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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A little note on Bra Sizes..

Got this email from someone who says they are in the "costume making business":

I am a regular reader of your blogs and I see the issue of bras comes up ever so often. I am involved in the costume making business and to my knowledge, the real problem with sizing for the larger size breasts is probably unknown to the masquerader and those who choose to direct their grouses towards discrimination etc.

The real problem arose where during the past few years, bandleaders and section leaders have chosen to import their costumes from India, China and more recently Brazil. The problem arises when these costumes are ordered, they are done so in specific sizes - X-small, Small. Medium, Large, X-large and sometimes 2XL, which is rare.

Being a mas person I prefer to produce my costumes as opposed to importing, as I feel I am better off satisfying the masquerader's needs. I purchase my bath-suits locally in sizes commonly used in daily wear-eg: 32B, 34B&C, 36B&C etc. etc and decorate them according to my designs and colours, so this eliminates the problem of sizing which is the point of discussion.

Tribe had the problem and it was solved, now new band Spice has the problem, obviously because they lacked the experience of the bra sizing, so the above should give you an insight of what's happening with Spice.

Rest assured the problem would recur again and again as new bands emerge, so be prepared. I hope the above didn't bore you and if you had any prior knowledge of the above, I am sorry to have taken up your valuable time.

Interesting read and though I suspected that the reasoning was the fact that costumes are being produced outside of Trinidad and Tobago it is good to hear it confirmed. I would also hazard to guess that because the costumes are not being made locally hence the reason for the deadline to submit figures/orders to the producer.

The thing is that some bands do give you a nice, sexy bra that is obviously imported and the larger sizes of the same section are the spandex bras which are made in Trinidad, obviously they cater to the larger sizes by having the bras made here.

As for the Spice bra issue, the whole subject has been derailed; now I am reading the young lady wanted to register in Paprika FRONTLINE! This is now an urban legend as I do not recall ever saying it was FRONTLINE... I mean come on even I would agree that a cage/sexy/wire bra must have a size limit to as the style is not appropriate or accommodating to larger cup sizes. Paprika does offer a regular bra option for the backline.



well it makes sense! but reality is its prob cheaper and less effort to have your bras produced like that cos you can do larger bulk orders once you start splitting sizes and ting the price goes up so can we blame it on laziness and money making? if so is it worth it in your first year as a band your rep would slowly be going down the toilet!

re cage bras i doubt they have a limit within reason i would say girls with low hangers or stretch marks should maybe avoid them but once your breast aint fighting gravity i would imagine your ok?

innerouterdivaPON said...

Thank you MS for your letter. I did not find it boring. It was informative and information is power. Thank you Saucy for sharing MS' letter with us.

It is also noteworthy that some of the countries we are importing materials from don't have a large "full-figured women" population. Maybe it is time we start mas producing our own Carnival material so we can cater to OUR Caribbean women who don't fit a size 2 or less.

Regarding the wire bra, the notion of the Paprika FL came from Spice's response..."The reality is that we recently had ONE masquerader request a size in a particular FRONTLINE of a very in-demand section called Paprika."

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Thank you IOPD,I believe that request did not come from the same masquerader.

And you are right, Carnival Jumbie had a difficult time getting shoes in her size when she visited Hong Kong this year.. lol.

But seriously, maybe the market is not big enough, they do manufacture sneakers in these Asian countries and those sizes go larger that what that population wears on average, right? Why not the same for bras? Maybe it will be too costly to create a cutting machine for all these larger sizes when the market is too small (no pun intended).Who is going to buy those larger bras apart from the few Carnival bands?

Just checked my Freya bras and they are made in Morocco.. Freya goes up to size J. Bali bras are made in El Salvador.. they go up to a size DDD.

There are costumes producers who produce costumes for Mas Bands locally, however I think with the demand of so many new bands there is just not enough experience to meet the market's needs.

In addition the costumes HAVE to be cheaper coming from Asia (I cannot see why the bands turned to Asia in the first place if it were not for price!).

And if you look at some costumes the fabric, details etc are really very intricate coming from Asia.. not saying the same cannot be done here.. but do we have the technology to have someone bead a bra strap with hundreds of seed beads? I can see where the costs will skyrocket to have the same done here!

Plus masqueraders are no longer satisfied with a plain appliqued bra and the usual beads, we want something different, so we do have a part to play in the fact that in order to satisfy this heightened demand for FABULOUS costumes the bands are now looking outside of Trinidad...thankfully we still do have some bands that has the majority of their costumes produced locally. Though they still have to import the raw materials as Trinidad does not manufacture beads, feathers, sequin trim etc.

Carla Marissa said...

Frontline? Paprika?? No..... :)It now all makes sense...

Nadene said...

I am unaware of the 'Paprika' issue but as a woman with a large bust and making the final decision to play mas in 2009, I had some apprehension entering the mas camp concerning the bras that would be made to accomodate me. I decided on the section and was given the sample bra (their largest was half the size of own bra). I am a 44DD. I suggested bringing in my own bra in white and they could dye it to match the colour theme and decorate to suit. They favoured that suggestion and also offered to make a bra to my size and requirements if I provided them with a 'sample' bra.

I am unsure if (but would like to assume) other bands make accomodations like those to large bust individuals. It really cleared a lot of my concerns about my chest being well covered and supported through out the jump and wave season.

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