I have big breasts. This means that wearing strapless dresses, bandeau tops, and halter necks is a struggle. More often than not, I convince myself out of buying a top that would require me to wear a bra sans straps.
This can be attributed to the fact that a strapless bra that can sustain the weight of my 38 D sized bust for long durations, all while looking flawless—sounds like the perfect dream that hasn't come true yet. While these bras or stick-on cups offer full coverage and support, there is always a glaring fatal flaw. It could be the off-putting fitting, the way underwire pokes the breasts or the rough fabric that pushes my boobs out or pulls them down.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like I haven't tried wearing outfits that require the bra strap to be hidden, it's just that I've been met with unflattering and demotivating results each time.
Once, I wore a black one-shoulder gown to a destination wedding in Jaipur. For some reason, I couldn't shake the feeling that both my breasts were unevenly stuffed in the flimsy cups stitched inside the silhouette. ‘Maybe it wasn't that noticeable', is what I kept telling myself, but it didn’t feel like the perfect fit for me.
This left me wondering if there is any hope for women like me. Women who want to dip their toes in seasonal fashion trends but are held back courtesy of the lack of supportive intimate wear. Going braless is not an option that some of us are comfortable with - some of these styles require coverage and support (without which the chances of unwanted flashing increase exponentially). So I wondered—what’s the trick that curvy fashion influencers have mastered already, that I’ve missed out on?
In my endeavour to find the right kind of intimate wear, I first discovered boob tape through an Instagram ad. It showed women my bust size wearing the tape in different patterns to cater to varying styles—a backless top, a deep neckline or thin straps. For me, it was an instant realisation—I had to try this! Here's how it looks.
After a little hesitation and back and forth spanning over four months, I finally gave in and placed my order. For the uninitiated, the boob tape is, essentially, an adhesive strip that closely resembles a sticky bandage, the gluey fabric is rolled up like tape and is also stuck on the body for the wearer to uplift the bust. Since it's a binding agent, it can be worn multiple ways and can also be adjusted keeping your personal preferences in mind.
Wearing the boob tape means that you can skip the bra, but what comes instead with the parcel are seemingly adorable, read: agonizingly painful nipple pasties, which you need to put on before.
So, once my package with boob tape arrived, I decided to test it with a one-shoulder cut out black bodysuit. Without giving it much thought, I stuck the pasties on and started using the tape as per the countless YouTube tutorials that I had binged on the night before.
It took over 9 long strips of tape to cover the breasts and give them a noticeable lift. What I liked about the tapes was that it surprisingly stayed put throughout the day, and was extremely comfortable to move around in. I also tested lying around to see if this would change the positioning, but it didn’t, surprisingly. The lift wasn’t the best - not like how I’d imagined it would be if I were to be completely honest.
While the idea of taking it off seemed extremely intimidating, what helped me was lathering the tape with coconut oil and then slowly pulling it out away from the body at a 45-degree angle.
It was an experience worth having, and maybe now I'll be more open to testing out dresses without worrying about innerwear for once. If you’re too intimidated by boob tape, you don’t have to try it. There are plenty of alternatives out there to choose from: transparent bras, pull-up cups, adhesive bras and bralettes and so much more. There’s no one solution while navigating through style trends, in fact, visibility in fashion for curvier bodies is a recent phenomenon, e-commerce giants have recently realised the attention that women with different body types deserve, with these new introductions in styles, one can easily tell what’s tokenistic and what’s genuinely been created to make our lives better.
But the tricky bit is the trial and error that one has to go through to get the perf outfit.
(Simran is a writer with an abnormally high-pitched voice and a confusing laugh. You can find her on Instagram as @simrann97).