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Thanks everyone, I'm limited on time in Birmingham and need to buy outer layers as well so won't be able to make it to Solihull this time.
I think my size will change though with reducing breastfeeding, a healthier diet when I return to work and more exercise (had some health problems in the last few years which have prevented this but now fit and healthy!) so I'm only after a few basic bras this time. Will go to Bravissimo next time .
SorrelForbes my measurements are 32 under bust and 36 across my bust, can you give some guidance as to what size to start with?
I live in Birmingham and go to Bravissimo in the Touchwood centre, Solihull twice a year. Absolutely worth the trip (30min in car) you could get there by train from Birmingham city centre. I have never been disappointed and now 3 friends go too!
SorrelForbes thank you so much;I've not heard of Boux Avenue and like the look of their website so will go there first. I'll post tomorrow with my measurements: currently have DD clamped to me on her evening feed and she'll be there all night!
Try a 36E (did you hold the tape measure tight?) and sizes around that. Make sure you get the back right first.
Measuring Measure under your bust (hold the tape tight) to get your band measurement. Do not add on any inches to this measurement. Then measure across the fullest part of your bust. Each 1" of difference between the two measurements equals a cup size. So, lets say you measure 30" underneath and 35" across? That would give you a starting point of 30DD.
Usually you should take the across bust measurement whilst wearing your best fitting bra (preferably an unpadded one although slight padding shouldnt make too much of a difference). If you think that your bras are fitting so badly that you'll get a distorted measurement, then measure without a bra, but lean forward so that your boobs are hanging towards the floor (attractive!). The cup size is always harder to get right by measuring than the band size.
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. Turn 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. Repeat at 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.
I'll be going back to work after maternity leave in a few weeks so will no longer need to wear nursing bras as I'll only be bf in the evenings and overnight. I have a shopping trip to Birmingham scheduled for next week to buy some much-needed new work clothes and my first point of call will be to buy some bras that actually fit me (have lost some weight since I was fitted for my nursing bras).
Can anyone recommend anywhere in Birmingham city centre that does a good job of measuring/fitting? I think I will be a 34 or 36 D/DD or thereabouts. Unfortunately there's no Bravissimo in Birmingham or I'd have probably tried there (have used the one in Solihull before but it's a bit too far for this trip).