The working life in New England demands tees

New England definitely has seasons- it’s humid, disgusting, and in the nineties (32 Celsius) in August, and in the winter we get plenty of snow and it’s normally freezing, sometimes well below.  Fall and spring are schizophrenic- they can’t decide where to be, and we have true few spring or autumn days.  Today is one of them, it’s foggy and drizzly out.  I’m still in short sleeves, though, because I am well-insulated.  I’ve on a t-shirt, a knee-length skirt, and sneakers.

The t-shirt may be a phenomenally bad idea.  For you see, if I wear a unisex t-shirt to fit it looks baggy, and if I wear a fitted one it looks almost pornographic.  It’s definitely laundry day, and I shouldn’t wear t-shirts, because despite covering everything they draw attention to the curve and the words on said curves (‘jQuery: write less, do more’).  Reading somebody else’s breasts always seemed awkward to me.  Is there a way to surmount this problem?  I love designs and some prints on tops, but lettering over my breasts is somehow aesthetically weird.

Anyway, why do I wear this at work?  I am lucky and work in a low-key IT environment, in a secluded offices where I see very few people all day.  So long as I am decent I can wear whatever I want (shorts and a tank top in summer).  This usually means a close-fitting v-neck or tank top, with a button down (that I don’t button) over it, or some kind of cardigan.  It is thus I end up needing mostly t-shirt bras.

A t-shirt bra is one that doesn’t show under close-fitting tops.  Hence, it’s usually molded or padded, and definitely seamless.  Because of my love of close-fitting clothing, I find almost all of my bras need to be close to invisible, and that’s a tall order.  I have come to love two t-shirt bras so far: the Panache Porcelain (28 DD-G, 30-38 D-G) and the Freya Deco (28-38 D-G, 30-36 GG).  Non-molded bras (also called cut-sew) can show seams or lacy patterns through a shirt.  My question, then, is why are so many DD+ bras in lace?  I understand wanting a bra to be pretty or something fun to wear around the house, but for most days I want something that’s practical- but who says you can’t make a molded bra lovely?  I’ll keep an eye out.

What are measuring tapes for?

I am by no means a fashion plate.  I enjoy looking good, but like to do it on a budget, and my style can best be described as ‘colorful eurotrash.’  I shop at H&M, Macy’s, Old Navy, and an assortment of other department stores.  I admit plenty of my clothes also come  from Mom because she likes shopping for me.

For several years I shopped at plus-sized stores like Lane Bryant and Ashley Stewart for tops.  Not slacks or skirts- I was wide-waisted and slim-hipped.  After I lost weight, I am still wide-waisted and slim-hipped, with a black hole back where my butt is supposed to be.  Pants fall off without a belt, and still look odd and saggy in the back.  The solution I’ve found so far is men’s pants, which fit my figure closer.  Anyway, the size charts usually say 16 or 18 for what’s up top (41″) but then the waist (31.5″) and hips (38″) look exceedingly awkward.

However, clothing shopping is still easier than underwear shopping- it’s easier to take something in at the waist than tweak a bra.  After a lot of trial and error, plus fittings at Nordstrom, Intimacy, and the Skinny Cow event, I’ve found that the most common size I wear is a 32FF.  Of course, this varies, as a 32G is not uncommon, and 34F/FF will happen for companies that manufacture firmer bands.  Perhaps the reason I’ve become so interested in it is that I’ve had to put so much time into the search!

To get a band size right varies- some people measure over the top, some directly under the breasts.  I had to do the latter, as I am quite broad-shouldered, and taking the measurement there would lead to a big band that rides up.  I measure under, tightly, and exhaled to get the tightest measurement.  31.7″ is a starting point, round up and go from there for band size.  41″ (the biggest measurement around the bust) minus 32″ says FF or G.  In my case it turned out to be pretty accurate, but I know this isn’t always the case.  It may give you a good starting point, though.

Why such a tight band?  Does it feel uncomfortable when I first buy a 32? Yes, but a few wears stretch out the band.  My ribcage fat comes out the side of the bottom, and there are marks when I take the bra off.  However, I can still comfortably get two fingers in the back for space (more than two and the band’s too big), so that’s the accepted measurement.  Many women wear bands that are far too large, and I hope this can be fixed a body at a time- it results in tissue damage and can encourage poor posture.

Hello world!

Despite being a professional web developer, I’m just learning to use WordPress!  This shall be an adventure!  I guess I should start with the journey that brought me to blog about underwear…

At age nineteen I gained a lot of weight (40lb over the course of a two years) due to improper diet, birth control, other medications, and improper exercise.  My doctors found I had an insulin problem and prescribed diet and exercise.  Well, I managed to lose the insulin problem, but almost none of the weight!  At age 26 I found out I’d been wearing a series of the wrong size bras, so I’d gotten some stretch marks and sag.  These are irreversible and the consequences of youth, I guess.  Anyway, I was eventually fitted at a 38DDD, after lots of trial and error.  Lane Bryant had a great balconette in that size, and I felt pretty set.  After so much searching, I considered myself something of an expert!

A little over a year ago I changed a medication, and proceeded to lose twenty pounds.  I guess I hadn’t been doing the diet and exercise wrong after all!  This drastically changed my bra size, and I needed to constantly refit.  It’s my largest clothing expenditure.  However, my new size showed a narrower ribcage and…wait why did my breasts barely lose anything!  Gah!  Lane Bryant doesn’t make anything below a 36 and most American brands don’t go over DD!

Apparently one is only allowed to have breasts in Europe, or at least the UK, France, and Poland.  I found the Eveden brands, Panache, and then Curvy Kate and the larger sizes of Wonderbra.  However, there’s no consistent sizing for me, or for pretty much anyone!  Each model has to be separately evaluated.  I’ve rejected more bras at Nordstrom and sent back more mail orders than I really like to contemplate.  However, the payoff is worth it- better posture, better support.  The magic of the internet will help ladies out there save money and hassle by putting our data together.