You asked…here it is! My badly edited make up video!
The link to “Minerals Will Work For You” is in the description.
If any of you are fans on the Curvy Kate Facebook page you will have noticed a flurry of activity around a certain competition…Star In a Bra!
I partook in the competition last year and I was lucky enough to come third!
And I would like to share my experiences and tips with you in case you are considering entering…
For now Curvy Kate are just putting the word out and letting women know that the competition is approaching. Curvy Kate cater for fuller busted women: 28-40 backed D-K bras. I know that there is some confusion with the word ‘curvy’ as it has been hijacked by the plus size world, but in Curvy Kate’s case they mean women who are a little more voluptuous. So if you can wear their bras and you are a women then this competition is for you! You have to be based in the UK as the photo shoot takes place there.
I think it’s best to use this time before the competition to consider a few things:
*You may not get selected. I know it sounds silly but you should prepare for the possibility. SO many women enter and Curvy Kate have a really hard job choosing their favourites.
*Is your other half happy with the possibility of you being in your smalls all over the internet, in papers, of his friends seeing?
*How do you think your family will react?
*How will your colleagues react?
*Your name could forever throw up images of you in your undies. Is that something you think you can deal with forever?
I know I sound like a right killjoy and I apologise, but these are definitely points that you need to be aware of. I had friends who entered the contest and did not get through and they were devastated. I had friends who made the top 30 and got no further. You have to prepare yourself for the possibility that this may not be your year – and it is in no way a reflection on yourself!
I think I was lucky that my boyfriend was 100% behind me when I entered. He was nothing but supportive, helpful and encouraging and I could not have done so well without him. My family just did not get it. As I told my Mum “I’m doing it to make a point” and she replied “Well I think you made two.” It hasn’t changed our relationship and she knows I am now very passionate in my love of undercrackers and I think she and my Dad just accept that.
My colleagues at the time loved it! I always seemed to be at work when I got the emails saying I had got through to the top 30, then to the top 10, then claimed the third place victory. They all voted for me, supported me and made me feel amazing! As I work as a waitress it has not yet impacted on my life but I am prepared for the fact that it may one day rear it’s ugly head, especially as one quick google image search of my name, well…
Of course starting my blog has pretty much sealed my fate, but my “hobby” has become my world and I would not change it for love nor money, without it I would not have had so many amazing experiences and opportunities and for that I have to thank Star In A Bra!
Taking the photos was pretty fun! I did it before the competition opened on one lazy Sunday afternoon as my boyfriend sat in the bath, wolf whistling as I rush past him in different sets of underwear and bikinis! I tried to make my photos fun and happy as that is what Curvy Kate is all about! I had my special ‘poses’ which flattered my shape and as I was using my camera on timer I didn’t have to feel self-conscious.
Curvy Kate specify that you should submit three underwear or bikini photos and two face photos so they can get a good idea of how your gorgeous shape and pretty face look. It is essentially a modelling contest and when you apply to a modelling agency you would submit the same kind of shots. The photos should be non professional and only include you. Just have fun!!! Show yourself off in the best light and be fabulous! Wearing Curvy Kate underwear is not essential but it is what you will be modelling should you progress further so if you own some stick it on, if not you will not get marked down or rejected so don’t feel you have to rush out and buy some sets especially for your photos.
Then there’s the waiting…the watching the page…the checking out the girls who say they have entered so you can scrutinise them (in my case anyway!) and that nervous excitement as you eagerly await for the results to be announced…
If you are lucky enough to get through then celebrate, revel in it – but this is where the hard work starts! You need votes in order to get through to the next round. And in order to get votes you need people. Your friends list is a good place to start so make an event, a group, something to invite people too and something they can invite friends too. Spread the word on Twitter, ring the local paper, just put yourself out there! You may want to change your Facebook settings so that people cannot message or add you as men (for some strange reason…) seem to go crazy for women in their smalls! If you are comfortable with being friends with these men then that’s fine, but be warned, Facebook will notice if you are suddenly adding a lot of people and you could get your account closed down! So yes, promote yourself but be cautious. I used to post my photos on group walls to try to ask for votes and sometimes they got reported and removed, sometimes they encouraged horrible comments, lustful comments, bitchy comments – just focus on the positives, the amazing comments and support that you will get from friends, your mission to model underwear and relate to women. It is draining, it is exhausting but it is so much fun! I made friends with several of the girls involved and that was an unexpected side effect which I am still enjoying now.
After a few weeks the voting closed and we were all on tenterhooks to find out who had gotten through to the next round… there were some disappointments for some girls as with any competition. But I was elated to find that not only had I gotten through, but the girls who I had become close too and who I had campaigned with had also made it! Happy happy days!
The next stage was…the photo shoot!
I freaked out a little bit when it got to this stage. Granted my whole campaign was based around the fact that I was (and am) a bigger girl but I still started to worry. Sheer nerves and weight worries stopped me finishing meals and had me overly criticising myself for several days before the shoot. I tried to be sensible as I didn’t want to bloat up like a balloon and when it got to the day I felt ok with my shape and excited for what lay ahead. I had prepared myself for the shoot by having a relevant wax, getting my eyebrows threaded, washing my hair the day before, moisturising, trying to tackle my cellulite and stretch marks and although I didn’t feel ready I doubted I ever would!
When I arrived at the gorgeous house with Sophia Jenner we immediately felt at ease and welcomed. We were offered tea, given a tour and told to take off our bras…well, undo them to lessen marks! Haha! There was sushi, cake, lots of bras, fruit juices…heaven! The hair and make up artists got to work on us and it felt like a fantasy girly sleepover. Then we were shown the delicious piles of undies and had the girls check the fit on us to make sure we were in the correct size and it looked good. Then…the photographs! I had had one photo shoot prior to Star In A Bra so I had a vague idea of what to expect and I had been given a few tips from Carrie Hunter with regards to moving and making each frame different. I felt a bit self conscious and my smile started to wobble at several points, but all in all it was fun and I liked that Alison, the photographer showed me the photos as she went. I didn’t have to get into any funny or uncomfortable positions, the only things that pained me were the huge heels I wore for some shoots! I tried to follow Alison and Hannah’s directions as best I could as well as sucking in my tummy and squishing my thighs together! It was fun to see the rest of the girls have their turn as well and everyone encouraged each other.
And then there was the waiting game…and yet again I was at work when the photos came out! I must confess I hated most of them! For example:
Some made me happy:
And I learnt that no one else seemed to see quite as many flaws as I did – see here for some of the amazing comments! You may need google translate!
And so I campaigned once more and received even more gorgeous comments and appreciation and I realised that I was just not used to seeing myself in photos that I had no control over! It is important to remember that if you win you will not be able to select the images and the photo shoot is a great preparation for that. Curvy Kate will be selecting the images that show their brand off and would not use anything that doesn’t look good so don’t fret like I did! Just enjoy every moment and never lose faith in yourself! Campaigning again was stressful, it did annoy and confuse a few friends who were baffled as to why they had to vote again but it was easy to get back into. I also ended up acquiring a Twitter account in a bid to help me gain votes and I tried to market myself as best as I could.
When I found out I had come third I was initially disappointed as last year the second place lady as well as the first got to go to the photoshoot and I was so close yet so far! But Lizzie and Emma were such darlings and such worthy winners and I could only be happy for them! It had been a rollercoaster, something I could not do again but something I try to encourage every busty woman to try out!
It is a lot to think about and go through but if you are prepared and clued up it can be a little less scary and actually be rather enjoyable! I would recommend that if you are entering you prepare yourself for every outcome, all sorts of backlash and comments and one hell of a ride! It is a fantastic campaign that really raises awareness as to what different bra and back sizes look like, it shows how the average girl next door looks in her smalls, how women have bizarre insecurities even when they look perfect to us outsiders! I do not regret one single moment if the competition, the highs and the lows, it has shaped what I have become today and how I view myself, other women and many other things.
It changed my life.
To be fair to Simply Yours they have stressed here that their calculator is just a starting out guide – but why add inches at all? I have proven that with my 35inch underbust measurement I fit well into 34/36 bands so why not just take that measurement as what you should wear? Sure to start with a correctly fitted bra may feel less comfortable if you are used to a looser band, but it will loosen up within a few wears and given you better support.
A very good friend of mine write this fabulous response to their post:
‘Despite your explanation, this is still very incorrect I’m afraid. I have fitted hundreds of women by eye not using a measuring method, as I believe the best and most accurate way to find out your size is to try the bra on and go from there. However, after finding the best fit of bra for them (making sure the back band isn’t riding up, that I can’t pull it away from their bodies more than 2 inches, etc) I have actually then measured them just to see for research purposes whether this 4+ inches business is accurate. I can tell you that the band number (28, 30, 32, 34 etc) corresponded with the band size they were correctly fitted into EVERY time. The majority of them came in wearing bras that fit awfully – their bands rode up, their boobs dropped, and their shoulders and back were sore from taking the whole weight of their breasts… And surprise, surprise – the band sizes they were wearing were 4 or 5 inches bigger than their underbust measurement!
It’s the same with myself too – my old bras are the band sizes that your measurement guide and your blog suggests I should wear. They ride up and thus cause back pain and they give my breasts an awful shape due to lack of support. The only way myself, and 99% of all the women I have fitted and spoken to, can get the lift, shape, support and best fit is to wear bras that correspond to their direct underbust measurement. I wear a 28 or sometimes 30 if the bra is tight enough (I measure around 28.7). My bras in those sizes never hurt, the cups and wires are never distorted, and they last a long time. ANY bigger and I lose support, my bras ride up and I can pull the back of the bra away several, several inches. I have bought European bras before and I found the same thing — when I bought them according to what my centimetre measurement is, the bands rode up and were a bad fit. Thus, it’s easy to conclude that the UK system does correspond directly to your underbust measurement in inches. I have also tried to fit several women who measure 24, 25 and 26 inches under their best. Size 28 bands rode up considerably and caused them shoulder indents, back pain and a poor shape under clothes. They have now got specially designed 24 and 26 bands respectively which are finally good fits. If the 4/5 inches system truly worked as a guide, then I would have seen it work at LEAST once in my time, but I have not – ever. All it has done for the women I have fitted and myself is give them poorly fitting bands.
Additionally, I just measured all my 28 and 30 band bras (this has taken a while – I have over 30 bras!). After measuring 30 bras over a variety of brands, fabrics, styles etc I think I have a good idea of what the average is, and I can see that what you’ve written about the true measurements of 30 and 34 bands is completely incorrect. Now:
You say –
“On an average 34 back size bra the underband will measure 25-26.5in (that’s 64-68cm) flat depending on the fabrics used (and how much they stretch when worn). That’s around 4in smaller than the body measurement of a size 34 lady, whose ribcage measures 29.5” (75cm).”
“A 30 back band would measure around 54/56cm or 21/22in and would have to stretch at least 8in to make the body measurement. As you can see from the two examples, this bra has to stretch much more to meet the actual body measurement of 29.5in. This extra stretch puts a lot of extra pressure on your bra”
On average a 34 band bra will measure 25-26 inches flat? I’m not sure what kind of ridiculously small 34 band you’re using as an example here, but all my 28 and 30 band bras measure around 24-26 flat – NOT 21/22 like you suggest) and stretched out (as if you were wearing them) they measure between 28 – 30. Here are some real examples from a few of the bras I’ve just measured:
Rhea Masquerade bra, size 30 (a very snug 30, I might add): 25 inches flat, 28.5 stretched (slightly stretched, as if you were wearing it)
Bravissimo Dotty spot, size 28: 25 inches flat, 28.5 inches stretched
Cleo George, size 30: 26 inches flat, 30.5 inches stretched
Cleo George, size 28: 24.5 inches flat, 28.5 inches stretched
Fantasie t-shirt bra, size 30: 25.5 inches flat, 29.4 inches stretched
Freya Arabella, size 34: 30 inches flat, 34 inches stretched
Masquerade Tiffany, size 30: 26 inches flat, 30 inches stretched
Freya Retro, size 32: 28 inches flat, 32 inches stretched
It’s very clear that the band sizes do in fact correlate directly to your underbust measurement – when they are stretched, they stretch out comfortably about 4 inches, thus measuring exactly the same as their band size number (and thus your underbust measurement). If you add another 4 inches on top of your underbust measurement, you’d be wearing a bra that is WAY too big’
This is probably the best online calculator I have found. It is not 100% accurate and struggles with very big cup sizes but it is a very good rough guide. It does not add inches unless you are an odd number like myself and therefore adds one to make me 36. If you are really clueless about where to begin with your bra size I would use this calculator.
A few of my blogging friends have written their own posts in relation to this debate. Sophia explains:
‘They use the outdated method of adding 4 inches on to your underbust measurement to get your correct band size. This actually comes from back in the 50s where the ideal hourglass measurements were 36-24-36, so inches would be added to the band size as ‘vanity sizing’. Not only that, but the materials used in the 50s were much firmer, stiffer and less pliable than they are today – meaning there would be no wiggle room if you did have a size that was too tight. This is no longer the case nowadays; stretchy material is used for everyday bra bands in order to give maximum comfort and support.’
‘As a self-trained fitter and a 28FF myself, I know full well the advantages of a great bra. I’ve seen women smiling and liberated from something so simple as a bra and it really is wonderful to see.
Nonetheless, an issue which has been niggling for a while now is their use of the ‘plus four’ method’
And Beckie says:
‘I can think of no exceptions I know (and I’ve coerced, cajoled, and cheerleaded coachloads of women in to better fitting bras) of D+ women who have received a better fit from the plus-four method than they have working to the raw underbust measurement. I personally went from being a totally sedentary plus-foured 34E girl, constantly cursing my own body for being uncomfortable, unruly and cumbersome; to being a 28GG/30G girl who runs, swims and cycles as often as possible without ever thinking twice about whether her ample chest will get in the way.’
What are your opinions on this fitting debate? What have your experiences been like? Did you find that you wore the wrong size bra with a too big band once upon a time? Or are you still unconvinced by the shunning of the inch adding method? Let me know
I am hoping that it will help dispel the myths that Simply Yours still believe in.
I just want to talk about cup sizes…
If someone is wearing a 28G and someone else is wearing a 38G this does not mean that they have the same volume of bust. Cup size is a representation of the difference in measurements between the underbust size and the measurement round the fullest part of the bust:
So someone with a 38 back with the same volume as someone with 28G boobs will require a 38D bra, as proportionally their boobs will not be as large as the smaller framed person.
This is because a 28G has the same cup volume as a 30FF, a 32F, a 34E, a 36DD and a 38D. This should help to show how when we have to downsize or upsize in the band depending on the brand we are using, we also have to do the same in the cup.
I find, for example, that Panache bras come up quite snug in the band and therefore I wear a 36H in them. However, I find that Curvy Kate come up quite loose in the band and smallish in the cup when it comes to their Showgirl range and so I downsize to a 34 back which should mean that I would need an HH cup to get the same cup volume as a 36H, but I instead need a 34J as the cup sizes do run a tad smaller than Masquerade.
I hope that this post is useful, please feel free to post and comment and ask any questions.
I hope that Simply Yours abolish this awful fitting guide and start doing things in the proper ways that companies such as Bravissimo do.
Thank you for reading and watching x