Trinny & Susannah and their ilk blag on and on about how most women wear the wrong size bra and up until that moment (at home in our London flat, after a trip to, of all things, Primark) I'd thought they were exaggerating.
It was so surprising that I walked from our bedroom to the lounge, in my bra & jeans (the lovely flatmate S was not home) and told Craig. He was underwhelmed. But to me, everything I'd read about how bras are supposed to fit suddenly made sense.
I was a 12F/14E.
And life got a whole bunch more difficult.
Regular bras, the ones that cost under $50 and come in a range of colours, sizes, and materials only range from A-D. For years manufacturers have regarded cleavage above a D cup as something to be restrained, hidden away, regarded as suspicious, and swathed in acres of fabric.
UNTIL! Bendon brought out select few of their Elle Macpherson range in cup sizes above D. And I rejoiced. Then quickly wept because lord but fancy bras are expensive. Also, the cup still they crept up the bust centimetre by centimetre compared to their A-D doppelgängers. As if anything over a D cup is liable to jump out of the cup if anything akin to cleavage is shown. Heaven forbid you want to wear anything with a plunging neckline - they just don't make the bra for you.
I find it so ... infuriating. How dare these lingerie manufacturers dictate how low cut I wear my tops. How DARE they. If all of a sudden all tee-shirts were only cut to show the collar bone people would be incensed. And yet those of larger busts have allowed lingerie manufacturers to DICTATE our modesty. Just thinking about this makes me so angry I'm typing with tense claw hands. Our breasts are not all that hard to manage. They do not need to be completely covered by an undergarment - as long as the bottom half-plus-an-inch is well supported then they are not going to LEAP from the bra.
Do the manufacturers assume that I dislike my breasts? that I am ashamed of them & hide them away? Because I'm not and I do not. They're just breasts. They will not destroy the world*. Heaven forefend I should ever wish to wear a push up bra.
I was hunting for a low-cut E or F cut bra in any shop I could find. No luck. I even talked to the saleslady in Bendon who told me about this mythical new range of lingerie that they were releasing - DimitySO (hate the name) - which ONLY came in cup sizes D-J! I was so excited. A range of lingerie made specifically for my cup range (and then some), surely THEY would make the kind of bras I want to wear. Imagine my excitement when a couple of months later I noticed on my twitter feed the hashtag #DimitySO appended to what appeared to be a competition entry tweet.
I clicked frantically to their twitter page and sure enough they were giving away 3 sets of lingerie each day - all you had to do was send a message saying why you deserved free lingerie. The first day? I didn't win anything. The second day I quoted an oscar winning rap song and won!:
So, just under a month later, a package arrived at my office, it was the DimitySO lingerie! I was so so excited. But not so excited as to run to the office bathroom and try it on. I waited until this morning.
The lingerie is admittedly beautiful. In a strange grey shade which, according to their website, is actually "Brown / Aqua Gray" and seems very well made. The first thing I found amiss was that the back strap was very thick, the three hooks very widely spaced. This is a hallmark of the grandma-esque bras I and a similarly endowed friend abhor. Seriously, ABHOR. And I know that it's not a necessity as the Elle MacPherson bras I have purchased in an E or F cup do not suffer this surfeit of strap, some of them even only have two hooks. Less like an orthopaedic brace and more like a, oh I don't know, a BRA.
Then I put it on. Immediately I knew it would not be worn often, despite the quality. See, I have this mole on my left breast:
I love it. Along with the beauty mark just under my right nostril (Oo! This photo shows both of them! Convenient), and I wear the majority of my tops so that it is visible. Not BECAUSE I want to show it off, it just so happens that this mole marks the point just above where I find the neckline of a top to be most flattering for my figure - too far above OR below it and I appear even more top heavy (yes, covering them up does make them look bigger. I don't know why but I'm not going to fight it) which is frankly, annoying.
So, given the placement of neckline, the probability of material on material slippage, and because people peer, I prefer my bra cups to finish at the most about 5cm or so below the mole. Believe me when I say that my breasts are still ... very well contained at this point. Anyway, I have elaborated enough.
My point with this ENTIRE screed of writing about breasts (hi there, men in my family who read this, sorry!) is that the DimitySO Bra?
IT COVERED THE MOLE.
Seriously. Not by a lot, but still, it was covered. I realised I would have to change out of it if I wanted to wear the tee-shirt I was planning to wear (this one) to the Martinborough fair. After I had put it the bra on and picked my jaw back up off the floor, I turned to Craig and said it has huge grandma cups! and he, the sweetest man in the world, who avoids saying anything bad about anything I'm wearing or considering wearing (this is sometimes the most annoying thing in the world) just said yea, yea they are.
It is the "Diamond Affair" bra and, having a look through their collection, it does seem to be one of the higher cut cups. But I am just so so disappointed. I expected so much more. But I will be checking out the range instore at some point - when I can face the disappointment.
A grandma-esque bra made in fancy colours and fabrics is still a grandma-esque bra, DimitySO, remember that.
Also? would it KILL you to make a bra for plunging necklines? Cheers.
EDITED: Just to clarify - my vitriol of paragraph 4 is not directed at DimitySO, rather at the current general large-cup-bra maelstrom.
* In addition? I will not implode with shame and self loathing, or cower in fear, if someone dares to look at them. So what? they're there, and they are simply secondary sex characteristics. Big fucking whoop. GAH.