I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

TMI Tuesday: I’m With The Band!


This is a TMI Tuesday post, you know the drill by now don’t ya? If you know me or would just rather not know icky/personal things about me, please come back tomorrow for your regularly scheduled program, or something. HA! <3


What band? How about the bra band and waist band? Good enough for ya? Yeah, famous! Ha! I’m talking about the issues that these areas have to deal with thanks to the ridiculously designed garments we’re supposed to wear. Ugh!

Waist band issues are certainly something all walks of life can relate to, right? If you wear pants, skirts, certain styles of dresses, tights, pantyhose, underwear, diapers…anything with a waist band, then you know what can happen. On the milder side you can get those indentations or lines from the garment or elastic pressing against your tender flesh. No fun, but usually not painful. Though I used to enjoy rubbing those lines in a relieving sort of way. But waist bands can cause way more problems than just that! And how?! Rashes, dryness, sores, boils, sweating, blisters, infections…the list goes on!

I used to wear classic 5 pocket denim jeans from Lane Bryant way back when (I’m talking 1997-2000 or so). They were thick and sturdy and did alright for the music store job I had. But man, those waist bands sucked! I would work my ass off all day just to have to deal with this extra thick band soaked in my own sweat that would thus give me pimples and all kinds of other issues. I remember long days of more manual labor intensive work where I would be in total pain and completely distracted because of the friggin’ waist band of these jeans. Luckily, years later, I found a style more suiting to my shape at Avenue and have since bought 7 pair so I won’t have to put up with that shit again! They are thinner and have some stretch and they lay just under my waist when standing (though lately the button seems to want to invade my belly button without it’s prior consent) and since I am my own boss they are fine for work.

I know jeans are difficult for anyone to find no matter their size, but I have had a terrible time finding ones that work with my giant thighs/ass but also work for my shortish legs. I am willing to bet that this is a typical thing though. And the issue with the waist bands causing a skin reaction, y’all have had this, right? I only occasionally have issues with this now, but when it’s crazy hot out it does come back. Perhaps more of a heat rash though.

Bra bands! Oh the under boob issues! This one I have yet to truly remedy for myself. I get mad issues from bras, man. I know I’m not alone! I have fairly big boobs (50DD I think, though I wear a 44DD in a specific LB bra because that’s as big as it goes and it’s comfy for a bra) and I guess somewhere along the way just assumed or was told that if you are big breasted you must a.) wear an under wire bra your entire life and b.) put up with marks, scarring, blemishes and such under your boobs and just shut up about it will ya?! NO! Do I shut up about anything? Heeeelllll No! Ha! But this is a never ending battle for me and a lot of ladies.

You get a bra that’s cute, but it hurts. You get a bra that’s comfy, but it’s ugly or wears out crazy fast. You get a bra that specifically does something (minimizes, cushion straps, insulated wires, etc) and either it doesn’t do what it promised or it wears out too fast and is no longer effective. And let’s not even get into the sizing issue! Ugh! But the fabrics used to construct these wonder garments? Mostly synthetics and rarely are they soft or supple at all and some are downright rough on the skin! I used to buy the criss-cross in the front style bras that were so popular in the 90’s, but then I found Lane Bryant’s bras to be more supportive. Then I couldn’t figure out my size (they didn’t offer fitting then) and would often have quadra-boob and not know it. Then I would get cotton ones from LB, loved them, but they would poke me in the arm pits! Or the under wires would pop out the sides. BOO!

The bras I have been wearing for almost 7 years are the convertible bras from LB. I bought one for my wedding (needed a strapless one that would stay put) and then kept going back for more and more until that was all I owned. What I love about it is that it has this gel/silicone piping along the bands and cups and it really keeps it in place, thus no chafing or rubbing. Plus it has some light padding so if it’s cold, no one can tell that my headlights are on! They have round and smooth cups. I can’t stand pointed or tubular cups. And yeah, it’s nice that if I have a dress or top that may require a different style that I can just convert it to suit my needs. However, I’ve only done this a handful of times as I use it as an everyday sort of bra. What I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t come bigger and so the first few wearings can be a bit uncomfortable. I’ve learned to hang dry them, but they still go into the washing machine. I don’t hand wash a thing! And I don’t iron or do windows, just sayin’! Ha!

I do still get a pretty impressive amount of blemishes/bumps/sores/etc under my bra band. It sucks! I try to give my rack a day off about once a week, but I generally feel immensely self-conscious when not wearing my usual bra. Both because the ladies aren’t where they usually are and this causes my clothing to fit strangely and so I am just not feeling like myself. But when I have an under boob sore? I try to wear a sports bra instead. Or, if I am at work or some other need-to-look-nice or be confident setting, I will wear a Pambra under my bra. A Pambra is basically a liner that sits between the bra and your skin. They also make them for tummies now! I don’t wear my Pambra every day, just when I have a painful sore or it’s going to be a hotter day and I may sweat there. I have tried powder to remedy this (I also get pimples or whatever between my thighs, arm pits and where the leg holes of my underwear sits due to what I believe is Hidradenitis suppurativa though I have not been diagnosed) but to no avail.

I recently heard about women who get these same types of issues where their bra straps lay on their shoulders. Oh man, I had not known about this and I am sorry to anyone who deals with it. Please share your tips or suggestions or horror stories in comments, you never know who you may help!

What issues have you encountered with the above bands? What has helped? What’s made it worse? What bras should I try out? Because I am seriously not loving LB these days and want to find a more permanently comfortable bra and with a 48/50 inch chest (under boob) it’s hard! Tell me all about it! =0)

16 Comments to

“TMI Tuesday: I’m With The Band!”

  1. On February 8th, 2011 at 9:11 am Twistie Says:

    Probably my biggest issue with bras is the fact that I have tiny, sloping shoulders. I get the widest shoulder straps I can find because that actually does help some, and I still spend the day pulling the damn straps up onto my bitty shoulders.

    I may need to look into that convertible LB bra just so that I can do the straps up in a way that doesn’t fall off my shoulders.

    I get sweaty under the bands sometimes in hot weather, but I’m lucky enough that I don’t get much worse than that. No break outs, no rashes, no sores. In fact, my current worst waistband issue at the moment is that the pants I wear the most (I really, REALLY need to do some clothes shopping!) have an elastic waist and the elastic is starting to stretch and wear out. I keep having to hike them up. Annoying.

  2. On February 8th, 2011 at 9:20 am Not Blue at All Says:

    The convertible might work for you if you did the cris-cross in the back and the straps in the front as normal. I have done this with certain style tops and they never fall off my shoulders. I have broad shoulders, but even my straps fall off regularly. There’s gotta be some perfect balance though. Ugh!

  3. On February 8th, 2011 at 9:44 am Michelle Says:

    I am beyond in love with the plunge bra from Catherine’s. It comes up to a 50″ band, fits beautifully, lightly padded, the straps never fall down, and it makes your boobs look uh-mazing. (OK, it makes *my* boobs look amazing, but I imagine it’d do the same for yours.)

    I recently ditched all my old bras (except for strapless) and bought a week’s worth of these. I’d been hanging on to some wireless ones for comfort’s sake, but these are really really comfortable, even with the wire.

    AND I just looked up the link and they’re on sale right now. Awesome.

  4. On February 8th, 2011 at 11:15 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Wow, that is quite a recommendation. Thank you! I will have to check ’em out. I’ve not had any luck with plunge bras. I’ve bought two and they both were more of a if I sit still they look great but if I move the boobs pop out sort of thing. Mind if I ask your cup size and how you’ve faired in this regard? Thanks again!

  5. On February 8th, 2011 at 10:08 am purplekeychain Says:

    Ooh, you and I area so alike, it’s creepy.

    Okay, I wear a 48/50DD in bras, too. I spent 2 years searching for the right bra and spent at least $2000 in bras that eventually got returned or thrown away. I finally (used to) opted for the Cacique balconette bra in 46DDD and attached an extender. It worked okay when I was a size 24 on top. I’ve recently grown into more of a 26, so that stopped working.

    One day I decided to try the Catherine’s brand (Serenada) of the Cacique balconette bra, since they are owned by Charming Shoppes and basically an “old lady” version of LB. I’d tried different Serenada bras before and hated them, but I gave this one a try anyway. OMG, it was PERFECT. It fit really well and actually fit over my whole boob and didn’t dig into my shoulders. The straps and band were both long enough. I ended up buying about 4 more, and am, as I type, waiting for the Serenada version of Cacique’s t-shirt bra (I also love the LB version, but the straps are too thin and, again, the band is not big enough).

    If you haven’t tried either of these, please do! It was a life saver for me.

  6. On February 8th, 2011 at 11:16 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Okay! You’re the 2nd to suggest Catherine’s and I hadn’t been in one or tried their stuff before, so this is fabulous! Thank you!

  7. On February 8th, 2011 at 10:12 am The Well-Rounded Mama Says:

    Have you ruled out having a skin yeast infection? I sometimes get a rash or bumpy things when I’m having a skin yeast outbreak. No fun at ALL. I have a giant FAQ on things you can to do to help heal an outbreak:

    Also, many women of size are subject to boils, which is like a pimple gone bad internally. These can be very painful and difficult. I’m not sure if these are the same or different than Hidredenitis Suppurativa, but whatever they’re called, they SUCK.

    For me, I find these are greatly lessened when my thyroid is working well or my thyroid meds are in the sweet spot, dosage-wise. Before I was treated for hypothyroidism, I got these boils or whatever absolutely ferociously. I still get them even when treated, but MUCH less severely and less often. And if my numbers get out of whack, they seem to raise their ugly little heads more often.

    So that’s why I ask – have you been checked for hypothyroidism lately? Don’t just accept “normal” but ask for your exact results; if your TSH is over 2 you may benefit from treatment. It’s not easy to find someone who will treat you at 2, but it IS possible and very worth it.

    Acupuncture has also helped with both these things, believe it or not. I roll my eyes at the whole “qi” concept but whatever the reason for it, it does seem to help quite a bit.

    Best wishes for lessening the rash/bump issues!

  8. On February 8th, 2011 at 11:21 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Okay, now that is interesting. I came to the Hidredenitis Suppurativa conclusion when some fellow fats posted about it in an LJ comm and I found my symptoms to be the same, only less severe. I know that my mother had them, too.
    I have had my thyroid checked, but it was a few years ago. They always check it and all the other “OMZYOURAFATTYYOUGONNADIE” tests they insist upon even if I just have bronchitis. Ha! Never had anything come back as anything but normal, but you present a great point in that we should all be demanding our actual results instead of accepting an MDs interpretation. Perhaps this is why I love your blog so much! So informative! <3
    And I love accupuncture! Can't afford it at the mo, but it's fantastic stuff. I hadn't considered it for skin issues, but I will look into it. I love that I have a school near me that does accupuncture very inexpensively. Gotta same my pennies! Thanks again for all of the info!

  9. On February 8th, 2011 at 5:04 pm Lauren Says:

    Hah! I love this thread! Though half of it doesn’t really apply to me because I probably wear a bra one day outa the month most of the time. I do have problems with under boob funk if I’ve been sweating that has been diagnosed as a yeast infection, but if I take regular showers and dust with goldbond afterwards, I’m fine.

    For me, for years I had trouble with not the waist band of my jeans per-say (but I have been prone to some nasty bumps in that area from time to time) but with the button. I have some fairly serious skin to metal sensitivity’s, and the old style of lanebryant jeans nearly did me in. Their buttons gave me a horrible rash right next to my belly button where the skin would fold over when I sat. In the end I had to just tuck all my shirts in to protect myself, which was pretty horrifying for me at the time because I was always taught to where my shirt untucked to hide my fat. Now I don’t care, but on the new RightFit jeans the buttons don’t bother me. Must have switched to friendlier alloys or something…

    As for your skin issues, don’t rule out yeast. Yeast is naturally in the air all around us and will find a home in any damp warm place to multiply it’s self. It’s one of the major causes of dipper rash; what you are experiencing might be the grown up version of that. Either way, maybe seeing a dermatologist will help you find which is the case for you.

  10. On February 9th, 2011 at 10:23 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I’m glad the new jeans are better. I was thinking, “Oh! She should rip out the old metal button and sew in a nice big pretty plastic one!” but if it’s not longer an issue, woo! I wish I could afford to see a dermatologist for a few reasons, but our insurance is so shitty we can’t afford to use it. =0(

  11. On February 8th, 2011 at 8:18 pm Mrs. Sprat Says:

    Oh boy I think I could have an entire blog devoted to bras. Personally, I like JC Penney’s Ambielle balconet bras, but I wear a 40DD so it’s a *little* easier for me to find bras. But I’m am opposed to white for basically all articles of clothing so it’s still a struggle. Do you guys prefer pointy or rounded? Personally, I like them to be rounded. No fifties boobs for me. The biggest problem I have is that sometimes my boobs slip out the bottom, especially when I buy cheap bras.

    One time I was wearing a cheap one at work and the strap snapped right off with an hour left in my shift. So I ran to the managers office and she took like a million rubber bands and MacGuyver-ed me a strap. It was hilarious. But I just can’t afford expensive bras, it’s insane how much they cost for how ineffective they are and how quickly they break even when you get expensive ones. I just don’t know what these manufacturers are thinking sometimes!

    As far as pants go, yoga pants are amazing for avoiding all those lines and bumps. And they look a little nicer than sweatpants (I guess a value judgement but you can do more with yoga pants) and they are really comfy. I’m wearing an Old Navy XL right now (I usually wear a 16 or an 18 in pants) and I am swimming in them.

    I don’t wear girdles too much anymore, but I used to have it so that sometimes my skin would come off with the girdle. Why didn’t I think there was something wrong with that???

  12. On February 9th, 2011 at 10:20 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes, I have a severe aversion to all things white as well. I like your take on yoga pants, may have to get a pair and see how they fly. Ha! I’m for rounded cups all the way, too! I cannot stand the pointed or tubey ones. I admire your macguyver skills, too! Wow! Manufacturers are thinking how they can get us to keep buying this crap without actually considering an alternative. My husband often laments the bullshit that goes with wearing a bra (he’s sympathetic) and I keep telling him to invent something so we can finally pay the damn bills! Ha!

  13. On February 9th, 2011 at 2:56 am Kath Says:

    I am one of the rare fatties who doesn’t get chub rub (don’t hate me!) but I do get abrasions from my bra, particularly in very hot weather. Always around the underwire. “Don’t wear underwire!” people who don’t have to deal with a rack of doom say. Tits like this require a commitment to scaffolding to hold them up, and in a comfortable place. Underwire free bras leave me with such back ache because my boobs don’t get enough support. So I have to deal with the wire abrasions.

    I also can get little pimples underneath and between my boobs, but I find using one of those net scrunchie things with some nice body wash exfoliates just nicely (not too harsh) and keeps those to a minimum.

  14. On February 9th, 2011 at 10:18 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh yes! Hot weather is the worst for me as well. I get heat rashes and all sorts of discomforts. Ugh! I won’t hate you for a lack of chub rub, just a wee jealous is all. I’ve had chub rub since before I had the chub. Ha!

  15. On February 9th, 2011 at 3:08 pm purplekeychain Says:

    Oh man, I’ve been there. I would always have the problem of the button coming OFF. I used to buy the Seven7 jeans from Filene’s before LB started carrying them, and on every single pair, the stupid button came off. All I had were extremely limited skills with needle and thread and some huge plastic buttons from some ugly sweater I kept around for some reason. All of my jeans had a huge bedazzled button on the front, and I’d laugh to myself every time I wore them (while simultaneously trying to hide that damned thing…)

  16. On February 9th, 2011 at 3:18 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    See I’d be all proud of my new jazzy button! Ha! I never did try those jeans.

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