A Critique of the Launch of Chrysalis Lingerie #girlslikeus #trans #transgender #transsexual
I was super excited about Chrysalis Lingerie’s new line of lingerie that caters to trans women. I’ve been eagerly anticipating the site’s store launch for years now. Their launch has been delayed multiple times, but now Chrysalis is finally coming to mailboxes near you. Today I saw a post on my tumblr dashboard saying that the store is finally online for pre-orders that will ship on May 10th. I clicked the link for the store, and then my jaw hit the floor. And I don’t mean that in a good way…
Reblogging for the day crowd.
Reblogging for the afternoon and evening crowd.
Remember the brand Chrysalis, catering to trans women?
This is a very interesting blog post about their collections and the problems that occur. Read it!
Wow, that’s very strange… What went wrong?
Well, that’s pretty fucking disappointing.
Here’s a fairly typical bit of press coverage of the study in question, if you haven’t seen it yet. Basically, some French scientists have published a study claiming that bras are a “false necessity”, and that going without a bra increases breast perkiness and decreases back pain.
However, I’m not throwing out my bras any time soon. There are several reasons why this study should be taken with a very large grain of salt.
First, the researchers admit that “the women involved [in the study] were not a representative sample of the population”. Second, the researchers did not control for breast size, and I can find no indication that they controlled for proper bra fit. Many of the bra-related problems cited in the study, such as breast sagging, poor posture, and back pain, can be caused by wearing a bra which is too big in the band to provide proper support. Given that a majority of people who wear bras are not wearing the right size for them, I would not trust any study on the effectiveness of bras that didn’t control for proper fit.
In addition, the study, or at least the reporting around it, is framed in terms of “perkiness” and reducing sagging. I would consider support and bounce reduction to be far more important - I’d quite happily go braless a lot more often if it didn’t mean constant bouncing, pain, and discomfort when I try to do any kind of exercise. I don’t especially care about whether I sag or not. I just don’t want to hurt. For me, and, I suspect, for many other large-breasted people, that means that I need a bra or equivalent garment to provide support.
I’d seen Au Fait Lingerie a few times on my way to or from somewhere else, but it wasn’t until recently that I was organised enough to make a trip there and try things on.
It’s a smallish shop in Petone but it stocks a good range of sizes and brands. I’m not sure exactly what the range of sizes they stock is, but in my browsing I found band sizes down to 6 and up to 20 or so as well as cup sizes from A to GG. They stock some excellent brands, including Freya, Fantasie, and Elomi, and their bras tend to be slightly less expensive than the same styles at Kirk’s.
When I told the shop assistant that I was looking for bras in around size 10G, she was eager to help and found plenty of bras for me to try. Because it’s a small shop it’s a bit of a lottery to see if they’ll have a given bra in your size, but we managed to find plenty for me to try. I ended up buying two.
I don’t know how good their fitting practices are, so I’d recommend measuring yourself before going in so as to have a rough idea of what you need (then again, I’d always advise measuring yourself before bra shopping). Still, I was impressed by the range of sizes and styles available and I plan on going there again. I’d recommend taking a look there if you’re Wellington-based and struggling to find good bras in your size.
Inspired by this discussion (and thank you Chloe for drawing my attention to this and suggesting I post about it!)
Scoop and swoop
This is the most important part of putting on a bra, so I’m outlining it first. Once you have put on your bra and fastened it, reach into the side of each cup and scoop your breast towards your front, so that your breast is fully contained within the cup. It may help to do this while bending over (with your back parallel to the floor) so that your breasts fall into the cups more easily.
Scooping and swooping can make a huge difference to how a bra seems to fit. A bra that seems to fit before scooping and swooping may well turn out to be too small in the cups and too big in the band once you’ve scooped and swooped - you may, for example, find that your breasts overflow the cups, creating a “quad-boob” effect. Conversely, a properly-fitting bra may appear too big in the cups and too small in the band before scooping and swooping, as the band may be sitting on breast tissue which belongs in the cups.
Honestly, the method you use to put on your bra doesn’t particularly matter provided that you scoop and swoop. However, I’ll briefly outline some methods for putting on bras that I’ve seen discussed.
Common methods for putting on bras
- Put your arms through the straps and cups over your breasts, fasten the bra at the back, then scoop, swoop, and adjust as needed. This works fine, and is one of the methods I usually use. Sometimes it may be necessary to scoop your breasts into the cups before fastening the bra in order to get breast tissue out of the way of the band and allow you to fasten it.
- Put your arms through the straps and bend over with your back parallel to the floor to let your breasts fall into the cups before fastening at the back. Then scoop, swoop, and adjust. This also works fine, and some, especially bustier people, may find it easier than method 1.
- Put the bra on backwards, fasten at the front, then turn it around to the front, put your arms through the straps, scoop, swoop, and adjust. I just tried this, and… ow! I can imagine that it might work for non-wired bras and smaller breasts than mine, but for me, getting the wires over my breasts as I turned the bra around was really uncomfortable. Additionally, I doubt that twisting a properly fitting band around your body is very good for the band - it may make the bra wear out faster.
- Put the bra on backwards, upside-down, and inside-out, fasten at the front, twist it around and lift the cups up over your breasts and the straps over your shoulders, scoop, swoop, and adjust. I used this method as a kid, until I had enough practice with hook and eye fastenings to be able to fasten them at the back. As above, it may work for smaller breasts and non-wired bras, but is uncomfortable for me now and probably not very good for the bra.
- Fasten the bra, then pull it on over your head like a T-shirt, scoop, swoop, and adjust. If you can do this, your bra is almost certainly too big in the band to provide any real support for your breasts.