Public service announcement: custom nursing bras!

30 Jan

Hello, readers!

Today on the “Clothes for Big Boobs” Facebook group I came across some pretty awesome information relating to breastfeeding. ATTN: nursing parents and parents-to-be.

Ewa Michalak, a small Polish company already known worldwide by the small-ribcage’d, big-boob’ed set (of which I am a member) for making custom-sized bras at no extra charge. (I am also a fan because their models are a wide variety of shapes and sizes.)

They make nursing bras, but as far as I knew until now, they only had three styles available- the Onyks, Misio, and Biszkopty. But one mother, a fellow member of the “Clothes for Big Boobs” group, wanted more choice, and she had the good sense to ask for it!

She received an email back from the company, and they told her that they will customize other styles to be nursing bras too! They have black and white clasps (coordination sticklers, be warned: no red clasps to go with the Mak) and they told her that the price for a custom nursing bra would be 149 zloty ($48.18 USD by current exchange rates.)

So for those of you for whom price is a big concern (and hey, who doesn’t want a cheap bra, really?) I did a little research and while it looks like Hot Milk, Emma Jane, Lorna Drew, and Royce all have marginally cheaper nursing bras (and probably cheaper shipping for many,) but if you’re sized out of those brands, head to Ewa. They can hook you up. Plus, they have a wide variety of styles available to choose from, ranging from super-sexy to super-practical.

Another attractive feature Ewa has that I don’t see in any other nursing bras (correct me if I’m wrong) is the padding. While I tend to have more luck with non-padded bras, some bodies benefit from the extra support and pillow-y-ness that padding provides, and Ewa can give you that!

Hope this info benefits someone out there!

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Bra experience interview take 2!

29 Jan

This interview is with Demeter, who writes the super cute and super cool blog Today’s Tomboy. I promise the next interview will have some more interesting questions!

Tell me a bit about yourself- who are you? Where are you from? What’s important in your life?

I’m just a college student from the north but living in the south. I’m a pretty down to earth girl and am enjoying exploring lingerie. My pets are very important to me, I don’t know what I’d do with out my pups.

What are your main bra issues?

Currently, my main bra issues is just being able to find what shapes and styles will work for me and being able to afford to try them.

Tell me about your first experience with bras. How old were you? How did you feel?

I can’t remember how old I was but my first bras were simple training bras. I felt exciting because I was finally “developed” enough to wear a bra. Most girls my age were much more busty than I was.

How did you go from there to your current bra fit? How do you feel now, in regards to your breasts? Tell me about your journey from there to here!

I had always been a 34A and when I finally moved to a 34B I was estatic! Then those started to feel too small and I bought a few 34C bras. My friend wore a 36C and when I tried it on I was confused why the cups were bigger than my C. That was somewhat of the catalyst for finding more bra answers.

The 34C’s also made me look wide and much thicker than I was. I looked so droopy too! Then I tried 32D, 30DD, and finally settled on 28FF as my “main” size. Today, I feel more comfortable with my breasts now than ever. Especially knowing about all the different shapes and that I’m wide and shallow.

What’s in your bra drawer right now? What’s your current favourite bra?

I currently have a Rhea (too big), Deco, CK Thrill Me, and an Asos bra. My fave would be the Thrill Me because they fit me so perfect and are super comfy.

Tell me something about bras that you love. It could be a brand, a particular bra you own, a style, a feeling, anything!

I tried my first balconette in the 32D range and loved it! Before that I had stuck to plain t-shirt bras. I love the shape I get from bras like the Rhea and Thrill Me.

Tell me something about bras you hate and want to change.

I hate that there are few places in the US to find these sizes and the prize range. I would never spend $70 on a bra but you almost have to if you want to buy it in a department store.

Let’s pretend for a moment that you can have any bra you want, regardless of size or price or whatnot. What specific bra would you choose? Why?

I’ve really wanted to try Parfait Affinitas, Charlotte or Tamara.

And, for the funsies: What’s the weirdest thing anyone has ever said in regards to your boobs?

I can’t recall anything particular… 😦

28 Jan

The blog Voluptuous, but Beautiful posted this great interview that touches on bra issues for the disabled.

Voluptuous and Beautiful

As of late, I’ve had very few posts on my blog. It pains me, it does. I’m constantly low on funds and am quite immobile so the bras I get are far and few between. I had asked on Bratabase for some ideas and a lovely woman by the name of Ann–who will be a guest reviewer later on–gave me wonderful ideas.

I have a good amount of friends and went to Facebook to see if any of them would like to help a fellow gal out. My first thought was a good friend of mine Sam, who has physical condition that I thought might impact how she ‘lives’ with her breasts. She agreed to doing a small interview for a post.

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What’s Victoria’s secret? :O

26 Jan

Cute booblicious guest comic today at one of my favourite webcomics, Girls With Slingshots. Plug plug plug!

Victoria’s REAL secret.

 

On Curvy Kate’s gaffe.

21 Jan

So many of you may be aware of this image which has been circulating in social media recently.

“Judgments” by Rosea Lake, originally posted here: http://roseaposey.tumblr.com/post/39795409283/judgments

And some of you may also be aware that the bra company Curvy Kate turned the above image into this:

This image has since been removed from Curvy Kate’s Facebook page and is now available for your viewing pleasure on Lingerie Addict’s tumblr: http://thelingerieaddict.tumblr.com/post/41136294511/i-cannot-believe-curvy-kates-audacity-to-outright

Are you offended yet? Because if you’re not, well, you should be.

Curvy Kate has since issued an apology via their Facebook reading, “Apologies for our recent post, we didn’t intend to offend any of our community. We also will endeavour to source any of our future content. We hope you can forgive us. Curvy Kate x”

Aside from the fact that what they intended doesn’t really make a difference (I didn’t intend to get offended today, but then you had to go and do something awful) I find this apology inadequate for a number of reasons:

1: It gives no indication of whether or not they have apologized to the image’s creator, who has as much reason to be offended as their Facebook group does.

2. It places the blame on members of their community for being offended, rather than admitting to their actions as being offensive.

3. It totally misses a key point here. As did all the commenters who are complaining about how uppity us offended people are, and how it “wasn’t an exact copy anyway” so it wasn’t plagiarism. (Please, please: if you are not an expert in transnational copyright law, don’t pretend you know anything about transnational copyright law. You have no idea what you’re dealing with, you are probably wrong, and you are definitely making a fool of yourself. Go home, Facebook, you are drunk.)

See, what Curvy Kate seem to have missed is that the original piece was a commentary on our society which defines women based on their attire and blames them for the consequences of those definitions. This piece was about rape culture.

What is rape culture, then? In a rape culture, people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate, rape. Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.” (In the words of FORCE, an organization focused on promoting a culture of consent and bringing conversation about the realities of rape culture to light.)

And if you think I’m taking this seriously, well, let me put it another way: Curvy Kate took the art of a woman who was in high school at the time she created it, turned it into a cuter version without the connotations of slut-shaming and violence, and posted it on their Facebook page, for the purpose of making money. If that doesn’t make you a bit angry, well, you are maybe Buddha and why are you on the internet when you supposedly achieved Nirvana like forever ago?

Should Curvy Kate desire to regain the patronage of offended customers such as I, they will need to do more than apologize to Facebook. I want to see a confirmation that they have apologized to the image’s creator and that they will never plagiarize others’ work again, proof that they understand that what they did was incredibly belittling to a very important issue, and assurance that they will try not to be so demeaning in the future.

(Note, though, that doing the above things will not magically make everyone not angry anymore. “Sorry” isn’t magical; it doesn’t make wrong things suddenly not wrong. It just serves as an indication that you’re willing to try to not do more wrong things. Nobody is obligated to accept an apology.)

Take some responsibility, Curvy Kate. Let us know if you have learned from your mistakes.

Oh nooooo

21 Jan

Readers, I am devastated.

Okay, not really. I’m actually mildly amused.

I just discovered that there is already another blog with the name BRAvolution. I am kicking myself for not doing more Googling before deciding on a name.

I would just change the name of this blog, but I spent SO MUCH TIME making it revolution-themed! Like… A WHOLE HOUR maybe.

So instead I’m just going to plug this other blog. Go see it, they have a lot of great reviews and tips and stuff. It has had its name longer than my blog, so we can infer that it is older and wiser and generally better.

Bra interviews! Let’s get started!

20 Jan

I sent word out on Bratabase that I was looking for people to interview on their bra experiences. Users Trebuchet1220 and Petalmoon were kind enough to let me ask them a few questions (and both very were quick to respond!)

Note: I try to link every site mentioned, and add links to the bra models mentioned as well. Some of the models are discontinued, however, so they’re not linked on the manufacturer’s website. I linked them on third-party vendor sites instead, and tried to vary which vendor I linked to, so they all get some lovin’!

And a disclaimer: The interviewees’ opinions are not necessarily the blogger’s opinions, but their perspectives are equally valid. The point of my interviews is to demonstrate peoples’ diversity of experience with breasts, so I haven’t edited their answers for wording or content (except in one case where I had a follow-up question and pasted the answer in as well.) I hope that the interviewees, who have so kindly consented to have their experiences broadcast over the internet, will be rewarded with an understanding audience in return for their openness. If you disagree with the interviewees on any point, I would love to address your concerns, but please direct disagreements to me and not them.

Now, without further ado, the Q&A begins:

Bravolution: Tell me a bit about yourself- who are you? Where are you from? What’s important in your life?

Trebuchet1220:

 I was born and raised on the West coast of the United States. I spent some time on the East coast and in the UK before returning to my hometown. I am a history geek (medieval/early Renaissance Europe is my happy place) and a classically trained musician. I also love to bake! The amount of butter, sugar and flour I can get through is alarming.

It’s important for me to know as much as I can about whatever interests me– and usually I find something random and obscure to fascinate me. This tendency is part of what brought me to this part of the internet, actually!

Petalmoon:

I’m from the Netherlands, and a total book wurm. I love nature and would like to make it my job, but the crisis is currently in the way. I also like to create beautiful items with beads. I’ve got tons of beads in every color imaginable!

Because I was unemployed I started looking into ‘busty’ blogs, starting with FullerFigureFullerBust and CurvyWordy. That’s what brought me on the road to body acceptance and properly fitting bras, and here I am! I’ve even started helping friends&family with finding better bras, and so far several have started the journey too!

Bravolution: What are your main bra issues?

Trebuchet1220:

Since I found my true size, I don’t have that many issues with bras anymore. I know I need narrower and deeper cups. In my pre-bra-revelation life, I mostly had problems with bands riding up and straps slipping off my shoulders.

I don’t know that finding the correct size has really changed my life in any profound way. I’m more comfortable now and I enjoy wearing bras whereas before it was a necessity thing. I think it was good for me mentally and emotionally to break through some of the stereotypes about lingerie and larger-chested women that are so prevalent in American society. I’m not running out to change the world with my new found knowledge, but things are a little happier in my head.

Petalmoon:

Well at the moment my main issue is no money to buy bras 😉 Beside that,because I’m still wearing my badly fitting bras (I don’t have enough good fitting ones!) I’m struggling with lack of support. Worn out too-large bands… Before discovering the British brands my struggle was to find large enough cups, barely any shop carried EU L-cups and if they did all they brought me were Ulla Dessous bras which cost €100+! So on a tight student-budget it’s always a struggle to buy enough bras. I didn’t think of ebay either so that didn’t help…

Bratabase: Tell me about your first experience with bras. How old were you? How did you feel?

Trebuchet1220:

I was about 10 when my mom handed me my first bras. I know there was a sports bra and some pink unpadded regular bra. I thought the sports bra was more comfortable than the regular one, but the straps would show at the necklines of my shirts; and so I shifted to the regular bra. I don’t remember having strong feelings about wearing them.

Petalmoon:

I don’t remember my very first experiences, I think my mom took me shopping for A or B cupped bras early in high school, first grade I think. This is European sizing of course. I’ve always worn 75 (34) bands until I recently discovered I should be in 32s. It was weird, and I didn’t have (m)any close friends so I didn’t know anything. After some time I was in C cups and have worn those for far too long… I kept adjusting them because they were mega quadboobing on me but I didn’t want to go shopping for new bras, I didn’t want to admit my boobs were larger!! In the end of course I had to, and skipped straight to E cup. That was about halfway through high school, I think.

Bratabase: How did you go from there to your current bra fit? How do you feel now, in regards to your breasts? Tell me about your journey from there to here! 

Trebuchet1220:

I was about 13 when I first got dragged in to a store to look at bras. My mother told the salesperson that we needed to replace my “old, worn-out” bras, and I remember being really embarrassed about it. I think I walked out with a 36C?

At some point in high school I measured myself and couldn’t figure out why I had a 36 band when my underbust was 34 inches. I read the fit guide on the Nordstrom website which said a 34 inch underbust should have a 36 band, and I accepted it even though I didn’t understand it. Turns out I was right, even back then!

I believe I moved up to a D cup when I was 17, and when I got fitted at 19 I was put in a 36DD, which I stayed at until I found my “true size” a year and a half ago. I don’t remember how I came across it, but Venusian Glow‘s post on breaking the bra matrix is what lead me to my sizing revelation.

At that point I was in the middle of losing 25 pounds, so that “true size” shifted a bit until I stabilized at approximately 32FF/30G (UK sizes).

I’d previously worn boring beige and black t-shirt bras: I didn’t think there was anything more fun or exciting for people my size, and my practical side would say those would be best. Bras were a not-so-comfortable necessity for me, and I found it difficult to muster the energy to care about it. Also, in my limited knowledge, the alternative would be Victoria’s Secret, and I was put off by the overly sexy vibe they promote.

Now I have a range of colors and fabrics and I love them. I have one beige t-shirt bra (because it really is useful), but it actually makes me unhappy to wear it.

Petalmoon:

As I said, I’m currently partly in properly fitting bras, partly forced to still wear my old bad fitting ones. I don’t have a single well-fitting bra, though I have 2 that come close. The rest of my drawer is filled with too large band bras, and most of them too small cup. Though they have soft wires and do not poke me, the wires sure rest on my breast tissue.
Generally I feel pretty good about my breasts, though I used to have a hate-day whenever I tried shopping for them. Because there was hardly anything to be found in local shops, I hated my boobs for being such a difficult size. That was before I discovered the bra community of course, and now I’m loving shopping because I learned there is much more available than I thought!
The conversion to UK sizing was relatively easy for me, it didn’t feel like I had to break any letter-barrier. Which is probably because I went from EU L-cup to UK L-cup… yup same letter so “nothing changed there”. Does that make sense?
I’ve recently also started dressing more to my shape, so I generally look much better now. Before, I was wearing jeans & t-shirt which were muffin-topping me on the hips and deforming across the bust and generally ended up just blah. I now have (thanks to lovely parents) an awesome basic wardrobe which I am planning to expand with pretty boob-friendly dresses and shirts and high-waisted trousers and anything that I love that makes my 8-shape figure look good!

Bravolution: What’s in your bra drawer right now? What’s your current favourite bra?

Trebuchet1220:

Right now, I have a Freya deco, a couple Parfait by Affinitas, two Curvy Kate Showgirls (that don’t really fit anymore but that I’m keeping anyway) and a lot of Ewa Michalak. My first EM was the first bra I had with about as perfect a fit as one can get, and I love all of the ones I have. I’d hate to have to pick a favorite, but I might have to go with the CH Onyx. I’m about to place an order with Comexim— I’m trying to read as many reviews as possible to make sure I order the right size, and trying to make a final decision on which ones I want!

Petalmoon:

Already my favorite bra is one I don’t even have yet! My PL black in 70L, which should be on its way to me soon (finally!). The 75K was very close to good fitting in the cup (I ordered it for cup size testing – meant to exchange for 70KK or L whichever one would be best).
I got a 32K Fantasie Kara which is pretty good though pokes me in the armpits at the end of the day, and the cups are slightly small. My Cally is also very nice, 32JJ I think the label says although the band feels and measures like a 34. So not as much support there, and the cups are slightly small. I’ve got an Elomi Caitlyn in 34JJ which is alright cup-wise now that I’ve pinched the gore but far too wide for me, and of course less support from large band.
The rest of my drawer is filled with 75K and 75L Ulla Dessous bras, which I thought were well-fitting before I learned better. I had always worn 75 bands so that was correct, and they were not quadboobing on me so they had to be good, right? That was the thought at least. Well now that I know better, the wires are definitely on my boobs and huh the center gore needs to be flush? None of my bras do that!

Bravolution: Tell me something about bras that you love. It could be a brand, a particular bra you own, a style, a feeling, anything! 

Trebuchet1220:

 I love it when I am actually organized enough to wear a matching set.

Petalmoon:

I’m in love with the PL black. I loved the 75K I tried, it actually lifted my boobs SO much better than any bra I own and just made me feel on top of the world!! Which is also why I can hardly wait for the 70L to arrive… I want to feel that again!

Bravolution: Tell me something about bras you hate and want to change.

Trebuchet1220:

I hate bra sizing. I don’t like that each country has its own system, I don’t like that sizing isn’t consistent, and (more superficially) I don’t like that some letters get doubled (or tripled, or even more in ridiculous US sizing!) while others don’t. It’s just all so confusing and annoying.

Petalmoon:

Before discovering EM bras, I hated padded bras. I used to own one in my C cup period which was a horrible fit and while it was a t-shirt bra the edge was always sticking out or something and was super visible and I hated that. I’ve never worn a padded bra since… until Ewa Michalak. I’m loving that.

Bravolution: Let’s pretend for a moment that you can have any bra you want, regardless of size or price or whatnot. What specific bra would you choose? Why?

Trebuchet1220:

Right now the bra I would most want regardless of size or price would probably be a basque. I just think it would be fun.

Petalmoon:

OK this may sound crazy but for once I’d like to have one of those sexy bedroom sets, ya know the ones that don’t give any support but are sold at the sex store 😉 I’ve never ever been able to wear one of those as they stop around C cup and I want to know how it feels.
Beside that… I don’t know. I truly don’t know. I’ve almost forgotten how to admire a bra just for the way it looks, because I’ve taught myself to first check the size availability before seeing if I like it. If it doesn’t come in my size it’s no use wanting it, that only results in disappointment. Now that I think about it though… I’d love to try out a Freya Deco, or a Masquerade Rhea.

Bravolution: Also, just for fun: What’s the weirdest thing anyone has ever said in regards to your boobs? 

Trebuchet1220:

I don’t think I’ve ever had something weird said about my breasts. A couple times I’ve had straight female friends tell me I have amazing boobs, and that makes me laugh.

Petalmoon:

This one I will always remember: when I was in high school (I think I was 15 at the time) there was once a guy who came to me and asked “hey is that rumor true? Did you really have your boobs enlarged, did you have a boob job?” I laughed SO hard at the ridiculousness of that while also cringing inside that anyone would start that rumor. Yes I did wear 34E (european size, so DD equivalent) at the time, but come on! No need to spread something that ridiculous. Must have been some jealous girl starting it, though to this day I have no idea who.

That’s it for my interviews of Trebuchet1220 and Petalmoon! More interviews and other fun stuff will come soon.

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