Bowie, Moss, Cumming: How to dress like a tomboy with boobs?

“In a time when it seems absurd that my gender, my sexuality or my nationality should dictate what I do, I am certainly not going to let my body type let me dictate how I express myself sartorially! “


mossdepp

Looking at my heroes and fashion “icons”, I realized an unfortunate thing recently – none of them are even close to being full-chested. Most of them aren’t even female. That makes fashion inspiration a little tricky.

What they share is a certain androgynous edge and a common appreciation for Berlin cabaret from the 1920’s. David Bowie. Amanda Palmer. Alan Cumming. Kate Moss. To be honest I have no idea whether Kate Moss likes the cabaret. Still.

While there are many admirable blogs offering inspiration on how to tailor your style according to your body shape, I realized there are few to suggest how to dress your assets according to your personal taste.

This will be my quest. 

I have big boobs yet I have spent most of my life being really a tomboy. I may enjoy the occasional dip into vintage but really, A-cut dresses are not my style.

2014BipicsGallery_Bowie_200314

I like dressing like a man and I like my men dressing well. In fact, my favourite look on a man is also the one I like best on myself

In a time when it seems absurd that my gender, my sexuality or my nationality should dictate what I do (even though in my case in particular, all of these are as mainstream as you can get really), I am certainly not going to let my body type let me dictate how I express myself sartorially!

In the words of an absurdist playwright Vaclav Havel – “We refuse to be bullied by facts!

How to pull Kate Moss and not Lena Dunham?

I love Lena and I like her character Hannah on Girls. I have fierce respect and admiration for this incredibly accomplished young artist. However I do give a fuck about being attractive to the rest of the world (guilty there! caught in the conventional beauty paradigm still). I want to look fabulous pulling a Kate Moss look without looking bulky and pregnant. Hannah’s love for cuts and jumpsuits which accentuate her worst assets is legendary and cute… and also a little warning to me. So how to pull off what is – let’s face it – “heroin chic” when I am not skinny and flat chested?!

To start with, I put together “the rules for a full bust” versus my preferences:

Accentuate your waist

  • I really like low waist of the 20’s or at least at hips.

Show a bit of your cleavage

  • Most time when I flash some boobs I feel like a hooker – can’t help it. Prefer to keep it all covered up with some wide shallow neckline. Somehow others are significantly more successful at achieving tasteful cleavage. Worth analysing and a separate post for sure!

bp-pt362bst-largeThis Pepperberry dress is really nice but so not me!

Fitting, fitting, fitting

  • I like baggy band T-shirts, I like the festival look and despise anything elastic!

Embrace your femininity

  • I prefer trousers to skirts, boyfriend cut jeans to leggings, button up to any cleavage and, as the title suggests, male fashion icons to female ones.

So basically I’ve got it all wrong. Solution?

First I believe as long as you feel comfortable and your look has a clear idea, you are already on the right path.

Irina-Lazareanu-Werner-Schreyer-Selected-04

For me this idea is slightly androgynous “underground chic” (to avoid the horrible drug term and replace it with some nice Velvet Underground reference). The challenge is to accentuate the fact my waist/hips are on the more petit side without accentuating the very feminine hourglass trope.

Rules to try:

Tying tops at the hips (so from the side it is clear you are slim). I prefer when at least one of the garments is feminine/on the skinny-fitting ish side (can be a tailored masculine item too – shirt, vest etc.). If I am wearing a tighter top, I can go for boyfriend cut jeans. While I don’t really do waist belts, I try to make sure around my hips something will be fitting.

1. IMG_1874

Accentuating the vertical lines – The length in shift dresses or oversized tops will highlight the vertical line, achieving a slimmer look and level out the boobs.

Lighter fabrics – when not perfectly tailored (to me) I often choose lighter fabrics that will align with my figure (without being too elastic!). Much too often, harder fabrics will just create a tent down from my boobs – especially if they are not long enough. That way, my boobs are also still visible in silhouette, just not on display.

10390435_10206211709071086_8060232931962204177_n

Legs over cleavage – if I can, I try to up sexiness with a shorter bottom item over a deep cleavage so a short skirt and a baggy T-shirt tied at the waist is a popular choice for a night out! 

Tailored shirts – my personal favourite is a crisp white shirt with denim!

I tailor my white shirts myself (as I still haven’t had the courage to just get one significantly overpriced online, but I am getting there, promise!) and tuck them in my jeans.

1. shirt susp. best

Yes, suspenders are a crazy thing to wear with big boobs, but I got more compliments on them than anything else!

And finally a longer black jacket – this one will not accentuate your waist the same way a leather jacket would (and often it is worth trying which one of the two suits the outfit better). And yes: if you are pulling an underground rock chic style, you will eventually need both! The longer jacket rather highlights the vertical line again, giving you that tall, skinny look.

Shoes and accessories

Accessories are pretty crucial and as I like to keep my looks simple, the accessories are bold but never tacky or too shiny. Shoes are the most important – they elevate or crush a look easily. My personal favourite are oxford shoes in all colours (always genuine leather), Converse (mostly black) or some seriously elegant black heels. Also never underestimate socks. They can be a source of endless fun!

accessories

With these basic looks such as a white shirt, sometimes a little playfulness can divert attention from your bust – such as a colourful bowtie or suspenders. They are one statement piece and give a simple look a lot of attitude.

Lingerie

While I am sure these are not the ideal solutions, they work for me to keep my personal tomboyish style, with a bit of punk or hipster thrown in now and there. Not surprisingly, the looks are closely linked to the lingerie underneath – my preferences go against moulded bras because they make me look wider. Instead I prefer full cup underwired bras with a teeny weeny pointy shape, just enough to make appearance under clothes and yet to be natural. My favourite everydays are Fauve Emmanuelle for dark (have it in three colourways) and Fauve Coco in dusky pink for anything white. They are all full cups; the lace hopefully levelling out the amount of coverage in terms of sexiness. Sue me; I am 23-year-old girl who likes to get laid at times!

Overall I do not find it impossible to find clothes in high-street – even though at my size, I am definitely in the curvier spectrum of even the full bust brands such as Pepperberry and Urkye. However their fashion just doesn’t speak to me at all so I try to pair together edgier outfits myself.

IMG_1888

The key is a clear idea of what vibe/look you are going for. Combining fitted and baggier items and clean, vertical lines will make you look slender and stylishly messy instead of frumpy. Too messy can be dangerous too – which is where good shoes or statement watches can do wonders. And of course, it all comes down to a well-fitted bra – no amount of style can handle lack of uplift or worse a quadboob!

Do you struggle pulling androgynous look with bigger boobs? What are your “rules” and suggestions? And most importantly any advice on how to look like David Bowie?

Thanks!

The Yellow Bra!

Panache Cleo Marcie Balconette Bra

Ever since seeing Lena Dunham in that bold, unashamed yellow Zac Posen dress I have entered a phase of intense yellow craving. Despite my vampire pale complexion I suddenly decided I desperately need that yellow dress as well as some bright yellow sunglasses, a yellow backpack and of course yellow oxford shoes. With heart full of sorrow I have to admit to currently owning none of these.

You can therefore imagine my excitement when I saw the SS14 preview for Cleo, a brand I have previously somehow… omitted. Not on purpose, it had a bit to do with my disappointment with Freya (which I would consider the equivalent of Cleo in the Eveden world) and their poor fabrics, as well as with Cleo’s slightly too girly designs. However even overlooking the colour (which let me assure you is VERY DIFFICULT!), I am incredibly pleased with the fit and design of the bra and satisfied with the material. Continue reading

Sunday Intimates e-shop launch!

1157563_364391307022574_734310002_n

It finally happened!

The date everyone has been waiting for came and finally brought the e-shop opening of a new independent full bust lingerie brand called Sunday Intimates. The brand was founded by two delightful young American ladies called Tannis Mann and Simonette Lowy. The hype preceding their launch was bigger than I can recall with any other brand in the past few years, with perhaps the only exception of Claudette with their neon Dessous collection. After months of waiting the e-shop has opened at last and revealed the full size range and prices.

1003150_356697234458648_1521639197_n

Their first collection can be best described as grown up playful. With the exception of a gold longline (who knew you desperately needed a gold longline in your already overflowing lingerie drawer?), none of the designs are unheard of in the industry. They are however brought to absolute perfection. Polka dots, with a light amount of vintage – in colours, which don’t make you feel five years old again, anyone? A faux leather bra that doesn’t scream bondage? Subtle floral design in muted green? Count me in!

1610050_472337849561252_1524268735_n

On top of that, currently there is a 15% off promo code when you enter shopsunday4214!

 

Collection – Underwear and Loungewear

The SS2014 consists of five collections; the Monday, the Dottie, the Marie, the Lolita and the Sara.

Monday The Monday presents basic sleek day bras with sweet details in white and black. From a European point of view they seem mostly like something to satisfy the American T-shirt bra seeking customer.

 

Dottie

The Dottie became almost emblematic for the brand, in “Sunday Nude” pink and deep blue with white polka dots. It comes as a lingerie set as well as a pyjamas combo and IT IS ADORABLE.

 

Marie

The Marie line comes as lingerie and loungewear too, with the extra option of a kimono. It features what I would call (with the best intention) an elegant, grown up, exquisite swamp design with a few daisies thrown in. Again there are two colourways, green (more swamp) and rosy peach (swamp in full bloom).

 

Lolita

The Lolita captures Nabokov’s famous character perfectly. It is cheeky yet understated but holds its ground. The material resembles leather and it comes as a lingerie set in black or deep blue. The knickers come in a brief or high-waisted brief option (similarly to the other lines).

 

Sarah

Finally the Sara is a storm raging through not only the full-bust lingerie world but mainly a tornado through what you thought one could ever wear under clothes. It is a metallic gold longline bra with absolutely no apologies, coming with a kimono and one hell of a statement. An unexpected must have straight in your face!

 

Colours

With the sudden explosion of Instagram a few years back, all photos seem to have “the vintage feel”. Sunday Intimate palette seems to have the vintage feel without you having to take pictures of yourself. They are colours with tone and atmosphere – something along the lines of blushing dusty pink (aka “the Sunday nude”) or muted honey green flower chaos

 

971596_364391127022592_2075362192_n

Yes I sound ridiculous; yes the colours are beautiful. The designs also allow the colours to really stand out, as is the case with the very deep, resonating navy blue in Dottie. They are warm and muted at times but certainly not pale or shy.

481076_301500996644939_1321878477_n

And then there is gold. Enough said.

 

Material

With the newly opened e-shop, we finally know exactly what kind of material we are looking at. The Sunday Intimate bra that went viral – the Dottie in Sunday Nude – is made of “64% Polyester, 24% Nylon, 12% Spandex, Trimmings Excluded”. Other bras sport more nylon or in case of the golden beauty 6% metallic and 17% cotton too. As for the loungewear, polyester it is as well – no silk or cotton. However it doesn’t make them look any less comfy.

The immediate discussion that erupted on many forums centred mainly around the combination of polyester and the very steep price point. While I will wait to judge the material properly when I can actually touch it myself I can certainly understand certain frustration. On the other hand, my long affair with Fauve has taught me that polyester and polyester can be two very different materials. My Fauve bras feel luxurious and breathable and last for years. Not so much my Freya bras. They are both made of polyester.

 

Size Range

For an independent company, the Sunday Intimates start with some impressive size range in terms of cup size. Not so much the band size. Their range includes 28-34 D-H bras, which is good news for all the 28 band ladies out there as the selection doesn’t seem to be getting much wider otherwise.

Sunday_Banner_NewSadly it excludes most of the plus sized ladies. In an interview with Sweet Nothings, Tannis Mann and Simonette Lowy expressed their intention to expand the range in the future. Hopefully it will be easier (and therefore faster) in terms of manufacturing to expand the band range rather than cup range!

 

Price

Another thing that was secret up until now was the actual price of the garments. The bras range between $135 – 145, with undies between $68 – 81. Kimonos costbetween $130 -172 and the loungewear, which comes always separately scores just above hundred dollars for tank tops and shorts. The delightful polka dot pyjamas set comesat $264 together.

As the Sunday Intimate statement explains, all garments are designed and manufactured directly in Los Angeles, which increases the price significantly. While I do find the price very… luxurious (aka steep as ****), it also makes me think just how much would all my other bras cost if they were made by people getting the same salary I expect to get when I work.

 

Overall

523444_364394567022248_1517371823_n

Sunday Intimates’ collection seems to be a craft of perfection. They are garments for ladies who know what they want and are not afraid to express themselves. They are not infantile or sexual or elegant which occasionally borders on boring. They are modern with a light vintage twist and despite the price point very much your (probably best and most expansive) bra for every single day of the year. Except the gold one. But that one is a must have.

946306_364391013689270_663415175_n

I will provide reviews as soon as the beauties come!

Which one is your favourite? Would you consider splashing out for a polyester bra? Do you find paying more for an independent bra acceptable?

More information at

http://sweetnothingsnyc.com/2014/04/02/sweet-nothings-exclusive-an-interview-with-sunday-intimates/

http://www.missunderpinnings.com/2013/08/curve-ny-sunday-intimates-springsummer.html

www.sundayintimates.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Strapless by Wonderbra

Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless

1-Wonderbra While physics has always been an elusive subject for me, the many lessons on gravity provided ground for some serious doubt regarding the words strapless, well supported and my boobs in the same sentence. Hell, even paragraph!

IMGP9745 For a long time, even after my bra enlightenment (doesn’t make the gals any lighter though, does it..?!) I simply disregarded the strapless bra along with the strapless dress, narrow strapped dress or anything sleeveless really, in general. For my graduation however I began to hunt for this device, which should basically be able to defy the law of physics!

I devoured Cheryl’s brilliantly written IIYC post on different strapless bras and decided to purchase Panache Evie in the bridal (aka less boring) version. It ended up unused for the celebration itself but worked more or less okay (complete review here). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA While it didn’t bend any laws, it held well enough for me to keep looking. My second attempt, the Freya Taylor Strapless was a disaster – partially damaged by the shipping perhaps, it folded completely underneath the weight of my zeppelins!

Then a rumour began to spread through the community, after Wonderbra decided to expand the size range of the Ultimate Strapless up to a G cup. Some pretty impressive marketing behind that name, huh?

Construction, Design and Size Range

The construction of the bra seemed to prevent the disaster of the Taylor – not unlike a corset, the bra has plastic lining inside in the shape of fingers, holding up the bust. The plastic is sturdy, takes most of the weight and provides support and shape.

306_default_716 At the same time, as it is Wonderbra, it has some pretty impressive cleavage! The wide elastic band really works more as a strap holding the bra to your body rather than support – and is lined with silicone to minimize the bra slipping down your ribcage.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I was not joking when I called it a device. It looks massive in the G cup and a little scary until you put it on. However the contraption works well and molds to the body so it is pretty much invisible under clothes.

It might be also useful to point out that unlike many strapless bras, this one doesn’t offer the option of convertible or classic attached straps – it is ultimately strapless.The bra now comes in 30-38 A-G, in three basic block colours (black, white, beige) and three lace colourways (black, creme and red).

Reviews

After reading many reviews on Figleaves, the review at B4J and FFFB’s post with commentary by Sophie Morgan, who is basically my size (and who sister-sized) I decided to take a chance on a strapless bra just outside of my size range. Many of the reviews on Figleaves suggest the band is extra tight. I would be cautious with stating this. The band is definitely not loose or stretchy however I would say it is fairly true to size. As I am now more in the 30H territory, I had to sister size quite far and purchased a 34G. The cup size is exactly true to size and fit well. To hold the weight properly I believe the band is made firm but I wouldn’t size up!

Fit

My first attempt was a fail as it was to be expected – the band was so loose it just slid down. I thought I would have to take the band in but then inspiration hit me like a Bludger! I combined the strapless with my What Katie Did corset to tighten the band and provide extra support in the back …and MAGIC HAPPENED!

The Zeppelins floated proudly, displaying my, ehm qualities and the whole ensemble was (while clashing in colours) very comfortable! As I had to upsize with the band due to cup limitations (G cup), I cannot comment on how well the band sits when sized properly, but for longer wear I believe many would appreciate the extra support of the corset which stops the bra from sliding down your ribcage. As I stated above, the cups are absolutely true to size and fit well. Unlike my other attempts, this combination provided great support and shape, which didn’t waver over time or with movement.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Luckily my skin doesn’t have any problem with the silicone stripes – quite a few of the comments at B4J warned about the new silicone Wonderbra has been using recently!

Look Under Clothes

Curiously enough, the bra looks quite similar to Deco under clothes – smooth, round and upheld, perhaps a bit wider. When worn with the PUG Monica Dress for which it was originally purchased, it gives an option of ample cleavage without the “spilled boob look”.

Teamed with the corset, it supports me so well I might use it for options with straps where I need subtle cleavage, too. And finally, I can say hello to halter neck (so flattering for an hourglass figure), strapless dresses and sheer shoulder tops!

Overview

The Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless really lives up to its name. Luckily, when teamed with a corset it is available beyond the G cup advertised and basically becomes an overbust extension of the corset. While I cannot judge how well the bra works on its own when sized properly, with my What Katie Did under bust it was the very best strapless contraption that I have ever warn!

Have you tried the Ultimate Strapless? Does it work as well on its own? Have you experienced any marks from the silicon stripes? Let me know below!

Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless

Available in sizes 30-38 A-G

Retails at £34:00 for the plain and £36.00 for the lace bra

Panache Evie Bridal

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For my graduation I was hunting for a dress that would be a) big enough to fit my boobs, b) small enough in the waist for me to not look pregnant and c) not custom made as I assumed (correctly) I wouldn’t get that much use out of a full ball gown dress. Shockingly I did randomly find such dress, which (almost) fit all those criteria. All I needed was a strapless bra as the dress had very thin bejewelled straps. The thus the hunt began…

47840734

Design & Construction

I strongly dislike the fact most strapless bras are incredibly plain and bordering on ugly. I was therefore happy to find the Bridal version of Evie by Panache. The colour of the bra is ivory rather than white, which gives the bra elegance and class. I can imagine it as perfect bridal lingerie set! You don’t want to feel embarrassed when you take off your wedding dress!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The cups have a three-panel construction with the top section covered in flat lace. They are moulded from a stiff but comfy material, which doesn’t irritate the skin and feels very gentle and breathable. The bra also has silicon stripes running both on the upper and lower section of the bra, which should provide uplift and prevent slipping – they don’t seem to do much work though.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The cut itself doesn’t offer much (if any) cleavage – the top of the cups is very flat and encapsulates each boob fully. The lack of arched cups (such as the Deco strapless) makes it therefore ideal for strapless dresses, as the bra won’t peek out. On the other hand the very (very) high centre gore will struggle with any sort of dipping cleavage. The bra feels high quality and well constructed with thoughtful details. There is a charming little bow with a tiny pearl adorning the centre gore and the lace is repeated on the band in the back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Although the bra is marketed as a strapless, it has detachable fully adjustable straps. They have the same ivory colour as the bra. For my taste they are a bit too simple (the bra is so precious they look a little out of place) but for the purpose of the bra being fully convertible they function very well!

Reviews

As Cheryl pointed out in her short review back when I had bought Evie, the bra has very mixed reviews. Some people find it offers very little support, others swear by it. Most reviews (as well as me) find it true to size. The band is firm, but not firm enough to size up! I find the moulded cups give my gals shape and constrict movement without flattening them down but don’t offer much uplift.

Further reviews:

http://www.beckybedbug.com/2013/06/review-panache-evie-bridal-lingerie.html

http://sophisticatedpair.com/blog/?p=1762

Fit

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Evie feels quite comfortable with the centre gore being slightly too high for me. The underwires are wide (as typical for Panache), very stiff but do not come up very high in the armpit area, which makes them comfy and practical for dresses. My main problem would be the lack of uplift – the bra looks beautiful and gives a nice rounded shape but doesn’t actually offer much support. My breasts are quite bottom heavy and soft – it is possible someone with more natural uplift would find this bra ideal. My shape also makes me feel like the bra is constantly sliding down my body a bit (even when it only does a tiny little tad). There is enough support in term of encapsulation but in my case the gals are nowhere near as supported as with a normal well-fitted bra.

The difference is best shown when I put the bra on with and without the detachable straps. The bra really sits much better WITH THE STRAPS, which sort of defeats the purpose of it being strapless – rather making it a great multi-way bra.

While one could argue this can be expected from a strapless in this size, my experience with the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless disputes such myth!

Look Under Clothes

While the cups are seamed, the bra looks sleek under clothes. The lace on top of the cup is flat and unless the material is very thin (like flimsy cotton or silk) in my experience it is never visible under clothes. The ivory works great for any sort of light colour over it (and even dark if you make sure it won’t peek out with a few stitches).

I have already mentioned the cut of the bra is perfect for dresses with classic flat strapless top section and doesn’t work with much cleavage. There is also quite a lot of forward projection, which means the bra doesn’t flatten (and therefore decrease) the space needed for the bust. In the convertible mode it can be applied for halter neck or one shoulder, which makes it very versatile!

Panties and the Rest

To match the set I purchased a brief in M. It sports the same lace and bow with a pearl as the bra and a little peekaboo in the back. It is very pretty and feels quite bridal. I found it ran a bit small (especially compared to Freya for example!) – I would have definitely preferred L. Panache also offers a thong and a basque with suspenders and plastic boning.

panache-lingerie-evie-bridal-underwired-basque

Overview

The Evie Bridal bra was a first strapless in my size, which actually worked. Sort of. It goes up to a H cup and while it has a tight band, it comes true to size. It looks beautiful and extremely elegant. While I would probably not use it as a strapless again (the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless comes in a bridal crème option too), I do see it as a great a multi-way bra, which I do not have to feel embarrassed to (potentially) reveal.

Panache Evie Strapless Bridal

30-38 D-H

Retails at £35.00

 

 

 

 

Fauve Emmanuelle full cup

Image

From the years spent with my boobs (about a decade now), I learned they like to be supported and treated as individuals – that is they are not very fond of the monoboob I sported for most of my pre-enlightened teenage years. It goes beyond bad fitting though. Especially with a heavier top over, some of the Marie Antoinette cuts such as Tease me by Curvy Kate or my favourite Fauve Coco half cup can look a bit wider and shapeless even when fitted perfectly. The Emmanuelle full cup is the very opposite. It is a purple/bronze/dark salmon (is that even a colour?!) on black – to name just the combination I personally own –  testimony to the fact that full cup bras can be stunning and practical as they set the boobs apart, creating a clear, slim silhouette.

Shape

Fauve’s staple bra has two forms – a half cup going up to a G cup which I haven’t tried as of yet and a full cup up to GG, which has come to be my everyday bra. It is comfortable yet firm, contains the breast tissue everywhere and still looks fabulous, classy and far from boring. Its magic for me lies in the forward projection of the full cup cut – not entirely rounded but just projected enough to create the 50’s look under clothes; two boobs rather than a shelf. Unlike some other pointy bras (especially Freya in my experience) however, the solid material makes the shape still very natural.

Image

The bra itself consists of two firm panels and a non-stretchy top lace panel, with eye catching, (absolutely flat) embroidery over the whole cup. The firmness of the material as well as the fact it does not create any bulging under even the thinnest fabric makes it a perfect everyday, t-shirt bra! It does not have any further reinforced support in the elastic side panels but I have never felt anything but fully supported in this bra. One more point worth making, especially considering the price of the bra (retails at £54) – the band definitely does not stretch out much over time! On my older one, heavily worn for over 4 years (which I must admit I still wear), the band is still very firm, on the newer one even more so!

Fit

Image

With Fauve in general I find their cups a teeny weeny bit more generous than Freya. I own all my Emmanuelles in 30GG (rather than H). The band is true to size, quite firm and not particularly stretchy. While the straps are not exactly fully adjustable, their front slightly decorated part can be easily adjusted if needed. The central gore is medium high with the underwires sitting right next to each other (with a barely fitting central bow). This helps with forward rather than east west projection but might be uncomfortable for someone with a wider set bust. I feel the forward projection, lack of complete “globes” shape and clear separation (again helped by the very slightly pointy shape) cuts a much slimmer figure on me. At the same time, it is a warning for everyone who desires the perfect roundness of Deco! As I have mentioned, the bra is extremely good at containing all the flash (I have used it for sports as well – don’t hit me!) due to its high wings, which is another thing to keep in mind as for some people it can rub uncomfortably in the armpit area. However the fabric is firm yet soft so although it comes up fairly high on me too I have never experienced any problems with it.

Design

Although Fauve Emanuelle was my very first absolutely well fitting bra, being a 22-year-old young woman I do at times find myself a bit unsure with full cups. Are they attractive? I have been given a fair amount of cleavage – do I just want to hide it? Shouldn’t I like my own body enough to display my…assets with pride? I have come to view the full cup Emmanuelle as an endlessly practical yet beautiful choice. The art nouveau embroidery is gorgeous and while I am not entranced by all of the colourways (pink lipstick anyone?!?!), the absolute majority is simply stunning. The design is in fact quite simple, but sports little details such as a grown up “no shit” bow (never thought I would describe a bow like that!) or straps which are wide enough to offer comfortable support yet with a line in the middle making them optically slimmer. In the matching panties department I have tried a brief and a short (the latter being my preferred option due to less ruffling), but there is a thong available as well, always with the same striking embroidery on the front and delicate background colour material on the back.

Image

Emmanuelle has been a best seller for Fauve over the last few years and has come out in many colours. The last – the sunset (aka dark salmon in my colourbook) on black – is in stores at the moment, with the previous collections available on ebay and many on-line retailer sites in both full price and on discounts. As it is possibly my most favourite bra, I believe this review was to be written “now or never”. In SS14 season, it will be substituted by a very similarly cut Lavinia – from the pictures I assume the only tweak will be in the embroidery, which looks a bit more baroque/medieval to me.

 

Overview 

As I have been informed by Mr Fringster, Emmanuelle is not really a particularly sexy or playful bra (as it doesn’t really show or tease); rather it is classy, grown up, with a strong, independent woman feel to it. It is a bra you can trust in all situations – under clothes, without clothes on, when running for a bus, in a business meeting or simply on a day about.

Skeletons in the lingerie closet

skeleton closet

I like to describe the transformation into a well-fitted bra as coming out of the closet. Regardless of preferences in sexuality, it somehow seems fitting (pun indeed intended) on quite a few levels. For one, in my old bras I felt like hiding in the closet, preferably the whole summer and most of the winter long – which is exactly what I was doing wearing baggy clothes (although in my defense, the Sk8ter Boy has just hit the radios at the time!). Finally finding fine-looking, fitting bras felt freeing and fabulous! Looking through my drawer I found quite a few skeletons in that very closet, that I was most happy do be rid of. Starting this blog I kept remembering my journey from baggy (and some of the bras did look like actual bags, you will see!) to fitting as one big epiphany when a kind old lady in a tiny underwear store suggested that I didn’t need “something big like 38E” but a 32G or so. Somehow my brain filtered what was actually a long (and confidence crushing) voyage into one before and after moment. It wasn’t until I actually went through my drawer that I remembered just how many steps in between I have taken. So instead of just making one before and many after pictures I decided to dedicate some space to the actual transformation.

If you are reading this post, it is quite probable that seeing some of the pictures you will think – yes, my lingerie used to look like that! It is also possible that looking at some of the pictures you might think, yep that’s pretty much how my bras look now… Now I am well aware that being 30H/32GG I am lucky to be in the “almost mainstream” of bigger bras and it is the H+ cup sizes where it gets truly tricky, but there are always options! Curvy Kate for example make bras up to a K cup and they are pretty and fun, while remaining supportive. Similarly, Freya has bras that go up to the same size and Ewa Michalak is able to custom make bra just to your measurements without reaching astronomical prices! Therefore there is no need to stop at bras that “pretty much fit you” but make you feel undesirable or unattractive. I mean let’s face it – there is a reason why gentlemen spend most of the conversation staring at your bust. Boobs are just gorgeous! They are such a great part of being a girl and just trying on these old monsters from my closet made me realize just how much hatred they brought on my own body.

Now let’s take a look where I started…

Step no. 1 – around eleven, oops I have boobs!

Honestly, there wasn’t much out of ordinary. I got my first bra when I was eleven, pure cotton, no underwires – can definitely advise that to any young ladies or mums whose little princesses reached first signs of qeendom. I wear the matching panties to this very day. Although it might seem pointless, it is good to get used to wearing something around your chest not to mention, I confess it made me feel very proud to be a girl!

Step no. 2 – grew out of Snoopy. What now?

2013-09-04 12.40.56 2013-09-04 12.40.30

In H&M they have nice, practical, 100% cotton underwear. With cute patterns. With Snoopy. Underwired. Up to a C cup. Done – too small for me now. Gave my beautiful old Snoopy bras to mum. What now? The embarrassing truth is I received some of my mum’s old nursing bras. Just remembering them makes me cry now, and it pretty much did at the time as well. Upon trying to find them to take a picture they disappeared, probably thrown out in a fit of merciful rage. I love my mum but I really don’t know how she could have let me walk out of the house in these! What kind of message does that send to a young thirteen year old? They were washed out, they were unattractive and made me boobs look unnaturally huge. The beginning of my whale period.

Step no. 3 – hello strapless? 85D…

bezraminek2bezraminek

Let’s face it – big bust girls experience summer too! In an attempt to occasionally acknowledge my gender I was sold something that still shocks me to this very day. It was meant to be a variation on a strapless bra with plastic see-though straps. It consisted of an endless band that didn’t have a chance of supporting anything and cups made of stretchy material that didn’t posses any shape what so ever. The fact that anyone had the heart to actually impose this monstrosity on a little girl astounds me. The picture from the back shows the band riding up fairly high and therefore offering no support at all – even though now, 8 years later I would expect myself to be quite a bit bigger than at the time. The grotesque truth can be seen even better from the profile shot – where it is clear the cup despite its elasticity doesn’t even begin to encompass my boobs with underwires digging in the breast tissue. My boobs did grow a bit since then of course but not by much. I am 100% sure that at no point of me wearing this bra did the band sit straight across my back, or the front gore flat on my ribcage. My breasts spilled underneath the wires and on the sides, with the narrow plastic straps leaving angry red marks on my shoulders. Still I had two and a whole bag of broken straps that couldn’t withstand the weight of actual flash.

Step no. 4 – fluffy mono boob

2013-02-02 19.38.58

The lady in the shop promised ladies love this bra because it is oh-so-comfortable. It is although there is still no support just some sort of cloth cloud that creates one bag full of boob. The wires are still not wide enough and although the straps are wider they must carry the weight of the boobs fully as the band is nowhere near supporting.

Step no. 5 – the sports bra, mono boob part 2

2013-09-04 12.23.452013-09-04 12.23.552013-09-04 12.24.42

The sad truth that repeatedly crushed my father’s heart is that I’ve never been much of a sports gal. My by far favourite sports are skiing, volleyball and table tennis as none of them require much or any running. Nevertheless I was given a sports bra in the shop as it was the biggest they had. No underwires. It did not matter whether the bottom rim didn’t actually contain my boobs. It might have then, I cannot remember, I could never bring myself to actually wear it much. Squishy, squishy! My fairly languid literature filled life apparently called for such a device just to allow me to walk around. Weight-walking anyone?

Step no. 6 – two bags as opposed to one! …is this it?

2013-09-04 12.22.552013-09-04 12.22.02

This option stuck around for a while. Triumph 36E was the best high street could offer and it was an unattractive yet fairly functional alternative. Seems like ladies my size do not deserve pretty underwear. The band is too big and doesn’t offer support, the front gore does not sit flat and I recall endless sessions in front of the mirror comparing the great resemblance of my boobs and potato bags. I own a total of three. They make me shudder, as they look almost ok. Almost.

Step no. 7 – I have a vagina. I am a girl!

2013-09-04 12.17.482013-09-04 12.15.48

This was my final attempt to address the fact I was (and am – bless you English agreement of tenses!) a female. The black French lace, no too skimpy and no flowers thank you very much – I was in love. So much that I decided to get this beauty regardless of the fact it did no fit me in the slightest. I knew it too – by then even I recognized that 38E was meant for someone twice my size and half my boobs. I could not resist and the sales lady did nothing to stop me. While trying this on and hoping to tighten the strap a bit I found I altered the straps already – to be one third of the original adjustable part. The cups seem okay but the underwire digs in my breast tissue and there is no uplift at all. These are my boobies in their fully natural state and shape accessorized with some cloth.

I am torn as whether to feel any reproach. I am in love with this set to this very day and I still wear the knickers when I want to feel special. In fact despite the company’s (Etam) limited bra size range and the amount of padding in their smaller cups (“Let’s not like the body we have and put our shape on ladies!” – right?! thank you for that message), which I imagine is what soldiers wore to battles to defend themselves from spears and arrows, most of my knickers are from their shop.

2013-09-04 15.42.22

The magical seven! Some of these look horrendous and some look almost ok. None of them made me feel even remotely happy with my body and to this very day I tend to find ladies with boyish figures more attractive than (my own) hourglass shape. I am lucky to have found Mr Fringster who despite knowing me in most of my potato bag-gy stages (with clothes on that is – meaning formless and hunched over) is together with my fitting brasserie doing a lot to rectify my body image and preferences. My posture is bad still however. Some of it is genetics I am sure – my father’s shoulders look exactly the same. I am twenty-one though. He is fifty-two. My point is – if any of your bras look like these and you feel you would prefer something more sexy or fun –  KEEP SEARCHING! THEY EXIST!

01103860.interactive.a

Bye badly fitting bras! Never again!