When I was young, I always envied my mother’s full bust. She kept it as hidden away as she possibly could, but there was no denying what was sitting there on her chest. I hoped and prayed that I’d grow a pair myself as I got older.
When puberty hit, I got excited as I waited for my bust to grow in. When could I get my first bra? I was so excited! Most of the girls in my high school were wearing bras already and I was envious. I watched the cute boys snap the straps of girls bras in their naive attempt at flirtatious teasing. I wanted that to happen to me! My goodness, how minds have changed... At that stage, I was still in the crop top phase. At least I was out of the white cotton singlets I thought.
I got to about 14 and I’d only developed slightly, compared to my mum. She decided to finally take me to buy a wired bra since I “might now be a B cup”. She took me to our local Kmart and found the smallest bras she could find. All beige, all non-moulded, all full coverage. She made me put them on and show her. I still remember the lighting in the changeroom. The buzz of the fluorescent lights gave me a headache.
Now the bras didn’t fit me properly. I didn’t fill out the cups. The wire felt uncomfortable on my rib cage and it moved around every time I moved. She said I’d grow into it, just like with clothing or shoes. And with that, she purchased two of the same 12B bra as it was the only one that sort of fit in a style, she thought I needed. My school shirt was light blue cotton, so beige was all that I was allowed she said. (My school had actually BANNED girls from wearing black or coloured bras as it was seen as too ‘distracting’). We are talking about a private Christian school in 1994 here.
For years I wore my ill-fitting beige bra to feel like a grown-up. Oh, when oh when was my bust going to grow in? How had my genetics lied to me? I kept this style of bra for years as I only wore it to school or to church. On the weekends I’d go braless as my mum said I didn’t yet need a bra for support. She just felt sorry for me not having one yet apparently. Thanks, Mum.
When I was 16 I visited Japan again with my mum and I remember flipping through a catalogue at my aunt’s place and it had such pretty bras in there! It was a mail service, like Victoria’s Secret was back in the day. I really wanted something like that! Since I’d saved up my own money, I asked my mum if I could order a few items, but luckily, she said we should go for a bra fitting instead. Here I experienced my very first bra fitting and oh my goodness was that confronting! Hands in white gloves physically reaching into my bra and repositioning my bust and adjusting straps. I stood there frozen, I didn’t understand what this woman was saying and my mum had walked off already. But there it was. I finally had shape! Definition! A bra that sat firm on my ribcage and didn’t move on my body. Not only that, but it looked beautiful! I had just been fitted into a 6E in one style and an 8D in another. In Australia, at that time I had re-fitted myself and had been wearing a 10C. But now my life had been transformed. I went back to Australia that year pronouncing loudly that I was actually a D-E cup!! Maybe all those bust exercises I'd done had worked after all!
I could tell you hundreds of bra stories between then and now through my experiences with lingerie but let’s just flash forward 25 years to now. I'm around the same age my mother was when she took me to get my first bra. I can look in the mirror now and see her bust. Her fullness. Her shape. Her size. I’m now a 12F. Genetics kicked in and my bust adapted. With every weight gain or loss, I had; my body changed. With every couple of years, it shifted. It’s forever morphing and I’m ok with that. From a B cup at 14 to an F cup at 40. Thanks, mum, for my bust! I will be sure to appreciate and support them properly now.
Wearing Empreinte Victoria Balcony Bra in Moonstone.
The term Balcony/balconette/half cup is used to describe a certain effect the bra gives. An upward lift creating a rounded projection. Be it a two-piece or a 3 piece construction. I do still class this as a ¾ cup due to the height but it is still a balcony for the ultimate effect given. Remember, different brands call them different shape names depending on the cuts they create. Seeing a smaller cup model wearing this on the website shows a much more minimal coverage than my F cups show. But to me, the more pretty fabric used = nicer the bra!
Wide sides to centre from high under the armpit where I carry a little extra breast tissue and softness. Firm heavy embroidered geometric tulle base to lift upward. Softer firework appeal embroidered tulle top section with non-elastic binding to give a smooth clean line and no cutting in OR risk of falling out of. No double layering of non-stretch tulle under stretch lace with this Empreinte. Soft thick scalloped edge elastic straps to stop sliders from moving. Comfortable to wear daily and beautiful to show off as a statement piece still. And colour softens when the semi-transparency allows your skin to show through, but strong enough to control the most protruding of nipples. Mine. Thanks for that too Mum!
Pure craftsmanship goes into Empreinte’s construction, fabrics and styles. An unexpected choice for me, but my current favourite! Thank you for fitting me in this one Heather! - Prahran store
Do you step outside of your comfort zone for style when you go into a store to get fitted? Or do you just stick with your known favourites?
This blog was written by Shiori, who is also the fabulous face of @mylingerieaddiction!