So today is my one year anniversary! I can’t quite believe that it’s been a whole year since I cobbled this post together.   What a journey!  Sometimes I have felt disheartened by the cruel demeaning comments that infrequently pop up, sometimes I have had “blog block” and it seemed like I had nothing to say or no good photos and I just wanted to delete the whole thing and forget about it.  But thanks to you lovely lot I have picked myself up or snapped out of my funk and carried on writing. I have racked up almost 500,000 views, 200 posts and around 3000 social media fans and subscribers.  Those are the kind of figures that I like to perve over! I have been to amazing press events and shows, hosted glorious guest bloggers, been on and at brilliant photo shoots and have blogged and written for some great sites.
I wasn’t sure quite what to do for my year anniversary, my Big Blog Giveaway although amazing was quite exhausting and I’m not too sure how I could top that just yet. And so I took a less ordinary celebratory route – I’d like to post up some of my frequently asked questions and hopefully provide some great solutions.

Q: Where can I buy “x” bra?
I get women who write to me and email me and leave comments asking me about a multitude of sizes. I don’t know all the answers but I do know of a few fab sites.

Ewa Michalak make gorgeous bras from a 24-48, A-KK.  Some sizes are custom made only and non returnable, but Ewa and her team are very thorough with their measuring methods. There are a multitude of blogs out there, including my own that review the bras.  Curvy Wordy is the queen of the reviews, Thin And Curvy has reviewed custom made smaller backed bras, and some more reviews can be found on Invest In Your Chest and Sophia Jenner

I also love Brastop for their range of bras, their fabulous discounts and their easy to use site.  Keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming deals, competitions and brilliant fitting tips and videos. If you feel brave enough you can even partake in their Model Of The Month contest! They also have a fabulous blog where they post up helpful reviews, often showing the underwear on the reviewers in question which gives you a great idea of how it could look on you. They discuss relevant topics and news and recently hit one million views! My blog has got a lot of catching up to do!

Q: Where can I get a bra fitting?

I know a lot of you lovely ladies are based in places other than the UK and therefore struggle a little more than us to get a decent bra fitting and find bras that are suitable. I am in contact with many ladies and many great bra fitting companies and shops that offer “proper” fittings, so if you do want help the best thing to do is to post your question and location on my Facebook wall and hopefully there will be someone somewhere who knows of a location to get fitted for bras. The best and most instant advice I can give is that you use this bra fitting calculator as it has been the most successful one I have ever seen! Of course it is just a starting point and will not help you with all bras as all brands fit differently. However it can give you a ball park figure for your figure and if you are in a position to try on that bra then do it, you may be surprised.

If you are based in the UK then my first suggestion would be Bravissimo as they have taught me everything I know. They are helpful, friendly, make you feel at ease and often very busty themselves – you can see the magic of a well fitted bra at work! They never pressure you to make a sale, have an extensive selection of sizes, colours and styles.  And above all they explain how bras work! If you are unable to get into a store then they do also offer email and phone fittings.  If you think you are below a D cup then they can still fit you, although they may not have a bra to test out the size they estimate you being.

Leia Lingerie only have three stores but if you are close to them then check them out, I cannot say enough good things about them!

Another lady  that uses modern technology to her advantage is the wonderful Canadian based Claire Dumican of Butterfly Lingerie. She can host Skype fittings with ladies all over the world and is a complete and utter sweetie.

Q. How on earth can I be such a small band/large cup?!

Finding out your true size is a shock to most women. They often stubbornly refuse to believe that they can be a smaller back size or bigger cup size. I know of one woman who has a 24 inch waist and wears 36Ds. “I have a broad back” she says – erm, so do I but my back is not a foot wider than my waist…  Women often resent being told what to do when it comes to something personal like a bra, even when they have asked for advice.  I hope that these illustrations below will help bust a few myths.

FACT: Bra bands can be found in sizes as low as a 24.
FACT: D cup is not that big.

This woman is a natural D cup.

This woman wears a 24JJ/26J.

This woman is a natural 28J.

These women wear 30 backed F+ bras.

This woman is a natural 30HH.

This woman has just found out that she needs a 26H. She has fake breasts but they still need support and can still cause back pain.

As soon as women stop associating numbers and letters with false media ideas and images the sooner they can all stop complaining of back pain and hating their breasts.

Q1. Do your bras cause you pain and discomfort? Do you live for the end of the day when you can remove them?  Do your breasts bulge and spill out of the cups?  Do you have to re adjust your breasts into your bra several times a day?
Yes? – Go to Q2.
No? Congratulations! You sound like you are in a well fitted bra.

Q2. Do you fasten your bras straight onto the tightest hook or do they ride up during the day?
Yes? – You may need to try a smaller band size. Go to Q4.
No? Go to Q3.

Q3. Are your bra bands so tight that they are hard to get on and leave angry red marks on your skin that take a long time to disappear?
Yes? – Your band is too tight, try going for a larger size. It is great that you are wearing firm backed bras but try not to overdo it, very tight bands can be just as harmful as overly loose ones.
No? It sounds like your band is spot on. Go to Q4.

Q4. Do your breasts spill out the side, top or bottom of your bra cups, forcing the central gore away from your chest?
Yes? – Your cup size is too small and will put strain on your shoulders and may cause your breasts to be saggy and misshapen. Go to Q6.
No? – Go to Q5.

Q5. Once you have leaned forward and dropped your breasts into the bras cups do you still find you have space in the cup?
Yes? Your bra is too large in the cups. Try sizing down a cup or two.
No? It sounds like your bra cups are spot on. Go to Q6.

Q6. Do your shoulder straps dig in?
Yes? – If your band is too loose then that could be why as your shoulders are taking the strain of the weight of your breasts. If your band is spot on then your straps could be over tightened. Loosen them so you can fit two fingers underneath them comfortably.
No? Go to Q7.

Q7. Do your straps often fall down throughout the day?
Yes? Make sure you tighten the straps to a two finger tension. The bra band needs to take 80 percent of the weight but the straps are necessary too.
No? It sounds like your straps are doing their job just fine.

Q. How can I become a plus size model?
It is important to remember that I am not a model – I am a waitress.   I do not know the secret formula.  I have had a few shoots but I am not a professional, just a very fortunate girl. Not every woman can or should be a model, just like not everyone can or should be a doctor or a builder or a teacher or an air host. To be a model you generally have to be over 5’9, be very well proportioned, very well groomed, willing to travel, willing to go to jobs that may not want you, willing to wear anything. If you do find a company who wants you you should never have to pay a join up fee or for any photographs, they should be good enough to find you work or tell you “no thank you’. If you just fancy having a photo shoot done then it is something you may well have to pay for.

Q. Do you get freebies?

Yes I do. Quite often the freebies I receive are items that I have tried on or selected and then been sent and so they will already be to my taste and satisfaction. Sometimes they are surprises from companies who know me well or want to thank me for doing reviews. I am always honest and fair, often stating if it is not perfect or not an item I would usually go for. I think that there is often a huge stigma that surrounds bloggers who do receive and review freebies and I really dislike it. I choose to blog, I choose to write about and credit companies, I choose to do it for free, yes. But I can see my blog clicks, incoming and outgoing. I can tell when my readers rush off to an online store and have a look at a product I have reviewed. And if a few of you buy that product then that company is effectively making money having done no work. So I do appreciate it when companies reward me for my hard work. I do not expect it but I am grateful and I will do my best to submit a fair honest review of any products received. Likewise I am amused and sometimes a little irked by comments or messages that lament at the commenter’s lack of freebies and event invitations. Us blogging folk work extremely hard to build up and maintain our reputations. If you want the same pleasures then why not give blogging a go – it is a lot of hard work but you reap what you sow and I promise that you will have a blast.

I hope that those questions and answers have been useful and insightful.  Thank you for being a part of my amazing year and remember – all women are real, and pretty much all of them have curves <3


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