But first, a little PSA about one sort of back fat I neglected to address in the last post. This sort is hotly debated in the biz (whatever that is. Lord knows I'm not in the biz so maybe I should stop talking about their hot debates...) This type of fat is actually migrated breast tissue and there are a lot of suspect posts about it out there, though this one is quite good (and it links to a few additional posts).
My personal opinion is that migrated breast tissue is not a myth. I've seen it. It usually happens when a woman (of any breast size) has been wearing the incorrect cup size for a long time. You know those peeps who are in a cup 3 sizes too small? Where the under wire hits the side of the breast, not at the back, but along the actual breast? Or those whose breasts are barely contained by the top of the cups, while the centre gores are a good inch away from the breastbone against which they should lie flat.
Over time, especially if you have the tendency, you may start to see extra fleshiness, often at the side torso, around the band. You may also see flesh migrate along the sternum (though this doesn't produce back fat).
On a positive note, I also believe that, once you start wearing the right bra size, the tissue can revert to its former and natural location. But I don't think the process is necessarily quick. And I suspect, if you're 65 and you've been in the wrong bra for 50 years, you're less likely to see a reversal than a woman of 23, for example. Note: If you're in the former category, by all means aim to beat the odds. You'll look much better as soon as you get your bra size sorted out, even if everything doesn't pop back to its original spot.
OK, onto the kinds of bras that seem to mitigate the issue. Please note that I am not suggesting the bras pictured below, nor do I think they fit the model perfectly. However, I do have experience of each of these brands and I think they're very good. Also note that I've drawn the photos from Figleaves, for convenience (and because I sometimes purchase there), but that other online stores - like Large Cup Lingerie sell much of the same stock with the same efficiency. More to the point, LCL ships for free!
- Those with wide bands (3 hooks minimum, or at least, wide side under wires that diminish to a 2-hook back). It stands to reason that the more area over which you support your breasts, the more you can defray the bulge.
|Panache Andorra - This brand manufactures some really supportive bands that are deceptively delicate-looking.|
- Those with side-shaping. They tend to have wires that sit higher on the side breast which allows for width in the side band.
|Kathryn Bra by Fantasie (this brand caters to the side-support seekers)|
- Expensive bras. Hear me out. The really high-end lines (which can often be purchased at good prices online or on sale) have access to the best wires and materials. Not only will you look chic, but the material that's making you look chic will also control any back fat issues.
|Empreinte Roxanne - I have wanted this bra forevah but I can't find any online vendor that will ship it out of the EU.|
- Mid line or long line bras. Oh, the times they have been tough for the ladies who want these bras but who do not conform to the 34B-38DD size range. Or those who don't like the retro-look. But I sense things are changing. Freya and Cleo (Panache) have put out some great options in the 30 back to G cup range, though I'm not convinced they've hit their stride. I own one Freya long line and it's really a mid line and there's no actual boning on the sides and there's slight padding in the cups. This doesn't a) maximize my support or b) streamline the profile of my chest. However, the young women have taken to these and they're buying them like hot cakes, so I think, at least for those of narrow(ish) frame and large(ish) breasts, it's good times ahead.
|Freya Piper Long Line|
- Sexy, one-pieces. No, I don't mean Spanx. I do mean body-suits with built in bras that actually contain support. The torsos of these body-suits should not compress you, but they should skim. I own this one and it's awesome. It is not tight at all but it holds everything in place:
|Panache Confetti Thong Body|
In short, you're looking for undergarments made of high-end materials, wide bands, firm support from those bands (i.e. you have to wear the "right size") and properly-sized cups.
On the topic of clothing that enhances the fabulousness of your fabulous undergarments, I warn you against slim gauge 4-way stretch knits if you're looking to hide a bulge. The fabrics and cuts that will work best, IMO, are these:
- Stable knits (like ponte or two-way stretch jersey). Whether you wear these in a t shirt or a body skimming tunic or dress, be sure you're in the right size. Too big will look less than flattering. Too small will do the same thing.
- Darker colours in fabrics having solid colours or discreet patterns. I don't mean you have to wear black! But white is gonna give it all up. So use your discretion.
- Blouses with a small amount of spandex for stretch. Note, these have to fit really well. They need sharp shaping at the waist and adequate width through the breasts and torso. And they must fit like a dream in the shoulders. But they sure do skim nicely when they're done well. If you have large breasts and you don't sew / and custom fit your hand-sewn garments then look up those brands that cater to curvy ladies.
- Structured wovens. Again, they have to fit. Too tight and you're gonna look like a sausage.
In terms of fabric, I suspect that rayon knits are the hardest to wear, along with silk-blend stretch fabric. If 4 inches of unstretched garment width can stretch to more than 6 inches, it's probably not gonna work. But don't take my word for it, do your own research.
So, I'd love to know if you concur with these findings or if you disagree. Let's continue yesterday's discussion!
BTW, this post really does align quite nicely with the Cake Patterns pre-order happening at Steph's blog, so check out this great new company and pre-order a flattering look!