Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bra Adventures: Kismet and Other Stories

My friends, there is so much excitement around here lately... There's the window washing (since the reno, we have a zillion more windows) and the gardening and the fabric shopping and pattern choosing and the knitting-fitting math and the spring cleaning - but (as I pause to take a breath) let's leave that for the moment.

Let's talk about some developments in the Bra Adventures department:

For starters, after a mere 6 weeks, my Ewa Michalak order arrived. I haven't yet had time to try it on, but I will very soon. And then, natch, you'll hear all about the fit and all of my many feelings. I just tried it on and, of course, it doesn't fit. I don't know what degree of proportional upper cup fullness one would require to get this bra to actually fit but, let's just say, it's far more than mine (and I'm not a slouch in that department). I'm going to review the bra in detail shortly. But briefly: Boobs on a plate, my ass.

However, much more exciting, here's a little story for you:

Many years ago, I was fitted at a TO bra boutique by a delightful and extremely talented young woman. To preserve her privacy, let's call her Veronica. (I think that name sounds rather "sassy bra fitter", don't you agree?) Time elapsed, she moved on to other venues (as did I), and we lost touch with one another.

At any rate, a few weeks ago, Veronica contacted me by email to advise me that she'd found my blog, was enjoying my bra-related posts and, perchance, did I remember her? Um, did I ever! I've thought of her often over the years as a) she is the best bra-fitter I've come across (and I've known many good bra-fitters) and b) long before the term was coined, she and I were "boob twins". In case you're unfamiliar with the term, a boob twin is someone who shares your size and shape of breasts and can wear - and look equally fab - in most of the same bras, in the same size as you.

Back then, boob twins were like unicorns (especially with our boobs!).

Veronica would let me know when new styles arrived - those that were destined to work on me because they worked on her - and we had the same quirky taste in patterns. This was in the era of quality Freya (vs. the "fits young boobs at the young boob price point" thing they've got going on now. Oh Freya, how you have forsaken your original market. I hope it doesn't come back to bit you in the derriere.) 

Intriguingly, we two are not similar in size and shape in any other way. She is tall. She has a broad frame. (She also has the loveliest hair!) The point is, you don't have to have the same proportions as your boob twin. And, as ephemeral as is everything else in the world, so is boob twinness.  Having met recently on a couple of occasions (oh, read on!), we are no longer boob twins (in size, anyway). She's still much younger than me - and her bust has expanded slightly, while mine is in a different sort of flux.

As I recently bought some bras that are too large for me, and she has some that are too small for her, we decided to do a swap! More on this later, but I want to tell you that I walked away with two great bras and (amazingly, given that my swap collection was far less substantial than hers) EVERYTHING that I had worked for her. It was like bra Christmas in May!

Anyway, I could go on forever about the truly illuminating bra-talk we've been having. I sense it is possible (though I loathe this terminology) that I am a bra "geek". How can 3 hours go by, as if in the blink of an eye, discussing the relative cup depth and wire widths of independent brands?? 

And better still, having asked a zillion questions of Veronica, and having been fascinated by all the answers, I requested that she might assist us here in a little exercise called "Ask the Bra-Fitter".  

How do I Ask The Bra-Fitter? 

So here's what I suggest. If you'd like to ask a question - about anything bra-related (from the structure and technology of bras to the politics of bra-fitting), please email me. It would be helpful if the subject heading alludes to the Ask the Bra Fitter series. It's no problem if you'd like to remain anonymous for the purposes of these questions. Just let me know in the email that this is your preference. 

When I receive your questions, I will forward them to Veronica (without names or distinguishing detail, as requested) and ask her to provide a response. Then, I'll post the question and the response on my blog (administrative process, tbd).

Please do avail yourself of this awesome resource. I have learned so many things from Veronica and I'd love to expand the dialogue to include you! 

Today's questions: What do you think of this concept? Are there any burning questions you've just never had the chance to ask? Have you ever befriended an "expert"? Let's talk!

25 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great idea, but most of my questions require an inperson interview. Things like, "what is wrong with this fit and how would you fix it?" I can recognize when something is not right, but not always why. That said, I can most certainly benefit from others questions that I didn't even know I had.

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    1. OK, you could always send photos (with your head cropped off) if you were comfortable having them posted (and not using your regular blog handle).

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  2. Okay, so I never comment on your bra posts because, quite frankly, I never think about bras, or my bust for that matter. To me, bras have always been a nuisance that must be endured: utterly uncomfortable, but necessary in order to go through life with a certain degree of decorum (my pseudo-hippie days are long gone). I shop for bras at The Bay and usually go for the ultra boring, t-shirt bras in either black or nude. But, I’m going to be forty this year and have noticed gravity is starting to do its thing (insert gasp), even on my barely-there boobs. My t-shirts and blouses look odd on me these days and I think it may be time for a bra fitting, given that I’ve never had one. I’ll back in Toronto full time in September. Is your friend Veronica still in the bra-fitting business? If so, how do I find her? If not, do you have some pointers of where I could go for a proper fitting in TO? In the alternative (and I know this is a lot to ask, but I know no other expert!) would you be willing to take me bra shopping this fall?

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    1. Ha! Fair enough. When a lady turns 40 she deserves the most fabulous lingerie! Veronica is still in the biz and I'd be happy to connect the two of you when you return. But I would be delighted to go bra shopping with you too!

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  3. LOL - this sounds like we'd need to be emailing boob shots to get customized replies. Not that I don't have any but...

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    1. You have a point M! Or, like me, peeps may have some broader-ranging questions like: How many people do you fit in a week? Where did you learn how to bra fit etc.

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  4. That is so awesome. What a great idea. I'm not sure I have any questions just at the moment, but I am sure when anyone thinks of one, a dozen other women are going to say "oh, right, me too!".

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    1. Glad you like it! Put on your thinking cap. As a bra-maker, I'm sure you'll come up with some good questions :-)

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  5. I don't really have any questions but I am quite a bra hoarder. Yes, you heard that right! And I have a huge collection from Victoria secret and other places. I like the slightly padded ones and like them sturdy, colorful and fun!

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    1. Hoarding is ok - but only when it comes to lingerie :-)

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  6. Burning question - why is it impossible for me to find a bra that doesn't eventually slide off my shoulders if I move around and actually perform life actions? I've been told that this happens because my bra band is too loose, but it happens with bras whose bands, if they were any tighter, would prevent me from breathing without effort. (We'll talk about uplift, minimizing, etc., some other time.) P.S. The only bra "expert" I ever knew was the somewhat flaky sister of one of my daughter's friends, who worked at an underwear outlet store and had purportedly been trained, but whose opinion I could never see myself respecting. Is there a degree or certification or something that bra experts can get to vouch for their ability?

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    1. OK, we will def add this to the list of questions to be answered. Thanks Marsha!

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  7. I would LOVE to know what other lines offer a fit comparable to Wacoal's non-stretch cup minimizer line. My tits are asymmetrical & I have narrow shoulders & narrow upper chest, (one d cup & one b & a half cup). It would be nice to have pretty/sexy options that also function under clothing. thankyouthankyou :)

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    1. Another excellent question we will add to the list! Thanks.

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  8. I just saw your relatively recent post on how you are using Bratabase again. Have you ever checked out the Polish version -- Balkonetka?

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    1. No, I haven't. I'll look it up.

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  9. Can you tell us where she is working now?

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    1. Sorry, that I can't do. We want to avoid the possibility of any conflict of interest, as I'm sure you can understand. She's a mystery fitter, for the purposes of this blog.

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  10. Are there bras known for having a wider than usual stance (or whatever it's called) between the two cups in the front? That would fit a shallow profile and come in 32A or 30B? I think I could probably wear a 30B instead of my current 32A, because the band is a bit loose and I have some side spillage; but I also have a shallow profile and three fingers of space between my breasts. The only 30B I've ever tried was way too close-set in the front.

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    1. That space is called the centre gore and I will certainly add your great question to the list.

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  11. I also have always had a problem with bra straps sliding off my shoulder and down my upper arm. I know now to look for really stretchy straps, that seems to help but I imagine it's probably a fit issue.

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    1. That question is one that Marsha has too. I don't know that stretchy straps are the answer, but I suspect that Veronica will!

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  12. My bras always have so much room left over at the top. Is there a certain manufacturer or style that would fit me?

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    1. Good question. There are a variety of styles from a variety of brands that make good full-on-top bras. I'm sure Veronica will have good feedback to add but, in the meanwhile, and depending on other factors, a half-cup style might be a good bet. Lots of Euro companies make them in padded and unpadded styles.

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  13. Could she tell me where to find a non-full-cup bra that has center set straps? With as much front and center lift and cleavage as humanly possible? With a super low plunge? In a G or GG cup? No? How about a strapless with those attributes? Or maybe a unicorn? ;-)

    I think I'm seriously just going to have to figure out how to draft my own...I'm beginning to think my chest is just too weird for anything off the rack.

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