders can be you friend when it comes to getting a bra to last longer.  It's not always pretty but they can help.

- Soft cup bras are easier to alter.  I'd love to only use soft-cup bras for sleep but in reality my Frankenbra was a soft cup and it lasted me so long because soft cups have much more give when it comes to cup size.  It's not pretty but a decent soft cup bra can last  you a lot longer through multiple alterations if need be.  I'M NOT SUGGESTING THIS FOR LONG TERM USE, though.  Just if you really have absolutely no money and need a bra to last you for awhile during weight loss.  

Sports bras

The other major challenge I ran into when trying to lose weight, was how in the world would I find a sports bra that was supportive enough?  I've heard of a number of large breasted women who refuse to exercise at all at higher weights because of the pain they endured.  However, I'm WAY too impatient of a person for that.  My solution?  I did the double bra approach.  I would put on a Shock Absorber sports bra with an underwire moulded cup bra from Lane Bryant (typically one in a cup size too small so it was tighter).  It worked but it's not something I'd recommend unless you're really desperate.

There are a lot of good underwire sports bras on the market now-a-days that's it's definitely worth the effort to find one that works for you. I eventually discovered the Freya Active and haven't looked back since.  I'd definitely suggest buying a GOOD sports bra if you can.  Actually, maybe even before buying a good everyday bra... You're going to save yourself a lot of pain in the process!!!

DON'T EVEN BOTHER BUYING SPORTS BRAS THAT AREN'T IN DON'T COME IN BACK+CUP SIZES, THEY SUCK.  They have zero support and are not going to be comfortable for your breasts.   If a sports bra is sized in S, M, L etc go running and screaming for the hills!!!

Also, definitely check out Invest in Your Chest's review of sports bras for large breasted women!!!!!! 

Like I said above, though, soft cup sports bras can also last a bit longer when it comes to wear.  They're easier to squeeze into when the cups are slightly too small and even when the cups get too big bringing in the band can help.  Again, not the best approach but it'll help when you're in a pinch. 


- Buy two pieces. It's significantly easier to alter a two-piece than a one-piece.  Also if you shrink out of one you don't have to replace the entire thing.  A bottom that is too big in the waist, well, all you have to do is put a dart in back and cut off the excess.  As for tops you can follow my rules for alterations.

- Don't buy halter tops for exercise.  I know, I know, they have more give and will last longer because you can adjust the cup sizes a bit so they're fine if you're not swimming for exercise BUT they can be a huge pain if you are exercising.  They can come untied if you're doing too much vigorous exercise (ask me how i know!) and they can pull at your neck too if they're tied tightly.  They might look cute but save them for lounging around the pool, not for exercise.

- Always buy according to your bra size.  I don't care how cute the suit is, you need the support.  Plus it makes a world of difference when it comes to looks, just see here if you don't believe me.

- Like with bras, check for sales and be creative.  I posted here about buying two bikini bottoms from old navy and having them sewed together to get a high-waisted bottom that matched my top.

- Don't buy plunges, don't buy strapless, don't buy string.  Again, if you're losing weight and on a budget you want functional.  Functional CAN be pretty if you look around enough but unsupportive is not going to be pretty and you're at a big risk for a wardrobe malfunction while exercising.

- Don't forget buoyancy!  You don't want too big cups (or even slightly big cups!) when you're in the water because a combination of the material stretching while in the water and buoyant breasts is NOT a good combinations.  So if in doubt go down a cup size.

- Buy hooks if possible.  Most swimsuits/bikini tops come with a plastic latch sort of thing.  I'm not the biggest fan and you can run into problems because it's not adjustable.  However, if on a rare occasion you find a top with hooks, buy it!  I know Ewa Michalak Bond Girl comes with hooks and my dream is that they add more swim suits to their collection (preferably half cup ones!!!!) this summer. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

10 Rules of Bra Alterations

The reasons one might want to alter a bra are abundant.  At the moment weight loss is my biggest one because I can't seem to stay in one bra size for very long and I can only afford reordering them so much!  Another one that I run into often too, I live in a bra-desert - essentially bras in my size absolutely DO NOT EXIST here so I have to order 100% of my bras online.  While I do return some if the fit is way off, many times it's not worth the shipping costs to return the item so I'm stuck with an ill-fitting bra on my hands.  SO... I've altered a lot of bras in the past year and have also had a coupled altered professionally.  Here's what I've learned...

1. ALTER THE BAND FIRST.  Yep, this is bold, red colored-font important.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  Don't even think about getting the cups altered until you have a TIGHT fitting band.  Many times your cups can look big but it's simply because the band is way too big on you.  Get the band down to the right size BEFORE you do ANYTHING on the cups.

2. When you're measuring what to take off the band always fit it on the tightest hook.  If you measure incorrectly you can always use a bra extender for a bit until it stretches out more.  It's going to be less of a pain than getting it re-altered again. 

3.  In case you missed my tutorial on how to alter the band itself you can look here.  Some prefer to sew a ribbon along a bra that is too stretched out BUT if your band is too big to begin with you could still run into problems.  That's why I prefer just cutting it off. 

4. Don't alter ANYTHING when you're bloated.  If you're ovulating, on your period or just had a huge, salty meal the night before don't alter your bras.  Mostly likely you'll be retaining water and both your band/cup size might be bigger than normal.  Just wait a few days and try again then.

5. Remember the rules of a well-fitting band.  You should be able to fit 2 fingers underneath your band, no more than that. 

6. Now on to cups... Seamed cups are going to be BY FAR the easiest.  I recently had my CH Onyx taken in and you can see (at the bottom of this post) that she undid the seams and cut off a bit.  It was a fairly easy fix (and my seamstress also confirmed that seamed cups are the easiest).  Padded cups are also not so bad, especially ones that don't have any lacy trim at top.  Molded/lacy cups ones with a design are bound to give you some major problems and I'd guess they're probably better to sell or return that even try altering. 

7.  Consider your breast shape when you alter the cups.  I'm heavy on the bottom but not as full on top.  So she found that bring in the seams on top made more sense.  It also won't put as much strain on the wires.  However, when I had my plunge Blond Girl brought in, it made more sense to alter on the bottom because of the nature of a plunge and the white strip on top.

8. Measure each cup separately!!! Most women have some asymmetry so you're going to get a better fit overall measuring separately. 

9. Reinforce the wires.  When you do any alteration you're going to be at a much higher risk for wires popping out.  They're a pretty easy fix.  I normally just hand-stitch them back in. However, here's a great tutorial if you have some felt on hand. 

Before Alterations.
10.  Be realistic about what you can/can't alter.  If you have a 30F bra and you're really a 28FF there's a good chance you're not going to have much problem with an alteration.  BUT if you're going from a 36F to 30GG, well, that's a different story all together!  If you can help it try to just alter down ONE band size.  I have some bras that I've altered down two band sizes and they have pretty much universally ended up in flattened, stretched out cups because the bras just weren't meant to have that small of a band size.  I still wear one of them around the house but trust me it's not a very flattering bra!  Again, BE REALISTIC about your expectations.  When you alter cups it can change the shape of your bra.  My CH Onyx used to give a more rounded shape to my breasts but now it's more pointed because she brought in the cups more at top.  It's not a huge change but noticeable to me.  Obviously, there is no replacement for a well-fitting bra but if you're in a tight pinch realize that small alterations can help when it comes to finding a more supportive bra.

After Alterations: The middle area between the seams was brought in.
After Alterations: You can see that the cups themselves have a more pointed shape.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Size Perception

If you were to ask women to answer the following three questions:

What clothing size is "too small"/"too thin"?
What is the clothing size for an average size woman?
What is the clothing size for an overweight/obese woman?

You'd get three drastically different answer. If you don't believe me compare the comments on the following two articles:

Plus Size Bodies, What Is Wrong With Them Anyway?

Khloe Kardashian: I'm a size 6

In general, though, I've heard the following sizes the most for the questions asked (both on the internet and in real life)

Too Small: 0-2
Average size: 6-8
Overweight/obese: 14+

Funny, right?  That women would actually put a number to the sizes.  Well, just when you think you have it all  figured out Dontella Versace comes out and decides that women who wear a size are too fat to wear her clothes (lots of swearing in the article). But on the other end of the spectrum, you can buy a book entitled Size 14 is not fat.

So what's going on?  Well, I think the biggest problem is when we even attempt to associate a certain size with a certain status of health.  Yes, in the very, very extremes this might be obvious but once you get into the "middle sizes" (and I'm talking about a very large range of sizes here!) there are way too many factors going on here. 

Just go onto My Body Gallery and compare size 2 for a 5'0 woman to that of a 6'0 woman (hint: there's a HUGE difference there, duh!).  That's just comparing height.  Once you factor in body type, bone structure, and muscle mass the issue gets even more muddled. I've been able to wear size 8 pants since I was at least 20lbs overweight.  However, for other women (especially those who carry more weight in the hips/thighs) a size 8 might only be attainable at the low end of the healthy weight for them. I can guarantee you that the way I looked in a size 8 vs. a pear shaped woman is going to look extremely different.  I've even seen a woman who wears a size 12 pants (granted much taller than myself and differently proportioned) who looked slimmer than I do now! 

So what's the explanation for all the catty comments and assumptions based on size? I honestly think that some people simply lack empathy.  They can't imagine what it would be like to be 5 inches short/taller, they can't imagine what it would be like to have a different bone structure/body type and how that would affect the number on the scale/size of their jeans. 

Another problem too is that there's SO MUCH misinformation when it comes to weight and size.  I'm not saying I'm entirely guilt free on this either... I know the weight on my license was 10lbs lighter than I actually was when I had it done.  But realistically most of us just don't know what it means to be say 5'6" and 120lbs, 180lbs, 250lbs, 400lbs etc.  Instead we know our own bodies and that's about it.  And we wonder why so many woman suffer with poor body image issues.  If you want to talk about these things with your friends, many times it's a taboo subject  that can easily lead to hurt feelings.  So then out go online and find out that you're fat if you're a size 6 and that that's even considered plus size (at least according to the fashion industry).  But where does that get you?  A size 6 on what height?  What body type?  What bone structure? 

In my opinion, knowledge is power. I've found My Body Gallery to be extremely helpful when it comes to aligning my actual body with the image in my head.  I also take my measurements to better understand what kind of clothes fit me and what my current body type is.  It's important to realize that other woman carry weight differently and comparing yourself to others many times doesn't make the least bit of sense.  I know for myself that that a US size 12 put me in the obese category and that I'll probably be about a size 2-4 at a healthy weight but extrapolating that to anybody else would be disastrous.  Even extrapolating that back in time is preposterous considering that I wore a size 8 in high school when I was 140lbs...  

All this is to say.  LEARN TO BE EMPATHETIC.  Put yourself in other's shoes before you start making assumptions about a person's size.  I'm saying this to women on BOTH sides of the spectrum. Saying a size 0-2 is impossibly thing or anorexic can be EXTREMELY harmful to a naturally thin woman and/or petite woman.  And what if that person is dealing with an eating disorder?  Is it really productive to mock them?  Saying something is a ridiculously fat because they wear plus-sized clothes is just as silly.  I'm sorry but I'll say again.  YOU CAN'T SHAME SOMEONE THIN.  And no, just because you're thinner than someone doesn't make you better. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Biubiu now ships to Brazil!

I had a hard time getting anything done at work today because I was so excited to see a new option added to international shipping on the Biubiu site.  Yep, that's right, they now ship to Brazil, yay!!!! 

But now I'm stuck with the problem of what to order?  Originally, I wanted to order some nice summer tops/dresses.  However, that was back in December and many of the ones that I had my eye on are already gone.  Plus, I have to wonder how much longer I'll actually need them here. I expected the summer to a be a lot warmer but, really, we've had maybe one or two super-sunny days that might have required a sleeveless shirt but beyond that shorts sleeves with pants have been just fine.  So... what to get, what to get.  I'd love one of their dresses for work but Darlene said they are all lined and that would be too warm for Brazil regardless of the season so now I'm a bit befuddled. 

Whatever I decide it'll have to wait until next month.  I just took in a huge pile of clothes to the seamstress (am picking them up tomorrow with pictures to follow!) so no way can we justify the expensive.  However, that doesn't mean a girl can't dream, right?  I'm guessing according to the size chart I'm a 40BB but I'd probably try to order 38BBB's in the hopes that I'd fit into them by the time they arrive (Ewa Michalak takes about 2 weeks for just the shipping so here's hoping for that). My waist is 31"~78cm, according to the size chart 38's go from 72-76 and 40's go from 77-81. It seems most women who I've seen try on BiuBiu clothes have more of the Disney Princess mid-section, rather than a tube/mom so I have to wonder would the difference require a different fit?  Normally size charts seem to run bigger than what I actually need so that's why I'm leaning towards the 38's.  Then again, the one exception that I found was AJ Rumina -another curve friendly brand- so I wonder if maybe the 40's would work better?  At the very least I could get them taken in if not...

Originally, I was thinking of ordering the following:

Faro Beige in 40BB/BB (38 BB/BBB no longer available)

Waikiki - no longer available :(
Ultra Violet 38B/BB (closest size available)
Power Flower - no longer available :(

Mojito Red - 38B/BB (closest size available)

However, the size ranges are pretty limited and I'm starting to think it might not be warm enough for the halter tops.  Plus I'm way too lazy to switch out the straps on my CH Onyx that often!!!  So... here's my updated list:

Etna - 38BB/BBB
Fuego Black - 38BB/BBB

Pasadena 40BB- (closest size available)
Summer City 38BB or 40BBB?
I still might get the Fargo Beige just so I'd at least have one sleeveless shirt that I could wear out in public.  I LOVE the look of the Pasadena but the price, not so much, so there's a big question mark there.  I'm also really sad that the Waikiki and Power Flower are sold out because those are two that I've been drolling over for awhile now.  I also would love to get more of the Fuego's (and especially in that gorgeous purple shown on their site) but again, there's nothing remotely close to my size still left.  :(   I'm working on adding more color to my wardrobe but with the exception of Summer City I'm left with a lot of grays and blacks (pretty ones!) but I wish there were more colorful items left. 

I guess that's one big problem with having to buy off season.  If I wasn't still trying to lose more weight, though, I'd definitely buy up all the long sleeve shirts once they go on sale!  As is, I'll have to wait to do that once I him my goal weight. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

My ideal bra wardrobe

Ok, it's going to be a LONG time before this happens because as we all know bras in my size are expensive! Plus once you add in international shipping costs (and possibly returns... ugh!) it really adds up.

However, I hope to eventually have this bra wardrobe sitting in my closet.  Ok, and I get that the Everyday Bra list got a little long, but how in the world can one decide????  Oh, and I definitely WANT a corset but, well, the jury is still out on where I can find one that will work well for me.

T-Shirt bra Fantasie Moulded T-shirt bra

Multiway bra Ewa Michalak CH Onyx

Strapeless bra Ewa Michalak Strapeless Toffi

Soft cup bra Freya Kelly Grey Soft Cup
T-shirt with built in bra Bravissimo Bandeau Strappy Top and Lightly Padded Strappy Top

PJ's Bravissimo Satin PJ
Freya Loungewear Gracie

Sports Bra Freya Active Underwire
Swimsuit Freya Active One-Piece (although if they come out with a bikini version that's definitely my preference!!!)

 Everyday bras Ewa Michalak CH Pawie Oka

 Ewa Michalak HP Garden

Ewa Michalak CH Toffik

Ewa Michalak PL Amarant

Freya Ashlee
Freya Patsy

Freya Edina
Fantasie Vivienne
Fantasie Sharron
Would like to try but not sure of fit... 

Curvy Kate Tease Me

Fraulein Annie Falling in Love