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06 October 2011 @ 11:27 pm
Sartorial Assistance Needed OMG Please  
I am seeking advice on two clothing problems. One is mine, one is the earthling's.

The Trousers Must Stay On!

The earthling has a very, very narrow waist. (He is not underweight. Just - narrow.) This makes buying trousers for him difficult; he generally grows into the waist around the same time the cuffs hit his mid-calf. With some brands, he doesn't grow into the waist until the cuffs are just below his knee, which would make them good shorts, except he doesn't like shorts. I have seen clothes labeled 9 - 12 months that have waists too big for his 40-month-old body.

And the thing is, the earthling has preferences. He doesn't like clothes with stiff or scratchy fabric or anything he deems poky, and he expresses his objections in no uncertain terms when things do not meet his standards. But for his age group, the only option for the narrow-waisted is adjustable-waist trousers. Which are, in the earthling's judgment, unacceptably poky, and in any case they only come in jeans and cords and stuff - all fabrics that are too stiff. He will not wear them. (And even if he did, on the tightest setting they still slip some.) He wants to wear elastic-waistband trousers made from soft fabric.

This takes us to pajama pants and sweatpants. Both of which, when they fit his length, fall off his narrow, narrow body unless we roll the waistband at least once, often twice. (We own exactly one pair of trousers that fits him in every dimension. One. This pair came to us as part of a pajama set. If I could, I would clone it.) This has worked for most of his life, but now he wants to get dressed all by himself. He does not want help, no thank you, Mama, I do it, I do it. He can get the trousers on, but he can't get them properly rolled, and the result is that he spends a lot of time walking around on his cuffs hauling up his waistband every two steps.

So does anyone have any brilliant ideas? I need either:
  1. Some mechanism by which the waistbands of elastic-waist trousers can be made permanently narrower, without interfering with the earthling's ability to get them on all by himself.
  2. A source for elastic-waist, soft fabric trousers for narrow-bodied toddlers.
Keep in mind that I do not own a sewing machine, and also the only reason I passed the needlecrafts part of Home Ec was that the district office sent over a note saying that, diagnostically, I could not ever be expected to do any better. (And even then, I was extremely wise and kept my projects very low on the ambition scale.) And Best Beloved's mother deliberately did not teach her kids home skills of any kind, on the grounds that she did not ever want them to use them.

So, basically, we are looking for a solution that does not require us to be crafty and handy and - stuff. This has ruled out everything I have come up with so far. Help? The earthling is running out of trousers. And tripping a lot. It is very sad.

The Boobs Must Be Free!

Before I got pregnant, I wore bras that took their design inspiration from the Bastille. My bras were things that you could, in an emergency, use as moderately functional body armor, filled with ribbing and nine million hooks and many wires, with a general aesthetic somewhere between "bondage device" and "cruel and unusual punishment."

Then I got pregnant, and soon I had a stomach in the way of many of those bras. Then I was nursing, and it turns out those sorts of bras block various critical ducts, not to mention that they don't fit the ever-fluctuating boobs of the breastfeeder, so they don't make them in nursing versions. I mean, yes, I have an underwire nursing bra, but it's entirely wimpy. One tiny wire under each boob! That's not a true underwire bra as I know it.

So, the earthling is now officially weaned. And, see, I've spent the last two years assuming that would happen any day now (and look! I was right!), so I've been wary of purchasing new nursing bras. As a result, I now have a total of four of them: one that is so stretched out it is more like a tank top, one that has a giant hole in it (making it ideal for any three-breasted breastfeeder, but less ideal for me), one that is way too loose, and one that actually fits and works.

Obviously, it's time to get out the old bras. They are the same size as my boobs currently are (or, okay, some of them are). But my boobs have lost the knack of wearing them. Used to be I strapped them into their wire cages and they did not protest, but after four years of freedom, they have decided they don't like captivity. They whine all the time - "A wire is poking my sensitive underparts!" (Used to be I could get an open sore on my boob from an exposed underwire with only minimal boob protests.) "This is really tight!" "Why is the cup only big enough for half of me?" (I said only some of them fit, right?) It's pathetic, seriously. Somehow having and nursing a baby turned my boobs into wimps.

Basically, they want to stay in nursing bras. I, on the other hand, would prefer to have cups that don't come randomly unhooked when I move too much, largely because there is nothing more wonderful than fishing around in your shirt for a stray cup, unless it is the charmingly lopsided look your boobs have when one is in a cup and the other one is on top of its cup.

I need recs. For bras. Bras that are not fierce contraptions of steel and strapping, bras that are somehow comfortable. (Underwires are optional, but fine. I mean, I do have underwires in my best-fitting nursing bra. Just - I guess not really aggressive underwires.) And these bras have to come in an H cup. Is there anything like that out there? Do any of you large-breasted persons out there know of a bra like that? Help my boobs! They are yearning to breathe free!

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
 
_whiskers_whiskers on October 7th, 2011 08:30 am (UTC)
For earthling, allow me to recommend http://www.hannaandersson.com/. Lots of stretchy waisted pants, usually with cuffs that can be rolled down. They use european sizing (by height) but a size 4 roughly corresponds to 100cm. You might try a size 90 as well to see if you get a better fit in the waist and just run slightly shorter in the leg.

For mama: I hesitate to recommend since one woman's dream bra is another woman's nightmare. I have personally done well in the wacoal brand, but my general rec is http://herroom.com for online shopping. They have a good selection for full figures, very good images of the bras, very useful and descriptive fitting notes, and often user reviews. And a fairly convenient return policy for the bras that don't work out.
the grey-eyed: Qkouredios on October 7th, 2011 12:41 pm (UTC)
I was just reading comments to see if anyone was recommending hanna andersson, because I was going to if no one did. :) So, seconded!

(And I'll be looking up people's bra recs for myself. Awesome.)
(no subject) - wendelah1 on October 8th, 2011 05:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - crysothemis on October 10th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - montglanechess on October 16th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
Innocent Bystander: Team Piratefiresprite1105 on October 7th, 2011 09:22 am (UTC)
Oh, if you have elastic waistbands that are too large, it's soooo easy to make them smaller. I've done in under 10 minutes using my sewing machine, but the sewing machine isn't really necessary. Basically, just cut a hole in the inner waistband over where the elastic is, pull the elastic out through the hole until it's as tight as you want, and then sew it together and cut off the excess (I suppose if it's narrow enough elastic, you could just knot it), and then sew the hole shut. If it's on the inside of the pants, it's not like it needs to be super-neat. Trust me when I say that you do not need to be crafty to do this...it just needs to hold together. Use thread the same color as the inner waistband if you're worried about neatness.

As for comfy bras, I swear to god that there's nothing comfier than a good sports bra. I would wear them everywhere if I could. Sadly, I'm no help here because my favorite bra is so worn in that I can't read the brand on it anymore.

Edited at 2011-10-07 09:27 am (UTC)
Drooling Fan Girldroolfangrrl on October 7th, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)
Yay! Thank you, now I don't have to try and explain how to deal with elastic waist bands.
(no subject) - daegaer on October 7th, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Beth H: Misc Rainbow Flower (bbb)bethbethbeth on October 7th, 2011 09:26 am (UTC)
A tailor! Seriously, it doesn't cost terribly much to take pants to a good tailor (especially if you have a model for perfection, like that one clone-able pair of pants) and have them all altered. If you do that, you can choose exactly the kinds of clothes the earthling feels most comfortable in and still ensure that he'll be able to actually wear them.
What the Monkey?svilleficrecs on October 7th, 2011 09:58 am (UTC)
Tailoring? I know it seems annoying for earthlings who are still growing, but I remember reading an article recently (or maybe an LJ post) about how one of the reasons celebs look good as often as they do is that they'll tend to get stuff that's a little too big for them, then get it taken in so that it perfectly fits their measurements.

IDK if you could talk to local dry cleaners (where I see tailor signs in my neighborhood) or whereever, but if you found some cheap 'halfway there' pants and a reasonable rate and tried a place or two out until you found people who understood what you need (and could point you at the right pieces to buy for tailoring) it could be worth it to drop an extra 5-15 (IDK what the actual price is) to modify the clothing to his exact measurements, and then going forward, learn more about what makes for easy/hard to tailor off the rack clothing, and get him a couple pairs that work for his body for the time being.
Time Is Like A Kissjenlev on October 7th, 2011 09:59 am (UTC)
I highly recommend a Goddess Bra. I get mine from Ladygrace.com . They last pretty much forever, and come in a variety of sizes....so I still wear them post breast reduction. And they still last forever. The specific one I'm raving about is # 2066. :)

http://ladygrace.com/search.asp?ss=goddess&x=0&y=0
Lu (Not Your Average Retelling)elucreh on October 7th, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
YES! You can get 'em on several plus-sized lingerie sites, actually, but I've had two or three different Goddess styles and they've worked. My personal favorite is the 6090, but I know nothing against the 2066. :D Get a few, try 'em on, pick out your favorite.
What the Monkey?svilleficrecs on October 7th, 2011 10:02 am (UTC)
And re: the boobs, I'm just a D/DD but I've played off and on with the weird trick of wearing an undershirt *under* my bra. A tank top that's thin/cotton/comfortable/relatively close fitting, and then over that, whatever underwire bra. Takes a bit of boob fluffing, scooting to get everything into place and make sure there aren't any bunches of fabric beneath the bra, but I find I can wear a contraptiony bra for a lot longer/more comfortably if I have a liner beneath it.
emma_in_oz: die Hardemma_in_oz on October 7th, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)
I really like Bodywise - http://www.bodywise.com.au/

The shipping to the US would probably be insane but they are made out of soft material and they are so comfortable, no underwire.

It takes a few days to adjust mentally to your breasts being lower than you expect them to be - but they are basically held at where they want to be rather than being forced up as society suggests.
Amirealamireal on October 7th, 2011 12:00 pm (UTC)
Basic tayloring can be taken to the drycleaners and this is basic tayloring. What you want is for them to roll the waist band down a few times and sew it into place. OR, you can measure the tiny person's waist and give them that info, OR you can measure how much you have to pinch up the sides at the seems to get them to fit and give them that.
boochickenboochicken on October 7th, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC)
Track pants?
My cousin's son went through a similar "no poky" pants phase, and she ended up dressing him in track pants, like the first row on this website: http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/toddler_boys/bottoms/pants.jsp?icid=tbmo|mol4

I don't know if that would fix the narrowness problem, but they're definitely not poky.....
Minerva Greygreyminerva on October 7th, 2011 12:05 pm (UTC)
Suspenders?
We tend to have the opposite problem here - G is such a strapping young lad (absolutely not fat, but still "toddlersized" around the middle) that pants that fit him in the waist tend to be four inches too long.
And they all slip down, because kids MOVE, and what fits around the middle will slip off his non-existent hips!
So I too buy elastic-waist trousers (because I don't want to STRANGLE him with all those nasty, hard/solid waistlines that are way too tight for him) and occasionally try a pair of suspenders to keep them up without having to tie them on too tight.
And I'm thinking maybe suspenders would be a solution for Earthling too, if they're not too confining/hard to put on for himself? If they're already secured to the pants, putting them on once the trousers are up might be doable?
yudinsohayudinsoha on October 7th, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC)
We have the same problem with pants. For us, the Garanimals brand and the Target one seem to work best for my narrow kid. I have 4 pairs of the Garanimals pants in basic black, and some others in colors that work with large numbers of her tops. If those dimensions are still off, take a small piece of elastic (maybe and inch or so), stretch it a bit and sew the ends to the inside back of his pants. No one will see it from the outside, not cutting involved, and involves only one stitch.

As for bras, I'll second the recommendation for the Goddess brand. I'm a J-cup and buy almost nothing else. And if you ever have an Earthling 2.0 they have an excellent nursing bra series as well.
Coooooookie!ldthomps on October 7th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
I finally went to Intimacy based on wholehearted recommendations from several fangirls, including brooklinegirl (who, as you probably know, has epic, legendary boobs). They, just as everyone always says, put me in a much smaller band size and much larger cup size (I thought I was a 40D, they thought I was a 34G), and the bras all fit beautifully, make me a Much Nicer shape, and are comfortable.

They cost an arm and a leg (~$150), but I just got two and alternate and now that I've done that I'll never go back. Best sartorial investment Yet.
Rob1forked on October 7th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC)
Holy crud- I just whined about paying $44 bucks! Shuts up now.

But yea- a bra that actually fits is worth it.
(no subject) - ldthomps on October 7th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Rob1forked on October 7th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
Crap- my size B's feel very inadequate at the moment!

I will just say- go get fitted for a bra. It's worth it. I've dropped weight and with it a cup size. And I frankly know jack all about how bras should really fit because I pretty much live in sports bras unless I have a pressing need for boobage.

But you have to have at least 2 bras that actually fit, so I asked my SiL who actually knows about shopping and bras and things and she sent me to Soma for a fitting. I walked in, threw myself on their mercy. They measured me, came back w/a selection of bras, showed me how they actually should fit. I bought a neutral and a black and now I am done with it for the next several years. They cost about $44 bucks each (twice what I've ever spent on one), which is nuts to me. But it was still worth it not to have to muck about with it.

Not sure they would be a great option for you - but the advice to go somewhere they really know bras and have them just figure it out for you is great advice.

That- or stick with sports bras. Man I love my sports bras.
keerawakeerawa on October 7th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
Thinking outside the box, perhaps Earthling would tolerate overalls? I believe they come in a variety of fabrics.

http://www.oshkoshbgosh.com/
macey muse: going placesmacey_muse on October 7th, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC)
My knowledge is limited to the uk markets, but Bravissimo are very good: http://www.bravissimo.com/products/lingerie/ . Primark have a DD+ range in the 'ridiculously cheap' price which are actually better than most department-store bras. I'm resigned to never-ever wearing bras that fit, because apparently 30F does not exist. (It's worse for my sister, who is 28F.)

WRT Earthling, you could probably pin trousers at the hips in a fairly permenant way. Or get some kiddie-suspenders - bonus charisma++!
youreyesaregemsyoureyesaregems on October 7th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
I'm a 30H. Bravissimo is as good as it gets, I think. Holla!
(no subject) - jacquez on October 8th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC) (Expand)