When I was a wee lass of ten, I got my first bra. I was a bit of an early bloomer, and I hated wearing tank tops under every shirt. It was a 34A, and it was a nude color. I remember the color because I wanted a pink one with hearts on it, but my mom insisted on the “practical” one. Now I don’t own one nude colored bra, so score one for impracticality. I wish I had known then what I know now about bras, because it would have made my middle school years much easier if I hadn’t started out in the wrong size. Here are some of my thoughts on bras and boobs based on my own experiences, and from reading many fabulous bra blogs.
I like lists, as you will probably notice over time. Lists keep my rambling to a minimum.
1. If you buy your bras in the US, I would almost guarantee you’re wearing the wrong size.
Especially if you buy them from Victoria’s Secret. I know they’re supposedly the best bras known to US womankind, but they’re really not. Like really, really not. The salespeople will squeeze and stuff you into their limited size range to make a sale. Also, they measure under your armpits, and that should always be a red flag. If they measure for your band size anywhere else besides where your band is supposed to sit, then that is so wrong it should be punishable by law. It’s really sad because since they are the most popular lingerie chain in the US, they have an opportunity to bring full bust bras to the women of America, but they refuse to expand their size range and keep on making women who don’t fit into said tiny size range feel like freaks.
2. If you use descriptors such as squeeze, stuff, shoehorn, etc. to describe how you put your bra on, something is not right.
I still have problems with this. When I was wearing a DD, and I had my hands down my shirt every five minutes rearranging my boobs like some kind of deviant, I thought there was something terribly wrong with my boobs for not fitting into the “massive” size of 38DD. Now that I’ve had my bra epiphany (brapiphany?), I still can’t believe I wear anything over a 38FF, even though I still have to tuck myself back in many times over the day. I think it comes from my not wanting to get too big for my britches, if you will. Who do I think I am, wearing a 38FF and still wanting a bigger cup size? I just think I need a bigger size because I want a bigger size! If I get a bigger size, I might think I’m somebody, and I can’t have that! I got demons. Bra demons. But there’s still that little rational voice that tells me that I’m at least a 38G, and I answer that voice with an ornery, ” I know you are, but what am I?!”.
3. If you have two boobs without a bra on, you should also have two boobs with a bra on.
Say what now? Well, let us use some visual aides to illustrate what I’m talking about.
Let us assume that the woman above has two boobs when she doesn’t have a bra on. With the bra she is wearing, she now has six boobs. The two in the cups, the two spilling out over the top, and the two spilling out of the sides around her armpits. If you don’t have more than two boobs when you aren’t wearing a bra, you shouldn’t have more than two when you are.
Now let me show you what a well fitting bra looks like.
Bam! Again, let us assume this woman has two boobs when she is not wearing a bra. How many boobs does she have in the above bra? I count two. The two in the cups. That is the Panache Andorra bra, by the way. I hope to get my grubby little paws on it as soon as possible.
4. If your band rides up your back, it is too big and can’t do its job.
I’ve never really had a problem with knowing when my band is too big, because I simply cannot stand it when my band creeps up my back. Many women don’t seem to mind this, but they really should. Your bra band’s job is to support almost all of the weight of your boobs. The straps are there to hold a little bit of the weight. If your band is not firm, it can’t do its job. I recommend measuring tightly around your ribcage right under your boobs, and getting your band size that way. My tight ribcage measurement is 38″, and I wear 38 bands. If your measurement is an odd number, you can round one up or down and wear the size that feels the best. There’s also a fantastic calculator here : http://sizemapp.com/en/ It’s so good, I keep it on my bookmarks toolbar in case there’s ever a bra fitting emergency (hey, it could happen).
I hope my barely organized ramblings can help someone start on their own brapiphany, but if you want to know everything about well fitting bras for the plus sized woman, I will send you across the pond to Georgina of http://fullerfigurefullerbust.com/ . She’s got this stuff down.