You Asked It

Damn Girl Ya Look Good

Advice about pixie cuts, wardrobe storage, saddle shoes, and how the heck to find a bra that fits.

I recently got these super rad saddle shoes for a rockabilly party. They fit perfectly and they look so damn darling! I want to wear them to school (and everywhere else!) but I’m totally unsure how to make them look casual without the whole rockabilly ensemble attached. They’re just sitting in my closet—please help? —Stephanie, 15, Reno

Great choice you made, bb-kins! I truly believe you can wear saddle shoes with almost anything; I wear mine so much that the soles are all fucked up and I’m about due for new ones. One outfit that I like to add them to is an acid-washed miniskirt and a Channing Tatum tee. There are no limits, though! The ladies below exemplify how saddle shoes can be worn awesomely with a variety of outfits, including all-black ensembles and even plain old jeans:

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Clockwise from top left: Jenn of Fashion & Fringe, Kristina of Twee Valley High, Chloe from Of North, Deanne Theresa, Kailey of Mermaidens, and Van of The Clothes We Wear.

Recently, I’ve been wearing my saddle shoes with skirts and sheer printed socks. Try yours out with a few outfit combinations and see what you like!

I recently learned that a large percentage of the bra-wearing population doesn’t wear the right size, and I’d like to know if I’m guilty of that. I know you can get professionally fitted for a bra, but the thought of that makes me cringe. Can you tell me how to measure myself? —Zoe, 15, West Virginia

It’s true: Many of us are unwittingly wearing the wrong bra size! Some signs that you might be: The underwires are poking the sides of your breasts; your boobs spilleth over (or under) the cup, your bra moves up when you lift your arms. Jenette Goldstein of Jenette Bras, a company that specializes in D-cup and larger bras, says, “Your bra needs to hold your breasts right up—if it doesn’t, your band is probably too big. If your breasts are wobbling, jiggling, or spilling out, then you may be having a cup size issue.” Never fear, my little Bra-dilocks, we will help you find the brassiere that is juuuust right.

I recommend doing this about a week after your period, since the ol’ menses can cause breast inflation. When the coast is clear, grab a fabric tape measure like this one and put on whatever you think is the best-fitting bra that you own. Choose one that isn’t padded (underwire is OK, though).

The mathy part of this explanation works if you’re measuring in inches or centimeters, but if you use a different system in your country, or you just want to avoid all that math, you can always enter your measurements into this international bra-size calculator.

First, stand up straight place the tape measure at the center of your chest, then loop it all the way around your bod, keeping the tape level and snug right under your breasts. Add five to the number you get, rounding up to the nearest even number (band sizes are typically even numbers). So, let’s say you measure 31.5 inches. Round that to an even number to approximate your band size, aka the numerical part of most bra sizes that you see in stores, although this may vary. Feel free to go a size up if it feels too tight for you!

Next, figure out your bust size. Measure the circumference of your bod again, this time at fullest part of your breasts. Round up to the nearest whole number, then subtract your band size from your bust size. The resulting number will reveal your cup size, according to this guide: 0 = AA, 1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, 4 = D, 5 = DD/E, 6 = DDD/F, 7 = DDDD/G, 8 = H. If your bust size is 42, your cup size is a D. So you’d wear a size 32D bra!

If you’re especially busty, there are plenty of lingerie companies, like Bravissimo, that specialize in bigger bras, and you can check out more recommendations at The Lingerie Addict. If you’re on the petite end of the spectrum, take a look at the recommendations at The Lingerie Lesbian, including Lula Lu and The Little Bra Co.

It’s great that you’re thinking about this now, since wearing the wrong bra can cause problems in the future, including back and/or shoulder pain, bad posture, and scarring from bra-band indentation. Good luck!

I’m going to college in a month, and the closet in my dorm room is tiny: It has a three-foot bar and four very narrow drawers. How does a stylish lady pare down her wardrobe significantly without looking bland? —Jordan, 18, New York

First of all, storage is everything! If you have any space under your bed, you can get storage chests and units like this, this, and this and tuck some of your threads away in there. Pinterest is a good source for further dorm-storage inspiration; I also like blogger Kate Gabrielle’s storage solutions for tiny spaces, as seen here and here.

Now, if you are truly SERIO about paring down your wardrobe, my first suggestion is to always keep really versatile pieces around, like your favorite jeans, leggings, black and solid dresses, and basic tops and T-shirts. These easy pieces will go with everything, and you can mix and match them, then add a variety of fun accessories, socks, tights, and so on, which are smaller and easier to store than clothes.

Next, do a Closet Cleanout. *CLUTCHES CHEST* Make an afternoon of it! Order a pizza, put on some Blondie, and maybe call some friends over to help you sort all your stuff out, like that one scene on Sex and the City.

Go through your clothes and figure out what to keep and what to bid a fond farewell to. Don’t worry—you’re not getting rid of anything you absolutely love! You can make your own rules, but some good guidelines (that I always follow) are: If you haven’t worn it in the past year, toss it. If it’s something you aren’t super attached to and that would be easy to get in the future if you ever find yourself needing it, like a trendy short-sleeved floral blouse, you can safely part with it. But hang on to unique vintage items, if you have still room for them (in your closet and your heart).

So you’ve got two piles going: TOSS IT and KEEP IT. When you come across something you’re unsure about—let’s say you kinda like this skirt, but don’t LOVE it, but maybe you’ll still want to wear it?—put it in a third pile, the MAYBE pile. When everything is sorted, go back through the MAYBE pile. You might find that some of the things in there seem less valuable after you’ve discovered that you have five black pencil skirts, or that your other purple sneakers are cuter than these ones.

After all is said and done, you can donate your purged clothes to your local charity shop (if your friends helped you with this task, give them first dibs, though!).

I want a pixie cut like Carey Mulligan’s or Michelle Williams’s, but do those haircuts only look good on girls like that, with really delicate features and feminine styles? I tend to favor combat boots, torn-up jeans, and black T-shirts, and I’m afraid a pixie on top of all that will just make me look like a boy. —Allison, 18, Austin

HELLS YES, a tough girl like you can rock a pixie cut! There ain’t no rules when it comes to hairstyles and wardrobes, my boo! Just because magazines are plastered with pictures of Michelle Williams workin’ her Mia Farrow ’do while wearing the girliest of gowns doesn’t mean that’s the protocol for everyone else. (Looks like Michelle agrees with me, BTW.)

Take a look at these pixied chicas, too:

Left to right: Pixie Geldof, Agyness Deyn, Rihanna.

Left to right: Pixie Geldof, Agyness Deyn, Rihanna.

There are no rules! Go get your hair cut—then you’ll be able to summon the ultimate badass pixie icon…

Angelina Pixie Cut

Hackers–era Angelina Jolie! ♦

21 Comments

  • Lomo August 5th, 2014 11:23 PM

    Actually, for a properly fitting band you shouldn’t be adding more than 2-3 inches! the band is what provides the majority of support for the breasts so this is really important!! Otherwise the straps take over and can cause the wearer shoulder and neck pain. This is also important because it affects the width of the cup. The only time a larger than 2-3inch added band size should be worn is when wearing a sister size- like 32D to a 34C. Just some boob stuff!

  • TheLingerieLesbian August 5th, 2014 11:33 PM

    Hey, thanks so much for linking to me! But please, don’t spread the idea that adding 5 inches to your underbust is the best bet right out of the gate– usually, especially for full busts, it’s best to go with the band that’s the closest amount to your measurement– so, a 31.5 measurement would try a 32 band first and then try a 34 if that is too firm. It’s always possible that they might be happiest with an even bigger band, but since most of the support comes from the band, you need something snug. A bra should always fit on the loosest hooks immediately, so they can be tightened as it stretches out. Therefore, if the bust measurement is 42, the size is much more like a 32GG. Check out A Sophisticated Pair and The Butterfly Collective as boutiques with great fitting advice.

  • TessAnnesley August 5th, 2014 11:48 PM

    OMG first girl! I wear my saddle shoes with anything and everything, you can rock them ANY time! <3

  • FatedToPretend August 5th, 2014 11:55 PM

    (Zoe of the great bra-sizing question speaking)

    Thanks so much for helping me out! Your response was so helpful for me, and maybe for my health too (since, as you said, wearing the incorrect size can be damaging) :)

  • FlaG August 5th, 2014 11:57 PM

    Kat von D is a saddle-shoe fiend. Check out her Instagram profile for some ideas if you’re that way inclined!

  • Me_Magalloway August 6th, 2014 12:12 AM

    Get a pixie cut! Do itttttt! It will be the best choice of your life. Somehow they always end up looking pretty stylish.
    http://navigating-fairyland.blogspot.com/

  • ZZ August 6th, 2014 12:17 AM

    The bra sizing information here is not, in fact, correct! The method of adding inches to your band size was used before bands were elasticated, and now stays popular so that stores can keep you in their range of sizes.
    It is actually far more accurate and supportive to use the real circumference of your torso, rounding as necessary. The gore (front middle bit where underwires come together) should always touch your skin. The cup sizing method shown is accurate, but only with the right band measurement.
    For more reading, I recommend reddit.com/r/ABraThatFits. Reddit can be absolutely terrible, but trust me, this corner of the internet has info your boobs need, including more extensive fit guides and where to find arcane bra sizes.
    Finally, I assure you that as someone with a roughly 31.5-inch-around ribcage, my 32-band bras fit me perfectly.

  • Amy Rose August 6th, 2014 12:28 AM

    Thanks, bra geniuses! I salute you all.

  • mangointhesky August 6th, 2014 5:50 AM

    I’ve wanted to get a pixie cut before, but then I got too scared to do it and my love of them passed… Until I read this!

    http://lescarousels.blogspot.com

  • anoldstory August 6th, 2014 12:57 PM

    I sure hope Allison gets that pixie cut and rocks it. Short hair rules!!

  • notpb_ August 6th, 2014 1:06 PM

    (Allison, pixie cut question) I definitely have the confidence now to fucking rock people’s faces off with my new hair. Thanks Marie!

    • Anaheed August 6th, 2014 7:26 PM

      DO IT, ALLISON! And send us before & after pix!

  • ohdarling August 6th, 2014 1:37 PM

    I was so embarrassed to go and get properly fitted for a bra but I bit the bullet and it was actually a really pleasant experience! The shop ladies were really nice and respectful and they measured me over my bra so I didn’t have to strip like I was worried about. And I found out I was a DD instead of the B I’d been wearing so I definitely recommend going if you can!

    I really need to get some saddle shoes, they look so cute!

    http://www.oh-darling.net

  • Hecticglow August 6th, 2014 3:13 PM

    Oh my goodness, I feel so honored! Thanks so much, Rookie, for helping me with my closet dilemma!

    • honorarygilmoregal August 7th, 2014 1:31 AM

      Random, but I love your username!

  • 3LL3NH August 7th, 2014 12:16 AM

    Hackers-era Angelina Jolie.
    Yes.

  • Jenn from Fashion and Fringe August 7th, 2014 12:58 AM

    Wow – thank you for including me in your Saddle Shoes roundup! I will have to say that they are definitely very comfortable for being such a classic shoe. Perfect for all black! Sending my love to you all at Rookie Mag!

  • honorarygilmoregal August 7th, 2014 1:30 AM

    Pixie cuts are so cute :)

  • lydiamerida August 7th, 2014 9:37 PM

    yess about the bra thing! i’m a 28G and i never knew till this year! (and my boobs are so much happier now)

  • styledloser August 9th, 2014 8:28 AM

    Saddle shoes are the best thing that has ever happened to my style! They’re so versatile and I wear them with everything.

  • VagabondZombie August 22nd, 2014 6:21 AM

    Ahhh~ Saddle shoes are my life. And brogues!

    http://vagabondzombie.blogspot.com/

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