CurvyHK

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Archive for the month “December, 2012”

2012, Through the Lens of My Bras

January – March:

My final semester of university began.
Thoughts: I didn’t actually think too much about bras.
Bra size: 34B and 34C.
Bra fit: Badly-fitting. Rode up my back every day. I pulled at my backband several times a day. I noticed this habit a lot when hanging out in my friends’ common room and kitchen. Underwire traveled up my breast, and I’d tug down on that too. My straps constantly fell down.
Laundry habits: Washer and dryer, in a mesh bag, thrown in with all my other clothes, normal/harsh settings. (Previous to this year, it was handwash and hang-dry because ALL of my clothing was handwash and hang-dry. I was fighting the laundry-card institution at our university.)
Bra mindset: I’m definitely bustier than other Asians but I’m not that big. B sounds like a nice letter.

April-May:

I was getting mentally prepared for graduation (the ceremony, not the concept. I will never admit to the concept.)
Thoughts: I wanted to treat myself to something nice. With graduation looming and a dress for the occasion coming into view, I wanted something nicer to match what went under the dress.
Bra size: 32DD-E, as measured by Kaori’s Closet and Journelle.
Bra fit: Better-fitting. My band finally stopped traveling. It felt incredibly tight but I came to enjoy the feeling of actual security. My straps stayed up!
Laundry habits: No change.
Bra mindset: Nope, I am absolutely not in a 34B.
Special events: I got professionally fitted!

May-August:

I left the east coast and my life as a student.
Thoughts: I became interested in bras/lingerie and discovered a vast and welcoming bra-blogosphere.
Bra size: Back size went down to 30. Cup letter went up to F, then FF.
Bra fit: Well-fitting. Heeding the songs of bra-bloggers, I paid attention to the gore, the band and the straps.
Laundry habits: Still normal detergent. Handwash and hang-dry in the sun. There was actual sun and an actual outside to hang stuff in!
Bra mindset: I got a bit confused about my ribcage measurement going down so much. It wasn’t frightening so much as “aww man, my selection is even smaller”.
Special events: I was so inspired by the blogs I was reading that I made this one.

October-present:

I finally began working a part-time job.
Thoughts: I got really invested in lingerie. A lot of my time and energy went into thinking about not just the practical, but also the social and cultural aspects of bras and breasts.
Bra size: Band size went down to 28 (ribcage measurements are regularly moving between 29 and 28). I thought I overshot the cup letter to GG, which was true in some cases, but not in others; I’m still learning about brand-to-brand sizing habits.
Bra fit: Well-fitting, in general. There are some experiments that are not perfect.
Laundry habits: Switched to Johnson’s baby wash. Handwash and lay out to dry on a towel in my room.
Bra mindset: All I hope is that my bandsize won’t go down anymore because finding bras gets exponentially harder down here. Cup size is also going up much more than I would ever have expected.
Special events: I came out of hiatus and returned to write posts, some of which I’m really proud of. Also, the site is getting read and linked to from some pretty awesome places. Love it, and I’m so happy that my little CurvyHK child is getting seen. As of today, we’re at over 3,000 views from 63 different countries. Wow!

I hope 2012 has been exciting for everyone else, too. There is a lot planned for making 2013 a great one, both for me personally as well as for CurvyHK. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by to hang out!

Have a great holiday season and see you next year! Read more…

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Perspectives: Bras Are Like My Private Headgear

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of online gaming. (This sounds better than saying I’ve been playing a lot on the Internet ^^) One of the best features that my MMORPG of choice and many other RPGs have is the different ways you can personalize your character, through colored traits, costumes, and headgears!

Here are some ways that I find bras resemble headgear:

  

7. They are fun.

It’s a thrill seeing those headgear pixels come together in that space over the pixels that make up your head. It’s illogical until you feel that very specific joy.

It’s equally thrilling to jump into a fun, comfortable bra. It’s a physical burden off the shoulders of people changing out of ill-fitting bras, a continuous joy for enthusiasts… and a nice home for your chest!

  

6. They come in all colors, shapes and sizes (although they should come in more!).

I’ve seen people wearing sunflowers, sleeping cats, orc helmets, angel wings, flying goggles, gingerbread men, dead fish and more.

My mom was startled when I first asked if I could buy more colorful undies (That was back in middle school. Today I default to the comfy VS cotton/lace ones. They sometimes contain sequins and/or sparklies). She was also pretty startled to see my bra purchases; even in badly-fitting era, I liked solid, bright colors or unusual features (I still remember a bra, 34B, cotton but looked like denim. So much fun.). With her and probably lots of other women of her generation/mindset, the default is nude or muted, and full full full coverage. But look! There are SO many colors and patterns and cuts, and the range extends so much farther than what our local mall will ever see.

5. Each new piece is won as the result of a quest.

Headgears are often, if not mostly, put together by collecting materials and completing missions. In order to find materials and complete these missions, you either make enough money to buy what you need or kill the right monster for their loot. Some pieces take minutes. Some take months.

Bras are also hunted down. Maybe it’s a feature (a sub-30 strapless, anyone?), a discontinued brand, or a popular bra in an elusive size. Maybe it’s too pricey and you need to save up for it. Sometimes you just come across a great deal and find yourself completing a mission just like that. In all cases, I still say: EPIC QUEST.

  

4. If you reach out, people will help you.

There are massive walkthroughs and player guides that break down exactly what headgears do and how to obtain them. There are NPCs, user forums and fansites doling out unsolicited information. Reach out to in-game players for help! There are idiots but most players are wonderful men and women who are happy to help as much as they can.

This situation, I keep learning, was different years upon years ago, but today there is a huge and bustling community of bra-fitting, bra-admiring and bra-analyzing writers. Forums, websites, blogs galore! (Yes, they/we are slightly evangelical.) But every day I see people on reddit asking for input on their bra fit and on their measurements, and there are always several users jumping up to be helpful. If someone needs help and they speak up, by Gandalf’s pointy hat they WILL be helped!

3. After you learn to appreciate what you have and need, you start looking at more.

Since I have headgear against the undead, I should look into getting headgear that boosts my stats for fighting really fast monsters too. Get those dumb bats off my shoulder…

I already have several stories up so here’s something from a reddit stranger about getting addicted to bra-shopping. (Also love how this community defends its in-group!)

    

2. Different headgears suit different situations. / Different bras suit different situations.

Sometimes, you’re fighting hordes of insects in a bug-infested field. A leaf that minimizes damage taken from bug-type monsters can also minimize your need to use up all of your healing items. Sometimes, you’re up against zombies and orcs in a dark cave. They gang up on you really quickly if you’re not careful, so why not a nice hard helmet? It might be unreasonably heavy but it also provides an unreasonably high amount of defense. Maybe tonight you’ll tackle that dungeon tower with your friends. It’s a party; why not liven it up with a sleeping cat on your head?

Likewise, you’ll adjust to different needs and wants with different styles of bras. For a strapless or spaghetti top, you might want a strapless bra. For a physical day of moving house, you might want a more secure, max-coverage bra. For a day where you can really use a confidence booster to help you feel good about yourself, why not a possibly ridiculous but pretty and sexy bra under your otherwise totally casual outfit?

  

1. It’s your choice.

Simply put, you’re in front of one computer, and anyone who might not like what’s on your head is way over in front of some other faraway computer. As far as I know, game developers generally don’t let players steal headgears off one another’s heads. You’re wearing an eggshell that looks like a newbie’s freebie in a high-level tower; no one knows but you’ve imbued it with stat boosters and you need it to make up for your lack of agility. You’re wearing a fire-damage-resistant Santa hat in June in an underwater dungeon. It’s not too useful, but it looks awesome. Nothing actually matters, as long as you’re happy!

People may frown at your bra strap showing or your bra peeking out from a translucent top, but they honestly can’t do much (if anything) about it. Maybe they’ll say something. Maybe they’ll invade your personal space and, verging on sexual harrassment, touch you. Screw them! (Or, if they touch you, threaten to sue them.) They can’t do anything, and you can’t be expected to please them. Most of the time, they can’t even tell (until you encounter a bra-blogger who has memorized the shapes that each Ewa Michalak style produces) so how are they going to hold you accountable for that? They can’t, and don’t let them! As long as you’re respectful and thoughtful, and everyone else is respectful and thoughtful, the world will not stop turning because of your choice in bra.

  

Review: figleaves.com Update

I took Windiegardie’s advice and went ahead with the returns process for getting the Meg back to figleaves. They’d provided a sticker label for the return address to their office in Virginia, so I paid about a dollar and a half for first class domestic postage. Figleaves must have a system for processing and forwarding these US returns to the UK. I got an email yesterday saying they received my return in the UK and were now processing in the accounts department. The refund hasn’t appeared yet, but for the moment everything seems to have gone swimmingly!

Update: Refund is in! A smooth couple of weeks.

Discovery: Miss I-Cup / I 컵 녀 / I 컵 여자

This is a bit different, but it’s the kind of angle that I want most for CurvyHK explore: what is an East Asian population’s reaction to a discussion of breasts and bras? I’m really excited to write and share this post!

Miss I-Cup, or I-Cup Girl, is a South Korean teenage girl who was featured on television because of her larger-than-average bust.

This post is going to be of the novel-length variety, so I’m going to learn how to use the cut feature. This is what you’ll find when you click in:

  • Links to the broadcasts featuring Miss I-Cup.
  • My summary/translation of the videos.
  • My opinion of the videos / the program.
  • How is this story and the way it was presented reflective of East Asian culture?
  • How do the individuals in these videos and reports compare to what we find/dicuss in the bra-blogging community?
  • My invitation for your feedback!

Read more…

Review: Freya Crystal Plunge

Hate to start out with bad news, but I feel that it’s important news and has a time and place up top.

Hearts and thoughts to the victims and their families in Connecticut, US, and Henan, China. For those who haven’t heard, there were two extreme cases of mass violence. Both took place in elementary schools. In both cases, the majority of the victims were young children. Gun violence in Connecticut, knife violence in Henan. I’m just hoping, for the US at least, that there’ll be some immediate action this time around.

Sorry for the sad start. Review!

There is another review on this same bra on undressedtoimpress here.

Apparently, this is basically another version of the much-loved Freya Deco (…which I do not have and have never seen. *sniffle*).

I bought this quite a while ago, so it’s a 30 band. I wanted to attribute my buying a plunge to it being “a while ago” but I kind of realized how much I don’t want/need/ever have use for a plunge bra because of the Crystal Plunge.

Feely-wise, it’s very comfortable, but I find the band really stretchy. The cups are super molded and would probably hold their shape if I found a truck to run them over with. I think this was also my first time with a molded bra so we’ll chalk up the “*slouch* hey what’s my bra doing?” to my inexperience. The color is really nice, kind of a dark teal with light blue dots. The outline and the straps have the reverse color scheme.

The strap are very thick, and I guess the pattern pretties it up a bit, but I wouldn’t be comfortable having these show under my clothes. It might work for a very deliberate cutesy look. I don’t really do very deliberate cutesy looks, so I’ll defer definitive judgment to someone who does.

For fashion advice of the cute variety, I think whoever put this outfit together would give much better advice. Not that I know who that would be. And look, the pedals are peeking out of the piano. How adorable!

A VS Success Story?

A disclaimer, to prevent the post from getting too misleading from the beginning: I did not purchase any bras. Okey yes cool now?

I was at the mall today because Macy’s was having a good sale and I thought I’d give it another try. I’m notoriously horrible at shopping, but guess what? I did get stuff! My goal was tops because I need more than the two I’m rotating for work, so I tried a bunch on but no-go. However, I finally learned what I need for jeans! There are, in fact, not only “petite” jeans but also “petite short” jeans. One guess as to which of these two species fits, and is much harder to find. (Also: they can just make the crushing blow to my totally existent ego a bit more direct by saying “petite” and “petiter” or something… what’s with “petite short”?!) Still, I was able to buy three (three!!) pairs of jeans, at 50% off plus my coupon discount, that hopefully I’ll never have to hem or put painful darts in at the waist.

(Finally getting to the success story now)

Since I was at the mall anyway, I decided to drop into VS to use a $10 off coupon they’d sent me in the mail. The employees there, as I pointed out previously, are really friendly and offer to help all the time. I was there just to buy some comfy undies (I got a megaload of them for $15 with my coupon!) and–here is the “success”–when the salesperson asked if I wanted to get fitted, I (yes, me, the pushover!) told them that VS does not make bras in my bandsize. Here’s the conversation:

(prelude about clarifying no-minimum-y-ness for my coupon)
VS: When was the last time you got fitted?
A: It was a while ago, but I wear a 28 band. I don’t think Victoria’s Secret makes bras in that band…
VS: No, there aren’t any 28 bands. We can give you something else to try though. Are you looking for something specific? A push-up?
A: No, that’s okay, I was just going to look at the underwear.
VS: Okay. I’ll be around to check on you.

A few points:

  • This is the main pro of the conversation: the girl did not at all refute or ignore my being a 28 back or my remark that VS doesn’t make 28s.
  • Yeah, she did offer to put me in a non-28 band, but this, after all, is a business and she didn’t push too hard with something like “I’m sure we can find something that’ll fit”.
  • I actually split before she got around to “checking on me” but another point for good service and sweet personality.
  • I wonder what her response would’ve been if I’d told her my full bra size.
  • Dude the last thing I want is a push-up 😦

And then on my way home, I bought even more stuff. (Massive shopping points! This is good for me, kind of.) I found out that Rite-Aid had the N.Y.C. cosmetics I’ve been hurting for (the local CVSs don’t carry it and there are no local Kmarts) and I bought granola bars and bananas at Safeway. Mmm bananas…

Next post, either tomorrow or the day after, will be another review. Probably the Freya Crystal Plunge.

Review: Panache Harmony Balconette

This was one of the first 30 bands I bought for myself. The Harmony balconette is really touted as a great first well-fitting bra for beginners who have only just had their bra-piphany (oh yeah I just went there. Actually, I might have seen it somewhere else before.).

Strangely, it has some terrible reviews on Bravissimo. This and its out-of-stockness in my size make me sad.

I agree that it’s great to start out with. It’s really comfortable, it’s very normal (but still elegant), and the fact that it’s not molded will help along anyone who might be going “oh hold on that size looks terrifying!”. I also feel particularly secure in this bra, although I have no idea why. It’s not super snug, but it’s like someone sewed a sense of safeness into my bra. Maybe that’s the secret?

It comes in a couple of different colors. Mine is beige. I can’t find any mention of Harmony (balconette or full-cup) on Panache’s website, but there are still plenty around.

Here is a review of the same Harmony balconette from Bras I Hate. She says (and I believe her) that its design helps make breasts look more compact. The gist is that there are a few factors (breast shape, position, etc) that might send a few people away from the Harmony balconette but overall it’s a very very good bra.

Discoveries | Discovery: Blog Post and reddit’s A Bra That Fits

A new post category: yippee! Discovery posts are worthy reads on the Internet (or, less likely, elsewhere). I have the fantastic fortune of having met the most intelligent and dorky friends in the world, so my Facebook is really full of great articles and funny videos. They won’t often have an obvious link to lingerie, lady-ness-ing, or Asian American identity crises but I’ll try to keep them relevant or write some response that ties it to elseness on CurvyHK. No promises though! 🙂

Other times, they will be completely within the topic that CurvyHK normally covers and, likely, are already well-circulated or well-known in the bra-blogging community, but I want to give them another mention and bookmark it on my own space anyway! The first two discoveries fall into this category. Woot!

The first discovery is of a post on A Sophisticated Pair. What makes this special and extra strong is that it’s the father’s (Jason) perspective on the transformation that his daughter (Erica), the blog owner, went through.

Here is the link: http://sophisticatedpair.com/blog/?p=2979

He serves as a fantastic example of how guys can be completely (and less awkwardly) supportive of the women in their lives. The experiences he shares make it so clear that he loves and cares for his children so very, very much. He’s funny, and honest, too. The gem of information is his explanation about what it means for guys to be clueless, and his advice to those guys on how to be less clueless. Props! (I want to add a ‘dude’ but can’t decide if it works.)

The second discovery is of a big and supportive bra-fitting community on reddit.com, http://www.reddit.com/r/ABraThatFits! I came across it when Boosaurus introduced my blog to someone who needed an Asian perspective on bra horror. I knew that some people spend their lives on reddit, but I had never really paid attention to it. I explored the ABraThatFits subreddit and two that were linked on a sidebar: BodyAcceptance, BigBoobProblems. And then I found out Joss Whedon had visited reddit and spent the next hour reading the threads he’d commented.

Er, back on track: These subreddits are carefully monitored and the moderators do an excellent job of maintaining positive and welcoming communities. Posters ask zillions of questions, zillions of sincere people give their input, and they follow up and are nice about it and everyone commiserates and it’s a cool place to hang out and for the first time in my life I’m not sure how to keep this run-on going longer. Darn. I’m losing my touch.

Perspectives: My Perfect Bra

With December and all its gift-giving connotations well underway, bloggers and retailers have been pulling out their year-end wishlists. What kind of presents would we like to receive? What kind of discounts can we treat our customers to?

My take will be this: what would my dream bra be like?

  1. No cleavage.
    I do not like cleavage. As in, on myself. I don’t mind your cleavage, or her cleavage (his cleavage is a little strange but sure okay if he likes it). I despise having cleavage on my own self though. My dream bra would be great at separating. (Yes to lift but no to lifting up to my chin!) I think my Curvy Kate Romance is pretty close to ideal for this point.
  2. Close straps.
    I just want these things to perch less precariously atop my shoulders!
  3. Dangly pretties on the gore or straps.
    Just because they’re pretty. Just because. I always have fun with those little metal charms. Gore or straps, though, not both; that would be overkill.
  4. High gore.
    Goes with the no cleavage preference, I guess, but it’s also a matter of comfort. I just like it.
  5. Low underwires on the inside.
    A bit contradictory with the last point, but I do have trouble with pokey underwires against my sternum. I always have to push the underwires back out (especially on my Panache Ariza; it actually gave me a bruise and tried to break the skin once–ouch!).
  6. Indestructible underwires.
    I’ve never had underwires get very noticeably maldeformed but I’ve inherited the paranoia. It’d also be really, really fun to go around saying “Duuude my underwires are indestructible!”. Well, somewhere where saying something like that is normal, because otherwise I’d sound high off of something.

    Just like this. Just. Like. This.

  7. Lining!
    Definitely want lining and minimal padding. The stuff is just comfortable!
  8. Seamless.
    Don’t want these to show under my shirts!
  9. Three hooks.
    I’m theorizing that my Curvy Kate band has not stretched out at all because it has three hooks. It’s only a theory because I have no other three-hooked bras. Also, you get a slightly bigger sense of accomplishment when you get that third hook in behind you. Or maybe it’s just me.
  10. Unaging material.
    This is where the dream is truly a dream. If only material could be soft and strong and comfy and still NEVER STRETCH OR TEAR. (Yeah… I’ve torn wing material before… oops. Hey, has anyone ever tried titanium reinforcement?)

    Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s stone, guys. Immortality and all that sweetness.

  11. Availability.
    And of course, it’d be affordable and available to purchase in normal-people stores like Target or JC Penneys. Because then, with dream bra in hand, I can wander off to look at books and video games and sneakers. Does this really have to be only in my dreams?

What’s your dream bra?

Review: figleaves.com and Meg

My figleaves order came in today! I’ll smash together my quick review of the ordering experience and my overall impression of the two Cleos in this one post. I’ll do a more detailed review of the Lucy after I’ve spent some time with her.

Ordering: Was pretty easy! Unfortunately, my size doesn’t have as prolific a selection as other sizes, but this is the case everywhere. Signing up, adding things and paying were straightforward; they take Paypal, which I like. The timeline was a little startling though. It took them some time to process; I placed my order Sunday night but it was not processed and shipped until Wednesday morning. Not terrible, but I’m spoiled and have gotten used to a 24 business hour turnover. The package came today, Tuesday, which puts them at six days for an international delivery.

I was especially looking forward to the Meg because Windie and everyone has raved about her.

Initial impression: Aw darn it, they’re unlined. My bad for not paying closer attention, but the Meg seriously looked lined in reviews. And Meg, oh Meg! I think this is a case of they-screwed-up-trying-to-bring-up-the-size. There is so much extra fabric in the cup… there’s absolutely no way I could fill them. I mean, yay for the exciting first time in my life where the cup is too big, but it’s just so completely different from the 28GG Lucy! Lucy fits perfectly; they’re the same size, the same Cleo family… what’s going on here?

A definite keeper!

I’m keeping the Lucy for sure (because right now it brings the number of decently-fitting bras I own up to five-ish) but I can’t keep the Meg. I’m not sure about trying the return game with figleaves; I’ve heard some horror stories about refunds and communication. Is it time for an ebay adventure?

In other news, I found out about a fantastic sale on totsy.com. For the next two days, Affinitas and Affinitas Parfait are going for $15-$20 a bra; I love that they’re beautiful and I love that they’re lined and I love that they’re cheap right now, but they only go down to 30! I’m seriously considering buying the 30 and equivalent cup, and then altering them (either at home or finding a tailor). I think I’m doing it. (Too much spending of the monies lately ahhhh!!!!)

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