Sep 212012
 

Finding a sports bra that is flattering rather than flattening persists as a challenge for the petite and those endowed with a delicate décolletage.

Aerie Low Impact Padded Sports Bra

 

Some months ago I scoured stores for affordable, tiny sports bras (affordable and tiny? Sounds like an oxymoron). I navigated deep waters in Old Navy, Target, T.J. Maxx, and Marshalls, struggling to stay afloat in sports bras cut on a non-petite scale. A bralette/training bra contraption in the children’s section at Walmart hugged my tiny rib cage well; but after examining myself from all possible angles in the fitting room, I left feeling defeated.

 

 

During my exodus to the Walmart parking lot, I lamented that I would likely have to succumb to looking like a prepubescent eight year old in my adult ballet class. I experienced an epiphany, however, as the Florida sunshine infused my brain with rays of hope: “Aerie carries sports bras!”

While the smallest band size that Aerie offers in push-up styles is too large for me, I hoped XXS in sports bras might fit. I ordered three of Aerie’s Low Impact Sports Bras, which feature removable padding and adjustable straps.

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Jun 132012
 

Mary Phelps Jacob revolutionized the undergarment world in 1913 when she combined two silk handkerchiefs and some string to create the first “modern” brassiere. Since then, countless designers, manufacturers, and retailers have claimed to revolutionize Ms. Jacob’s invention. From synthetic fabrics and underwires to retail hanging racks and personal fittings, the bra experience is still evolving and is still a long way from perfect. Today, a handful of new tech-savvy lingerie startups aim to take your bra experience one step closer to perfection.

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Jan 212012
 
Rooney Mara - W Magazine - Feb., 2011

Is Rooney Mara making small sexy again? - Photo via Wmagazine.com

In a recent Slate Magazine column, Simon Doonan cites Rooney Mara’s Dragon Tattoo nude scenes as evidence suggesting the wispy waif look of ’60s “cool girls like Twiggy, Ali McGraw, [and] Mia Farrow” could make a comeback soon. And even though he additionally cites European health scares caused by leaky implants, he fails to definitively predict the answer to his own sub-headline “Could small breasts make a comeback?”

Jacqueline Burt, blogger for Café Mom’sThe Stir”, also looks to Ms. Mara, but points out her off-screen glamour as she walked the red carpet of the Golden Globe awards along with other small-busted celebs Claire Danes, Charlize Theron, and Evan Rachel Wood. Burt suggests the rejection of cosmetic surgery by more and more movie stars is indicative of a return to the glamorous flapper style of the jazz age. Continue reading »

Dec 272011
 

Lingerie expert and author Ali Cudby

Ali Cudby

Ali Cudby, a well-known authority in the lingerie industry, has just published a groundbreaking new book on bras and bra sizing: Busted! The Fab Foundations Guide To Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic. Cudby refers to herself as a “bra coach,” because she believes in a cooperative fitting process that empowers her clients to learn for themselves which brands, sizes and styles work best for their bodies.

In Busted!, Ali Cudby debunks the common bra fitting method of adding four inches to the underbust (ribcage) measurement in order to determine band size. In fact, she says, this antiquated technique is the reason why most women end up wearing bras that are too loose in the band and too small in the cup. The “add four” strategy is almost completely obsolete — and yet, many lingerie companies still train their salespeople to follow it.

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Nov 152011
 

In her lingerie store for curvy ladies, online at SophisticatedPair.com

Do we think the 32AA woman has it any easier?

by Erica Windle, copyright November 2011. All rights reserved.

A gust of chilly fall air whipped through my lingerie store as the familiar sound of the doorbell announced the arrival of a customer.  Smoothing her hair quickly, a tall and curvy brunette around thirty walked briskly toward me with a slender woman in her late fifties close behind.  Before I could introduce myself, the curvy brunette proclaimed, “I have big boobs, and I need to be fitted into the right size.”

“Perfect!”  I answered cheerfully. One of the many lessons I have learned since opening my business four months ago is that a proper fitting session at the start alleviates the guesswork of pulling bra after bra from the rack in search of a good fit.

As I escorted her into the fitting room, the brunette casually passed off her bag to the woman I soon learned was her mother.  ”Were you interested in being fitted too?”  I asked.

“Her?” the brunette scoffed.  ”She doesn’t have any boobs!  What does she need a bra for?”

Regretfully, this wasn’t the first or last time I’ve heard such questioning if not outright disdain toward the mere mention of fitting a small-busted woman.  At some point, the reigning opinion became that only bigger-busted women deserve a properly fitting bra.  The rest, it seems, can make do without.  But from where does this belief—this marginalization and assignment of significance to cup size—originate?

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Jul 312011
 

As many of you know, I work individually with women who are sick to death of feeling confused and overwhelmed by the tricky task of bra shopping. For each woman seeking help, my main goals are:

  1. Get her questions answered.
  2. Take the pressure off by offering reassurance, respect and encouragement.
  3. Provide her with at least one bra that fits well, is comfortable enough to wear regularly, and makes her feel beautiful.

By the time I connect with my clients, many have already spent quite a bit of time and effort searching for the right bra. These are smart, savvy women who have done enough research that they end up teaching me new things about bras and lingerie, even as they reach out for my assistance. I am gradually building a substantial knowledge base that continues to grow every time I take on a new client.

That’s why I don’t consider myself a bra expert. I think I’m more of an enthusiast. It feels wonderful to me when I am able to help other size AA/A/B women like myself discover lingerie that truly fits and flatters the small-breasted figure, whether petite or average. Once you feel comfortable in your own skin and start to really see how beautiful you are in your skivvies, I feel like I’ve done my job right.

The Oprah Phenomenon

Thanks to Oprah, it is now widely understood that a professional bra fitting is usually required in order to get the correct size. I certainly appreciate Oprah’s efforts to educate America about bras, and I share her belief in the value of expert assistance. However, the fitting process doesn’t always work the way it is supposed to.

What follows is an example, used with the client’s permission, of how and why professional bra fittings can fail.

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Jun 162011
 
Undercover LingeristaWhen I met Kitty (aka Undercover Lingerista), I thought: here is someone who isn’t afraid to show herself to the world. Kitty is vivacious and warm, but never self-compromising. She never lacks for ideas or opinions, and is eager to share them in conversation with others in the lingerie community. That’s why I thought she’d make a great choice for our “Getting Intimate” series. Visit Kitty on the web at Undercover Lingerista. –Amanda, site admin

In a world obsessed with body image, it comes as no surprise that women are extremely self-critical when it comes to the way that they look. Breast size is one of the recurrent themes that we are confronted with on a daily basis. When Kate Moss is held up as an icon and replaced in a moment by Kelly Brook, women are left confused and unable to appreciate their own figures.

When Amanda first contacted me about guest blogging, she suggested I discuss my thoughts and feelings about my own bra size. As a lingerie blogger with a bust size of 28FF, I jumped at the chance to portray a different perspective towards bra size.

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Dec 132009
 

You don’t need to hide your size AA or A breasts under a mega-padded, gravity-defying torture device. Sure, a little enhancement can be great under some circumstances (I wear padded bras under suit jackets and tailored tops, otherwise they gap and sag). But there’s a refreshing new trend beginning to catch on among stylish, confident, beautiful women of all sizes: lingerie that celebrates us and our bodies, just as we are. Continue reading »