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To think this bra doesn't fit?

(465 Posts)
StuntNun Sat 23-Feb-13 18:30:35

I went to John Lewis for a bra fitting last week as I have changed size post-pregnancy. The sales assistant sized me as a 34G which I was surprised at because I have been wearing a 36 on the second set of hooks so I'm not convinced a 34 would do up. Anyway she brought me three size 36F bras to try on as they didn't have any in 34G. I bought one because I really needed a new bra but I feel a bit squished in it - my boobs are pushed together at the front.

AIBU to think this bra doesn't fit and I should just order in size 36G from the Internet?

what are your under bust and over bust measurements and we will tell you what sort of size to go for.

StuntNun Sat 23-Feb-13 18:44:09

Under 32", fullest part 40".

IN that case you need a 32, probably in around a FF but if the 36F is a bit snug I would also try bigger cups - probably try a G and GG at least

StuntNun Sat 23-Feb-13 18:51:50

Hang on that can't be right as I'm wearing a 36 now. I'll go and measure again.

CockyFox Sat 23-Feb-13 18:51:56

YANBU That bra doesn't fit. My measurements are 32" under bust and 41" fullest part I take a 32G or GG depending on style. Ignore that add 4" to get back size nonsense.

there's no way you are a 36 then, more like a 32 FF/G.

It's unbelievable how different we are to what we think, and just how many women wear ill fitting bras. I was wearing a 38C, went and got properly measured and I'm a 34DD/E shock

I didn't consider myself to have big boobs/be fuller chested at all, but I was completely wrong!

My new bra felt a bit tight at first, but she explained that it's SUPPOSED to feel like that, and showed me where the wire was supposed to sit etc, how tight the straps should be. I was just used to wearing a bra that was too big (in back size).

I didn't realise just HOW wrong I was....now my bra is so comfy and I feel so much more supported.

Most women who are wearing the wrong bra are wearing one which is too big in the back but it isn't always entirely obvious that this is what is wrong. When the back is too big, the bra moves more than it should and the cups fall forward, which can actually make the bra feel like it is cutting in. Also, if the cups are no big enough then they will "steal" fabric from the back to try and give the breasts enough space.

Here's some info on judging a good bra, with thanks to Sorrel and Hazlenutt too

Testing the band and cup
To test the band size, put the bra (in this example a 30 back) on back to front on the loosest hooks. If you can breathe but if feels tight and you can only fit two fingers underneath the wire at the front, then that's the correct back size for you. If it's so tight it's unbearable then go up a size.

The cup will differ much more between brands and styles than the back. Put the bra round the correct way, lean forward then take your right hand and put it inside your left cup. Reach right round under your armpit/towards your back and scoop all the backfat/escapage forward in to the cup of the bra. This may require vigour!

Repeat on the other side.

Then put the shoulder straps up and adjust as necessary (not too tight as it's the back that should be doing most of the supporting work). If for example, you've started with a 30D, you will probably find that after scooping, you have some bulging over the cup and four-boobage going on! This means you need to go up one or more cup sizes. Keep going up through the cup sizes until all your breast tissue is firmly in place. Once you have put your bra straps up you may well need to repeat the scooping described above but with the straps in place.

Bra myths and D+ denial
There are thousands of women who should be wearing 32 back or smaller and a D+ cup or bigger but:

•They went to M&S for fitting
•They haven't seen anything smaller than a 32 back in the shops
•Have read that [insert a really slim big-boobed celebrity] wears a 36DD and therefore cannot imagine they could need a smaller back/bigger cup (the celebrity in question is of course in a wildly wrong size as well, or the papers just made it up).

So the next time a tiny woman claims to be a 34 bra, you know what to do..

A good fitting bra…
If your bra is a good fit after doing this it should:

•Be worn on the loosest hook (when new). If you can fasten it on the tightest hook then try a back size lower.

•The band should be completely horizontal

•You should only be able to fit a couple of fingers under the front of the bra. If you can get more than that, or you can pull it more than an inch or so away from your body at the back, it is TOO BIG!

•If you raise your arms, the back should not really move - no riding up

•The wires should be entirely encasing your breast tissue - breast tissue goes surprisingly far back and a lot of people don't realise this. If you feel where the wire is sitting under your arm then it should be sitting on a fairly firm surface.

•The central gore (where the wires meet) should sit flat between your boobs. if it is being pushed away, then the cup is probably too small (and the back possibly too big as well)

•There should be absolutely no lumps over the top of the cup. Take a fitted t shirt with you to put over the top of the bra and stand side on to a mirror and watch as you breathe in. If you have a bit of a bulge only when you breathe in, you probably need to go up 1 cup. If it is visible when breathing out then it's probably more like two cups or more.

•The cup shouldn't gape. If it does, it may be too big or it may be the wrong shape of bra for you. Moulded cups are particularly bad for this as they don't adapt to your shape.

•The shoulder straps shouldn't be painful and digging in. Most of the support should come from the back. If you find that you can't get enough support without the straps being so short they hurt the bra isn't for you. Most likely it's too big in the back but it may also just be a bra that doesn't suit you.

•and on that note; not every brand works for every person. There are quite distinct differences in shape between brands which mean a particular brand may just not suit the shape of your breasts.

StuntNun Sat 23-Feb-13 19:00:17

Right I've measured again with my bra on and off. Under is definitely 32". The other measurement is 40" with bra on and 42 with bra off. I tried doing the 36F up on it's tightest hooks and it feels fine but I don't think I could tighten it another four inches IYSWIM to get to a 32. I can't believe I went for a fitting and still for the wrong size, it's leaving red marks when I take it off. hmm

42 with the bra off actually makes more sense based on the cup info, as that would make someone with a 36back a FF (and you said the F was a little small in the cup)

in a 32, that would mean you need to try a 32GG as a base

StatisticallyChallenged - that echoes what my fitter told me. I was amazed I was a DD/E as I though "well Pamela Anderson is and I'm nowhere NEAR as big as she is".

StuntNun Sat 23-Feb-13 19:03:36

That's great advice there StatisticallyChallenged thank you. How have I got to 36 years old without being able to tell whether a bra fits or not. Maybe John Lewis have a huge overstock of 36F bras they fob off on unsuspecting customers.

StuntNun Sat 23-Feb-13 19:04:52

32GG shockshockshock

Don't tell my DH or he won't leave me alone! This pregnancy lark is great for the bosoms.

WiseKneeHair Sat 23-Feb-13 19:05:42

If you've got a bravissimo near you, go and get fitted there. But if you measure 32" under the bust, you probably are a 32 G-ish cup.

StuntNun - I know what you mean, you should have seen DH's face when I told him I was a DD grin

Unfortunately, almost every high street store still tries to use the old fitting method of adding 4". Nobody is quite sure where it came from, but it's bollocks for modern bras grin. John LEwis are normally one of the better ones, and it may be that if she had actually seen you in a 34 she would have gone hmm...needs to be tighter, but it's quite common to get wedged in to whatever the shop has in stock.

I've seen it claimed that Pam is a 36DD. She is nothing like a 36 in reality. She is probably a 28 (maybe even smaller as she is very petite framed) but likely with more like an H or bigger.

lljkk Netherlands Sat 23-Feb-13 19:08:46

I can't follow all these bra advice threads very well, I don't think I have the patience to go on a mighty mission searching & ultimately buying dozens of mythical bras of the supposed size that would supposedly fit me best in that quest (when I'm perfectly comfy in my supposedly wrong size bras).

But I am quite curious about the experiences of others smile. So could you follow the Bra-zistas advice, StuntNun, and try to get a bra sizes they suggest, and then come back in 6 months & tell us how you got on?

Re: the red marks. A well fitted bra will probably leave red marks, though it shouldn't be painful. If you think about it, skinny jeans / pants / socks all leave red marks too. A bra needs to be firmly fitting around the back or it won't be supportive.

Indeed StatisticallyChallenged - she did say that nearly all celebs lie about their size grin

I didn't need to go on a quest to find a bra smile....my Mum took me to a really nice boutique where this lovely lady threw bras at me for an hour before I picked one. Each time I tried one on she would do all the tests mentioned above, show me where it should sit etc. It was a really nice experience actually, not at all like how I remembered.

TBH I think it depends a bit on how big your boobs are too llkjj. I'm a hh-ish, and the wrong bra on that size can have serious physical repercussions for back and shoulder pain.

A good bra fitter does make it so much easier Scarlet, unfortunately so many places don't have them so you almost need a bit of knowledge to be able to spot a good fitter. I can spot them pretty much instantly now!

JollyYellowGiant Sat 23-Feb-13 19:17:24

I love bra threads. It's like MN (well, statistically, hazlenut and sorrell) spreading the love and ensuring that women look fabulous and don't have breast/back pain.

On the down side, I used to be about the only GG cup in the world and now all you are too!!

IncognitoIsMyFavouriteWord Sat 23-Feb-13 19:18:23

ok wise mumsnetters what size am I if you don't mind me asking.

I'm 38 underneath and 45 at fullest.

I normaly wear a 38G am I right? Xx

WeAreSix Sat 23-Feb-13 19:18:46

I was wearing a 34c or d depending on make. I was fitted by M&S and cried when they sent me to the teenager section

I went to Bravissimo in the week and came away with a lovely fitting 30F. I was absolutely amazed!

I've just measured my mum using the technique from here, she's wearing a 38b but I reckon she needs a 34d or possibly bigger cup. She doesn't believe me but I'm marching her off to Bravissimo next weekend!

My Mum found the place because she was looking for specialist mastectomy bras and this was the only place that sold them (well nice ones anyway) in our town. It's a non-franchise (ie not John Lewis, M&S or anything) little boutique place. She makes you tea and coffee etc and even put CBeebies on for my DD grin

My last fitting was at Debenhams and I was so embarassed (stupid I know, but I was much younger) and I'd made the mistake of when I put weight on, just going up a back size and making do...didn't realise how wrong I was! She explained to me that a lot of what women complain about (sagging of bewbage etc) that gets blamed on having children etc, can be put down to not wearing the right bra.

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