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?
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…
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
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
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?
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!
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.
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!