BiuBiu: Summer City dress

I must admit, I’ve been putting this off for quite some time, and now I’m writing it I’ve no idea why I was!

Any woman who is bigger than a B cup – which is in fact the vast majority of women – will know how hard it is to find clothes that fit your bust: trying to find something that doesn’t drown your lower half, to find the mid-ground between frumpy and tarty (or downright indecent), to find clothes that don’t stretch and gape in all the wrong places. As a 28K/30JJ, I definitely know how that is, and that is why I was so happy to discover a certain company from Poland.

Some among you may have heard of BiuBiu – if not, then you should definitely check them out! Much like Bravissimo’s clothing range Pepperberry, BiuBiu makes clothes made to accommodate a range of waist and boob sizes, the levels B/BB/BBB being somewhat comparable to Pepperberry’s C/RC/SC, though most have found BiuBiu’s sizing to be far more consistent.

Going by my “usual”, that is, pre-festivities measurements of 42.5/29 (108/74), and seeing a sale at Christmas, I couldn’t resist getting the Summer City dress as a gift in a 38BBB. Somehow, though, I ended up with a 40BBB – I think the person who ordered it must have selected the wrong one! However, this meant it fit perfectly over the holidays, if a little loose on the waist.

I am absolutely, unashamedly, irrevocably in love with this dress. It fits perfectly, with no pulling or worried-looking seams! I found the waist was still looser than expected (as it’s a 40, not a 38), though it doesn’t bag around me. It seems to me that it is very true to the sizing chart.

I chose to wear this dress a couple of times over christmas with coloured tights. It isn’t my best look, but it was much to cold to wear bare legged! I am now on the lookout for a couple of nice thick pairs of tights in mustard yellow, green, baby pink…I have a strange feeling this dress will work with most light colours!

The detail that has gone into this dress really shows through. The cut on my bust/waist; the beautiful pattern; the long, subtle zip down the back; the rounded v-neck, front and back…It is such an amazing feeling to have clothes that not only fit me, but feel like they were made just to make me look and feel fantastic.

Another great thing about BiuBiu? The zloty to GBP conversion rate is very, very good! When I got the dress it was (and in fact, still is!) on sale for 99 zloty, which is at present about £20. The cheaper option for shipping to the UK cost around £7.50 (35-40 zloty?), taking 10 days to arrive, and there was a further charge of about £7.50 from the bank for the currency conversion – boo! This meant that the dress cost £35 after P&P and charges, and if not on sale would be more like £50 – not cheap for a single item, but if you buy a few tops and dresses at once it should be quite worth it! Luckily, as BiuBiu is also Europe-based, there are no pesky customs charges to worry about.

I honestly absolutely love this dress, and I am absolutely furious at myself for going to university in the north of England, where I know it will stay colder for longer and I won’t be able to wear this comfortably for months! I can’t stop browsing the BiuBiu site, and I can’t wait until I can order some beautiful new clothes again. It will also most definitely be my first stop when it comes to having to buy smart attire, stocking both work-appropriate dresses and the elusive button-down shirt. If anyone is thinking about ordering, I can honestly, 100% encourage you to do it – you will not regret it!

A little late to the party…

Image Today. I went to Manchester’s Bravissimo! For the first time. Slightly embarassingly… I was rather excited. What can I say, it’s not every day I get to try on bras made for my size!

Though the shop was a lot (a lot!) smaller than expected, there was still a great range on display, with more in stock on request.

Despite having no appointment, upon arrival both my sister and I were promptly directed upstairs for a fitting. There was comfy seating, posters explaining how a bra should fit and what a well-fitting bra can do – even the mannequins had been properly fitted!

Our names were taken and we sat down, until our fitters came and took us to separate dressing rooms.

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The dressing room was spacious with a lit full-length mirror, a seat, and a catalogue and silky robe hanging in the corner – although my phone camera seems to have sapped all the warmth from the room! I was fitted by eye from my 32J Freya Pollyanna to a 30JJ/K (down a band size, up 1-2 cupsizes). I’m sure I would normally be a 28JJ/K, but I am of course carrying a bit (alright, a lot) of christmas chub :p

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I was brought a selection of bras in bright colours, rather than the same old black and white granny-esque I was offered at my last fitting – fantastic! My fitter was friendly and informative, reminding me about how a bra should fit, putting me at ease and adjusting and checking as necessary. She did offer to leave while I was changing, which I wasn’t worried about, and I at no point felt pressured into buying something that didn’t work for me.

The first bra I tried was the Luxe Heart in a 30JJ, which costs £34.

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Huge. Success.
Image Of the bras I was given, I made a beeline straight for this one, and this was definitely the best of the bunch. Though it looks like a metallic girly pink in the site picture, I have to say in person it is gorgeous – more of a dark but vivid pink/purple. I’ve tried to correct the colours in the picture on the right, as it seems my camera really doesn’t like it! I’m not a huge fan of the hearts all over it, but I think when on they aren’t too noticeable, and look more like polka-dots – which I love. Under clothes it has a beautiful rounded and slimming shape, and though the fit isn’t 100% on (I have a very slight overspill and wrinkling at the bottom – apparently due to full-at-the-top breasts), I am in love with it.

Image I loved the little detail on the bow – long ribboned with tiny hearts on the ends. They’re sure to come off, but for now, they’re adorable. The one thing I expected to dislike was the lack of sheer panels – as is often done, this bra has “additional lining” in the upper panel for higher cupsizes. Whilst this usually annoys me as it can ruin the whole look of a bra (the Arabella, anyone?), I find myself actually preferring the sultry look of pink on black mesh, compared to the sheer version on the site.

The second bra I tried was the boysenberry Alana in a 30K, which costs £26.

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This bra I wasn’t quite as keen on. From the front I thought it was gorgeous – great colour (very similar dark pinky purple as the Luxe, in fact, it’s pinker than in pictures), gorgeous semi-sheer panels…but pointy. After the gorgeous rounded shape I got from the Luxe, this was disappointing. Again, there was slight wrinkling at the bottom, but this was mostly fixed after more adjusting – definitely not enough to warrant going down a cup size. From what I gather the Alana runs small in the cup, and a 30K is more like a “standard” (if there is such a thing) 30JJ. I tried this on again when I got home with my BiuBiu summer city dress (which I must post about) over the top, and I think the pointiness issue is not as bad as I thought – it actually works quite well with the dress.

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Though I didn’t fancy any of the bras left in the selection, I was asked if there were any other bras I wanted to try. Despite the legends of its pointiness, I asked to try on the Dotty Spot in both colours – 30JJ in the black/café (£29), and (I think) 30J in the aqua/red (£23 on sale now).

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…Well, as you can see, it really is pointy. I don’t think these pictures quite capture just how pointy it is. As you may have also noticed, I only have pictures of the black. The black ran slightly large, but not unwearably so. On the other hand, the aqua, despite apparently being a 30J, was absolutely huge. I mean crumpled fabric, a huge empty space at the top…just huge. I was so disappointed! I adore the pattern of this bra! Both versions are beautiful, and from the front it is dazzling, but that profile…Well, I don’t think I can live with it. I do wonder now if she had in fact brought me a bigger size in the aqua, though I’m sure she said one was a J and the other a JJ. At any rate, unless I am receiving it as a gift or really going for the 50s look, I don’t think I can rationalise buying this! Apparently the shape does soften after a few wears, so that may be a glimmer of hope for me.

Image Only having an hour of parking (blasted expensive cities!), we couldn’t stay any longer to keep trying bras on – not to mention my 27 year old brother waiting outside :p So I settled on the Luxe and Alana, for a grand total of £60. Of course, I will have to hunt down something close to matching underwear myself, as £14 a pop is just a bit too steep!

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At the check-out, our bras were lovingly wrapped in tissue paper and put in small bags, a fantastic touch. My sister left with two plunge bras and a confirmed size of 28H/HH, exactly what I put her as – if only I could have every day access to these bras to fit those around me! I feel now I really must shout the wonders of the Bravissimo fitting service, and I can’t stop recommending them – I just wish I knew who to suggest for those smaller-cupped women out of their size range.

I have since written more detailed reviews of the Dotty Spot, Alana and Luxe Heart on my Bratabase account.

Breast implants

A couple of weeks ago something happened that really annoyed me. I’d taken my mum to fit her for new bras, and my older sister had come along, who also needs fitting. She’s had two kids, so she’s lost a lot of fullness in her breasts.

The thing that really annoyed me was that she was talking about this, and announced that she needed implants. When I disagreed, and said there was nothing wrong with her breasts, my mum argued with me and said she understood what she meant, and my 24-year-old sister did indeed “need” implants. Since then, she’s also decided that she will get them as part of her new year’s resolutions, along with a tummy tuck.

Now I understand why she might want them – but it still got to me. I’ve been coming to the realisation that, well, what’s wrong with saggy breasts? What’s wrong with stretchmarks? Mummy tummy? Excess skin? A lack of fullness? What’s wrong with being chubby? It might not be the societally perfect image of how a body should look, but who says that image is right? To me, all of the above tell a story – a lot of them, in this case, of having children. I can see why she might prefer it and that’s her choice, but it really upset and annoyed me how she said she “needed” them – and my own mother agreed.

To me, every body is beautiful, and the fact that we’ve got to a point where something as natural as a woman’s body after children apparently necessitates surgery really worries me. Big breasts, small breasts, sagginess, chubbiness, stretchmarks – what does it matter? Every tiny “imperfection” tells a story. Your body is beautiful not because society says it is, but because it is your body, and nobody can tell you how you should look.

EDIT: To clarify before questions, the intention of this post is not to judge, shame, or offend anyone who has had implants (or any other surgery). It is a personal choice, different for every individual. The aim of this is only to question a society which makes some women think their body is “wrong” and needs “fixing”.