Why hello there, Gentle Readers! I apologize for my extended absence; yesterday was my birthday and I took much of last week for related festivities (Disneyland! Universal Studios! The Pin Up Girl Boutique and Unique Vintage!) and will probably be doing a fair amount of the same as this week goes on; I’m a birthday week/month kind of girl. But I did want to pop in and share some exciting information with you in the midst of all the merriment: there’s a new lingerie company starting up specifically for women with small backs and large boobs! WEIRDLY SHAPED WIN! Edwards & Millers is definitely the most exciting new company to come out for people of my shape in, well… ever, maybe. The intrepid Izabela at Voluptuously Thin beat me to the punch on interviewing the company’s founder, Tracy, and covered a lot of the basics in her post about the launch of the brand, and then The Curves Have It did a lovely follow-up that covered some more personal questions, so I’m going to go ahead and let you take a moment to check out their excellent interviews so you can get your basic information down. (Go ahead, I will wait here.) Luckily, with something this exciting, there is always more to find out, and Tracy was kind enough to grant me an interview. Read on to find out more about what is going into designing this specialized line and what we can expect to see from the release in the fall. Oh, and for those of you who did not follow instructions and read the interviews listed above (tsk tsk!), here’s a VERY basic rundown:
Edwards & Millers is a company launching this fall making lingerie for Big Breast Small Back (BBSB) women, and will have a size range of 26-34 DD-M(!!!). Their founder wears 28K, so she is personally familiar with the challenges women in our sizes face, and she is seeking to help us all out with this new range. As their website states, “The collection seeks to give women ‘That Icon Status’ through supportive and beautiful underwear, combining corsets, shape-wear including bras, girdles, waspies, knickers and thongs, combining iconic shapes with inspiration from Jamaican tradition.” For the rest, check out the other interviews and then read mine below!
Miss Shapen: Hi! First of all, I would just like to say how exciting it is for me any time I find someone who wears the same bra size I do. 28K! Hooray! So I am particularly excited about the launch of your brand, as clearly my size won’t be left out. I think one of the reasons so many brands leave out BBSB sizes is that some fit issues pop up at a certain point that just don’t exist below that threshold (for me, I found that problems existed at K that simply hadn’t at J). I think the only way to really address these issues is to change the design of bras in these sizes, which is why for truly BBSB women, sister sizing can be problematic, even after getting the bras altered. I’m so pleased that your bras are not going to be just regular bras in BBSB sizes – you’re actually redesigning them to work for us. What are some of the sizing issues you feel are specific to BBSB bras? For me, issues of wire width, cup height, and strap placement are the biggest concerns, but I’m sure there are a lot of factors you’re addressing specifically in your product design. Without giving away any trade secrets, would you mind talking about the challenges you feel designers for bras in these sizes face (or the challenges that wearers of these sizes encounter)?
Tracy Durrant: For me, one of the main problems I wanted to solve in regards to bra fit is the cup height. I felt that the bras I found in my size were too high, making them visible at the top of my tops or dresses. Other problems included underwires digging into my armpits or going towards my back, so having wires that are not too wide is a must for Edwards & Millers. Another issue is the straps being placed to close to the armpits which reduced the ability for the bra to create the right lift. (Editor’s note: followers of Strapgate: take note!)
MS: Great! I can’t wait to see how these changes work out. Okay, next question: as you are covering an impressively large span of sizes, are you planning on having cut off points where you would change the design for the different fitting needs of those sizes?
TD: As I cross grade I will adjust the design if needed, however most of our sizes are BBSB sizes where the women face similar needs.
MS: Have you had any difficulty in finding supplies (like wires of the right size) or production equipment to create the collection, or are you having things specially designed for you? And along the same lines, are you using any special fabrics, laces, or other materials that are particularly exciting? I noticed on your “ABOUT” page that you mention “the finest silks and locally sourced materials,” which is quite intriguing.
TD: Yes, one of my biggest challenges have been finding wires suitable for BBSB bras, and this has resulted in me getting our wires made specifically for the brand. (Editor’s note: !!!!!!!) And yes, quality materials and making use of local suppliers (where possible) is very important to the brand.
MS: I’m really excited that you are going to be including things other than simple bras in your collection; in the interview on Voluptuously Thin, you mentioned slips, babydolls, and high-waisted knickers as being part of the initial offerings. This is tremendously exciting for me, as I am just in love with that sort of lingerie, but haven’t been able to find a babydoll (for example) in my size in years. For those of us who are going to want everything, what can we expect in terms of the level of luxury? I saw on your website that you do consider yourself to be a luxury brand, so will most of your pieces be special-occasion splurge items for the average woman?
TD: I can’t say too much right now, but we will be offering a unique service to our VIP members giving them the option of purchasing items that are not going to be made available to the general public. Our collection is split into to 3 divisions offering splurge items as well as items that can bring a touch of glamour into the everyday.
MS: That’s wonderful; I’m really glad you’ve chosen to make multiple divisions. I think a lot of BBSB ladies will appreciate knowing that they will have options regarless of budget and preference. Once this opening collection is successful, as I’m sure it will be, do you have any specific goals, plans, or dreams for the future?
TD: Yes, I plan to expand the size range and to launch a swimwear collection that meet the BBSB women’s needs.
The rest of the interview was mainly chatting back and forth – Tracy is lovely – and working out details and such, so I’ll leave off here for now. Tracy did say that more complete sizing information for the specific items in the range should be available soon, as well as more information in general – she can’t give away all her secrets just yet! But I think we know enough at this point that all of us BBSB women should be extremely excited about Edwards and Millers’ beginning. If you want to know more about the company, please do check out their website and make sure to read the interviews I linked to at the top of this post. You should also sign up to be an E&M VIP, which will give you exclusive updates, events, and news and ensure that you are the first to see everything the company releases! And while you’re at it, why not get involved and become a part of their lingerista team? Or check out their social media: you can follow them on Twitter (@EdwardsMillers) or Instagram, or like their Facebook page here.
Also, I’d like to touch upon something that has been discussed a bit in the blogosphere lately but may not have reached you all. One of the reasons that our sizes aren’t being made is that retailers feel that they aren’t really needed or wanted because they don’t tend to sell well and/or have a high rate of returns. I have a lot of thoughts on this, but I want to save them for another post and for now, simply emphasize that if we want more options in our sizes, the best thing we can do is vote with our wallets. So when this line comes out, please, please buy what you can afford and show the world that these sizes are needed and wanted, and that BBSB ladies desire pretty lingerie too! This company’s success depends on our support. So try them out and spread the word, and not only will Edwards and Millers be able to continue their work and make more items for us, but other companies might be inspired to follow suit. Along those lines as well, Tracy would like to know from all of you in which boutiques you would like to be able to find Edwards & Millers lingerie and why. Please comment here with your answers and any other questions you might have, and I will pass them along.
And one last time… HOORAY!!!!