With only five interviews with our beautiful top ten left, it seems crazy that the competition is almost over! Time to get on with the last of our interviews, starting with Katie Simpson.
Well, I’m Katie, I’m a newly minted 29 years old living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I grew up in small town Virginia but now I’ve really grown to love living in the city. I’m not sure I could live in the country again though I’ll always have a nostalgia for it a nd the South. I have a Masters degree in 20th century European History and have been working at an educational non-profit for the past few years. I’m at a really good spot in my life right now beginning to further pursue the things I’m passionate about including writing, literature, web design for artist sites, and exploring how women can find confidence through fashion. It’s been an exciting couple of months and I’m really looking forward to the future & hope it includes Curvy Kate!
Here’s hoping! So what lingerie sizes do you usually wear?
I wear a 32H braand a 10 or 12 on the bottom depending on the brand.
Were you refitted at the shoot? I know some of our top ten were…
I was! I thought I was a 34F coming into the shoot (and I had just bumped myself up from a DDD) and found out I’m actually a 32H! We still had difficulty with the bridge though, so I think I’m always going to have to play around with sizing a little.
That’s quite a change in a short space of time, and sounds quite painful! Do you have any favourite Curvy Kate sets?
I didn’t get to wear the Tempt Me but I love the little buttons on the front. I really love menswear inspired clothing so why not bring that into my lingerie! I wore the Gia & it fit like a dream – even with my hard-to-fit chest – so that was great. I also really loved the pink color on the Princess set and the bra was really comfortable while being flirty!
I cannot wait to try the Gia, and it looked amazing on you. Well, they all did! Were you a Curvy Kate fan before the competition?
I hadn’t heard of them before I saw an advertisement for the competition but before I even decided or really thought about entering even I checked out the website and fell in love with all their cute styles! I would say I was an insta-fan and resolved to have some for my own!
Hooray, we’ve won another person over! So how did you find out about the competition then?
Actually through the contest partner – Bare Necessities. I purchase a lot of my lingerie from their site.
A great place to shop! Why did you decide to enter?
I honestly decided on a whim. But, when I thought more about it I realized that really for the first time in my life I feel confident about my body and the curves that I have. For example, I never would have let someone take pictures of me in my underwear 5 years ago. Also, I’ve been discussing healthy body image and self-confidence with my friend Nikki B. at Women Are From Mars independently and Curvy Kate’s message and philosophy behind the competition really resonated with me.
That’s awesome, and I think we have a new blog to read! So how does it feel to be a part of the first ever American competition?
Totally rad! It’s really been an honor.
And how have your loved ones reacted?
The support from my friends and family has been overwhelming and heartwarming. At first, I was a little skeptical to tell EVERYONE I knew (including my parents) but reactions have only been extremely positive. My Mom told all of her book club friends! And, my friends. Well, I have no words for how awesome they’ve all been. Love you guys!
There is something quite daunting about telling people there are pictures of you on the internet in your underwear! How did you feel before and after the shoot?
I think it all still feels surreal. I was really excited to go hang out in New York for a couple of days and see what a real photo shoot feels like. The actual day exceeded all my expectations. Everyone was so cool and chill. We had a great day. I left feeling more engaged with Curvy Kate’s mission and really believing that the philosophy they espouse is something they try to live every day with their brand. It was super encouraging!
The best part was meeting all of the other gorgeous girls in the competition and the staff of Curvy Kate and getting to know everyone. I definitely made some new friends! The worst part was having to leave! Haha, no but honestly, probably the worst part of my day was magically losing all my vocabulary during an interview with a local TV station. I used the word “fun” approximately 20 times in a 30 second spot.
Oh no! I’m sure no one else noticed though. So are you proud of your shape and size?
Yes! It took me a long time to get here but really it’s more about being healthy and taking care of the shape and skin you’re in.
Do you struggle to find lingerie and clothing to fit your curves? That age old problem!
Absolutely! I’m sure it will get a little bit better now that I know my proper fit in bras. Previously, however, I was forever buying loads of bras online, waiting for them to get to me, and growing increasingly frustrated as I tried them all on with no proper fits & sent them all back again. I’m glad more stores are carrying brands for larger-chested ladies; it’s so much less hassle to be able to walk into a store & know right away if something fits!
As far as clothing goes – shirts have always been difficult. I usually stick to stretchy tops or have to insert extra snaps for button downs. Dresses can be difficult, too. My friend, Amber, and I always discuss how the worst is in the summer when it’s scalding hot and the last thing we want is to put on a bra! We get so jealous of those girls who can get away without it in the nice tissue tops you want to wear. It’s also frustrating that mostly I have to self-modify my bra straps to wear racerback. And, you can forget backless or strapless! I really am glad that more companies like Curvy Kate are catering to larger-chested women…the variety keeps growing and we’re grateful!
I’m still on the look out for a perfect strapless bra, hint hint Curvy Kate! To you, what’s the definition of a Curvy Kate girl?
I think a Curvy Kate girl is someone who is confident and happy in her own shape and life, whatever that may be. Additionally, a Curvy Kate girl has empathy and sympathy toward the journey that every woman (and man!) has to take to be comfortable with her (or him!) self. It’s a difficult road with a lot of societal pressures working against us. I think Curvy Kate not only celebrates a fabulous arrival but also the voyage we take to get there.
Well said! What would be the best part of winning?
It would be such an honor to represent all the curvy ladies out there! Oh, and if Curvy Kate let me go to London (my favorite city in the world! After Philly, of course) that wouldn’t be terrible either!
Here’s hoping the weather would cheer up by then! So what’s the fitting situation like in America then?
Really the only place that I can feel guaranteed to find a bra in my size and get fitted properly are the higher end department stores. These are costly but provide me with an opportunity to find bras and try them on before purchasing. I can then find those brands or styles online. However, my options are still few and far between especially in US brands and sizes. For example, I’ve never seen a K cup size (my US size) in any store. Mostly, I shop online.
And there I was thinking the UK was bad! What do you think it would feel like to be the first American Star In A Bra?
I think I would be really humbled that people saw me as an appropriate representative for them and Curvy Kate! It would be really surreal. That would quickly give way to being super stoked, though! My friends and I would surely have a celebratory libation.
A celebration would definitely be in order! Do you have any advice for any women considering entering next year? Or even our next Australian and UK competitions!
Do it! My advice would be to a) get someone you’re really comfortable with to take your photos. That way they come out really natural and showing your personality; b) Smile, smile, smile! c) Remember that this is fun! Take that with you through the whole thing & try to remember in the stressful moments to be grateful for all the people you meet and opportunities presented to you. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the “competition” or feel overwhelmed because you’re vulnerable in the public eye. Just stick with your friends and don’t make them sass you.
That’s some great advice. Just one last question, the nasty one! Why do you think people should vote for you?
I really believe in Curvy Kate’s message & love helping other people discover and feel comfortable with themselves. And, maybe more importantly, if you feel like I could represent you or something I said resonates with you. All of the ladies are wonderful people; it’s a hard choice!
Good luck Katie!
To vote for Katie, head to her page on the Curvy Kate USA Facebook application for Star In A Bra. Whilst you’re at it, why not become a fan of the Curvy Kate USA Facebook page to keep up to date with the competition and the brand?
Next up we hear from Krista Cousins!