Saturday, 29 June 2013

Freya Just Flew In Longline and changing sizes

Note: Blogger is messing up, and not letting me upload photos from my computer. When this fixes I will add my own photos. Until then things are going to be pretty text heavy.

Oh My God. Midyears have finished, the semester is over, mid year sales are on! I have bought SO MUCH STUFF! I have shopped so much that it makes me ashamed to admit how much. I am consequently poorer than ever, but ho hum. This post has been opened as such, because it is about my new Freya Longline, and my expanding boobs, my worst fears confirmed at Myer CBD, a main department store in the city, where I have spent too much time.

Caitlin Moran, British Feminist, says that boobs are a horribly inadequate word. Its true. Boobs, it sounds all comic and stupid, like they need a saxophone accompaniment, or to be attached to a comic, bouncing blond cartoon character. The imagery in Caitlin's own-I take no credit-from her book, How To Be a Woman. Breasts are too clinical, maybe for a staid politician, somewhere where cancer is found. Bust is euphemistic, and also sounds like 'break'. I just busted your stereo! Caitlin prefers tits, but I feel uncouth saying that. We shall see. Maybe I will just write 'mammary appendages', but I think that that would confuse even me. Tits/boobs/breasts/rack/whatever the subject of my writings shall be called aside, I digress.

Right, the Longline. There are a million reviews out there on the net of this bra, given that it was Freya's first 28 back longline bra, and longlines are hard to find a the best of times, especially for a D+ market. Longlines seem more supportive, firm and stable, given that wide band, and shake up ones bra-wardrobe. I would have loved the Just Flew In. There were SO many things right with it:

First, the colour is nice. I am obsessed with purple. It looks great on my skintone, and is FINALLY age appropriate for me among Freya bras, which I can find a little too serious and, well, old. Not too old, just sort of wise, and a little toned down. I also like the lace on the top of the cups. It isn't tight, and doesn't make the cup dig more than it already does on me, which is a sizing fault, not the bra's fault.
The band stretches to 28.5", which is very reasonable for it's size, but like some other Freya bras, it may stretch out more in time.
The band was really supportive, not too tight, maybe like a pair of jeans, and I could not feel the bra at all the whole day, except maybe I was aware of the gore sometimes.

And now for the bad. Obviously only having two rows of hooks, meaning it will become too big and thus obsolete too quickly. Also, the band at the front crinkled up, and probably needs some boning.
The cups also seemed very low, and like thew projected outward to the apext of my bust, but didnt then curve upward a little to contain it. See here the comparison of the Just Flew In's cups with the cups of the Freya Taylor, in 30DD, which have the same size.




The rest of the bad is my fault. Most of my bras are 30DD/Es, and the two bras I have previously ordered in a 28 both didn't fit, each for their own reasons. I had tried on the longline in person a few months ago in 30E, which was too big in the cup and the band, and so ordered 28E.

Either I grew a whole cup size since then, or a tighter band simply pulls the cup closer to my body. Whatever it is, the cup was waaaaay too small. Before swooping and scooping, my nipples are covered, and I have a fairly normal shape, with semi-subtle cleavage.

 However, I have side boob, and the wire is on my breast tissue. After swooping and scooping I had quadraboobing. My nipple was barely covered. I had cleavage that made me gasp. I'm a sucker, and its for the cleavage, beauty of the the design, and hope that my bra size will go down that I am keeping the bra.
Note also the quadraboobing and flattened shape under a t-shirt:



My bra size going down doesn't seem too happening, and this next part will be TMI, so stop reading if you wish. Firstly, I'm quite skinny, and my breasts are very firm, mostly tissue and not fat, so losing weight isn't going to make a difference. Also, that was how the bra fit between periods, when I am at my smallest. At that time, I was filling out my 30Es better that usual, and my 30DDs where looking strained, though of course, because the bands are not tight enough, I didn't get overflowing quadraboob. Now, a little before my period, I am overflowing from the longline like nobodies business, and the thing sometimes doesn't cover my nipples.

I went to Myer in the city, which only carries down to a 30 back, just to try a couple more 30Es and maybe 30Fs to see where my bra size actually is. Surprisingly, the fitter was very competent. Moulded plunge Pleasure state bras in 30E where nixed. They contained all my tissue, and the wires where fine, but gave me a flattened effect because they where being pulled around my narrow rib-cage and distorted. The Babes in the Wood balcony bra, by Freya, in 30F was a little generous, but not big in, the wires. I filled out the bottom of it, but not the top lace, and certainly didn't get cleavage like the model. It was obviously too big, but I wonder if trying a 28FF would pull the cup closer towards me, and would be a better size than a 28F at some times during the month, given just how small the Freya Just Flew In longline is in 28E. I am tring to decide what bras to order online in a 28F, given my expanding tits, but perhaps I will continue to grow further, rendering any new bras in a 28F obsolete. After all, breast growth doesn't cease till your early 20s.

So saying, here are some bras I would love to get:
The Cleo Juna in nude.

Tempt Me by Curvy Kate.

Princess by Curvy Kate, I mean, it is practically named for me!

Zia Spot bra by Cleo.


Xoxoxoxo, Princess






Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Corsetry: My first Foray

I love bras, underwear is pretty cute. And I am fascinated by corsets. I am slowly getting into sewing, learning, and the craftsmanship of corsets is beautiful. They are frequently like wearable works of art. They are neat, graceful, beautiful. The sewing has opened my eyes to how complex and difficult bras are, much more so corsets (I am making but a simple sun dress ATM).

I have been stalking the corset blogs of Bishonenrancher on YouTube and her website, lapping up information and exposure like a parched desert traveler (swooooon). So saying, I have no money to get a corset quite yet, and little occasion to wear one. Also, I would probably wait until 21, to be utterly sure my bones are fully formed, which means that buying my own corset is not looking likely.

So saying, I tried on three different corsets by Gallery Serpentine (one of the VERY few corset bands in Australia) this week, in two different locations, which is something I have been dying to do, and more on that after a little more information.

I cannot put my finger on exactly why I like corsets. It is not because they are restrictive, binding and incapacitating. I am not advocating pain, or tight lacing, just wearing a corset for fashion, a couple of times a week or month, for a few hours, at mild reduction. In this fashion, they are tight, secure, comfortable.

I do not think that wearing a corset in this context contravenes all my feminist ideals. I mean, I am going through a phase of liberating myself from the patriarchal and constraining ideals by which I dress myself (religion, not going into it just now), and the corset is not just another snare, it's a choice, for aesthetic reasons, for the love.

Hell, I don't even think the waist reduction is that necessary for me. I have a semi-proportional figure, with a vague waist. I don't wear vintage dresses. But sometimes, that reduction looks cool, it reminds me of the mum in Mary Poppins, all merry and shocking, or Susan B Anthony, or Betty Brosmer.

And without further ado:

I tried this on at Supernova earlier this week. Supernova is a huge expo of geek culture, and among the stalls there, I found this steelboned, high-rising underbust corset by Gallery Serpentine. It was 22 inches, offering at most a 4 inch reduction from my stomach at it's very fullest and most bloated, but realistically my waist is 24-25 inches, so it was a little big. It felt secure and tight, offered a gentle reduction that looked more like sculpting, because even though I may have had internal reduction, the bulk of the corset sort of offset that. It was a great introduction to corsetting (my first time ever), but I don't think the lady was super-knowledgable, or she would have put me in a 20". Also, note my dress. Its new. I was watching that baby since the beginning of the year, when it was $100 dollars, and now it was $25, last one left, in my size. Yeah!


I then went to the actual Gallery Serpentine shop today, with a friend. The steampunk stuff in that shop is epic, all the victoriana, bustles, glitz. The lady was helpful, and helped me into two 20" corsets. They felt much tighter, and a little uncomfortable. The lady laced me with about an inch difference between the two sides, so my internal waist measurement was 21". It looked a little extreme, like PULL ME TIGHTER ETHEL AGGGHHHHHH, but looked so, so cool! I look so lithe, epic and vampy. I especially like the Alice in Wonderland one. The overbust doesn't do it for me as much, because I am not really in search of smooshed up cleavage that would come in a more flat-chested corset. So saying, laced as I was, evenly, with a 1 inch gap, there wasn't much pressure on my bust, it was held, and looked and felt fine. I just like underbust more. 




Xoxoxo Princess.

PS: Next time I will talk about how I hate changing sizes, a store review, and an article on Modesty (Ughh, how I hate that dastardly word)

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Hollister

Australia is a retail enclave, shielded from some super-brands like Victoria's secret, Topshop, Aeropostle and Abercrombie and Fitch. This is a good thing. There is less of a culture of buying the EXACT SAME clothing as everyone else in your age group, a pressure to fit in with the same brands, and do identify yourself by said brand. Also, huge amounts of money are not poured into one sole brand, which always seems a little unjust to me.

Anyway, Hollister just opened it's first store in my city (and second in the country). I was all against it.
I do not want to look like OTHER PEOPLE ACROSS THE GLOBE. I do not want to identify with a company that only wants 'cool' kids into wear their stuff, and clearly says so. I do not want to vaguely delude myself that I am exclusive, cute and beachy. Don't get me wrong, I do not feel inferior that I am not any of those. I do not want to be. I do not want to pour money into this guy's coffers, even though many other brand owners are probably just as bad.

"It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that” [Please, sir, you are not in some bitchy frat house, or high school. Just a friendly reminder.]

 I do not want to lead the simpering and self satisfying lifestyle that they like to associate themselves with. I get that they are marketing to a 'cool' WASP teen, popular, probably bashes other guys heads in, or bitches incessantly until a frenemy is driven to suicide, before going on to become a mindless and vacuous consumer of Hollister. The usual.


Tempting though it may be to !Oh Joy! Be so very cool that I just have to buy products from a brand that expresses me exactly, advertising my awesomeness (for Hollister clothes are all logo-ed an branded. YOU are the advertisement). Or perhaps I just WANT to be cool, and if wearing that shit makes me cool, so be it.

OK, so I explored the ethos. What about the store? Dark like a pit, a maze of rooms, and the inexplicable sound of waves. I is mid winter, bear in mind. I do not like the beach when my hands are numb with cold.
You can judge a store by it's change rooms, and those were small, spotlight so that if I turned the wrong way the glare blinded me. And a little dark. Now, I know I am a narcissist, I like my reflection, so turn up the lights so I can enjoy it! And perfumed. After trying stuff on, I still smell like it.

Still, sucker that I am, I went in. The first time, I looooooved it. The clothing, aside from ALL the sweatpants and weird loose shorts is nice. Really nice. Simple, pretty. I will grant them that. It is reasonably priced, ie affordable for broke people like me. I was obsessed. I vowed to come back ASAP with money. And so today, I did.

But after a little thought, away from that grotto of Hollister-ness, I realized how much I LOATHED the place, and felt terrible. I looked at everyone else blithely shopping there, and felt worse yet.



PS: Sizing. That stuff was messed. Their Gilly Hicks bras and bandeaus gave no support, were way loose in the band, or just acted as nipple covers. The bandeau didn't even cover the bottom of my bra. Me being a non standard size, this was fine. As a side point, Gilly Hicks is actually called Gilly Hicks Sydney, as in wear I live. Yep, before this week, I had never seen or herd of it. But the shorts and pants! I wore a size 00, on my 34" hips. I am tall, and fully grown. Someone shorter, skinnier or younger than me would be sized out by vanity sizing. Hollister, I don't need to be told how skinny I am. I don't care.

Verdict: Just nooooooooooooo

Monday, 17 June 2013

Evollove Birdsong and matching thong

The Birdsong:
This is a balconette bra by Evollove a full bust company from Australia. Insofar as full bust goes, they have a surprisingly narrow size range. Back sizes begin at a loose 30, and continue to 36, while cup sizes begin at D and end at G, skipping FF, so really it runs only from D to FF. In both Myer and David Jones, the two main department stores in my city, only a few styles are stocked in size 30, and D cups are not stocked.

So saying, I was shopping with friends, and really, really wanted a bra (I was intoxicated by all that lace). Not withstanding that there are hardly any size 30 bras in Myer or David Jones, and absolutely no 28s, I was delighted when I found this baby:



Being broke like I am, I only bought the bra (this was probably late last year). In terms of fit, the cups run true to size. I sometimes don't fill them out completely (in 30 bands I wear a DD-E), and there is gaping at the top of the cup, near my armpit. This isn't very noticeable, and in any case, I like the projection that the E gives me, and also that the wires do not lie on breast tissue, as many other (ill fitting) bras of mine do.
Man, this bra makes me look huuuuuge.

In terms of the band, unstretched it is 26 inches, and stretched it measures 31". I get a look sort of like the model, even on the tightest hook, and cannot wear the bra with low-backed dresses (it rides up). Regardless, because I have very firm breasts, which are not too heavy, I don't get sagging, or discomfort, its more of an aesthetic thing.





In the photos, you can see how big the band is, proportionally, it has a looong band. I am sorry, the second photo does not do the colour or pattern justice. The third photo shows the lace detailing on the top of the cups. So cute!
Aesthetically, the bird print is gorgeous, and the blue is whimsical. Sometimes it can look a little washed out on my skin tone. The birds also show through sheerer fabrics, whereas a solid colour wold not. The seam in the middle of the cup also sometimes shows through tight, thin tops.

So saying, this bra is the most comfortable I own, is not too expensive, and looks great. It is like an old friend. This is the bra on! On days where I am a little bigger (before my period), I get a subtle hint of cleavage.






When I saw the matching thong on sale last week, for $15 (can't remember how much the bra was), I bought it. It is made of the same pattern as the bra, though the fabric is sheerer and slinkier. There is lace around the legs, and a cotton gusset. There is also a bow. The bra had this bow on it's gore as well, but I cruelly ripped it off (I hate bows on bras. It is so twee! Bows on knickers are fine, for some reason).

Unfortunately, I found them to be quite uncomfortable, but I guess that is because it is a tho, after all. I really just wanted to complete the set, and to look pretty on he inside (awww) when necessary.


Panache sport

Panache Sport review:



Hi all,
I have a couple of articles in mind, but I am super busy with exams and an artwork I am trying to complete by TOMORROW. Hence I write this from the lovely location of my kitchen table, whilst eating.
I am quite into running, and so obviously a good sports bra is a must. Health implications aside, going without a good sports bra would hurt, and be a little indecent. Coming of the back of a size ten compression bra (hello uniboob), I was so impressed that I bought  the Panache in black and then a few weeks later in red.

The black one is a size 30E, and given that this allegedly  runs a little big in the cups, It fits very well. The band stretches to 29", and  I have worn it quite a lot. This is OK, as I have a bony rib-cage, and so the size down would have felt constricting. In any case, the band does not ride up my back, and stays put.
It also gives me a really great shape, projected, with a hint of cakes-on-a-plate cleavage, despite being a sports-bra, and works it's non-bounce magic even on smaller boobs, not withstanding that it was made for much heftier engineering.

What do I not like about the bra? The straps are either a tad too long worn normally at the tightest setting, or hurt my neck and shoulders at their loosest clipped  the racer-back feature. The wires also sometimes irritate my sternum and rib-cage, but I think this is the hazard of having a bony rib-cage and running wearing a tight, wired item, however well-padded the wires are.
Sometimes I get gaping at the top of the cup as my size fluctuates and becomes lower, and, aesthetically, this could be fixed by going down a cup size. It still gives the same support, so I don't particularly care.
It is interesting for me to note that the top hook of the first set of hooks on the black bra, which I have ad longer, is pulled out quite a lot further than the bottom two hooks, which indicates the inverted triangular shape of my rib-cage.
Sometimes, after prolonged wear, I can 'feel' the bra, but I have yet to find a perfect bra that this is not an issue with.

Below are some photos of me in the red bra, showing you how nice the shape is. Sometimes I even wear this bra under normal clothes. Of course, the op must not have itty-bitty straps or a low neckline, but hey-ho.



Being so impressed with the no-bounce nature of the black Panache sport, the shape and the comfort, I went  and bought the same bra in red, without trying it on. Sure it will fit, its the same thing! WRONG! If the black one was a very tight 30 band, the red one ran a full size bigger! It stretched to 31" (being a size 30 band). Perhaps this sizing inconsistency was due to the black one shrinking when it was dyed. Perhaps they have slight construction differences. I don't know. There is no puling on any of the hooks on this bra, and sometimes it slips around a little, leading me to think I should have gotten it in a 28F.
The red one also has longer straps, which I can comfortably do up in  racer back, giving me more support than the red one, and eliminating ALL bounce save for the little bit of flesh that is present over the top (that sexy hint of sport cleavage).




Thursday, 13 June 2013

Introducing Princess

Hey everyone,
I have been wanting to start a bra blog for ages, doing articles and some reviews (but not too many, as I am a broke student that cannot do that much bra-buying). Where to begin?
I am a student who lives in a seaside suburb in Australia, I like reading, art, running, cross country and athletics, yoga, piano, Daria, and of course under...things...
My obsession began after I was fitted into my almost size of 32D. I then went to a large cup boutique and was exposed to Fantasie, Curvy Kate, Freya (oh lordy me, and so much more). Coming off the back of $20 ill-fitting bras, I bought nothing. D+ Aussies have to shell out $90 for a bra? But my love of all things underwear was fostered.

My 'stats', for reference, are:
-34-35 inch overbust, standing
-35-36 inch overbust, leaning
-27 inch underbust
-26 inch underbust break-the-band
-25 inch waist
-34 inch hips
I am 28F or 28FF I think, but due to me living in a bra-store and funds hole of doom, I own and wear mainly 30Es (I know, I know, they do not fit!), though
in some bras that run a little big I would like to try a 26G, should it exist.

So why a bra blog? Well, I fit into a size and demographic niche that not many blogs cater for. I am technically a 'full cup' size, though by letter alone, so I have to shop more expensive, less common brands, yet still do not get giant knockers. I am also a 'small band', according to Australian brands, which only go down to a 32. Hmmm. Also, why not share my knowledge and thoughts on the industry and the bras out there?

For privacy reasons, I won't be posting pictures  of my face. I hope you understand. And I know, It looks kind of weird, but there you are. Ditto my alias, which is the reason that I am going under my nickname Maybe when I get more comfortable...

xoxoxoxox

Princess.