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?

ilovepowerhoop Sat 23-Feb-13 18:35:28

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.

ilovepowerhoop Sat 23-Feb-13 18:51:57

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 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 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 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.

incognito, how did you measure that overbust? on those measurements alone a G sounds big but it is very easy to underestimate the overbust as it's really best to measure it bare busted and leaning right over so that all the breast tissue gets included. A 38 back sounds right tough.

cjbk1 Sat 23-Feb-13 19:36:47

<we are six> and others I just must post; I almost cried in M&S too i think she tried to give me an awful a-cup bra so i just left it and since that day iv been eyeing teen bras in the end I bought a nasty 2 pack in john Lewis so do we think they were wrong? (as I said in the 'small boobs' thread I'm BF'ing dc3 atm but just dreading after I stop hmm) I even refused the offer of being measured in debenhams because of the threat of "ordering in AA-cups blush
sorry for thread hijack x

cjbk1, could you bear to measure yourself using the guide I put near the top of the thread? I would put money on you not being an A-cup in reality.

ilovepowerhoop Sat 23-Feb-13 19:42:43

to be an A cup there would only be 1 inch difference between your under bust and over bust measurements which is highly unlikely. Your bra size is probably bigger than you expect.

manticlimactic Sat 23-Feb-13 19:44:12

I was wearing a 38E then went and got a fitting. I was a 34FF/G depending on style. I did try loads of bras on to get a comfy fit. DD was wearing a 34B and she went to a 28F. She was horrified but agrees that bra fits her well.

manticlimactic Sat 23-Feb-13 19:45:13

Oh and M&S are shite at measuring.Last time I got measured there she measured me over my jumper.

Squeakygate Sat 23-Feb-13 19:52:22

I was amazed the difference a well fitted bra makes. I actually have a bust!

Catbag Sat 23-Feb-13 19:54:41

I am usuless at working out what size bra to take. I have had six children and so have spent a bit of time going up and down. I usually just up the back size and the cup if I need more room. I never got my head around adding four or five inches etc to get correct size blush I suspect that the 38F bras that I am wearing are waaaay off, given your experiences.

Just to clarify, I should measure back, and then lean over to measure boobs? Is that right?

Yup, measure your back FIRMLY in inches. Then, whip bra off, lean forward so breasts are hanging straight down, and measure around the fullest/lowest part of your breasts. This measurements shouldn't be pulled tight

ouryve Sat 23-Feb-13 20:02:52

I perused the M&S bras, this morning. Nothing smaller than a 32 back and not much over a DD, even in the massive Metrocentre store. And rack after rack of padded bras. I understand if you want to avoid visible nipplage - like I did when I was pregnant, but not good for day to day.

And they were offering £5 vouchers if you got measured and then spent £30 on bras. I wonder if that has to be in the size they decided you were? grin

Catbag Sat 23-Feb-13 20:04:40

I shall do this tomorrow when not stuck under babies as I am now. Genuinely intrigued...

cjbk1 Sat 23-Feb-13 20:58:24

ok iv braved the tape measure I got 31" under bust and 36/37" across boobs as advised but I am BF'ing a 5mo...

OK cjbk1...I have news. You are not an A cup. You are not a b cup.

You need to try a few sizes because your measurements aren't definite. My best guess would be a 30E/F, but I would also try a 32D/DD/E

ilovepowerhoop Sat 23-Feb-13 21:10:35

I agree, you are far far bigger than an A cup! M&S and some other places dont measure correctly as they add inches to the under bust measurement which makes the cup size smaller than it should be. What you want is a well fitting band and proper sized cups.

cjbk1 Sat 23-Feb-13 21:13:57

aww thank-you statistically (the bold and italics don't work anymore do they?) I was waiting for you to come back on! that does make me feel a lot better x

cjbk1 Sat 23-Feb-13 21:14:41

*now they do blush

I'm confused as after reading some threads on here and measuring myself I thought I must be in the wrong size bra (was wearing a 32FF). I measure 28 inches underbust and 39 overbust. I went to bravissimo and was told my bra fitted perfectly and my size was 32FF so it seems for me I do need to add four inches? Very confusing. I did have my bra on the tightest hook at the fitting though.

Hmmm, that doesn't sound right tbh sausageinabun. How does the back of your back fit? Is it completely horizontal? If you buy a new bra, does it fit firmly on the loosest hook? Can you pull it away from your body by more than an inch or two?

CockyFox Sat 23-Feb-13 21:45:41

I'm also very confused, I have just done my measurements leaning over and got 32" under bust and 44" over, now I wear a 32G or GG bra but that is based on a 41" full bust should I really be wearing an H or HH (does such a thing exist?)

CockyFox, cup size is much harder to measure than underbust, it can only really be an estimate. But, are you scooping all the underarm/back fat in to the cups? Sometimes this is to blame for a discrepancy as many people don't realise that underarm tissue is actually breast and belongs in the cup. Try vigorous scooping, you may find you suddenly have quad boob!

Well I can fit a whole hand under the band and pull it quite a way from my body but it does sit horizontally. The cups fit fine. I think I'm going to have to just go and try a load on and not bother with a fitter.

Noodled Sat 23-Feb-13 22:00:11

God am torn really want to see if have more boob living in my armpit but it's really cold here and our heating switched itself off. Can I brave the cold. Am wearing a 36C, it is fraying! Actually it is beyond frayed on the left side...bigger or more friction from extra jiggle? I have worn it before pregnancy, during and now whilst bf! I have two nursing bras but they aren't comfy. I hate shopping but have now meant to buy new bras each week for over a year!

CockyFox Sat 23-Feb-13 22:00:16

Interesting results of vigourous scooping - 3 boobs, I've only got double boob on one side, must have one bigger than the other, think I'll pop to bravissimo and try a bigger cup on and see how it looks but don't want one side not full.

Cockyfox, if you pop over to S&B, Marriednotdead has just posted some advice an hour or so ago about how to fit breasts with asymmetry. Definitely sounds like bigger cup needed though

Sausage - whole hand = back tooooooo big smile Based on your measurements, I would say a 28H. This is broadly in line with the cup size you are wearing just now (it's roughly down one back=up one cup to maintain volume but it's not exact)

chickydoo Sat 23-Feb-13 22:06:37

Could do with some help, tape measure in Hand.
Back is 28.2
Fullest part of bust without bra is 33.6
I was measured as a 32 c
Doesn't feel right. Any suggestions
Thanks very much

try a 28DD and 28E chickydoo

HazleNutt Sat 23-Feb-13 22:11:25

chicky, try 28DD or E

chickydoo Sat 23-Feb-13 22:13:16

28 E!! Dear God! Sounds a really weird size, but thank you, will give it a go!

JeeanieYuss Sat 23-Feb-13 22:13:58

On the other thread in chat Sorrell and Statistically challenged were on I followed there advice and went from a 38B up to a 34E..
Loads better, I finally feel supported and the best bit is I look lovely and pert, hehe!

Don't give up and think it's too complicated, it isn't.. I tried on about 3 diff sizes that Sorrell recommended and ended up needing one size bigger, but I only knew that because of the advice on here..
It took me 25 mins max I'd say to try them all on, I also tried lots of diff styles as well in the sizes as diff styles suit different boobs!
As soon as I put the 34E on I knew, there was no 'fourth' boob problem going on, no back fat etc, it was a revelation I'm telling you haha..
This is about the 4th or 5th thread I have seen on bra sizing now, it's obv a problem and it's great that these ladies are helping us all on here!!


Tortoise Sat 23-Feb-13 22:14:32

I'm down to one bra, and it's not comfy at all.
Off to find tape measure! grin

HazleNutt Sat 23-Feb-13 22:15:22

28E won't be easy to find, internet is your best bet. Bravissimo, brastop, figleaves etc.

JeeanieYuss Sat 23-Feb-13 22:15:29

Sorry 'StatisticallyChallenged' bit of a name fail their, sorry!

Tortoise Sat 23-Feb-13 22:22:24

Right, I appear to be 36" under boobs and 46" across boobs.
Currently wearing 40DD as measured at Bhs.
Please help smile

John Lewis do some 28 backs, but not all stores have that particular rage (can't remember the name, but it's one of their "own brand" ones. DD was a 28 back, but rejected all the "scary" bras, and it was a nightmare trying to find plain cotton bras in that back size . But if you're happy to have patterns and a bit of lace, the JL have somegrin.

HazleNutt Sat 23-Feb-13 22:26:00

tortoise, no wonder your bra is not comfy! Start with 36GG.

JeeanieYuss Sat 23-Feb-13 22:26:03

And I have now just realised the thread I was on about was on Style and Beauty, not Chat, if anyone wanted a read of it!

Tortoise Sat 23-Feb-13 22:28:30

Really Hazle? That sounds huge.

HazleNutt Sat 23-Feb-13 22:31:07

cup size is more difficult to guess just based on measurements, so take a few size 36 bras, scoop everything into the cups and see how it fits. Try it under a tight t-shirt - there should not be any overspill or four-boob.

Bluelightsandsirens Sat 23-Feb-13 22:31:38

I never get on these threads at the beginning so marking my place for future reference and a reminder to buy a measuring tape.

I have to join in! I'm in nursing bras at the mo that are way too big but I was trying not to buy new as DS2 is 10m old now and will hopefully be dropping constant day feeds soon...

So, under boob is 32.5" Fullest part (leaning forward braless) is 41"
I have old pre preg bras that are 34 though, and they dont go round me??

The only proper bra I have that seems to fit is a 36D (I def tried 34s too small and DDs too big when I bought it)

Do me! smile

Yup Tortoise, 36GG. The bra you are wearing just now has (approximately) the same cup volume as a 36F. So it's not that big a step up when you think of it that way.

nailak Sat 23-Feb-13 22:35:00

so per inch difference between back size and bust size you add a cup size? (dod that make sense?


I would start you in a 32G.

The reason your old 34s don't go round is probably because the cup is massively too small. Try putting them on back to front - bet they do up grin

Yup that's right just nailak. Watch out of the doubles - most brands in the uk go A,B,C,DD,E,F,FF,G,GG,H,HH,J,JJ,K....AA is < 1 inch

Jury is out on whether it's per inch between back measurement or back size (I tend towards back size) which is why especially for people who are, say, 31" we will normally suggest a range of sizes to try.

SCOTCHandWRY Sat 23-Feb-13 22:45:07

I am really top heavy - size 12 bottom, 18 on top (and its difficult to get tops which fit at the waist and also at the bust).

Am wearing 40f, just measured myself as 34 under, and a huge 47 over! The band too loose going by the descriptions on this thread, and pull up a bit, not sitting horizontal hmm

Tortoise Sat 23-Feb-13 22:46:07

Ok, thanks.
Off to look online.

nailak Sat 23-Feb-13 22:46:14

so back measurement and backsize are different? i am confused.

i measured myslelf 32 37

i have been wearing 34d or 36 c/d but have put on more weight. Is defo not right size, too tight wires dig in.
I am not convinced 32 dd would fit?

I've just ordered me some 32Gs and a 34F to try, will be here Monday so I'll be back with a verdict grin

Scotchandwry....34J to start with which should feel far more comfortable, but try at least a cup size either side of that.'s more that some women measure, say, 31. So jury is out on whether cup size is (top measurement minus 31) or (top measurement - bra back size which would be 30 or 32 as 31s don't exist)

Personally I just recommend people try both but I have found that it tends more towards the difference with bra back than measurement.

Nailak, wI would put you in a 32DD at least, but if wires are digging on a 34D that suggests you may need more cup volume, so I would try an E as well, at least

Didnt see FFs??

Which brand was it beyondthelimits?

Tortoise Sat 23-Feb-13 22:56:07

They are so expensive. I'm not sure I can afford to buy more than one at the moment especially if I have to send it back then wait for replacement or refund. sad

SCOTCHandWRY Sat 23-Feb-13 22:58:40

Thank you statisticallychallenged!

Tortoise have a look at for bargains up to a K cup. and are quite good, and i have also just ordered a couple from which were heavily reduced.

Next, just double checked and def no FFs.

And yes, thank you!! smile

it may be that next own brand don't do a FF, in which case you might find you need to go up a cup size in them.

I seem to have free delivery at the moment, so I'll order loads more if the one's I've already ordered don't fit. May well send them all back anyway, but will be nice to have rough idea of size sorted grin

Am I right in my deduction from upthread info that 36dd and 32g have the same boobage volume?

this is one which is a bit debatable. COnventional "sister sizing" is that you go up one cup size as you go down one back size to maintain cup volume. But that doesn't work out with the maths of how you calculate cup size from measurements! So based on "sister sizing" it would be equal to a 32F, but on measurements it would be equal to a G

Welcome to the confusion of bras smile

EMUZ Sat 23-Feb-13 23:10:14

32G - depends if they do a FF size but that would equal 34FF and 36F

If no FF size then 32G would be 34F or 36E

EMUZ Sat 23-Feb-13 23:10:52

Or what statistically said!!

StuntNun Sat 23-Feb-13 23:11:21

This is really interesting. I had no idea that the reason the under bust band was so tight was because the cups were too small so I need to go down a band size rather than up. Could the ladies that are trying different sizes please report back on this thread.

Stuntnun have a wee skim through

this and this

The second one is an earlier thread which saw a lot of woman undergo some crazy size changes, lots of people who thought they were a cups turning into DD!

and we are over here too

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 23-Feb-13 23:15:32

I have a question regarding the leaning forward to measure. I have emailed been BF Dd for nigh on three years. If I do the leaning forward thingy the will give a much larger measurement than over best fitting bra. But it seems just like skin hanging - there is no substance - like two socks hanging.

Should J just go for best fitting bra measurement?

The cup measurement is much harder to get from a tape measure itsallgoingtobefine. In an ideal world you would take it in a well fitting bra, but if the bra isn't great what tends to happen is that it makes your breasts too tall (for want of a better description - kind if crushes them against you and up). I haven't breast fed, but I have lost weight, gained weight and had a baby, and on me the leaning method is actually pretty good. I would maybe try taking a measurement in the most supportive bra you own, and one the leaning way, and trying a range of sizes which cover the two

In an ideal world go for a fitting, but only if you have access to somewhere GOOD - Bravissimo are generally good (although not infallible), Leia, Rigby and Peller, John LEwis (sometimes) etc. What I would say is, if you are going to get fitted, have a look at the post I put near the top of the thread that describes how to tell if a bra is good. That way you will know for yourself if the fitter is any good.

Tortoise Sat 23-Feb-13 23:21:17

Thanks Statistically. Ordered 2 bras from mycurvesandme smile

I try 3 different sizes when on a bra hunt, 32hh, 34h and 36gg, no matter what the style or shape, I fit mainly somewhere between those three sizes, it doesn't make it easy when shopping but it is worth the effort, for years I was wearing a 40f, my boibs where under my armpits, I was constant strapped either in the armit on on the front if my chest because wires moved, massive dents in my shoulders because the weight was hanging there unsupported. Thanks to the lovely ladies on here, I know what I'm looking for, I know I can't just pick a bra off the shelf l must fit it properly, I don't have back ache or shoulder ache and for the first time ever I like my boobs

andratx Sun 24-Feb-13 00:09:57

Hi, I posted my measurements on the other thread earlier this week. The ladies here advised me to change from a 44d (John Lewis fitting) to a 38g or 40F. I read through the thread for their advice on good makes and how to fit. Today, five Fantasie/Freya/Elomi bras arrived in the post.(not keeping them all, i need three including sports bra). I tried them on as advised, did some vigorous scooping (loads of side boob I have, it turns out)....suddenly they all fitted! I now have a pert pair of well supported boobs. Thank you to the two ladies who helped and advised xxx

Yey Andratx! I bet that feels very different after a 44D!

AbyCat Sun 24-Feb-13 00:28:49

Oh dear gawd, I just measured myself thanks to this thread, and I'm coming up with 37 under and 48 over. I always used to be a 34J and have gone up to 36JJ without getting a proper fitting as I just thought that would be better, but my boobs are so lopsided in any size, and I also get really uncomfortable with the underwiring after a long day - should I go up to a 38?

(Disclaimer, will go & get a proper fitting when I can afford another £40+ bra!!)

Most people who are between sizes actually get on better with the lower back size, so chances are the 36 is correct. Can you have a look at the pointers near the top (long post from me) and try to work out what part of your bra feels "wrong"? It could also be the wrong bra for you style wise. What bra are you wearing?

AbyCat Sun 24-Feb-13 00:45:29

Thanks statisicallychallenged - 36JJ at the moment.

Its on the tightest hook as it feels like it slips up the back on the loosest one. But I am bulging out on the right hand side if I don't hoick it in occasionally! Its a freya Jolie, I wore the Millie for years which was always perfect but they don't do them anymore. However, I've never ever been able to find a bra that has the wires which will sit flat between the boobs - just not possible with these boobs, they sit touching each other if you get what I mean. I remember crying at the lady in Rigby & Peller about 10 years ago when she gave up & said I was a freak (after calling in 2 other assistants to look at me who agreed).

So, yes, that bit always feels wrong, but the major change recently has been the soreness on each side of the ribcage bit on the side of the body with the Jolie bra.

Hmm. Few options - I have had the Jolie, and found it was great to start with BUT it stretched quite dramatically resulting in a lot of hoiking!

It really should be possible to get a bra to sit flat - I know that sounds easy to say, but I'm a borderline J cup myself, have been bigger too. I also have extremely close set breasts, with no "gap" between them at all. I have almost had to "train" myself to get used to bras which sit over, and I find I need either an extremely low, or a very high, central gore. Anything mid level hurts like crazy because it digs in to me. Does that make sense?

But I am wondering which brands you have tried/been tried in. For many people, certain brands just don't work. I have been really disappointed with Freya recently, I used to adore them and they just seem to have got very weak and poorly designed suddenly. Have you tried any of the Bravissimo own brand bras at all? I love the Alana as a day to day bra (although it's not great if your breasts are especially full on top) and it is super supportive. I have also recently bought the Betsy (go up a back size in this but stick to your regular cup) and the support and lift it gives is amazing.

helibee Sun 24-Feb-13 01:33:01

I need help. I have at least a 2 cup size different between my breasts so how on earth do I find a good bra to fit? hmm

Have a wee look on the thread over on S&B called Time for a new bra thread. There is a poster called "marriednotdead" who advises how to manouver your smaller breast in bras. I have also been told previously that you fundamentally have to fit the larger breast as overspill will be more obvious under clothing. A cup which is too small can be tweaked for by a mixture of breast placement, shorted straps and some padding if necessary.

MerryCouthyMows Sun 24-Feb-13 02:12:43

Any suggestions where I can buy a bra that fits?

I measure as a 27" underneath, and 43" across the fullest part.

Most online bra sizers cry tell me that my measurements are too varied to compute. (!)

The only one that DID give me a result said I should wear a 29L.

So, my current bras are a 34G. It's the biggest I can get in the supermarket. Anything over £10 a bra is unaffordable for me as I'm on benefits.

My bras ride up at the back, dig in in between my boobs, cut into my shoulders...

I can't even FIND anywhere that does bras in a 29L, and even if I could, I probably couldn't afford them.

However, I have some back pay of benefits coming soon, and I NEED to rectify this. So where can I buy a bra from?

The most comfortable style usually is a balconette. I don't wear lace. At all. I prefer satin (or satin style at least, smooth and shiny) bras. I don't want something my granny would be embarrassed to wear.

Not much to ask?!

MerryCouthyMows Sun 24-Feb-13 02:19:25

Fuck me, if I measure it like you say, statistically challenged, I'd measure far more, surely, overbust?!

<<grabs tape measure>>

Still coming out as a 27/28 underneath.

Overbust...FUCKING HELL!! 48"?!


So what Jeffing size is that then?!

If I conservatively say 28" underneath and 48" over the top?!

Can't even begin to guess what bra size THAT would be!

The larger measurement would, in theory, make you a 28MM. Which, you are quite correct, is impossible to get without getting something custom made. Based on the smaller measurement, you would need a 28K, which is a bit more achievable!

Brastop sells a 28K, and has these in stock and some are very reasonably. The curvy kate sizing is a bit variable, so google for review of the particular bra before buying as their are some great lingerie bloggers out there. Although it didn't suit me, I think the Emily is qiute big in the cup for a Curvy Kate
Bravissimo fails miserably, and has these
If the 28k isn't big enough in the cup, then the easiest thing to do, in terms of figuring your size, is to go up a back and try those bras which are available in a 30k (which would be equivalent to either a 28KK or 28L roughly) such as these as well as what Bravissimo and brastop have.

The reason I suggest trying the 30s is that it is relatively simple to take the band of a bra down by a size. Any more and it's a bit tricker, but shrinking it by a couple of inches is quite simple, so if you can get enough space in the cups in a 30 back, then you just turn it in to a 28.

There is a polish bra company called Ewa Michelak, which custom makes bras on request for reasonable rates and may well be able to make you something that fits well, but I would try to figure out your size based on what is available in the UK at the moment as anything custom is also non-returnable.

You must be so uncomfortable in the 34s, you poor thing!

MerryCouthyMows Sun 24-Feb-13 09:21:23

I call my bras 'torture instruments', and absolutely HATE wearing them.

I KNOW I'm not the right size - but I can tell you that even done up back to front, a 30 is too large. I can fit my whole hand in there, and pull it away from my body a good 2-2.5 inches.

So I really MUST be a 28 back. So I guess the 28MM (?!) must be about right.

I will try those you mention, and may well resort to a custom made one or two while I have the cash to do so.

The first thing I do when I get through the door is take off my torture implement bra, and go bra-less.

I'm only a size 14 on the bottom half, and I haven't worn a blouse since I was 13 - even my school have in and let me wear a stretchy t-shirt as it was impossible to find a blouse that would stay done up across my hooters!

I just think that it is awful how little people with 'unusual' bra sizes are catered for.

I have long wished to set up a bra company specialising in small band sizes and larger cup sizes.

Maybe I can do some research on that.

MerryCouthyMows Sun 24-Feb-13 09:22:25

(Have tried a 28k from bravissimo, cup wasn't large enough, had a massive four-boob look going on!!)

AbyCat Sun 24-Feb-13 09:27:45

Statisticallychallenged - thank you very much, I will try the Bravissimo ones you mentioned. I've always worn Freya, but you are right & they don't seem to be as good as they used to be.

MerryCouthyMows Sun 24-Feb-13 09:29:21

And thank you for the help and advice. I will update once I have something comfortable!

Style wise, is there anything I should look for?

I have a massive aversion to lace. I like patterned bra's. I dislike full cup bras for sensory reasons.

I don't want something 'grannified'.

My boobs are like spaniel's ears heavier at the bottom after bf 4 DC's.

I wear a LOT of v-neck tops, so full cup is out because they show above my t-shirts.

I prefer balconette and plunge. I HAVE to have at least one plunge bra.

Many moons ago, I used to wear a Gossard ultrabra, but they stopped making them in such large sizes and I put on weight too, so my size changed. They WERE comfortable when I was 2 stone lighter and wearing a 28G. They were a satiny plunge style.

But that was years ago, and due to meds, the extra weight is proving impossible very hard to shift.

StuntNun Sun 24-Feb-13 09:36:54

I just tried an old 32DD that I had knocking about for no reason and it did up when on back to front. So the 36F John Lewis sold to me is completely hopeless then. I think I'll venture out further afield and try and find a lingerie shop to try next. Unfortunately there aren't any Bravissimo branches in Northern Ireland.

Thank you so much for your help ladies, particularly StatisticallyChallenged. How do you know so much about bras? Are you in the business?

MerryCouthyMows, annoyingly whilst Bravissimo make their Alana up to an L-Cup, they only do so in their larger back sizes which is really quite infuriating! It also runs small in the cup IMO.

Curvy Kate make a bra called the Daily Boost which goes up to a K, I don't know how it fits though. It's relatively plunging.

I think until you can get something customised, then you might struggle to get something which fits perfectly on the market. Have you ever tried something like the melody? It goes up to a KK in a 30, which would be the equivalent of an L/LL in a 28. I would be tempted to try this and other bras around the K/KK range in a 30 and maybe even a 32 to try and get the CUP right, then look at adjusting the back. I definitely would not go bigger than a 32 as any adjustments from say a 34 will leave you with a distorted bra. There are a few different (relatively simple) alterations which can be done - you can either take the clips off the back, cut and resew, take a small fold out of the central gore to make the cups closer together (which shrinks the back measure too) or take a little out of the side before the straps meet the back. If you are adjusting a 32 I would possibly us a combination so you don't end up with straps joining in a really weird place.

harryhausen Sun 24-Feb-13 09:50:36

I'm a 34HHhmm

I've only read half the thread so sorry if I'm repeating .

Before now M&S measured me as a 38FshockHouse of Fraser measured me as a 36G. It was only trail and error with Bravissimo that I'm where I am now.

I despair that I can't go into a shop and pick up a pretty bra in my size (there's no Bravissimo shop near me).

Nearly all friends I know where a cup size too small. Some of them several sizes too small. For some reason, there seems to be some weird stigma or embarrassment in wearing a large cup size. People ask me my size and make exclaimations and faces as if its a size I've chosen.

I wish I was an F cup with all my heart.

sapphirestar Sun 24-Feb-13 09:50:54

I'm also recommending Bravissimo, they are amazing. I went from a 36D to a 34 FF/G in a matter of minutes. The fitters are lovely and teach you that it's not all about the measurements but more how the bra fits that matters, and that you always need to try a bra on before buying it because styles vary so much, and as someone up thread said, one style doesn't suit everyone's shape.
They are a bit expensive, but definitely worth it not to have that urge to get out of your bra by teatime! I'm overdue a visit, my nearest one is an hour away but it's on my to-do list.

SorrelForbes Sun 24-Feb-13 09:54:47

Only just spotted this thread!

Everything that Statistically said.

I love Bravissimo sapphirestar - measurements are only ever a guideline really, hence the reams of "how it should fit" advice on these threads too. UNfortunately there are an awful lot of useless fitters around using the old method which puts the size miles off.

sapphirestar Sun 24-Feb-13 09:57:47

I agree statisticallychallenged, m&s fitted me originally and I was never comfortable. When I went to uni in a town that has a bravissimo, it was my first stop and I've never looked back!

Velve Sun 24-Feb-13 10:15:45

I'm with StatisticallyChallenged on the whole back size/band size confusion.
I measure 29" and a bit and can fit comfortably in a 28 or a 30 back as different brands or even different bras from the same brand can have tighter/looser bands and bigger/smaller cups (so as to make it really awkward and make you spend that cash, is my very cynical guess).

If I went by band size I would be a 28GG but a 30FF. 30FF is too small in cups but I fit nicely into a 30G. So for me the measurement are right if going by smaller band size but wrong if going by larger band size so I use my back size instead. hmm

Mind you if frogboy hasn't fed in a few hours and my boobs are rocks then all bras create a lovely fourboob effect. grin

jollytummywobbles Sun 24-Feb-13 10:56:31

I was a 36dd before pregnancy but about a stone heavier and 11 weeks in I measure 38" under bust, and 45" on the fullest part. Anyone know what this might make me?

SorrelForbes Sun 24-Feb-13 11:10:09

Try a 38FF

Syncope Sun 24-Feb-13 11:16:28

shock This thread is mindblowing, although I'm sure it shouldn't be quite the revelation it is. I hate wearing bras, find them all ridiculously uncomfortable, despite having rather small boobs. Most of my bras are 34B. Just tried some of the fitting 'tests' posted earlier - sod being able to get two fingers under the band, I can fit both fists on top of one another under there! What the bloody hell am I supposed to be wearing?!

Time for an emergency trip to bluewater this afternoon...

SorrelForbes Sun 24-Feb-13 11:44:32

Syncope - what are your measurements?

Syncope Sun 24-Feb-13 12:05:06

28 under bust, 35 over bust?

ilovepowerhoop Sun 24-Feb-13 12:15:01

around a 28F probably

Syncope Sun 24-Feb-13 12:33:52

confused That's a huge difference - no wonder I find bras so uncomfortable if that's the size I'm supposed to be wearing! Off to Bluewater now, will report back.

cjbk1 Sun 24-Feb-13 12:40:27

<syncope> as in fainting? x

Syncope Sun 24-Feb-13 12:45:11

Yes indeed, as in vasovagal - and fainting is exactly what I shall be doing if I turn out to be a 28F!

SorrelForbes Sun 24-Feb-13 12:54:46

Syncope. Follow the advice up thread to get the back right first. Then sort out the cups. Be brave. Any underarm bulge, back fat, quadraboob then go up another (or more) cup!

BumbleJay Sun 24-Feb-13 13:22:30

Ooh, interesting thread.

I don't think I've ever worn the right bra. I just checked the one I'm wearing and I can fit my HAND between my breastbone and bra.

I currently wearing a 34b, and have done since I was 16 (29 now). I've always had mini breasts. I've never been fitted but sort of went along with what the other girls said (as a teenager most of my 'friends' (aspie, no female friends) stated they were a 34c, I knew I had smaller breasts so adopted the B.

I'm 5'4 and weigh under 9st. I'm not fat and people tell me to put on weight.

I think now I have given my norks a terrible miscarriage of justice.

I wear ASDA bras.

Syncope Sun 24-Feb-13 13:34:16

I've just walked out of Leia carrying a bag with my brand new 30E bra in it. 30-bloody-E! You ladies are AWESOME. grin

bumblejay, at 9st I would put the chances that you are genuinely a 34 are.....pretty tiny!!! Get the measuring tape out!

Syncope, what bra did you go for?

Syncope Sun 24-Feb-13 14:18:58

This one:

Leia bra

Restrained myself to just getting one today as I had a £30 voucher or I would have gone a bit mad, which I really can't afford just now!

SorrelForbes Sun 24-Feb-13 14:26:33

How does the back feel when on back to front? Freya bras are usually quite large in the back so am a little surprised that the 30 was ok. Did you try a 28?

I bet you can notice a huge difference?

Hmm inclined to agree Sorrel, I have a Taylor in black and I would say the 30 is a true verging to large size.

Syncope Sun 24-Feb-13 14:53:38

Hmm... trying it on back to front there's still loads of room in it, actually - i can definitely pull it a good couple of inches away from my body. I think when it's on the 'right way round' it feels so much tighter than i'm used to that I thought it was OK, but having got it home and tried it on again, actually it feels like it could be tighter. Haven't taken the label off yet, may have to go back next week and try some more on and maybe change it. Would going for a 28 mean I'd likely need to go up one cup size, too? Apologies for all the stupid questions, this is all new to me!

StuntNun Sun 24-Feb-13 14:59:54

It's great though isn't it Syncope? Now I know why I couldn't find a bra that fit well, I was in completely the wrong ball park. So I was trying on 36s and 38s in various D and E cups when I should have been trying on 32s and 34s in G cups.

Syncope you would need to go up a cup size, yes. It may even be two, depends how it fits. So try the 28F and scoop, if you have any iverspill or quad boob then try the 28FF.

Syncope Sun 24-Feb-13 15:05:23

Great, I'll go back next week and try on some 28F/FF, see how I get on. This is such a helpful thread, thank you so much.

StuntNun - you're right, it's fantastic. I was nowhere near where I should have been, it's no wonder I've always found them so uncomfortable. I'm a complete convert, will be nagging my mum into going next!

Please let me know how you get on with 28F etc. I'm keeping an eye out for 28GG/H or ideally 26H/HH once DCs are back at school and I have a free day morning to go bra shopping.
9st 10 (and dropping) and 5ft here, my boobs are all that keeps me in adult clothes!

Noodled Sun 24-Feb-13 15:22:17

Well can't find tape measure but my bra does seem to fit according to your descriptions. Can't find any lurking armpit boob so nothing exciting to scoop. Shame am rather small when not nursing...

CotherMuckingFunt Sun 24-Feb-13 15:33:32

Can you pleeeease help me. I'm fucking gross quite fat so I've never had a proper fitting because I'm too embarrassed. I gave never had a comfortable bra. They always ride up at the back, cut through my shoulders and the front bit has never been flat against me because there's no room in between my disgusting flabby boobs .

I measure 37 underneath and 50 blush round my sacks of shit leaning forward.

I'm not an expert, but your measurements suggest 36 K/KK?
Hopefully a decent, well fitted bra will raise your confidence as well as your magnificent Bosoms!

CotherMuckingFunt Sun 24-Feb-13 15:57:56

Thank you. That's what I think I should be after reading this thread. I tried about eight online bra size calculators and they all said 42G which would be ridiculous as 38s ride up my back.

CelticPromise Sun 24-Feb-13 15:59:49

Cother try 36J/JJ/H for starters.

Another lovely bra thread!

CelticPromise Sun 24-Feb-13 16:00:42

I meant K not H. Apparently I have forgotten the alphabet blush

Online bra calculators are rubbish! Most still do the "add 4/5 inch" method which is useless for modern bras.

CotherMuckingFunt Sun 24-Feb-13 16:04:01

grin I'm going to the UK next week and visiting my brother who lives near a Bravissimo so I might brave stripping off there.

Apparently my sized bobs don't exist in France.

I thought French ladies were stereotypically quite, er, "gifted" in the boob regionwink. Certainly French fashion is curvier than British which is cut straight up and down.

sapphirestar Sun 24-Feb-13 16:08:06

Cother the girls in bravissimo are lovely, they don't bat an eyelid no matter what size or shape anyone is.
When I've been in they gave me the option of trying the bras on/off while they waited outside the curtain or could stay with me. I'm normally very self-conscious and didn't mind them staying while I swapped bras!
You'll come out feeling fabulous!! grin

CotherMuckingFunt Sun 24-Feb-13 16:10:58

My friend is a 34G and the lady in the lingerie shop nearly cried when she asked for a bra. And it cost 60€ shock

And the bras in general clothes shop cater for strawberry sized mounds of perfection. DH would have trouble getting his nipple in them on a cold day. Not that dh has tried.....

CotherMuckingFunt Sun 24-Feb-13 16:13:45

Thank you sapphire. I'm going to have to brave it as I think my boobs have contributed to my herniated disc in my neck so that's very reassuring.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 24-Feb-13 16:20:58

Bras in standard shops in France rarely go above a B/C cup. And French women don't bleed when they menstruate either, as our local supermarket only sells regular sized tampons. You have to go to the Pharmacy for the torrents of blood and bucket fanny sized ones.

And bras in France all have underwires above an A cup. DD2 is 12, and about a 28 D. The chances of finding something to fit her here are virtually nil.

BetsyBoop Sun 24-Feb-13 16:25:56

Okay here goes...

Currently wearing a 40H but having read this thread the back size is definitely too big, but the cup size seems about right, maybe confused

measurements under = 35", leaning at 90 over = 52" shock blush

could one of you clever ladies suggest what size I should try? (Does anyone even make that size?!)

Thank you smile

ediblewoman Sun 24-Feb-13 16:29:58

Oh gosh I am confused, I am currently in a 34 A on the middle hooks, but my underbust is 30 and my bust 33, so I should be a 30 B? I have a 32B, fits ok round the underbust but I can't get close to filling the cups. I have tiny boobs, so do I need a 30A?

More like 30C

Betsy, 34 L? At that end of the scale, tape measure is less accurate, and the fit if different styles is key. Start with a 34/36 back and try lots of sizes around L, see what puts everything in the right placegrin

ediblewoman Sun 24-Feb-13 16:51:14

Really, dear god. I am off into town tomorrow!

Yup Betsy, try a 34L to start with. The Bravissimo Alana is one, although it's not great for full on top breasts. There are a few more in KK etc which actually come up larger and are also worth a go. I'm afraid the selection isn't great

BetsyBoop Sun 24-Feb-13 17:42:33

thank you StatisticallyChallenged and InMySpareTime, much appreciated smile thanks

off for a browse...

Right, just measured ... under = 31", leaning over = 36" but long, thin, saggy boobs, so hard to be accurate. The only bras I own are 'two sizes bigger' padded jobs so I doubt measuring in them would be in any way accurate.

I'm currently in 34AA, measured by M&S. They actually feel fine according to most of the tests in the previous long post but I do get a bit of armpit fat and the cups gape a bit at the front after wearing for a while. I have tried smaller back sizes with bigger cups in the past but the cups seem too close together then and the wires dig in at the sides badly.

Any advice would be great. Oh yes, I'm quite poor too - M&S prices are about tops for me.

PlentyOfPubeGardens, I suspect you maybe didn't go bit enough in the cup when you tried smaller backs. I would suggest you start by trying a 30E,30DD,32DD and 32D. The 30 back is the most likely. Brastop has a lot of bras at M&S type prices, Leia has a good outlet section, also check out "mycurvesandme" and "crazyclearance" as both have good deals just now

SorrelForbes Sun 24-Feb-13 18:48:09

PlentyOfPubeGardens As you fall between band sizes you could try a 30E, 30DD, 32D and a 32DD.

Armpit fat means the cup is too small. The gaping is caused by either (or both) the band being too small and not supporting the breasts and allowing them to sag forward or the style being wrong for your shape. For example, I can't wear plunge moulded bras as the cups gape and I fall out of the cups at the same time!

LifeSavedbyLego Sun 24-Feb-13 19:13:35


Hope I haven't missed the band wagon. What does 32 40 make me? Currently wearing a 34 d and can pull that away from my back by several inches - so guessing that is wrong...

Velve Sun 24-Feb-13 19:15:20

Nooo! Not more sale websites!!
I am not allowed to buy any more bras! sad
Must resist! Must resist!

SorrelForbes Sun 24-Feb-13 19:27:15

LifeSavedbyLego Try a 32FF. If a 34 is way too big (which it saounds like it is) then you may want to try a 30G.

Wow! thanks it will be so good to not be a AA cup!

I have Friday off so will go into town to try some styles on and report back smile

waterbabyabroad Sun 24-Feb-13 19:54:10

This thread is very enlightening! I have measured just now as a 30.5 under and 37 over, currently wearing either a 34B or 36C. I've been getting it wrong, haven't I? Can someone point me in the right direction, please? :-)

start with a 30F watterbabyabroad

thefarmerhasawife Sun 24-Feb-13 19:55:36

Could you do me too please?! I'm measuring
30 under and 38 over. I'm wearing a 34 or 32e at the moment but they're old and feel wrong! Thanks

SorrelForbes Sun 24-Feb-13 19:57:52

thefarmerhasawife Try a 30FF for starters.

thefarmerhasawife Sun 24-Feb-13 19:59:11

Bloody hell! Thanks sorrel!

waterbabyabroad Sun 24-Feb-13 20:17:59

Thanks Statistically. Will report back soon!

Pubegardens you have the same measurements as me, I'm a 32DD or 32D in my M&S bras.

itchychin Sun 24-Feb-13 20:27:00

Okay... no tape measure here so have been faffing with string and a retractable measure. Am 29 under and 32 no bra leaning over. Usually wear 34a but they gape a bit in the cup and make me sad. Have a couple of 34aa but they make me look flat (er!) and make me more sad!

What should I try?

itchychin, I would try a 28D, 28C(M&S have a couple as this is a tricky size) and a 30B and 30C. I think the 28, probably the 28D, is the most likely

LifeSavedbyLego Sun 24-Feb-13 20:30:02

Wow that's abit different! thanks for the help

itchychin Sun 24-Feb-13 20:30:05

That would be CRAZY!!! (has put a smile on my face though!)

If it makes it seem more reasonable, a 34a has the same cup as a 32B, a 30C and a 28D...just on a much smaller back

itchychin Sun 24-Feb-13 20:33:24

I know... it's just it's so ingrained that the cup size is the same across the board that it feels really exciting! (should get out more!) smile and thank you for advice!

I've gone from a 42D to a 36HH and while it is comfy during the day, when I take it off at night I have deep, sore red marks on my sides. I know that there should be some marks but is this too much? My 42D was lovely and comfy, it never marked me but I know it was wrong. I'm in nursing bras if that helps so no wires.

Red marks are normal to an extent RubberBullets, but if they are very deep,red and sore it may be that the sizing needs a tweak, or quite likely that the bra just isn't a perfect one for your shape of breast. There is a huge difference in the marks I get between different bras even though they all "fit".

Which bra are you wearing at the moment?

Royce Charlotte

SatisfiedOtter Sun 24-Feb-13 21:09:38

Hello, I would really appreciate some advice!

I've been wearing a 34B for years now but I'm thinking there's no way that can be right.

I'm quite thin, 5'7 and 8 st 10 and measurements are 28 32.

Thanks in advance!

SatisfiedOtter, on those measurements I would start with a 28D. However, if the cup feels roughly right on the 34B than that suggests you may need a slightly bigger cup than those measurements as a 34B is equal to a 28DD, so I would try that too

Ah Rubber, I missed the nursing bra part. Strangely, the worst bras I have ever had for marking me have been nursing or sports bras. I think it is because the weight of the breasts is distributed differently to a wired bra so I get very bad marks at the side as they are taking all the weight.

SatisfiedOtter Sun 24-Feb-13 21:16:19

Wow, the husband almost choked on his crumpet on hearing that!

Will order online, thanks so much.

I never end up buying the size I'm measured at. I buy whatever feels comfortable, doesn't dig in, doesn't droop and doesn't have 'peanut smuggler' thinness.

Last time I got measured, I was told I was a 34a. I couldn't even wear it for 2 mins in the changing room. I got a 34b. It's fine. I suspect design and adjustability make a big difference.

MrsCosmo...where have you been getting measured out of interest?

Ooh you lovely lot, maybe you can help me!

I always wore a 34-36 B because that's what my mum said I was, after I had DD and my shape settled again I got measured 'properly' as a 34DD. Several years later I discovered MN and one of those older threads about bras and I've been in a 32-34F ever since grin

BUT - recently, I've had problems with the underwires - my ribs hurt! It's like the wires are digging in. I bought a couple of good supportive sports bras without underwires, and the pain has gone.

I'm still in a 32 or 34F (depending on the make - the bands seem to vary a bit). I'm 32 under and 39 over bust. The band lays nice and flat, the wires sit flat against me, on the 'back to front test' I can pull the band about an inch.

I was just about to buy some decent non-underwires thread here but tbh I prefer the wired ones - I like the balconette style.

I'm back! My bras came and are not too bad - the 32g a little big in the cup and the 34f fits really well but done up on the tightest hooks.

So both going back and going to order 32f (no ff) and wonder if the 34f fit well, do you reckon I should try a 32e too?
Although I noticed yesterday, having worn my proper 36dd bra (tightest hooks and a good few inches of stretch lol) that my boobs were kind of folded over to fit in there grin so maybe the e would be too small...?

JollyYellowGiant Mon 25-Feb-13 12:32:48

I think you should go down a back size and up a cup size? So maybe f and g rather than f and e? But someone more knowledgeable will no doubt be along soon!

Ordered 32e, 32f, 34e and 34f grin
One of you will fit, damn you!

And some pretty knickers too, of course

I tried down a back and up a cup already (the 32g) which was too big, so I'm imagining the 32f will fit great... Ahh, I'll just order every size and try them all on grin

It especially makes sense to my logic that if I'm wearing a 36dd at the mo then I'm going down two back sizes, so up two cup sizes...

Ahh, we'll see tomorrow

by the way, I have no idea where my 32e logic came from, lol

I'm also guessing that when I measure/try them on will make a difference at the mo re breastfeeding

Afritutu Mon 25-Feb-13 14:26:55

This is so true. I went to buy new bras after finishing bf my 2nd dc. I used to wear a 34 b. I am tall, slim build, and have always considered myself to be small chested. I pregnancy I wore a 36d which was pretty loose. I thought I would need a 36 b after finishing feeding. Went to rigby and peller sale to 'treat' myself (never before bought 'nice' underwear, only m&s) and they fit by sight, and said I was 32d. Couldn't believe it. Bought 3 bras, they are fantastic and fit perfectly. Can't believe I have been wearing the wrong size and only found out in my mid 30's......

Beyondthelimits, if the 34F fits in the cup but not in the back, then the 32g is where you should normally go (Next don't do a FF I think you said.) It may be a slightly quality issues, as those two bras should have the same cup size really.

Noodled Mon 25-Feb-13 22:56:37

Found the measure so am 35.5 under bust and my 'huge' bf boobs are 40. I wear a 36c ... It's not far out is it? Sigh ... I wanted to be transformed to a more glam 32something.

SorrelForbes Mon 25-Feb-13 23:00:44

Well, I would suggest trying a 36D, 36DD, 34DD and a 34E.

Noodled Mon 25-Feb-13 23:47:31

Thanks sorrel. Will try the 34e firstsmile it takes the internet and bf to make up for years of 36a!

Zaphiro Mon 25-Feb-13 23:48:54

Ooh do me, please! grin

I'm 5'4, 8st 2lbs, underboob = 30", leaning-over-boob = 35.5".

I've been wearing a 34B forever.

HazleNutt Tue 26-Feb-13 06:49:04

Zaphiro, try 30DD and 30E instead.

Is it worth me listing my old bras on eBay? Worn a few weeks, 34G, 34GG, 36G, 36F. All Boux avenue except the 36F which is curvy Kate. What do they go for roughly?
They are definitely no use to me, on the tightest hooks I can take them off over my head without unhooking themshock! Not just poor fitting, I lost weight too, now 27under, 37 over.
I got caught out by Boux avenue's "add 4/5" and their bustly yet wrong fitters.

JollyYellowGiant Tue 26-Feb-13 09:12:07

I don't think you are allowed to list used underwear on eBay. There is even an issue with real nappies sad

SorrelForbes Tue 26-Feb-13 09:56:12

I think you can list bras? Not 100% sure.

DorisIsWaiting Tue 26-Feb-13 10:14:09

You can definitely list bras on ebay!

Bras and real nappies can be listed as I've bought both from there.

Zaphiro Tue 26-Feb-13 10:37:25

30DD! If a DD cup bra fits me, I will eat my, er, old bra. Where should I go to try one on?

Zingy123 Tue 26-Feb-13 11:18:48

Quick question regarding scooping. I am a 42c and clothes size 22/24. Under one armpit I have some flab which when I put my arm in the air disappears. When I have my arm by my side I have a lump of skin that sits on my bra and can be seen from the front between my arm and the bra. Is it worth scooping this or is it just flab and not breast tissue.


I would definitely try scooping. And maybe a bigger cu, have you checked your measurements?

Statistically , new bras here today and the 34f def fits best again. Could get the 32f on, but literally couldnt breathe grin

StuntNun Tue 26-Feb-13 11:45:41

Debenhams Belfast only have up to a G cup in nursing bras, which was too small. hmm

Beyond, I think you might need to try other brands who sell a 32ff. It maybe that the next bras are actually jumping a size. From your description of how they fitted it sounds likely and you said the back was ok on the 32g which suggests it feels too small on the 32f due to lack of cup space

Nobody loves me! <cries> wink

I posted yesterday 10:25:10. Any ideas?

Sorry oops. What are your measurements?

HazleNutt Tue 26-Feb-13 11:54:18

Zaphiro do you have Bravissimo in your area? If not, John Lewis?

StuntNun Tue 26-Feb-13 13:26:45

SUCCESS! After a trip to a proper lingerie shop I now have a 32GG Freya which gives my boobs the shape they were before having children when I was 25! And a 32H Panache which is all pink and frilly! Neither are boring maternity bras, I'll be fending DH off with a stick tonight!

A million thanks for your help StatisticallyChallenged. I never would have dreamed of going down a back size when my bras were too tight.

Can someone help me work out my bra size? Measurements are 29 under and 40 for bust... And I bet I can't get underwired bfing bras in whatever size it is!

Statistically I'm 32 under bust and 39 over bust. I've been wearing a 32 or 34 F (band sizes seem to vary a bit but most of my bras are 32), the band is quite tight but comfortable, the wires lay flat between my breasts - but lately the bras have been hurting - the wires seem to make my ribs feel bruised. I've been wearing non-wired sports bras and the pain has gone, but I prefer the fit of the underwired bras.

Messandmayhem Tue 26-Feb-13 14:12:07

Wow, I'm excited by this thread! When the kids are in bed I'll rummage in my knitting bag and measure myself, see if I can deduce what size bra I should be in! I am wanting to buy new, non nursing bras in the next week or two for the occasions when I leave my toddler behind and don't need instant boob access, so I am glad I spotted this!
A well fitting bra will scoop my boobs up from where they are hanging near my waist and plant them on my chest, right?

MrsAceRimmer Tue 26-Feb-13 14:44:52

Ooh love this thread. Would any of you knowledgable types mind if I put my measurements on later? At my biggest boob size when pg, I measured 38K!
Thank you for this thread smile

SorrelForbes Tue 26-Feb-13 14:47:24

NightmareWalking. Try a 28H, 28HH, 30H, 30GG.

Messandmayhem Tue 26-Feb-13 14:53:14

I couldn't wait... I've got 34 under and 47 over... Is that 34 HH? because im wearing 36 H, as i got my nursing bras in debenhams (cheaper than bravissimo you see, I'm poor ATM) and they only go to H, so I went up a back and down a cup. They arent great but they are cotton nursing bras, they are hardly going to do much for my boobs, but I'm going to try some proper, underwired, funky coloured sexy bras just as soon as I get my birthday money!

Messandmsyhem, start with a 34j.

SorrelForbes Tue 26-Feb-13 15:05:45

Messandmayhem. Yep, that's the plan grin

Cheers Sorrell. Time to drag poor DD round hit the shops!

EMUZ Tue 26-Feb-13 15:32:42

Once you're all measured grin and you know what brands fit, try stalking ebay. I got a BNWT Panache bra for £15 and a Curvy Kate one for £11

HeyHoHereWeGo Tue 26-Feb-13 15:42:34

MerryCouthyMows - if you are something like a 28L, its an advantage as its such an odd size you will find it in sales. I am no expert, I only stumbled across this topic a few days ago. I rushed out and went from a 36D to a 30G in an hour! In debenhams they have a rail of sizes like that and I got 4 bras for a fiver each!!!!

HeyHoHereWeGo Tue 26-Feb-13 16:06:49

Oh sorry merry I posted that after reading your first post, I see you may be a bigger cup size so I dont know if debenhams is any use to you. I was just excited about finding my new size and so cheap too!

HerrenaHarridan Tue 26-Feb-13 16:27:34

You are all amazing. Today I am wearing my first well fitting bra.
It even sits down in the middle ( I thought this was a myth)

I bought it for ten pounds on eBay.
Ten pounds for an i cup!

When I measured I was so astounded I nearly came on here for confirmation but was too blush

So I put the size I calculated into eBay and there are a few sellers doing them in -- extra jumbo-- up to a k.
Free returns so I thought go on then!

Wow, thank you mad bra ladies, I am so happy thanks

HerrenaHarridan Tue 26-Feb-13 16:28:40

Oh and new bra is pretty with lace and silver orchids instead of resembling scaffolding

A good bra really does feel soo much better doesn't it?

Btw, not sure if it is a typo but most UK brands don't do an I cup - they skip straight to J so if you are searching for bras bear that in mind.

Oopslateagain, sorry been at work. What bras do you tend to wear? The size sounds about right for your measurements, so I am wondering if the actual bra doesn't work with your shape?

HerrenaHarridan Tue 26-Feb-13 16:36:27

Is typo should read h so not sure how I managed I?

It's unbelievable. I nearly fainted when I pulled it out the packet but put it on scooped and voila!
I used to hate bras now I'm so excited, the challenge is to find pretty ones in my size that don't cost £40.
Brastop had a couple for 12 but eBay came up trumps.
Why don't girls get taught this in schools!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 26-Feb-13 16:40:34

I now have the correct fitting bras thanks to Mumsnet. For years I had thought I was 36D, measured myself following the "mumsnet rules" and I am a 32G.

Herrena, check out Leia, MyCurvesandMe, CrazyClearance, Debenhams gorgeous range (may need to go up a back size) and of course brastop. Amazon are also very good for bargains especially for curvy kate.

Another with correctly fitting bras thanks to MN! I was wearing 34B's. Measured myself at 31 under, 35 over. Went to bravissimo and the girl said I was a 30DD (with no measuring from her! But she guessed perfectly spot on according to my measurements and what I was told on here! I bought three bras then, and one more last payday as I found three wasn't enough to last the week and the frequently forgotten washing pile

I just did an online calculator which sized me at 36AA hmm

I can't wear bras for very long though, the fact that they are made to be tight aggravates my chest problems sad I like my new bras too!

Can anybody recommend some bras without wires? Wires also aggravate the above chest problem but are fine on short days at work, but not my two longer days!

Confused you could try the Freya Deco soft cup, it has a fairly good rep? A good fitter should be able to go it by eye/trying out bras. I'm always wary of a fitter who uses the tape as anything more than a rough guide really.

Catbag Tue 26-Feb-13 17:16:18

Sorry to be a pain, but could you help me too? I am breasfeeding twins at the mo so I am aware that this size isn't permanent, but I have just measured myself and I am coming up at 34 under bust and 42 over. Bit mortfied as I have been wearing 38E which is obviously way out sad

Thank you for the recommendation Stat smile I know that they should be able to tell by eye, but it amazed me! Their service in there amazes me actually. I went in, was seen within a couple of minutes, the surprisingly young woman (same age as me I think, but I was amazed!) fitting me was great, told me that nude is less obvious than white under white tops which is true but never something I realised and was very discreet about it even though I didn't really care about being discreet grin

I will happily sing their praises from now on! Went back in to get another bra and was left to my devices but offered help, they called out to the changing rooms that if anybody needed help just shout, offered to swap bra sizes for me. Brilliant in there smile

Catbag, start with a 34FF - you're wearing roughly the right cup volume, just on too big a band.

Catbag Tue 26-Feb-13 17:39:16

Thanks smile I'll go scour ebay now!

Statistically, I like balconette style but I've also got a full cup and a couple of plunge bras, they all hurt. It's only recently though - I've lost weight so I'm wondering if I've lost some 'padding', but my chest size hasn't changed so I'm really not sure.

I think im something like a 28Cor possibly a D but no chance of find one of those that isnt in the childrens training bra section. Grrr.

HazleNutt Tue 26-Feb-13 19:58:45

Somebody what about something from here, some are quite pretty

oops, have you tried a 30? I'm wondering if the rib pain is due to your bras collapsing forward due to the backs being too loose? It sounds like something has changed along with your weight loss and that is the most likely culprit. I measure nearer to 32 than 30 but a 32 is always too big.

teaforthree Tue 26-Feb-13 20:10:15

I am utterly horrified at myself for accepting whatever M&S say. I'm wearing a 36G but it really doesn't fit, the back is somewhere near my neck and I've got sixboobage rather than 4. Not to mention the middle bit not lying flat, more sort of poking the tops of my boobs practically...

I've read through this thread and a few more linked to it and should I be wearing a 32HH? I'm a 32 under and 45 over. And where do you buy that kind of scaffolding on the high street?!

Hmm, might try a 30. The 32 is pretty tight, I can pull it out just over an inch if I put it on backwards.

Would I need to go up a cup size?

Teaforthree, I just tried on my "recommended" M&S size this evening - also a 36g. It was hilarious (if you know how a bra should fit) as it was half way up my back.

At 32/45 I would suggest trying a 32J as a starting point. Did you do a firm measurement underneath?

On the high street - Bravissimo, John Lewis, Debenhams, Leia

Yes oops, you would need to go up one or possibly 2 cup sizes to counteract the back reduction.

It may not be the solution but given that this is a new issue since you lost some weight its a possible.

It seems counterintuitive to buy a smaller band when this size is hurting, but it does make weird sense!

teaforthree Tue 26-Feb-13 20:25:39

faints do Debenhams actually do a size J? I don't think I have ever one anywhere. Looks like a trip to the next big city or an online shop.

I'm sat down at the minute, slightly hunched (trying to get a pita child to go to sleep grr) and I can feel the metal hooks almost horizontally in line with my shoulders, that's definitely not right is it!

I pulled the tape fairly tight when measuring, and I wear a size 12 top normally so 32 seems right.

If the back isn't tight enough, then the cups kind of fall forward and put pressure on the ribs. If the back is actually too tight the pain tends to be more on the back/sides. It's quite common for ladies who are wearing a bra which is too big in the back to not believe me because their old bra digs in

HazleNutt Tue 26-Feb-13 20:34:00

What SC said - I was wearing a bra in slightly too big back size today, as pregnant and growing and thought it should fit already. I was wrong - ended up with a nasty back ache and deep red welts, so it might indeed look like the bra was too tight. In reality it was too loose and climbing up, therefore also digging in.

You lot have inspired me to try on some more bra's - my 32DD's were getting a bit loose, though my underbust measures 31. I stopped breastfeeding back in November, have been waiting for things to settle down. Think I'm a 30E though, and couldn't see any that I liked in that size.
More searching of rails next week.

I can find a few 28D bras, on there thanks ! However they would only fit half the month wink I really need some 28Cs and they seem the be the unicorn shit of the bra world.

Somebodysomewhere, 28cs are a bugger to find I am afraid. Ewa Michelak will custom make any size. M&S also have some from the limited collection ( they aren't showing online now but check ebay, they were lace and quite nice)

I did find some the other day but they were clearly aimed at teenagers and didnt look very supportive. I am currently making do with a very small 30B/C (reviews all said to go up a size) from figleaves.

ssomebody, search ebay for the Rixie clip which you could try in conjunction with a 30b

Sounds worth a go !

KitCat26 Tue 26-Feb-13 21:12:16

Any chance of a little advice please ladies?

I am definitely wearing the wrong size (34B), I can get my whole hand under the front and pull it quite far away. My boobs have suffered somewhat between two children and putting on then losing 3st bit on the saggy side.

I just measured and I am 30.5 inches underbust and approx 35in over bust. What size am I pretty please?

Kitcat26 start with a 30DD

KitCat26 Tue 26-Feb-13 21:22:22

Many thanks! I'm a bit annoyed that I trusted M&S with their sizing all that time.

Off to make some internet purchases now!

Ohhelpohnoitsa Tue 26-Feb-13 21:30:54

can i please have. virtual e-fitting too? under bust is 40" whrn standing up but closer to. 42" when sitting. fullest part is 48". please help diagnose me.

Start with a 40FF ohhelp
Could also try 40G / 42FF/ 42G.
And make sure you scoop!

SorrelForbes Tue 26-Feb-13 21:33:20

Ohhelpohnoitsa try a 40FF and maybe a 40F and a 40G.

Ohhelp, 40FF to start with.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Tue 26-Feb-13 22:04:01

thanks. there is a really (like 1950s) old fashioned shop near me - I may try there. It's a bit scary though, has those playtex pyramid bras in the window and panty girdles like my aunts used to wear way way way before Gok Wan came along!

Ohhelpohnoitsa Tue 26-Feb-13 22:06:48

I have 40f & g, 42f. None seem quite right (though they are nursing bras and a few have been through 2 dcs now). Am drawn to 40ff. g seems to full/wide but f too small. will try ff. didnt even know they existed.

needabra Tue 26-Feb-13 22:40:21

I've always had difficulties with bras due to my very broad back and very small bust sad Pre DC, after gaining a few pounds I found myself comfortably in a 38B. When PG my back grew much faster than my boobs and I was soon in a 42A with back extenders! Now, having finished bfing months ago I am too embarrased to go and get measured because, based on my current bras I fear I am a 42AA which just isn't available. I've always been measured by M&S.

I've just measured and I'm 38" underbust (but I have an old 38" and it does seem v. tight) and 44.5" at the largest point of my bust (the largest point is accross my nipples is this ok?).

blush blush blush blush

try a 38E and F

That puts you as a 38E/F by my workings.
An AA cup is no difference between underbust and overbust - you are not an AA!
See above for an explanation of why a too-large back band can make a bra feel too tight.

needabra Tue 26-Feb-13 22:48:06

Surely not? I have tiny boobs! (Will definately try this asap - it's ok to buy bras from m&s isn't it, just not get measured by them?) I do find it hard to believe that I could possibly be anything above a B cup though - maybe I measured wrong?? DH gleefully helped me though

Have you tried scooping everything vigorously into your bra?

needabra Tue 26-Feb-13 23:13:32

statistically was that to me? I don't understand, tried it to see what?

Sorry, what I meant was if you feel that sounds like a silly size remember to scoop all your breast tissue from under your arms/round your back in to your cup. Most women find that when they do this, a cup size which seemed OK is suddenly far too small. I suspect if you do it in your current bra it suddenly wont be baggy in the cup smile

Zaphiro Tue 26-Feb-13 23:39:21

Yes there is a Bravissimo near me, but as I've always thought I was a B cup I feared being shooed out and told to come back when I grow something! Now I may be a DD cup I could give it a try... Will they let me get on with trying on a bra or want to 'fit' me? <novice>

They will be happy to just let you take a bra in to try (you might have to ask for the size as they don't keep every size out on the floor for obvious reasons!) but they will also be happy to give you a full fitting. I quite often do a half way house, try a bra on and if it doesn't feel right I will sometimes ask their advice on it as they have little signs you can pop on the doors to indicate you would like help

Zaphiro Wed 27-Feb-13 00:02:19

But what if I get thrown out for lack of boob?! grin

You won't. I have been in Bravissimo more time than I can count, and I have only once overheard a woman who was slightly too small for them. They tried her in a couple of bras, told her that she was definitely a 34 back and that the shape of the bra she was trying was ideal, she was best in a (balconette/plunge/whatever) and that based on what they could see a 34c would be perfect. They still gave her the full "fitting" advice etc, so she would have been perfectly able to wander along to John Lewis round the corner, try a few 34c and know what to do.

ForSaletotheHighestBidder Wed 27-Feb-13 08:25:49

Just found this thread after wearing a recently purchased bra in a 38E that was far too loose in the back and gave me a major welt under one boob, serious pain..
Anyway measured myself and am a 33' around ribcage and 43' around breasts.
Does that make me a 34G?
Much appreciated if you could give me an estimate, am straight off to a decent bra shop after the school run.

CelticPromise Wed 27-Feb-13 08:39:57

34G or 32GG or H. Lots of women in between band sizes get better support from the smaller size. It may depend on brand/style.

Would try the 32gg and 32h first, you are most likely going to need the tighter band.

ForSaletotheHighestBidder Wed 27-Feb-13 10:01:49

Much appreciated thank you.

VictorTango Wed 27-Feb-13 10:02:55

Ok, I'm still wearing my feeding bra's despite giving up breasteeding 18 months ago blush

I've just measured and I'm 37 under the bust and in the fullest part is 42.

What size should I be wearing?

VictorTango Wed 27-Feb-13 10:03:31

I am currently wearing a 42D which is so uncomfortable I can't tell you. I have bra rash blush

VictorTango Wed 27-Feb-13 10:14:36

Remeasured my cup leaning forward and it's actually a 46.

So I think I should be in 36GG. Is that right?

Yes victor, start at a 36gg but also read all the fitting info and try sizes around it.

DoableBunco Wed 27-Feb-13 10:36:51

I have just measured 42" underneath and 50" leaning forward. Please could you let me know where to start looking as i will admit to having no clue, currently wearing a 40D. Thanks.


Doable how is the back on the 40? On bare measurements I would say a 42ff however it is very common for slightly larger ladies to need to go down lower in the back, so it may be that you need, for eg, a 40gg instead

Lilliana Wed 27-Feb-13 12:18:21

Help! I'm in what I suspect is a very ill fitting nursing bra (38D). Just measured myself bra less and an 34" underneath and 40" at fullest.

What size do you think I am? Also where is good for nursing bras? Don't really have anywhere local (apart from m and s) so probably going to order online

Lilliana, try a 34e to start.

DoableBunco Wed 27-Feb-13 12:24:34

Thank you, i will go on a bra hunt! 40 on the back seem ok, i use the middle notches but will try a range. Thank you again.

Lilliana Wed 27-Feb-13 13:02:52

Thanks StatisticallyChallenged, will start looking

DoableBunco if you are already using the middle range on the 40 I definitely would not go up to a 42. When you buy a new bra, you should be fastening it on the loosest hook. .If that isn't tight enough you may need to go down. There is a post I put quite near the top of this thread about what a good bra should look like. Don't worry about wearing a smaller back than you "measure" - there was a lady on our prev thread who measured a 40/42 and wore a 36. It's quite common. But, if you go down in the back remember to go up at least one, possibly two, cup sizes for every back size.

EMUZ Wed 27-Feb-13 14:26:07

Just picked up 2 Panache bras on amazon, one was £8, one £12 and free delivery grin

And free returns normally too EMUZ. I quite like Amazon for bras!

Greenkit Wed 27-Feb-13 14:47:10

I started a thread, but will put it here instead...Right

I am 37" around the base of my boobs and 44" around them

I have all sorts of bra sizes from 34E, 36E, 38E, to 34F, 36F, 38F none of them fit comfortably and all cut in right below my boobs in the middle bit, so I have a really sore line.

I usually go for underwire

I am begging for help

OK, based on measurements alone, I would say a 36FF would be the closest size. BUT, it is a rough guideline.

Can you describe a bit more where they are cutting in, and maybe link to the style of bra that is doing it?

36FF? You will probably need to try different styles and makes to see what suits you best

EMUZ Wed 27-Feb-13 14:53:01

Ooh didn't realise returns were free! Hopefully they will fit, I've gone for a 34JJ

FrankSpenser Wed 27-Feb-13 15:02:44

Apologies all but I dont have time to read the whole thread so this may have been covered already, but...

I'm confused regarding measuring the bust area. Do I do this with the bra I'm wearing still on, or is this done with it off. Because if it's the latter, my boobs are so loooong when hanging (thanks, kids for that one(!)) the measurement would surely be incorrect. I actually look rather flat chested without a bra on even though I wear an E cup confused

I want to measure myself according to advice on here.

FrankSpenser, there are two ways to measure. Bra on, or bra off. Bra on however requires that your bra fits well - if it was measured at M&S, BHS, Anne Summers, La senza, or 101 other places it probably doesn't!

Bra off method:
Measure FIRMLY under your bust in inches
Lean forward so your breasts are hanging down away from your torso, as close to 90 degrees as you can manage. You will not look sexy doing this ;) Measure around the widest part of the breast (which will be the bit hanging down the furthest

Post measurements and we will give you a start point. Cup is the harder bit to measure accurately but once you have the back right and know what to look for it's a lot easier

Greenkit Wed 27-Feb-13 15:13:11

Is it cutting in to the actual breast tissue? Are your breasts quite close together (i.e. top picture or bottom)

FrankSpenser Wed 27-Feb-13 15:17:07


Rib area 28"
Hanging bust measurement 36"

I'm off to Debenhams tomorrow, might have a gander around the linger-ee department with my new measurements. See what they got and how it fits. smile

FrankSpenser Wed 27-Feb-13 15:18:15

Your very busy StatisticallyChallenged. We all need your help!

Just found this thread, I don't think I've ever had a bra that fitted. I'm 34 inches under the bust, and 43 inches when bent over (ooh-er missus!). My current bras are 42b I think, though the labels are faded and I can't remember!

At the moment the straps cut into my shoulders, and the wires dig in under my arms.

Greenkit Wed 27-Feb-13 15:20:17

Boobs are in the cups and there is a triangle of materiel in the middle where the wires come up, its that piece which cuts in..

and all under the boobs

I'm supposed to be studying, lol!

Try a 28FF as a start point, but read this for guidance so you know what to look for:

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.

Angie...NOOOO! Pleas try a 34G to start with

Greenkit, did you look at that image? Trying to work out what is wrong for you ;)

Greenkit Wed 27-Feb-13 15:27:38

I did but im confused

the panel in the middle, stands away from my body and the base cuts in

I also don't think I have a big enough cup size as the wire under my arms cuts in as well

I also have marks on my shoulders

All in all I am defo wearing the wrong size

Thanks! I really appreciate your help, you are a star! Going shopping tomorrow grin

FrankSpenser Wed 27-Feb-13 15:28:17

Intersting measurement SC, it's quite close to what I'm wearing now (30E Debenhams range) This bra fits fine AFAIC, comfy, stays in place, worn on the loosest setting etc, but I'll look out for your suggested size tomorrow and have a try about.


The reason I am wondering about whether you are close set is that I am. and it causes problems. I have basically no "gap" between my breasts, and it means a lot of bras don't work or cause me pain.

It does sound like you need a bigger cup though, which will help with the armpits and standing out from your body. But I am also wondering if the shape isn't working for you.

That doesn't entirely surprise me Frank - Debenhams Gorgeous comes up small in the back, I have just bought a 32 from them and I am a resolute 30 normally. Maybe try one cup size up though in the 30 just to check - you might find with scooping you need to go up to the 30F, which would be closer to the cup size of the 28FF. Debenhams normally stock Freya so try a 28 in those

FrankSpenser Wed 27-Feb-13 15:42:32

Ahh yes, I thought of Freya for a 28. Isn't there a 'Lapel' brand and 'Fantasie' which are both similar to Freya? Bad memory! Anyhow, both kids are at nursey in the morning so guarenteed quiet time for bra shopping. Lovely!

Not sure of Lapel but Fantasie, Freya, Fauve and Elomi are all actually made by the same company (Eveden). Fantasie rarely do 28s and IMO both they and Fauve come up but in the cup compared to some.

ImpYCelyn Wed 27-Feb-13 15:51:35

Oh, just spotted this thread. Could somebody help me please, I have a bit of a bra crisis. Mine are all either very old, 36C and far too small, or my one fitted Bravissimo one which is now too big.

The Bravissimo is 36G. It's on its tightest setting and feels big. I can get a whole hand under the strap and still pull it a fair way. And the cups are too big too.

I just measured and I'm getting 33" under bust and 43" over bust leaning forward.

So I think that should make me a 34 something, but based on how loose the 36 is I'm a bit surprised. I've had the 36 over a year, but I've not worn it much in that time as I've been pregnant and breastfeeding. It's probably had 5 months worth of use MAX.

Would be very grateful for a starting point as I really need to get some new ones.

impy, you probably need a 32 back. It could be that they got the fitting of the 36 wrong, could be it is one that stretched easily (some do) or could be that preg changed your shape.

I would try a 32G as a starting point and work from there

FrankSpenser Wed 27-Feb-13 15:56:29

Ahh right.

ImpYCelyn Wed 27-Feb-13 15:57:47

Thanks very much!

EMUZ Wed 27-Feb-13 17:08:24

Am in debenhams. They offered to fit me. Was tempted for the entertainment grin


nailak Wed 27-Feb-13 17:12:35

I got my bra today, normally wearing 34d or 36c/d new bra 32dd. Never in a million years thought 32 would fit me, was very sceptical, but it fits! on loosest hooks. felt uncomfortable at first, then i lengthened straps and was fine. Im gonna try 32 e and see if fits on tightest hooks next time!

EMUZ Wed 27-Feb-13 17:13:12

Debenhams gorgeous range
Red one (floral) puts boobs all up front without pushing up?
Black spot floral one, says balconette but gives amazing cleavage grin

nailak you want to buy new bras on loosest hooks as they stretch with wear/wash.

How is the sizing EMUZ? I find Gorgeous small in the back (certainly their 30/32s are)

SorrelForbes Wed 27-Feb-13 17:15:07

ImpYCelyn Great 'elvish' user name wink

Sorrel, sooo glad to see you!

SorrelForbes Wed 27-Feb-13 17:20:18

grin I here! I'm working on a contract in a fairly rural area atm and have limited internet access. I've just got home so... bring it on ladies.

EMUZ Wed 27-Feb-13 17:20:47

The spot one I got 36J
Red one 34J

I was a 32J but more comfy in a 34J/JJ

ImpYCelyn Wed 27-Feb-13 17:21:54

Thanks Sorrel wink

Normally people think I'm Welsh grin

There have been 3 threads going this afternoon smile

That kind of reflects my thinking EMUZ, they are tight in the back so you may still be a smaller size in other brands.

EMUZ Wed 27-Feb-13 17:25:16

I bought both blush and matching knickers blush

SorrelForbes Wed 27-Feb-13 17:28:21

SC Your typing fingers must be smoking! Here's a little something for you.

My eyes, my eyes!!!!

Wiggletastic Wed 27-Feb-13 17:46:34

Right, I am getting on the correct bra size bandwagon. I have NEVER found a comfy bra. I was measured as a 36A in M&S but it feels so uncomfortable. I have had the tape out and I am 34" under-boob and 38" round-boob - does this mean I need a 34C???

nailak Wed 27-Feb-13 17:47:40


WildThong Wed 27-Feb-13 17:58:08

I have an ongoing hell. Have bought and returned 12 bras in the last few weeks. Wtf is wrong with me!!
I measure tight band 34 and loose boobage 42 1/2. In clothes I am a 16. 34 e gave me overhang and back fat and side fat (I am fat btw) blush, 34 f cups were huuuge, 36 d cups were too small, 36dd arrived today and of the 4 bras only 1 cleo meg fits not bad, the others were masquerade and wouldn't even meet at the back. Help please please

ForSaletotheHighestBidder Wed 27-Feb-13 18:23:14

Just wanted to say thanks again. Ended up buying 2 very pretty fantasie bras in a 34H. Shocked that I am a H but I was buying a 38E so am so happy that the ribcage bit fits now and the underwire actually sits where it should be, first time ever! I know you said try 32 but it wouldn't even fasten in any of the bras I tried, and I tried on at least 25.

Not much available in that size so I will have to do some internet shopping this evening after I feck out all my old ill fitting bras. I may have a bonfire and dance around it! smile

I'm going to Bravissimo for a fitting tomorrow. Wish me luck! I suspect that until the (panache?) 26 back comes out I'll be going for a clipped or stitched 28, but it'll be good measuring for a ballpark cup size and style advice. Anything will be better than the 30G I'm enduring wearing now, and I'll know where to start for online shopping.

WildThong, did you try scooping in to the 34F? if you had overhang in the E, that may be the solution. I suspect a 36dd would be too small because it will be short on cup space so the cups will borrow from the back.

InMySpareTime, maybe ask to try the BetsyBow. I had to go up a back in this and it starts at a 28 so the 28 may be more like a 26.

WildThong Wed 27-Feb-13 19:04:47

sc I scooped everything I could but the f cup was still too big, loads of empty space

Hmmm. There isn't normally that big a difference between cup sizes. It's odd that the same bra would be much too small in one, and quite a bit too big one cup up. I am wondering if one of them was faulty.

WildThong Wed 27-Feb-13 19:25:43

Or I am!

Ha ha! It's unfortunately quite common with bras, they are a relatively precise thing to make so if you get a seamstress who is a little cautious or generous on each seem, even by a couple of millimetres, it soon adds up to a wonky bra!

I measured this morning in hope of your help! 32" under, 40" over bust.

I've been wearing 34D/DD feeding bras for the last 18 months, these days done up to the tightest hook. I took the 'scooping' advice this morning and that made it a LOT more comfortable, I usually can't wait to get the thing off but it wasn't sore today. Aaaaah..... smile

TiddlyOmPomPom, once you scooped did you find you suddenly had some excess boobage (might not be quite so obvious in a feeding bra as they are stretchy)? I would say on those measurements, start with a 32FF.

I had a bit of a wench breast up top at first, costume drama stylee, but it settled down. confused

Thank you!! I would never have picked up at FF, was a 32C preDS, will go shopping soon and try on a few and see how it goes. thanks

Unfortunately scooping only stays put of the back is tight enough - otherwise it just slides back round again! You will probably find it stays in a 32.

juneybean Wed 27-Feb-13 22:10:07

I tried several 34F this week after a recommendation on here but the cup was far too small.

I'm 34 under, 43 over, I've ordered a 34H (simply be didn't seem to have any 34GG)

SorrelForbes Wed 27-Feb-13 22:15:08

The cup is always trickier to get right than the back as it differs so much between brands, styles and cuts. Persevere.

ilovepowerhoop Wed 27-Feb-13 22:16:04

34FF would come after an F cup and then it would be a G cup (34GG may be far too big)

juneybean Wed 27-Feb-13 22:17:01

Oh I forgot about FF! Bollocks! Hermes woman is going to hate me grin

Yup, and cup varies a lot between brands. I have everything from a GG to a JJ!

FrankSpenser Wed 27-Feb-13 23:22:18

what is this scooping that keeps being mentioned?

I can't help think of cornettos.

Basically most women, especially those larger of nork, have breast tissue under their arms and even working its way round the back. It migrates (partly due to bad bras!)...and needs to be persuaded in to the bra again...

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). . Once you have put your bra straps up you may well need to repeat the scooping described above but with the straps in place.

Tortoise Thu 28-Feb-13 12:17:35

My new bras came today 36GG.
One is too big cup wise but could be the style.
The other one felt great when I put it on. But 10 mins later and I'm having same problems I've had before.
Wires poking under armpits and under wire feels like it's slipped down at the front and pressing on ribs if that makes sense.

Any ideas?

Sits perfectly flat in the middle.
I've tried straps looser or tighter.
Much better boob shape than too small bra though.

Tortoise, number 1 sounds like you need to go down, number 2 may be the style. SOme bras just don't suit some people.

Tortoise Thu 28-Feb-13 13:34:04

I just don't know what to try next. I've now got to find out how to return these ones, although still wearing number 2 at the moment, hoping to get used to it! Feels better than the too small one!
Then pay for more! Then they might be no good! I don't know of anywhere I can go where I can try any on. sad Why do they make it so bloody difficult! grin

Which bras was it Tortoise? If you can link we might be able to suggest alternatives

Tortoise Thu 28-Feb-13 13:48:35

They were from my curves and me.
Meg balconnet and Sienna balconnet bras.
Thank you smile

Tortoise Thu 28-Feb-13 13:51:47

The Sienna is the better fitting one smile

Is the sienna the one which is sliding, by any chance?

Tortoise Thu 28-Feb-13 13:58:23

yes it is smile

So, 2 possible issues.
1: It's panache. They are very deep in the cups, which doesn't suit many breasts (mine included) - I needed a wider bit shallower wire so get on better with Bravissimo, Fantasie, Fauve, Freya, Cruvy Kate
2: It doesn't have a band at the front. IME bras where the wires doesn't have a straight band underneath it at the front are more prone to going for a wee walk south

VodkaKnockers Thu 28-Feb-13 14:16:59

I've just done my measurements. I corrently wear a 38G

Under: 37.5

Over: 46.5

I'm wearing the right size, aren't I?

VodkaKnockers Thu 28-Feb-13 14:18:39

*currently even.

Tortoise Thu 28-Feb-13 14:21:49

Thanks. Bravissimo are just too expensive to buy from. Are those available anywhere else? smile
Thank for helping smile

SorrelForbes Thu 28-Feb-13 14:32:44

Try Brastop, Figleaves, Very, Ebay, Curves and Me.

SorrelForbes Thu 28-Feb-13 14:33:46

VodkaKnockers How does the band feel on your current 38G if done up back to front?

You could try a 36H, 36GG, 38GG

VodkaKnockers Thu 28-Feb-13 14:43:45

The band is feeling tight on the 1st fastening. When I was originally measured in Debenhams the girl said that I was probably more a 36 back than a 38 but I just found the 36 unbearably tight. The reason I was checking as my 38 backs are feeling a bit tight now

VodkaKnockers Thu 28-Feb-13 14:45:06

Sorry have just checked my measurements and my over the bust is actually 48.5in.

Vodka, I would maybe try going up a cup size - it can make the back feel artificially tight if the cup is a little small, and it's not always obvious that it is the cause