My friends, I've had a bitch of a time. For starters, are you aware that long line bras seem to come in 2 standard categories: small and delicate in both back and cup size and wide and sturdy in both back and cup size? What's a girl with a generous bust and a narrow frame to do?
Furthermore, in this day and age, the only people wearing the long line bras are the brides. The ones who want a smooth silhouette for day-to-day wear are apparently purchasing Spanx. I begrudge neither Spanx nor the women who wear them, but they are not for me. Too ugly, IMO. I prefer the shape provided by corsetry over that of elastic compression.
Finally, I realized I would need to go with the Goddess brand. It's venerable. It's the only one I could get shipped to Canada for less than a zillion dollars (via Lauren Silva, fyi). It's an online site I'd never heard of till I did my digging. I feel that the whole shopping experience has been pleasant enough, though the item ended up being out of stock (even though the site said it was in stock) and the shipping took close to a month. The main thing about Goddess, though, is that it's for the full-figured ladies.
You'll note, in the photo below, the bride-to-be is not full-figured, but let's not split hairs:
Because the bra I received (in the smallest back size they design for - a 34) is so freakin' narrow that I have not yet been able to verify if the cups will fit (they seem on the large size, in truth, though I bought a half size down). I am going to need assistance to get into this thing, people.
I was able to do up the hooks, fyi, just not from the back. And there is no way I can twist the thing around once on. It truly IS a corset. (Note: It comes with detachable straps, not that you'll need them. I bought mine in black because, as you may know, I have no interest in looking like a bride. I'm almost amazed it comes in black. I mean, what bride wears black?)
Here's what I can say about it so far - and I'm sure I'll return to the subject after Scott assists me in putting it on, Gone with the Wind-style.
- It's not ugly but it is lacy. Firm lacy.
- There's actual flexible-boning in the cups?!
- The cups are extremely long - I don't know what this will mean to fit, but it's unusual. This may be the undoing of things for me. I don't know that my chest is going to fill out the length of the cup. How often do you hear me complaining that the bra might be too big?!
- It's going to be insanely shaping through the waist, of that I am certain. Having said that, I fear for my internal organs.
- I'm almost at the stage where I can confirm that there is NO way that Spanx can accomplish what the long line bra - and girdle, and corset - can. Compression simply encases adipose tissue and aims, rather ineptly, to distribute it evenly. Boning actually connects to your skeleton. Look, they're both evil mechanisms from a long-term health perspective - they mush you up in ways your natural shape has not chosen for itself. But if you want the impact, just get a corset.
- I suspect - and again, I haven't worn it yet - that I will go down a generous dress size using this thing. Note: I have no interest in going down a dress size on a regular basis. I do love the idea of being wasp-waisted when wearing a cashmere sweater, however.