Bras for flatchested women

betty ming liu Inspiration 18 Comments

The impossible has happened — I can now say that I am a C-cup. Make that a 32C, which is a ludicrous concept since there is no cleavage going on, trust me. But this is still an exciting development worth noting. :)

This blessed event took place the other day when I needed a special occasion dress in a hurry.

Desperate for help, I called W., a friend of mine who works at Saks Fifth Avenue. I asked her if she had time to  pull a few things for me to look at. Thankfully, she had the perfect item, a hot little number that was marked down to $110 from more than $500.

Unfortunately, it didn’t hang right. But there was a solution.

“You need a better lift,” she said tactfully, and led me to the lingerie department.

After trying on a bunch of boob holders, we discovered the “Natori reflex” (Style #730495, in case you’re personally interested). The price tag made me gasp: $64. Yes. Ouch.

This padded marvel is sculpted and securely underwired for a super-snug fit that actually looks natural. The designer happens to be Josie Natori, an Asian-American, which made me feel connected to my new undergarment in a special way…

Judging from photos I’ve seen of her, she’s not exactly well-endowed either. It’s comforting to imagine that this maker of beautiful stuff for women of all shapes and sizes might personally understand little me.

So, I walked outta Saks with a new dress, a new bra and a new bounce (in my step, if not in my chest).

Here’s a photo of my 32C miracle. If the cups look shallow, that’s because they are! Haha. For your viewing pleasure, I draped my new purchase over some of the gorgeous hydrangeas blooming in my garden..

Up until now, my dresser has been filled with 36B bras that only seemed to fit right when I was at least 10 pounds overweight. Is that a form of denial or what? But now that I’m down to my fighting weight, it’s time to see what I’m really about.

And 32C it is.

Plunging ahead as a C-cup, I am inspired to brainstorm more ways to redefine myself creatively. In moving onto the rest of my wardrobe, there are a lot of hats that might need some restyling too:  mom, journalist, painter, pet lady, middle aging single sex symbol. Let’s see how many ways I can rethink these chapeaus to suit my evolving needs.

 

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Comments 18

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  2. Betty,
    Hum…. Do I DARE jump in ON THIS ONE?! And if so how and where? They say that over 70% of women are wearing a bra that doesn’t fit. The same goes for wet suits, for which they recommend custom suits. Women, it seems come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. (My first wife was a 32C.) It is good that you found a solution for the problem of the dress being designed for more full-figured women.
    I remember giving my Filipino friend a $100 gift certificate to Victoria Secret to buy a bra that FITS (something they do for free). I got tired of watching her playing with them all the time. Enough said about that
    For off-the-rack clothes there are various solutions which also include alterations. You can pad the dress, add darts or change seams. There are lots of tricks.
    I have some experience making my own clothing, mostly sports wear.The most courageous was a ski outfit. It was a one piece suit out of red Gore-tex with Black Gore-tex reinforcement patches. The suit had reinforcement in the seat, shoulders and, elbows. It took 10 of zipper. the zippers ran from ankle up past the waist and to the other hip, front and arms. The inner suit was black fleece with red gore-tex seat (a drop seat) and shoulder panels. Since the Gore-tex cost over $35 a yard I made a mock-up (I forget what this is called) out of a bed sheet with nylon for reinforcements. There was a size difference of two sizes between the fleece layer and gore-tex outer shell.
    Glad you found a way to make the dress fit. I know it is so sad to find a dress you like and mot have the body for it. My mother, who taught me to sew, use to do so many alternations for women/girls who had similar problems. She has made more wedding dresses than she wanted to, most of which were designed so that part of the dress could be removed so they could wear the dress later.
    Glad you found a solution and one that will expand your wardrobe.

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    Brave man, Brian. Thanks for jumping in! And how nice to hear from someone who really sews. I love sewing but have no patience for tailoring or custom work. how great that you can do all this. And yes, you’re right — having better underwiring has indeed expanded my wardrobe options.

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  4. Betty, you are awesome as always. The price tag of that bra is shocking but when you compare it to the price of surgery it is practically free. Going to run right out now and get one of those. You’ve made my day. Thanks for the lift.

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      Amantha, go for it! I know, that the bra price is a killer. I bought one in nude, which is in the photo, and one in black (because I wear a lot of black). Just make sure the Natori really fits right. A friend of mine who read this post says that she can’t wear Natori but the Wacoal brand does the trick for her. Interestingly, I had the opposite experience. So all flat-chested girls are not built alike! Glad this post gave you a lift. :)

  5. Thanks for this post, Betty! I will definitely look into the Natori brand (just looked her up on Wikipedia; such an inspiring story), since I find VS a little “tra-shay.” Also, after all these years, I still have no idea what size I am, though I guess this changes. It might be time for a fitting …

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      Alice C., you MUST go to a good store and get fitted properly. It makes a difference! And while I understand what you mean about Victoria’s Secret my last vist about 18 months ago was a revelation. Everyone was really nice and helpful. I can’t afford more $64 bras so now that I know I’m a 32C, I’m gonna go back there to see if there are moderately-priced items that will work in my new, true size. :)

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      Mj, you know what’s been interesting about this post? Even though the pace of comments here is slower than usual, I’ve been getting private emails about it. Boobs are an issue — and we’re not boobs for talking about it. This post has been so liberating for me!

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    Laura, your post took me right to China — I feel your, ooops, let me not go there. Haha! Glad you found some good bras at a good price overseas. Good luck with the Natoris. If they don’t work, maybe Wacoal will. :)

  7. I don’t consider 32C flatchested. What do you do with gals that are A or B? Boobs are over-rated, thanks to Victoria Secret and the likes who are in the business of selling intimate apparels. I hate wearing bras and any time I can get away from wearing one, like most of winter, I feel liberated. I wish we can do away with them like the pantyhose. Of course if it makes you feel more secure wearing one, then your writing on this topic is very appropriate and informative. By the way, the photo is outlandish!

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      Hmmm, “outlandish” sounds like a good thing, Diana. Thanks! As for 32C being flat-chested, I always thought “c” stood for “cleavage.” And trust me, honey, 32C does NOT fit that description. :)

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