What's the upside-down seven shape? It's a phrase that was coined by Bras and Body Image in this post and quickly entered the lexicon on Bratabase and other forums. It essentially refers to a shape where the upper curve of the breast takes on an extra angle where the bra ends. The profile in the bra beneath points too far down as a result.
Now, the tricky thing with the upside-down seven shape in Curvy Kate/Flirtelle is that there are two different stages where it can occur. The first stage occurs when trying a cup size that is too small in these brands. A large number of people will always get this shape if their cup is too small.
|Upside-Down Seven Shape in a too-small Curvy Kate|
Do you ever catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror when you're not expecting it and suddenly realize "I NEED TO GET RID OF ALL MY BRAS"? That's what happened to me. Midway through the day, my Curvy Kate balconette had lost its lovely morning shape and my boobs were pointing at the ground.
What is behind this mysterious loss of shape throughout the day?
With Curvy Kate and Flirtelle, though, there's more to it than that. The crux of the issue is their use of a fabric that DOES NOT STRETCH but CAN DISTORT. Let's get our terms straight here. When you grab the fabric in the top of a Curvy Kate balconette, you'll find that it can 'stretch' in all directions (along each grain and also diagonally to the grain). However, this isn't really stretch because there's no elastic in the fabric. That means it can change shape... but it can't change back. By contrast, the stretchy fabric in the top section of the Panache Andorra or Jasmine stretches, but it has the elastic to be able to bounce back and hold its shape even while adjusting to your shape. Other bras have no ability to stretch or distort in the top section. This tends to result in a trickier fit as it has to be perfect, but once you've found it, these bras won't change shape throughout the day. But fabric that distorts, but doesn't stretch, will embark each morning on a slow march toward loss of support. That's why you sometimes find a bra that looks great at first, but stops looking good later. It's not that you were temporarily deluded, it's that the bra actually changed.
For Curvy Kate and Flirtelle balconettes, the distorting fabric combined with the too-large top section means that these factors become a huge problem. For me, it's been enough to put me off these balconettes altogether. Let's look at how the shape changes on a Flirtelle Dahlia balconette.
At first, it's looking good:
Still looking pretty good:
Starting to look a little weird:
Not looking so good now:
By the last photo, I'm in full-on upside-down seven mode. And this is just after a few MINUTES of vigorously leaping around to simulate the effects of a day of walking and living life. In my opinion, it's really a shame that this issue with Curvy Kate and Flirtelle balconettes has persisted so long, so maybe it's time we start talking about it. These balconettes need firmer fabric that doesn't distort, or a little bit of elastic to fight those effects; or failing that, an upper section that is cut smaller. Please comment if you've had this problem with Curvy Kate. Was it solved by sizing up or did you find it persisted? I'm also curious to know if this problem is unique to full-on-top (FOT) boobs or is also experience by full-on-bottom (FOB) and balanced boobs.