For starters, here's what she said about the Wacoal Retro Chic Full Cup Bra:
Ugly? It's not real pretty, but it's better (IMHO) than some of the two-tone and animal-print things I've seen. (I buy beige so it doesn't show through my clothes, anyway.) Does it fit, is an infinitely more important question. It looks like it would fit me the way a "minimizer" does, which would be good.
It goes without saying that I respect every woman's choice to wear whatever style of bra she prefers and it's not for me to judge that preference. No doubt Sandy is a gorgeous woman and I totally appreciate her feedback.
Nonetheless, the part about this comment that calls to me is that wherein she speculates, with optimism, that the bra might fit as a minimizer does. "Minimizer" bras are divisive. Some women seek them out. Others - like me - have a different perspective.
To clarify, minimizer bras are those marketed to minimize the shape of one's breasts. They are often one-piece cups made of satiny, very firm material (no stretch) and have wide wires, wide straps and wide bands. They're pretty-well always ugly, as far as I'm concerned. But never mind my aesthetic perspective, they're also bad for breast tissue and they often fit badly too. Why?
- Minimizer bras are designed to flatten breasts, as the (erroneous) mechanism by which they are meant to provide the illusion of smaller breasts - hence the firm fabric and lack of seams.
- Minimizer bras generally have wide wires because their aim is compression. If you have a narrow root, this isn't going to be comfortable.
- They're also designed with wider back sizes in mind, on the basis that big boobs are the result of a big frame.
- The manufacturers seem to have a mega-hate on for women, cuz every one of these bras (I've ever seen) is matronly, high cut and cheap-looking.
I completely understand how Sandy might assume that the Retro Chic is a minimizer because it's a) beige and b) ugly! But allow me to clarify: the bra is NOT a minimizer. Yeah, it's high cut with a wide band. But the wires aren't overly wide and the lower bust is actually enhanced by the cut of the cup. It does, however, control movement, cleavage and that omnipresent modern, spherical-look in the upper bust.
The truth is that a wide variety of bras - sporting a wide variety of constructions - "minimize" the appearance of breasts because they lift, support and sheath them optimally.
The word minimize in that last sentence is in quotes because, in fact, these bras aren't minimizing by flattening. They're actually maximizing the lovely shape of a woman's breasts with good construction and fit.
No question, a good bra that doesn't fit is going to look bad - if not at first, definitely by the end of the day. If it's too small in the cups, it's going to look that much worse. But let's assume the wearer of the minimizer is wearing the correct size. IMO, flattened breasts don't flatter anyone. They simply look really wide - which may minimize the projection of the boobs but also maximizes the apparent width of the torso. So, your boobs may not project as much but you'll look kind of fat. The theory is that on a fleshy torso, this may not be tremendously observable (although I dispute this). On a narrow torso it's super observable. Way to add 10 lbs.
Y'all know I go shopping for bras with lots of peeps. Many of those with breasts on the large end of the spectrum are looking for bras to curtail their size. Invariably, when they find a bra in the right size, with a firm band that actually lifts the weight of their breasts, they are delighted by a projectile shape. To a one, each of these women has uttered - with delight - that her breasts look fantastic and "so much less big". I've never found anyone who wants to make her breasts look smaller when they look terrific (in a great-fitting, gorgeous bra) at whatever size they happen to be.
I'm truly sorry if this post comes across as strident. I loathe the minimizer bra - the only thing I felt I could wear back in the day when first I had breasts and this golden age of bras was decades away.
I want every woman to feel gorgeous - and if you like the look of a minimizer (presuming that said minimizer actually fits in both the back and cup) then more power to you. But bras start at very small band sizes these days - and go to very high cup sizes. The chances are likely that you'll be able to find a bra (that doesn't purport to minimize) which "makes your breasts look smaller" aka the net outcome of a bra that actually fits.
At any rate, I'd love to hear your perspective: Do you think I'm off the mark? (Please don't hesitate to share your views if you do!) Do you wear or have you worn minimizers? Let's talk.