I’m a WHAT?!

Lately, I have been dealing with the horror. The shear horror of realizing you’re a G when you think your an A. You’re a DDD (F) when you think your a B. Well sister, let me tell you. The cup don’t lie. What it comes down to is width, volume plays a hand, but width is the determining factor. So you might look small on top, but if your tissue is spread wide ( from observation usually not wearing an underwire bra) your going to be wide and not full. Does that make sense? Think of maybe cake batter or cookie dough. You take a spoon full and put it on a pan. You cook it in the oven, and the little mound that was your tablespoon has turned into a nice little thin round cookie. In theory. Lets say you run out of room on your cookie pan, and your last dollop of cookie dough you put too close to the edge, luckily, your pan has sides, so as the cookie expands it hits the side and takes a little shape of the pan. Think of breast tissue as expanding cookie dough, its not like lets say, mashed potatoes, that never move and stay solid (that would be augmentation). Think of the side of your pan as your underwire. Does this make sense? Maybe. Anyway. Moral is wear a bra. ( I feel like I’ve been saying that alot)

2 stories. Wait 3 stories. Ready?

1. “Can I just get fit for fun?” This girl asks me, as I have just changed the life of her friend ( I’ll save that for another post, it was priceless) I say sure, of course. She kicks her friend out of the fitting room, and hesitantly takes her top off. Women are so funny, they think I care, but I don’t. I measure her, fit her. She’s horrified. “Seriously? I’m a triple D? No way! I thought I was like an A or somethin.” Looking at her, no you’d think she was an A, there’s not alot of volume, and it would have been an extremely hard fit, because she wouldn’t have filled hardly anything in her size. But because all she wore were stretchy over the head bralette things, her breasts had spread.

2. Mom and Daughter are shopping. I offer to help the daughter find some bras, mom ends up in the fitting room. Daughter is disgusted by moms nasty boring bras… as she should be. If you have a nude bra, replace it. There is nothing grosser, to me, your man, your girlfriend, or your child, as some nasty old greying stretched out nude bra. They make nice ones. Get one. Anyway, I fit mom. She’s a __DDD. Totally horrified. I bring her in a selection close to what she’s asked for, somehow my gremlins have mixed up a DD with DDD and I brought in a DD. I told her this and she was like I am not a DDD at all. I’m a DD. Because mother and daughter were so wrapped up in eachother ( which is fine) I did not have the chance to educate. I’m sure I sounded crazy, and she went home raving on about the girl that fit her that day.

3. I get handed off this cute, pretty, curvy woman. Rich brown skin, and long black hair, her sister is doing a return and she wanted a fit. I led her into the fitting rooms, and while she’s disrobing she’s telling me all about where she is from and how it’s summer there year round. She thinks we are crazy living in the cold. We go through the fit process, and no, visually she was not any kind of melon, or fruit, or other round object I can compare to, but I measure her as a G. She shrieked when I told her. The fitting room went silent. I laughed, put my hand on her should and said ” Congratulations?” I then explained to her about the width vs volume. It makes sense if you think about it. Did I mention she was a US senator? I didn’t find that out until after.

So, now you might be asking, why must it go around the breast tissue? I think it makes pretty clear sense. But here’s some fun facts and fear for you. There are lymph nodes, and milk ducts down there in your armpit, chest area… if you wear a bra that is too small, it can cut into these essential internal parts. Potentially clogging ducts on pregnant/ nursing mothers, or affecting your lymphatic system. Sounds fun huh. In my experience, and opinion, go bigger, go to where its comfortable. The transition of what you see yourself before and after might be strange at first, but worth it for your health, in more ways than one.

Where to buy.

http://www.natori.com/

http://www.chantelle.com/us_en/catalogsearch/result/?q=Rive+gauche

http://www.soma.com

Options? I have Options?

I recently got prosthesis certified.  Meaning that I work with women who have survived breast cancer and have lost a portion, one, or both breasts to the disease.  I have found these women to be profoundly strong and optimistic, not to mention open about their bodies and experience.  I admire them.

I have quite a tool set these days, including balance forms.  What are balance forms you ask? Well, they are different weighted silicone half breast forms to slip into the bra to balance out uneven sizes.  Usually, they are used for women that have had lumpectomies, and are left with one DD+ cup and one smaller cup.  However, in some cases insurance and your doctor, can authorize coverage if you haven’t had breast cancer but are naturally unbalanced.  If you’re doctor doesn’t cover it, you can pay out of pocket too.  They are made of flesh colored silicone and designed to be lifelike.  Honestly, through a bra and clothing you cant even feel the difference.  So here’s the story.

I saunter in to work, am perusing my daily responsibilities, when I get asked to do a double fit in another department.  I’m fresh from prosthesis training so I’m raring to go.  I go up the escalators, and find my ladies in their respective fitting rooms.  Not the usual customers I deal with on a daily basis, but non the less, I am un phased.  I go into the first room, where this big tall girl is, she looks down at me and smiles and say “You’re a little one aren’t you”.  I laugh and tell her I am a magic bra elf here to solve her problems.  I immediately notice that one breast is drastically larger than the other.  I measure her, and move on to her friend in the next fitting room.  I explain to them my fit process and go down to get my fit bras.

Upon my return, I enter the friends’ room first, and fit her.  Easy.  She loves the bra, and will take two.  I move on to my new tall friend.  She tells me, as she takes off her wonder bra ( do not ever buy them ever they are the worst invention ever), that one is bigger than the other.  I smile and tell her that I will be fitting for the bigger one first, but that I have options for her.  She looks surprised and says really? I then introduce her to the idea of a balance form, something she can slip into her bra everyday so she looks even in her clothing, and will balance out the weight on her body.  She looks a little taken aback and says she’ll think about it.

We move on to the fit bras, I get a perfect fit in a __GG, think maybe a big round watermelon.  The other one is swimming in this bra… think a small melon, or a large grapefruit.  She is smiling and so happy to have the weight distribution and the bra on, but looks at me and  asks nervously ” Maybe, lets try those forms and see?” ” Sure, I’ll run down and grab my kit.  Can’t hurt anyway right?”

I return with my kit of different shapes, sizes, and weights of forms.  I have tiny little ones, and big ones that are larger than even some breasts.  She giggles and I let her feel the soft, flesh like silicone.  Her friend peaks her head out and I let her feel too.  They are pretty cool, I’ll admit.  So after introducing the forms to her, I take my largest, most weighted form and slip it into her bra.  I adjust accordingly, and Ta Da! A huge smile spreads across her face she as looks down.  I turn her to the mirror and the smile grows, and grows. “I’ve never been even before, my whole life.  Thank you, so much.” I take her hands and place them on her breasts, you can’t tell the difference between them.  She looks at me and says ” Can I try on some shirts with it?” Her excitement and enthusiasm is something I can’t put into words, I just hope you can imagine how happy and good she felt.  She bought it out of pocket, though I fought with the insurance company.  Her appreciation and happiness made that day complete for me, and I think about her almost everyday since.

Daily I find it upsetting and frustrating and sad that so many women have no idea the things that are out there for them.  Silicone forms to be balanced, wire free padded bras, camisoles designed for surgery, a good fitting bra to take the weight off the shoulders. We as a population, gender, people, are under educated in our bodies when it comes to our breasts.  I could tell you all about a period when I was 14, but beyond picking out a random bra when my nipples started showing I couldn’t tell you anything else.  I try to educate my customers and women in my life as best I can in general maintenance and care.  Again, it’s all about body image and body maintenance.  You shower, and clean your butt, you buy new clothes, and new underwear, you clean your underwear… why must the bosom be so neglected? ( For a later post I could rant all night on that topic)

Wanna look at silicone balance forms?

http://www.amoena.us/Products/Partial-Shapers

The Break Up

I walk over to these two women that are casually looking around.  I walk up to them and ask them if they need any help.  The friend looks at me, and tells me bluntly that her friend needs a new bra.  I look at her friend who looks a little horrified and embarrassed.  I tell her to follow me and lead her to the fitting rooms.

We start with the fit bra, and I start bringing her some things that meet what she likes/ is comfortable in.  Thats when the truth starts pouring out of her.  She tells me about how she recently went through a break up, and how she had been with him for a long time, and believed he would change, but he hadn’t.  She started telling my about the things he would say to her and how much of an alcoholic he was.  She told me that she never didn’t feel pretty anymore, that she didn’t care, but she did at the same time.

She was overwhelmed with the options, and the choices, and the reality of her freedom.  She chose a pretty embroidered Chantelle Balconette bra.  I gave her my card and told her to make an appointment with me when she was ready to redo her wardrobe.

This particular incident happened a few weeks ago, but has stuck in my head since.  All I can picture is her standing in the fitting room, in the blue bra, with a smile and a frown, explaining what had happened and how confused she felt.  Telling me how much her confidence had been affected.  Since that night I have come to notice, not only am I just your fitter, but your confidant.  Women bear their hearts to me on a daily basis.  Telling me about their husbands, children, body image issues, you name it.

I strongly believe that if you have a positive body image, this will reflect in your daily life.  Even if all that means is your bra and underwear match, and are in good condition.  Doesn’t mean it has to be some fancy lacy number, but even just a basic nice nude panty and nude bra can make a difference.  Funny how the underpinnings can make a difference, but they can. Get dressed for yourself.  Not anyone else.  Feel sexy for you, not for him or her.  Enjoy your shapes, curves, imperfections, that’s what makes you you.

Shopping? Want? Love?

http://www.chantelle.com/us_en/catalogsearch/result/?q=Paris+Paris

Reduce. Reuse. Maybe not Recycle.

My day was themed breast reduction monday.  I’ve noticed I have themes of the day: like having only women that are 32 G, or calling loss prevention repeatedly, or attracting the crazies.  Anyway, yesterday I had two women that had had reductions… I find them to be excited and thrilled about the prospects of wearing cute, SMALL, bras, as opposed to the literal over the shoulder boulder older.  A particular favorite customer of mine.

Client number one yesterday had had a reduction years ago… and as we were trying on bras, and debating what she would get she was telling me all about it.  Except, they had come back.  So, the reduction had worked for a while, but grown out.  Judging from my observations I’d say gravity had a hand in this, and weight gain.  So reader beware, they can in fact grow again.  She was an H.  Thats a couple a pounds to carry around with you everyday. In the end ( after much debate) we chose the Wacoal awareness bra, as well as a Natori sports bra. A particular favorite of mine as of late.

Client number two.  Probably the reason why I felt motivated to start up writing again. I sauntered over to her in the shapewear section, and a big smile came across her face, as she told me she had recently recovered from reduction surgery and needed new bras, as she had only been wearing compression for the last few months.  Good for her for her patience… most women roll in still swollen and shiny, wanting to be fit when, really they need to wait.  So I fit her in a 34G, which sounds big, but its really all about the width of the breast tissue, not the volume.  She had had a pound taken from each breast.  I can’t even imagine.  Either way I brought her in a selection of fun bras that she could wear.  She was so excited and enthusiastic and happy to have the weight gone, and be able to wear colors and be comfortable in her bras.  It was a joy working with her. She ordered three of my favorite Wacoal unlined bras, they feel like butter.  And exclaimed she’d be back!

I can’t say I know much about reductions, beyond what I have seen.  But all I can hear in my head is a Denise-ism from when I worked at Soma.  ” I wear a bra all the time.  Even to bed.  My grandma told me when I was young thats what I had to do so I wouldn’t sag to the floor. And thats what I’ve done my whole life.” We’ll say she had quite the bustline, and yes, they were up where they belonged.  I recommend to my larger busted customers to wear something supportive all the time, even smaller busted, gravity exists… you don’t want little “fried eggs” hanging around.  Wear a bra.  Bra company of the day: Wacoal.  A classic brand. They have been around for a long long time, and one of the companies I swear by. Pictures and links below.

 

http://www.wacoal-america.com/shop/wacoal-bras/seamless/awareness-underwire-bra_85567.html?index=4&searchCategoryId=10068&totalResults=56&displayMarkdownsOnly=false

http://www.wacoal-america.com/shop/wacoal-bras/seamless/pure-couture-underwire-bra_855188.html?index=8&searchCategoryId=10068&totalResults=56&displayMarkdownsOnly=false