Monday, March 25, 2013

A Manifesto for Busty Women

When Mr Butterfly and I started Butterfly Collection we simply wanted to make it easier for busty Canadian and American women to find bras that fit them correctly. I couldn't have imagined that our purpose would grow into something so much more meaningful and diverse.

I want to share with you the things that I have learned about busty women since we began (despite being one for 20 years!) This is our busty manifesto; the things we stand for and strive for every day.
  1. Every woman deserves to be fitted for a bra with dignity. No body shaming, no bullying and no discrimination.
  2. Every woman deserves to have access to bra knowledge and expertise no matter where she lives. 
  3. The size of your breasts does NOT dictate your personality. What other people assume about you based on your breasts says a lot about their personality.
  4. In the right bra you are more confident, comfortable, able to play sports and dress without hiding.
  5. Bra knowledge liberates you and puts you in harmony with your breasts.
  6. Each woman's definition of beautiful, sexy and comfortable is different and she should have the bras that are right for her life and her definitions.
  7. We have to break the cycle of pointless and cowardly breast shaming by the media, family and peers.
  8. When you stop hating and hiding your body you realize how much more you and your body can do.
  9. We foster self-esteem because it is fundamentally linked to bra fit for busty women.
  10. No busty woman ever has to feel alone - she is part of a beautiful, passionate and powerful community.
My hope is that eventually every woman will feel and live these things. There are still thousands of busty women who struggle to feel physically and emotionally comfortable with their breasts and each one we, as a community, can help and support is another step closer to breaking the cycle of pain and shame. I know that as our community of confident and knowledgeable busty women grows we are creating a new bra and breast culture for our daughters to grow up in. Thank you for being part of this worthwhile mission xx

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Video: 5 Problems Caused by a Bra Band that is Too Big

As you know the most common problem I see with bra fit is women wearing a bra band that is too big for them.

Related Article: Is Your Bra Fitter Giving You The Right Bra?

A bra band that is too big for you can cause lots of problems and in this week's Vlog I explain how it causes the 5 most common issues:

  1. Bra Band Riding Up
  2. Bra Straps Slipping
  3. Bra Straps Digging In
  4. Cups Spilling
  5. Wires Digging In
Click Here to Watch
For more information on why some stores use Sister Sizing to fit you into a 38D when you really need a 32FF read this blog post. xx

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Difference Between Bra Facts and Bra Preference

When you start researching bras and bra fit you quickly realize that it's a pretty huge topic. This is because boobs are as diverse and unique as the women they live on. There are lots of different bra blogs out there and they all have different information depending on their personal style, breast shape and lifestyle. It can be confusing to know which information is right for you.

In general the information breaks down into two groups. Firstly there are facts about what good bra fit looks and feels like; this information is pretty much non-negotiable. Secondly there are bra preferences like style, shape, colour and comfort levels. There are no right or wrongs in the bra preferences, it's totally down to the individual. To help you decipher the must-know bra facts from bra preferences I've put together a quick cheat's list:

Bra Facts
  1. All your breast tissue (including that squidgy bit at your armpit that you think is fat) should sit inside the cup.
  2. Your bra band should stay in place and not ride up your back.
  3. Bra straps should not slip off and should not dig in.
  4. A new bra should fit you on the loosest set of hooks first (unless it's a maternity bra)
  5. Your gore (the part between your breasts) should be flush with your body.
Bra Preferences
  1. Whether you prefer to wear a balconette bra, a plunge, a full cup or a wire-free. There are no hard and fast rules about what you have to wear (other than wearing a sports bra when active)
  2. How tight your band has to be. Some women prefer a really tight band, others like it just firm and some prefer to have it as loose as it can go without compromising fit (as soon as it starts to ride up then your band is too loose).
  3. Shape - some women love rounded cups or lots of cleavage, some like a more minimized look. Whatever shape you like you can find bras that will give you that look.
  4. Price - There is no right price to pay for a bra, it depends on what you're comfortable paying for the amount of wear you will get out of it. A well constructed bra that is worn and cared for well should last between 8 and 18 months (depending on how often you wear it).
  5. Style - There are lots of different styles of bras that fit different breast shapes differently. Working out your breast shape will really help you work out which bra bloggers have reviews that are relevant to your shape. Check out Bratabase's Breast Shape Gallery.
Once you have the bra facts nailed down you can start to explore the bra preferences that suit your body and personal style. When you find bras that tick all the boxes on the bra facts list and have all the things you're looking for in your bra preferences you have found your bra sweet spot! xx

Monday, March 11, 2013

5 Things To Look For In A Bra Band

Your bra band is the beginning of great bra fit. In my opinion it is the most important part of your bra and it's a good idea to know how bra bands differ so you can work out what's right for you. The band is so important because it is the part of your bra that should take the majority of your bust's weight (it can only do this by being snug). Because it is the biggest part of your bra to make contact with your body it can disperse the weight of your bust over a greater area (if your band is loose the whole weight rests on your straps which is painful). The more the weight is dispersed, the more comfortable you'll be.
Banded bras have material below the wire/seam of the cup like on Medina
Banded Bras
Pros: A Banded Bra has a piece of material that extends below the wire or seam of the cups. This piece of material can vary in depth (longline bras have several inches of material below the cups) and it is often cushioned or lined to give extra comfort. A band increases the surface area over which your bust's weight is dispersed so many women like to have a banded bra because it eases the weight of their bust.

Cons: Some women find that a banded bra flips up. This can happen when your midriff protrudes farther out than your band and your body forces against the band. It can also happen if you have a narrow torso and your cups are too wide for you. This problem is irritating more than detrimental to your fit.

Profile Perfect is a Great Bandless Bra with Firm Support
Bandless Bras
Pros: It might surprise you to know that some bras are considered to be without a band. A bandless bra doesn't have any material below the cups. The central gore and wings attach directly to the cups. For women with high tummies or an outwardly flared ribcage a bandless bra can be much more comfortable.

Cons: With less surface area some women find that a bandless bra is less comfortable for them. If you have your band size correct the wings and back band of the bra should be able to take a great deal of your bust's weight.

I love that Claudette use 3 row hooks on all their bras
Bra Hooks
Most bras have three columns of eyes and you should think of these as a timeline. Hook onto the eyes nearest the edge of your band when you first buy a bra then work inwards as the bra ages and stretches. If you buy a new bra that fits you on the middle column, or worse the tightest column, straight away then you're throwing away months of comfortable fit and money!

The number of hooks on the back of your bra gives you an indication of what the support and comfort is like. Similar to the depth of the band, the more rows of hooks on your band the more support you can expect. Very few D+ cup bras have one row of hooks and this is because you need more support than one row for a full bust. Most bras have two rows and this is ample for many women.

Three rows of hooks will give you a deeper back band and again disperse the weight over more area. It also gives you a firmer support (your breasts will move less at the front) and you might find that it helps with your posture.

Some firm support bras have four and even five rows of hooks (longline bras will have many more rows). If you have a very heavy bust or enjoy a very firm fit then extra rows will be great for you.

The wing is the part under your armpit - Tango Beige
Wing Depth
The part of your band that attaches to the outside of your cups under your armpits and stretches around your back is called the wing. The depth of this part of your bra can make a difference to your comfort. If you have a short torso then this can be a particularly important fit issue. Measure the depth of the wing of your most comfortable bra and look for bras with a similar or lesser depth. Claudette is particularly good for shallower wings that improve comfort for women with shorter torsos (they offset the support with 3 rows of hooks on every bra).

Bra Band Size
There are two very simple tests you can do to see if your band size is giving you enough support. The first is to lift your arms straight up in the air. If you band moves up your body (usually exposing breast tissue as it moves) then your band is too big. The second test is to pull your bra away at the front using two fingers. If you can pull your bra away from your body more than a couple of millimeters then your band is too big.

I hope this helps you narrow down the kinds of bands that are going to give you the best fit. If you need help figuring out your size our Free Bra Size Consultation is a great place to start xx

Monday, March 4, 2013

Panache Spring Summer Bras Review

There are many important aspects of bras for busty women; fit, self-esteem, health and style but there is also JOY! I know that many of you will still be on the journey to finding good fit and can't believe that your 34H boobs will ever be joyful but trust me, they can. The SS2013 collection from Panache has some really fun and joyful designs. We have chosen some of the happiest designs for spring/summer at Butterfly Collection because you shouldn't have to sacrifice fashion for support. Here's a look at the prints and colours we hope will bring some bra joy to your Spring!

When I first saw Bella I knew that bras for larger busted women had reached a new level. The print is bold, the design is excellent and the price is affordable. There are so many busty women still unaware that bright and beautiful bras like this exist but as word spreads, so too does the joy!
Bella is based on the Lucy and Marcie model which means it gives great forward projection and rounded shape. Bella is great for bottom heavy and top full breasts. The aquamarine base with bright yellow bird embroidery make this bra one of my all-time favourites from Cleo. Available at Butterfly Collection April 2013.

I have a deep love of blue bras and the electric blue Loretta Plunge Bra makes me tingly! The combination of sheer panels, microfiber cups and embroidered edging creates a classic style with modern updates.
The cups are wider so good for wide-set and side heavy breasts. The angle of the plunge gives a lot of support so many women with close breasts and/or protruding sternum could find this a great everyday bra too. Stylish, sexy and supportive. Available at Butterfly Collection Mid-March.

I love the modern kitsch of Cleo's spring line. The double print combination of berries and clouds could lull you into thinking Melissa is just a playful bra but this bra gives serious support!
The firm lower 2-parts of this bra give amazing uplift (hello perky boobs!) It's ideal for top heavy or rounded breasts. This is easily supportive enough to be your go-to spring bra. Available online now.
Jasmine has very quickly become a Panache favourite amongst women of many different breast shapes. The four-part construction gives extraordinary support and the stretch lace top panel is SO forgiving it adjusts to your body.

The muted floral pattern combined with navy lace makes this a subtle but striking bra. The fit and support are fabulous, no wonder this has inspired the creation of a new continuous style, Envy, available fall 2013. Available at Butterfly Collection mid-March.

2013 is a great year to add beautiful and colourful bras to your collection thanks to large cup bras getting some long overdue JOY! xx

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Video: What Your Bra Straps Are Really For

This might sound self explanatory but when a recent Facebook question from a big American bra manufacturer asked the question 'which part of your bra should take the weight of your bust?' a scary number of women said, "the straps" which shows we don't know what they're for... xx