Friday, March 28, 2008

Breasts vs the fashion industry

I have a good figure, but it’s not normal for the industry in which I have chosen to work. I am a woman and I love my not particularly generous curves. I am 5’6”, weigh 10,5 (145lbs), have great legs and wear a UK12 (US8) on a good day. I also have very, very large breasts (I’m not exaggerating –they’re a 32 Double G) and they are pretty damn fine: high, round and just how they should be. The poster model for big breasts. Until I clothe them. Or maybe that should read attempt to clothe them.

I dress for my figure, not for my taste. I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, wear the clothes I would choose if I could fit my breasts into them. I can’t wear, in no particular order: shirts, polo or turtle necks, tight T shirts, any light coloured tops, crew necks, batwing or dolman sleeves, strapless numbers, bikinis, halter necks, vest tops, waistcoats (vests), suit jackets, trench coats, sleeveless, braces (suspenders) shoestring straps, busy prints, corsets, tight or high waists, anything tucked in, anything cropped, sequinned embellished or with writing on it, striped tops, maxi dresses, elasticated tops, dungarees (overalls), pinafores (jumpers), bias cut, wrap or slip dresses, unboned bras, anything with seaming on the bodice or 99% of most designer collections.

I do have friends with large chests who can wear some of the above, but I was blessed with high breasts that practically start under my collarbone. This means I look like a German barmaid, brimming with good cheer in the most demure of outfits. I have nothing against a bit of cleavage but I prefer men to talk to my face not my chest. And you try being taken seriously if your chest resembles two puppies wriggling in a sack. Most of all I wish someone would produce tops I could wear. I really only ever wear sweaters or done up cardigans as nothing, and I mean nothing, else fits.

On the other hand shopping is paradoxically easy for me. I know, if I am lucky, that there may be one, possible two pieces in an entire store that might work on me. I am not faced with a cornucopia of choice or complicated fiscal decisions. There just isn’t anything out there on which I can spend my money,

Most of all, I wish fashion designers & editors would stop trying to pretend that the female figure is mutable. Lucinda Chambers (fashion director of British Vague) deserves to be pilloried for telling big breasted women to buy an M&S minimiser bra this season if they want to be fashionable. What is she going to suggest next? Foot binding because small feet are suddenly fashionable?

It is a fucking stupid pose to tell women that their particular figure is fashionable one season, only to recant the next. Male designers should accept that women come in sizes other than clones of homo-erotic boys. And editors should stop colluding with them.

I’m not arguing that high fashion editorials shouldn’t exist: they are there to inspire, to provide escapism, but in the real world we need fashion for everyday, fashion we can actually wear. I am fed up with being unable to dress myself.