Social media burn out

First off, happy 100th post!! Yay, I’m excited.

But I owe you all an explanation. It’s been quiet around here. And it’s not that I don’t have things to write about, I do. I am a bit short on time, a place to photograph, but quite honestly none of those are the real problem.

I’m just burnt out on social media. Social media is great in many ways, but horrible in others. Recently it just made me so angry that I completely cut off almost all postings. And I’ll tell you why.

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Body snark and the resulting war.

Let’s start with the definition of body snark. From Urban Dictionary

to rudely talk about a persons body or body parts, whether in private or directly at the person

This definition is a bit gray to me. Rudely talk about a person’s body. What about talking about my own body? Can I rudely talk about myself? To myself? Can you bodysnark yourself?

Personally, I do not think so. I think personal honesty, privately or even publicly, is important. And it’s not snark. It’s not bodysnarking myself to say my boobs feel huge. It’s not bodysnarking myself to say I want to loose some weight. And it really is not bodysnarking to others to talk candidly about my own body!!
But I have seen articles posted and bloggers/people immediately take offense. The author is talking about their own body, being honest with how they feel. But negative words make for snark right? Not if the author is talking about themselves! Written expression has a target audience and we are not always in that target audience. If someone is writing about how they hate their large breasts they are not snarking themselves! They are being honest! They are not being negative about every woman with big breasts by talking about themselves! They are expressing their own thoughts about their own body, not bodysnarking.

Just like there is a need for body positivity, there is also a need for body negativity, to your own body. It’s body honesty! Why would you not want to be honest with yourself? Honesty with yourself is about growing, changing, maturing; even if it takes some negative to get you there. It is growth toward better, which can take both good and bad. Why push aside the negative thoughts for only positive if it will limit your growth? Harnessing the positive and the negative to grow into a better person, for you, is why body honesty is important. And it’s not just about your physical body, it’s about you in your entirety.

I’m all for body positivity, but I would love to see more body honesty. There has been such a huge push in the body positive movement that sometimes it can feel false, fake, or pushy. Body honesty can be positive or negative, and it’s completely personal for individual acceptance.

Social media has a tendency to explode things, and it can be overwhelming. I can hope that the idea of body honesty can explode, because honesty is the first step to acceptance. And if honesty says you’d like to change a bit of you, then do it. If honesty says you love something about you, than work it. Body honesty will lead to body acceptance, and accepting yourself is much more important that just being body positive.

-Writing this has been slightly therapeutic. You know why? Body honesty and writing this has pushed me to admit to myself that I am not happy with parts of my body. The fact that I am currently carrying extra weight around my stomach makes me reluctant to take photos for the blog. How I currently feel about my body has me not wanting that body in photo on the internet for all to see. And that’s ok! It’s up to me to decide what to about it, to honestly come to accept my body.

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Anyway, I hope to be back and posting more often. I don’t know how much I’ll be on social media, but you may see me here or there. I want to focus on quality posts instead of building a social media presence. I’d like to keep my readers now happy before trying to find new ones. Maybe while I’m at it I’ll tell at wordpress and fix some of the annoying spam comments. See you all soon!

Ewa Michalak CH Lilia Review

This is my first official review of a product. Ever. Not surprising since I’m probably the world’s worst (and least consistent) blogger. This is also my first time ordering from Ewa Michalak directly. I do own the Effuniak CH Toffik. And I have for almost a year. I got it at The Big Bra Bar’s closing sale for about 17 GPD. My good friend over at http://bybabysrules.com/ actually picked it up for me in an order she was doing it and was kind enough to just ship it down to me at no extra cost. Considering their is a whole county between us, that’s saying something. Anyway, the fact that I love my toffik so much was what inspired me to choose the exact same style when ordering a new bra. Ewa Michalak’s facebook page hosts somewhat frequent contests and giveaways (how cool is that?) and I enter maybe 30% of the time. But I took a swing at their Valentine’s day contest and actually managed to win their 150 PLN prize. I selected the Lilia because it seemed like the most versatile option and my husband liked it, too. The bra runs 119 pln (that’s Polish Zloty) and since I’m not a stock size, I needed it custom sewn, which costs another 20 PLN. Then there is shipping, which is usually 45 PLN (only about $14 USD) but rather than have me pay part of that through PayPal and probably lose it paying fees anyway, they didn’t charge me a dime. And I was pretty pleased with that! So I emailed the shop after I made my selection telling Ewa what I wanted. She told me to create an account on the website and she’d create the order for me. She even double checked to make sure I understood their sizing before completing the order. They quoted me 14 days to sew and then 12 days to ship. It did not take quite that long. Here’s the bra:

CH Lilia

To the left (above) you see the receipt. It’s Polish. But I imagine it says the usual receipt stuff. I don’t need to keep mine because I couldn’t return my bra if I wanted to. Anything you have done in a custom size is non-returnable. For understandable reasons. If it was a common size, they’d just stock it. However, EMs are a pretty popular brand and you can easily unload anything that doesn’t fit on Bratabase or somewhere similar.

CH Lilia 2

Here you’ll see some removable pads. People like these, I think, because with this open top cup style, if it’s a little big (a lot of people size down in the cup when ordering a CH) then you can keep the pads in and get a better fit. These were awful for me personally. I looked ridiculous. If anyone is curious, I can go into reasons why pads might not work. But my point here is really that you have the option to use them or to just slide them out and stuff them in the back of your lingerie drawer never to be seen again. I chose that.

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Hey look! Ewa has started using band size tags! That’s not really a big sell for me since I’m never ever parting with this beauty. But it’d be good if you order and discover it doesn’t fit and want to list your bra online somewhere. This says 55G. 55 is the EU band size, but they seem to use the UK cup sizing system, unlike Comexim. So just take your UK size, convert the band to CM and you know what to order. This would be a 26G. You can see here that the bra has a mesh, polka dot band. I wasn’t sure about that when I first saw it, but I kinda love it now. The band is a lot more firm than my toffik, which was quite stretchy. A lot of people worry about what size to order based on how stretchy or firm the material is from bra to bra. But I found it didn’t really make a difference in fit or comfort. You just have to be a bit more skilled at getting your bra hooked when you can’t stretch your band to reach underneath it and hook the clasps. I enjoy the firm band, to be honest. I felt quite supported. Although part of that might have been that I used the big wide straps for my 12 hour wear test yesterday. It’s very comfortable.

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Here is the back of the big straps. I like that Ewa’s straps come with some extra flair to keep them from slipping and sliding out of the length you’ve specifically adjusted them to. I’m pretty sure I’ve never fixed my toffik since I got it just right last year. Speaking of, you can see my toffik in the background of this picture. And my Freya Patsy in Lime.

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You can order this to have 3 clasps instead of two, but I find that two works fine and didn’t bother. This bra fits me like a dream with the pads removed. The gore tacks, the band is supportive, the straps don’t slide or hurt my shoulders. I tightened one side too much and gave myself a little muffin boob, but my husband pointed it out and once I loosened it, it was perfect.

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And here is a close up of the front details. Just for fun. Because a white basic bra can still be adorable. (And no, you don’t see this through your clothes. I checked in a few shirts after a friend of mine asked.)
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Comexim Elena Custom Order Review

First of all, ordering from Comexim… Not a breeze. I imagine it is easier if you’re going in knowing EXACTLY what you want. And it’s a LOT easier if you know someone who speaks Polish and they’re willing to translate all your interactions for you. Since Google translate is apparently run by monkeys. It’s inclined to translate a simple word like “cup” into “goblet” or “chalice” which makes very little sense to poor Anna over at Comexim when you’re trying to talk to her about bras. She doesn’t speak any English. I did read somewhere that she is fluent in Spanish, though, if that works for anyone. I first contacted her about a different bra, to see if she could sew it for me. Turns out she was out of the material and she suggested the Elena instead. Which comes in a half cup or a plunge style. I chose the plunge, with a reduced center gore and reduced material in the cups. This was an educated decision, based on a few other bloggers’ experiences with Comexim bras. Weirdly Shaped And Well Photographed (aka Zoe) recently purchased the Ingrid and her pictures led to me to believe that ordering the bra standard would lead to having too much material and thus gapping in the cups of the bra. I chose to stick with my standard band size, 55. And then to choose a cup size I perused a few more blogs and found one with a conversion chart, and then measured my best fitting bra to compare to the measurements of a Comexim 55J I saw for sale in a Facebook group I am part of to make sure they matched up. I wanted to be double sure it’d fit.   After a quick Google, here is the link: http://hourglassy.com/2013/04/off-the-rack-comexim-review/

I placed my order on a Monday. I received an email back with Paypal info. I paid and just a few days later Anna emailed again with a tracking number. I followed the package through some website that allows you to track pretty much all mail carriers ever. It spent a week in customs, but was in hand by this past Tuesday. And here it is:

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As you can see, I’m collecting everyday wear bras… Mostly nude etc. But I like there to be cute details. Comexim provides. There is a bow and embroidery making something that could be plain into something very cute.

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It was harder to get good pictures of this bra because it wanted to fold back at the top when I laid it flat.  But as you can see it’s taller than a half cup (duh) but not overly tall. When I put this bra on, it gives me a very different shape that my EMs. It’s more projected forward. Not pointy, exactly, but it minimizes the side boob and gives a more classic shape. It was very strange for me that first day. I imagine I’ll get used to it over time. It fits quite well. Although I wouldn’t recommend this bra for women with very firm implants or tissue. On the left my breast fills up the cup perfectly, but on the right (which is my firmer side) I have a little gapping on the inside toward the gore. I’d show you all, but it’s not the most decent. I’m sure I could blow up a balloon and work something out… But that’s a lot of very strange effort. So I’m gonna skip it if you don’t mind! haha.

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The band on this bra is firm. Just like my Lilia. Not stretchy like the Toffik or Freya. Easy enough to get closed. Though I have to admit that I looked like a weirdo getting myself properly into this plunge style. It was very unattractive. Scoop and swoop isn’t the same when you can’t just reach in and adjust.

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And I’m posting my receipt just so you can see what a great deal Comexim is! It cost me $46. After shipping. Seriously. And I didn’t translate any of this,  but I think it’s pretty self explanatory. Bra was 140 PLN and shipping was only 20 PLN. I wasn’t sure Anna understood I was in America when she first gave me the quote. But this is just how much it is. Anything under 500 grams is 20 PLN, and over that is 43 PLN, I guess. According to something she told a girl in that facebook group.

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Great bra. Great customer service. Find a Polish friend to help you, and go give it a try.

About Me

I’m going to start doing a few guests posts here, so I’m telling you a little bit about me first. I’m the Dainty Domestic Dive. TripleD, DDD, or Triple Threat if you are so inclined. And no… that’s not my bra size. But there wasn’t anything clever for 26 G. Go ahead… Try to come up with anything.

I’m 5’2″ and like to stick between 103-108lbs when I’m not carrying my “winter weight” which means I’m generally an XS or 00 street size. I spent 6 years pregnant and breastfeeding so I’ve had a lot of fluctuations in size. Including bra size. Although until I started researching breast implants, I had no idea there were sizes other than the ones offered at Victoria’s Secret. Before kids, I wore a 32A (yuck) and while breastfeeding I wore an ill fitting 34C (how? Seriously, Past Self… how?) even though I was pretty sure I needed a 34D. I have a 25.5 inch underbust and a 35.5 inch bust measurement.

After breastfeeding, I had that “deflated water balloon” look that’s common after so many years. And I’d come to accept my larger breasts as part of my identity. I’d had them my whole adult life, after all. And suddenly being as flat as a 14 year old boy was just devastating to my self esteem and personal identity. And although my husband expressed his disagreement with the idea, he supported me in my search for a good plastic surgeon and even paid for the surgery, despite an earlier agreement that I’d raise the money myself. I brought in a picture of my own breastfeeding boobs to my surgeon as my inspiration pictures, because I just wanted to look and feel like myself again.

I chose 600CC, ultra high profile, round, silicone implants. (Natrelle Style 45) Under the muscle, trans ax incision. I chose the high profile so I could go as big as I wanted to, which wouldn’t work with a wider profile because of my being somewhat petite. I chose round because I wanted perky. Under the muscle because I wanted to look and feel more real and prevent rippling. And I decided on the armpit incision only after my scheduling appt… My first instinct was to go through the aeriola. But decided the arm pit would be more discreet.

Breast augmentation feels a little like being hit by a truck. After, you can’t lift your arms. You can’t shower, or pick up your kids… for weeks. But it is so worth it. Even though I did the dishes too soon and pulled my stitches on the right side. Even with the revision I had at 4 months post op for the earliest case of capsular contracture my PS has ever seen. I remember better that feeling when I woke up… and I cried tears of joy. Though it was probably the anesthesia. I get pretty weird under general anesthetia.

CHP Gazeta by Ewa Michalak

This is the bra that broke my heart. I should have known it wouldn’t work for me, but it was a set that I HAD to have. I should have known better. It went on to another lady, and I’m pretty sure it broke her heart too.

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Some people just were not a fan of this bra when it first appeared on the Facebook page. But I loved the print. I used to spend a lot of time reading, so newspaper print kind of spoke to me.

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This bra feels kind of vintage to me, old but not dated. It looked white on the facebook, but it is actually the color of a yellowed newspaper. There are also small opaque polka dots, the black ruffles, and the small red hearts with the big red bow. The giant bow in the center gore seems to be an Ewa trend for this season, I’ve found it in many bras that I’ve purchased. It isn’t something that draws me to a bra and I hadn’t noticed it on other styles until they came in the mail.

20140224-092153.jpgThe biggest complaint I have with the CHP style is the wide placed straps. They just do not work for me. Because this bra has the detailed straps (picture below) they rub that area even more than a normal wide placed strap would. The straps on this bra are wider then the S or SM styles I have from the same season.
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Here’s the strap and band. You can see the cute detailing of the straps. Personally I could do without the hearts, they are a bit cutesy for me. I don’t really think they add much to the bra with all the other details.
20140224-094851.jpgMore hearts! There are four along the back band and one on each strap.

20140224-094842.jpgI wasn’t overly impressed by the inside of the cup. The stitching wasn’t as clean as some of my other Ewa Michalak bras. That could have just been a bit of a misadjustment on the sewing machine.

20140224-094911.jpgThe ruffle at the top of the bra. You can see in my picture above that it does not lay flat against the breast, but it isn’t as ruffly and obvious as something like the CK Tease Me or Thrill Me. I quite like the ruffle and the black over the cup seams and the underwire channel (pictured below). I think there are people who wouldn’t care for the look and would love the read hearts and big bow. Personal taste here, there is no added stability to the cups from the ribbon, at least in my size.

20140224-092242.jpgHere is the black underwire channel. And my second bone to pick with the bra. There is more of that pretty black ruffling. It’s so pretty, but it is a bit scratchy on the stomach. Plus if your underbust is smaller than your stomach you’ll have problems with the ruffles pushing out. I noticed this just sitting down in the short time I wore the bra.

Be cause of the CHP shape I would not recommend this bra or style to someone who has a narrow projected shape (HP or UHP silicone implants, or HP saline implants) in any size range.  I think this bra style would be more suited to someone in the G and below range with a wider breast base (mod or mod+ implants). I ordered this bra in a 65GG because that was the cut off for special order sizing.  I did find the band to be just fine in a 65 as it is a bra that stretches just past 65cm (mine stretched to 27.5in). The cup was shallow and a bit small, as I expected, but the wire width was perfect for me. As I am trying to find a better wire fit for the sides of my breasts, encasing the side of the implant instead of sitting halfway to my back, this was perfect. I expected it to be shallow because of the CHP style. Unfortunately the strap placement made this bra unwearable for comfort reasons.


I also purchased the matching bottoms, which have also gone on to a new home. Just taking them out of the package, they were tiny!  I bought a 36 based on other bottoms I have and these were much smaller. They just did not have the stretch that I’d find comfortable in panties. The fabric was the same as the bra, so I guess I should have expected them to not stretch and be a bit small.

 

Other reviews:
Tamara on Bratabase in a 80FF. Tamara is a fan of the hearts.
Miss Underpinnings in a 65G (with matching bottoms).
Leah from Hourglassy in a 65G (and a bonus review of the S Bambino).
Nicole from Fussy Busty in a special ordered PL Gazeta in 95JJ. Nicole happens to love the hearts too.

The Kewi bra, what??

The Kewi Bra is a new innovation by inventor and entrepreneur Muyiwa Olumide. It made waves in the lingerie community when the first bits of information came out. The size range of the bra jumped, bandsizes were added, and preorders accepted. Updates slowed down, everyone started wondering how things were going. Prototype images appeared on their Facebook page leaving some wondering.

Then this news article was posted yesterday. Needless to say, I was quite shocked.

Then it was confirmed on Facebook:

Confirmation post on Facebook

Confirmation post on Facebook

My lovely readers, I’m going to be quite blunt and honest here, something I reserve for the rare use. WHAT THE HELL?!?! How is this in any way shape or form a good idea? Before I get started on why this is a bad idea I want to emphasize something. I have no problem with anyone, regardless of gender identity having surgery for implants. I support being happy with your body as long as the positives outweigh the negatives. I have a problem with someone getting implants for publicity, to raise money for a business venture, whether they be male or female. I have an even bigger problem with a male thinking he can feel how a woman feels by getting breast implants. Breast implants or natural, no person (male or female) can feel like a woman unless their gender identity is female. I understand that there is much more to gender identity then what I’m talking about here, but I’m keeping things strictly male/female based on the gender identity of the subject of the article.

So let’s get into the nitty-gritty for why this is a bad idea.

From the Kewi Bra FAQ:

Would the Kewi bra work for someone without a significant amount of ptosis or tissue below the inframammary fold?
The main reason the Kewi Bra does not include A-C cup sizes is because commonly those sizes do not have enough tissue below the iframammary fold to be held by the inner cups. If a women does not have this fold at all due to perkiness then it is not likely her breasts can be held by the inner cups. The inner cups fit just below the crease of the fold at the back of the breasts and wrap around the front of the breasts covering the areolas.

So lets take a look at what breasts look like post augmentation. (Link NSFW!!!) Of course a woman with more natural tissue will be more likely to have more of a breast fold. But it is probably a safe assumption that most men will not. The photo below is my inframammory fold. I started with almost 0 breast tissue, I have larger silicone implants, and as part of my second surgery I had my inframammory fold reinforced. Still no natural breast hang. I could not wear the Kewi bra, and chances are the CEO of Kewi Bra will not be able to either.

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My inframammary fold

This lack of inframammory fold can change how a bra fits an augmented breast. That is not even considering some of the other fit considerations that must be looked at when fitting a woman with implants. There are countless combinations of size, profile, shape, filler, and placement that can change how the implant looks and behaves in a bra.  All these factors is why my blog exists, to help women find out what factors change their bra fit and to find a bra that works for them. This is why bras designed especially for implants have failed (I’m looking at you Le Mystere no9).

Next let’s get into recovery.  Here is a little bit about what you can expect during recovery.

UBS (“Ugly Breasts Sydrome”) – You’ve finally had your surgery, and the results you’re seeing aren’t what you paid for. “Ugly Breast Sydrome” happens to many women that have breast augmentation surgery. Most women aren’t going to have gorgeous breasts as soon as they roll out of the operating room. They may appear oblong in shape, or torpedo-like, or they may look swollen, broad, and flat. The implants may ride high, and be literally right up against your collar-bone in the beginning. They may be bruised and swollen, and your nipples may be puffy and swollen. They may look HUGE, or flat. For women who do not realize that this is completely normal, it can be a terrifying experience. The good news is that things will get better, given some time and patience.

Plus there is more in the link above. There are women who come out of surgery looking pretty amazing. But most women do not. Women can expect it to be up to ONE YEAR post op before they have their final results. ONE YEAR! For a bra that is supposed to be released in three months I think time is a little short.

From Dr. Pousti a California-based plastic surgeon experienced in gender reassignment and placing breast implants in the male anatomy, a partial list of post op instructions:

1.Sleeping in an upright reclined position for 1 week after surgery.
2. No heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks. No upper body activity for 4-6 weeks.
3. No reaching out or above your shoulders for 1-2 weeks.
4. Keep your hands and elbows to your side for 1 week.
5. No driving for 1 week post Breast Augmentation surgery or until off narcotic pain medication completely and can respond to an emergency.
9. No upper body exercises for 4-6 weeks post breast augmentation surgery
20. Wear the surgical bra for a total of 4 weeks. You may wear a comfortable sports bra or regular non-under wire bras after you get rid of your surgical bra. You wear sports bras for 4 weeks.
21. Nice under wire bras are ok once you have full sensation at the bottom of the breast. This will be closer to 2 months post surgery.

This is not a simple surgery! This is pretty average with the exception of a technique commonly referred to as Rapid Recovery.  Some surgeons are even more conservative. My first surgery I was not allowed to wear wired bras for 3 months. Other surgeons say one year or even never! This is a taste of what Kewi Bra CEO Muyiwa Olumide can expect if he does go through with a breast augmentation surgery.

On to the last point. Weight. Breasts can widely vary in weight across the size spectrum. Breasts of the same size can be very different weights due to density and type of tissue. Because I have very little natural breast tissue I can be pretty sure that most of my breast weight is silicone implant. You can calculate the weight for different sizes and types here. My 700cc silicone implants together weigh 3.28 pounds and I wear a 28HH. My first implants were 397cc silicone, together they weighed 1.86 pounds and I wore a 28FF. Leah from Hourglassy did an experiment to weigh her own breasts. Of course this is completely unscientific, but it is enough to make you question the issue of weight. Her 28G breasts came in at an estimated 5.2 pounds! Like I said, it’s just a fun measurement, one I did while pregnant too. It is in no way meant to be an accurate measurement of breast weight.

Bottom line through all of this, women feel insulted by the idea that a male can “experience exactly what a Kewi bra wearer goes though.” I myself won’t pretend to speak for all women with implants, I am but a small fish in the sea of women with implants, but I do want to give these women a voice.  The term “real woman” is being thrown around because of this, and that is something that hurts a woman with breast implants. There is already enough of an implication and stereotype that we are “fake.”  We ARE real women too.  Please stop doing things that increase the stigma we already face! Please stop the negative news light on breast implants.

 

Additional reading on Kurvendiskussionen.

Valentine’s Day Pick! Cleo Maddie in Candy Pink

Hey everyone! This is my first bra review of the year, the Cleo Maddie in Candy Pink. This is my bra pick for Valentine’s Day, with Cleo being my brand pick. There are a few reasons why, but mostly candy pink. Cleo has a few bras available in pink (Fall 2013’s Marcie), and this summer will have the Neve in hot pink. There are past bras in pink, like the Lucy, variations of pink in the Zia’s dots, or flowered pinks. Let’s not forget the Cleo swim line, with the pink Dolly. Most people think Valentine’s Day and go for red, but not me. Having auburn hair red is a hard match for me, so I tend to skip it.
20140127-074701.jpgUnfortunately living in Alaska my lighting options are horrible right now. These images are not true to color, they are more yellow. The stock images are much more true to color. The color is what drew me to this bra. I do not think I have ever had a pink bra, even as a teen. I did try on a pink Marcie, and while I’d love to have it the style just doesn’t quite work for me. The Maddie doesn’t come close to perfect, but it fills a huge need in my wardrobe.

20140127-074710.jpgThe aqua button. I love how the colors tie together with the other parts of the collection. I see the aqua Marcie right here. Makes me wonder if I could take this bra and matching it with the aqua Marcie bottoms.

20140127-074717.jpgThe Maddie is a moulded cup bra and comes up to an H cup. This is something that I was in serious need of. The interior of the cups are smooth and soft, but not as silky feeling as the outside of the cups.

20140127-074727.jpgThe back has the Cleo standard two hooks and eyes, something I usually prefer. But this bra is a case in which I do not prefer it. This is directly tied to a fit issue that I’ll talk about in a bit.

20140127-074735.jpgThe cup material is a lightly striped material that is completely visible under clothing. I think it is cute, I find it appealing in a sea of fabrics that I do not usually care for. I like a touch of detail, but I’m not a fan of the very busy prints you can find.

20140127-074746.jpgI don’t usually buy matching underwear as the cost is too high for what I’d like to spend on something covering my cheeks. But I wanted the matching set. It’s the same light striped material with the same cute aqua button.

20140127-074753.jpgThe back does have a seam, something that I am not a fan of. But it doesn’t show through clothing. But if I am going to have a seam in my butt cheeks I’d like it to at least do something for the fit and shaping. I went with a UK 8 (xs) which fit fine. They are lightly stretchy, but will catch right in the love handle area. Which unfortunately they do on me.

20140127-074803.jpgNow on to the fit. This bra does not fit me. No matter how much I want it to it is not going to. The cups are too shallow for my shape. I cannot settle into fill the bottom of the cups. The cups are also slightly too small, give a bubble boob out the top. I have no problems dealing with this at all. I don’t really care if it pushes my boobs up and makes them a bit more fake looking.

20140127-074810.jpgFrom the side the bubble boob is not too bad. It looks wearable. The wires a touch wide, but not nearly as wide as the Marcie was on me. You can start to see the big problem I have with the band. Because the cups are too shallow I have a lot of pressure pushing the cups forward. This pulls the band tight at the back allowing the elastic at the bottom of the band to dig into the soft tissue of my back. The dreaded back fat! More about that below, I’ll show you exactly what it looks like in clothes and why some many women in the US hate it.

20140127-074818.jpgI bought this set shortly before Thanksgiving (I know, a while ago, sorry!). During Black Friday shopping I came across these socks and the ones below. I don’t know anyone that matches their bra/panties to their socks, but these were perfect and fun! I had to buy them.

20140127-074825.jpgI looked for the Maddie for a while before I finally found it. I even asked on Bratabase to see if the ladies there could help me find it. There was no one in the US that had a 28H in stock and ordering from the UK was not cost affective with shipping. So I asked Panache on twitter to point me in the direction of a retailer that had the Maddie in a 28H. They pointed me to My Smarty Pants, a UK based retailer. Again, shipping is not cheap, but MSP did knock down the shipping costs for me. This brought the set to the price I would pay in the US. Perfect!

20140127-074921.jpgHere’s the Maddie under a plane T. Again, horrible lighting, but hopefully the pink bra is visible under blue. Even with the light ribbed material you cannot see it through the top. It’s not a plunge, but as I wear a lot of gray scoop neck tops a pink moulded is just perfect. Pink + gray = Happy me. I love the color combination.

20140127-074929.jpgOutside the obvious fit issues that I have made the choice to deal with, this is my one bone to pick with the bra. The back band pulling and digging in the soft tissue on the back. Almost every woman has this soft tissue. In a shirt it creates a “fat roll” look that most of us do not find flattering. Now this is a very thin shirt, it does not show as much in a t-shirt that is the normal thickness. Something to be aware of if you want to purchase this bra. If you do not have as much projection as what I do this may not be as much of an issue for you.

The next color Maddie is a come back color Maddie Aqua. Anyone that loved the Marcie in aqua will want to look at the Maddie. I’ll probably order this in a 30H and alter the band.

The Maddie was available in patterned styles.This post is a great comparison between the patterned styles and the continuity style.

The Maddie is also available in a “nude” and black color. Do check out the other pink options from Cleo for your Valentine’s Day shopping.

I’m not making excuses, but….

A few days before Christmas

I swear to you lovely readers, I’m not making excuses, but life has been crazy busy.  I like in a part of Alaska that is remote enough to be unfriendly for even mail ordering bras (it gets worse!) but has the basics covered. Life here has not been easy, and it has definitely impacted my blogging. So I thought I’d share a little bit of what life is like here and why I’ve been away.  The photo above was taken the Thursday before Christmas, a normal day in my part of Alaska.

So let’s start by talking about how beautiful Alaska is. Below are two different seasons, from my front windows. The first would be fall everywhere else, but it is already snowing here. The second is late spring/early summer as the snow has finally melted off.

It is amazing how different the two are! And yes, those are real moose in my front yard. We have a little moose family that lives around my area, they come through regularly. It’s not as cool as it looks, they are very dangerous. That mama moose could easily kill me with a single kick of those legs. Now, all this beautifulness aside, AK is not an environment you easily adapt to. Summer is amazing, the longest days the sun technically sets but it is still light outside. Winter has very short days where the sun peeks over the horizon just to set again, there is hardly any daylight. Look at the first picture and you can see the sunrise time, almost 11am!

Most people wouldn’t be driving on roads like these!

Going out and driving is always a risk. Most people wouldn’t risk driving on roads like this. But every year we change out our tires for studded tires, we drive slow, and we try to be safe. Just so we can run to the grocery store. The road in this picture is actually a major highway. This ends up causing limited travel and a lot of cabin fever.

Moose tracks through my front yard

Another visit from our lovely moose friend. She trampled through the front yard while we were grocery shopping. To let you know how deep the snow is, I went out a few days later looking for the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), I sank into the snow up to my knees before I hit a layer of snow so compacted from the snow above that I can no longer sink. I am 5’2″ with pretty long legs, the snow depth is about mid-thigh on me.

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My back door trying to freeze shut with a very unhappy Ozzy the boxer.

Every year we end up frozen into the house for at least a little bit. The backdoor and front door often freeze shut. With daily use we can usually break it open pretty easily. My poor furkids wear dog boots to go outside to do their business. Ozzy the boxer is a little bit of a priss, so when it gets too cold he also wears a jacket. Living here can be very hard on them too.

How we heat our home, a wood stove.

What causes the most complication is heating your home. Homes are heated using wood stoves, pellet stoves, or oil heat. Even the electric is a byproduct of oil. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Oil is very expensive. January is the coldest month of the year and you can easily spend $1000 on oil to heat your home. Pellets have to be purchased regularly at a super store. Wood has to be chopped and moved. We use a wood stove, which comes out to the least expensive. But every year you stockpile a lot of wood for the use all through the winter. That wood has to be moved all winter long, brought into the house to use. I’m not saying we live like they do in the Alaska: The Last Frontier TV show, but we definitely do not have the easy life.

So what have I been up to? Well, not much and a lot at the same time. I’m spending the rest of the month with just my furkids and Gabrielle, my husband has military commitments. So we spent a bit of time getting the house ready for him to be gone. It is impossible for me to keep up with moving wood with a 14 month old little one running around. So our garage is stocked up with what is hopefully enough wood for us for this cold month. We also did some extra toddler proofing of our kitchen, Gabrielle loves to get into any cabinet and the dishwasher. We did a midwinter clean of the entire house. Do you have any idea how stuffy house can get when it has been shut up for several months in the horrible cold?  We celebrated Gabrielle’s first Christmas where she could open presents. We had some really cool family portraits done, complete with zombie make up. I took an intro photography class with the hopes of getting a tripod and taking better photos for the blog.

I’ve also been dealing with some health problems. Gabrielle had months of sleep problems which has had a major impact on my sleep. Lack of good quality sleep can really do a number on the body and mind. I have tried to focus on getting better sleep for myself, and helping Gabrielle get better sleep too. We are getting there, I’m slowly starting to feel like myself again. I’m still very tired many days, but things are improving. This has really affected my ability to work out, eat how I’d like, and my body image. It is really hard to take pictures in a bra or undies when you are feeling pretty down about how your body looks. So the month of January is (hopefully) focused on continuing to get better sleep for Gabrielle and I, to eating to fuel our bodies, and to being more active. I’m trying to improve my health, my body image, and my mental health.

So there you have it! I hope this is the first post to me getting back to blogging. I’ve got a lot to write about, a lot of bras to review. Please feel free to drop a line and let me know how you’ve been doing. The chatting helps me feel motivated to keep posting.

No one ever claimed to be perfect

As a blogger, posting my pictures on the internet, talking about bra fit, and talking about breast implants I have opened myself up to criticism. When is part of the deal, I get that. All blogger do. But let’s get things straight here,

bloggers never claim to be perfect

Why would we? Bloggers tend to be someone with hard to meet needs. A person with strong opinions. A person with the desire to help and to share.

We critique brands to try and help the consumer get a better product and to be their voice to the brand. (See Miss underpinnings Freya post)

We talk about specific fit needs that may not be met by mass produced labels. (Like the original Bra Band Project)

We show products we are excited about, even when they do not fit us ideally. Like one if current favorite bras, the Cleo Maddie.

Cleo by Panache Maddie in 28H, too small, but so comfy!

We review products outside our size range when there is something we know our readers would like to know. (See my recent review of the Debenhams Gorgeous strapless bra)

We wear bras that do not fit, because it’s what we can find. We never claim that they do. We post photos that may show fit problems as part of our reviews. We are using our bodies like any fashion model would, to display the garment.

Parfait by Affinitas Alexis in 30G. Way too small in depth, can’t settle into the cups, but we all need a “nude” t-shirt bra.

We talk about fit problems and possible solutions. We share fixes when there isn’t a bra to do what you need. (Several bloggers are featured in the bra alterations section of Busty Resources)

We post about our personal lives on Facebook and twitter. Did you know I posted a picture of my face on twitter?

We put ourselves out there, knowing we will be criticized and hurt. But please, remember when you are criticizing that we are people too, we are not claiming to be perfect, we do not always wear a perfectly fitted bra, and we have feelings too.

There is an anti body snark policy on many blogs. That doesn’t mean that criticism isn’t welcome. It is! It does mean to double check yourself before posting. I’d like to see this extend to all the bra fitting communities. There is no reason that The Lingerie Lesbian and The Lingerie Addicted should be slammed on reddit for wearing bras using a +4 fit. Brittany from Thin & Curvy (and other bloggers) should not feel targeted by the Polish forum Balkonetka. Bratabase users should not feel judged by their fitting preferences.
Bra fitting is not a science or simple math. You’re dealing with human bodies, personal preferences. And we all are not perfect, we don’t just fall in line to the math.

And really, when it comes to someone else you would criticize their choice in wearing a tampon, menstrual cup, cloth pad, or disposable pad. Why should you be able to do so for the fit of someone’s undergarments? Discussion, learning, and sharing, not criticism and judgement. Because at the end of the day, none of us are perfect.

Gorgeous Strapless, By Debenhams

Tis the season for parties, dresses, and special occasion bras! Thanksgiving is coming fast in the US an after that are the holiday parties and New Years festivities. That means buying cute party dresses.

With a little one at home I don’t plan on going out to party, but I still need a strapless bra. When I was offered the chance to review a bra from Debenhams I jumped at the chance to try their house brand, Gorgeous. I was torn between their sports bra and a strapless, but the holiday season is here so I went with the strapless. Currently they have several strapless options available. Here’s the kicker and the biggest reason why I wanted to talk about them, their regular price is £22, which is about $37 (USD). How is that for a reasonable price? And for a special occasion bra? Seems too good to be true right? Well let’s find out!
(This bra was provided by Debenhmas. All opinions in this post are my own.)

I’ll start this review by talking about the biggest negative of the line, sizing. In small bandsizes the sizing is limited. It stops at a 30 band and a G cup. But in 32-38 bands it goes to an H. Here is where you are probably wondering why I’m reviewing this as I’m out of the size range. Well for starters, strapless bras usually run tight. Secondly, I’m trying a new approach, I cannot find a perfect fit so I am rotating out my fit problems. But more on that in a future post.

So let’s talk sizing and the bra. I went with a 30G. The bra has 4 sets of hooks an eyes and the band is quite firm. I can comfortably wear it on the loosest hooks with no falling down. That is an amazing accomplishment to me. Like usual, I had a blog helper, Gabrielle dumped the last of my coffee on the bra staining the band in time for pictures. She’s a walking baby disaster right now.

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The side wings of the bra contain small pieces of boning. This works to keep the band from rolling up during wear. I found that they did their job perfectly, I had no issues with a rolling band. I did have light pressure marks from the casing, but that is to be expected.

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This particular bra is the Ivory Lace Strapless, currently on sale for £19.20 or $30. It is a basic moulded cup with lace detailing on the band. Nothing too fancy for looks, but perfect for a seamless look. It’s basic enough to compete with the Deco strapless for versatility (I have not tried the Deco strapless so no comparison), pretty enough for basic bridal, cheap enough for many budgets. You don’t see something like this in the US department store brands.

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I’m going to apologize for this next photo, I just can’t get it right. I wanted to show you the pretty detailing in the gore and along the bottom of the band. I just can’t quite get the lighting right. The material reflects the flash making it look messy. I promise, it’s a pretty detail! It’s not a weirdly shaped mess like this photo shows. But I think this photo can tell you something, the fabric of the bra is a normal smooth choice, the lace detailing is lightly reflective while matching the color tone of the main body of the bra. Some of you may remember how picky I am about blacks that do not quite match. Well that goes for any color.

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From the inside you can see that there are two areas for strap placement on the cup and on the back band of the bra. As a person that experiences armpit strap quite often I appreciate this feature. It seems to be pretty standard on the strapless bras I tried before my augmentation, but as a full bust customer I really understand the need more.

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The cup edges have the normal silicone strip to help the bra stay in place. Usually I find these strips to be incredibly irritating. So irritating that by the time my special event is over I want to commit bra homicide. I wore this bra through the morning, laying in bed with a napping baby, and through lunch. Not once did I consciously think of that silicone strip.

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The silicone strip is along the band of the bra as well. The picture below is of the inside of the center gore. This is where my second issue with the bra is. When I wear the bra I cannot get that part of the band to lay flat. Now I know the cup depth is too small, but it’s not so small that the band should lift that far below the gore. The gore not tacking is expected. A friend of mine also tried this bra on. She is 1-2 cups smaller then I am and had the same issue. I am not sure if it is the bra or the fact that we both have implants with a lot of projection.

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The front view shows that the cups are a bit small, as expected. You can see there is a slight east/west look. I think that would appear more on a woman with natural breasts. The bra itself would probably work for me with about two more cups in volume. The gore is no where close to tacking and I get a squished upwards appearance.

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From the side you can see that the wire width is much better then the width of a bra that fits the cup depth I need. It’s still too wide, but it’s much better. You can also see the plastic boning on the band.

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With this bra I am trying to balance a need for cup depth with out a horribly wide wire. It may seem silly to do this in a strapless, but a strapless with a wide wire is much more uncomfortable then a strapless with a lifting gore. I wore this bra for several hours, chased a baby, laid down while she napped, chased a baby some more. Not once did I do anything but a minor adjustment. I never did the bra chimmy to wiggle it back up. I never pulled at the silicone strips because they where uncomfortable. I did not sigh with relief when I took the bra off. I’m pretty impressed! Add in the cost of the bra and I think this would be a great option for this holiday season. Debenhams does offer international shipping, with delivery ranging from £7-15 depending on your location. International delivery usually ranges around 1-3 weeks depending on your location and customs speed, so you just have time to order before Thanksgiving. Do check out the rest of the Gorgeous line, there is a lot of value for your money!

Check out Holly’s review of a 34HH full cup bra on The Full Figured Chest and Miss Underpinnings review of a 28G balcony set.

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