I Took Someone for a Bra Fitting!

I am back.

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ee-hee, it was a fun time

I had internet problems during my vacations, and it made me pretty angry for a while, but since I was in Miami Beach having a nice time, I decided to take vacations from the blog, as I was unable to write, and come back with news later. Now I am back and ready for this new year, which will be Under the Unders’ second year and my 20th year (actually, I turn twenty today, the 13th. Isn’t that exciting?). I hope it will be a great year and I have the intention of keeping the blog updated and with lots of nice pictures and good content.

Back to the main topic, while I was in the city, I took my mother and a friend to get fitted at Intimacy, located on Aventura Mall. They both wanted to shop at Victoria’s Secret, obviously because of the store’s different options and low price (specially on the Semi Annual Sale). Knowing that Victoria’s Secret has probably one of the worst fitting services on the US, even though they got my sizing almost right -I could be a band or two smaller, but I actually feel pretty comfortable in a 32D-, I decided to take both of them to real fitters before they shopped.

Each one went a different day and got fitted with a different person, but they both were middle-40s women that never got fitted. The fitting method was the same, and I got to write one of them down, apart from taking some pictures of the bras and store (since I wanted to preserve the women’s identity, I didn’t take pictures of them), in an experience I am about to describe now, for the ones interested in bra fitting and for the ones who would like to know how a fitter works.

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The store shopping bags. Bras are quite expensive there, but the fitting job is really awesome.

Arriving in the store, we were received with smiles and may-I-help-you? faces, for whom I said we wanted to have a fitting. So, the fitter took us inside to one of the fitting rooms, where the lightning was pleasant, and explained that they did not used measuring tapes. Asking what size the customer usually worn, I helped providing the information on what did a brazilian size meant (42=34B, 44=36B and so on), and the fitter explained to both of us they didn’t use measuring tapes, they would be trying on bras and fixing little problems so that the customer would eventually find the perfect bra.

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Details of the fitting room

Following that logic, the fitter brought to the customer a 30E bra, a Marie Jo ‘Avero’, which was clearly too tight on the back, but just a tad big on the cups. She went away and brought a 32D, another Marie Jo ‘Avero’. The fitter on my first visit was keen to explain every step to us, but the one on the second seemed a little tired, so I was the one that explained to the customer, my friend, that she brought a different size, bigger on the back but a little smaller on the cups, and the letter changed because when we go up a number on the back, we must go down a letter on the cup, although she did went a letter down, because after the D, there is the DD bra. I thought this second woman could have had a little more care when talking to someone that never got fitted (I stated that on the beginning of the talk), but maybe she just forgot about it or assumed we knew it.

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After trying Marie Jo’s bras, we ended up hanging them on the wall.

After concluding that a 32D was a good size for her (she was wearing a 34B when arriving, which is the Brazilian 42 size), the fitter proceeded to ask what kind of bras the customer would like to try. Since she was not looking for anything specific, the fitter was requested to bring something sexy that could be worn on a regular basis. Then, as the customer said she liked the model with push up, the fitter brought two Chantelle bras, the ‘Opera’ and the ‘Merci’. The Opera was her favorite, because of the lace details – and I agreed it looked really good.

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Chantelle Opera bra, in dark grey.

They did have matching panties, which was good, and the color of the bra was a pretty easy color to match with other ones. Overall, I really like the experience in taking family and friends to get fitted. In addition to that, I guess that being inside the fitting room while that happened helped me understand a lot more about the process of fitting, which I intend to know more and more each time, since it’s exactly what the brazilian lingerie market need the most.

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Chantelle Merci bra. Another great option, but more colorful.

Now my friend could easily buy at Victoria’s Secret. By having the correct number of her perfect bra, she can choose which model will she take, being comfortable in many styles, in a wide range of prices. It just took us a little step to another store, one with real experienced fitters – or at least some with knowledge of that subject!

You can visit Intimacy’s website and schedule your own fitting, if you wish so.

On that subject, I would like to link some of my friends articles on Victoria’s Secret bad fitting process:

Bratabase’s Why You Shouldn’t Go to Victoria’s Secret for a Fitting

Boosaurus’ In-Store Bra Fitting: Victoria’s Secret

Braless in Brazil’s Remeasuring for Victoria’s Secret

Miss Shapen’s Victoria’s Secret Crappy Fitting Techniques

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I Took Someone for a Bra Fitting!

Lingerie Review: Kiss me Deadly and What Katie Did

When I was around London, taking the tube and walking all around town searching for lingerie stores I’d like to visit, I stopped by these two lovely boutiques. The little Kiss me Deadly, located in a cute street, that made me feel home and the all vintage and full of feathers What Katie Did, which made me feel like I was about to become a pin up.

I really liked KMD’s designs, because for me they were the perfect image of an independent woman, who likes to be known for her strength but loves to be sexy as well. They have a little vintage touch, which pleases me a lot, too. So I went there and tried on a few pieces, ending up with the Van Doren bralette and a 6-strap suspender belt.

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Funny faced me wearing these wonderful pieces in my oh-so-messy room

This bralette… I don’t know, I’ve never seen anything like it. It acts like a medium-support bra, as it’s made of foam, but it’s super comfortable and the lack of wires makes me forget that I’m wearing anything. I wear a medium size, even though I have a small back, because the small was too tight on my breasts.

I like the fact that the straps are pretty wide, too, because I feel like it gives even more support and it matches the whole design. The small detail between the breasts is really nice too, and the bralette gets super pretty underneath a mesh shirt!

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Keeping my hosiery up all day and all night (or not, who knows)

After the bralette, which I truly wanted, I asked if they had a suspender belt and a pair of knickers (well, it was England) to match. I tried on the Van Doren high waisted knickers but they were too large, because I have quite a small waist. Then, I went to this suspender belt and it was so pretty and fitted so well that I had to take it. It’s just vintage enough and seemed very practical. And the lace has “Virgin” written on it, which I thought was a little… ironic. 

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One strap on the front and these two on the side and back.

When I wore it, I realized it was not comfortable… it was way beyond it! Really good, it’s probably one of my favorite pieces and surely my favorite garter belt. It keeps the stockings up all day -I’ve tried it. As I wear it on my waist, I can wear panties over it, which helps if you plan on going to the toilet during the day (I find it quite important).

The What Katie Did store, as I stated above, looked like a pin up heaven. But I’m still not bold enough to buy really vintage-inspired lingerie. Although their pieces are gorgeous, they are still too… vintage for my personal taste. But an absolute must if you into that kind of style.

However, I was not about to leave without a shopping bag! I asked for nylon stockings, but after a small chat with the ladies present at the store, I realized it would be better if I bought one with nylon and elastane, for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I have thin legs and the elastane could help me with the size, and I didn’t know how to properly take care of nylon stockings, as I am a bit clumsy.

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I feel like a vintage babe!

Anyway, I really liked the seams, I thought that it gives exactly the touch that sometimes I search in my outfits. Bought a black and a nude one! I really feel like I’ve made excellent choices on my Lingerie Trip!

So, what is your opinion on it? Have you ever tried a 6-strap-suspender belt?

And how you feel about some reviews featuring pictures of some selected pieces on me? I think it’s nice to know how the pieces stay on the body!

Lingerie Review: Kiss me Deadly and What Katie Did

Leicester, DMU and My First Bra

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Well, here I am, back in Rio.

UK was amazing. Travelling is one of the things I love the most, but this one was specially fun. First, because I got to visit a small, lovely city. Second, because I met so many great, great people. And third because I learned how to make bras.

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Leicester Castle and a lot of sunshine. You can totally tell that I fell in love with this particular construction.

I could spend a lot of time here writing about all of the things I’ve learned, things that took the concepts of bras to a whole new level, for me. But it wouldn’t be fair, to be honest, considering I still don’t know all of it and I studied pretty hard. However, I still find myself lost and amazed by how many things involve the making and designing of a bra.

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Drinking some coffee, drawing some patterns

From seams to wires, from names to methods, I am very, very glad that I took my time to get to DMU and make this course. Besides the fact that it has one of the most well-known contour courses in the whole world, it has given me the opportunity to be side by side with a bunch of sweet women who knew a lot of things about design, industries, bras and were glad to talk about it all day. Amazing!

In addition to all of this, I drew a lot of patterns, cut a lot of fabric and sew -in a clumsy way, but well, it was my first!- a bra! Even though I had a lot of issues concerning the elastic bands and wire cases, our teacher told me it was a very good job for someone with no sewing experiences (it was my third piece ever and the first one with stretchy fabric, which I can tell you, makes things a lot harder).

Here’s the picture of my baby, with wires but no padding, a little lace and some blue (have I told you that blue is my favorite color? Because it is) bows. It looks a little bridal, it wasn’t my intention as I started (it had to be white but I got to choose the bows colors), but now I find it very sweet.

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My bridal baby, full of lace and mistakes. Still, I love it very much.

Leicester was a very nice place in which I learnt very nice things. I couldn’t be more pleased with my time spent there and look forward to coming back again, very soon. As I was about to come back to London to take my plane home, I bought this little bird, reminding me that the small city I passed a week in was a great step towards the realization of my dreams.

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Leicester, DMU and My First Bra

UK Lingerie Trip

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A funny picture of myself in Camden Town, today. London is an amazing place.

So, this is about to be a little post with plenty of photos and a bit about how my first days in London have been. I won’t be telling details about everything related to my trip because I guess just the lingerie parts are important (since this is, obviously, a lingerie blog).

First of all, I met Mira from Lost in Lingerie. She and her parter are absolutely lovely, we had a great time together. We got to talk about our lives, lingerie plans, I saw a preview of the next photoset that will be on her blog, we laughed a lot and I ate something delicious.

Mira and I after brunch, on St. Pancras railway. Beautiful place, sweet people.
Mira and I after brunch, on St. Pancras railway. Beautiful place, sweet people.

After that, I went to the famous Oxford Street for a walk and some shopping. I knew that Victoria’s Secret was near there, so I stopped by because I needed a bra that wasn’t about to be expensive, I needed proper fitting and I needed lounge pants and soft, cheap, cute panties. Victoria’s Secret may not have my favorite marketing strategy and I may not agree with all the magic that surrounds the idea of being an Angel (specially as I was a model before and I have felt how hard this is), but I really like some of their pieces and the smell of their body washes.

The back of the wings worn by Doutzen Kroes in 2011 in the Ballet section
The back of the wings worn by Doutzen Kroes in 2011 in the Ballet section

Therefore, I entered the big store and, after a few minutes mentally screaming “OH MY GOD” to the Angels outfits exposed, got to the fitting rooms for a proper fitting. As I’ve been measured as a 34B by a VS lady a while ago, I wasn’t very sure about the pink measuring tape they had around their neck. But the method they used was really nice, as a matter of fact. The lady measured my back and came to the conclusion that I was a 32 (something I already knew, since the band on the 34 was too large). Then, she started on a B cup and I tried it on, even though I was sure that I was a C cup. Then, she brought me a C cup and… it was too small. Maybe my boobs got bigger as I put on some weight (yay!), maybe they were always like this and I had never noticed. However, I tried on the next cup size and it fits just perfect. I can finally assume that I am a 32D girl.

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That stated, I bought a basic black bra (oh, not all VS styles come in this size. I wanted one from the PINK section because they are comfortable and cheap, so I could only find one), a lounge pant in this dark blue shade which I loved and some panties. And I got a PINK dog, which is lovely. Is my second dog (they are cute! you can tell that I get excited with these silly stuff because I can’t get in touch with them home, only when I’m abroad).

Sometimes, I like sexy panties. Sometimes, I like funny ones.
Sometimes, I like sexy panties. Sometimes, I like funny ones.

Then, on the next day, I got tired of funny patterns and cotton. I walked to the nearest Agent Provocateur store and, as they were on sale, I could buy a whole lingerie set. Normally, I would only have money for a bra, or maybe a bra and some panties that did not match. But not this time. The lady that helped me was absolutely sweet and we ended up having a good time trying on bras on me. Her middle name, by coincidence, was Manuela! I got caught between this set and a bright pink one. I thought for a bit and decided that I already had enough black things (besides the fact that I am probably going to get some more tomorrow…), so I would go for the bright pink and red one. And so I did!

The chosen one. I really, really love this. It's totally out of my comfort zone.
The chosen one. I really, really love this. It’s totally out of my comfort zone.

I am still going to buy stockings to match this set full of satin and lace, and tomorrow I have time to visit some other stores. I will be sure to take more pictures and share them all with you!

UK Lingerie Trip

You’ve got the power

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It’s lady Morgana, it’s Kiss me Deadly, it’s pretty and it’s feminist! Oh yeah!

I clearly showed my position last week when writing about how we should have fun and how this relates to luxury lingerie, without sexualizing them. How we should wear beautiful pieces on an everyday basis ans stop saving them to “special moments with someone else”. I didn’t realize how I contradicted myself until the day before yesterday.

At class, we were talking about clothes and the material used in every piece… eventually the conversation grew to undergarments (it’s amazing how my friends find a way to talk about undergarments when I’m around!) and the whole french study about bra and sagging. My friend 1 started saying how my friend 2 never wore any bras and 2 said that she wore, but she prefers sports bras, that she liked to wear beautiful lingerie only in special occasions with her boyfriend.

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This is H&M’s and it looks really cute and comfortable.

Oooh, my friend 1 looked at me, knowing how I was about to say that we shouldn’t sexualize lingerie and how we had the right to wear beautiful clothing everyday, etc etc. That’s exactly what I did, it’s kind of my modus operandi, but she looked at me and I suddenly shut up because I knew I was wrong.

I sit here by the computer talking to myself, reminding what my fight stands for. It stands for every woman being ok with herself, it stands for our right to choose whatever we want for ourselves. It stands for waxing (or shaving) if you want to or letting yourself natural if that’s your thing, it stands for wearing tons of makeup if that’s how you like yourself to look, for wearing clothes originally designed for men because they enjoy. I stand for anyone choosing whatever they want to choose and nobody having the right to say bad things about it just because their opinion is opposite. Of course this goes to pretty serious issues as well, such as religion, gay marriage, abortion… everything.

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Yes!

So, back to my friend 2 who wore sports bra to college and lingerie to her intimate moments, she was completely right. Right because she has the beautiful clothing, she knows her option to wear it or not… and she chooses not to. she feel good with what she chose and she is happy with herself. And plus, she really thinks her sports bras are very cute, which I must agree in some way!

Underwear can empower a woman. It can shape you, it can amaze someone else, it can work for your happiness. Either is by having your breasts free by the coice of not wearing it, either is by giving you the thrill to have something naughty or beautiful as a secret. And I feel it is my duty to remember everyone how they should be having fun underneath. Whatever this means to you.

For me, it means that I’m about to choose some beautiful lace garments to go out with my friends tonight, for her and for many other women it means not caring about what they are using on their everyday basis. For some, it’s g-strings, for many other, it’s boyshorts. And as long as I notice that people around me are happy enough to admit that they wear what they want when they want, I can assume that my only job is to provide them beautiful images and words, so they keep thinking I’m the nice lingerie blogger!

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Either you wear it everyday or you would never buy it, we can all agree on Agent Provocateur, right?

Oh, and as mentioned above, my opinion on the french study -that suggests that bra won’t make your breasts firm, in fact it helps with sagging- is the following: Women, please accept your breasts will sag. Ok? Ok. Now, you have all these options on bras and it’s time to choose if you are about to wear luxury ones, sports ones, t-shit ones or no bra at all. Decide for yourself and be fine with it!

You’ve got the power

Big girls (don’t cry)

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Porcelan Moulded T-shirt bra by Panache

I am part of a facebook group with the purpose of discussing anything. I find it amazing to have the opportunity to know what other people think about the topics we present, and today I asked man and women how they felt about lingerie, generally. As it always happen, the discussion went somewhere else and before I could say anything about it, I had girls complaining they didn’t find bras that fitted their big breasts.

First of all, I’d like to say how Brazil sells it’s sutiãs (bras. The word in portuguese, comes, as you might imagine, from the french soutien-gorge). Our sizes usually range from 38 (US 28) to 54 (US 44), based on this little chart from a brazilian lingerie website. And that’s it. If you don’t live in Brazil, I bet you are asking yourself “How about the bust size?” and here’s the answer to it: we don’t have bust size. We have bra size. By not using bust sizes, the stores, designers and general companies responsible for making the bras assume that the brazilian women that have small backs can’t have big breasts and vice-versa. And that’s so obviously ridiculous that some companies started introducing the cup sizing, stating that the brazilian women could finally find the perfect bra. That’s nice, finally.

Now, my friends could find their ideal bras. But they want more that some products, they want inspiration, option and some nice online stores! So I thought that making a post about it was the perfect way to show them what they want to know.

To start the writing, I had to make a little research. I am a B cup, so it’s not hard to find something that fits nicely. As I scanned through articles talking about it, I laid my eyes on two terms: full bust and plus size. Well, at first they seemed like the same thing, but soon I learned that full bust referred to the cup size (DD+) and plus size referred to the band size (38+ or, in brazilian terms, 48+). Since I got this straight, I was ready to move on to more reading. That’s when I read this article from The Lingerie Addict. It’s so informative and complete that it should be linked here, I thought.

If you feel too lazy to read the article mentioned above, I can list you the essential things a full busted woman should look for in a bra:

  1. Seams. Your should totally forget about seamless bras. Why? It’s actually pretty obvious when you think about it: you have some big, heavy, sexy breasts over there, girl! Fabric itself is probably not enough to give the support you need to look gorgeous underneath clothing.
  2. Straps that merge into the back. When your bra straps are not only sewn on bands but merge into the back, so the weight can be distributed all over and not only on two stressed points. Besides, the elasticity have more control, and these are two important things if you want to keep everything up in the air.

That said, I will post this video ad (linked on another article by The Lingerie Addict on plus size women) to get everybody in the mood. Are you on the right mood? Great! Here are some of the online boutiques that featured pretty amazing details, pieces and designs. I never wore any of these because, as stated above, I wear a B cup. But if you are a full bust girl, what about taking a look at the products?

  1. Panache. Their bras look so amazing that I wished to be a full busted woman, for a moment. Ranging from the playful (Cleo line) to the sexy, featuring sports bras and swimwear, they surely make lingerie look fun (and that’s what life’s all about, right?). 
  2. Freya. More romantic and flirty, their bras look extremely cute and might be a great try if you like wearing light-colored clothes without having to go with the classic plain-nude-bra underneath. And they have this amazing FAQ section!
  3. Miss Mandalay. From basic to amazing. They have some options for the women, whichever full bust size they have. I loved the colors and materials.
  4. Masquerade. From the same company responsible for the Panache and the Cleo line, this is a more sophisticated range of products, made for the women who love and care about nice garments. And it’s so sexy, I must say.

I wasn’t going to add this note, but well… why not? I may not have full bust, but I decided that, over all the options I saw on the links above, this one is my favourite: Cleo by Panache’s Meg Balconnet Bra. The navy, the birds (I have a thing on birds, I even have one tattooed over my ribs) and the red… I’m passionate about it.
Last but not least, since I wrote this to help some brazilian friends ans said that the brazilian sizing was not accurate, I think it’s fair enough to include here a bra size calculator. It’s very useful if you plan to buy any bra via internet or if you intend to get inside a store already knowing what to look for (but, if you have the chance, never forget to try it on, so you can feel how it truly fits).

Busty women deserve, as much as any other women, the right to know and find out for herself what fits better – but given all this information, I hope it gets easier for my friends, you, your friends and anyone to find the support they might need. After all, not even your best friend can give you the kind of support a perfectly-fitted bra gives.

Do you have any other tips or information concerning full busted or plus sized undergarments? Do you have any other doubts?  

Big girls (don’t cry)