Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thoughts on my Body and The Little Bra Company***

Bras are a big deal to me. I 'filled out' early as a 10-year-old and I hated every moment of it. I hated the training bras, I hated the stares. I was a small girl with larger than average breasts then. Now I'm a small woman with small-ish breasts that are strange to her, but nevertheless, need a bra.

With being sick for so long, I was distantly aware of the fact that I was losing weight, but didn't really pay attention to how much until I dug out my summer clothes from last summer and discovered that they were ludicrously ill-fitting. My shorts gapped in the front, almost flashing my underwear, my shirts sagged unattractively at the neck and my sundresses hung on me like shapeless sacks. I was so dismayed that I whined and complained to everyone who would listen. My mother, my sister, even my father and brother. My clothes don't fit,** I lamented. What's a fashion-obsessed girl on a disability income to do?

The worst by far was my bras. The bands rode up savagely in the back, while the straps fell down over and over again, no matter how many times I fixed them. So not only were my clothes frumpy, but my bras weren't doing their job.

And that's just not acceptable. As a girl who has been as large as a 34G, I know the importance of a well-fitted bra. My bras never fit, ever, until very recently and my breasts have paid the price. Unless I'm wearing a bra, my breasts have no shape or perk to them whatsoever. They just sit there. It's one of the few things about my body that makes me truly sad, as silly as it sounds. 

We are our bodies on some level and I still remember being a girl of 11 and having to wear a D cup and crying about it because I would not stop growing. It was my first implication that my body, the third and most distant iteration of myself, was not under my control and would not be brought under my control by any amount of wishing, praying, raging or crying. 

Earlier this year, I went on a spree of bra alterations, snipping my bra bands and then re-sewing them to make them smaller. It was a janky job with mismatched thread, but what a relief from back straps riding up all of the time!  All of my bras are either ratty, cheap, too big or some combination of all three, and I am itching to replace them. 

Enter The Little Bra Company. Owner Emily Lau's line of bras are designed specifically for petite women with smaller frames and smaller chests who have trouble finding their sizes elsewhere. Both cute and practical, there are strapless bras, convertable bras, switchable straps and a number of different cuts for varying necklines.

I'm really drawn to the Lucia, with its lovely lace detail, and I've read a number of reviews that suggest it's a really good bra, if not a little big in the band.

  Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I wasn't sure whether I could fit TLBC's bras, which by all accounts run quite small, and when I tried to size myself by their method I ended up with a nonsensical result. 

Underbust=28 (+4) =32



The difference between the underbust+4 and overbust is supposed to equal your cup size! A=1 B=2 C=3. When I e-mailed about it, the representative said that most people who got these 0 results where AAs and AAAs, but one quick glance at my chest reassured me I was neither. This is why I don't really like the this particular method of sizing. For a long time I had bras that didn't fit because I could never calculate my size, combined with always being incorrectly sized at places like Victoria's Secret that didn't carry my combination of smaller band and larger cup.

I'm really hoping the Lucia fits well because it is just too cute. It's nice to see bras made specifically for petites since this market is criminally underserved in the mainstream. Right now the range of sizes is from a 28-38A, 28-36B and 28-34C, with not all bras available in all sizes yet. 

Recently, I ordered the Angela in a 34C and I liked almost everything about it but the padding. I wore it around for a bit, but there was something that just felt off, and I'm sure it was the padding. Because of the shape of my breasts, an attempt to create cleavage by pushing them together is both unflattering and uncomfortable.  This makes me think the Lucia might not be such a good idea. The Sascha, a strapless bra with removable padding and switchable straps might be the best bet, even though the Lucia is just so much prettier. 

Please look forward to the follow up to this review where I hope to try on all the bras in an range of sizes at Isabella's, a lingerie store in Chicago where I'll be travelling this weekend to meet up with a friend. Guess what? She needs new bras too! Petite girl bra shopping field trip! 

**Said with plenty of First World W(h)ine.
***Still having wacky symptoms, just hitting 'pause' on the universe right now.

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