I Tested That Famous Instagram Bra
08.02.17

I don’t like to gossip about my boobs because they always hear me when I do, but they sure know how to ruin a sundress. Unlike the chests of every delicate frock fit model, my mostly-companions aren’t in the habit of paying attention. One’s always off running some nonsense errand and the other is easily distracted. They’re deceptively large, and though they’re registered Democrats who identify as feminists, my boobs fail to conduct themselves as Michelle Obama encouraged: When tops go low, they do not go high. Not without some sort of buttress, at least.

It’s a thing I’ve long come to accept. I’m lucky to have what I’ve got. I love superfluous daily lingerie and welcome any excuse to buy a supportive investment piece. My gripe is that a majority of these sundresses I want to wear — wisp-y elf clothes held up by spaghetti — don’t make life easy on rebellious chests. And isn’t that the whole point of a sundress? To look effortless?

Too bad that I live and die by the Book of Denial and seasonally forget my boobs are like this. It’s the same topless tango every summer. I stand before a mirror, and I am late. A dress hangs around my waist like borrowed skin as I grow hotter by the minute while trying to figure out just how much of my strapless balconette shows underneath my hair and across my back. The answer is always “too much,” because unlike Carrie Bradshaw, I do not like to show my bra. I’m very modest!!

I have tried a few options that worked okay in the past. There’s the Hollywood Fashion Secrets Breast Life Tape that lets your chest imagine how Edgar felt in Men in Black when the alien who possessed him pulled his face back. There’s the silicone NuBra, which works in a pinch but has to be constantly readjusted and feels like adhesive chicken flesh.

And then, of course, there is Instagram.

The Sneaky Vaunt bra has been all over my Instagram feed for months. I watched countless Boomerang tutorials, both because I was in disbelief and I suppose, also a pervert. I read BET.com’s team review that accounted for multiple sizes; I read BuzzFeed’s coverage and Jacsmeen Bush’s critique on Racked, yet I had no reason to buy it myself.

It wasn’t until I was one week out from a wedding, a slinky Altuzarra dress with ribbon straps and an open back taunting me in my closet, that I began to panic. I needed to make a family-friendly impression at this thing and knew my un-cupped boobs could not be trusted. I called the Sneaky Vaunt bra into the office and then, rookie move, I did not try it on until 10 minutes before it was time to leave for the wedding.

The scene was as I described it earlier: top half of my dress dead around my hips, post-shower/mid-stress perspiration making the sticky boobs too sticky to handle but not tacky enough to stick to my chest. A mess. Weird shapes were created. It took 12 tries, multiple “are you ready yet” knocks and a resolute “this will have to do” sigh. Like taking a family Christmas photo, I could not get everyone to look straight ahead in unison. I had to go with “good enough.”

And it was. For just under $50.00, Sneaky Vaunt did its job. It held me in and kept me audience-appropriate underneath a loose dress without any backtalk. My chest could have used more up, but apart from the party guests who I polled, no one seemed particularly impressed or appalled. I felt self-conscious without the safety of my preferred shape (two pert mangos just below my clavicle) but also, a little free, a little bohemian.

So far, in this world of gravity and backless sundresses, Sneaky Vaunt seems to offer the best solution. I much prefer a proper bra — but I would (and probably will) wear it again. I’ll just complain the whole time. Like wayward boobs, it’s part of my charm.

Photo by Edith Young.

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  • Adrianna

    I’ve told the Manrepeller community that I have large breasts (30FF) about half a dozen times, so I’m immediately skeptical. This seems like a contraption that looks great in a photo, but isn’t very practical IRL. But I think the biggest reason I don’t go braless is that my breasts splay out to the sides, so maybe this would be a solution.

    • Amelia Diamond

      It will DEFiNITELY bring them together, but not upward. The thing is – and I didn’t mention this – I don’t love that butt-cleavage look. I weirdly prefer mine to be separately just lifted..

      • Adrianna

        lol butt cleavage. Same! I’ve definitely out-grown it

      • Megan Greffen

        That is my constant quandary!! Lifted, but separate…I struggle with the “butt cleave” look because I SWEAR to all that is holy it makes my shoulders look big. On everyone else (thanks a lot Pamela Anderson) it looks amazzzing. On me? Linebacker. I’ve resorted to taping mine, which is all fun and games until you have to rip that shit off. Best to do that drunk.

        • lippoldthaus

          Yes. This. I’m pretty “average” (if a 33C existed – does it? does anyone know? – that would be me), but wide-set. And I’ve breastfed 2 kids. I need them lifted, people. Not smooshed together, making my shoulders look wider, my boobs strangely smaller (narrower decolletage than my ribcage? no thanks) and droopy. Blerg.

          • Megan Greffen

            If I find the answer, you will be the first to know. I swear on my tits.

    • Shasta Hagar Goff

      I met Leandra Medine two years ago in Tulum and thats the first thing i said to her ”please write something for girls with big breast” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7bdd0f88df0e01db738f4c8e62ab55dd55748ab34c8497ccef31245df27b67a6.jpg

    • Shadowy_lady

      If you buy it let me know how it works. I’m very large chested as well (32GG and natural) and have a hard time believing this bra will work for me. It may work for small-medium women like a C or D cup or at the very best on a E cup but I’m skeptical about it for my tata’s.
      One of these days I’m going to design my own line of bra catered towards those of us with gigantic cup but small band size breasts. It’s a niche market and I always have to spend a fortune on a simple bra let alone a special occasion one like this.

      • Adrianna

        I think it’s less of a niche market than people realize, because Victoria’s Secret taught us to believe we should fit into 32A-36DD bras. Victoria’s Secret also taught us to believe we need a drawer full of bras. I have two or three at a time, and a bunch of sports bras that I wear in my daily life.

        • Shadowy_lady

          So true…for the longest time I thought I was a 34DDD until I got properly measured and now wear 32GG which is a much better fit. VS makes women think I feel you are large chested you are a D or DD at mist which is inaccurate. And ladies who work there have no idea how to properly measure women and fit them into bras

      • I’m ready for your 32G products. Please make it all nice and lacy and not like… The way bras for us are usually made.

        • Shadowy_lady

          Haha trust me like my bras pretty too…this is why I’ve been forced to order mine from the UK and recently Poland. Everything I find here fir my size is super plain.

  • I laughed out loud when I read this, as you describe your boobs much like I would describe mine (also registered democrats). If this is anything like those other sticky backless bras, it is no match for my large (and mature) tatas, But I suppose I could give it a try.

    xx, Elise
    http://www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

  • Millie Lammoreaux

    Yeah, I have Very Large Breasts that need some kind of bra situation, but I hate the cleavage look (and thankfully have boobs that don’t naturally cleave, so we all agree). Some kind of strapless scenario that seperates and lifts would be nice, do you hear me bra engineers? Those sneaky vaunt Instagram vids ARE mesmerizing, though.

    • Amelia Diamond

      we need… reversed gravity?

    • Milan

      I wear 34ddd/f and the best strapless bra I ever tried was le mystere’s soiree strapless bra. Great lift and separation

    • Shasta Hagar Goff

      I use a strapless bra by accident that happend to be a Victoria Secret bikini, thats the only one that worke for me so far.

  • This made me laugh – I can relate to this on every level. When tops go low, my boobs go lower. I’ve tried strapless bras, taping them (insert scene from Now & Then – am I dating myself?)…annnd now it sounds like I need to try this miracle bra. I’m not looking for optimal perkiness, I just don’t want my boobs to look like pancakes. Is that too much to ask for?!!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Christina | http://www.cuddlepill.com

    • Amelia Diamond

      no i literally always think of hat now and then scene!! (and chocolate pudding in balloons!)

  • graceyu

    I LOVE THAT FIRST PARAGRAPH. PERFECTION.

  • notinlondon

    I’m on the other side of this dilemma. I’m always like, “Why aren’t these wispy elf sundresses padded!?”

    • Amelia Diamond

      haha of course. grass is always boobier!

  • I wore these to work! b/c the doubts were strong. I couldn’t believe how well they held up. Note that mine were Alexia Shapewear and took 4 weeks to get here from China. They held, they gave the cleave and while I felt oddly plastered in, I was thrilled that I can now ditch the strapless bra.

    • Amelia Diamond

      what’s alexia shapewear, recommend?

      • Def recommend I’m onto wear 4 without losing any of the stick. Same deal, slightly different from the one you got.

  • Shasta Hagar Goff

    I hate my boobs, they are 36 C and my back is too small, so its very difficult to buy something S or M because they won’t fit. Why anybody will complain about being flat chested, I envy them.

    • rachel

      Mine aren’t even particularly big and I still spend a lot of time wishing for a flatter chest, so I definitely feel you on that.

  • Alyssa

    I have seen that bra ALL OVER INSTAGRAM! (thanks you new algorithm) And was so tempted to try it, so thank you Amelia for doing the dirty work and trying this out for all of us 🙌🏼

  • Maggie Lanham

    I love your writing – I was laughing by the end of the first sentence!

    Also, I’m aware this is totally off-topic, but Amelia! Your new room looks amazing! I totally understand there is a line of how much you lovely writers are willing to share, but apartment tours from you all would be so fun! You all have such different tastes and it’d be fun to see how that spills into your homes.

    • Amelia Diamond

      oh that’s so kind of you!! apt tours would be so fun. i’m still in the decorating process (and by that i mean i haven’t actually unpacked 80% of my boxes yet) so maybe after!! i want Emily to do hers!

  • rachel

    My breasts aren’t even that large, but I still can never make anything like this work for me. My solution? I just don’t buy things that can’t be worn with a full bra anymore. And honestly, while there is always the errant backless/strapless/topless item that makes me want to reconsider, I actually wear the special occasion items I buy more than once, which makes it all worth it.

  • sin_plomo

    On this topic, what ever happened to Krista and her series on how to dress with big boobs? Did she leave ManRepeller? Haven’t seen her here for aaaaaaaaages 🙁

  • erika

    ah, that feeling of growing heat and perspiration… I know it all too well. now I just need to figure out how to make adhesive work with boob-sweat in the middle of summer in TX.

  • Marny Harksen Bassett

    You look great!

  • yassqueeeen

    Do the strings get in the way though? I feel like you’d be able to see them through whatever clothing. I’ve been wanting to try this!

  • Danielle Cardona Graff

    So I actually have the opposite problem-a B, and an almost B. Sometimes no bra/nip action feels chic, but sometimes it feels inappropriate. A strapless however, always feels (and looks) like I’m 12 years old stuffing my bra. I still haven’t found a strapless bra that I love… Any small chested girls try this instagram bra yet?

    • Danielle Cardona Graff

      And haha re: registered Democrats! 🙂

    • Amanda June Brawner

      I’m wondering the same! I saw that Safiya Nygaard made/tried one on youtube and she’s probably around that size (me too – 32B!) with decent results.

      I’ve been thinking of giving it a go. I’ve learned to love my smaller boobs (I don’t “need” to wear a bra with everything, whatever that means) but I’m too self-conscious to be going braless. Anyone other A/B cup ladies tried this?!

  • Jeanie

    I’m only a B cup, but silicon Nippies pasties are a god send. It’s for women who can embrace their natural shape, as it only gives minimal lift. Bras make me miserable, so it’s just pasties and bralettes or nothing for me. I prefer the natural look and the back looks way better without straps going across it that are visible or creating rolls under shirts. And it feels amazing (like, tampon-commercial-running-in-a-field-amazing.) I wish I never had to wear an underwire bra.

  • Novella Ciceri

    My boobs are huge (I don’t know how to convert to US size, but they are). And I just wear cotton bralettes (I buy from independent designers) or no bra at all. Who cares, life is too short and I am married, no need to suffer no more. 👏