Bra Shopping: Guide to Shopping For A Full Bust
How do you feel when someone suggests the idea of lingerie shopping to you? Delight or dread?
Chances are, if you’re like many women I’ve spoken to, you’re not overly enthusiastic. As I have also felt in the past! I would find it to be an emotional & often disappointing process. I grew up in a small town where there wasn’t much available to accommodate a fuller bust (DD+) & I also was extremely self conscious. Needless to say, bra fittings brought me feelings of dread.
I have spoken to many many women & their bra fitting dreads seem to be quite similar.
These are all valid & common questions! I would like to address them all, but first here’s a little bit about myself.
I am not a professional bra fitter. I blog about the underwear I have & about the things I have learnt along the way.
For so many years I didn’t know my correct bra size. When puberty hit my mum tried taking me bra shopping. I found it too overwhelming & refused. cMum would instead, go to the shop & get me a range of sizes & styles to try, then return what I didn’t want. We did this for many years! I cannot remember exactly how old I was when I first got fitted but I think it was mid teens & I was a 10E (UK 32E). I wore this size for as long as I could, but my breasts kept on growing. By my late teens I was buying the biggest bras I could find at my small local shop & hand sewing the bands smaller to fit my large bust but small rib cage.
In my early 20’s I saw a TV news item about a shop in my state which catered to bra sizes 6-36 B-N (UK 28-58 B-N) & it was like my eyes were opened for the first time. I immediately jumped on their website.
I was not alone in a body shaped like this. I was not the only one with big breasts. I did not have to hand sew ill fitting bras in an attempt to get them to fit. I could actually buy something made for my shape!
This is was a life changing moment for me.
Fast forward to today & I am still sharing my joy for stores like this & the brands they sell. I cannot keep this valuable information to myself. I must shout it from the rooftops! Or at least do my best to share it to other women online.
This is why I began blogging about lingerie in 2016. I needed to reach more women, like me, who didn’t know there were better options out there!
The options are there & you can enjoy them too. Lingerie shopping doesn’t have to be something to dread.
So, let’s chat about those common questions before you set out to buy your next bra.
What if nothing fits me?
You need to choose your shop wisely & research them in advance. I know for a fact that there is only one store in my city that stocks my size. If I was to walk into a department store to be fitted, nothing would fit me. Find out what other people your size are wearing & see where they shop. Doing your research means you’re less likely to leave disappointed.
Will the bra fitter judge me, my old bra, my body, my breasts?
No, no, no & no. This is their job. They are taught to fit bodies like yours & often times that is what they specialise in. Their focus is on how the bra fits you, not what your body looks like, or what state your old bra is in. They are there to help you.
Why is it so damn hot in these change rooms?
Nerves & confined spaces. I don’t think there has ever been a time I haven’t come out of the change room sweating. This is normal & the bra fitters are use to it. Between having clammy skin from feeling anxious & the logistics of trying on several bras in a confined space, it’s to be expected. You will not the be the first sweaty lady being helped in that fitting room & you won’t be the last.
What if there isn’t a fitter available?
If you can, wait. It’s better to wait for expert advice, than it is to guess & be coming back later to return it. Or worse, have brand new bras at home not being worn!
Should I shop online?
If you know your size, go for it! Some companies do virtual fittings online & can provide assistance when looking for sizes & styles to suits your needs.
How do I know the bra I bought online fits correctly?
Sadly we don’t all have bra fitters hidden in our wardrobes for when we need, but here’s a few things to keep an eye out for.
Band: This is where most of your support comes from. It should sit straight & firm across your back. The rule of thumb is that the band is firm enough when you’re able to slide two fingers between the band & your skin. Any tighter & it will cause discomfort, and looser & it won’t be effective. Yes, this may cause a bulge of skin to be more noticeable or an extra roll of back fat might appear, but that is normal! Having a correct fitting band is more important than an extra roll. Trust me!
Straps: Or as I like to call them, The Weight Bearers. Once you get to a certain cup size, you realise that wide straps are a treasure. I don’t care if my bra strap is wider than my shoes string singlet, I need comfort. Make sure they’re adjusted so they don’t slide off your shoulder or dig in.
Cups: If the cups are too small you will notice bulging often at the tops & sides, commonly known as quad-boob. You’ll need a bigger cup which will fully contain then. And you’ll know if the cups are too big if you find the fabric is wrinkling or gaping. Also, if you’re like me & have one breast significantly bigger than the other, fit to the size of your biggest breast.
Wires: Love them or hate them, they’re only here to help. Different bra styles & brands use wires of all different heights & widths. If you find them sticking into your chest or sides & causing pain, it might be a sign to try another style.
These are just a few things I have learnt along the way as a blogger. I thought blogging would be just sharing information about bras & learning about brands. But it has turned into so much more.
Please join me on my adventures!