So I just spent the last four hours shopping . . . for a swimsuit and a yoga outfit.
I'm not entirely sure how I haven't crawled into the bathroom and opened up a vein yet.
I've learned about and accepted my shape. I've figured out how best to dress it in almost any situation--ALMOST. There are some situations, however, that are merciless bastards--namely, those that involve swimming and exercise.
For reasons of practicality, the best clothes for both situations are form fitting and made out of some of the most unforgiving material on Earth. I got to see my lumps and bumps so often this afternoon, that I gave serious consideration to naming them. (This patch of fat on my back right here is Lucy, and the one next to her is Ricky. The ones on the front are named Ethel and Fred. Little Ricky? Oh, trust me, nothing that needs to be named could be considered little . . . .)
And as if that which I am not proud fouling up my image in the dressing room mirror wasn't bad enough, my chest was causing problems too!
General society may have a "the bigger the better" attitude about breasts, but most swimsuits and yoga tops seem to think big boobs don't exist (and I wasn't trying on small sizes, either).
First, let's talk about swimsuits. The ONLY kind of swimsuit any female with anything over a C (and honestly, probably anything over a full B) can wear comfortably and securely is one with an under-wire. One of the most common styles to find that in? A fucking bikini. As much as I'd love to show off the belly that sometimes makes me wonder if I'm miraculously five months pregnant, I choose to spare the world (and my mirror) the sight; y'all can thank me later.
And when you have DDs, even an underwire is not always enough. As lovely as big boobs are, they can be pretty damn heavy. Halter tops or anything else that clasps/ties/etc. at the top of your spine? Not on your life. Your suit/suit top becomes a literal pain in the neck, and it's hard to enjoy the sun, sand, and water when all you can think about is going home and releasing your pair of heavy-ass albatrosses from around that which is now aching. Nope, you pretty much have to go either the double straps route or learn to love the racer back.
Of course, you can't even rely on a suit with an underwire and straps, because I tried on a suit--a large, mind you--and it fit everywhere . . . except the bust, where it was at least two sizes too small--probably three. Look, I GET that if you're a tiny girl with a giant rack, you're going to have trouble, but if I'm trying on a large or extra large? Odds are, I'M NOT A FUCKING B-CUP. And I'm also not a trashy celebrity who goes in for the "falling-out-of-your-top" look. I may be far from a size 4, but I at least I have a little dignity.
Now, I was able to find a suit top that I made work. It only took, like, 2 hours, so, um yay? And then, it was on to find a yoga outfit.
I love yoga. It's my favorite form of exercise, and if I didn't keep injuring myself, I'd still be doing it at home with my Rodney Yee vidoes. But after various recuperation periods for foot and shoulder injuries, I decided that I need to be under the watchful eye of a professional (probably forever). I looked into a few places but never visited. Like many people, I have an almost crippling fear of exercising in front of others. Why? Because I obviously haven't learned how to not give a shit yet.
But now I've had two people in my life recommend a local yoga place--a hot yoga place too. I could ignore the first recommendation (my size 2 stylist, who I adore, but she does lots of weird healthy stuff I don't buy into--like cleanses and eating clay, YES CLAY). The second recommendation came from a friend who is at least a size 8 (the lowest size I can tolerate advice from) and who hates to exercise. (You can see why we're friends, yes?) She loves doing hot yoga and loves the place. She didn't say "you should totally try it," because that's not really her style, but she did express how much she enjoys it and how it's really helped her deal with stress, as well as how skeptical she was as first.
Anywho, I've decided to try a class, but to most effectively and comfortably practice yoga in general, you need to dress the part. For hot yoga? Clothes are even more important. Basically, you need nice, form-fitting, moisture-wicking items. Yoga pants or capris? They're fine--wonderful even. Yoga tops? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Again, apparently even ladies who look in the XL section are not supposed to have XL boobs. I swear, the mediums have the same sized shelf bras (HAH! "bras") as the extra larges--and I was getting an extra large primarily FOR the extra bust space. (Though I certainly wasn't hating the extra tummy room.) I ended up having to get a sports bra (again "bra," because last I checked, a bra is supposed to offer support, and if I tried to run in that thing, I'm pretty sure I'd get knocked the fuck out) AND a shirt. I mean, I suppose I could have gotten an all in one top, if I'd wanted to practice yoga while feeling like I was getting a full frontal mammogram. There is a different between supporting and squishing the life out of.
I won't even get started on button down shirts, but that's only because I didn't shop for any of those today.
I don't know if clothing companies don't want to use more material or if they think all ladies with sizeable ta-tas should show them off by looking like they're about to bust out of every top they wear. I guess it's just another example of designers having an idea of what an "average" is (which never really seems to exist in person-form), and telling the rest of us to fit into somehow, or go naked.
If I had any skills, business smarts, and funding, I'd totally create a clothing line with different styles for different shapes. I'd include "fruit" in the name somewhere, and have apple styles, pear styles, banana styles, and whatever the hell other fruity names there are for body types. (I'd have to figure out a fruit name for hourglass though . . . . Are gourds considered a fruit? I swear I've seen one that's hour-glass-y.) And then I'd be rich and famous and loved.
Hmmmm, maybe I should say "fucks skills, smarts, and funding" and get on that anyway.