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Intimate Insight: I love you, Jenette!! by Enid

27 Jun

A year ago this week I finally decided to make a major change in my life and set out to lose 85 pounds.  As of today I’ve lost 57 pounds, dropped three sizes and my waist is almost 8 inches smaller.  Even more important is that as I began to experience positive progress with this goal, I was encouraged to make some other changes in the rest of my life.  Today I am a much happier woman who is very excited to see what new surprises await this year and the years to come.

Given all this weight I’ve been losing, it was inevitable that my bras, like most of my wardrobe, would start to become too big for me.  At a house party one weekend, I met two fellow busty gals, Brittany and Lisa, who told me about this place called Jenette’s Bras which sold to D cups and above only.  I was excited to check out this store and when I needed to replace some of my now too big bras, I decided to take the subway down to their East Hollywood location.

Located in the Bike District, near LA City College, this shop is no regular rack store.  Instead I walked into a waiting room furnished  à la Mad Men, complete with vintage Playboy and Life magazines and a nice display of bras from my favorite label, Prima Donna.  The woman sitting at what looked like a receptionist’s desk had me fill out a card with my info and then take a seat.

After a short wait, Sara escorted me back to the dressing room area and started sizing me up.  No tape measures here, just some questions about what I was looking for, what size I had been and an eyeball of how my Fantasie bra was now fitting me gave her all the information she needed.  She handed me what turned out to be the beige version of my beloved Prima Donna Deauville bra to try on to verify  my size.  I had been worried that all this weight loss would mean a reduction in my well-endowed chest, so I was thrilled to discover that while my band size had gone down, my cup size had remained the same and I was now a 36G/34H depending on the style of bra.

I tend to stay with black and beige colors, but when Sara brought over this cute red number I just had to try it on; and it was love at first fit.  I can safely say my love affair with molded bras is over and I’m now all about the sheer and lacy!

The bra I bought was a Panache Superbra Tango II.  It made my chest look amazing!  I wore it out that night on a pub-crawl and seriously could not stop checking myself out.  It lifts, separates, gives amazing support and looks beautiful.  I’m quickly learning that a good bra is not determined by the type of fabric used so much as by the construction, and Panache makes an amazing bra that looks and fits as good as the more expensive Prima Donna, but for half the price.

Thank you so much to Sara who helped me out and introduced me to some other amazing styles as well.  If you live in the LA area and you are a D cup or above, you must take a trip to Jenette Bras and get yourself something gorgeous!

Resources:

www.JenetteBras.com

www.Panache-Lingerie.com

Intimate Insight: Investing in My Chest by Enid

2 Apr

“Buying a phone’s a big deal.  I mean, think about how long you’ll have this thing.  It’s like buying a car or a bra.”
She snaps her bra strap.
“Eight years, man.”
– Zooey Deschanel on New Girl

There are two things my mother tried to instill in me when it came to money – the importance of living within your means and, when it comes to certain items, cheaper is not always better.  The first lesson took me a long time to learn.  As for the second lesson, at the time, my mother was explaining why she was spending so much money for Le Creuset cookware and a Kitchenaid food processor.  She felt it was worth it to spend more money for something dependable and that would work better than it’s cheaper cousin.

For the longest time I’ve always tried to go the cheap route when it comes to clothes to keep within my means.  And for the longest time I saw purchasing a bra as no different from purchasing underwear.  Just something there to wear under your clothes until you wear it out and find another one.  And the marks on my shoulders from the straps digging in, the constant adjusting, the boob seepage underneath the bra and the lack of support were just considered par for the course for a full figured gal like myself.

Since starting these reviews for Moira and learning everything she and other women in her field have taught me, I’ve realized that buying a bra is not like buying any other piece of clothing.  Buying a bra when you have large breasts is more equivalent to buying a pair of running shoes.  Sure, you can go cheap.  And then you can suffer from nerve damage in your leg and sciatica like I did when I started running in cheap shoes that, despite the fancy name brand, turned out to have no arch support whatsoever.

When you go to a good shoe store to get running shoes, they don’t just throw you a pair and say, “Here you go.”  You try them on, go running around the block in them, try on a couple different pairs until you find one that fits comfortably, feels good and gives you the support you need.  And often you may find that the right pair is going to be about $100, but it’s totally worth the investment.  I’ve discovered recently that it can be the same for bras.

When I first found myself paying $60 for some of these bras, I went through some sticker shock.  Having always been used to keeping my apparel purchases to $30 and under, it seemed absurd to pay so much.  But these amazing bras fit well and gave me great support and it was worth the investment to feel comfortable and look good.  But to pay over $100?  No way!!

Well, maybe…

Prima Donna Deauville Full Cup Underwire Bra

I was fortunate enough to have been given a lovely Prima Donna Deauville bra recently.  I about choked when I saw the $138 sticker price.  Craziness!  Who would pay that much for a bra?  Well, it turns out I would now.  I have to say that out of all the bras I have, I live in my Prima Donna bra the most.  Not just as everyday wear, but I get more support from that bra than any of my sports bras.  Thought it’s definitely a fancier bra, I always wear it when I go cycling since I never have to worry about an errant boob knocking me in the face when I hit a bump in the road.

And it looks gorgeous!  I have a couple tops that I’ll wear with it that give just a little peak of the lace pattern when I go out with my girlfriends just to feel a little sexy and flirty.  So often it seems that I have to choose between pretty and functional when bra shopping, but with this one I get both in one amazing package.

So while I will still be looking for more affordable styles, I don’t mind saving up to splurge on a couple more Prima Donna bras because they are so worth the investment.  Because every woman deserves at least one amazing bra that makes her feel and look gorgeous.

Resources:

www.Prima-Donna-Bras.com

Intimate Insight: A little less Streetwalker, a little more Professional Businesswoman, please… by Enid

5 Mar

Enid Wearing a Pinstripe Skirt; Looking Professional - More Businesswoman than Streetwalker!

When I was visiting Moira in New York, she decided to stop by a lingerie store and, while talking to the owner, we got on the topic of plus size lingerie or more specifically why they didn’t carry them.  They had a great location, lots of foot traffic, but the owner told us that plus size stuff just didn’t sell.

I wanted to be all indignant and outraged about it, but I started thinking about my own shopping habits and realized that she may have a point.  When I go shopping for clothing, I tend to stick with places where I know for a fact that they carry my size.  Even if it’s a place where often the majority of the items are not to my liking and I have to dig to find something that I want.  (I never set foot into an Old Navy until I saw a woman at a club in this cute outfit my size that I had to have and she informed me that she had gotten it there.)

I very rarely will venture into a new store unless I’ve found out from someone else that they carry my size or a friend drags me in to look.  I just want to avoid going in to a store to shop only to have some popsicle-stick look me up and down and then dismiss me with a “We don’t carry anything in YOUR size.”  It’s bad enough going into department stores and trying to find a certain style of dress only to have some woman shove me into a back corner where a bunch of shapeless, black “dresses” hang and tell me, “That’s all we got.”

Melissa McCarthy said it best.  If you are a plus size woman, your options are limited to flowery grandmother or streetwalker.  I’m not big on flowers and I prefer to dress using the Edith Head philosophy – “Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to show you’re a lady.”  But the options in my size tend towards sausage or potato sack.  If I could afford Marina Rinaldi, I’d buy their fashions in a heartbeat, but I can’t even afford to take all my off-the-rack purchases straight to a tailor to have them fitted, (school loans trump vanity every time) so I can only choose a few key items to be fixed every so often.

Enid's Wish List - a Marina Rinaldi dress

Even more disappointing is that the few popular plus size chain stores out there carry very little in the styles that I want to wear.  Yes, I do work in post production and I can get away with jeans and a T-shirt or yoga pants and a henley.  However, they say dress for the job you want, not the job you have; and I prefer something a little more dressy.  Pencil skirts to my knees with button-up blouses, pin striped slacks, a checked dress jacket over a red silk top, knee-high boots and a colourful, geometric patterned dress – these are a few of my favorite things…

At one store where most of the merchandise seemed aim to a more goth crowd, I was able to dig up this amazing pin striped skirt that is one of my prize possessions.  At another store which opts to sell clothes in mostly primary colors (I’m more of an autumn palate myself), I found some really nice fitting slacks that I bought in brown and black.  And lately I’ve discovered that the colors purple and mauve really suit me, and I’ve been trying to add more into my wardrobe.

But finding all of this takes a lot of time and effort and there are some days when I could just cry because all I want is a simple black dress in a certain style that I see widely available for smaller sizes, yet trolling an entire mall for the day yields nothing in my size.

For now, I can only rely on the tried and true method.  If I see a woman my size wearing something amazing then I ask her where she got it.  Or else I just pick a weekend, clear my schedule, wear comfy shoes, pack a water bottle and a Powerbar, and start digging through the racks until I find that hidden gem.

I would love to hear what you think.  But even more importantly I would love to find out where you’ve found some amazing piece of clothing so I can go get one, too.  Let me know about your awesome finds or your own tips for shopping for a plus size figure

Intimate Insight: Bra Straps or No Bra Straps – That is the Dilemma… by Enid

13 Feb

Decorative Beaded Bra Straps from ExposedEnvy.com

Valentine’s Day is coming up and for some of you that might mean dressing up for a night out with your guy.  For me, it means paying a $20 cover charge to go to an overcrowded bar in Beverly Hills with some of my single friends where the majority of the guys will be looking for someone a bit more model-like but, after a few drinks and a few strike outs, they will start thinking that perhaps the big breasted curvy gal might be desperate enough to put out.  Of course being that the drinks are so over-priced, I will not be nearly drunk enough to actually consider their offer and they’ll do the sour grapes thing, and my friends and I will laugh about it.

The one thing in common in both scenarios is that we are trying to dress to impress and, as always, part of that perfect outfit involves a bra.  And if you live in LA where the temperatures are a bit more moderate (as I write this in February, the temperature is in the mid 70’s), your outfit may include something strapless or off the shoulder.  And if you are blessed with a larger cup size, the question becomes do I wear a strapless bra or stick with the straps?

Gravity is not your friend when your cup runneth over and though it’s the band that holds your girls up and not the straps, the straps can often seem to make the difference between wearing a bra and wearing a bra as a belt.  For years I’ve avoided strapless outfits of any kind because invariably the strapless bra would end up around my hips at some point, especially if any kind of dancing was involved.

At the same time, wearing a regular bra also wouldn’t do.  While I’ve seen plenty of women baring their straps without a qualm, given that the straps on large cup sizes tend to be more utilitarian than decorative, for me doing so was out of the question.  And then two great things happened: I Googled and I went to New York.

Enid at Bra La Mode's Debut Intimate Affair

At the end of January, I flew to New York for Bra La Mode’s Debut Intimate Affair at Bra*Tenders.  Moira was bound and determined to have them fit me for some new bras so as the event drew to a close, Cristal took me into one of the fitting rooms and brought me several different styles and brands to try out.  The first discovery is that as I have been slowly losing weight, so have my breasts.  I’m now down to a 38F/38G depending on the style and brand of bra.

I love the Fantasie brand bras and ended up with this lovely black strapless (Style # FL4530.)  It’s a snug fit, but I could jump on a trampoline wearing it and it’d still stay put.  The one thing that amazed everyone was the support.  I came out of the dressing room wearing a cami over it and people thought I was wearing a push-up of some sort and no one believed it was a strapless.  (Seriously, people came in the dressing room so they could see the actual bra on me.)

Also prior to my visit to New York, I had also received the Va Bien Ultra-Lift Strapless Convertible which also has great staying power.  I have a friend who wears this brand and swears by it.  The only thing to be aware of is that the cup sizes can run large so be sure to try it on before you buy.  I ordered it in my old size and it ended up being a bit big for me so I’ll be getting myself a new one because it’s a great bra.

Of course, even with a good fitting strapless, sometimes it’s just nice to have those straps either as a back up just in case or, as I’ve recently discovered, as another type of accessory.  A friend of mine used to order these beaded bra straps to wear with her lacy tank tops in the summer.  Interested in trying them out for myself, I Googled “beaded bra straps” and found ExposedEnvy.com.

Exposed Envy sells decorative bra straps of all sorts – beads, rhinestones, fabric, gems and even just metal.  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry as my skin tends to react badly to the metal in chain necklaces or earrings, so I liked the idea of being able to wear something shiny and pretty that wouldn’t cause me to break out in a rash.

If you saw the pictures from the Intimate Affair, you’ll have seen me wearing an off the shoulder number with some straps made of red roses on dark silver.  When I first saw them on the website, I just had to have them and they were as beautiful in person as on the website.  I got a lot of compliments about them and found that they were comfortable to wear.  The straps themselves are easy to fit as there is a little clasp in the back that you can use to adjust the length of the strap.  I just put them on backwards the first time to get them adjusted and then I was all set to go.

At work I tried a set of beaded straps for a scoop-neck shirt that had a tendency to stretch out and become an off the shoulder number as the day went on.  The beads were nice and flat so I didn’t have anything digging into my shoulder and they looked really nice so that instead of constantly pulling up my shirt to cover my bra strap, I could just focus on work and let a little strap show.

Gemstone Straps and Matching Bracelet

Exposed Envy also has matching bracelets for many of their straps.  I ordered a lovely blue rhinestone set of straps which came with a matching bracelet and I can’t wait to wear them out to that Valentine’s party next weekend.

Each set of straps comes in it’s own green cloth bag which makes for easy storage since they won’t become jumbled with the other straps.  And Kelly Carroll, the owner and designer, adds her own personal touch.  When I made my second order and made a comment on the order form, I found a lovely handwritten note from her in reply on my receipt. I will definitely be shopping her site again.

Resources:

www.Fantasie.com

Follow @Fantasie1

www.VaBienUSA.com

Follow @VaBienLingerie

www.ExposedEnvy.com

Follow @ExposedEnvy

Intimate Insight: Attack of the Body Shapers by Enid

11 Jan

Curvy Gal Enid as Maid of Honor

A few years ago when I was getting ready for my sister’s wedding (I was the maid of honor), I discovered that the dress I had bought months earlier was suddenly a bit too snug.  (I’d never worn it or washed it but somehow it had shrunk in my closet. So peculiar…)  To keep from looking like a sausage in a frilly, flowery casing, I decided to try one of those popular body-shaping undergarments.  Anything to just smooth out the lumps and make me not look quite so Jabba-licious in the photos next to my very slim little sister was all I needed.

Using the sizing chart on the back of the package, I picked out one that allegedly was going to fit.  Being that the sizing chart used was very similar to the sizing charts on the back of pantyhose, I should have realised I was in danger.  Following those charts, I usually end up with a pair of hose where either the crotch starts mid thigh or my legs aren’t long enough and I end up with sagging stockings around my ankles.  (I am ever so grateful to be living in LA because I can get away with not wearing pantyhose.)

The day of the wedding, I’m trying to get into this… device of torture… and I decided that the person who had invented this thing had been attacked by a boa constrictor and, in the midst of having the life squeezed out her, happened to see herself in the mirror and thought, “Oh, well I do look a bit skinnier, don’t I?”

It took me a good amount of time to shimmy into that sucker.  The heavy, flesh colored fabric was so rough and it was made to fit so tightly that I began to wonder why they didn’t recommend you put it on with dish detergent much like putting on a wet suit.  I’m amazed I didn’t get any type of burns from the fabric, but I figured the friction it caused was meant to help it stay put.  When the garment was finally in place, I felt triumphant for having gotten it on while also feeling like I was stuck in a very tight hug.  The style was similar to a pair of high-waisted biking shorts – all the better to even out all problem areas, I thought.  I discovered that it worked fine as long as I didn’t move much at all and never had to pee.  Fine for a first date drink and a movie.  Not so fine for when one is in a wedding party.  But for at least 30 minutes I looked great.

Pre-wedding, as I had to rush around with the sudden list of tasks my sister had given me, I found that the waistband of my undergarment preferred to be at my actual waist as it slid down and started bunching up there.  In front of my family, I had no problem doing a little adjustment shimmy to get it back up where it belonged but, once guests started arriving, it became an annoyance to run back and forth to the bathroom to fight with it.  Eventually the rest of the garment followed suit, choosing to shift to the areas of least resistance and actually squeeze the skinnier parts of me enough to make the bigger parts even bigger.  I guess by body shaping, they meant shaping my body into a balloon animal??

The other issue was that the bands around my legs were soooo tight and they just seemed to get tighter and tighter until it just stung.  Even though the dress wasn’t terribly snug, you could actually see where the undergarment ended as it attempted to form a tourniquet mid-thigh.  At one point during the reception, I considered taking the damn thing off, but as I wasn’t wearing any other underwear, I was certain doing so would just lead to one of those embarrassing moments that gets caught on camera and is passed to everyone on the internet until you find yourself in a job interview with someone who can’t look you in the eye because they’ve already seen your wax job.

And forget going to the bathroom.  Though the garment was made with a little gap for you to pee through, once I actually had need of it, I realised that there was no way I wasn’t either going to pee on the garment or my hand.  So I treated it like underwear, which then meant another 20 minutes in the stall trying to get the thing back up while people impatiently knocked on the door.  Had they really thought this through, the inventor would have provided a handy catheter.

I was so happy when I finally got home and could take off that thing.  I’ve never worn it since and had sworn off all body shaping garments.  There are many who believe that beauty is pain, but I am not one of them.  Life is too short!  (Plus, if you suddenly find yourself with an attractive man and on the verge of a night of passion, the last thing you want to do is tell them to wait 20 minutes while you try to extract yourself from one of those garments or try to explain the unseemly welts on your legs.)

So fast-forward to last month when Moira asked me to try out some body shaping garments.  My first reaction was to run for the hills, but I have a bad knee and with all the holiday dinners, running just isn’t my thing right now.  And since Moira’s a friend, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try out a pair; though I was not optimistic.  Fortunately I ended up being pleasantly surprised.

Bali One Smooth U Hi-Waist Brief

Hanes sent me a pair of Bali One Smooth U Hi-Waist Briefs and I took them for a test run – once to a holiday party in a bar in Downtown LA and once at work.  The first thing I noticed was how easy they were to put on and how comfortable they felt thanks to the satin fabric.  No 20-minute shimmy needed to put them on and, instead of feeling like I was wearing a pair of long underwear, it felt just like any other pair of panties, albeit ones that hugged me a bit more.  The waist and leg bands were nice and flat so they didn’t squeeze and don’t stand out under clothing and the fabric information is printed right on the garment so there’s no itchy tag to deal with either.  The best part though is, because they were a high waist style, I didn’t have that annoying line around my middle.  (Nothing worse as a full figure gal than to look like you have an equator.)

For the holiday party, I wore a pair of slacks that I’m just now able to squeeze into again.  I found that they were easier to slip into with the briefs because of the smooth fabric.  And in the mirror I didn’t detect any panty lines – always something a lady likes to avoid when going out, especially if she’s hoping to meet a guy.  I had a great night out and never once had to rush off to the ladies room to put my undies to rights.

The real test, though, was when I wore them to work because I’m constantly moving – sitting, standing, walking, kneeling – which can lead to a lot of unintential wedgies if your undergarments don’t fit just right.  Again, no loosey-goosey waistband, no chaffing at the leg and no worries that anyone would think I was smuggling dinner rolls in my pants due to unfortunate lumpiness.  I just put them on and forgot about them.

If you are looking for something to give you a better shape under those body-hugging outfits and that won’t put you over your budget, (seriously, these are about half the cost of some of the other shapewear out there,) I recommend you try a pair of these.  It can be hard enough dressing to impress a potential boss or love interest without having to suffer in pain due to uncomfortable clothing or being constantly distracted by misbehaving undergarments.  A pair of these can help eliminate one worry while being kind to your wallet as well.

Resources:

www.BaliIntimates.com

Intimate Insight: Ahab, Indy and Enid- I Found My Holy Grail, My White Whale – My Perfect Bra

21 Dec

Ever since I began learning about all these great lingerie brands made for Tig O’ Bitties like mine, I’ve been drooling over their websites, all the while keeping an eye out for my dream bra – a red balconette style bra in my size that would match my sexy red boy short panties.

Why boy shorts?

In my 20’s I was doing the thong thing, but ever since I bought a six pack of Marks & Spencers black cotton boy shorts on a trip to London, I’ve been hooked on that style. Not only are they comfy, but I find that on a plus size figure, they are much more flattering.

My faves are those Marks & Spencer knickers that first got me hooked, and two sexy styles from Frederick’s of Hollywoodthe Angelina  (being discontinued so get them on clearance while you can) and the lacy Jessica  (stretchy and forgiving.) 

Why red?

Why not? It’s sexy and racy and bold – all characteristics I aspire to take on as I go into 2012 as a newly single gal!

But the key for me – regardless of color – was the style (no full size cups – I want demi balconette all the way) and that it fit well and didn’t drive me to tears by the end of the day. So imagine my delight when Affinitas sent me their Charlotte red balconet bra from their Parfait line to try out.

Parfait by Affinitas Charlotte Bra in Red with Black

I loved the retro style of it when I had first seen it on their website, but worried that this would be a case of a regular size bra being incorrectly up-sized and that I’d end up suffering from a case of “my cup overfloweth” leading to hourly trips to the ladies room to shove myself back into the bra. Some companies – when they try to go into the plus size market- don’t correctly readjust their styles to accommodate a larger breast size. You put a bra on that is supposed to be your size, but then find out that your nipples are constantly popping out and you spend the rest of the day seriously contemplating the use of duct tape to keep your breasts in place.

Imagine my joy when I put it on and found that the girls sat in the cups quite nicely without dangerous overflow issues, even if I leaned over to pick something off the floor or touch my toes. (OK, I lie. I can’t touch my toes quite yet. But I can wave at them.)

And the bra looked amazing!! Sometimes I’ll get frustrated when something I buy in the store doesn’t look nearly as good on me as it does on the model, but for once I think I actually looked better than she did. I was disappointed to have to put a shirt on because I looked so good in that bra! (I was actually humming “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” while I modelled it for myself in the mirror. Heaven… I’m in heaven… )

The bra was so comfortable to wear. The one frustrating thing about underwires is that after 8 hours, that stuff just digs into your skin like crazy and as soon as you get home, the first thing you want to do is take it off, but after a full work day wearing this one, I was in no hurry to take it off.

But my favorite thing about this bra is how I feel in it. There are certain items of clothing you will find that, for one reason or another, you will want to wear all the time – a business suit that makes you feel more powerful, a dress that makes you feel sexier, a pair of slacks that make you seem slimmer and taller or a blouse that hugs your curves in all the right places and makes you feel like a model. When I wear this bra, I can’t stop smiling. It gives me a little extra boost of confidence.

I will have to get myself an extra one of these because I know I’m going to be wearing it often so I could use a spare just in case. Now if only they made this one in navy blue as well…

Resources:

Parfait by Affinitas

www.affinitasintimates.com/parfait.html

Follow @AffinitasIntima

Intimate Insight: I’m How Big??!! (And Other Lessons I Learned From My Bra Fitting) by Enid

6 Dec

Curvy Gal Enid

When Moira first suggested that I go for a bra fitting and write about my experience, I started thinking back on my bra shopping history and realized that except for one time as a teenager when my mother took me to a department store for a fitting, I’d never been properly fitted.  In fact, I’m not really sure how I knew my size.  I know in college I was a C cup and after that my next recollection is of some girl younger than me wrapping a paper tape measure around me at one of those chain lingerie stores and declaring me a 42D.  Otherwise it seems that I would just stay with the same band and cup size until they didn’t fit anymore, and then I’d move up until something seemed to work and stick with that until they stopped fitting; basically bra size by trial and error.

So when the bra style that had formerly been so dependable started failing on me, I decided it was time to be properly fitted and, on Moira’s suggestion, I went to the Wizard of Bras in Monrovia, California.  I figured that they would confirm that I was pretty close to the size I had been wearing previously….and I was more looking forward to finding some new bra styles to wear.  Instead, I got quite an education on how to find the right bra.

Lesson #1: I’m a 40G… or sometimes 38H??!!!
I remember going to a Halloween party with a woman who was a J cup and had to have her bras specially made and being thankful I was only a D.  So when the woman doing my fitting told me my cup size, I couldn’t believe it.  The stores I usually shop at stop at double D and they seemed to fit… except for the boob slipping out under the underwire or through the front neckline in my plunge cut bras.  But still, a G cup seemed so… large!  Are my boobs really THAT big?  And why the two sizes?  Because…

Lesson #2: Just because it says it’s your size, doesn’t mean it is.
Just as women’s clothing sizes are not consistent across stores or brands, bras that say they are your size (in my case 40G) may not actually fit.  When they don’t fit, the solution is to either go up one cup size and down two inches or vice versa.  So for some of the bras I tried on, I found that 38H’s fit better than 40G’s. (Warning: if you do go up a cup size, make sure that the underwire isn’t digging in to your armpit.  It won’t feel uncomfortable at first, but four hours later you’ll want to rip the darn wires right outta the thing.)

Lesson #3: You’re putting it on wrong.
For my entire life I’ve put on my bra the same way.  Arms through the straps, hook it in the back and adjust boobage as needed.  The problem with doing it this way?  By putting the bra on straps first, I allowed my breasts to be pushed down in the front so that when I was hooking it in the back, the band was now slanted.  If the band is on a slant, it can no longer do the job of holding the girls up.  I always thought it was the straps that held everything up, but in reality it’s all in the band.  The proper way to put on a bra?  Hook it around you first just above your waist like a belt, then pull it up to just under your chest, keeping the band horizontal and making sure that the band stays below your shoulder blades. Then put the straps on and lean forward to adjust your breasts to make sure they are fully in the cups.  Also, when you first get a bra, start hooking onto the outer most loops first, not the inner ones.  As time goes by, the band will stretch out more and then you will slowly work your way to the next set of loops and so on.  If you start with the innermost eyehooks, you have nowhere to go when the band stretches and you end up shortening the useful life of your bra.

Lesson #4: As with clothing, some styles will just not come in your size.
One of the frustrating things about having such a large cup size is that the cute styles I love and want to wear often don’t go higher than a D cup.  Even finding colors in my size can be a challenge.  I used to have a bra drawer that was all colors of the rainbow and now just trying to find a red bra to match my cute red underwear has turned out to be an impossible task.  Fortunately, as I’m starting to find online, it is possible to find some cute styles and colors in sizes for the more well-endowed. While my local mall may be lacking in all the colors of the rainbow, the internet and a credit card can bring it all to my door and all while I’m spending my time doing something more worthwhile… like working out at the gym or getting a massage.

Lesson #5: Finding the right bra is like finding the right pair of jeans.
You have to do the footwork and try on a lot of different styles, cuts and sizes until you find the one that fits just right. And sometimes the one that seems to fit great at the store, may stretch out or take on some other personality quirks a few weeks later that may give you buyer’s remorse.  So if you find one you like enough to buy, don’t buy a bunch that same day.  Give it two weeks and see how things go.  If you still love it, go back and stock up on a couple extra.  Other times, the bra may be almost perfect, but it just needs an adjustment.  I try to avoid bras that have those bones in the side wing because they always end up bending and then drilling into my side.  If I end up with a bra that has those stays, I always cut them out right away.  Another bra I bought ended up taking off some skin because of some sort of adhesive used on a seam in the band that had become rock hard.  I was able to cut part of it off and then have a seamstress cover the rest up with a bit of fabric, and now it fits great without torturing me.

Here are some of the bras I’ve gotten so far:

Le Mystere Dream Tisha # 965
I’ve always had a thing for molded bras, but am told they are not common for my size so I was happy to find this sexy little number.  I have had to adjust the straps some as I’ve continued wearing it, but the support is as dependable as ever.

Parfait Jeanie Plunge # 4801
I have some low cut shirts that I enjoy wearing so I was really happy to find this style.  And for once I don’t suffer from three-boob syndrome that used to be common when I was wearing a smaller cup size.  How you adjust the straps on this one is definitely important to get the right fit.

Elomi Hermoine # 8120
This is another great fitting bra.  It has some slight molding in the cup that makes it great for under T-shirts and the straps fit great.  Just be sure you get the correct cup size.  I was originally given a GG cup and after a couple hours, the underwire in my armpit started to make me feel like someone was shoving wires into the skin.

Fantasie Esme # 2471
This bra is my favorite to wear and the most comfortable.  It’s not good for low cut shirts, but fits great under everything else.  The straps are comfortable and I barely notice I’m wearing anything under my shirts.  I‘ve even slept in this bra.  I have two of these and wish they came in more colors.

If you live in the Los Angeles or Orange County area and are fed up with ill-fitting bras, take a trip to the Wizard of Bras in Monrovia, California.  And if you are a large breasted gal like me, I hope the lessons I learned will help you on future bra shopping excursions.

Resources:

Creative Woman- The Wizard of Bras

www.WizardOfBras.com

Follow @Wizard_of_Bras

Intimate Intro: Curves- You’ve Finally Met Your Match!

30 Nov

Enid and I initially met in a friend’s book club in Los Angeles.  Actually, it may have been my book club.  (I’m famous for coming up with hare-brained schemes!)  Regardless, the book club quickly became defunct.  No one else wanted to read books about boobs and bras!  Can you imagine!!??  But luckily, Enid and I became fast friends and our friendship has survived the test of time.  In fact, we were roommates for a few months back in 2006.  I had just gotten divorced and was in the process of a mini meltdown.  Shortly thereafter, I packed my bags (and my bras) and moved back to NYC.  Needless to say, Enid witnessed me at my worst and got to know me intimately. 

I know very few people that can talk about boobs and bras as much as I can.  Enid is one of those few!  We share that love/hate relationship with our boobs and bras.  I’m grateful that we’ve maintained our friendship over the years and across the country.  Like a good bra, Enid provides me with great support!

Enid lives in the Los Angeles area and works in post-production (yes, that’s in the film biz).  She is a curvy gal on a constant search for affordable clothes that she can buy off the rack, clothes that show off her hourglass figure without requiring extra tailoring.  She dreams of one day finding the perfect-fitting button-up blouse for work as well as a comfortable and supportive sports bra for working out.  But her holy grail is a sexy, scarlet satin balconette bra in a 40G that can hold up the girls while still feeling like it’s almost nothing at all!

Join me in welcoming my friend Enid to Bra La Mode…..Her opinions reflect her own experience and are not necessarily the opinions of me, Moira Nelson, or of Bra La Mode as a company.  We will not edit the content of Enid’s articles.  This is intentional.  We want our readers to hear her authentic perspective as a sassy, sexy, smart, curvy chic living and working in Hollywood.

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