woensdag 27 juni 2012

Singaporeans do things differently: bra's, buying and wearing

I have favourite body parts, as I believe we all do. Personally, I really like my smallish waist and accompanying hip-waist ratio (which falls into fertile bombshell territory, thank you very much). I also enjoy having an hour-glass shaped figure. Still, I restrict clothes shopping to happy days, because self esteem is a terribly fragile thing.

However, I never used to have a problem with bra's, seeing as how I am quite fond of having to ask for smaller waist-sizes while upgrading the cups. In Europe I was a 70D, which is not a standard size (especially not if you're as tall as I am). But I could get away with a 75C as well.

And then we moved to Singapore and within a month all my three favourite bra's decided to die on me.

Buying bra's
I asked my Parisian fashion-loving friend M. where to go, stupidly forgetting that although French by upbringing she is actually descendant from Vietnamese people on all sides of her family and thus in possession of the enviable slim, Asian figure. "Go to Tang's", she said, a stylish local department store. "They have all the brands."

And they do. However, all the brands have been adapted to Singaporean standards.

Which means they have been padded. Now, I don't have any problem with padding. Not only does it give a nice rounding beneath a T-shirt or blouse, but it also hides all manner of awkwardness by, well, padding it.

But in Singapore (and maybe all over Asia) the padding is not taken into account when measuring the cup, meaning that the actual cup size is about two sizes smaller than advertised, because the cup has been filled up with padding. And there's no room left for breast.

I discovered this when I tried on my trusty fall back 75C and spilled all over the place.

So I went out and asked for a D-cup. They did not have any in that particular style. Fine, I said, give me any style. Well, actually, they did not really have D-cups in any of the styles. Although I could try the granny department for those with droopy breasts (they did not call it that). Which I did. And where I found ONE bra in an unmentionable pinkish-greyish-blandish colour (with padding, aunties too like to look good) that (sort of) fit me. So now I have three of those and I resentfully wear them everywhere.

Wearing bra's
Apparently, according to local model and blogging party girl Christine Ng, us Caucasians have a careless attitude when it comes to our bra's, quite unlike our Asian counterparts. I will quote her:

"The Caucasian will
1. Put the bra around her waist, clasp in front, cups at the back.
2. Then, looking down at the clasp, she hooks it together.
3. She then turns the bra around her waist so that cups are in front.
4. Lastly pulls it up to her chest and puts her 2 arms through.
5. Puts top/ dress on.

Whereas the Asian will
1. Put her 2 arms through.
2. Clasp at the back.
3. Gather the fats at the sides & push it into the middle.
4. Puts top/ dress on."

The first one is definitely how I do my bra up. And it's quite possible that Asian women do it differently - I'll take Christine's word for it. She then goes on to analyse what this might signify about our differences:

"A. it could mean that Caucasians don't care as much as Asians about their personal belongings and thus not treat their bra delicately (wearing the bra waist up stretches the bra). It's like machine wash versus hand wash (i hand wash, you?)

B. Caucasian women are rougher, more assertive and speak their mind as demonstrated by their attitude towards bras.

C. In Western countries, Caucasian women buy their bras from Target etc where it can be as cheap as $5 VS Asians where Triump or Wacol can cost a minimum of $39.90.

D. Caucasian women do not need to "push in fats" like Asians do because they generally have bigger breasts."

I think there might be an E, a simple physical explanation. I have an hour-glass figure, whereas most Asian women are blessed with fairly straight bodies with little to no wobbly bits. This means that my waist (where I put my bra on) is actually the narrowest part of my body. Thus, pulling the bra up from there does actually not stretch the bra, since the fabric should be wider than that part of my body to fit properly. Also, due to the bigger breast thing, most of my bra's don't have a single clasp, but three of them. This is a pain to do up backwards.  (And a pain to take off backwards as well, as many men dating Caucasian women have experienced.) And lastly: in my Singaporean bra's I do have to push in the "fats" - because my bra pushes them out.

Next mission: underwear for S. This should be interesting.

ps. Fellow caucasians living in Singapore: I have since discovered this little boutique at Holland Road Shopping Centre where a woman similar to myself in size and shape sells Change of Scandinavia, a lovely Danish brand of underwear suited to our figures. I am now hoping for my bra's to die on me again, but they seem unfortunately sturdy, however often and carelessly I wash them.

11 opmerkingen:

  1. I put my bra on like an Asian.

    But...shhhh...I've given up wearing bras entirely here. I just can't bear an extra layer in this heat (although I do currently have the excuse of "it makes breastfeeding easier")

    1. This is something I've wondered about too - looking at local girls (not too intently, obviously) and bra-less friends back home, I do wonder why they choose to wear them at all?

      But then, the ones in Tang were really lovely and a lot of my frustration stemmed from being faced with a pile of gorgeous goodies and not fitting into any of them :(

  2. Haha. Afgezien van mijn kaukasische maat (nog indrukwekkender dan die van jou) en aantrek-techniek, blijk ik verassend Asiatisch. Heb hier een verassend goede strapless (kan ik nooit vinden in NL), padded (zit in NL altijd verschrikkelijk, maar deze zit superlekker) BH van Wacol gekocht. Een ton Libanese ponden, dat wel.

    1. Ik vrees dat je hier niet zou slagen... Zoals gezegd, een cupmaat boven de "C" was hier lastig te vinden en beha's zonder vulling al helemaal niet... Maar ik lees dat de oprichter zijn opleiding in de VS heeft genoten, dus die is op de hoogte van de verschillen!

      Zo was ik hier in een positiekledingwinkel (voor een zeer zwangere, uiterst Kaukasische vriendin) van een lokale Chinese ontwerpster - maar die had zich wel op de expat-markt gericht. En het stond inderdaad fantastisch :) (Mijn vriendin heeft de benen voor hotpants, ook zwanger, dat moet worden gezegd.)

    2. En het is in Nederland al zo'n hel om een leuke, passende 70D-beha te vinden! En dan bij voorkeur niet voorgevormd, want om de een of andere reden krijg ik dan altijd het double boob-effect.

      En oh ja, dan mag de band ook niet omhoog trekken op je rug. De enige beha die ik ooit gehad heb die dat niet deed, was een exemplaar zonder stretch waarin ik moeilijk adem kon halen en die pijnlijke striemen achterliet.

      Overigens trek ik mijn beha's ook op de Aziatische manier aan, en ik herken me in geen van de genoemde redenen daarvoor...

    3. Ik herken jou ook in geen van de genoemde redenen daarvoor, gij schrielig muurbloempje ;)

      Zelf was ik wel fan van de bijenkorf eigen merk collectie en ik vond de Obooi-merken ook erg mooi (ik heb daar veel te veel geld aan een heule mooie beha uitgegeven, en dat terwijl de collectie voor het overige eigenlijk heel betaalbaar is, just my luck) Obooi zit in Eindhoven... Maar ze hebben ook een webshop!

  3. Ola! Hahaha. Fun to read your own rendition, or a response to my blog. Maybe you can guest post some time!

  4. Oh n i'm not really a party girl tho! But its ok! I can deal w the label :p

    Would love to meet u and the perfect figure one day. I'm straight, despite saying that.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Ha, well, perfect is another thing - there's a reason there's no bikini pics on my blog, I'm not that confident! But I'd love to guest post sometimes, if there's a topic you'd like an outsider view on, and meeting would be fun!

      Actually, when I wrote "party girl" I was thinking of your SPG (Singapore Promotion Girl) post, the first one I read of yours and still one of my favourites! But I suppose the reference was a bit too obscure, sorry about that!

  5. I just can't stop laughing and I am even only half way... ok back to reading! :) Gtrjs uit de Appel.

  6. Funny, guess what, I had just ordered a sports bra online before reading this. That must be sacrilege!... well, I will find out soon (ETA Wednesday) and I am supposed to be able to return it if necessary (blessed Amazon Prime). Note, this is a bra to "help out" my 5-year old, and now (even more) intensively used, super sturdy Triumph(!)sports bra. So much for dividing the bra world in Asian/Caucasian...that said, there is no way I would fit in a cup A :P Good luck for the S. underwear hunt ^^,