Hi there, Gentle Readers! Today I’d like to talk to you about something that here in the bra blogosphere is considered Serious Business: Victoria’s Secret. For the record, I love their underwear and makeup. Like seriously love it, wish I owned practically everything they make in those arenas love it. The bras, however, are another matter. So since we talk a lot in the bra fitting community about VS and why you shouldn’t get fitted there, recently several of us thought we should actually go in and get fitted and give some direct information about the process and what is problematic about it. I know they do not carry my size (they carry an incredibly small range of sizes), but that doesn’t mean they can’t use their fitting methods to determine what my size should be. To get a completely clean slate fitting (ie they don’t see the size of what I am wearing and go from there), I wore a Polish bra (Comexim) and then put on my best (read: not very good) vaguely Eastern European accent and went in, explaining that I did not know my US size but was looking for some bras, and that I was wearing a 65M (which is actually a band size bigger than I’d like, but worked for this purpose). She didn’t blink an eye at 65M, which surprised me, and then said, “okay, we’re going to take you into the back and we’ll measure you and find your size.” I agreed enthusiastically and went back. In the fitting area (but not in an actual fitting room) the fitter took a single measurement, over my clothes: from the middle of my back to the upper part of my bust. No underbust measurement, no measurement at the fullest point of my bust. Just one weird angled one. Like this:
She then announced that I was a 36D, or thereabouts, and that she’d get me one to start. Inwardly, I laughed and laughed and laughed, but outwardly I said “okay,” and took it in to try on. Here is the hilarious result:
As I have no shame whatsoever, I wandered out in the shop wearing the bra and gesticulating wildly in an attempt to find a fitting associate, and after a moment or two another woman came over to help. I mentioned (presumably unnecessarily) that the cups were much too small, and she agreed, re-measured me, looked a bit, and gave me a 34DD. I appreciated the smaller band, but was a little confused as to why the cup was just sister sized down. Result:
Seeing the ridiculousness above (and noting my horribly-accented objection: “the bowls, they are too small, yes?”), she brought me a stack of 34DDD’s in different styles. Here is a delightful collage of ill-fitting 34DDD bras for you.
At this point, the first fitter came back, and, seeing that the 34DDD’s weren’t working, brought me two 38DDD’s. These did not fit either, but I found that if I squished myself into one of them juuuuust right, my boobs looked awesome from like two angles. “This must be what it’s like to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel!” I thought, remembering many an image of them squished up in bras. I’d put a picture of one here, but I’m not clear on how rights for those sorts of things work, and I don’t want to anger the Internet Powers That Be. Therefore, I’m linking to a picture of Alessandra Ambrosio, who I happen to think is stunningly gorgeous, but who of course wears much too small bras in VS ads because that’s what they put her in. In addition to her beautiful face, body, etc., you might notice her very nice cleavage that is sadly accompanied by some armpit bulge because her breasts are being forced out by the smallness of the cups.
So anyway, I kind of got into pretending I had smaller, more Victoria’s Secret-able boobs for a minute, and may or may not have pranced around the dressing room making pouty faces and taking silly pictures…
Okay, okay, so I definitely pranced around taking the silly pictures. So sue me. It’s not like I get to make my boobs look like this every day, you know.
Hence, here is a ridiculous and totally self-indulgent collage of me pretending to be a VS Angel:
But no, alas, as here is a picture in which I am not disguising the ill-fit of the bra:
BOOOOOOOO. Showing the fitter the problems, I mentioned that the back seemed loose and that it had ridden all the way up, and she did acknowledge that the band should be staying parallel, but instead of recommending a tighter band, she just loosened the straps a lot and pulled the band down (STRAPGATE, ANYONE?). I didn’t take a picture of the result because my boobs would have mutinied. It was a sad state of affairs. So to reiterate:
VS Fitting Timeline
- Put on ridiculous Polish accent.
- Explain that I am not sure of my American size, but am wearing 65M in a Polish bra.
- Single measurement taken (around back and onto upper portion of bust).
- Am told that the first size we should try is 36D.
- Then given 34DD by another fitter.
- Then 34DDD
- Then original fitter comes back, gives me 38DDD. Boobs look super sexy from very specific angles. I narcissistically take a bunch of sexy pictures and pretend to be a VS model.
- I point out that the back is very large and has ridden completely up but cups are too small. She loosens the straps a lot so that the band can sit parallel (which she does identify as a sign of proper fit). Boobs are no longer super sexy.
- She agrees, does acknowledge that they don’t have larger cups and that the band is too large, and that the problem is that I am so tiny around. Says she can’t really recommend anywhere, but I can try Frederick’s. I ask her if women do not have large breasts like this in the US, and she says it’s very rare, but does return to back size as a problem.
So what’s the point of all this? Well, there are a couple, really. I’ma make a list here, because all the books and sites about How to Have a Successful Blog have told me that I should be making more lists in my posts, and since I haven’t been making any, I figure I’ll put two in here and make up for lost time. Woot.
WHY THIS POST EXISTS AND I AM WILLING TO PUT HORRIBLE PICTURES OF MY BOOBS ON THE INTERNETS, A LIST:
- Whenever I look at well-written fitting posts, there are at least a few people in the comments who post dismissive, obnoxious, completely subjective rants about how OH MY GOD YOU ARE SO NOT A G CUP I AM A DD AND I AM WAY BIGGER THAN YOU AND YOU NEED TO GO TO VICTORIA’S SECRET WHERE THEY CAN FIT YOU PROPERLY. The amount of these seems to go up with the cup size of the author. As I have my own fitting guide posts in the works, this is a pre-emptive strike. No, they can not fit me properly, and if you are are even moderately busty, they are probably not fitting you correctly either. Give it up.
- Do not let anyone make you feel like bras in your size don’t exist and that you therefore have to buy something that doesn’t fit you out of necessity. They might be hard to find (say, only made in Poland or something, NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW REST OF THE WORLD THAT DOESN’T MAKE BRAS FOR ME), but they are almost definitely there, and I am here to help you find them.
- I truly, sincerely want people to know that this is going on. VS is considered by many women in the US to be the authority on all bra-related things, and that means that tons of ladies are wearing ill-fitting bras. Not only can this impact confidence and cause migrated breast tissue and sagging, but in the case of BOUS, it can also result in very real physical problems, like chronic back pain. Women are getting breast reductions because they think that pain is an inexorable part of having BOUS. There is nothing wrong with getting breast reduction surgery, and I fully support any woman’s decision to do so, for whatever reason she has, but what I am not in support of is women feeling forced to have unnecessary surgery by pain that is avoidable. Sizing women with large breasts wrongly has real, tangible, and in some cases extreme physical ramifications. It is not inconsequential.
- The last bit, in the pink bra, illustrates a point (albeit a sort of caricature of that point) that I’m probably not going to make again for a while: sometimes wearing a too-small bra is super hot. I wish my boobs looked like they do in that collage all the time. Of course, they would need to not look the way they do from the side, but whatever. The point is, there is nothing wrong with having a good time in a bra that’s too small, and I am not here to tell you you need to wear whatever given size. The point has been made that proper fit is not the only consideration in the selection of bras and lingerie, and I would agree. I do want people to know that for we well-endowed ladies, this should probably be left for short-term fun times and not everyday wear (see point number two), but if you can rock this without any pain… Do so extra for me, eh? I want that kind of cleavage. It bums me out that there is not a pink bra out there that would do that for me without all the problems. Find your pink bra and love it, if you want. I would suggest a single size down, though, and as close to your actual band size as possible. I do this in Curvy Kate Showgirl bras and prance around my apartment more often than I should probably be admitting publicly. So yes. Buy a bra just to feel sexy! For many women, Victoria’s Secret is a good place for this. Just know what you’re getting into.
Okay, so that was kind of a long-winded list, but there you go. We’ll talk about fitting more soon, eh? In a series (honestly, it’s almost a manifesto at this point; the reason it isn’t posted is because NO ONE WANTS TO READ THAT MUCH ABOUT BRA FITTING) of posts coming up, I’ll be talking about how to look for a bra that fits you, and how it’s much more complicated than one (or even two or three) measurements can show. I’ll be wrapping it up with a post specifically about the fitting issues those of us above a J-cup face (and yes, I do truly believe there are problems that simply don’t show up till this point; I call it the J-Cup Barrier), and along the way, hopefully we can all learn a thing or two. I hope you’ll stick with me, because this is important stuff and you and your boobs deserve to be well-fitted.
But Miss Shapen, I have BOUS and I want to be sexy, too, and I don’t want to wear a bra that is many sizes away from what fits!
Don’t worry, Gentle Readers. There are (almost certainly) bras for you, and we can definitely be sexy with or without Victoria’s Secret. Now, I don’t usually do this on the ol’ brog, as I prefer my lingerie pics to be a little less… Shall we say, mainstream? But here are two that I’ve taken that show that you can be well-fit AND sexy (sorry for the blurred backrounds and such – I actually didn’t intend these for publication in the brog when taken). Reviews of all items in question to come. I love you all. Rock your sexy selves.
NB to Dudes Reading this Blog Not For the Articles. I know you’re here, you know you’re here, and we both know you’re not here for bra fit advice. That’s okay. The intended audience of the blog is female, and it is intended for educational purposes. To that end, I ask that you keep your enjoyment largely to yourselves, with one exception: I’d like to do more reviewing of bras and lingerie on the blog, as it’s hard to find in this size range and I’d like to help other ladies find things that work for them. I also want to promote body positivity for women of all sizes and shapes, and specifically to show an example of a curvy woman in clothing traditionally modeled by women of a more specific “model-esque” bodytype. You want me to do more lingerie reviews… Because you like the art that goes into lingerie, I’m sure. Whatever the reason is, if you are digging the lingerie photos and want more, there are now two direct ways to facilitate that. One is to drop a few dollars in my PayPal account, a link to which can be found in the sidebar. All money received there will go to buying new things to review for the blog, unless a note is sent with it specifying otherwise (ie, “just go have a nice dinner and enjoy yourself!” not “send me a nudie pic” – all requests of that nature will be ignored and I will just buy myself a steak or a bra). I also have a wishlist set up, so if you see something you’d like me to review, you can specifically have that sent to me, and I will give it the full brog treatment. You can also leave a comment on a PayPal donation if you’d like the money to go towards a certain thing on the wishlist.
Lady readers: before writing the above off as creepy, please take a moment to reflect on my thinking here. Bra pictures = wanking. Hell, non-bra pictures = wanking. Why should the blog not benefit from the presence of male admirers, as long as they don’t interfere with what we do here? This blog has been and remains a resource for YOU. That means I want as much content as possible, ideally of items that are current so you can go and buy them. I simply can’t afford to buy a lot for the blog right now, and while I do have a queue of wonderful items lined up (some already photographed!), very little of it is in the lingerie department, and I really want to highlight some great options for BOUS bras and other undergarments. I hope you understand and support why I’ve chosen to try this out. Please feel free to comment or email me at MissShapen@weirdlyshaped.com with any concerns. And of course you are welcome to drop a few dollars in the PayPal account, too, if you are so inclined, but I am happy to provide the best content I can for you for a long time to come nomatter what. Not to be all sentimental or anything, but you mean a lot to me.
For some more reading about Victoria’s Secret Fitting (and a few other issues), check out these posts from other bloggers:
Boosaurus, as linked above, and
continued here via Braless in Brasil
And for a really interesting and important read on some problematic issues with Victoria’s Secret that don’t center on fitting, check out:
Okay, Gentle Readers. It’s time for me to sign off for now.
Until next time, may your boobs and spirits be lifted high.