Monday, January 2, 2012
Please help me dress my boobs (Part 1: Bras)
So you've got yourself a pair of Big'Uns, and are in desperate need of wardrobe advice. From what ESB tells me, there are quite a number of you with this problem. Well, fret not, my busty counterparts, because I have some Big'Uns too and am here to help.
Before we get into all the fun (the actual dressing yourself part of this series), we need to get your boobs looking their absolute best; we need to talk about bras. I'm sure you've already heard this a buh-zillion times, but if you have not done something about it by now, then you need to get your ass (or your tits) in gear. I kid you not, ladies, the right bra will change your life in ways you would have never imagined. A good bra will save your looks, your self-esteem, your back, and probably even your sex life.
Let me give you a little background on my bra situation. About 5 years ago, I decided to go to some real professionals and get properly fitted. I knew I wasn't wearing the right bra size, and every size I tried on always seemed wrong. So, I made an appointment, nervously waited in quite possibly the most awkward waiting room I've ever come across, and flipped through gossip magazines until my number was called.
Maria, my bra-fitter, came into a fitting room with me and asked why I was there. Considering I was in a bra store, I found this question to be very odd. I told her that I had a feeling I was wearing the wrong bra size, and although I had been measured as a 34DD pretty much everywhere I went, my bras just never felt right. She told me to take my shirt off. I'm not even sure it was off for more than two seconds before she confidently said, "You are definitely wearing the wrong size." She asked me to lift my arms and she measured me, but instead of pulling the tape measure around me the conventional way (underneath my bust), she measured me [snuggly] on top of my bust. I was certain she had no fucking idea what she was doing. "You're a 32DDD," she said, "but past a D cup, companies have different sizing charts... you're going to have to learn what the right size feels and looks like to know if you're buying the right bras."
I was dumbfounded; for some reason, being a bustier girl, I was always under the impression that, due to the largeness of my boobs, it would only make sense to wear a larger band size as well. Like for some reason having big boobs naturally made me a bigger person. Looking back, I can't help but laugh at my naiveté. I tried on a shit ton of bras, and I kid you not, for the first time in my life I wanted to buy 20 bras. Every other time I had gone bra shopping, I had to force myself to buy the one that was "good enough."
On to proper fit. How's a girl supposed to know if she's wearing the right bra? Here are some tips:
1. Your boobs should not ever, at any time, be spilling out of ANY area of your bra. If you happen to have bigger boobs, you're probably ALL TOO familiar with that unsightly "boob fat" that collects under your arms. Am I right? If that boob fat isn't being contained by your bra, you are wearing the wrong bra. If your boobs are popping out of the top of your bra and creating that oh-so-flattering quad-boob look, you are wearing the wrong bra. If you have any form of mono-boob going on, again, you are wearing the wrong bra.
2. The center band will tell you SO much. Bottom line, that tiny piece of fabric in the center of your bra that connects the cups should ALWAYS lay flush against your chest, and NEVER sticking or poking out in any way. NO EXCEPTIONS.
3. Where are your nipples? They should be pointing straight ahead like laser beams. If they are pointing anywhere south, gurrrl, you need to contain yo' shit.
4. The band and wings should feel TIGHT. This might actually be the most valuable piece of information about proper bra fit. All those years of wearing the wrong size, I never felt like I was getting the support I needed. I would tighten and tighten my straps (more on this subject in #5), but all that ever seemed to do was give me sore shoulders. Maria explained that the band and the wings are the part of your bra that are supposed to provide support. When they fit properly and snuggly, they allow your mid back to hold up the weight of your boobs. If they don't fit properly, you're relying on your upper back and shoulders to hold up those knockers, and that explains why you're always in so much fucking pain! When you're wearing your bra, go up to a mirror and turn to your side. The band and wings of your bra should lay visibly below your bust line, and they should stay there throughout the day. If they ride up to fit parallel to your bust line, or even worse, above your bust line, they are too loose; go down a band size.
5. Loosen up those straps! Ok, so now that your bra band is fitting comfortably where it should be, give your back and shoulders a break and take some slack off of your straps. After years of assuming that bra straps are designed for support, I was taught that more than anything, they're really just there to help hold your bra in place. Is that the craziest thing you've ever heard or what? They shouldn't be so loose that they're falling off your shoulders, but if they're creating those painful-looking divots that busty ladies are so famous for, then you need to cut that shit out, mkay?
Ok, now that you're feeling confident about fit, let's go bra shopping. Personally, there are three brands I like the best and highly recommend. This is just my opinion, and I'm sure there are other bras you ladies love, but since these are what I know, they're what I'm sticking to. They are Wacoal, Le Mystére (Oprah's favorite), and Chantelle Intimates; Actually, for the past two years, I've stuck exclusively to Chantelle's "Rive Gauche 3281" Underwire Bra (pictured on the right, below).
I suggest, at minimum, you have two bras; One should be nude, and one should be black (I have never seen the point of a white bra, if someone would like to explain, please feel free). Another recommendation if you can afford it, is to add a seamless bra and a strapless bra to your collection. Seamless bras are great for t-shirts (big boobs look fabulous in t-shirts), and work well for many other garments too. Strapless silhouettes also compliment an ample bust, and at the very least, a strapless bra will ensure that you don't have to give up items with thinner or unconventionally placed straps. When buying a strapless bra, try and find one that is designed to fit a fuller bust, instead of a regular one that happens to come in bigger sizes.
And before you even start with me, yes, I understand that they don't typically make fun and colorful and sexy bras in bigger sizes, but that's life... get over it. The smaller boobed girls may have the cooler bras, but we're the ones who, typically, get all the motorboat action. You win some, you lose some.
[Editor's Note: Motorboating is an actual thing??]
Now let's discuss lifespan and care. For your everyday-use bras, I think it's safe to say that after a year, they go in the trash. Please don't bother donating a worn out bra; it's pretty much the equivalent to donating clothes riddled with holes. I know that bras, especially bras designed for big boobs, tend to cost a pretty penny, and that sometimes, committing to all those dollars isn't exactly easy. But you have to see your bras as not only a necessity, but also an investment. I like to do my bra shopping once a year just to get it over with. That way, I don't have to bother thinking about spending a couple hundred dollars on bras for a whole twelve months. A bra that you don't use as often, such as a strapless, will obviously last much longer.
All bras should ONLY be hand-washed and hung to dry. I know that you're pressed for time sometimes, and that throwing your bra in the wash is simply so much easier; believe me, I am guilty of this mortal sin as well. But if you really want your bras to perform their best and to last you, you need to put in the effort and take thew best care of them. You won't be sorry. Everyone is different, but I rarely, if ever, work up a sweat, so I wash mine roughly once a week.
Alright, guys, take this knowledge and go get yourself a proper bra or two. And if you happen to be larger than a C-cup, unless your tits are busting at the seams with silicone, don't EVER let me catch you running around without a bra. I swear to the baby Jesus, I will cut you.
Tune in tomorrow when Celia brings us everyday clothes for the BOOB-blessed.
That's right, I said it. Everyday clothes.
(Photo at top is Jane Russell, another seriously boobalicious lady.)
p.s. Please email me your suggestions for #BOOBSWEEK (photos, shopping, motorboat stories....) I never would have made it through #pantsweek without you.