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Swimsuit reviews
So a little while ago, figleaves.com was having a swimwear sale. I've been looking for a swimsuit that fits for no-kidding years, so I figured I might as well give it a try and see if I got lucky. And, hey, free returns.

So the first batch got here today. That's three one-piece suits and one bikini top (another bikini top and both bottoms are expected in a later package).

The bikini top (from Triumph) actually fits, which is a surprise. It doesn't pass the beach volleyball test, but it's probably good up through frisbee[1]. The underwire is not quite the right shape, so it'd get to be a problem after a while, but I'd be willing to put up with it if it weren't so unbelievably ugly. It's turquoise, which is a problem but only a small one. It's got these stupid rings in the straps, but I knew that from looking at the picture and thought maybe it wouldn't look so bad in person (nope, worse). But mostly, it's got this HUGE vertical seam, the awfulness of which I cannot adequately describe. Back in the box it goes. (Seriously, it looks worse than the last sports bra I bought, which is a truly unattractive piece of engineering.)

The two one-pieces from Freya (who also made the bra I ordered with this set, which is a little too small but otherwise plausible, although suspiciously loose about the band; I will see what the next cup size up is like) have the same set of problems, to wit:

1. Can only fit over my hips with enormous effort and possible fabric damage.
2. Too short in the torso.
3. You call this an F cup[2]? My nipple doesn't fit in this!
4. No support at all, partly because of being too short.

I was expecting one of them to be too short and not have any support, because it looked too short and not supportive on the model, but I was ordering things anyway so it's not like I paid extra for shipping it or anything. Did I mention free returns? I was sad about the other one, though. Although it was also turquoise, so no big loss there.

The other one-piece is a halter from Triumph. I really really like it from about halfway up the ribcage down. The top fits, but the neck tie is somewhat uncomfortable. I might get used to it. It doesn't feel all that supportive, but I can jump around a fair bit without pain, which is really what counts. I think I will hang on to it, as it is at least an improvement over the existing suit.

I wasn't expecting much from the future-bikini, as it didn't look very supportive in the picture, but it is from Triumph and both the Triumph ones from today fit, even if one was bug-ugly, so I think I shall upgrade to cautiously optimistic.

[1] The activity scale goes: swimming, lying down, walking, frisbee, beach volleyball. My current swimsuit is good up through lying down.
[2] UK sizing; ought to be equivalent to a US G.

On the plus side, the other box that was waiting on the porch has four brand-new shiny CDs in it. Mmmmm, German synthpop. Nom nom nom.

(Why I don't friends-lock talking about bras and stuff: Because I felt like a total freak until I realized that it's not me, it's the fashion industry. Other people are my size. [Additional other people are a wide variety of different sizes. None of us can find clothes in department stores.] If I can do my little bit to shorten the feeling-like-a-freak of the next woman, I will have done some good in the world.)

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FYI: The Gender Genie thinks this post was written by a male.

I don't think the Gender Genie has been paying attention.

The Gender Genie is an idiot.

I think I shall run for President on a single-issue platform: bring back custom tailors. I suspect that with the vote of every single woman in the United States, I can't lose. :)

Hmmmmm. How would one do that, as a government in charge of a more-or-less free market?

1. Direct subsidies.
2. Complex tax breaks.
3. High import tariffs on pre-made clothing.
4. Require companies selling clothing in the country to meet minimum wage and labor condition standards in all factories no matter where they are located.
5. Make self-employment and small business ownership more desirable by:
a. making the self-employment taxes less stupid.
b. not tying health care to large-company employment (there are a number of different ways to do this, all of which should be more or less equally good for this purpose, although with varying side effects).

I like 4. It would instantly make most clothing much more expensive, which would at least even out the gap between mass-produced and custom-tailored; at that point tailoring becomes more desirable (because it's less of a marginal cost increase) and the invisible hand helps fill in the supply. 3 does about the same thing locally, but doesn't have all the happy side effects (moving the jobs back here, reducing pollution -- if labor costs are the same, the motive to ship raw materials back and forth is much reduced).

5 would make me happy in general, and it'd help a lot in combination with 4 (by making that filling-in-the-supply easier -- custom tailoring does not strike me as something that would easily support a large corporation) but probably wouldn't have too much of an effect by itself.

So yeah. I'd vote for you.

You instantly get a spot in my Cabinet, for thinking this through rather than blithely making a campaign promise. :)

"Aha," it says, "Breast statistics! I know what gender writes about that!"
Clearly you should focus more on telling us how you feel about your breasts.
Possibly a poem?

I've forgotten what success rate Gender Genie gets, but I'm pretty sure I can outperform it on LJ with the algorithm "assume everyone is female".

Completely with you on the can't find clothes that fit thing. Although my problems are not yours - I have wide shoulders, a big rib cage, and only modest-sized breasts, which by the logic of bra sizing (in Australia) means I would be looking for a 16AA bra if such a beast existed, even though I am basically a 12B who needs more room for my ribs and lats than most such bras allow.)

The other day I bought a top marked down from $40 to $7. I'm reasonably sure it was so cheap because its shoulders, unlike almost every other top I've tried on this season, are wide enough for me.

Australian bra sizing looks weird. Is there a standard relationship between 12 and 16 and some actual measurement, or are they like US women's pant sizes, which have no known relationship with anything?

They're based on our clothing sizes, so that theoretically the same woman would wear size 12 clothes and a 12B bra. Of course, real womens' shapes vary so much that the idea we can all be put on a single linear scale for clothes and a slightly more complex scale for bras is preposterous.

Oh, and don't ask me how they decided which particularly measurements would be called a 12, or a 14, or a 16. But the sizes, at least theoretically, differ by 5cm (2 inches) per even-numbered size. There's probably some ancient inch-based system in there somewhere.

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