Tuesday, 15 December 2015

A Bra That Fits vs A Shoe That Fits: Compare and Contrast

If you have been a member of the bra fitting community for a while now, you probably know that in addition to band size and cup letter, we have to worry about level of projection, cup breadth, cup height, cup fullness distribution, and distance between the cups. I have come a long way in my own bra fitting journey, and the further I travel the more I realize that bra fitting is kinda like shoe fitting: there are multiple dimensions one must take into consideration. Two bras of the same band size and cup letter can fit wildly differently, just like how to shoes of the same size can fit wildly differently. 

Without further ado, here is a comparison between getting a good fit in a bra vs getting a good fit in a shoe:

1. Sizing - Most non-bravangelized people use only the band size and the cup letter to determine which bras to try on. Many people mistakenly believe that all 34B bras are supposed to fit the same way. Likewise, most non-shoevangelized people use only the size number to determine which shoes to try on. Many people mistakenly believe that all size 7 shoes are supposed to fit the same.

2. Undersizing vs Oversizing - A lot of different studies come up with different numbers as to exactly what percentage of people are actually wearing the wrong bra size or the wrong shoe size, but all of them are in agreement that the most common bra-fitting mistake is a too-large band and a too-small cup and the most common shoe-fitting mistake is a too small shoe. 

3. Aspects of Shape - As many of us know, ten different 34B bras will fit wildly differently in the shape of the cups, even if all of them have roughly the same cup volume. Commonly ignored aspects of bra shape include: level of projection, cup breadth, cup height, fullness distribution, and distance between the cups. Likewise, ten different size 7 shoes will fit wildly differently, even if they are all the same length. Commonly ignored aspects of shoe shape include: singular width, and combination width

4. What Manufacturers Make vs What Occurs in the General Population - If you have been a part of the bra fitting community for a while, you start to notice patterns in regard to which breast shapes are the most popular. More often than not, larger busted people have a narrow rooted and projected shape while smaller busted people tend towards a broad rooted and shallow shape. Matrix bra companies have a tendency to make bras all broad wired and shallow regardless of size. Similarly, the most common foot shape is NOT a singular width! Most shoes being sold today are "matrix shaped". They either come in medium singular width or if you're lucky, narrow singular width and wide singular width. The reality is, most people have combination width feet, yet most shoe manufacturers don't cater to these foot shapes! Combination width means that your forefoot width is of a different size than your heel width. For example, many people find that the the size that accomodates their forefoot width is 6W but the size that accomodates their heel width is 6N.

5. Inconsistency of size naming conventions - We all know how US bra size naming conventions are totally inconsistent. It seems that after the letter 'D', every US bra manufacturer has its own idiosyncratic size naming. Some use DD, DDD, G, some use DD, F, G, some use E, F, G. It's all a mess. Likewise, shoe manufacturers will do the same, even if their shoes come in different single widths or in combination widths. Some will use the EN, N, M, W, and EW naming convention while others will use the AAAA, AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, and EE naming convention. AAAA is equivalent to EN, AA is equivalent to N, B is equivalent to M, D is equivalent to W, and EE is equivalent to EW. If you need single width shoes, it might be 9AA or 9N. If you need combination width shoes, you might need 7B/AA or 7M/N. 

Here is a handy chart of the above information in a condensed form:

How does one go about on her/his shoe fitting journey? The first thing to do would be to get professionally fitted at an independently owned shoe store. I feel that these days, large chain retailers no longer have consistent and knowledgeable shoe fitting clerks. The three things you need to know about your shoe size and shape are a) length size, b) whether your feet fit into singular width shoes or combination width shoes, and c) what that singular width or combination width sizes are. If you find that your feet fit into singular width shoes, medium width, between size 5 - 10, congratulations. Your shoe size is in the Shoe Matrix. If you find that you need combination width sizes, look for shoes made on a "combination last". A last is the mould of the potential wearer's foot that they use in the shoemaking process. New Balance is famous for their various combination last shoes; they own the sub-brands Aravon and Cobb Hill.

So hopefully this helps you on your bra-fitting and shoe-fitting journeys.

Monday, 30 November 2015

More Bust Friendly Clothing! Cashmerette releases the Washington Dress, Cup Sizes C-H

About six weeks ago I made my first foray into blogging about clothing for people who are plus-sized, curvy, and/or have a large bust. For those of you who missed it, I wrote about how a wonderful lady named Jenny Rushmore has started her own sewing pattern company for people who wear dress sizes 12-28 and dress cup sizes C-H. Her first collection under the label Cashmerette consisted of one dress, the Appleton which got many good reviews. 

I am pleased to announce that Jenny has released her much-awaited second pattern, the Washington Dress. As many customers wanted a non-wrap dress, the Washington is a perfectly versatile piece. Make the dress or skip the skirt pieces and make a curved hem top! And like everything in the Cashmerette collection, dress sizes are from 12-28, and dress cup sizes are from C-H!

Just remember, dress cup sizes are totally different from bra cup sizes! I usually wear 30D or 28DD but my dress cup size is 'B' or 'C'. You may find that your bra size is 32F but you may need a 'D' in dress cup sizes. 

Friday, 20 November 2015

New Small Cup Lingerie Line! Missguided now carries lingerie: sizes 30AA-34C

Missguided is a six year old brand from the United Kingdom, known for its fashion-forwardness, affordability, and youthful styles. Founded in 2009, it has exploded in popularity across the world and now has a brick-and-mortar store in Manchester as well as in-store presence at Nordstrom in the United States. As a member of the bra fitting community, I am super excited to announce to you that they now carry lingerie! In non-matrix sizes! This is especially good news for price-conscious people and people who wear petite sizes as their non-matrix sizes inclue 30AA, 30A, 30B, and 30C! In fact, their entire line of lingerie is geared towards people who wear small cup sizes as their size range spans from 30AA to 34C. Best of all, they ship to 138 different countries!

If you're a fan of super sexy and youthful styles in petite sizes at affordable prices, Missguided is definitely the way to go. All of their bras are $34 or less. I looked around and found this stunning bra...

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Adventures in Sewing: Butterick 4985

You have seen my petite outfit posts and you have seen my numerous bra reviews. You may have even seen my posts on bust friendly clothing. Today marks the start of my new blog series: Adventures in Sewing. Many people find that they don't fit into "standard size" clothing at the mall. One good solution to this problem is to make your own clothing! I am petite and I tend to be larger on top than I am on bottom. In RTW clothing sizes I need a size 2 or 4 in tops but a size 0 or 00 in bottoms. That combined with me being petite is not a good combo. I have decided to temporarily stop buying RTW clothing from the mall and make my own awesome outfits!

I wanted to start with a good button-down shirt is a) not basic (cause I'm not a basic b****) and b) wearable to work. Ever since I saw fabric by Japanese brand Nani Iro being sewn around on the internets, I decided that I must have my own Nani Iro fabric to use for a special project. For my pattern I chose Butterick 4985 as it's a button-down shirt pattern that isn't horrifically difficult to sew. I have sewn it before so why not sew it again?  The pattern comes in pattern dress sizes 6-12 (this is NOT the same as RTW dress sizes) and I chose a size 6. The directions were really good and this was a very well drafted pattern. However, the one thing that was less than stellar was the collar band pattern piece. I feel like it was drafted to be too small, if you are considering getting this pattern, just know to cut out the collar band pattern piece one size larger than all the other pieces. The shirt feels just a tad too small around the bust and just a tad too loose around the waist, especially in the front. If I ever make this shirt again I will do a slight full bust adjustment and maybe cut the front midriff section just a bit smaller.

All in all, this sewing project took way more time than I thought it would. I spent like 10 or 15 hours on it, but it was well worth it. This shirt is great if you're petite or have a short torso cause the length of it is really short. I usually have to lop off 2 inches from all my tops that I buy from the mall, so it was nice to make a shirt that was exactly the length I wanted it to be.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Freya Deco Half Cup - A Review

Review of Freya Deco Half Cup Bra

I have been waiting for this bra for a while now, and I was excited when it came in the mail. I have had good luck with the Freya Deco Soft Cup so I thought "Why not?" when it came to ordering the Freya Deco Half Cup in 28DD. This bra is interesting. It is both great and awful at the same time.

Band Size: Great. Predictably, this one runs large in the band and stretches out to 30". Most Freya bras will run 1 size large in the band. The main exceptions to this are the longline bras and the strapless bras.

Cup Size: Good. This bra runs true to size in the cup.

Cup Shape: Interesting. This bra is really good and really bad at the same time for me. The good side: this bra creates a lot of uplift - this is hard because my breasts are shallow and the tissue is spread out all over my chest wall. Furthermore, my breasts are far apart spaced. The Freya Deco Half Cup does a good job of moving my breasts upwards and closer together. The bad side: I get some amount of quadding (this is not too bad of an issue) with this bra and there is a little bit of gapping at the gore. This bra requires a lot of inner-side fullness and I have more outer-side fullness. This bra is also not the best for tall roots and/or FOT shapes.

Cup Spacing and Centre Gore: The gore is a bit too high and is uncomfortable. The cups could have been spaced closer together. 

Color: Okay. I wish I had this bra in the beige colorway.

Verdict: This bra gets only a 60% rating from me. It is a great bra if your breasts are far apart spaced, you have short roots or are FOB, and you have a lot of inner-side fullness. If you are like me and you are tall rooted and have a lot of outer-side fullness this bra might not be for you.

I would like to add that this will be the last bra review I do for a while. I will be focusing more on bust-friendly clothing and bust-friendly sewing, so stay tuned, folks! Bust-friendly fashion news will be coming soon!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Bust Friendly Clothing! The Appleton Dress by Cashmerette! Cup Sizes C-H!

I don't normally write about plus sized clothing or clothing for large busts as I am petite and have a small bust bust but I know that many of you readers are looking for great clothing items suited for larger dress sizes and larger cup sizes. A great way to get the clothes that you want that fit you is to make your own clothes! I am so happy to announce that Jenny Rushmore has started her own pattern company called Cashmerette! Her first collection consists of one piece, the Appleton Dress. This beautiful wrap dress can be made in dress sizes 12-28 and dress cup sizes C-H!

Just remember that dress cup sizes are totally different from bra cup sizes! I usually wear 30D or 28DD but my dress cup size is 'B' or 'C'. You may find that your bra size is 32F but you may need a 'D' in dress cup sizes. 

Friday, 9 October 2015

Freya Deco Soft Cup - A Review

Review of Freya Deco Soft Cup Bra

It has been a very long time since I last bought a Freya bra. My longtime readers know that I used to own the Freya Deco Strapless. I sold it because the 28DD was too shallow for me and the 28E had the right amount of projection but was too broad wired for me. Long story short, it was just too broad and shallow for my shape. I have also owned a Freya Deco Plunge, but that bra was comically too narrow and the cups were too close together for my far apart breasts. 

Anyways, since I have had good luck with buying bras on Bratabase, I decided to buy another one and see how it goes. I have wanted to try the Freya Deco Soft Cup for a very long time so I finally decided to buy the 28DD for only $17. This is my first wireless/soft cup bra ever, so I was hugely excited when the package arrived in the mail.

Band Size: Excellent. Like most Freya bras, this one runs large in the band. However, it does not run as large as the other Freya bras. Do not expect this bra to stretch out all the way to 30", because it won't. It stretches out to 29", which is great for me.

Cup Size: Excellent. This bra runs true to size in the cup.

Cup Shape: Good. This bra is shallow, and broad cupped. It would have been broad wired only it doesn't have wires. The cups are also vertically constructed, so there's a lot of room in the upper portions of the cups for tall roots and/or FOT shapes. If you are short rooted and/or FOB, this bra might cause gapping at the top portions of the cups.I am broad rooted, shallow, and tall rooted so I was very happy with this shape. The only thing I wish is that it were just a tad more projected in the bottom portions of the cups. It is *super* shallow there. 

Cup Spacing and Centre Gore: Good.

Color: Okay. I wish I had this bra in the beige colorway, but Black is totally fine.

Verdict: This is 90% a good bra. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

New Lingerie Label from New Zealand: Lonely Lingerie carries sizes 30-36, B-E

As a member of the bra fitting community, I feel that over time the public is becoming more and more aware of the "bra matrix" and how to break out of it. I feel very lucky to live in a part of the world where non-matrix sized lingerie is increasingly easier to buy both at brick-and-mortar retailers and online. However, for those of us who do not live in Europe/North America, buying non-matrix sized lingerie is still tough. US, Canadian, and European online retailers ship to most countries around the world but expensive shipping costs and long wait times often keep customers in other parts of the world from fully breaking out of the matrix. In steps Lonely Lingerie, a new label from New Zealand. Their styles come in band sizes 30-36, cup sizes B-E and are available at a variety of New Zealand and Australian brick-and-mortar stores. They are also building up an impressive collection of stockists in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Japan. I looked around their site and found this beauty:

I love how their collection has a good mix of traditional underwire bras, soft cup bras (wireless), and longline bras (which they market as 'midline'). I also like how their marketing and artistic direction stay away from the in-your-face sexuality and glamour that most mainstream lingerie brands like to take. Prices are ever-so-slightly on the high side; bras range from $75 - $109 NZD which translates into $50 - $70 USD. If this collection ever comes to a brick-and-mortar store near me I will be tempted to try it.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Cleo Koko Flirty - A Review

Review of the Cleo Koko Flirty Bra

As I foretold in my previous post I was looking forward to ordering the Cleo Koko Flirty. I ordered it about 12 days ago and it has finally arrived! It is just as awesome and exciting as its clone, the Cleo Neve.

Band Size: Unlike the Neve, the Neve Strapless, and the Koko Icon, this bra runs way large in the band. It is a 30D bra that stretches all the way out to 34"! 

Cup Size: Like the Cleo Neve, the Koko Flirty runs true to size in the cup.

Cup Shape: This bra is just like the Neve in terms of shape. Sometimes, bras of the similar cuts are ever so slightly different in shape. Not so with the Neve and the Koko Flirty. They feel exactly the same to me.

Cup Spacing and Center Gore: This bra has a low gore and the cups are slightly further apart than the ones on the Neve.

Color: I thought that teal would be a great color for me. It's not a bad color, but it was not amazing like the Neve in Coral was.

Straps: Straps are the same length as the ones on the Neve. If you are short and have a proportionately sized torso you will be fine. If you are tall and have a proportionately sized torso you might wanna pass on this bra. 

Verdict: 100%. I am very happy. Go for for this bra if you have shallow, broad rooted, tall rooted breasts that are not too far apart nor too close together. Avoid if you are super tall and/or have a long torso.

I would like to add that this will be the last Cleo bra review I do in a long time. I saw the new collections for AW 2015 and SS 2016 and was not impressed by their offerings. This was the final Cleo bra that I wanted, so it is now time for a short break from Cleo and from bra reviews in general. Sometime later this autumn I will do a review series on a different lingerie brand, perhaps Freya. Thank you, wonderful people who read my blog.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Cleo Neve - A Review

Review of the Cleo Neve Bra

I have own just about every Cleo bra that I have wanted to own. The only thing I still don't have is a Cleo Marcie in 28DD in a color that I actually like. However, since Cleo has discontinued the Marcie in 28D and 28DD, I cannot hope for future Cleo Marcies in my size in a good color. However, the Cleo Neve does come in a size that I can wear and comes in a bunch of colors that I like. I found this bra listed on Bratabase for only $15 and I had to buy it. 

Band Size: This bra runs small in the band. The 28DD Cleo Neve stretches out to only 27" so I got the bra in 30D instead. This one is supposed to stretch out to only 29.5" but in reality it is 30.5". Still, it is a good length for me.

Cup Size: A lot of reviews have said that this bra runs small in the cup, and it may indeed run small in the cup in larger cup letters. However, the 30D Cleo Neve runs true to size in the cup.

Cup Shape: This bra is about as perfect as it can get for me in shape. It caters to my tall roots, is moderately broad wired and moderately shallow.

Cup Spacing and Center Gore: This bra has a low gore and the correct amount of spacing in between the cups for me.

Color: I did not think I could wear coral but it is not a terrible color for me. Still though, I will be buying the Cleo Koko (a Neve clone) in a better color for me.

Straps: Straps adjust long enough for me, but I have to adjust them almost all the way to the loosest setting, which is not a good sign for people who have much longer torsos than me. I am short, and I have an average length torso for someone of my height. If you are taller than me and have an average length torso for your height, you will need to adjust the straps all the way to the loosest setting. If you're tall and have an average length torso for your height, you might be out of luck.

Verdict: This bra gets almost 100% because it fits perfectly in every way, but coral is not the best color in the world for me. I will definitely be looking out for this bra (and its clone, the Koko) in better colors for me in the future.

Friday, 4 September 2015

b.tempt'd perfectly fabulous - A Review

Review of b.tempt'd perfectly fabulous Spacer Underwire T-shirt Bra

It has been a very long time since I did my last b.tempt'd review. As you may know, b.tempt'd is one of my favorite lingerie brands ever. They basically make the matrix plus 30B - 30E. Styles are youthful and prices are affordable. Styles cater mainly to shallow, broad rooted, and far apart spaced breasts. As much as I love the b.wow'd and the sheer delight, I felt like I had to branch out at some point. I bought the perfectly fabulous in "naturally nude" in 30D to see how it goes...

Band Size: Typical for b.tempt'd. 30 band bra stretches out to 32". However, it doesn't feel too loose. It feels just right.

Cup Size: Cup size is just right.

Cup Shape: Even though the wires are not too broad (5.25"), they are really stretchy so they feel really broad like the Natori Feathers. I wish the wires were less stretchy. I felt like the top edges of the cups cut into my flesh ever so slightly. However, since it was so slight, there wasn't any visible quadboob when I put my shirt on. It wasn't uncomfortable or anything like that.

Cup Spacing and Center Gore: Typical b.tempt'd bra. Low underwires at the gore (which is good. almost all b.tempt'd bras are like this. the only notable exception is the ciao bella, which hurts my sternum) but the gore is a tad too wide. This is a great bra if your breasts are even further apart than mine.

Color: I like it. It's close enough to my skin color.

Verdict: 80% a good bra. This bra's wires are a tad too stretchy for me, and might be a tad too shallow. However, it's b.tempt'd and it's not the ciao bella so I love it anyways. Get this bra if you like the Natori feathers and want something with further apart spaced cups and less cup height.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Cleo Maddie in 28DD and 28E - A Review

Review of the Cleo Maddie bra in 28DD and 28E

The Cleo Juna wasn't the best bra for my shape, but I wanted to try more Cleo bras anyways. I ordered the Cleo Maddie in 28DD and 28E just in case it fit. While it is far more comfortable than the Juna, it was ultimately a no-go.

Band Size: Both bras feel comfortable in the band. Not too loose, not too tight. They both stretched out to 30".

Cup Size: The 28DD doesn't look too small, but it feels too small. The 28E is probably a tad too big, because it gaps at the upper outer edges of the cups. The 28DD feels like a 28D½ and the 28E feels like a 28DD½. If you are in between cup sizes this is great news for you. If you're a true 28DD like I am, this is not so great news. The sizing of the Cleo Maddie would have been good for me before I gained weight.

Cup Shape: Better than the Juna but still not great. This bra accommodates very broad roots, maybe too broad for even me. This bra is great for people who have horizontally oriented breasts, but not for me cause mine are vertically oriented.

Cup Spacing and Center Gore: I thought the underwires at the center gore would be painful but they are surprisingly not. The cup spacing is optimal.

Color: Not for me. I would like some kaleidoscopic colored bras :)

Straps: Straps adjust long enough for me in both sizes. I did have to the adjust the straps of the 28DD bra all the way to the loosest setting, which is not a good sign for people who have longer torsos than me. I am short, and I have an average length torso for someone of my height. If you are taller than me and have an average length torso for your height, or if you are the same height as me and have a long torso for your height, the 28DD Cleo Maddie might not be for you. Luckily, the 28E bra had significantly longer straps.

Verdict: 50% so this is not a good bra for me, although it was more comfortable than the Juna. Now that I have tried the Maddie and the Juna, I can safely say that both bras were made for similar shaped people. If you have horizontally oriented breasts that are shallow and broad rooted, the Cleo Maddie and the Cleo Juna are probably for you. The Juna does have an uncomfortable gore, while the Maddie does not. The Maddie also caters to people who are in between sizes. If you need a 28D½ the 28DD will be the correct cup size; if you need a 28DD½ go for the 28E. If you're tall or have a long torso, this bra's straps might not be long enough for you.

Here are the photos of the bra in 28DD:

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Cleo Juna in 28DD and 28E - A Review

Review of the Cleo Juna bra in 28DD and 28E

The Cleo Juna is another one of the popular Cleo bras. Since I absolutely love the fit of the Neve Strapless, the Marcie, and the Koko Icon, I wanted to branch out and go for the Cleo Juna too. After trying on both the 28DD and the 28E, I am more confused than ever and may need your help.

Band Size: Loose but that's how I prefer it. Both 28 band bras stretch out to 30".

Cup Size: I feel like the 28DD might be almost too small. The 28E might also be a tad too big. I don't know, and that's why I need your input. The lace wrinkles in the 28E, but is perfect in the 28DD.

Cup Shape: Not terrible but not great either. I feel that this bra is for people who have short and broad roots. There's a ton of horizontal space in the cups of the bra and the wires are very broad. With the 28DD I felt like there was almost not enough vertical coverage.

Cup Spacing and Centre Gore: I wish the cups were actually a tad closer together and that the center gore was a lot lower. It's not causing pain, but it is less than optimally comfortable. It would be more comfortable if I had more bodyfat.

Color: Not for me. I want to get this bra in Ivory.

Verdict: ??? I can't give a good verdict on this bra as I feel that I need to figure out which size suits me better and get the bra in Ivory. I will return these bras as soon. Go for this bra if you have very broad roots, shorter than average roots, moderate shallowness, and don't mind a high pokey gore. 

Here are the photos of the bra in 28DD:

Here are the photos of the bra in 28E:

Friday, 3 July 2015

Cleo Koko Icon - A Review

Review of the Cleo Koko Icon Bra

After having great luck with the Cleo Neve Strapless in 30D and the Cleo Marcie in 28DD, I decided to order a Neve Strapless clone in a more sensible color. Enter the Cleo Koko Icon, a wonderfully practical bra in beige. Unsurprisingly, it fit exactly the way I had hoped.

Band Size: Very firm. Stretches out to 29" which is what I like in a 30 band bra. For my regular bras should stretch out to 30" or 30.5" but I prefer my strapless bras to only stretch out to 28" or 29".

Cup Size: Unlike the regular Cleo Neve/Koko, the cups run true to size.

Cup Shape: This bra is shallow and has extremely broad wires. It's great for those who are shallow and have broad roots.

Cup Spacing and Centre Gore: Good. The gore is low and there is decent spacing between the cups for my far apart spaced breasts.

Verdict: 100% because the wires are just a tad narrower than the Cleo Neve Strapless. Great for the classically shallow, broad rooted, and tall rooted.