Over the three and half years we have been open, I have personally met or helped through email women who need cup sizes higher than a standard UK K cup or who need better options than what are offered on the market. In some cases, the cup sizes these women need require them sizing up in the band to get enough coverage and then using alterations later. The solution is far from perfect, and it’s a technique our guest blogger understands but hopes to change. Jillian is a friend of mine who suffers because of the lack of options on the market and is taking steps toward designing and making her own bras for women in higher cup sizes. We have discussed this issue before, particularly because she’s been a huge help in offering advice when I encounter women frustrated to the point of surgery because of their bust size, and when she offered to write a guest series for me on the blog, I couldn’t wait to read it. We’re not sure how many installments there will be, but for today, I wanted Jillian to be able to introduce herself to you and talk about what motivates her current quest for a bra that fits!
Hello I’m Jillian from Maryland and I’m a fledgling lingerie designer. Age: 31. Height: 5’3”. Weight: No way Jose lol. Measurements: to be discussed in my next installment.
So why did I decide to start sewing bras?
Trust me when I say I didn’t just take on this venture lightly. A long chain of events spurred me into this choice. It’s taken about four years to get to this point. And for the most part, it has been a wild, eye opening ride. I’ll try to be as brief as possible. Let’s start at the beginning.
Genetics gifted me with a short stature and a small ribcage. Puberty gifted me with breasts that sprouted early (age 7) and perpetually swelled until the very end (age 26). The growing years were the hardest. Everyone around me got to wear pretty colors, strapless, backless, whatever. My most common color choices were black, white, beige and on a special day, the barest light pink. Plain rigid fabrics were the main choices. Occasionally there was a partial lace to something. Can you feel the resounding joy at the bland array of “super old lady” inflicted upon me? Yup, neither can I. The standard balconette was all I had to choose from. I didn’t need padding so push-ups were out. At the time I could even fit a strapless, it was inappropriate to wear it. What kind of 9 year old wears a strapless…?
The brand most thrown at me by non family members while growing up was Victoria’s Secret- the most well known and highest grossing lingerie brand in the world. I really dislike that store; I’ve been kicked out of there while waiting for friends to finish shopping but that’s another story. I’ve NEVER worn VS which isn’t that surprising since I grew out of that store when I was about ten. The brands at Macy’s, Marshall’s and Nordstrom filled my meager stash. Eventually more brands became open to me (thank you internet!). But the standard colors and plainer fabrics remained more often than not. As time went on, the cost per bra skyrocketed along with my ire at the limited choices. My wallet could not keep up with my ever expanding bustline. The amount of bras in my stash dwindled. Then the event I prayed not to happen happened: I outgrew Ready-To-Wear (RTW). [Read more...]