not to be minimised

So. I'm having a great year for hosiery. Tights and footless tights options abound. Even bought a pair of patterned tights with a view to turning them into footless tights to wear with boots. It's been a long time since there have been nice patterned tights in my size, actually probably never since I've been the sort of size I am now. (Basque plus size) The helpful woman at Myer even suggested another brand I might like to try too - she said she'd been hearing some good things about them. Excellent. And good on them for actually carrying the stock.

However, my other shopping mission yesterday was new bras. I have been wearing the "Touched" by Berlei underwire style in a size 20DD for about ten years now - with a break while pregnant and breastfeeding. I loved that it was comfortable, had a natural smooth shape with a degree of support and lasted pretty well. Perfect for wearing under t-shirts. And it came in black. Also good, because I don't do beige. I desperately need to replace them but I haven't been able to find them in the shops or online. The sizes stop at 16DD now. Apparently these days, they are only being marketed to young women, because the stretchy material suits growing bodies. Fine. I can see that. But it suited me too. Why can't the same product be made to serve a number of different markets? Isn't that sort of efficiency a plus from a marketing point of view? 

maiden and unicorn

Moving on. I breathed deeply and after wandering around the David Jones lingerie department aimlessly for some time, prepared to subject myself to the hideous process of being fitted for a bra. With two assistants. The older woman was actually not much older than me, but seemed worlds away and couldn't seem to understand that I just did not want to do beige or lace. Or spend $98 on a bra. And that I was not prepared to buy a minimiser bra. I explained to her that when you are "big", you want definition where you can get it. Actually, I may have used the word "fat" at one point, much to her horror and discomfort. She said she agreed with me, but still the minimisers kept coming. I suppose there wasn't that much else to choose from. Anyway, discussing how the minimiser worked with the younger woman, she said that they squash the bosom under your arms. Nice. We agreed it wasn't a great look. I suppose that the "minimiser", a term I find somewhat offensive, is sold on the basis that if your body is big enough to jiggle or protrude then you'd want to do everything you could to make it look less so.  Even if that means having your breasts squashed sideways or under your arms. Which looks weird, well it looks weird on me. If that's what some women want - then by all means cater to that desire - but don't assume that we're all the same. Or want the same thing. Or that we all have a problem with our breasts protruding and taking up space. Although I like a degree of support, I certainly do not want to be be minimised. No, I don't.

In the end I bought a beigeish Fayreform bra. The "Helen" which looks like an instrument of torture but was the best fit and shape. Despite the palaver of fitting, I was exactly the size I thought I would be, 22DD. If it is comfortable next week I am going to buy some more online. In black. Because David Jones doesn't have them in any other colour than "gold" which is really a hotted up beige. Another thing I don't get - why would you allow your shop to be essentially a fitting service and then have your customers buy the colours they really want at a cheaper price online? Because while I was there with my card and spending the money, I probably would have bought several. Or if they had an online shop as well, they could leverage the service they had already provided. Stupid. Anyway, am also going to try the Sara bra - which DJs used to stock but now don't. So I'll just take a punt and buy it online. Because I can.

So why is it so hard to buy good basics? Do they not want my money? One would think not.


mary said...

I loathe the concept of minimizers and have not bought one either.
Fayreform seem to suit me but really all I want is pretty co- ordinating underwear in something a little more natural than the plastic fabrics all bras come in.
Some in white broderie anglaise - that would be nice!

Kel said...

these forays into the lingerie department are rather funny from your perspective - and give me the courage to go do the same to replace my tatty underthings
question - do you buy them online at ezibuy as per the link or do you have somewhere else?
living a few hours out of melbourne, the choice here is very limited and very expensive for decent stuff - i have found one brand and style that works well for me (underwires are hell when my liver tumour is playing up) but still gives good support and shape - you've inspired me to shop online for something I would normally go into a shop for

Laura said...

I have been wearing the Triumph Gorgeous T-shirt bra for years in an 18E. It is friggin fabulous. It comes in black, champagne, and now a new twin pack of red and purple - I grabbed it in glee!!!! It is a great standard for Triumph, and it is smooth with GREAT support for lovely large breasts, NO minimising and it is lowcut enough for a bit of cleavage as well. Having lugged these magnificent breasts around for years and buying them expensive bras from the beginning they should look GOOD (and they pretty much do)If you definitely need a 22 they may not be for you, but sometimes a woman buys a 22 just to get the cup size she needs, when really she is an 18F or so. Anyway,you're a smart woman, I'm sure you'll figure it out. But these below are my faves.(and this site is new to me, but I'll be BACK)
And you might get a laugh out of this post about buying bras for the larger lady.
Good luck!

Janet said...

Kel, I went the shop to have them fitted and if it suits will buy the colour I really like online. However, I don't think I like this bra - too stiff and bumpy under knits so I think I'll just risk buying some Sara bras through ezibuy - they really couldn't be less suitable than what I got yesterday.
Thanks Laura, but I think I need at least a 20 and that's probably pushing it. I have quite a broad back as well.

kim at allconsuming said...

dude - a friend of mine found this ebay site that may be good for you - now that you've been formally fitted:

Julia said...

I know your pain. I go to Dickory Dock in Camberwell once every 4 years. Buy a few bras, spend a couple of hundred dollars - but they fit well and aren't the orange-beige horrors that my Grandma used to wear! They last well too.

Elizabeth said...

I empathize, having just given up the hunt and settled for a cheap monstrosity that I hate.

victoria said...

Hate buying bras.
Very much enjoyed reading about your experiences though...!!

Michelle said...

Ah. The minimiser. I call it the Maximiser, AKA "the Shelf Bra" because that's effectively what it is.
Years and years ago a friend put me onto these bras, and I have not ever worn another bra since. They don't minimise of flatten or give you a shelf. There are no underwires (thank goodness). They don't do the uplifting thing (when we have boobs as big as ours, it's a health hazard to be uplifted, in my opinion! And they are really, really comfortable.
(And they come in black. And other colours too.)
As for hosiery, check out this post! I've been stalking the We Love Colors website for months, and now I'm going to go shopping! Free postage!

Lea said...

Bras - UGH!
I have a theory they only make pretty ones for girls that actually don't NEED bras. I mean, mine aren't huge per se, but i'm a smaller person, so they're hard to fit, and even in my modest D's, I still find it hard to find anything pretty - and by pretty, I mean NOT BEIGE, with those big pointy Madonna peaks like my mum used to wear :(
I don't want to wear Nanna underwear, I want to feel pretty. What woman doesn't ( and therefore, why do they make them - for whom ? )
Anyway, my latest is also from Ezibuy and cost me $9.00 on special. I should see if they've got any more left actually as it's pretty, SUPPORTIVE, non minimising/squashing and I don't fall out of it either. Love it.
I've also heard Elle McPherson does a pretty line for bigger boobs, but like you, i'm a bit of a Terry, so haven't forked out the $ to find out ;)

M said...

what brands do you reccomend in the hosiery - I so struggle to find good plus sized tights...please share!!!