I somehow missed this when it first circulated, but I want to amp the signal of several bloggers discussing modesty!
Bras and Body Image
Braless in Brasil
Hourglassy- Off the Rack
Red Hair and Girly Flare
That Bra Does Not Fit Her
Thin and Curvy
Weirdly Shaped and Well Photographed
I don’t feel I have much that hasn’t been said quite well to add to the discussion, but here are a few notes:
- My formerly Muslim dad tried to pay me in high school to wear longer shorts.
- I dress for myself most of the time. I do not owe attractiveness or modesty to anyone.
- I cannot control who gets off on what sexually. My exposed elbows may be fetishized and that really should not be something I have to do something about.
- It is insulting to people who are sexually oriented towards women to think that they have less control towards women who show more skin.
I just moved to Fremont (a Seattle neighborhood) last week and now live two blocks from a lingerie shop called Bellefleur. They stock up to 36G and carry Panache/Cleo/Harlequin and Affinitas. Sold. First place that isn’t Intimacy that I can try Masquerade on. The lady there was very nice but I haven’t tried on anything yet, just stopped by.
I also went to Nordstrom to try on some current Cleo styles. Marcie was not quite a fit for me, as my tissue is soft enough that the center seam cuts in and creates an odd line under shirts. Sizing up gave lots of gaping at the top of the cup, and sizing down made the bra cut in several places. I guess the fit can be tricky for bottom-heavy and soft women. I also tried on Melissa and noted it didn’t work well for me but I can’t remember anything besides having to scoop migrated tissue in an unsatisfactory manner.
I’ve started my new job in Seattle, and so far so good. I have an open workspace, which means no more blogging/reading at work during my lunch hour. This will probably cut down on blog presence for a while, but I’m happy in that there are so many great resources out there. I’m still breaking in two bras, and should have some ‘retroviews’ of oldies but goodies as well.
I started blogging over eighteen months ago when the blog-o-verse started cropping up with wonderful content for DD+ ladies, and I am continuously impressed with the quality of many other blogs that have popped up. At first I blogged pretty sporadically, not sure what I wanted to say, just getting fit/engineering data out there. Bras I Hate and Love seemed to have a better handle on the engineering of seams and I hate drawing. I resolve to overcome that as I try to learn more about the science of bras. Bratabase also gained lots of traction and I wasn’t sure what I had to offer on this blog that wasn’t there! In the end I decided to post reviews here and link them from Bratabase. Not everyone browses bratabase, and this blog provides RSS and is search-engine friendly.
I’m lucky that I’ve had the time to keep blogging and to read other blogs. I may be posting a bunch less once I move for a while, as a new job and move can be tiring. Lots of blogs have dropped off in posting frequency due to life events or just wanting to go in a different direction. I want to keep blogging decently often, but at the same time I don’t want to pressure myself about this and make posting an onerous duty.
Why do I blog?
Blogging’s not a ‘job’ for many bloggers. I don’t have a business I’m partnered with or anything. For some, blogging is advocacy. Body acceptance, size range expansion, proper fitting evangelism, you go ladies! For me, it’s trying to provide a service for free about a subject I’m extremely interested in. It’s a pleasure to codify my data and get it out to people who may benefit. I hope someone’s been helped. Blogging is also my practice in writing concisely (that’s an in-progress struggle).
It might be more useful if I posted photos of bras on me so you all could get an idea of fit issues. Unfortunately with my career I’m still a bit worried about the photos intersecting with my day job. That’s why I also use a pen name. I keep reconsidering my photo-paranoia. If you blog, do you have a job where photos of you (even without the face) on an underwear blog could be problematic if your boss or coworkers knew?
Should you blog?
If you want to! Do so because you love to write, or have a passion for the subject, or things to say with your own voice. Don’t feel intimidated and don’t let perfectionism freeze you. I’m no trained writer myself, but I can still fulfill my goals here with sometimes-sloppy writing. I think the more the merrier!
Best reason not to blog? You don’t feel like it or don’t have the time. I find blogging is a big time commitment. If you’re not comfortable writing a whole lot but have something to say, you can do a guest post. I don’t know protocols on that for most blogs, but if anyone wants to do a guest post here, please let me know and we can try to arrange something.
What have I learned?
Blog visitors grow geometrically. I now have a lot of backdated content that people still visit (Curvy Kate Emily, Freya Deco, Masquerade Capella), so my blog visits per day have gone up over time.
The blog-o-verse, while may we have our differences of opinion in fitting or fashion, is an amazingly supportive (hah!) group of ladies.
One more personal note:
I live near Boston and our area is currently under lockdown. It’s simple and quiet. I am fine, but my roommate’s friend was killed last night at MIT. I canceled my dinner plans, but everyone seems pretty calm.
The Panache Sport has been a big hit since its release, with fun colorways (grays, purples, pink, lime green, navy) and rave reviews. I thought I should see what the fuss was about, because a molded cup sports bra seemed like a dream come true to me. I ordered the navy version from Large Cup Lingerie in size 32G.
Molded cups. The underwire casings are silicone-wrapped and sewn between fabric layers of the hefty underband. Fabric includes microfiber and mesh for moisture wicking. The straps are wide, padded, and only partially adjustable. There’s an included J-hook on the straps to convert to racerback. Three hook closure, and the back is nicely finished with extra padding and no extra label.
This bra’s an encapsulation sports bra, which means one’s breasts are kept in separate capsules/cups for distributing weight so it’s easier to stop movement of the mass. I vastly prefer it to compression-type, which squashes things together and in (and as my friend Sara says, makes you feel like you require a Shamwow in your uniboob cleavage after!).
Amazingly comfortable. I love the padding on the wires! Straps don’t quite adjust short enough for me, so I wear this as a racerback until I figure out how to alter it . It reduces bounce very well, especially with the J-hook! I wonder if a smaller cup would help even more- I couldn’t quite fill out the top, so maybe I should go down a size. Runs full in the cups, so if you’re between cup sizes or shallow profiled, sizing down once in the cup may be a good idea. Band feels true to size. The top of the bra after the wires end does not tack to my sternum- I’m not sure how important that is. Perhaps another sign that shallow profiles should size down or look at alternatives? It seems to keep sweat away well- I’ve felt it dripping down my forehead while biking hard and felt minimal moisture on my chest/sternum where sweat will normally collect.
This is an amazing-looking sports bra. Gives a streamlined, non-torpedo shape. I love the patriotic red, white, and blue! The lines are clean, smart, and fierce. It covers a lot, and I could wear this as outerwear in summer or in the gym.
I adore this bra in this colorway. I’m keen to try it in a smaller cup at some point and then decide which works better. The Freya Sport (underwired) functions well, but I vastly prefer the aesthetics of the Panache Sport- the main advantage Freya has in this case is that the Freya Sport is explicitly machine washable.
The Cleo Maddie looks a darn sight like the Cleo Karen from A/W 2012. I liked the design of the Karen, but it came up small and ends at G. With Maddie Cleo have extended the sizing up to H, so I ordered a 32GG.
Molded cup bra with small amount of lace on top. I’m don’t think the lace here does any smoothing out of the top of the cup line. Two hooks in the back. Full band gives good anchorage in the front. Cannot remember strap adjustability, but they look fully adjustable.
The 32GG felt like it fit but cut in just a bit at the top. This bra is probably not suited for full-on-top breasts, as the top slopes in pretty quickly. I’m not sure if the bra was too small or it’s the cut. But I’m excited that this is a bra that won’t have fabric fold/orange-in-glass for many full-on-bottom women! Do not be fooled by the cleavage the models have- I didn’t get any. The fabric tacked very well to me- I have medium-to-wide breasts I think and the wire width worked well with them.
Visually I feel the shape is balanced and smooth, and doesn’t try to hoist my bottom-heaviness into the stratosphere. There’s a fairly natural contour. Coverage is average to high despite being labeled a ‘balcony’ bra. The pink lace on it felt like an extraneous bother to me, though- I liked the contrast idea but pink lace is not for me, especially with animal print. I like the bold saturated teal color, but I’ve never liked animal print. So I felt it wasn’t for me.
If you like molded bras, have a shallow profile, and can stand the blue leopard print and pink lace, I suggest giving Maddie a try. I’m going to wait and see what they do with the shape in upcoming seasons.
I made an ASOS order of three bras to celebrate my new job! I don’t know how full a review I can do of each since I just tried them on (I find more fit issues can appear after extended wear or several months).
The Cleo Juna is a continuity collection that always comes in beige and black. There are also usually patterns based on the same shape: Darcy, Rihanna, Ellie, Sadie, and more. There’s often a fashion color each season: this March it’s strawberry.
I am not a pink person, but this is a hot pink I thought might work. I thought I would give this a model a try as I like padded bras, and seams offer extra support and shape.
Construction: Two-part padded cup with continuous band. Single vertical seam keeps the breasts from wandering east-west. Wire width seems about average to me. Straps are partly adjustable, so short torsos might have some issues without an alteration. Two hooks in the back.
Fit: Band felt on the stretchy side- I’d only be able to do an extended evaluation with wearing it for a month. The cups fit in my ‘standard’ size 32G, but they are deep. Like the Masquerade Rhea, this seems best suited to full-on-top or full in the middle shapes (high and average profiles). I can get a good fit with my somewhat full-on-bottom shape, but if you have an extremely shallow profile I wouldn’t recommend this bra. Scooping and setting is necessary!
Looks: There was more lace than I thought there would be! I wonder what would happen if I removed it? Unfortunately, some of it attaches at the gore. I don’t like the lace pattern, but it does probably help smooth out the top line of the cup. Vertical seam was not visible under a tank top, but the top of the cup showed in some t-shirts. The bra is starched, so that might change after a few washes.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like the color with my skin tone. I liked the shape enough to buy, though, so I’m sending this back and purchased a Cleo Rihanna, which has a fun geometric print. As a software developer, I love the pixelated look!
I feel a bit odd about this, but I’m ordering bras from ASOS to essentially check the fit. If I turn out to love them I’ll keep them, but otherwise they’re getting returned. I wonder how retailers feel about this? I ordered a Cleo Maddie, a Masquerade Amor, and a Cleo Juna. Since ASOS has free shipping both ways the only risk is a package getting lost, and that’s a risk I’ve decided to take because I have a new job!
I’m moving to Seattle next month to be with my partner- I was unwilling to move before I found a job offer that I wanted there. I’m excited about my new coworkers and the city. I’ll recoup the moving costs very quickly, especially since I have over three weeks stored vacation which I’ll get an immediate payout for. So I decided to treat myself to some more bras! I’m not in need now, but four of my everyday bras are ten months old (the newest one I wear regularly is four months), so they are going to lose elasticity in the coming months. I’m curious about the fit of the abovementioned bras, so I’ll try them on and see how they work.
I’m most stoked about the Amor because of its clean design, but once I move I am going to try the Fauve Bronte. I’ve never worn a Fauve, and they stop at G in padded cups, and could be a tricky fit. But my favorite color is orange, so the padded longline will be mine if it fits. Oh yes. Lace, maybe, but the orange is so vibrant!