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June 2012

DD+ Outfit: Happy Birthday, Bra & Girl

Do you guys ever see a trend in a magazine and inwardly groan ("Oh, not this!") ...and then find yourself wearing/loving it two months later? That's been happening a lot to me recently. Neon. Chambray shirts. Wedge sneakers. I see this stuff on celebrities and in magazines and think it all looks ridiculous, but trends grow on me like a fungus. I'm powerless to resist them! Behold the fungi below/what I wore to the store for it's birthday:

I blame my horoscope. I'm an Aquarius. I think that means I'm enthused by the future and generally interested in weird stuff. Anyhoo, the outfit. The reason I've been going on about trends is that the dress has an exposed, neon coral zipper. I'd meant to take a picture that included it, but I spaced. I was inspired to throw in a bunch of brights with the (new!) monochrome dress. Hence the bright lips, toes, sandals, earrings.

{dress & sandals: h&m|bra: ewa michalak pl burgund}

Beauty & Teeth

I went to the dentist recently and it's significant since I have the weakest teeth of anyone I know. My dentist and I go wayyy back! The minute I had all my adult teeth, I had a continuous cavity problem. I was a teenager when I had my first root canal. My worst dental moment? When I was 13, I chipped my two front teeth off on my friend's bathroom sink. When my teeth were repaired, it was suggested that my diastema, or natural gap, be sealed up for aesthetic reasons.

Age 11 or 12: Living large with my (multiple!) diastemas.

Since then, my mind's completely changed about my gap. By getting older, attending university, and living independently, I realized that I have different notions of beauty than my community, my parents, and my peers. When I see pictures of gap toothed beauties like Lara Stone and Georgia Jagger, I think they look absolutely gorgeous. The trendiness of this natural feature aside, I started to feel as if my smile didn't feel like "me" somehow. In New Age-y terms, my gap-less grin didn't quite match up with my essential self. I didn't recognize my smile when I looked in the mirror.

No gap.
When I was at the dentist's office, I asked him to restore my central gap. My front teeth are mostly constructed out of direct bonding material so it's a relatively easy, quick procedure.  He was shocked. He explained that people came in all the time to have theirs sealed up and that most people prefer to "blend in". He told me that he'd originally closed six gaps throughout my teeth and that I definitely wouldn't want to undo them all. For a minute, I started to second guess myself; had my instincts misled me? Then I saw my unbonded teeth and I felt tremendously relieved! When I got home, I instantly put on a bright red lipstick to celebrate my newly recovered space.

According to Wikipedia, French people call them "dents du bonheur" or lucky teeth.

I love my new teeth. The gap is narrower that my natural one, but the difference has made me ecstatic.  This dental saga has reminded me of the discussions surrounding breast reductions and augmentations. I've heard women say that their original breast size didn't match up with how they saw themselves and they were happy with the surgical opportunities available. I've grown to love the size of my chest, but I realize that many full busted women feel as if their size doesn't reflect who they are. For a long time, it was hard for me to suspend judgement. When I was unhappy with my shape, I thought breast reductions were a relief and I wondered why all busty ladies didn't explore the option. Now, I can't imagine my chest any smaller and often consider how unnecessary that procedure would've been for me.

Since notions of beauty are singularly unique and deeply personal to each individual, it's dangerous to make blanket judgements about a particular decision or appearance. It's additionally challenging not only to realize what you find beautiful, but to discover that your understanding of beauty might differ dramatically from other people's. I'm delighted with my diastema, but I'm sure my dentist was left wondering why I'd enthusiastically choose this look. I also love tattoos. Big, dramatic eyebrows! Prominent noses! In my ideal world, everyone would agree with me. However, I'd pretty sure that would make my perfect world a total snoozefest. After all, the differences in perspective add a beauty all their own.

Alright, I'm curious: what do you think is beautiful? For yourself? For others? Has anyone ever openly disagreed with you?

DD+ Outfit: Whimsical Pinks

A few nights ago, Zack and I saw the cutest, most whimsical movie on Netflix! It's called Romantics Anonymous, it's French, and it's only about an hour long. The story revolves around these two extremely shy chocolatiers who fall in love and I adored it. This outfit isn't directly inspired by the fashion of the film, but the movie made me think about creating an ensemble that was light hearted, fun and modest.

Do you have streaming Netflix? Mr. Underpinnings and I use HBO Go and Netflix and we've found that's all we really need. Although, I confess, I miss seeing current episodes of the Vampire Diaries and Breaking Bad. I'm a total tv nerd! Has anyone found a quirky film/tv show on Netflix recently? Any recommendations?

{tee: j.crew outlet|shorts: topshop (2009)|shoes: hand-me-downs|bra: fantasie ava}

Friday Favorites

Good evening, ladies. My Friday Favorites post is coming a tad bit late, but better late than never, right?  I wanted to give an extra thanks to all the lovely commentators who weighed in on the Reader Question article. It was wonderfully supportive and I was blown away by the all the help!

                                                           My current Freya obsession.

I have a feeling I'm going to have a laid back, summer-y weekend. It's Bra and Girl's 3rd birthday this weekend so they'll be mini cupcakes, live music, and a raffle tomorrow! If you're in the area, definitely drop by and say hi. My friend K tells me we'll have the longest days of the year about now so after work, we're planning to lay about in a park, soaking up the PM sunlight. What are you up to?

Cleo, Panache's flirtatious youth brand, announced that they'll be debuting a swim line for Spring/Summer 2013. They've had especially strong designs the last few collections so this is BIG NEWS.

Gossard will also be unveiling a swimwear group!

Hooray! The Invest in Your Chest girls did their first outfit post.

So, so jealous: Sarah from StackDD+ went to Paris and her "What I Wore" pictures are fantastic.

Interesting - How do you feel about large breasts + advertising?

True & Co. doesn't believe my boobs exist (No sizes larger than an American F!). That makes me feel like this  :/

I'm psyched for style coverage on the Full Figured Chest and I'm definitely picking up this little number that Holly recommended on Hourglassy.

Officially inspired: Earlier today, I saw a full bust girl in a simple maxi dress & a denim vest.
Enjoy the long days & short nights! Xoxo.

DD+ Outfit: All My Favorite Colors

I can't believe that I haven't posted this outfit yet! It's one that I wear almost every week to work and it feels very "Cece". I adore muted colors and flirty, breezy layers so when I discovered this combination a few months ago, I was psyched. Extra points since it exactly matched the colors in my favorite bra, the Freya Beau! I couldn't resist including a little rebellious peekaboo action in the v-neck area. If you're at Bra & Girl in the future and see me in this outfit, don't say I didn't warn you.

Also, I'm wearing pants. Real, legitimate pants! This a bit of a rarity since I find dresses and skirts to be a billion times more comfortable. Jeans and trousers seem to always dig in or sag strangely on me. I also feel super conscious about adjusting them during the day too.  Lately, I've been wearing my jeggings 24/7 and parading around in them, as if they weren't leggings. I know, I know. I'm not supposed to do that, but it makes me feel extra proud of myself when I manage to wear an actual pair of pants.

{blouse & pants: marshall's (old)|wedges: nine west outlet (old)|scarf: gift}

Reader Question: How do I tell someone they might be wearing the wrongsize?

Over the weekend, a reader emailed me with a great question. Take a gander below at what Anonymous asked:

I'm a guy, but my girlfriend is a 34dd (so she says), and I was hoping you might have a suggestion.  I always tell her that her bras just don't fit her - she looks like she is falling out of them in the front, and the back just seems loose.  She did get measured at VS, and they said 34dd like 5 years ago, so she has always gone with that size.  We have only been dating 6 months, so I don't want to insult her by pushing it, but I feel like I should just buy her another size, like a 32 something, but not sure the best way to approach it without insulting her.  Any thoughts?  Thanks in advance.

My first reaction was, "Grrr! Victoria's Secret, you machine of lingerie failure! Curse you, behemoth of full bust despair!". Then, I realized how delicate this topic is and how many of my readers might be struggling with it in their own lives. I'd love to read your reactions in the comments and I'm sure Anonymous would appreciate them too. Here are my ideas:

Sensitivity and respect are essential.

Once, I cut off all my hair for fun. When my boyfriend-at-the-time saw my new pixie locks, he told me it was the worst thing I could've done with my hair and he would have a difficult time being "romantic" with me because now I resembled his middle aged mom. Last spring, I died half my hair platinum blonde and I looked straight-up cray. Mr. Underpinnings told me I'd look beautiful no matter what and that it'd be easy to fix, if I wanted to. In any conversation about a woman's body, sensitivity and respect are key.

Bad hair cuts & ill-fitting bras: Boyfriends, be gentle!

                                        Bad hair cuts & ill fitting bras: Boyfriends, be gentle.

More specifically, a dialogue about bra size can be fraught with implications and insecurities. Remember, her breasts are inherently tied to her self image, sexuality, and physical confidence. When you discuss their size, be aware that you won't simply be talking about a number letter combination. It pays to be as subtle, complimentary, and as gently honest as possible. It's also wise to keep in mind that it's her body. She might not want to wear the "right" size. It sounds crazy to some people, but many women consciously choose to wear an ill fitting bra or prefer to upsize in the band while downsizing in the cup.

Caution: Random Sizing Ahead.

I wouldn't recommend buying her another size. When I first went off the college, my mom actually tried this with me. Bless her heart. She knew my bras looked weird so she ordered a bunch of Title Nine bras in various sizes. Unfortunately, jumping from a 34DD Victoria's Secret bra to a 32E Title Nine didn't do a world of difference. I was still left falling out, sagging, and generally looking like a hot mess. If your girlfriend is really a 28F or a 30H, one band smaller won't improve her fit problems significantly. Your best option is a professionally trained fitter who can give her a world of size options.
Point her in the direction of the experts.

At the store, we have supportive husbands, boyfriends, and family members come in all the time to buy their ladies gift cards. We hear how these women "desperately need new bras" or "will definitely need a fitting". It's not unusual to notice that your female friend is wearing the wrong size or that her old bras are dead. We like to joke that these extreme cases are "bra interventions" and (I can't stress this enough!) they happen all the time.  If you live near a lingerie boutique or fitting department, I'd suggest taking your girlfriend there. It's a cool date idea! She'd probably appreciate the moral support too. If you aren't located within a reasonable driving distance of a consultant, I would recommend either the excellent size calculator on The Sophisticated Pair's website or the Skype fitting sessions with Claire from the Butterfly Collection. There are fantastic resources out there and she might just need a small hint as to where they might be.

What do you think of Anonymous' dilemma? Have you ever told someone that you think they might be wearing the wrong size? How did it go? Has any family member/boyfriend/friend told you that they think your bras didn't fit you?

Friday Favorites

This weekend will productive, I swear. Even if I have to hide every electronic device I own. It's a great time to finish my, ahem, spring cleaning projects. Since spring's over in a few days, I think it's about time. My closet is looking especially grim. It's a total mosh pit of things that don't fit me, missing buttons, hand-me-downs and things I cherish in a Gollum-esque fashion. Must. Organize.

Yesterday, my sister texted me this photo of a new dress she just bought from a vintage store in Burlington, VT. She's been wearing the greatest full bust dresses recently so I couldn't help posting this. Home girl knows how to shop for those curves! She's a 34F:

Invest in Your Chest reviewed two bra sets this week! I didn't get along well with Freya's Elize either, but I'm thisclose to ordering Cleo's Ellie.

Miss Mandalay's website got a makeover. It looks great and it's much easier to find styles in my size!

The Full Figured Chest previewed the Curvy Kate swimwear for Spring/Summer 2013.

Figleaves has 20% off EVERYTHING. Midnight Grace, anyone?

What a genius idea for a wedding guest outfit. StackDD+ looks so, so chic!

Bravissimo debuted several exclusive bra styles, bikinis, and this halter neck top.

As a girl who went through puberty early (FYI, it sucked - I would not wish that on anyone), I completely related to this post on XO Jane called Boobs, A Love/Hate Story.

I fell in love with this dress from Modcloth. How do you feel about peplum & a full bust?

Have a fun weekend, readers! Xoxo.

DD+ Outfit: Nostalgic Pencil Skirt

I've had this skirt since the 7th grade! It's one of the first garments I owned that I felt was truly special. I remember the day I got it too: My mom and I went to New York City to attend an interior design conference and while we were there, we went to Anthropologie. She bought me this suede skirt and a patterned maroon blouse. I felt like the most glamorous person in the world! Even when I slip it on today, I get this tingly feeling like, "Ohhhhh, it's this skirt!".

Unfortunately, this skirt hasn't fit me well apr├Ęs-puberty. Like most pencil skirts I've tried on since, it's snug in the hips and way, way too big in the waist. I've been actively searching for a basic version to wear to work for the last six months or so. With little success, I've been considering the idea of ordering one for my custom measurements. Has anyone else had this problem? Does anyone have a brand or company they rely on for slim skirts? I've heard great things about Pin Up Girl Clothing, but I haven't tried them myself.

{blouse: jc penny (old)| skirt: anthro (2001!)| shoes: nine west outlet (old)|bra: parfait by affinitas charlotte}

Full Bust Review: Panache Page Halter Swimsuit

The instant I saw a photo of this swimsuit, I knew it would be mine. I've admired the one pieces from Anthropologie and the Esther Williams' suits on Modcloth for such a long time. I was waiting eagerly for a full bust brand to release a retro-inspired, modest swimsuit. While I love skimpy bikinis as much as the next girl, there are moments when I'd rather not bare it all. Full coverage swimsuits and high-waisted briefs seem "old world" and glamorous in a way I'm definitely inspired by. The Page fits that bill. I want to wear it with cat eye sunglasses, espadrilles, and a big brimmed hat!

The nautical print -- graphic red, white, and blue waves -- couldn't be more chic. I also think the two buttons at the center gore and the block of red trim through the halter section are stellar design additions. I ordered this during a great sale, but at the time, I was unaware that my size had changed. The cups here are clearly too big and I'd be happier with a 30FF. However, since I'm back on my lady pills, I think I'll stick with the 30G above and see how the hormones swing.

In terms of the body of the suit, I was happily surprised that the 30-band fit me so well through the waist and hips. It was a teensy bit loose around my middle, but my hips were perfectly content. I did have to do the "shapewear dance" to get it on and off so if you buy the Page, try it on in private. In the dead of night. With a lot of room for awkward pelvic wiggles. Or you can make the mistake I did and try it on in front of your boyfriend, as he laughs his head off. Hopefully, once I've maneuvered myself into it, I look like some unobtainable movie star and he forgets what he's seen.

Side notes:
  • I found the cups to have quite a bit of depth. Since I unknowingly upsized, this discovery wasn't great for me, but it's a good FYI if you're on the cusp of the size range.

  • The band was firm, by no means as loose as some of my new-ish 28-bands.

  • The bottom is entirely skirted. There's an upper panel (i.e., what you see on the torso) that isn't thoroughly attached to the swimsuit against your skin. It's a bit unexpected and it'll take some getting used to, but it does wonders in the smoothing/flattering department.

DD+ Outfit: Graduation Day

I'd planned to use the Tanglewood property in Lenox, MA as a seasonal back ground for this post. My brother's high school graduation was held there last Sunday, but the weather had other plans for my DD+ oufit. So, instead of me in front of the white wall in our apartment's spare room, try to picture me standing in front of a vibrant green valley, with a hummingbird on my shoulder:

This outfit has all my favorite colors in it: mustard yellow, burnt orange, and brown. I know that this combination can look like someone's tacky couch, but what can I say? I might be that girl that likes to dress like someone's tacky couch. Too many tag sales at too young an age...

{sweater: j.crew (old)|dress: modcloth (last spring)|shoes: target (last summer)| bra: curvy kate daily boost}

Full Bust Bra Review: Curvy Kate Daily Boost

When I went to Zoe and Company in Concord, New Hampshire, I said I was only interested in checking out bras with patterns, lace, or sexy designs. Thus, when I left with the Curvy Kate Daily Boost, my purchase was totally ironic. The Daily Boost is a basic bra in the truest sense of the phrase. Increasingly, I feel as if I don't need nude bras as much as I think I do. I'm happy with my seams, visible colors, and sassy texture. However, I've worn my Daily Boost constantly since I bought it. (Also, please excuse my weird tan lines!) ~

On me, the Daily Boost creates a versatile decolletage. It fits like a plunge contour bra, without the "rolled together effect" of a bra like the Deco or the Ewa Michalak plunges. This fit, the sans-push up plunge, is a great accomplishment. It allows me to wear tops and dresses that don't usually work with any other contour styles. For instance, my "Sookie" dress:

Tada, no "baby's bottom" cleavage! Just minimal coverage for a v-neck. I've noticed that the bras that leave me uncovered must anchor my breast tissue somewhere, usually at the sides. Interestingly, the Daily Boost reminded me of the half cup I reviewed from Bravissimo. To restrict movement, the bra has a larger side than I'd ultimately prefer. I should also disclose: I currently have pretty narrow breasts. Narrow-wire brands, like Freya or Ewa Michalak, leave me happy as a clam. I also realize that this might not always be the case and that many, many full busted women do benefit from the ole side-grab. So far, I've gotten a lot of use out of this bra and the neckline it gives. Plus, how could you resist the adorable contrast trim?

Side notes:

  • With almost any style from Curvy Kate I've tried, I need the larger end of my size. Lately, I've been around a 30FF/28G-GG and I certainly needed the GG here.

  • The cups are relatively shallow on the Daily Boost. I like that, but I do need to adjust myself down into them when I put this bra on in the morning.

  • The band was firm, but "opened up" nicely after a few wears and a wash.

Friday Favorites

What a productive week! I took care of appointments that I've put off forever, went to the gym for a swim, and wrote posts like a real blogger (Instead of going on Pinterest, with Netflix on in the background, which is what I call "blogging" most of the time.). This weekend should be fun too -- my sisters are coming home for a visit and my brother's graduating from high school. Family reunion time!  Earlier this week, my corner of Massachusetts had some intense stormy weather. Check out the clouds, it reminds me of the final moments of "A Serious Man":

The Top Ten Star in a Bra contestants have been announced! The second round of voting begins June 13th. Special congratulations to fellow full bust blogger, Brittany, of Thin and Curvy! I can't wait to see their photo shoots...

There seems to be a lot of "fitter frustration" in the blog world so I was psyched to see two posts on happy fittings this week. Here's one from the Full Figured Chest and one from By Baby's Rules.

Don't you love how Modcloth gives specific fitting details on their products? It makes me want to buy any dress that "runs large at the bust".

Words can't describe my love for Keiko Lynn's tights. Since they're sold out, I'll have to pick up these or these or these.

Claire, of Butterfly Collection, got married & she looks gorgeous! Sigh, what a romantic story.

Curvy Kate released a sneak peak of their swimwear collection for Spring 2013. Stripes? Florals? Glam bows? It's all there.

20% off Panache on figleaves.

Wanting this soft pink babydoll.

Did everyone see Mad Men last week? So, so heartbreaking, but most especially when he lounges at her boobs.

To leave off on an upbeat note, this video makes me smile.
Have a relaxing weekend, gals!

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