An Open Letter to Victoria’s Secret

My dear VS,

I’ve known you for a long time. I’ve been a loyal customer for 2 decades. Your lingerie, sleepwear, and clothing have always been the best fit for me. I used to cry in fitting rooms because I couldn’t find clothing that fit my body and my chest, and that’s a huge deal. I can order clothes online from VS and know that they will—at least 95% of the time—fit me.

When you started selling maximum support sports bras in my size, it was a dream come true. One of them was even wireless. And now you have a Body by Victoria wireless bra in DDD sizes. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I would also like to thank you for having the option of viewing some PINK bras on a DD model. It’s amazingly helpful, and I hope you expand that to include your regular bras.

v561363-cropped-c1-wew-lightlylined-front

Pink Wear Everywhere Lightly Lined bra in DD.

 Now onto why I’m writing this letter: It’s your website. More specifically, the failure of your photographers (and whoever else decides what product pictures end up on the site.)

I don’t know if you know this, but women like to be able to see clothing clearly before purchasing online. It’s especially important when we’re looking at color, the shape (including length), and whether or not something is sheer. If you did a better job at showing these things, you would sell more and get fewer returns.

Let me give you examples of what I mean.

First up: Color. These pictures make it difficult to perceive the actual color of the item, and they look like someone used a bad Instagram filter. I’ve put examples below of pictures with filters on the left, and what the colors are supposed to look like on the right.

Those shorts look canary yellow, but they’re a neon yellow-green. Can you tell that sweater is pure white? Me neither. The picture of the pajamas is not only badly colored, but the model is not modeling the clothes. She’s just modeling. Click the pictures for larger view.

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Next up are poses that not only look silly, but also obscure important details of the garment. In nearly all your pictures of models wearing tops, it’s impossible to tell how long it is, the actual shape, and the way it hangs. Stop doing this.

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If you want to be creative with the modeling and photography, that’s fine. But you should have a true-color picture that shows what the clothes look like when the model stands straight, facing the camera, shirt not tucked in, and not seeming to check to see if her armpits smell, or if she got all the lint out of her belly button.

Bonus points will be awarded if you start adding the size that the model is wearing.

My intention is not to whine about things that only bug me. This is an issue for a lot of people. I’m not outraged or even upset. I’m just disappointed.

While we’re talking, I’d just like to say that I, and many other DDD sized women, would really like for you to expand your longline bras to DDD sizes. We need them more than the A to C crowd. We will buy the heck out of them.

I know you’ve taken heat, some deserved, mostly not, over many things in recent years. The internet loves to be outraged.

There was that whole kerfuffle over the ad campaign for Body by Victoria where so many people thought that The Perfect “Body” slogan was about women’s bodies, when it was obvious you were talking about there being a perfect Body by Victoria style for everyone. It was ridiculous, especially considering “Body” was in quotes, and the subheading said, “Perfect fit. Perfect comfort. Perfectly soft.” Who reads that and thinks of women’s bodies?

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There was that obnoxious BuzzFeed article that seemed to be published without the writer ever even reading a single description. They stated that there were no maximum support sports bras (when most of your sports bras were max support), and painted the women who wear them as vapid girls who want to show cleavage when they go to the gym. Absolutely outrageous.

So, in closing, I just want to say that I’m approaching this with love, not contempt. I appreciate how hard you work to make your customers happy.

Sincerely,

Jaimie

DDDReview

If you’re getting medical advice from Gwyneth Paltrow, you’re doing it wrong.

Once again, absolutely ridiculous, unscientific, and just plain wrong advice on bras is sweeping across the internet. Thankfully, this time medical professionals are stepping in to nip it in the bud.

It’s the myth that just won’t quit.

A recent post on Goop, the lifestyle blog of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, has resurrected the long-discredited claim that breast cancer may be caused by wearing bras — just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Click for article at Huff Post

That French Bra “Research” (myth) is Making the Rounds AGAIN.

I love George Takei, and it isn’t his fault that this story keeps popping up everywhere. To his credit, when he shared the link on his facebook page this evening, he did express some skepticism:

Bra Myth That Won't Die

This myth has been circulating for over 2 years, and it just won’t die.

If you haven’t read this blog before, you might be asking what the fuss is about. There is quite a bit to make any science-loving, bra-wearing, skeptic to start pounding her head on the desk. Where to begin?

Well, most importantly, there is no completed study, it has not been published, and has thus not been peer-reviewed. Soon after this story first blew up 2 years ago, the main researcher, Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, backpedaled quickly, saying it was all “very preliminary”, and it couldn’t be applied to huge swaths of the female population of the planet. So please, for the love of boobs everywhere, when you see this story rear it’s lying, ugly, science-hating head, pass on this link so that at least those who care about things like truth and science and breasts can relax: Don’t Burn Your Bra for Science Just Yet

With any viral story, my skeptic sense begins tingling almost immediately, but the point at which I began to really get suspicious was when I discussed it with my fellow Skepchick contributors, Mary Brock and Will Robertson, and we noticed that we each had a different idea of how many subjects were involved in this study….This is usually easily solved by getting ahold of the actual published study, but unfortunately none of the articles mentioned what it was called or what journal it was in.

A search of the literature turned up nothing, and there were no press releases from the University that mentioned it….This was odd, especially considering that CBS News reported that there was a study and further that it was published on Wednesday.

Mary Brock found what appeared to be the oldest source: an interview 00000 participated in with a student radio station. So it appears that by “published a study,” CBS News and other outlets actually meant, “spoke on the radio.” A fine distinction, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Again, without a paper to look at, we don’t know. We only have the opinion of Rouillon and the intercontinental game of telephone that media outlets like CBS News play, resulting in misinformation reported as fact simply because no journalist bothered to take a few minutes to look for an actual published study at the source of the soundbite.


If you’re still not sure what this all means, and why I’m staggered by the willingness of the media to believe this enough to keep spouting it as absolute fact, let me put it in perspective.  It is the equivalent of me saying I’ve done years of research that shows that light-colored cats definitely prefer dark things to lay down on, and dark-colored cats prefer light things to lay on (which I have done, and those are my findings), and pronouncing that this proves that it is so for all felines everywhere. Do you want to know my sample size? My methodology? Anything else before you tell the world about my groundbreaking research? Not if you’re most media outlets, including such trustworthy sources as CBS News, and even alternate media sources that pride themselves as being truthier than corporate media, such as The Young Turks. 

In that case, let me tell you that I have some preliminary research that proves cats can count as well. Since my 8-month-old kitten, Stiles, lost weight in the wake of a neuter gone wrong and the resulting infections, I’ve been giving him extra treats when he comes to visit me in my room. He sits on my desk or in my lap while he noms his treats. I’ve been giving him a crazy amount to gain his weight back, and so he drops some as he’s eating them out of my hand. He knows exactly how many he dropped, and will go look on the floor for them. If he dropped 6, he will not settle for finding 5. He’ll fuss at me until I produce the 6th. If he drops 2 and I only give him 1, he won’t leave. He can definitely count. Thus, using the media’s logic, I have proven that all cats can count! I’m the world leader in groundbreaking cat research! Throw research grants at me!

This is just the tip of the science journalism crapberg that we’re fed almost daily. The media sensationalizes, exaggerates, and twists scientific findings. And in some cases, like this one, they take an offhand comment by a researcher on a local radio program and report that it is suddenly fact, with absolutely no evidence at all. Science journalism, not science itself, is responsible for a great deal of the mistrust many people have when it comes to science. If you believe all the stories the media hypes, you’d think scientists really have no idea what they’re doing because of the way it’s reported being wildly conflicted with something they said just weeks earlier. If you see a headline that promises that science has just proven something that sounds too crazy to be true, follow your instinct, look at the source if available. Though, as this case proves, there isn’t always source material because it simply doesn’t exist. But if that is the case, you can be fairly certain it’s absolute hogwash.

Yes, Your Nipples Are Normal

Most of us have wondered, at one time or another, if our nipples are a little weird. Cristen Conger from Stuff Mom Never Told You recently addressed the most common concerns people have about their nipples.

Even stuff that seems really out there is usually within the realm of the expected. Supernumerary nipples (having more than two nipples with or without related tissues), polythelia areolaris (an extra areola), and polythelia pilosa (extra patches of hair consistent with those surrounding the nipple)  are also fairly normal. They are diagnosed in 1 in 18 males, as well as 1 in 50 females. They are often mistaken for moles, so they’re likely much more common than that.

A quick tip for winter hair woes

L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm 8.5 FL OZ

L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm 8.5 FL OZ for $9.29 (eligible for Amazon Prime)

I picked this up because I needed something to stave off the horrors of winter hair and to try to repair the damage I’ve already got. It was cheap, and I really wasn’t expecting much. I’ve been using this for a few weeks now, and it’s really improved the texture and glossiness of my hair, as well as mending/preventing split ends. My hair gets kind of crazy in the winter, and this balm has not only exceeded my expectations, but is by far the best hair repair treatment I’ve tried (and believe me, there have been many). And it’s available at a great price.

I use it on the ends of my hair  (my hair comes down past the middle of my back, and I generally use it on the hair below my shoulders) every time I shower, and on all my hair 1-2 times a week.

Winter Wardrobe Roundup Part III

Starting with my favorite sweater of all time:

A Kiss of Cashmere

Reversible Top

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
Fit Rating:  True To Size
True To Size
 A Kiss of Cashmere Reversible Top

A kiss of cashmere adds a luxurious touch to this reversible top. Wear as a boatneck with the twist in back, or over a tank with the twist in front. From our collection of luxe feather-soft sweaters, dreamy to wear day to night.

 

I love the rich new colors for this year (I’ve already got the Black Orchid and Pale Plum, and they’re stunning). Whether you’re dressing up or chilling out, the Reversible Top has plenty of elegant drape in a lightweight sweater that you’ll find yourself going back to again and again. These versatile sweaters are perfect for late summer nights, air conditioned buildings, and everywhere in the fall and layered in the winter.

I currently own black, charcoal, heather grey, snow heather, ivory, pale plum, and black orchid. I get tons of compliments on these every time I wear them.

Dream Angels Open-front Cardi

Overall Rating

3 out of 5

Fit Rating:  Slightly Small

Slightly Small

Dream Angels Open-front Cardi

38” from shoulder; hits above the knee Long-sleeve Drop shoulder with an open front Imported polyester/acrylic/nylon/mohair SEQUINS EVERYWHERE!

I was excited about this cardigan. It looks beautiful in the picture, all dramatically drapey and elegant. The reality was a serious let down. First, nowhere in the description does it mention the sequins that dot this cardigan from top to bottom. Some people love sequins and bling, but I find it generally looks trashy. That’s a personal taste thing, but one they should mention in the description.
Second, it looks cheap. This is a big distinction because the materials it’s made of aren’t cheap. It’s just something about the finish on the yarn that makes it look like something you’d buy at WalMart. It’s a bit glossy, and not at all as soft (color-wise) as it looks in the picture.

The length was fine for me, it comes down to my knees (I’m 5’5″), but–perhaps because I’m a DDD–the sides of the cardigan (which I got in a large because I wanted a giant cozy sweater) come nowhere near touching. If they’d added two inches in the width, it would have made a world of difference. It has no shape, and looks boxy, but without the extra fabric to at least relieve the boxiness with drape. It makes my shoulders look HUGE, and that’s not a problem I usually have.

The sweater is soft (it’s itchy out of the package, but with some wear, that will go away). It’s a little on the delicate side, but I expected that, given the materials it’s made of. Despite the instructions of cold wash, tumble dry, I would hand wash this baby and lay flat to dry.

If you don’t mind sequins, prefer long, shapeless cardigans that don’t close (or you have a very tiny frame and bust), and don’t mind the finish on the yarn, you will likely love this sweater.