Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Girls

I snapped up a cute pink bralette yesterday at Kohl's.  With a $10 gift-card, it was free.  Given that price, I couldn't resist.  After buying the bralette, however, I wondered how I can wear it.  I'm very sensitive to people's feelings about overexposure and don't want to disturb anyone by displaying too much.

I had similar reluctance a few months ago with a red sequined bra-thingie I bought.  The thingie is obviously meant to be seen and not covered up -- otherwise why would it have red sequins on it?! -- but I didn't want to look immodest.  So my deployment of the thingie required some careful consideration.  (See, e.g., here).

All of this led me to think about breasts.  And my relationship to them.  And your ideas about them.

Breasts are the most overt physical sexual characteristic for women.  Their size and shape often distinguish female bodies from male ones. 

Born with a male body, I don't have female-shaped breasts.  My body is cylindrical -- my measurements are 40-40-40.  My top is the same size as my waist and my hips.  In a t-shirt, I look like an average guy with slightly-muscular pecs.  (Here's a picture of my chest in a new Fashion Police tee.)

To create the illusion of female shape, I use breast-forms.  They are made with silicon and designed for women who've had mastectomies.  They feel real, have nipples and are the exact shape my body would be if I'd been born female or took hormones (44C).  The forms extend my body's contour in a natural way.  My goal wearing female clothes is to appear normal, without drawing attention to the shape of my body.  I want your focus to be on my outfit, not my body.

Equipped with these babies, here are pics of my new bralette and the red thingie.

If you care to discuss this sensitive subject, how do you feel about your breasts in relation to wearing clothes?  I read an interesting blog-post recently by a woman who feels her breasts are too large (38I); she complains their size impairs her ability to wear attractive clothing.  I'm sure there are women who feel the opposite, that their breasts are too small and cause different problems.

Any thoughts on the subject?  Any questions for me?


  1. I think your option of boobs does help your shape. I've often wondered what you used to get such a natural look. SO technically you answered my question without me asking.

    Personally, I don't *look* like I have big boobs. Because of the way weight is distributed on my chest, I'm incapable of getting that "cleavage line". Surprise - I'm a 32D. No one would guess that.

    I got used to being in the itty bitty titty committee, but I hit my 20s and they showed up. Just not in the shape I was expecting.

    So I work very hard with my wardrobe to keep my shape looking the way I want. I am highly critical of fit - size up to a Large sometimes to fit my shoulders and boobs in the *right* way.

    I started buying bralets instead of "proper" bras because I just can't stand all the extra padding. These days that means the difference between letting something fit or not.

  2. Hey Ally, Interesting post! Love the bralet and the red 'thingie' ~ looks very natural.

    I know that a lot of girls have problems with the size of their boobs ... either too much or too little. I am one of those in the middle who has always been satisfied with what I have.

  3. I think you could wear your bra-thingies (cute description) with sheer blouses, buttoned low enough to show them off a little. That would provide just enough cover to not make people uncomfortable.

    Around the age of 13 I got teased for being "flat." But by the time I was 17 I had an older boyfriend, and nice-shaped small breasts, so it's never bothered me since then. Anything more than a handful is too much, they say. ;)

    I have a question for you - since you use a picture of your male self for your profile pic, where are you in your transition?

    1. Good question, Val. It's hard to answer but I'll try.

      I grew up believing that transitioning wasn't an option. So I put it out of mind, to the extent I could, and lived life as a man. In the last few years I've explored femininity actively, but without a schedule. I'm half-scared that if I get my hopes up again, I'll be disappointed by some new impediment. So I move in the direction of being more of myself, incrementally, without expecting to reach a destination at any particular time. If and when opportunities present themselves (as they have), I seize them.

      For example, I now have a full female wardrobe; I wear female underwear all the time (except at work); I wear nighties all the time in bed; I've learned about makeup, nail-polish and female grooming; and I've made many, many friends who know about and accept my nature.

      I have no desire to alter my body by surgical or hormonal means. My body is fine; what I seek is social acceptance.

  4. Ah...boobs. I've had a love/hate affair with them since they showed up. Always been busty (the rest of me grew in to them in my forties-LOL) and have fought the myth bib boobs=low IQ.

  5. I actually love that print and bra, steal! As for boobs, I've been less than thrilled by them since having babies, but that's a story for another day ;)
    Xo, Megan,

  6. That pink zebra-stripe bralette is adorable! I think it would be really cute layered under a V-neck top. Or, an oversize-style/dolman sleeve top - the larger armholes would let people get just a peek at your fun print.
    Hmm, I am overall pretty happy with my boobs. There is no way I will ever have cleavage, but that's OK with me. :) I don't think they really affect my wardrobe, although I have realized that strapless dresses aren't the most flattering on me because I don't have much to showcase up top!

  7. I used to be an A cup from the age of 14-19, and I gained about thirty pounds in the last two years, and I'm now all the way up to a C cup! Actually, today I just bought a bra that actually fits me in a 38 C. My previous bra was a 36 B and it was falling apart. I got so excited I dressed up and everything. I'm actually afraid that if I start losing weight like I plan to, my boobs will be the first thing to go. And that sucks, because I like them a lot!

  8. Those breast forms are strikingly realistic looking - no generic chicken cutlet shaped breast forms of yore at work here for sure. I'd be tempted to wear that cute little bralette under a (mostly) buttoned up cardi with just a hint of fabulous fun pattern peaking alluringly out of the top (much like a camisole).

    ♥ Jessica

  9. I'm a modest size but they are fine for me, any bigger and I would topple over! But yes, I do like them and it's taken me a while to do so and I want them to stay. I can't imagine having to have a mastectomy :( they are part of my figure

  10. Oooh, that bra is like the ruby slippers! I love it!
    I have always been happy with my chest. It is small but I've always been happy with it- things look the way I want them to!x

  11. You were totally thinking of my massive boobs the whole time you wrote this post weren't you?!?! HAHAHA!! It's so nice to read about other boobies and other peoples views. It's such and interesting subject, it really is. And it's such a treat to read about them from such a unique person's perspective!

  12. yup, i'm one of those who always wanted more :)

    the red thingie looks great on you! i like how you wore it in your could also wear it with a blazer for a dressier occasion....since it's sequined, after all! or maybe you could layer it over a sheer blouse?


  13. Haha, my only complaint about my breasts is that one is slightly larger than the other! In fact, most women with natural breasts have this problem--some even differ by as much as a full cup size! Mine aren't that bad, but it's enough to create a little gap in one side of my bra :(

  14. I always wondered what you did, now I know! Personally, I notice woman's breasts all the time because I am slightly smaller on top. I am a pear, so my butt tends to make my boobs look even smaller, lol.

    I think you need some lacy tops to wear over these items! White would work, or maybe a button-up with these peaking out a bit?

  15. I think all women try to find the balance between showing too much and being comfortable with their breasts. Mine have grown 2 sizes in the past few years, and honestly, I really miss my A cups from my early 20s. I favor scoop neck shirts that are still high enough to cover the girls but not so high that I'm being strangled by the collar.

  16. First of all, good gravy that red thingie is awesome! I love that one!
    Second, you're right, it is indeed a touchy issue and all women (and men) probably feel many different things about breasts. I personally am happy with a healthy body. I'm a smaller chested girl and can wear pretty much whatever I want without feeling uncomfortable or immodest. My sis is a large chested girl and she is very uncomfortable with her size and image and modesty. One thing that helped me feel better about the body in general was working in a place (bridal store) where I had to make others feel better about their bodies. You can't help but start to tell yourself some of these issues aren't that big of a deal. Bodies are beautiful if you choose to see them that way. :-)

  17. First of all, love red sequin bra-let. Second of all, modesty is overrated. Third of all, after breast-feeding two kids for nearly three and a half years it is obvious to me that we've over sexualized breasts in this country. At this point, I think all boobs are great :) Glad you found some that you like!

  18. Ah man. I hate the over-sexualizing of breasts. I wish I could just take off my top and and not worry! We all have nipples, mine just have a tiny bit more fat behind them than guys and less hair. C'moooon!

    I like my breasts. I've never really been self conscious of them. As a matter of fact, I think they are beautiful. I like to go bra-less a lot, and it does attract attention, but sometimes they just need to breathe!

    1. I know what you mean, Jess, and I agree. In New York, it's legal for women to be topless in public and a group of young women have started a topless reading group in Central Park.

  19. Interesting post, I can relate to the body shape subject and have recently purchased breast forms myself to achieve a female shape when dressed. I must blog about that, thanks for the inspiration.

    BTW, I love the sequin bra, very pretty.

  20. bras suck, they are uncomfortable, hot and can be quite expensive. whoever decided that perky boobs were a necessity should have been shot before the idea caught on! if it were possible i would gladly give you all my boobs and bras. :)

  21. I just can't leave without the comment here.
    First of all love the bra - it's amazing! And thanks for reveling your little boob secret - I really appreciate it
    As for boobs I wanted also to highlight the shape. Some women having it wider - starting from the very armpit (which causes pain from time to time if you are not somewhat careful and forces you to do mammogram at lease twice a year) and finishing in the middle as if you pushed it with the bra. Nightmare.
    I do believe the less the better. I come from the family where boobs are considered tiny if the size is D. My granny's size H while her height is just 142 sm (aprox 4'6") which is huge for example. So from the my childhood I always didn't want my boobies to grow. Well, and there you have it: I have a cup D size but still wear size 0. That's because my chest is very narrow. Bottom line: having a narrow chest (I mean where ribs are) and normal/kinda big boobs is impossible or so say the manufacturers. I do sзend a lot of time searching for the fine bra because most of them doesn't support at all. My choice are the sporty bras - comfy, normal sized, the keep boobs tight so they don't disturb while working and to be honest - they are making my babies smaller. I love my boobs and my body but sometimes it simply drives insane