Small boobs...

(777 Posts)
1950sHousewife Fri 11-May-12 18:20:43

AIBU to think that I could find a bra that is uplifting, but not wodged full of foam, which will be flattering on those of us who are not overendowed on the boobicular area?
At the moment it either looks like I'm completely flat chested, or have two bean bags shoved down there.

I am struggling to find a bra that's pretty and supportive. Any recommendations?

oiwheresthecoffee Fri 11-May-12 18:21:14

Figleaves , lepel fiore. HTH

LynetteScavo Fri 11-May-12 18:32:37

Yes, but the bean bag look is good if you want to wear clothes (t-shirts) over the top....are you wanted a boosting bra that looks good with nothing on top?

LynetteScavo Fri 11-May-12 18:34:09

Just noticed your posting name. Do you want lift and seperate, 1950's style, or lift and push together as per the last 20 years? (I'm sure we are due for a separate revival)

cheekybarsteward Fri 11-May-12 18:36:34

Balcony bras are good for an unpadded cleaverage

Hassled Fri 11-May-12 18:42:39

I have no tits to speak of and wear underwired, slightly padded M&S finest. They're not all full of foam - more of a thin layer of foam.

ItsAPublicForumWhine Fri 11-May-12 18:43:35

Are they small enough to wear no bra?

M & S have some great balony bras without padding

balcony, not balony, ffs! grin

cheekybarsteward Fri 11-May-12 18:49:02

grin at balony bra. Sausage bra

ItsAPublicForumWhine Fri 11-May-12 18:50:13

What about the teenage range? I've noticed quite a few pretty bras there that aren't childish and padded to teh nines.

Chorizo bra?

Victoria3012 Fri 11-May-12 18:57:01

H&M sell some really pretty smaller size bra's. Im a tiny 34a and they fit well and make my boobs look rounded without making them look padded and a strange/false shape. They are a good price for day to day wear xx

DontHaveAtv Fri 11-May-12 19:12:15

I have 34a's and the best bra I have that fits really well without loads of padding was from avon. Cheap too.

1950sHousewife Fri 11-May-12 19:17:30

Thanks for all those!
Especially H&M because there is one of those just around the corner from me. I never even thought of them. I was looking more at Wonderbras/Ultima etc and some vile things at John Lewis, so will have a look at avon, figleaf (never heard of that).

Defintely not small (or perky - thanks DCs) enough for no bra. I'd feel weird without one after wearing one for way too many years.

I'll try the bratwurst bra as well, while i'm at it. grin

gomowthelawn Fri 11-May-12 19:39:45

I am also small of boobage, and my pet hate is the really thick lumpy under-wired bit on most padded bras. Nothing says 'I have no boobs and am cheating' like the under-wire wodge sticking out on one's side on profile.

I've largely given up on padded and wear M&S balcony styles. M&S angel range for teens occasionally has some nice lightly padded bras though.

M&S everytime! smile

carabos Fri 11-May-12 21:17:52

I'm a 32B (not sure if that qualifies as small or just average) but I've updated my bra wardrobe in the last couple of weeks from Debenhams own range and they're really good - way better than M&S.

whackamole Fri 11-May-12 22:02:17

You could try a Doreen for a 1950s bullet look wink

Don't laugh I have one they are comfy

undercoverPrincess Fri 11-May-12 22:14:53

I used to wear nothing but wonderbra's but I've tried some on recently and they just look weird!!! My fav bra's now are the next ones, got two plain black and one set of coral / cream / blue print and they fit well and make my v small boobs look a bit bigger (dh says I am a a cup but I definitely a b cup...)

PoppyWearer Fri 11-May-12 22:19:18


Deffo M&S.

PetiteMaman77 Wed 31-Oct-12 12:53:36

Yeah i love H&M bras too, just been shopping for underwear post baby and found some lovely natural shape ones in Debenhams, pack of 2 navy and white with a pretty lace trim smile xx

Swiddle Wed 31-Oct-12 13:08:54

I just hate wired bras. They dig in. They leave red semi circles on your skin. They give you a weird shape. But it is very hard to find an attractive non-wired bra. Why oh why?

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Oct-12 13:19:30

OK, I'm on a bra thread roll today! Apologies to anyone who knows all this already but are you all sure you're in the right size? I don't know anyone (from my size 8 teen niece to my size 14 mother) who is bigger than a 34 back.

OK, here goes. 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, let’s say you measure 30" underneath and 34" across? That would give you a starting point of 30D.

The best way I've found to test the band size is to put the bra (in your case a 30 back) on back to front. 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.

Once you've got the back sorted, it's time to get the cup right. The cup will differ much more between brands and styles than the back (IMHO). Turn the bra round the correct way, lean forward and using your hands, scoop all your breast tissue into the cups (make sure you get all the flesh from round your back and under your arms in). The 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 30DD, you will probably find that after scooping, you have some bulging over the cup and quadraboob 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 do not know anyone that is genuinely an A cup. This would mean an across bust measurement of only 1 inch more than the under bust measurement.

Shops like M&S etc are useless as they do not stock a good range and combination of back/cup sizes. Their measuring is also appalling and wrong! No one needs to add inches to the under bust measurement any more. What you measure under your bust is the back size you need to wear. Honestly grin

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Oct-12 13:20:07

Oh yes, if wires are digging in then the bra is a) the wrong size and/or b) the wrong brand/style for your shape. It's a minefield out there...

INeedThatForkOff Wed 31-Oct-12 13:27:02

I don't know anyone (from my size 8 teen niece to my size 14 mother) who is bigger thana 34 back.

You must have lots if petite friends Sorrel! I'm size 12-14 usually and if I wore less than a 38 back measurement it'd be cutting welts and creating attractive bulges.

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Oct-12 13:31:01

Nope, I'm a size 12 and measure 30.5 underneath my bust. I wear a 30G. However, If I tried to wear a 30E it would be excruiating. I would best my next bar of chocolate that you need to be in a smaller back and a much much bigger cup.

To steal a very good post from a fellow bra enthusiast, HazelNutt:

There are thousands of women who should be wearing 32 back or smaller.

-they went to M&S for fitting
- they,haven't seen anything smaller in shops
- have read that [insert a really slim bog-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).

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

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 31-Oct-12 13:32:27

If you are a size 12-14 there is no way you are a 38back
What od you actually measure?

pjmama Wed 31-Oct-12 13:36:28

Debenhams liquid filled bras are amazing - they do black or white, they're very plain and simple and manage to boost my 34A post-bf deflated balloons into a respectable cleavage.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 31-Oct-12 13:43:13

Gilly Hicks. Might not be your usual destination but they definitely cater for the smaller chested ladies. Don't go above a D cup in there.

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Oct-12 13:46:07

I honestly do recommend that everyone posting about as a 34A etc, do the measuring thing before shelling out on new bras. My niece with her tiny little bumps is a 28DD, just saying...

MushroomSoup Wed 31-Oct-12 13:54:35

I went to be measured at an independent shop a few months ago. M&S had measured me several times over the years as a 36A but my shoulders and back ached at the end of the day and I never felt my bras fitted quite right. Turns out I'm a 32DD. My new bras are enormously comfy!
My advice is to get measured.

Lueji Wed 31-Oct-12 14:04:11

I agree with mushroom.

Check a good shop for a proper fit.

I am a 32C/D, depending on shape. But was measured once as an A over the clothes! FFS!

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Oct-12 14:09:01

There are some great independent retailers out there. Well worth a vist for a fitting session.

M&S measure me at a 36C. I am a 30G. Says it all really.

Isandri Wed 31-Oct-12 14:10:11

You should go to "what katie did". Their website has beautiful underwear. They had a modernised version of the bullet bra too that us not as pointy.

mirai Wed 31-Oct-12 14:14:45

Listen to SorrelForbes she is a wise lady. Im a convert of hers; 34B to a 30E no surgery required!

Ineedthatfork I'm another one who will bet you anything there's no way in the world you're a 38 band. What's your underboob measurement?

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Oct-12 14:20:12

Does 'wise lady' still mean 'witch' grin

<waves to the perky, larger of bosom mirai>

Sallyingforth Wed 31-Oct-12 14:22:00

I really hate the 'push boobs up and hard together to create a sharp line cleavage' look. It's so unnatural on a small body and I hope it goes out of fashion very soon.

A good bra can give uplift without that squeezed together appearance.

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Oct-12 14:24:20

Totally agree Sally. Those plunge/uplift type bras do me no favours at all. I stick to lightly padded balconette styles.

whois Wed 31-Oct-12 14:32:44


I am tall, but thin with big shoulders, chest, back and hips. Tiny boobs, barely worth warming a bra except bras make them look bigger!

I am 36A, sometimes 34 if the back is generous

B cup bra and I have empty cups :-(
Smaller than 36 and I can barely get the clasp done up.

So I must be the exception that proves your rule.

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Oct-12 14:46:39

Hmm, not necessarily (I never give up, me!). What are your under bust and across bust measurements? Usually a smaller band that matches your under bust measurment feels too tight because the cup is much too small.

It's not impossible whois, it's just that the vast majority who think they are that size have either had m&s style fittings, used on online calculator or similar

So some of us always question as a lot of a cup ladies are actually not.

mirai Thu 01-Nov-12 10:10:40

whois you are not the exception - you won't be able to do the 34 up because the cups are too small, I bet! What are your measurements?

ICBINEG Thu 01-Nov-12 10:53:39

argh - don't go anywhere bra experts....I can't measure myself as Im at work right now but I will have questions for you later!!

okay I have one right now! when you do the over boob bit of the measurement should you do it while wearing a bra? I mean if you have post DC saggers (remember everyone, its the pregnancy not the BF that does it) then do you measure over them in their natural flatter but longer configuration or once you have hoisted them back up to where boobs are traditionally found?

Beksybob Thu 01-Nov-12 11:42:12

whois you could be describing me! I've given up on bras alltogether, I hate them hate them hate them. I can feel every last bit digging in everywhere and I've tried dozens.

HazleNutt Thu 01-Nov-12 11:46:56

Yes ICB, take the overbust measurement with your best fitting bra on.

whois Thu 01-Nov-12 11:55:10

SorrelForbes hmmm I need a tape measure.. Must have an idea paper one kicking around somewhere.

When going around the boobs, how tight do you have it? Barely touching the flesh?

I don't really have much breast tissue (or bak and armpit fat!) to squish but I tried that with my 34 A I put on this morning and I barely fill the cup.

Barely touching for over. The cup size is harder to get right by measurement so always try a few. If your bras are awful then an alternative to measuring with a bra is to measure braless but bent forward so that they hang down - so your boobs are almost at 90 degrees to your body. This is actually very accurate for me and gives the same measurement as my best bra.

ICBINEG Thu 01-Nov-12 13:07:58


well I will try the bra approach and the leaning over 90 degrees approach but this is going to be spectacular! <can't wait to get home and find tape measure>

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 13:08:09

Yep SC, the lean forward works well for me too for measuring! Best to so this whilst on your own I've found. DH was very amused grin

badtime Thu 01-Nov-12 13:14:21

Basically there are two different sizing systems, but no-one tells you this - the way people used to measure for bras was completely different. I think the one M&S use is 'measure under your boobs (in inches) and add 4 inches' to get the bra size, then siome faffery to get the cup size.
So in M&S I am 34E. In, say, Bravissimo, I am 30G or something.

But...the size m and s measure at will not be a well fitting bra. There are two different fitting approaches, but not really two different sizes.A bravissimo 30g person will be roughly the same in m and s in a bra which actually fits. Obv there is a bit of variance in sizing between bras and brands, but not massive.

Trills Thu 01-Nov-12 13:28:00

1 - this is a Style and Beauty question
2 - it's from May, I expect the OP has found a bra by now (or I hope she has!)

ICBINEG Thu 01-Nov-12 13:32:45

trills shutupshutupshutup grin I (and others) need advice now...who cares if the op got sorted months ago?

frazzlerock Thu 01-Nov-12 13:33:37

Sorrel - I've just measured using your system. I make myself a 31D (I've always worn a 34B)
Is there such a thing as 31? Is was a little tight but 32 would be very loose...

Trills Thu 01-Nov-12 13:33:45

Why not start a thread saying "I need bra advice" in the appropriate place then?

What do you measure frazzle

HazleNutt Thu 01-Nov-12 13:35:21

There are two different measuring systems and the other one is wrong (except in some rare retro lingerie manufacturer's cases). M&S bras are generally about the same size as Bravissimo ones.

frazzlerock Thu 01-Nov-12 13:37:05

31 inches underneath and 35 around the boobs

Try a 30dd, 30d, 32d and 32c. I suspect the 30 back will be better as most people who are between sizes go down in the back.

frazzlerock Thu 01-Nov-12 13:52:11

That's good to know. I want to go bra shopping now!
The tape measure was quite tight at 31inches mind... I will have a go though. I can't believe I could ever be a D-cup. I've always had small boobs and D's look humungous in the shops!

HazleNutt Thu 01-Nov-12 13:57:41

frazzle you've probably been looking at, say, 38Ds, that are quite big indeed. A 30D is not - it's the same size cup as a 36A!

I measure about 31 too and need a 30, if you can get it on and done up and it us not painful, it's probably right! It will feel tight at first though

PeppermintPanda Thu 01-Nov-12 14:25:35

What should I be trying then? Just measured and I'm 29 underbust and 33 across. I've been wearing 36AAA. It's the first bra that has actually fit me, ever. But I order them from a Freaks-R-Us type shop in the US, which costs me a bloody fortune. I dream of being able to go into a highstreet shop and choose a nice bra.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 14:28:39


I would try a 28DD, a 28D and a 30D. As SC says above you'll probably find the smaller back size a better fit.

If you consider that an A cup = a 1" difference between your two measurements, and an AA = 0" difference, then an AAA has to be technically impossible! Howver, US sizes are slightly different grin

PeppermintPanda Thu 01-Nov-12 14:57:22

Thank you Sorrel. D or DD shock sounds so much better than AAA. Although I quite like the idea of having technically impossible boobs! Right, I'm off to order bras from M&S!

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 15:05:46

No, no please don't order from M&S wink.

Here are some good sites:

and John Lewis, Debenhams and HoF!

magnolia74 Thu 01-Nov-12 15:33:52

Ok have just measured myself, 29 under boobs and 32 around boobs ( including cold nipples but every bit counts right grin )

Currently wearing a 32 b but even that is tight.......

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 15:36:41

OK, try a 28D, a 28C and a 30C. I suspect the 28 will be a better fit.

Your 32 is too tight because the cup is too small. Be brave grin

magnolia74 Thu 01-Nov-12 15:40:21

Omg can you imagine, c or d cup grin

I'm going shopping at the weekend.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 15:43:01

You'll be fine! Imagine my shock a few years back when I went from a 34DD to a 30G!

interwebmum Thu 01-Nov-12 16:08:46

I feel your pain! I was a 36AAA before getting pregnant and I was really frustrated with the whole bra issue. Luckily I discovered two companies that sell pretty bras for smaller boobs. They are 'Little Women' and 'Dainty Lady'. Don't be put off by the slightly patronising names they make really nice bras that range from 32AAA to 40AAA. They have lots of bras that have subtle padding or no padding at all, so you don't feel like you're smuggling pillows.
I hope that's helpful. Good luck.

Sidge Thu 01-Nov-12 16:08:47

Thanks to the sterling advice of Sorrel and Hazel on other threads I discovered the joys of buying and wearing bras that actually fit me!

I had been wearing 34C because I thought I was a 32C or D but could rarely get 32s in the shops.

I then discovered (thanks to Sorrel's and Hazel's advice) that I am a 28 but find a 30 more comfortable - depending on the style I now wear a 30DD or 30E! And I look so much better for it, without the discomfort of wearing a poorly-fitting bra. You'd never look at me and think "wow that woman has E cup jugs" as it's all relative to the ribcage measurement - I'm only 5 foot and a blink and weigh 7 st 13 so very narrow around my ribs with average size boobies.

I recently bought some beautiful Curvy Kate bras from which are lovely on.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 16:11:56

interwebmum Honestly though, I can't imagine that there are many women whose under bust and across bust measurments are in minus figures?

AA = 0" difference
A = 1" difference
B = 2" difference
C = 3" difference

and so on

I know a couple of people who've been wearing 36As and 36AAs and when properly fitted they've turned out to be D cups!

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 16:13:09

<waves at Sidge>

Curvy Kate do some great bras don't they? Good to hear you're all comfy now!

interwebmum Thu 01-Nov-12 16:17:16

Oh, I was too lazy to read everything and just realised that I may have missed the point of your post.Oops. I just checked your size on the Little Women website and it says 34AA.
BTW I think smaller boobs are brilliant and it's not our fault that the high street shops don't cater for us petite ladies. Small boobs are sexy!

interwebmum Thu 01-Nov-12 16:20:38

SorrelForbes I can assure you that I was definately a 36AAA and it was the first time in my life I found a bra that fit me correctly. I don't know where you are getting your information from but it doesn't correspond with my experience.

Beksybob Thu 01-Nov-12 16:24:59

Something's got to be wrong there, because obviously an AA bra isn't one with no difference between the back size and the cup size. That wouldn't be a bra atall, that would be...something else.

Beksybob Thu 01-Nov-12 16:25:52

With the AA = 0" thing, I mean

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 16:27:45

Beksybob Quite! Now, I am sure that there are women out there who do have a 1" difference (and even none at all) between the two measurements but I've yet to find any.

Beksybob Thu 01-Nov-12 16:35:51

I'll let you know after I find that measuring tape smile

P.S. I've seen men with bigger boobs than me (but they weren't half as lovely - the men or the boobs)

PeppermintPanda Thu 01-Nov-12 16:42:36

Okay, I've just ordered 6 bras from John Lewis (and my Mum's christmas present - how organised am I?). If any of them fit, I shall fall off my chair! grin

HazleNutt Thu 01-Nov-12 19:24:21

Sorry but the Littlewomen site calculator is wrong too. For someone measuring 32 under bust and 34 over, it recommends 36AAA, but that person should really rather be in a 32B. Why would a person measuring 32 under bust want to wear a bra 4 inches too big?

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 20:05:49

HazelNutt. Exactly! Bonkers calculator (one of many sadly).

The thing is I can 'fit' into a myriad of sizes but it's only the correct one that actually fits properly, is comfortable and gives me proper support and lift.

springblossompetals Thu 01-Nov-12 20:06:38

Hmmm.... interesting. 30 under and 36 over makes me 30G? Compared to the comfy 34d I'm wearing. Will have to go shopping to test this theory confused

HazleNutt Thu 01-Nov-12 20:08:18

Spring start with 30E, 1 cup size per inch.

theITgirl Thu 01-Nov-12 20:11:17

OK, just measured myself I am 36" back - measured 35.8" underneath the boobs. I got that bit right.
However I measure 40" across the boobs, but my current bra is a B cup, which I do fill but have no spillage.

As it is comfortable can I assume that I do have the right bra size?

HazleNutt Thu 01-Nov-12 20:15:21

ah but have you scooped? Try a 36D and really grab and scoop everything inside the cups, you might be surprised.

Bunbaker Thu 01-Nov-12 20:17:15

I think M & S are great for bras for the less well endowed. I very rarely go anywhere else. I just buy the slightly padded T-shirt bras. I wish they did the biscuit coloured ones on their own and not in a two pack with white, as I prefer not to wear white under a white top.

theITgirl Thu 01-Nov-12 20:21:41

Yup, have scooped - get a cleavage but still fits in.

Gabois Thu 01-Nov-12 20:22:15

Sorry not read the whole thread but I have very small boobs (thanks kids!!) - I don't even fill a B these days - I would definitely recommend the M&S plunge bra (their limited collection). I spent at least an hour trying all different styles on, and this one is great both with and without outerwear.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 20:26:25

theITgirl. You could try a 34E as well. Do the centre gores on your current bras sit totally flat to your chest? Have you got any underarm bulge?

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 20:27:54

Gabois. Have you tried measuring as per this thread? You may be surprised wink

Caoimhe Thu 01-Nov-12 20:28:56

Oh lord, inspired by this thread I measured myself for the first time in years!

Fgs, I am 27 underneath and 30 across the boobs. I think I should give up on bras altogether!!!!!

procrastinor Thu 01-Nov-12 20:32:41

Sorrell if you get me out of an A cup I will luff you forever. Now I just need to find a frickin tape measure - I've only spotted one of those metal ones which seems a tad harsh...

Oh out of interest, what do you do for a living? Part of me hopes that you're an accountant with a surprising knowledge of ladies underwear smile

theITgirl Thu 01-Nov-12 20:34:38

Centre gores are flat to my chest and I have no underarm bulge.
Thanks Sorrel & Hazle for taking the time to help me.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 20:36:20

Procrastinator. I am a Health Care Consultant/Interim Manager! Very dull.

I'd much rather be running my own lingerie/coffee/second hand book shop!

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 20:36:49

theITgirl sounds like you're all comfy and perky grin

procrastinor Thu 01-Nov-12 20:41:40

Hmm have gone back to being dubious (and wishing I could go shopping).

I wear a 34A. But measured 31.5 inches under and 34.5 across which would be what a 30C or 32C?! No way, surely?

procrastinor Thu 01-Nov-12 20:45:26

Yay - I love that that is your job! I love it when people have random amazing knowledge outside of their work.

bissydissy Thu 01-Nov-12 20:50:25

The day I cast aside my34a (m & s measured bra) and became an overnight 30DD was an epiphany. Honestly years of therapy could not improve self esteem as much. As for fit, comfort? Meh, they are better too but the point is I AM A D CUP.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 20:56:07

Procrastinator. I'd say a 30D, 30C or 32C but I bet the 30D fits wink

I am a complete bra bore. My friends and family are used to it now. I used I work in John Lewis many moons ago and had some fittings then and have been a keen amateur ever since!

Oh my good lord! I just measured 30 under and 34 over. I've been wearing a 34B or 36B for 20 years sob! Could I really be a 30D? My boobs are tiny. I'm in shock.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 20:58:13

Caoimhe. Try a 26D, 26C or 28C.

26 bands are hard to find. Ewa Michalak makes them but they are non returnable.

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Thu 01-Nov-12 20:58:34

Well now I'm curious but don't have a fabric tape measure!

procrastinor Thu 01-Nov-12 20:59:38

It's really sad but if I fit properly into one of those bras I'd probably cry! I'm with bissy that would be just such a confidence boost. Forget feminism, I'm never ever burning a D or C cup bra that fits me!

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 21:02:29

TheHappyCamper. Yes, try a 30D. Beat in mind that a D cup in a 30 back is very different from a D cup in a 38 band. Totally different cups.

I always use her as an example but my skinny teenage niece has tiny little bumps and wears a 28DD.

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Thu 01-Nov-12 21:04:24

Okay, have made do with string - think I'm 27" and 31" what should I try?

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 21:05:47

Ok, string it is! Try a 26DD, 26D and a 28D.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 21:07:17

bissy. I totally get that. M&S measured me as a 36C I think. I'm a 30G! Much better grin

I'm going shopping then. How did I not know that a D cup is a different size in different back sizes? This could be an epiphany for me! I've always hated bras you know.

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Thu 01-Nov-12 21:08:19

Thanks Sorrel, off to the shops tomorrow to see what I can find!

procrastinor Thu 01-Nov-12 21:20:45

Can I ask: why do M&S differ so markedly in their sizing? Just checked their online size guide and I come out a 36A.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 01-Nov-12 21:23:41

The actual bra sizing is the same.

But not so long ago, you had to add 4/5" to get your band size. Then this changed, but nobody told anybody (including m and s fitters and the vast majority of online calculators)

M&S size chart is utterly, utterly barking mad. It doesn't even seem to properly follow the old method either. the maths is totally irrational. For example , they claim that if you measure 23.5 and 29 (a 5.5" difference) then you are a 28AA. But, if you measure 33.5 and 34 (so a half inch difference), you are a 38AA. WTAF? That is utterly nonsensical

(and I have a very dull and totally non bra related job - I'm an actuary)

HazleNutt Thu 01-Nov-12 21:37:12

I have nothing to do with bras either, I'm a lawyer. I just used to wear a 36DD and assumed that it's normal that you get a four-boob, a lot of wobble and the middle part sitting miles from my chest. Who knew that was actually not the case in a 32FF..

A well timed thread! I changed from a 38b to a 36 dd in the course of a proper bra fitting this week! Less "mummy boobs", more va-va voom boobs now! Funnily, all my clothes now fit and the nagging chest pain that I had put down to asthma has vanished. Whole thing took about 45 minutes and I spent more money than planned, but I feel fab!

procrastinor Thu 01-Nov-12 21:43:14

yay for more people who have random knowledge! If this works I might become a secret correctly sized lingerie advocate.

I'm a bit put out - I have seriously considered surgery, not because I don't like my body but because I want to buy lingerie that doesn't make me feel like a child pretending to be an adult. I hate my underwear because it doesn't look like it fits, it looks like I've put on a bra because that's whats expected of me, not because it provides an iota of support. In fact, when I did think perhaps I should get measured because surely this wasn't right, the M&S lady said that if I felt that I really wanted to wear a bra then it would be a 34AA, but really it wasn't necessary for me to wear one at all.

procrastinor Thu 01-Nov-12 21:44:05

I think I probably need to back away from the wine grin

Kingsfold Thu 01-Nov-12 21:48:25

SorrelForbes, I am the real deal AA cup woman (32 AA). I hate it.

Funnily enough procrastinator, I met someone a couple of weeks ago who mentioned several times during conversation having tiny boobs, being an a cup, hoping that when she has children she becomes a B like her mum did....she then told me she was wearing a 32 and given how petite she is it was quite clearly wrong. She jumped up to a c cup once she got fitted properly, and it made a huge difference to how she felt about her body.

poppy283 Thu 01-Nov-12 21:50:26

American apparel and cos do lovely bras for those who don't need support as such.

Bras from 28 - 44 AAA AA and A. Worth a look?

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 21:55:24

Kingsfold Do you mind me asking what you measure under bust (tight) and over bust (loose)? A genuine AA will measure the same for both. If that is the case, I will start scouring the interweb for good undies for you smile

Callycat Thu 01-Nov-12 21:56:22

@ Sorrell: "Now, I am sure that there are women out there who do have a 1" difference (and even none at all) between the two measurements but I've yet to find any."

I am! 34 inch back size, and just under 35 inch over the boobs. We do exist! And we take AAA cups.

procrastinor Thu 01-Nov-12 21:57:12

I think that's it - I was desperate that with pregnancy my bra size would go up, but tbh unfortunately although my boobs got bigger so did the rest of me. Having gone from being a 16 and now being a 8/10 I actually like my body. But I buy crappy cheap M&S multipacks because I don't like the way i fit into a 34A I'm certainly not wasting money on nice underwear that is poorly fitting.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 21:59:37

Callycat Ahh, so that's where you were hiding wink. If you measure 34 under bust and 35 across then I would try you in a 34A.

HazleNutt Thu 01-Nov-12 21:59:54

procrastinator, even without measurements I would tell you that a size 8 does not need a 34 bra!

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 22:00:42

Procrastinator You see, if you'd just said you were a size 8/10 without giving your bust measurements, I would have put money on you being a 30 or smaller!

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 22:01:03

Hazel - snap!

procrastinor Thu 01-Nov-12 22:13:27

Ha! Now I'm going to rush off on my lunch break and go shopping. Tell you what, this was the most fruitful work avoidance MNetting session I've ever had.

bigTillyMint Thu 01-Nov-12 22:15:52

Sorrel, where can you get 26D bras suitable for a 13yo - I think this is what DD needs now - currently in 28B which was the nearest size I could find on the high st.

bigtilly I think that 26s are nigh on impossible to find on the high street. There is a Polish brand called Ewa Michelak which does them - they are special order though so not refundable I believe.

Callycat Thu 01-Nov-12 22:19:37

@Sorrell: Hehe! They're easy to hide smile

34A is is like two sacks on me, though. I'm AA or AAA in every single brand I've tried; it works for me. Different strokes and all that ...

Nightwish Thu 01-Nov-12 22:22:39

I am finding this fascinating.
I am currently wearing a 32B.
Yet my underbust is 30 inches.
And overbust is 35/36 inches (depending on how tight I pull grin).
But I don't think there is a chance in hell I would fill a 32C let alone anything else.

HiggsBoson Thu 01-Nov-12 22:25:56

Nightwish My measurements are 31 and 36 and I'm wearing a 30E smile

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 22:27:09

CallyCat absolutely! However, have you tried a smaller back/bigger cup combo (humour me!)? A 34AA is the same cup volume as a 32A, a 30B, 28C.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 22:34:51

Nightwish I would try a 30E (the across measurement should be loose). The cup volume on a 30E is the same as a 32DD, 34D and so on.

With a tighter back you will find that the breast tissue needs to sit forward into the cup. Remember the scoop!

Nightwish Thu 01-Nov-12 22:36:32

But if I am currently in a 32B how the hell could an equivalent to a 32DD fit...
I am going to have to test this I think.
But beware, I may faint!

I think I have measured wrong somehow!

ChristmasKate Thu 01-Nov-12 22:43:30

Shamelessly marking my little boobed place before I go to bed.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 22:46:15

Nightwish Did you measure tightly underneath and loosely across?

Going down a back size will make the cup completely different, especially if you make sure you scoop when putting the bra on. This will make sure that no breast tissue is hanging around outside the cup. I bet if you do some sever scooping now in your 32B you'll have major quadraboob grin

Nightwish Thu 01-Nov-12 22:49:45

Yeah I did.
I will be putting this to the test!
And probably remeasuring tomorrow to make sure grin.

Callycat Thu 01-Nov-12 22:51:14


Yeah, tried many combinations in my time! I've found what works for me. Guess we're all built differently smile

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 23:01:10

Indeed we are!

I'm another one that has graduated on the advice of sorrel and statistically.

4wks ago I was adament I was comfy in 36/38A bras.

I am now wearing a 32D/34C depending on brand. I have a cleavage, and I have a much more defined profile.

But I am annoyed with them...last week I accidently flicked my own bra strap on my broken finger. It hurt. A lot. If I was still wearing my 38A I would have barely noticed grin

Walkingchloe Fri 02-Nov-12 02:40:04

Fascinating! Currently breast feeding (literally!) and been thinking for a couple of weeks that I must go to m&s to get measured and get a couple of new bras. Will measure myself and do an online order (not from m&s)! I'm presuming exactly the same rules apply for nursing bras?

Thanks all!

StuntGirl Fri 02-Nov-12 03:05:14

Am both dubious and depressed after reading this thread. I measure 35" under and 44" over. Even if I round down to 34" that still makes me, what, a 34J?! <weeps>

HazleNutt Fri 02-Nov-12 06:36:21

Stunt, as most brands have DD and many also FF, I would try 34G. Don't be scared, plenty of those available online.

HazleNutt Fri 02-Nov-12 06:37:21

no sorry miscounted, GG or H

MushroomSoup Fri 02-Nov-12 08:43:59

I love this thread. 36A: detour to an independent bra shop: 32DD.
A year later my husband still double takes at cleavage I never thought I had.
It's all in the scoop!
Annoyingly though I find that there are size differences between bras of the same brand, if the style is very different. Now I never buy a bra without trying it on.

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Nov-12 08:46:08

Walkingchloe Never done the BF thing so slightly unsure. However, afaik, yes, the same rules apply.

rainbowsprite1 Fri 02-Nov-12 09:07:03

Thank you ladies - I had planned on going bra shopping at lunchtime anyway & thanks to your wonderful advice I might even end up with a bra that fits me this time! smile

this is the most useful morning MN session I think I've ever had... I have a hunch my 34B might actually be nearer a 32D, I dont have a tape measure but will borrow one in the shop. my DH will faint if I'm a D cup!!!!!

Beksybob Fri 02-Nov-12 09:16:22

Ok, so, I've got 32.5 under and about 35 over. What shall I go for? 32C?!

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Nov-12 09:18:06

Good luck RS1.

Becksybob Yes try a 32C and maybe a 32D!

Beksybob Fri 02-Nov-12 09:22:29

If that works I will eat my hat smile. Gonna try though! Thanks.

ICBINEG Fri 02-Nov-12 09:23:34

right I have measurements if anyone has answers.....

35.5 inch under boob
43.5 inch over boob wearing current best fitting bra
48.5 inches over boob if I lean forward and measure with boobs hanging at 90 degrees

<is pretty certain the lean forward method only applies to A and B cups>

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Nov-12 09:29:45

Ok, I'd be tempted to go with the second across bust measurement as it sounds like your bra is really compressing you and that your boobs aren't really in the cups properly.

Try a 36HH, 36J, 36J. Maybe even a 34HH.

However, it may be that your first measurement is better. So you may want to try a 36FF too.

I am an h cup so works for bigger sizes too. I would suggest starting at a 36 back but also try a 34.

How good is your current bra? I have a suspicion that with that sort of discrepancy it may be that your bra is seriously flattening your shape. On your in bra measurement, a 36ff would be a good start point. On your non bra, it's more like a hh. I think you will need to try a range of cups to get it right.

Xposted with sorrel!

ICBINEG Fri 02-Nov-12 09:52:28

thanks for the advice....I warned you the sag was impressive didn't I?

that sounds like internet ordering for me pretty sure I never saw even FF let alone HH in the shops...

My currents bras are still maternity efforts and range from 42 DD to 38 G but I have lost nearly 2 stone in the last few months and BF is winding down so I am expecting shrinkage in both measurements.

I don't know if it is worth getting a new bra now though? I am planning to keep up the dieting and of course boobs may continue to change as BF slows down.

hmm well a new bra might cheer me up, so maybe Ill just go for it!

HazleNutt Fri 02-Nov-12 09:54:05

Try for better prices, the 42 will not offer you any support and will make the sagging only worse.

ICBINEG Fri 02-Nov-12 09:59:36

Yep, just been checking out brastop and can I just say OMFG. There are actual models with actual body fat! This is amazing. I can actually sort of see which bras are going to work for someone my shape.

Has there been some sort of revolution while I wasn't looking.

seriously this is AWESOME.

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Nov-12 10:03:47

ICBINEG grin wonderful isn't it! Look at Ewa Michalak too.

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Nov-12 10:04:28

Ah yes, SC, but you explain it so much better!

TruthSweet Fri 02-Nov-12 10:07:06

I was wearing a 36D-38DD depending on brand (I even had some 40Es) and I've done the Sorrel method recently and I bought a 34H bra from Royce. The cups fit fine but the back is fine on the smallest/tightest hooks so I guess I could go down to a 32HH?

Icbineg, do you have a bravissimo, john Lewis or even debenhams near you? The fitting service in brav is awesome, the other two are a bit more hit and miss but they will all stock those sort of sizes. Might be easier to narrow down the size then shop online for a better range and for bargains!

ICBINEG Fri 02-Nov-12 10:11:44

sadly not any of those places...we have an M and S and then supermarkets...and I am getting the distinct impression from this thread that neither of those are the way to go grin

Truthsweet if it fits on the tightest then go down a back. However, I would suggest trying both an hh and a j. Ime sometimes the down a back up a cup ratio is a bit off and it's sometimes more like two cups.

Truthsweet if it fits on the tightest then go down a back. However, I would suggest trying both an hh and a j. Ime sometimes the down a back up a cup ratio is a bit off and it's sometimes more like two cups.

ArtVandelay Fri 02-Nov-12 10:32:16

Hi! If I'm a 29 around and 33 over the boobs then what size is that - 28 or 30 and which cup? Thanks in advance x

Best guess 28dd but also try 28d, 30c and 30d.

LauraPalmerPlusOne Fri 02-Nov-12 11:22:54

Oh Sorrel et al., do me, do me!

I've got the tiniest (but perkinest!) little boobs you'll ever see. And even though I only wear a size 10, I've got a broad back. Anything smaller than a 34 makes me almost weep with pain and since I can never fill out the cups of a 34 bra, I tend to wear stretchy tank bras. Which is fine for the most part, but I would really love to have a few nice proper bras!

Side note - I can fill an A cup but the placement and shape of them always look ridiculous and abnormal - and absolutely nothing like my own boobs!

So, according to your techniques, I'm measuring 33.5" (tight) under bust and 39" (loose) on bust.

I'm keen to go shopping today - what size should I try?

HazleNutt Fri 02-Nov-12 11:28:42

34 then sounds about right, but tiny? Based on those measurements I would recommend you try a 34DD or 34E

Yup, you are a lot bigger than an a, 34dd ish. Read up thread about scooping- I suspect the back is hurting because the cup is fartoo small and a lot of tissue which should be in the cup is actually using the space from the back.

HazleNutt Fri 02-Nov-12 11:34:44

But I am scratching my head here a bit, as you rarely see a size 10 that actually measures 34 and even if you're in a wrong bra, a 34DD boobs would not be described as small. Hm.

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Nov-12 11:40:30

Yep, I suspect a 30 or 32 back in an E or an F might be the size for you! Can you measure under bust again tight without a brav

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Nov-12 12:06:44

That's just going on the size 10 by the way grin

ArtVandelay Fri 02-Nov-12 12:26:10

Thanks! I cannot wait to hit the shops. Since I spent 2 years in tanktops and non wired things due to pregnancy/bfing I cannot stand bras and look crap in them anyway. I've been wearing 32 or 34 b and feeling like I'm not normal or something. Hope a size change is the answer (rather than a boob job).

HazleNutt Fri 02-Nov-12 12:29:17

Oh and everybody trying new sizes - report back as well!

Nightwish Fri 02-Nov-12 13:04:33

I remeasured definitely under 30, over 36.
I want to order online but I suppose its best to go to a shop and try some first.
Where in the high street stocks 30E or similar?
Or just ordered a couple of different sizes online and send the wrong ones back?

I hate shopping at the best of times grin.

Debenhams or john Lewis have a good range, if there is a bravissimo nearby that is your best bet. 30e is a good place to start

LauraPalmerPlusOne Fri 02-Nov-12 13:40:38

Sorry for my delay to your responses - have been working silly me!

I appreciate everything you say about scooping Sorrel but I can't even fill a B cup. I once had a sales lady in Victoria's Secret say to me that they don't make bras small enough to fit my breasts. angry

I think I am a weird case. Because when I say tiny boobs I mean tiny. But I've always measured a 33.5-34 under bust yet I'm on the small side of size 10 (so can often fit into an 8, but usually prefer a 10).

I'll step out to one of the shops in a bit, armed with all of the good advice on this thread, and will report back after I try on a range of sizes that I would never normally imagine might fit!

Victorias secret are muppets, seriously. Their attempt at fitting me was hilarious. And regardless of how big or small you may be no fitter should ever make a woman feel bad about herself. Please try one of the decent shops rather than m and s so you can try a better range of bras. John Lewis are pretty good and stock a very wide range of sizes and their fitter are mostly good too.

LauraPalmerPlusOne Fri 02-Nov-12 13:57:48

Thank you Stat - will head to John Lewis! wink

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Nov-12 13:58:30

I second SC. Victoria Secrets are appalling! The bottom line (or should that be top?) is that you have a 6" difference between your measurements. Therefore you absolutely cannot be an A cup. I suspect a 32E in a padded plunge or balconette could be the bra for you wink. Enjoy your shopping.

Good luck Laura. It doesn't matter what the end size is, but hopefully you will find something that is more comfortable and matches your shape properly as it sounds like you haven't so far. Big or small, uncomfortable bras suck.

LauraPalmerPlusOne Fri 02-Nov-12 14:13:14

But, but, but <sputters at the thought of fitting into a 32E> maybe there's only a 6" difference because my upper back is so wide?? So the extra inches are in my back, not my boobs? (and yes, I did just measure again to make certain I didn't have my numbers wrong!)

All said, I may be able to fill an A cup but placement-wise I'm definitely not an A - the cups are never in the right location to look normal on me grin

LauraPalmerPlusOne Fri 02-Nov-12 14:14:01

Hear, hear Stats - uncomfortable bras are evil

That's definitely a possibility Laura, I have a friend who has a strong upper back who I suspect would measure more than her cup size- she used to row. I suspect you probably need a wider cup that captures more tissue- this cab be very brand dependent too as some use wires which are narrow but deeper- like panache- whilst others like freya are wider, but shallower. Kind of like the difference between a u-shaped wire, and one that is more like a sideways c.

mummmsy Fri 02-Nov-12 14:33:06

just marking big-boobed spot for measuring and calculating later grin

KnockMeDown Fri 02-Nov-12 15:10:04

I have been wearing 38B for sometime now, and on the basis of this thread, and in the hope that I am not actually 38, I have measured, and am definitley 38 under the bust!!! That makes me feel huge judging by some of the comments upthread, but I am not, really. I am an apple-shape, 14 up top, and 12 below.

What did surprise me was that I was 42 over, so that makes me a D? But this was measured over my current bra and a t-shirt - is that ok?

I have not had any of the backache others have spoken of, so am surprised if I am really that size, but have found that underwires were digging in. Looks like some bra shopping is required!!

Take the t shirt off to do the overbust, and take the bra off altogether for under and make sure it is measured firmly underneath.

BorisTheBold Fri 02-Nov-12 16:21:56

marking place for when I find tape measure.

DownyEmerald Fri 02-Nov-12 20:27:57

Still haven't done the shopping, but I'd like to say thanks to the bra gurus. I was thinking I'd gone up to a 36A post dd, as I was letting all my 34Bs out to the max clasp, because of back fat.

Realised due to these threads that it is actually breast tissue, not back fat and have measured myself. Very glad I didn't spend money on 36s when I'm a 30 or 32 C.

You may be more than a C - If you have been letting your 34Bs out to the loosest because of not-really-back-fat then I suspect when it is all scooped in the 34B cup will actually be a bit small (i.e. in a 34 you would be more like a C) so in a 32 that would be a D/DD, and in a 30 more like a DD/E ish. Did you measure with bra on or doing the leaning forward trick?

DownyEmerald Fri 02-Nov-12 21:49:41

Well, naked standing up actually grin. Will try the leaning forward thing. Still getting my head round possibly being a C!

Try leaning forward and with your best bra on - naked standing up tends to give a much lower result than the true size smile

Sorry that was two seperate measurements - leaning forward or with your best bra on(after scooping everything in to it). Not both simultaneously!

twistedknit Sat 03-Nov-12 11:08:08

Oh my word. Been wearing a 34-36 B/C for years, (refused to buy bras from M & S as the only size there that seemed to fit was a 38A!) but they've never been comfy. Had a bit of a revelation when I got measured recently and was told that I was a 34 D smile, the bras I bought there and then fitted but have since bought some (tried on in a rush) and the cups were mahoosive. Was about to give up and just wear stretchy sports type bars forever.

Measured today... OMG 32 under and 38 around! that makes me what - a 32 counts on fingers E!? Mental.

Despite having no time or money or energy I am going bra shopping today. If only to disprove this theory that what I thought was a broad back and abnormally widespread but relatively small norks are actually normal and could even be described as large-ish.

Even a 32 D would make me very happy if it fits - sick of that gaping effect that means people can see my nips if I lean forward in low cut tops. I shall report back...

Naoko Sat 03-Nov-12 11:28:17

I love these threads grin I've become a bit evangelical about bra sizing since going from a 34DD and feeling crap about how I looked to a 30G earlier this year after a proper fitting. After the ranting I did about it I'm sure DP now knows more about bra fitting than your average M&S fitter... Just need to work up the courage to take my RL friends who are clearly in completely the wrong sizes shopping. I really want to say something but I don't know how.

MushroomSoup Sat 03-Nov-12 11:48:02

Help please! Just measured my 15 yr old - 28 band, 30 across the boobs. Should I try a 28B? Any suggestions on a good place to shop?

Naoko Sat 03-Nov-12 11:51:21

Sounds about right smile I'd try Debenhams for that size, they have a really good range of sizes, many very pretty, and they don't cost the earth either, especially if you manage to catch a sale.

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 12:14:53

Hi mushroom

Yes, 28B. Try Debenhams or John Lewis. Avoid M&S.

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 12:16:05

Naoko I am exactly the same. I tend to enthuse about my latest bra purchases and fittings to friends and then slyly mention about helping them to get a new bra! I've been more brutal with family wink

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 12:17:17

Good luck twisted. Beat in mind that you may need to avoid certain styles. I always get gaping and overspill with plunge styles for example.

And I always get gaping with balconette half cups. So we are most definitely all different

MushroomSoup Sat 03-Nov-12 12:43:50

We don't have a debenhams OR a John Lewis! We have house of Fraser, a BHS, a next - any good? am boycotting M&S

Charliefox Sat 03-Nov-12 12:45:46

You don't need to boycott any shop to actually buy bras from. It's just the measuring bit that needs doing right. Once you have your size sussed, try bras from anywhere.

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 12:54:58

HoF usually have a good range. I find that Next etc rarely start their bras any smaller than a 32/34.

Nightwish Sat 03-Nov-12 13:27:40

Went to John Lewis this morning.
I tried the 30 backs but I could do them up on the tightest setting, does this mean I will need a 28? I couldn't find any to try!
When I measured my back it was 29 inches if I pulled properly tight.

The 30 E felt weird, but tried and 30D and it felt a bit small. They didn't have any other sizes really.
Should have gone to Debenhams too but I didn't have time.
So I don't know now, I probably won't go shopping again for a while as it is 30 miles from home.
I may order some online to try.

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 14:14:45

Nightwish. Yep, sounds to me like you need a 28 back as you should always try on bras on the loosest hook.

So, if we say 28 under and 36 across, maybe order a 28F and a 28FF in a couple of different styles (e.g. Plunge, balconette and full)

twistedknit Sat 03-Nov-12 14:30:02

Bah! Tried on about a bazillion bras, but my local town has no nice underwear shops, so it's near enough impossible to get a 32 larger than a C. Eventually bought a couple of 32 DDs which kind of fit but don't feel great quality from La Senza, purely because the shop assistant was so helpful... Drove home wondering where there is another La Senza to take them back to.... I am weak!

Next stop - t'interweb. But I am definitely a 32 DD or E grin and good advice about the style and gaping - I will keep that in mind.

Thank you ladies!

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Sat 03-Nov-12 18:16:02

Today's result from 34b ish to 28e! also found a 30d which was comfortable. Hut hesitated and didn't buy it since I know that's a good 3 inches off my back, I wondered if it would still fit after a few wears?

Bloody hell. Feels a bit odd that I've been wearing totally the wrong size forever.

Not really sure where to shop for bras now since I only found one 28e out today.

TiWi, the internet is your new best friend for bras. Try brastop, Leia Lingerie, Bravissimo, Figleaves, Amazon as well as Debenhams and John lewis.

(on amazon, look for Freya, Panache, cleo by Panache, Curvy Kate etc)

Well I could only get to a Sainsbury's massive store yesterday and they didn't have anything less than a 32! I did try on a 32c and 32d and they did feel almost right but not quite. I have ordered two 30d's online (balcony style which I usually prefer).

I tried to explain it all to DH but he got one of those looks on his face when I started talking about back fat etc. He said that if i could go up 2 cup sizes just by changing bra size then what would happen if he bought some bigger pants grin Men hey!

ICBINEG Sat 03-Nov-12 19:47:05

hmmm so I tried a 36 F and the band seemed right but had bonus boob on top of cup. so it looks like the G might be more like it....well moving in the right direction anyway! Thanks boob gurus!

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 19:49:17

There are hardly any high street stores or supermarkets that stock anything below a 32 so I've given up looking!

My DH is now able to explain 'scooping' and cup volume relative to back size! This link might help your DH!

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 19:55:01

ICBINEG I think we guesstimated a 36HH didn't we? Not surprised to hear that a 36F was little small in the cup. I'd try a 36FF/36G/36GG and maybe even a 34H. You never know...

Thanks for that link SF - I love it! like telling the time using only the minute hand

TiredMule Sat 03-Nov-12 20:48:37

Hi sorrel, you helped me on another thread (can't find it on my phone) I went shopping today and tried 30d, 30dd, 32d, 32dd, 32c, 30c, I ended up with the 32d, but I'm still not sure and don't know what else I should try. Made the mistake of taking one Dd and DH with me and ended up having to give up. It's the best u tried, but I'm worried it might bit be right as I have a bit of armpit fat going on. Can you explain scooping to me?!
Also I can get more than 2 fingers under, though it does feel tight. I think part of the problem is wearing very comfy, poorly fitted non wired bras for the last 6 years of bf-now i'be turned into my mum who hates underwire! I will get used to it again won't i?!
Ended up leaving depressed as I think the bras actually make my tiny boobs look smaller sad from memory my measurements were almost 31 under and 35 over.

TiredMule Sat 03-Nov-12 20:50:39

Sorry for typos-rubbish phone!

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 21:01:26

Hi Tired Please don't despair. It really is trial and error and a bad bra shopping experience can be so frustrating. On your measurements I would say a 30 back (especially as you can get more than two fingers under the front of the 32) and an E cup. A bigger cup will ease the tightness of the smaller band (strange but true).

Ok, scooping. Put on your new 32D by doing up the band and then leaning forward (almost to a right angle with the floor) and placing your boobs into the cups. Then, still leaning forward, take your right hand and place it in the left cup, under the arm pit and use it to scoop all the flesh from your back and underarm into the cup. Then repeat with the left hand/right cup. Then, put the shoulder straps on and stand up. You may now find that you are bulging out over the cups. However, as you've bought, may find what I suspect to be a too big band, you have a combination of quadraboob and back fat. The latter will be because the band to too big and the cup too small to help keep the breast tissue where it should be!

You're correct in thinking that the correct size will feel tight if you've been used to wearing a much bigger band. I went (in stages) from a 36 to a 32 back to a 34 and then to a 30! A 32 feels huge to me now (and I measure 30.5).

Where did you go shopping?

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 21:03:15

Sorry, in my first paragraph I should have said " and a DD cup".

30 under and 35 across - 30DD (1c cup for each ")

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 21:06:19


Should read:
However, as you've bought, what I suspect to be a too big band, you may find you have a combination of quadraboob and back fat.

digerd Sat 03-Nov-12 21:54:20

I always wore 32A cups and wore them on the tightest hook, the lower you wear the bra on your back the looser it will be, the higher the tighter as back is larger as rises to shoulders. I always wore padded bras, but hated the wires as was thin and they hurt my ribs.
Now I am older and breasts are a bit larger ( if not so pert), I don't wear underwired bras any more, at home I go braless for comfort round my midriff which has also increased in size. My most comfortable bra is called Triumph Allusion - very lightly padded 32.A, which measures unstretched 28" to first hook. The stretch band underneath is very narrow 1 cm, which I find the most comfortable for me and does not ride up. also cups are not wide apart so give me a small cleavage.

HazleNutt Sat 03-Nov-12 22:01:22

Digerd you should always start with your bra with the loosest hook, so you can tighten them when they wear out. If you need to start with tightest and also if you have to wear he bra higher (meaning that bra climbs up on the back) then the band is too big - it should be worn the same height front and back. What's your underbust measurement?

digerd Sat 03-Nov-12 22:10:41

I used to be 28", but having middle aged spread now it is 30", but feels much too tight as I have a protruding ribcage and midriff bulge. So when I sit, it's much too uncomfortable. Sound like one post's mum. Round my bosom, which is not so pert now I am 36", but I am measuring higher up at the back than under my bust. I cannot take a 34 A as usually the cups are too big. But do have an extender now for the 32A and feel just right, even better braless.

HazleNutt Sat 03-Nov-12 22:15:53

So underbust 30, over 36? (when you measure, the tape should be at the same height all over). No wonder 34A is not comfortable, try a 30E instead.

digerd Sat 03-Nov-12 22:23:13

34A cups are too big, I only fit properly into an 32A with a back extender.
I don't understand as an E cup is enormous? Even a B cup is far too big for me.

Even when I was 9 months pregnant and put 2 stone on I measured 36" ( A cup) x 36" x36" - a perfect barrel !!! Decades ago.

Naoko Sat 03-Nov-12 22:29:13

An E cup on its own is neither enormous nor small. The cups on a 28E bra are not the same size as the cups on a 38E; without the back size, the cup size is meaningless. You can easily see this if you go into a shop and pick up those two sizes and hold them next to eachother. The size on the label is about the relation between the under-and overbust measurement.

I had this - was in a 34DD, so uncomfortable and considering buying a bra extender because I thought the cups were fine, the back just didn't fit; couldn't wait to get home and take my bra off at night. Turns out that I'm actually a 30G. Once I'd recovered from the shock, I realised that was much more comfortable!

HazleNutt Sat 03-Nov-12 22:32:35

No, E is not necessarily enormous, the actual size depends on the band size - there are some links on this thread explaining it. Also, if the cup is too small, then the band will feel too small as well - I wear a 32G at the moment, but 32D would feel way too tight, even though 32 is my correct size.

If you measure 30 then you really should (generally, the sizing of the brands varies a bit) be in size 30 bras. Something that has been recommended here might be useful - go try on a size 30 bra back to front, so the cups are on your back. If you can close it and it's tight, but you can still breathe, then that's your size. And then try different cup sizes and don't forget to scoop all the breast tissue into the cups, as explained by Sorrel earlier. I'll eat my hat if you don't go up at least a couple of cups.

digerd Sat 03-Nov-12 22:45:53

Hazelnutt, are you in the USA, as I'm in UK and we may have different size charts.?

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Nov-12 23:24:08

I think Hazel is in the UK.

Digerd, most UK size charts are utterly balony, unfortunately. They work on an old system that no longer actually mirrors how bras should fit. So if I look at something like the M&S size chart, I should apparently be a 36F. I get fitted regularly at Bravissimo, and I am in fact a 30H/HH. This is true for almost every woman, the charts date back to an old fashioned method when you added inches to get your back size.

You shouldn't do that anymore, basically. As a rough starting point, your underbust measurement in inches is your band size. And each inch difference between your band, and your overbust, is a cup size. The cup size is always harder to get from a measurement so normally I would suggest trying the size you "measure", 1 cup below, and 1 or two above to get the right size.

TiredMule Sun 04-Nov-12 00:28:48

Thank you again Sorrel, I think I just need to brave it again. Sadly post dc's shopping is something I no longer enjoy, escpecially when faced with how much my body has changed since I last went bra shopping-wasn't my happiest moment! After moping around this afternoon I've been reminded by my lovely mil that I should make the most of what I have and my youth....I may feel old but I'm only just 30 so I need to get a grip!
I went to debenhams, we're very limited shop wise here, I think I need to venture further for a John Lewis etc, so might try and make it to Southampton soon, or else I might be able to try Guildford next weekend when we visit my family.
One more quick question-does a correctly fitting bra dig in (don't know how to phrase it) where the band is ie the bra I bought feels ok tightness wise but in the mirror I can see the flesh (though I really don't have much/any fat there) kind of goes in where the band is and out below, not massive amounts, and I don't think you'd notice with clothes on. Is that normal or is that another sign it doesn't fit correctly?

It is normal for it to go in a bit TiredMule - I think unless you are superskinny a little bit of a dent does happen. It certainly does on me, even thought there is no way I need to go up a back size.

digerd Sun 04-Nov-12 08:15:16

Statistically and sorrel
Thanks for your info. I still have bras from when I was still super slim - I'm a tiny person, but never thought of myself as skinny, and they are all 32A. As I've aged the flesh at back, sides and midriff have bulged, and my super slim sister who had A 37" Bust, moaned about her back bra bulge - under the band, when she was in her late 30s.
I used to have real trouble with my tiny bust, as the bands/wires would ride up over the bust when reaching upwards, so I had the band as tight as possible to try to prevent that happening. I was 55 before I suddenly got a real bosom - the only bonus of being menopausal.!!

DonaAna Sun 04-Nov-12 08:26:09

This thread is fascinating. I just measured myself, underbust 75cm/ 30", on top 86cm/34". I used to wear a B-cup pre-DC, now my best-fitting bra has a C-cup but it does not quite lie flat on my breastbone. So may need to try D-cup? (Euro sizes here so probably will start with 75D.)

Will go bra-shopping today. Potentially life-changing...
It's funny, I've always thought my breasts are very beautiful, on the small side, but perfectly proportioned and perky and good even after 2+ years of breastfeeding. But when trying on bras, I've always felt miserable - just because I have not been given correct information before?

Will report back...

DonaAna, I would say a 30D (or euro equivalent) is your starting point.

Digerd, the wires sliding up is a sure sign the back was too big. re the flesh bulging, have you tried the scooping described up thread? A lot of that can generally be rearranged so it goes in the bra rather than out of it!

For both (and anyone else bra shopping/wondering of the size is correct) here are a few things to look for in a well fitting bra:

Firstly, when you but the bra on, lean forward then take your right hand and put it inside your left cup. Reach right round under your armpit/towards your back and hoik all the backfat/escapage forward in to the cup of the bra. Repeat at the other side.

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 suprisingly 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 IME 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. I can't wear Panache, for example.

DonaAna Sun 04-Nov-12 09:33:54

Thanks so much Statistically!
I definitely have some breast tissue lumping over the top of my cup while wearing a C-cup.
35 min left until stores open around here...

I also took a look at my mother's bra size when I was getting dressed after showering (staying with her for a few days) she wears a 90C = 35C and she has big boobs, much bigger than mine... (Might measure her and take her shopping with me...)

My breasts are wide-set and trying to yank them together in the middle violates laws of nature. Will need to check current offerings but I've felt in the past that there are certain brands that cater for that (many French ones? Plus Maidenform?) and others that absolutely don't. Balconettes usually feel great on me.

I also have narrow shoulders, and bra straps slip down so much that strapless bras have felt best. Any ideas?

HazleNutt Sun 04-Nov-12 09:45:03

digerd I'm actually in France, but buy my bras from UK.
And yes, if your bra wires ride up when you lift your arms, the band is certainly too big. You say it's as tight as you can wear? Yes, probably true, because your cup size is also too small and therefore the band indeed feels smaller too. Really, try a smaller band in bigger cup size.

If you are wide set then plunge types are probably just not very good!

What back size are you wearing just now? The straps sliding down is also a sign that the back is big as the are set too wide. That said, I have quite narrow/sloping shoulders and I only buy bras where the straps adjust forward - i.e. where to make the straps shorter you push the adjustor bit up and over your should from back to front. I also don't tend to buy ones where the strap material changes half way. This means that you get the maximum shortening possible.
Once you have tried some one, online ordering from UK may be your friend. Something like alana and freya but not this

DonaAna Sun 04-Nov-12 12:32:04

Ok, back from the store.

Yes, Statistically and Sorrel are right: I'm really a 30D / 75D.
Goodbye, B cup. Goodbye, C cup. grin

I bought three or four bras and a couple of Joan from Mad Men fitted sweaters and a mocha cream and almond cake to celebrate!

Thanks ladies, and if anyone hasn't listened to these two experts yet, do so ASAP! It is life-changing...

SorrelForbes Sun 04-Nov-12 12:45:23

Lovely to hear that you've had a good shopping trip! Think of it as repayment for all the fantastic perfume advice you give!

DonaAna Sun 04-Nov-12 13:15:20

Thanks Sorrel!

I love balconettes but they have wide-set straps and that doesn't work - racerbacks might but they are so not my style.

I'm still boobless enough to be able to wear strapless styles wink - they fit me well and adapt to my lifestyle (lots of sundresses and spaghetti strap tops), so just bought some good tried-and-true favorites (Maidenform and Calvin Klein) but this time in my correct size...

Glad to hear you had a successful trip Dona.

PeppermintPanda Mon 05-Nov-12 12:55:51

Well that is the best value boob-job ever! My JL order just arrived and I've gone up 5 cup sizes over night! I measured 29 under and 33 over. I ordered a couple each in the 28D and 28DD and 30D. The 28s all felt like they were trying to crush me to death. Also Calvin Klein clearly hates women and wants to kill us all by puncturing our lungs with underwires, so that one is going back. But the last 30D feels just about right. I do have a bit of back flab that I'd not noticed in my old 36AAAs (maybe due to too much halloween chocolate) and the underwires are digging in a little at the front, but I'm hoping I'll get used to them. The cups are gaping a tiny bit, but when I lean forward my breasts fill the cup rather than just giving everyone a direct view of my nipples. I think I need to try some different styles next time I'm in town. I might even be brave enough to go into Bravissimo without worrying that they'll take one look at my chest and laugh me out of the shop.

Thank you sorrel and SC and Hazel!

HazleNutt Mon 05-Nov-12 13:05:58

Excellent! Of course go to Bravissimo, bras fit very differently and it's always best to try several brands and styles to see what works for you.

ArtVandelay Mon 05-Nov-12 13:34:57

Hi, I went to a department type store this morning and tried a load of bras on in a size 70c but when I brought one home I realised that they equate to 32c not 30. When I pulled it tighter it felt and looked better. So I'm going to go again (without 2 yr old DS) tonight, and find some 30 s in a C and maybe a D. I think I got a bit distracted by DS and the sheer number of bras but I think its still a step forward.

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Nov-12 13:51:22

Yep, a 65 is a 30. You will probably need a 30D if the 32C is ok in the cup. Keep going!

ArtVandelay Mon 05-Nov-12 14:57:31

Will do! Its just funny because I'm so used to seeing really big boobs (real or fake) described as d's it seems strange that I am a d. Also only really seeing big round boobs in media makes me feel abnormal and saggy!

The media lie about bra sizes. You will see reports saying katie price is a 34dd for example. Not a chance. I would guess probably around a 28h at least. Same with almost any woman- I've seen Kate moss and naomi campbell listed as 34s...halle berry as a 36. All utter nonsense.

HazleNutt Mon 05-Nov-12 15:18:26

Yes, Christina Hendricks is apparently 38DDD. Right.

Aye, sure. Look, a flying pig. Whilst she undoubtedly wears some serious corsetry she has a pretty small waist . If I was to guess, I'd probably say no more than a 32, possibly less- but at least an h cup.

DonaAna Mon 05-Nov-12 15:32:31

I'm not in the UK atm and I was shocked how limited the size range in bras was in my local department store.

My breasts are small---average, but my size (30D) was really difficult to find - very few D cups available, but there were a lot of bras with larger band widths and smaller cups (ABC)!!! Clearly forcing people to buy really ill-fitting bras. I could overhear a lot of conversations from the fitting rooms - all others looked bigger than me and all of them were telling the salesladies that what they were trying on did not quite fit and they were bulging over (and the salesladies tried to ignore that and say that an armpit bulge is normal).

I mentioned to the saleslady that they are not buying enough larger cup sizes - and she just sighed.

My mother is an E-cup when properly fitted, but she has been wearing a C-cup (and suffering) for a long time.

The new bras feel amazing. Although my breasts are nothing very special, having them super-defined is a huge boost to my confidence. Really feels like a boob job, without any nasty side effects.

Ime there was a terrible selection in the states too. Brastop quite often does free worldwide delivery. I think asos do too and they sometimes stock decent things.

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Mon 05-Nov-12 16:02:27

Yes, I thought that too - not so much how many small cup sizes there are, but how many small combined with large backs - now I think about it as each size being 1" difference it just doesn't make sense that there are so many!

And so few back sizes below a 30 anywhere.

Bizkit Mon 05-Nov-12 16:18:00

I have tiny boobs and since pregnancy they are not as full either so bras are a nightmare for me. I have to have some padding at least, have found the m&s multiway bras ok, but still not brilliant, I can't wear low cut tops as if I bend over you might see too much as my boobs don't completely fill the cup, if I wear an A cup this isn't so bad but it's uncomfortable to wear I usually wear a b cup but the bra is constantly rising up and then my boobs just look odd as its mainly padding riding up anyway. I'll have another measure sad

HazleNutt Mon 05-Nov-12 16:20:10

Bizkit, if your bra is riding up, the band is probably too big.

Bizkit I would hazard a guess the back is quite a bit too big. Post your measurements and we'll help :-)

DonaAna Mon 05-Nov-12 16:51:29

Bizkit you really need to let these helpful ladies here sort you out - their simple two measurements resulted in the best-fitting bra I've ever had (+ boosted self-esteem!). No riding up, real support, no pinching, and superb curves.

Bizkit Mon 05-Nov-12 17:03:09

Ok 28inches under bust, 33 over bust (no bra) and 34 (just) over bust if I bend down, m&s is saying 32b, another one saying 32a, I've always worn a 34b sometimes please grin

No wonder you are uncomfortable...28dd or 28e

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Mon 05-Nov-12 17:07:42

We are similar measurements Biz - now wearing a 28e! I'm so comfy it'd ridiculous!

Bizkit Mon 05-Nov-12 17:58:05

But...but...but how can it be so different? I think I may have been measuring my under bust as 29 previously, this is how I got 34 as you have to add five inches. So what your saying is the 28 inch measurement stays as 28
I would assume like most others aswell that a double d is huge!
I'm itching to go to the shops and have a look now

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Nov-12 18:07:44

SC speaks the truth! A DD in a 28 back is much smaller than a DD in, say, a 34 back.

Online calculators are all nonsense. Honestly. M and s for example reckon I an a 36f. I am a 30h. They use a hideously outdated method.

HazleNutt Mon 05-Nov-12 18:12:04

Yes, NO ADDING. not 4 inches, not 5, nothing. And 28DD is actually exactly the same size cup as 34B - that doesn't sound huge, does it?

Bizkit Mon 05-Nov-12 18:32:14

Wow, I'm truly stunned. So where is best to look, I've checked m&s who have one bra in this size (not that I'd buy from there anyway) and bhs have none. I don't have any other stores locally I can think of for bra buying, but I hope these sizes are not going to be difficult to find. I would need a lightly padded one, so bit weary of buying online as I usually have to have a feel of them before buying, to check the padding, can't be too much or too little, though maybe the padding won't look quite so silly if the bra fits well hmm

Chandon Mon 05-Nov-12 18:36:44

I think Calvin Klein bras work really well, slight foam cup, not too much padding, and very soft to wear. Often on sale, eg at TK Maxx

ReallyLongWorm Mon 05-Nov-12 18:40:13

I Have worn 34a forever, I just measured and my back size is 30 and over bust is 32-33. I am small chested but can see now I am not a 34 inch back! What size should I start with?

HazleNutt Mon 05-Nov-12 18:43:54

30B or 30C, Really.

Bizkit, 28 back is not that easy to find. Do you have Bravissimo around? If not, then you'll find best selection online, Bravissimo, Figleaves or here:§ionid=&text=

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Nov-12 18:44:54

RLW I'd try a 30B and a 30C.

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Nov-12 18:46:14

Some of the Calvin Klein bras look vern nice but it appears that they start at a 32 back. No good for many of us.

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Nov-12 18:47:14

Oooh and one of my favourites Ewa Michalak stocks 28 backs.

MirandaWest Mon 05-Nov-12 18:51:30

It took me a while to go from 34a to 32b to 30c (am size 8 at the top). Wish my mum who is smaller than me would realise she almost definitely isn't a 32aa. Probably a 28b or something like that I think.

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Nov-12 18:53:39

I'm taking my mother shopping before Christmas to either Bravissimo or R&B. I will sort out her chest if it kills me!

HazleNutt Mon 05-Nov-12 18:55:06

I have a friend visiting soon and my goal is to make her see that as a size 12, she does not need a 38 bra. Will see how that goes..

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Nov-12 19:05:13

Best of British! I have had a fairly high success rate lately but I'm still trying to convince a couple of size 10 friends that they need to be wearing smaller than a 36!

Bizkit Mon 05-Nov-12 19:10:17

Thank you so much, I think I'll order a few online, seems to have some at good prices I can try, and I'll be on the look out now, and fingers crossed no more uncomfortable weird looking boobs! I'll report back wink

Bizkit, if you like slight padding then the Freya Deco is generally well regarded (it's a moulded cup.) I also love the Bravissimo Satine. Definitely try an E in the Satine, possibly a DD in the Deco as it is known for being generous.

However I would also suggest trying a few good quality non-padded bras - in the right size you will probably be very surprised how much support and shape they give you. The Bravissimo Alana is a good one - I would definitely try the E in this as it comes up a smidge small in the cup.

MisfitNotMissFit Mon 05-Nov-12 20:09:41

Umm are you able to help a fat ass with bigger boobs? Am 43 under, 58 over and can never find nice bras.

I would probably try a 42 back (most people who are between measurements seem to get on better with the smaller back)

I'd recommend trying a 42K to begin with. I know this won't be the easiest size to find - simply be

You could also consider trying a 40 in the Curvy Kate range. The emily comes in a K, and in my experience the back on this was seriously big - I measure 31 and a 28 was loose on me.

What size are you wearing at the moment out of interest?

Also, I could be wrong but this looks incredibly similar to a bra Bravissimo discontinued last year - it may be worth a try.

MisfitNotMissFit Mon 05-Nov-12 21:07:16

Oooh have ordered the emily - thanks for the recommendation. Best bra that fits at home is a 44d, which I know doesn't fit, so anything would be an improvement.

Thanks for your guidance!

How does that one feel - if you do it up as tight as possible and then do the scooping described upthread, how bad is the, erm, overspill?

I think at slightly bigger size the top measurement does become harder to use to determine cup size so just trying to figure out if there are some others you should be trying out.

MisfitNotMissFit Mon 05-Nov-12 21:18:17

Ha ha, mucho overspill like a bad serving wench from the olden days!

I'd try the Emily and then report back. If you have massive overspill at present then you will need to go up a good few cup sizes to compensate so we shall see smile

I posted a list up^there somewhere of things to look for in a bra, so when it turns up use that as your guide.

As the size you are looking for is potentially fairly unusual, I would suggest some experimenting with sizes and brands - for example Elomi do some nice bras (they are made by the same company as Freya) with a decent range up to a J, and Panache seem to have few here in a J/JJ. So it is worth hunting around and experimenting - don't settle for something that doesn't fit perfectly but do try things! Many people vary a couple of cup sizes between brand and finding that, for example, a J in panache fits may widen your range considerably.

Bizkit Mon 05-Nov-12 22:34:54

Thanks for the reccomendations SC, will look into those ones smile

MushroomSoup Mon 05-Nov-12 23:35:37

My 15 yo daughter is measuring as a 28 back, 30 cup but we struggled to find many 28s. M&S had the 28B although we did our own fitting! but the cup was too small. Ended up with a 30B although I had to do the back on the tightest setting. I'm sure she is really a 28C - my question is does it really matter for the short amount of time she'll be in it, until she needs a bigger size?

It sounds like a 28c is more accurate. I would judge whether to replace it or just wait on how comfortable she is and how fast she is growing really - does she complain about her bra feeling uncomfortable?

Bizarrely you may find you have a better selection once she does up to a 28D (assuming she does) as Bravissimo and Brastop both start at a 28D. In the meantime, Freya make a softcup version of the Deco in a 28C. Figleaves have it.

ArtVandelay Tue 06-Nov-12 14:29:29

Well, I went back to get a 65c but the department store does not do less than 70 (a whole floor of bras and no 65!). Except in the children's department but they don't stock c and d. Woman in shop tried to convince me that bra was fine but I told her no. Going to try zalando because I don't fancy adding on a tenner postage onto 40-50 quid bras. I'm in Germany. If anyone knows an international site with free postage or not excessive postage then let me know. Did not love being told I was wrong about my own tits by evil bra seller!

ArtVandelay Tue 06-Nov-12 14:47:00

Actually, Figleaves are only 5.50 and their bras are very reasonable. Problem solved!

Unfortunately the "selling you the closest thing to your size that we stock" trick is VERY common

What about ASOS? They have quite a few 30Ds? and Free worldwide delivery I believe. Freya and Panache are both good brands

HazleNutt Tue 06-Nov-12 14:48:05

Art, if the 70c cups fit then you'd probably need 65D (30D). does free delivery to Europe if you spend over £75.

ArtVandelay Tue 06-Nov-12 14:52:09

Hazel I think i'd order both sizes as some c cups fit and some give me a weird bump over the cup. Moulded cup c's sometimes gape when bending over - not nice when bending over your toddler etc. smile

If you go down a back, you need to go up a cup to maintain the same cup volume. So if a c fits, you would want a D in a smaller back, if a C bulges, it would be more like a DD.

Just to slightly dispel the D Cup=Jordan myths


These ladies are all at least a D cup.

New person here smile

OK, I have measured and I am 30 under the bust and 32 inches at widest point. Quite small boobs there then.

Would I be right that I should start at 30B?

Thanks. I have not one bra that I do not have to pull down throughout the day. I am so obviously in the wrong size blush

Yup, 30B to start with. If you are needing to pull it down I suspect the back size is quite a bit too big. A well fitting bra will struggle to ride up.

Brilliant. Quite excited by the thought of having bras that actually fit. I have never gone below 32 before. Didn't really realise I could.

May try and go to TK maxx later, they always have loads of bras.

Good luck! I put a checklist further up that might be worth reading over so you know what a good bra feels like. Don't be scared to try a smaller back size pr a bigger cup too - you will know if a cup is too big.

BeehavingBaby Tue 06-Nov-12 19:33:56

World's best small boob bra IME:

I wear a 32 c and have a very dainty bosom.

bubbakin Wed 07-Nov-12 10:48:03

I'm amazed by this! The thought of needing a larger cup bra fills me with excitement! I've not been blessed in the boob department, think my mum got my quota too! I wear a 34b.....gapes when lean over & enough padding to keep me warm in winter! My debenhams ultimate one is a 34a & it's sweaty snug in there. I measure 29.5 underneath(tight) and 34.5 around(loose) when leaning over so please wonderful bra experts what size should I be wearing? My mum wears a 38dd but measures 38 tight underneath & 44 around when bent over & same in current bra. (see she got my share too!) What should she be trying? We're going bra shopping on Friday & I will shouting my new size out rather than discreetly looking for the toddler sizes! Thank you x

bubbakin Wed 07-Nov-12 10:49:44

I'm amazed by this! The thought of needing a larger cup bra fills me with excitement! I've not been blessed in the boob department, think my mum got my quota too! I wear a 34b.....gapes when lean over & enough padding to keep me warm in winter! My debenhams ultimate one is a 34a & it's sweaty snug in there. I measure 29.5 underneath(tight) and 34.5 around(loose) when leaning over so please wonderful bra experts what size should I be wearing? My mum wears a 38dd but measures 38 tight underneath & 44 around when bent over & same in current bra. (see she got my share too!) What should she be trying? We're going bra shopping on Friday & I will be shouting my new size out rather than discreetly looking for the tiddler sizes! Thank you x

Bunbaker Wed 07-Nov-12 10:55:30

As a result of this thread I went for a bra trying on session yesterday. I have been wearing a 34A for years. I bought a 32B yesterday.

Although, I have to say that the fit is still the same and my boobs don't look any different, even with clothes on. It was still a morale boost to get a B cup bra though smile.

I was amazed at the difference in cup sizes within the same size though. A 32A in one style was bigger than the 32B in the style that I bought.

HazleNutt Wed 07-Nov-12 11:01:11

Bubbakin, try around 30DD. Your mum could try up a cup size to E, but generally sounds fine.

mamaonion Wed 07-Nov-12 11:28:57

I've been feeling quite depressed about my deflated tail-end-of-breastfeeding bust in much to big nursing bras, so after reading this thread over the last week I took a trip to Oxford circus Bravissimo.

As my default non pg/bf size (that my mum always told me I am...) was 34b, I have always worn this or 32C, and felt very conspicuous going into a shop for curvier ladies! I felt like a fraudster! However, the sales lady was lovely and told me she too used to wear a 34 a/b and not to worry! She fitted me in a 28E lovely slightly padded bra called a cleo juna by Panache. I also bought a really pretty nursing bra to see me through whilst I'm still bf in a 30DD which has dramatically improved things and I'm feeling much perkier!

So all in all a recommendation for Bravissimo a great experience and not hideously expensive. And also a thanks to all the bra experts on the thread!

That's great news mamaonion!

As a side note I have a vision of various fitters around the country being confused by the number of people coming in saying "some bossy women online told me I need a different bra size" :-)

letseatgrandma Wed 07-Nov-12 11:48:32

I find it very difficult to believe that someone who has been comfortably wearing a 34B for their whole adult live is now a 28E!? How do they compare when you hold them up together? Isn't the 34 massively too big round you? Or the 28 one cutting in? It's hard to imagine they both fit!!

I measure 30.5 around and 36 over the top-what size should I be wearing!?

HazleNutt Wed 07-Nov-12 11:50:32

around 30E, possibly DD, Lets.

Lets the problem is most people unfortunately dont know what a good bra looks and feels like. They probably went to m and s or sonewhere similar once or twice, got fitted in a substandard ill fitting bra, and didn't realise it should be any different. The cup on a 34b is relatively similar in volume to a 28e, just a different shape and positioning. And with a lot more support due to the back being the right size.

bubbakin Wed 07-Nov-12 12:04:20

Love it! I am going to be waltzing in to the lingerie dept on Friday head held high! Thank you.

higgle Wed 07-Nov-12 12:58:26

I really don't understand all these small band size people. I am 36c and my bras fit. I have tried 34 band bras on just to see that I'm right and I can't even get them done up! I look quite normal, am I a peculiar shape?

Naoko Wed 07-Nov-12 13:06:22

The band is meaningless without the cup and vice versa, Higgle. I'm comfortably wearing a 30G. If I tried to put on a 30D, there's no way in hell I'd be able to do it up. If you're wearing a 36C, but measure less than 36 inches under the bust, chances are you actually need to be wearing a smaller band size but a larger cup.

HazleNutt Wed 07-Nov-12 13:07:11

of course you're normal higgle, people come in all shapes and sizes and yes, a lot of women actually do need 36 or 40 or 44 bra, nothing wrong with that.

Just that as it's very difficult to find anything smaller than 32, it's quite common that smaller women are often in too large bras (and too small cups).

Naoko Wed 07-Nov-12 13:08:53

And someone wearing a 30 band isn't necessarily super skinny either. I'm a size 14, sometimes 12 depending on where I'm shopping, and definitely on the curvy side.

SlipperyVixen Wed 07-Nov-12 13:56:03

Hello, I still need advice please. My band size is 29. If I pull the tape measure really tight I can get it to 28 but it feels too tight whereas 30 slips down too easily.

However, I've been wearing 32A so it maybe that I'm just not used to how tight it should be.

For cup size I measure 31 which makes me a B cup (will believe it when I see it!!)

I really want to go and try bras on rather than ordering online so where do you think I should try if I am 28B? I've got M&S, Debenhams, House of Fraser and La Senza in town but can't see anything this small on their websites.

I would try a 28c as well as sometimes the difference between band size and top measurement is more accurate. I would also say the 28 is more likely as most people who measure in between fit the smaller size better. . Do you have a john Lewis? They stock those sizes I think. If not, try figleaves

letseatgrandma Wed 07-Nov-12 14:21:08

...but I wear a 34DD and couldn't get a 32 done up, let alone a 30! It's irrelevant about the cup size surely-just the band size. I tried a 32E band without putting my boobs in the cups/arms in the holes-just the band and it wouldn't do up!

I think the not putting your boobs in trick only works if you put the bra on back to front. If you are currently in a 34dd and the cup feels ok then I would suggest a 30f rather than e. The cup is the harder bit to measure. What brand was the 32 you tried?

letseatgrandma Wed 07-Nov-12 14:50:01

Yes-I put the bra on (well, I tried to!) back to front then intended to swivel it round the right way. Surely a 30 band will measure the same whether it's a 30a or a 30f though?

I was in Debenhams, but I can't remember the brand?

If you put it on back to front yes, but if I tried to put a 30a on forward I wouldn't be able to because my boobs would get in the way! I'm wondering if it's a brand/ specific bra issue. I am a very consistent 30 at the moment, but I bought a new sports bra the other week and I couldn't even close the 30, and the 32 is tight. Maybe try something by freya just to see, I think they seem to be somewhere in the middle when it comes to band sizes. I have had issues with the debenhams gorgeous range being erratic in the past, I think they had some quality control issues with their sizing.

HazleNutt Wed 07-Nov-12 14:56:18

Some brands are smaller, so with those, you might need to size up. You shoudl not be able to easily swivel the bra around though, it's too loose if you can do that.

Sorry hazle should have clarified- doing it up back to front works to identify the right back size and is quite useful if you can't find somewhere with a great range of sizes locally as it at least lets you figure out the right back size! But no, I would not except to be able to swivel round s well fitting bra, there is not a hope in hell I could do that with one of mine.

SorrelForbes Wed 07-Nov-12 15:35:15

Nope, I can't do the swivelling thing with mine either!

HazleNutt Wed 07-Nov-12 16:06:16

I know SC, was actually replying to Lets who said she tried to swivel the bra. smile

letseatgrandma Wed 07-Nov-12 20:46:42

Can I just make it clear that I'm not in the habit of swivelling my bras around for fun! I just wanted to see if I could get a 30 done up.

I couldn't do it very easily as it was far too tight, so I tried doing it up with the clasps at the front so I could see what I was doing JUST to see if it would fit around my chest! It still wouldn't do up.

My point was-irrelevent of which cup size am-the BAND size didn't fit.

Sorry if that wasn't clear.

Sorry lets - my mother used to put her bras on back to front then swivel them and I have seen a lot of people do this. When I frogmarched her for a fitting one of the first comments was "but I can't turn it round" smile

What you are doing is the right way to check a band size. I do remember (when I was a slightly smaller cup size) buying some Debenhams brand bras and coming out with a 30F, a 30GG and a 32GG in the same bra, just in different colours/patterns. I think my proper size was a 30G at the time. They have issues!!

It is possible that your current bra fits well - but I suspect that in most brands a 34 isn't your correct size. How do they feel - that is what matters most. If you look at the wee checklist I posted further up it gives some pointers as to what a good bra is like.

JKSLtd Thu 08-Nov-12 09:45:02

Fab fab thread grin

I wore a 34A for years, 3 DC + lots of BF mean I have a veritable lingerie shop upstairs & I never really know what size to wear.

I have some very comfortable Sloggi 32Bs but today's M&S 32B I now know is entirely wrong.

I think I measure 29 under and 33 over (did it late last night so may need to redo) so think that means possibly a 28D shock

Won't get a chance to go shopping anytime soon but will as soon as I can. Safe to say in my stock of bras upstairs I don't have any band smaller than 32 as Have always added the 4 inches & couldn't believe I could wear a 28.

I really think the self-image thing should be talked about more, not only the boost of possibly being a D cup instead of an A (or AA I was told in various places) but also, I've lost nearly all the baby weight and should feel good about myself but I don't when it comes to bras as it bulges out and makes me feel fat, when i'm really not. (size 8/10)

Jks you are so right- I don't think it is so much about being a certain size, I think it is that when lingerie fits well you feel better. I'm quite busty and I remember a few years ago going into john Lewis (they have improved!) and despite them having a range of sizes they couldn't find anything to actually fit me. I felt like I was a freak and that no bra existed which matched my weird shape. In fact they were trying totally the wrong styles and sizes for me.

P.s. On a 28 back I would suggest you also try a dd. Brastop will have cheap ones and their delivery is pretty prompt

DonaAna Thu 08-Nov-12 10:26:05

JKSLtd I went from a B cup to D cup and the difference is absolutely incredible. The smaller band + bigger cup size combo just fits so much better. No riding up, I don't need to try to stretch the bra anymore, and I get firm support and definition I didn't expect and didn't even know I needed.

My breasts are firm and small, I could easily go braless, but a right-fitting bra is a revelation! I always thought a bra is a slight hindrance for someone who isn't very busty - turns out that was just because the bra didn't fit right.

JKSLtd Thu 08-Nov-12 14:39:32

SC - a DD, eek! I may have a browse and see later. Would prefer to try something on but that can't happen until next Tues at the earliest & I'm impatient for my boob job grin

Dona - I have thought the same, why bother with a bra, but it feels wrong not to wear one. Hopefully a well-fitted one will change that.

Also, dramatically, I may be able to give away all the other bras I have upstairs shock Even if we do go for DC4 at some point, the various underwired sizes I've got are unlikely to ever fit as all are 34/36/or even 38!

When pg I've been measured loads, I went from 34A, to 36A, to 38A and even once told 38AA. Madness.

My question is though: why? Why did the measuring system start the old way, with adding 4 inches and why did it change?

HazleNutt Thu 08-Nov-12 14:54:31

I believe this is from times when bras didn't have elastic, so you had to leave some room for breathing. With elastic, you don't need to leave that extra room and can still get a better support, but someone forgot to update the fitters..

Same with EUR sizes, we are told that what you measure in centimeters, is your bra size, so a person measuring 70 cm (27,5 inches) would go and buy a 70 bra. If you now check the labels on your bras, you can see that EUR70 bra is an UK32. So this size 70EU/28UK woman believing the measuring system would end up in size 32 bra..

There are various theories about what happened- an American vanity sizing theory, a previous non stretchy fabric's a bit hard to tell. No way you were ever a 38 anything though- I had just gone down to a 28 when I fell pregnant, got fitted at about 8 weeks and brav put me in a 30 on the tightest hook (preg is the only time you should buy this way) and I stated a 30 until about 35 weeks when I bought a lonely 32 to tide me over. And that was a 4 stone weight gain pregnancy.

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 15:14:54

That thing about EU sizes is so true hazle! When I moved to the uk, aged just 18, I was wearing a 70c and I think it was probably more or less right for me then; it took me few more years to develop my current norms. However, after a few months I needed a new bra, so bought the one the label said was equivalent. I never actually did the math and only just realised, as you said that, that 60cm and 32 in aren't actually the sane thing shock. That's probably actually the root of my sizing problems....

I've been inspired by this thread, although I dont come under the smaller boobs category. So I'm off to John Lewis at the weekend to replace my old bras. So if anyone has time please can they suggest a size for me (and hopefully noone irl will read this, I'm pretending I'm invisible!)

I'm 28 under, 35 on top of boobs in my best bra. I'm wearing a 34dd which I guess from what I've read isnt quite right! I tried using the JL bra size chart and it came up with a 32d?

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 15:16:29

FFS, bloody phone. Norks, not norms, and 70cm, not 60.

Try a 28f kitten. If the cup feels about right on your current bra you may want to try an ff too as a start point.

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 15:18:58

I'd say you should start at a 28G kitten, which may be a little tricky to find on the hs. Try surrounding sizes too, but 32 will be way too big!

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 15:21:52

Oh Statistically probably knows better blush shall be quiet now.

Naoko don't forgot the dd and ff when you count. Why we couldn't use a proper alphabet I will never know!

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 15:27:49

Yeah, I realised that a bit too late. Not all brands seem to do ff either, just to complicate matters further...

Will try them, thank you thanks both! The cup does feel about right, but my bra moves around a lot on me and now that I'm conscious about it, its really annoying. Perhaps I wont get so sore too round that time of month if they are fitting better.

Do they really make them in that size though!? sounds like such an odd combination!

so you dont get ee then? never thought about that!

They only have 3 in my size online and I dont want balcony or multiconfusingway bras. Just want a normal underwired bra. Perhaps they will have more in store?

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 15:33:58

They certainly do, you probably won't be able to get them in a supermarket but a decent bra shop will have them, and lots of choice online too once you know what size you need. Try Debenhams, I hear John Lewis are good too but I don't have one locally shoo I've never been - and bravissimo of course.

They do, 28s aren't that easy to get on the highstreet. Bravissimo is the best choice if you have one, otherwise try john Lewis or debenhams. Not every brand is the same but I think pretty much everyone that makes those sizes -freya, panache, curvy Kate, bravissimo etc go a,b,c,d,dd,e,f,ff,g,gg,h,hh,j,jj,k,kk. M and s used to miss ff but that's no surprise!

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 15:35:30

Xpost - if you're happy to shop online and return what doesn't fit, try Brastop, they will definitely have your size.

Where are you looking online kitten? For interweb try bravissimo, brastop and leia for a wide choice.

Lol x post again naoko, I'm on my phone and typing takes ages!

this bra doesnt fit the model properly does it?

sorr, should have made it clear, was looking at John Lewis website as thats where I'm off to!

will try bravissimo as well smile

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 08-Nov-12 15:39:20

I think the cups are too small and that with any clothes over it there would be a double busting effect.

Thanks to a good lady on MN, I now realise I am not a 36DD but a 32 G

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 15:40:20

Haha, so am I statistically, but avoiding uni work so perhaps refreshing a little more often than entirely reasonable....

They have loads and pretty ones as well smile hip hip hooray!

The one you linked to is too small in the cup- you can see it being pushed away from the chest wall at the front centre. Probably also too big in the back- if the back was tight enough you would see quad boob rather than front gape

why on earth would they show a model wearing the wrong size bra (that even I can tell!)? Thats bonkers!

Figleaves are really bad for it too. Hugely arching back that street least two sizes too big. Cant link but look at their picture of the freya underwired sports bra, I think it was the black one. Absolutely crazy.

HazleNutt Thu 08-Nov-12 15:58:38

Kitten oh you see it all the time. Especially obvious when the model is tiny, but bras start with size 32 only - even on the tightest hook, the back is somewhere around the model's ears.
Or here:

Thats a good website smile
discovered that dd is also wearing bras that are the wrong size. oops!

DonaAna Thu 08-Nov-12 17:12:34

I'm still confused by EU sizing. Does anyone understand it?

Maidenform Lilyette EUR 75D says 34D in the label . My below-bust measurement is 76cm which according to Google converter is 30 inches, and 75 band is really snug and tight on me. If I wear on the next size down (70 cm), I fear my ribs will crack. wink

Did they add 4 inches for some historical reason when converting the sizes? Or am I just really confused?

DonaAna Thu 08-Nov-12 17:13:52

Sorry for not proofreading properly, meant 'if I move on'...

DonaAna Thu 08-Nov-12 17:15:43

Oh and I tried to check some EU-based bra measuring sites, but they just further confused me (basically putting me back to a A or AA bra, which I now know does not fit properly).

It sounds like the eu charts don't tie up- I am guessing that years ago it was buy the size you measure so it basically had the old adding 4 inches built in. Your best bet is probably to work out your UK size, then find a brand which actually has both sizes on the tag. freya have a chart which suggests a 30 is a 65.

So, my 30D bras arrived today. 20 years I have been wearing a 34B and I've gone up 2 cup sizes just like that! Unbelieveable. I woldn't have believed a D cup on a 30 back would be so small.

It seems about right though. (Looks good blush!) However, it feels really tight to me! Is that right? I usually like my bras quite loose. I can get a few fingers behind the fastening at the back but it feels and looks tight round my ribs. Will I get used to it? The D cup seems about right - no overspill or gaping.

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 18:28:39

Can you breathe? It's normal that it feels tight. If you can breathe ok and you can get two fingers under the fastening at the back, it sounds like it fits smile You do get used to the tightness. I had to wear an old, too-large-band bra the other day for reasons of laundry emergency ie I'm lazy and I hadn't done any and although it seemed ok before I got my new bras, it was pissing me off all day and just didn't feel right.

Sounds right to me happycamper. You will find once you get used to it that it's surprisingly comfortable because itwon't really move. You won't get the shape, comfort or support from a loose back.

NulliusInBlurba Thu 08-Nov-12 18:52:42

OK, I really don't get this 'band too big cup too small' thing. I officially have the world's smallest boobs and have been known not to fill an A cup. I live on the European mainland so buy 75A in European sizing (which is supposedly 34A). I've just measured my back right under the boobs and it's nearly 80 cm, so presumably I'm only getting in the 75 fitting at all because of stretchy material and the loosest clasp. How the heck am I supposed to go down a band size from that - the next down is 70, which would be nearly 10 cm smaller than my back size?
But I'm intrigued enough to go into H+M on Saturday (no Rigby and Peller or Bravissimo here, but you can try on as many bras as you like in H+M without getting hassle from the sales staff) and try out a 70B (32B?). My memory is that the one time I accidentally bought a 70 it was horribly small, non-breathingly small, and I dumped it.
I'm not a big lady at all, by the way. Around 5'6" (165cm) and 9st (57kg), size 10 on top. This is all very bewildering, but I will love forever the person who manages to get me in a B cup!

Can you post your measurements in inches, tightly pulled underbust and looser over, and I will figure out a size for you? Do the over measurement wearing your best bra.

DonaAna Thu 08-Nov-12 18:57:49

What is your over-boobs measurement, Nullius?
I live in the eurozone and the difference between under-bust and over-bust helped me to figure out the correct cup size.
Band size: the tightest that you can (comfortably) bear.
<fellow euro confused, but definitely 75cm under-bust>

NulliusInBlurba Thu 08-Nov-12 18:58:19

Eh, I only have really padded bras, so the over measurement will be pretty skewed. blush

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 18:59:13

I've just dug out my tapemeasure (helpfully marked in both cm and in) and remeasured myself, in the interest of science and clarifying things for Nullius grin I'm wearing my favourite, best fitting bra, which is a 30G. I measure 30 inches under the bust, which is 76cm. Therefore, if I understand it right, on the continent I'd probably want a 75G as my closest size.

If you're between 75 and 80cm underbust, it sounds like the 75 band size could well be right for you. However, if your cups gape, the cup might not! It might be as simple as a matter of needing a different style; I can't wear plunge styles, they all gape, no matter what size. It just doesn't suit me. Also, what is your overbust measurement? That might give an idea of whether you're in the right cup size.

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 19:00:31

xpost - As suggested by the wise ladies above, you can also measure your overbust measurement without a bra on, by leaning forward (very dignified I'm sure) and loosely measuring around them with everything, ahem, hanging down....

ScatterChasse Thu 08-Nov-12 19:00:56

I'm intrigued! I just measured and I'm 30.5/31 under and 38 around. So I'm guessing my 34C probably isn't quite right?

(And, if so, will I be able to find a sports bra that stops bust joggle? I currently wear a 34B with the straps pulled as tight as possible, but that's not perfect.)

Naoko on the continent you would be a 65.

NulliusInBlurba Thu 08-Nov-12 19:06:00

Tape measure broke! (old one made of paper from DIY shop). Now have new proper one.

OK, remeasured with old non-padded bra that was lurking in back of drawer, sadly neglected for many a year.

Under: tight is 79 cm (31.1 inches apparently)
Over: loose is 86 cm (33.86 inches)

SorrelForbes Thu 08-Nov-12 19:06:32

Scatter. I'd try a 30FF. I like the Freya Underwired sports bra.

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 19:08:30

Nope, Scatter, doesn't sound right! I'd start at a 30FF with that measurement and work from there, depending on fit/style/comfort. (See, Statistically, I remembered the DD and FF this time....hope I didn't bugger it up again! blush )

I don't do sports, and thus have no sports bra; I'll leave that for someone else...

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 19:10:17

Statistically - Really? Now my head hurts.... so measuring doesn't work for continental sizes? because the 30inches around I am is 76cm... So confusing! I may have to go bra shopping next time I visit my family just on principle, to see what continental sizing's like. (Might try and get my mum into a well fitting bra while I'm at it, assuming I can get my head around continental sizes)

Hmm, yes I can breathe but it feels like it's digging in. Like I'd have red marks if I wore it all day.

Do you guys get red marks?

I'm not especially fat btw. 5'5" and around 9 stone. Size 12 usually.

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 19:12:49

I get some marks, but no more than I get from my socks or the band of my jeans, if you see what I mean - you can tell that something's been close to my skin, but they're not sore red marks. I used to get far more, and far more uncomfortable, marks with my old 34DD bras.

DonaAna Thu 08-Nov-12 19:16:08

Nullius I'd say try the tightest band width you can take without hurting yourself (it is either 75 or 80, you will need to be able to fit two fingers under but no more) and a C cup. If the cups are too empty, go down to B; if you bulge over, go up to D cup.

I'm 76cm/87cm (iirc) and 75D is very good!

But am by no means an expert, and euro sizes are very confusing.

kingbeat23 Thu 08-Nov-12 19:28:08

I agree with all the advice that's given here plus a few more things. When you get a new bra you need to start on the outside clasp and when the band starts to feel a bit loose you can tighten (after washing the material will stretch), certain shapes of boob won't look good in certain types of bra. I look crap in balcony bras (the afforementioned "baloney" smile ) but I don't look so bad in plunge style, different brands will have different fits and styles. Where I'm a 32dd in triumph and Freya I'm a 34d in M&S. if they don't fit and you can do it, take them back.

Any good lingerie shop/salesperson can "sight size" although on an Internet forum I don't know how that can help. As offered before, if any of you are east Londoners I'd be happy to help.

HazleNutt Thu 08-Nov-12 19:29:24

That's the thing, the measuring does not work in euro sizes any more.

If you measure 80 cm then you'd think you should buy a bra labelled EUR80/UK36 - that's how they're converted. Which would obviously be wrong, as you only measure 31 inches and would rather need a size 30-32 bra.

Just measure yourself in inches and buy bras based on the UK sizing.

JKSLtd Thu 08-Nov-12 19:37:25

I have ordered some 28D & 28DD shock

But only as Brastop had free delivery over £50 and free returns as I somehow can't quite get my head round being a D/DD cup, even though I believe everything the wise ladies are saying grin

Will report back when they get here.

In the meantime I've taken off my uncomfy M&S 32B for evening tv-viewing smile

NulliusInBlurba Thu 08-Nov-12 19:37:27

OK, so that would mean a 70B might be the one to try out. Will try several different models on at the weekend and report...

I can't measure myself in inches as it were because I don't have an inch measuring tape - all I can do is measure cm and convert electronically.

Soooo funny that nearly 40 years after we were being taught metric measurements in school (1970s) everyone in the UK is still talking about inches and pints!

HazleNutt Thu 08-Nov-12 19:40:08

Nullius converting works just as well, no problem.
(oh and by EUR size I mean German etc size, French is different)

DonaAna Thu 08-Nov-12 19:44:32

Nullius an euro site that sells Freya suggest 75 cm as a starting point for your cm underbust measurement (but also try 70).

HazleNutt Thu 08-Nov-12 19:52:56

I mostly wear Freya and if you measure 79cm/31 inches, I'd try 70, Freya is relatively generous. I think B would be too small though, try C or D.


Sorry all, missed a flurry of posts! OK, as far as as I can determine the Euro Sizing does not work in the same "wear your measurement" fashion as the uk. I think that when the UK went for the "add 4 inches to get your band size" approach, Euro sizes were instead upsized so you still wore a bra where the number matched your measurement, but it no longer tallied if you converted the size in cm to inches. Hence a 65, (65cm = 26") is actually a UK 30.

So, where does that leave the europeans?

Easiest approach - measure in inches, work out your UK size, then use the chart on the freya website. Essentially, a 60 is a 28, and every +5cm = +2inches. so a 65 is a 30 and so on. Now this does assume they follow the same sizing approach but I believe, for e.g.. Ewa Michelak does and I think a lot of British made bras are sold on the continent.

Nulliusinblurba - UK 30D would be my best bet. This is a EU 65D. I would also try a 70C, but most people who are 31 seem to fit a 30 rather than a 32.
Donaana - in the UK you would be a 30D too, or thereabouts.


France has different band sizes - look at the Freya conversion chart. So france and Continental sizes are NOT the same, apparently. The comparative french size appears to be 15cm larger than the continental. So, a 28(uk) = 60 (continental) =75 (French)

Naoko Thu 08-Nov-12 20:19:40

<goes a bit crosseyed from comparing measurements> Insane. Utterly insane. They do this to confuse us, don't they...

Aye! The Freya chart is quite helpful. I'm more inclined to trust them than most places TBH!

HazleNutt Thu 08-Nov-12 21:00:49

the trouble is that like they keep telling in UK to add 4 inches, they still tell women in Europe that what you measure, is your size. So that's millions and millions of women in a wrong bra..

I know ....I think the thought of millions more ill fitting bras may make my head explode!

DonaAna Thu 08-Nov-12 21:18:33

Hazle I think the cup sizes are even more strange in euro sizing. According to different euro tables I looked up I could be AA, A and B...
I'm not surprised anymore that many women end up in wrong sizes.

It's infuriating isn't it DonaAna.

DonaAna Thu 08-Nov-12 21:56:56

Yep. I guess US/UK differences throw in another wrench. Maidenform is American, their size chart says 29in measured underbust requires 34in band which is 75cm in their chart. I did fit into a 70 band as a teenager but never after, and I'm fairly skinny and birdboned. 75 feels right, 80
is clearly too big.

If you are not UK based, perhaps it would be wise to get fitted at a local specialist shop.

TBH I probably wouldn't actually trust a size chart, any size chart! I reckon the Freya comparison chart is probably OK as they sell bras to different markets, but I am yet to find an actual "what size should I wear" type chart which is accurate.

Never tried maidenform though although I think UK and US back sizes are the same - although they go a bit mad on the cup sizes.

NulliusInBlurba Thu 08-Nov-12 22:17:49

"UK 30D would be my best bet"

A D cup! good grief.

Have GOT to try that out on Saturday!

I'm going to grab as many bras as H+M will allow in one fitting - I think it's 7 - and go for it.

I'm not sure if h and m sell a 30- do you have any big dept stores?

SorrelForbes Thu 08-Nov-12 22:22:09

Unfortunately, I think you'll find that H&M start at a 32" back, as do most High street shops. It's infuriating.

Oh my god, Statistically and Sorrel, you both deserve a knighthood for services to womankind. I read this thread, went to m&s today in a 36A and came out with FIVE 32Ds. And they FIT!!!!!! Properly. No gaping, no holes - I feel like a miracle has happened. How can I have been wearing the wrong size bras for 20 effing years???? I feel like someone owes my compensation for psychological, not to mention sartorial, harm. My bust looks amazing. It thanks you from the botto
of its (newly perky) cups. Thank Christ for mumsnet.

ScatterChasse Thu 08-Nov-12 23:43:41

30FF, my goodness! I wouldn't even say I was particularly big busted. I've never been able to find a bra that I really, really like though so maybe that's why.

I think I'll be having a shop this weekend! Thank you so much grin

blush Glad to hear you had a successful trip FloozieToozie!

BTW Scatter, I would agree with Sorrel re a 30FF BUT you may well need a bigger back size in a sports bra as they tend to have odd sizing. I couldn't even do up the Freya underwired in my normal size. So don't try the sports bra first and decide you aren't a 30!

SorrelForbes Thu 08-Nov-12 23:48:00

Hmmm, Dame Sorrel? It has a certain ring to it...

So good to hear about your successful shopping trip. Enjoy your new bras!

SorrelForbes Thu 08-Nov-12 23:50:21

Ah, yes, forgot about the Freya sports bras coming up small in the band.

I need to order one myself. SC - I'm usually a 30G in my Freya underwired sports bra. Should I try a 32G or a 32FF?

This is the first one I have had, but I'd say a 32FF. Mine is a 32GG and I am normally between a 30H and HH in Freya. I could possibly have worn an H, I think a 32GG.5 would be perfect! Probably depends on your shape - if you are full on top I would go for the G

The backs are nuts though - my 32 is on its loosest setting!

ScatterChasse Fri 09-Nov-12 00:01:00

Thank you, I'll bear that in mind. I'm quite excited now thinking about it! smile

FleeBee Fri 09-Nov-12 13:17:47

Please can someone help. No boobs to mention been a 32A and found that hard to fill. After DC2 put on weight & started wearing 34B but not convinced.
Just measured naked leaning forward 31 band & 34 bust. So still nothing there. My 34B ride up but is a lightly padded so gives me tiny bumps under a top. I hate my chest so much.

Fleebee, I would suggest you try a 30c, 30d and 32c. Mostpeople who measure 31 seem to get on best with a 30. So I would suggest you start there. go to a decent department store like john Lewis who will have a good selection of small back sizes.

DonaAna Fri 09-Nov-12 13:39:11

Fleebee you might be a C cup (if you pick a tight enough band).
I'm small-boobed and used to live in A and B cups that rode up and made lifting my arms and life in general inconvenient. Tight band + D cup = A revelation! My small but beautiful breasts are beautifully defined and contained.

I cannot understand how so many shops get it so wrong. Women who should be proud about their exquisite physique are made to feel ashamed and inadequate.

Dame Sorrel and Dame Statistically really do deserve medals and honors!

Nullius be a bit careful with H&M! They may have good bras, but they also may not - many high street shops don't do the small band+big cup combination, and if you are unlucky, you may not even find a 70 cm back (or a D cup) there. So by limiting the choices they force you to pick an ill-fitting bra! I also have found that the cheapest bras do no favors to a small bust and are a complete waste of my time and money (and bruising to my ego - they sometimes try to make up for poor fit with layers of unwanted padding). If at all possible, try to find a place with a bit more variety in sizes and styles!

DonaAna Fri 09-Nov-12 15:00:56

Sorry to confuse anyone, but this here is a semi-intelligent article on bra sizing.

It says that women don't get correctly fitting bras because bra sizing is not sufficiently standardized, there are between-country and between-manufacturer differences, and sometimes vanity sizing. Unfortunately, different bra fitters may also fit the same woman differently. And if you read the standards, Euro and UK sizes really seem completely incompatible.

I bought an American bra in Europe following UK fitting advice... confused

Sorry doesn't load well on phone! In the UK the biggest problem is the outdated size chart/ method. The whole adding 4 inches bit just doesn't work here anymore but so many fitters are slavishly devoted to it and ignore the physical evidence- i.e. Bands climbing up peoples back! Most of the bras I buy are UK made (it's something we seem to do well especially for bigger sizes) but whilst it is harder to tell someone overseas what actual size I think the fitting advice still holds true. Does your bra feel right?

DonaAna Fri 09-Nov-12 16:38:35

Yes it does, because you were wise enough to give advice what a good bra is actually supposed to feel like (quite firm band, no overspill, etc)!

But trying to apply UK measurement advice to Euro or US manufactured bras may not work because their manufacturers use a different sizing system (band sizes are different and actual cup sizes can also differ: DD is E in Europe, etc.) and conversions are not straightforward. On some charts, my band measurement 76cm/30in results in EUR75 and UK/US34 - so with some manufacturers I'm supposed to pick an 30 inch bra - with others, a 34 inch bra. Without having detailed insider knowledge and fittings, it is just confusing! I guess for example H&M bras are made following the euro system, but the consumer buying them in UK really has no way knowing how the size conversion has been made for imported bras.

Yup, it's a bit of a mess. I have a suspicion that the big international brands might align better because they sell in all markets so will know how they equate their own sizes- so if you could find a freya bra on the continent and follow their equivalence chart for eg. But once you get in to the country specific or into the clothes stores also making a few bras then all bets are very much off!

lljkk Fri 09-Nov-12 17:59:40

How would I know if my bra was riding up?

I am 32 under bust when I breathe out, 34 under bust when I fully inhale (sedentary full inhale that is, I imagine the underbust gets bigger if I'm breathing hard while exercising).
37 max bust.
I know from experience that 36C feels nice.
In shops I know they always try to sell me 34D which hurts (back ache & indigestion).
Are you lot saying I should start with a 34E? Pretty sure that would cause back ache & indigestion.


Your bra should be completely horizontal around your body, and when you lift your arms up over your head, the back should stay in place. At the front (in the middle) you shouldn't be able to get more than a couple of fingers under the band - if you can pull it away from you it is too big.

Without checking, I am fairly sure that my bra size matches my exhaled measurement - the stretch of the bra allows for inhaling. So I would expect you to actually be more like a 32E. I have to admit I have never suffered from either backache or indigestion from a well fitting bra though - if anything my back hurts if I wear one which is too big in the back as it contorts my posture by putting too much strain on my shoulders.

lljkk Fri 09-Nov-12 19:16:04

I can get both hands under even if I wore a 24 band I could get 2 hands under and pull away. confused Might rip the band, but I could still get them under and pull a bit (elastic content). I'm not an Amazon, quite dinky arms.

Doesn't move when I lift arms or do vigorous sport.

From experience, <= 34 bands tend to leave red welt like marks.

Ok, that should maybe have said "without doing damage to you or the bra!"

A good bra is pretty firm - based on your measurements a 36 seems likely to be too big and a 34 probably too big. Out of interest - do you (or at least can you) put your bra on back to front (i.e. fasten it at the front) then swivel it round your body. Without some pretty major effort I couldn't do that with most of mine.

However - I won't pretend that a bra that fits doesn't leave any red marks, because it does. In the same way as the elastic at the top of my socks does. A bra which left no marks anywhere would (on me at least) have to be far too big.

Finallygotaroundtoit Fri 09-Nov-12 19:48:57

Another one here who has seen the light grin Gone from a 36b to a 32dd !!!

Can anyone help my DD though? She has recently finished breastfeeding and feels her boobs are 'emptier' rather than 'smaller'.
She wants padding/cleavage enhancing but can't find it in most of the small back/ larger cup bras.

Does a bigger cup size always mean no padding?

lljkk Fri 09-Nov-12 19:53:34

I can swivel with small effort (obviously the straps off shoulders).

At what point does stretching turn into micro damage threatening to tear?

Er, don't you find the red marks hurt? I do. Don't think I could tolerate socks that left red marks, either. Just checked my tight skinny jeans, suppose they sometimes leave a few red marks. Like if I've eaten too much :-).

Do you know her size (or better still her measurements) Finallygotaroundtoit and I will post you some links.

There are padded bras out there for bigger boobs however it isn't always the best solution. Sometimes something like a moulded plunge will give you cleavage when you first put it on but if you are empty you can kind of collapse in to the cups. It depends how bad it is.

LLjkk....hmm. On me, if I try to just slide my fingers under the front of my bra I can get a couple under ok, but much more than that and there isn't really space for them so I am pressing in to my flesh with my fingers/hands (I'm a big tubby blush) in order to do so. If I wanted to I could probably yank my bra away from me, but to do so it would be pretty contorted and digging in to my back in the process. I would say the bra turning round relatively easily does suggest it's too big - a few of us discussed this the other day and none of the bra obsessives could do it.

Red marks - don't generally bother me. I do tend to alternate bras - I occasionally find I can be a little sore if I have worn the same one for a few days (like the time I went on a business trip and forgot to take any extra bras!) or if I have been sitting down for a loooooong time. Don't get me wrong, I still like to come home and take my bra off but it's not painful. Very much like tight skinny jeans actually!

bootus Fri 09-Nov-12 20:14:42

Ok you geniuses, what would I be? Have no boobs since finished bf, loathe them and don't think I've ever really worn the right size. I've just measured myself (thank god no one walked into the living room) and measuring 31.5 around and 33.5 around my (non) boobs. Thanks muchly!

How tight was that underbust measurement bootus?

bootus Fri 09-Nov-12 20:20:00

31.5...just to be awkward. Probably nearer 32 than 31.thanks

in that case I would try a 32B and a 32C, but check the back is definitely tight enough - if it feels loose also try a 30C and 30D.

bootus Fri 09-Nov-12 20:29:18

I am hitting the shops tomorrow! Many thanks

Finallygotaroundtoit Fri 09-Nov-12 20:44:40

Ooh thanks Statistically - just got DD to measure and phone back -

she's 75cm (29 1/2) underbust, 85 cm (33 1/2) round fullest part and 88cm when leaning forward.

She's wearing a 34d '2 sizes bigger' padded M&S bra and wants me to tell you she needs the padding grin - looking forward to a shopping trip!

well, she's a fair bit off....she needs more like a 30D! That in itself will made an enormous difference to uplift as something a lot tighter in the back will hold her up much better. She will probably look bigger just by changing size. Personally, I wouldn't go for a plunge unless the top is low cut and therefore requires it as it doesn't necessarily make you look bigger - it just shoves everything in to the middle!

These are available from various places, I am just being lazy with links so they may be out of stock but they do make them!

this is padded and gives epic cleavage.
this one isn't so much of a cleavage bra (different shape) but gives great uplift and is nicely padded.
deco a smooth moulded t-shirt bra which a lot of people swear by.
satine I love this.
wonderbra they don't make this in my current size but when I was a G I LOVED it.

Now, these aren't HUGELY padded - so here are a few I haven't tried
ultimo not had this one, but liked previous ultimos
+2 wonderbra OOS on debenhams but comes in a 30D

Does that help at all?

OH sorry, just saw she is 88cm when leaning forward - she needs to try a 30DD too

Finallygotaroundtoit Fri 09-Nov-12 22:01:53

thanks thanks thanks from me and DD (no pun intended) grin

SlipperyVixen Sat 10-Nov-12 13:31:17

I've had a disappointing trip to town this morning. Is 28" really a freakishly small size or do all the women measuring at this size add on the 4 inches to get to a 32"? Because 32 is what the majority of stock starts at in all the High Street shops.

I found some size 30 ones in M&S. Tried B and C cups and decided the B was better but wasn't confident enough to buy as the bit of band between the underwires at the front didn't sit flat to my chest. It should shouldn't it or am I getting this wrong?

Came away feeling flat-chested and inadequate again. John Lewis had a range in 28 but because they weren't underwired they kind of crumpled up underneath and made my boobs look tubular!!

I'm not giving up though. Thanks for your advice on this thread.

SorrelForbes Sat 10-Nov-12 13:51:37

No, a 28" (or a 26" or 30") isn't a freakishly small size. The high street just seem determined to keep everyone in a 36C. But, I supose it does help to keep their stock levels to a minimum!

I think you're going to have to do some on-line shopping. I'm a big fan of Ewa Michalak. You can request sizes that aren't on the srop down menus but check whether it'll be a special order as I beleive that they are non-returnable. Ebay might another cheap source. The same for Amazon.

I'm not a fan of non-wired either, they never give me anything other than a monoboob!

Slipperyvixen, I'm sorry you had such a rubbish trip! the high street seriously undercaters for smaller back sizes. I suspect there are actually a very large number of women who should be in 28s and 30s but who aren't, because they have never even seen one to try on.

A 28C does seem to be a fairly hard size - but, it sounds like the cup in the 30B you tried was a little small (wires not sitting flat) and the C a little big. I'm actually wondering if you should try a 28D. The theory is that if you go down a back size, you go up a cup size but I often find it's more like down a back up two cups.

They are a far easier size to come by (freya, panache etc start at a D) and given how much variability there is between different bras there may be some which work. John Lewis or Debenhams should have these in stock. Even if the cups aren't perfect it would at least let you check out a 28 back and see if that is where you need to be.

I went to bravissimo to be fitted came away with 30E. Turns out my 34dd that I thought was a good fit cup wise was also too big in the cups. Tried on loads of different bras.

Was a bit surprised not to come out with a 28 given that's my actual back size but it did feel and look right. Now I have 3 new bras and I can chuck out the old ones!

thanks for all your help smile

SorrelForbes Sat 10-Nov-12 16:38:03

Sounds like a successful trip! What brands did you buy? You may still find you're a 28" in other makes/styles. I'm nearly always a 30 but wear a 32 in the Prima Dona Wonderland bra and the Ewa Michalak Karmelki.

They are Fantasie Rebecca.
My boobs feel much more under control now and where they ought to be grin

frazzlerock Sat 10-Nov-12 18:33:13

Oh My Actual Dayz.... I have just bought two push up bras in a 30D (rather than the 34Bs I've been wearing for donkeys) and I HAVE A CLEAVAGE!!!

Even the pushy uppest of pushy up bras could not achieve this with a 34B.
16 years of trying every single brand. I assumed my boobies were naturally too far apart or something.

I feel like I've found the Holy Grail.
<walks around the house with actual real TITS>

Are you going around admiring them frazzle? grin (dh thinks I'm being a bit odd)

cheesesarnie Sat 10-Nov-12 19:30:46

oooh im going to do this! can't wait.
i wear a 30 aa, wonder how wrong it is!

frazzlerock Sat 10-Nov-12 19:34:33

Admiring them? How wrong is it that I want to lick them?

SorrelForbes Sat 10-Nov-12 19:36:24

Probably wrong cheesesarnie! What are your under and across bust measurements?

frazzle Not exactly...

cheesesarnie Sat 10-Nov-12 19:42:40

tape measure only goes up to 25 inch so bit of guess work going on but think i'm 28 under boobs and 30 over. what does that mean?

SorrelForbes Sat 10-Nov-12 19:45:15

I'd try a 28B or maybe even a 28C depending on style.

cheesesarnie Sat 10-Nov-12 19:47:42

oooh! i buy shitty primark extra padded to beyond belief bras, might be time to go shopping!

SorrelForbes Sat 10-Nov-12 19:57:58

Enjoy. There's some info up thread about where to buy smaller back sizes.

cheesesarnie Sat 10-Nov-12 20:17:15

thanks. can't find at the moment but look tomorrow smile

RedBerryJoyTown Sat 10-Nov-12 20:30:40

Have read this with interest. I live in the sticks but was actually near a JL a couple of weeks ago (1 hr and half train ride away) so got myself measured. They said 32dd which I was quite pleased with as was wearing 34c. But reading this thread I started to wonder as I am quite slight - 5 ft 7 and size 8-10. So measured under boobs, 28" ?!? New bras really not very tight now that
i am used to them. Grrrrr, so cross that have shelled out £40 on 2 new bras that are probably still wrong size. What size do you think I could be?

If the cup on the 32DD feels ok then I would be suggesting a 28 back, probably with somewhere around an F/FF/G cup. Once you get the back right, it's pretty easy to tell when you are trying bras on if the cup is ok. You could maybe try an online order from somewhere like (outlet section especially!) or who sell some relatively cheap bras

RedBerryJoyTown Sat 10-Nov-12 21:06:26

Ok, thanks for your help SC. I thought my new bras were okay until I read through all the fitting advice and realised they were definitely too big around. The cups are ok, maybe a little small....I did actually buy some 34dds from M&S (cheaper than jL). I wore one to work and had to take it off during the day as killing me! Not sure what went so wrong with my JL fitting.....

Unfortunately I think JL are still a bit hit and miss. They used to be pretty rubbish here, then we got a Bravissimo very close by and JL suddenly pulled their socks up. I suspect the staff went for a fitting ;)

Can you measure around your overbust - try it in the best fitting bra you have as long as it's not dire. This measurement shouldn't be pulled tight.

MirandaWest Sat 10-Nov-12 21:27:43

Ooh didn't realise Leia had an outlet section....

JKSLtd Sun 11-Nov-12 20:05:34

Hmm, whilst loving all the advice on here and being a convert to the 'not-adding-4-inches-anymore' philosophy, i seem to have been unlucky with my 'boob job' sad

I ordered some 28D and 28DDs and they don't fit. The 28 is actually ok in one of the styles (2 different styles) but too tight in the other which is fair enough, I know I need to try various ones out.
But the D & the DD cups are too big.
So i'll return them which is fine. but now i'm really anti all my 'incorrect' bras. My Sloggi 32Bs are still comfortable but i can sort of see that they are not well fitting.
What should I try next? 28C? I'm going to have to remeasure aren't i?

The cup size is, unfortunately, much harder to judge by measurement alone.

What bras did you order out of interest - some come up much bigger than others. From a quick google the other day it appears that a 28C is a bit of a git of a size to find.

In the one that was a little tight in the 28, what size was the cup and how did it fit?

JKSLtd Sun 11-Nov-12 21:29:17

Well tbh most of the brastop bras are a little fancy for my taste, so i ordered plain-ish ones.

this was the too tight in the 28 and the cups seemed big too (DD).

this one i ordered in both 28D & DD. the 28 was ok but both cups were too big.

I see now that brastop doesn't do 28C or smaller. sigh.

Some of the brastop ones are pretty fancy I agree - for years if you were a small back (especially with a big cup) you pretty much had a choice of bland white and beige bras so the sort of things on brastop are still exciting to many of us!

I haven't tried the Daily Boost but looking at reviews it appears to come up particularly small in the back - lots of bloggers saying that went up a back size. Also, I almost always need a different cup size in a moulded bra so that may be making it harder to judge.

Do you have a John Lewis or Debenhams or similar anywhere nearby? Most of us have a fair old range of sizes in their drawers (I think I have between a 30GG and a 30J which fit!) so because a 28c does seem to be very tricky I think a major trying on session of lots of bras may be in order. Sorry sad

There seems to be a bit of a hole in bra size range for 28B & C, with lots of 28s in the D+ ranges but very few in the AA-C selections.

SorrelForbes Sun 11-Nov-12 22:30:19

When you tried on the Flirtelle bra, did you scoop with vigour?!

I have tried both those bras and not been able to find a size that was quite right. I struggle with Freya and Fantasie too! I also struggle with full cups, plunge styles and moulded cups always gape on me.

As SC says, I can see that you're going to have to try and visit somewhere for a really good trying on session. Do you have a Bravissimo anywhere nearby?

lljkk Mon 12-Nov-12 07:35:48

Can someone explain again how to do the scoop thing? And why do it with vigour (and how to do it with vigor vs. another way)? I keep reading but don't get it (sorry, thicko). What is it you do and don't want and how to do it?

Basically scooping is a way of sorting out the lumpy "back fat" that you get with a bra, and making sure that everything which belong in the cup of the bra is actually in there. Breast tissue gos surprisingly far round towards your back and it generally needs a wee bit of persuasion to make it go in to the bra rather than hang over the sides! It's thought that a lot of the back bumps are actually migrated breast tissue.

Scooping works best when the back of your bra is the right size - if it's a bit loose then it will just migrate back again.

So, put on your bra. Then take your right hand, put it (inside your bra) round underneath your left armpit and pull forward any lumps, bumps and backfat. It might be easier to do this near a mirror!. You need to be quite firm but it makes a huge difference. Repeat on the other side.

SorrelForbes Mon 12-Nov-12 08:40:08

It's the scooping that usually results in a cup which seemed too big, all of a sudden becoming much too small.

lljkk Mon 12-Nov-12 11:46:02

I didn't understand any of that, but found some videos & text online that explained better.

I only have bones under my arms, though, scooping makes no difference on me.

TruthSweet Mon 12-Nov-12 16:15:29

I got some new Panache nursing bras in a 32HH shock and I have gone from having lumps and bumps on my back when wearing bras to it being smooth. Given that I was wearing 36-40 bras that seems surprising but the fit is spot on now.

I can't believe I am about to post this...

For the ladies who are looking for the very hard to find 28Cs...whispers....M&S have a few

I have no idea if they will be any good and PLEASE do not let their fitters within a 6 foot radius of your boobs but as the 28C is sooo hard to find they may be worth a try - fair play to them, it's one unusual size they do stock!


I'm a bit miffed. Today nobody notice my wonderful new figure sad I nearly accidentally told a male colleague when he asked whether I'd had a nice weekend. Fortunately I put the brakes on my tongue grin

I've discovered that my lovely merrel Wakefield isn't too tight around the bust. It's that my bust was in the wrong place! It fits lovely now!

lljkk Mon 12-Nov-12 19:26:03

tbh, having watched several videos today of "before" and "after" wonderful new bra fitting: I can't see the difference. I can tell that the bra itself has massively bigger cups in most cases, but the woman's profile doesn't look hardly any different to me. Only very slightly perceptible increased lift. Everything else in the before & after pictures looks the same to me. So not surprised colleague didn't notice.

SorrelForbes Mon 12-Nov-12 19:29:31

My shape is completely different in the correct size bra. No bulging and back fat for a start grin

Same for me Sorrel - I look a lot thinner and seem to have a better posture in a good bra. It probably depends on how perky you are to begin with! smile

Link, I was being a bit tongue in cheek. I'd be horrified if people noticed and passed comment. But actually it has made a noticeable difference to me.

Not link, lljk!

HazleNutt Mon 12-Nov-12 19:48:41

I actually have a waist if I wear a correct bra and my boobs are not around my bellybutton.

mysteryfairy Mon 12-Nov-12 20:15:17

Can you please advise me? I thought I was wearing a well fitting bra (32G) but just measured and I am 28 under and either 36 round bust wearing a bra or 37 doing the lean forward thing. Just did the scooping thing too and can instantly feel a difference with that. I am not spilling out of current bra. I don't have nice boobs - they are very very saggy and I look hideous without a bra but I don't think anyone who saw me with my clothes on would say I was huge - I am 5ft 10.5 so have a fairly long frame to accommodate them.

Although your measurements suggest a 28FF/G, the cup size measurement is a major approximation and if that was your true size you would have a lot of space in your current cup - which by the sound of things you don't.

If the cup on the 32g feel OK, I would suggests trying sizes around a 28H-ish.

After you have scooped, how does the back feel? I'd expect it to feel a bit loose. If the back is too loose you will also find that the bits you have scooped don't stay in place as the back isn't tight enough to prevent it sliding back.

Stevie77 Mon 12-Nov-12 20:28:08

I'm itching to go and try news bras now!

Just measured myself at 31" under bust and 34" over bust which I guess means I should wear a 30C or even D shockshockshock been wearing 34C for like, ever and the straps always fall down, which makes sense!

mysteryfairy Mon 12-Nov-12 20:33:28

Yes the scooping has worked it's way back out sad. I can get my whole hand between band and rib cage, but bra still feels quite tight. Only recently went from 34f to 32ff or g and not sure if I could cope with any tighter. I totally don't look jordanesque I hope and wear a size 8-10 top so don't understand how I can be so massive.

JKSLtd Mon 12-Nov-12 21:05:45

I have a Debenhams in town, i've always gone for fittings rather than look for myself so could give it a try - also have a small M&S, may have to look and see if they have any 28Cs for me to try.

This week is looking manic atm, so not likely I'll get to town, without littlies in tow & with time on my hands...!

SlipperyVixen Mon 12-Nov-12 21:12:28

Thanks for the link SC. I've ordered the M&S limited collection 28C and am feeling all hopeful again!

MysteryFairy, I would give it a shot. It sounds odd but sometimes a bra which is actually too big can feel tight. There are a couple of reasons - firstly, if the cup isn't actually big enough then the bra will be pulled forwards to provide the extra width for the cups which can make the bra feel tight, especially around the back.

The other is that even if the cup is roughly right, if the back isn't right then your boobs fall forward a bit and drag the bra down - which causes it to feel like it is digging in as instead of being perfectly horizontal it sits slightly diagonally (which is a bigger measurement)

The sort of sizes you fit honestly aren't enormous - I am a couple of cup sizes bigger and nobody every believes me when I say I am an H/HH cup. They normally guess at around a DD!

Jordan is a special case - her boobs are very upfront and stuck on so whilst she is probably something like a 28J, all of the breast "tissue (ok silicon!)" is in a very small area whereas natural boobs of that size have a wider base so don't look as big. I've read that a lot of women who have implants have difficulty with buying bras because the larger sizes which fit depth wise are effectively too wide.

Fingers crossed SlipperyVixen - never thought I would post an M&S bra link but a 28C does seem to be very hard to find. I thought those limited collection ones looked quite pretty!

mysteryfairy Mon 12-Nov-12 21:52:59

Thanks both - nothing to lose but a bit of p and p if I order a few from bra stop. There is actually still a diagonal effect with a 32 now I study closely though much improved over previous 34. Can you suggest brands which fit slightly bigger? I ordered a mixture of 30 and 32 last time and one particular 30 was like a vice though I accept that could be cup size related!

Main brands which do a 28 (from tightest to loosest IME!)


Curvy Kate is slightly trickier as there seems to be a mix in their sizes. I think the majority come up big in the back (bigger than Freya) but the exceptions to this seem to be the Daily Boost and a couple of others. I have a couple of the showgirl range (the tempt me and tease me) and I find them big in the back. The tempt me (plunge) is teeny in the cup though - go up a size at least. I love the tease me. Flirtelle is a Curvy Kate sub-brand.

Sorel and Statisticallychallenged - if I could kiss you over the Internet I would. I've worn a 34A for years and just accepted that I would never fill a bra cup. Had made my peace with it really and accepted my flat chestedness. Today I have bought three 30D bras and I actually fill them. And I have an appearance of cleavage. It's amazing! Thank you so, so much.

Awww thank you! Good to hear that you feel better - for a lot of people it makes such a difference.

(and there are unfortunately far too many bra fitters who are experts at making women feel bad!)

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Nov-12 16:23:57

That's great news!

You are both wonderful. thanks

AgathaF Tue 13-Nov-12 18:06:08

Another one here who has gone from being 38c a year ago, to realising that was too big 6 months ago and buying 36d. Then a couple of weeks ago I actually measured myself with a tape measure as a result of these recent bra threads and worked out I must be a 32 or 34 e. Just been to Bravissimo today and left with two very comfy 32f grin

I can't believe that for years I missed the obvious signs of not fitting - band riding up at the bag and over boobs at the front, falling out when I leant over etc. Also, as has been alluded to by posters on this thread I think, I thought that I just had wide breasts and that was why the underwires dug in at the sides and sometimes bruised me - my solution was to keep going up a back size! Totally stunned by how well my new ones fit.

Lots of thanks to the clever women on this thread who have inspired me, and lots of others, to measure and get fitted.

Here here....I hearby award sorrelforbes and statisticallychallenged the mumsnet award for serviced to boobs [boob emotion needed]

CelticPromise Tue 13-Nov-12 18:32:33

biscuit biscuit

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Nov-12 18:37:19

Aw, too kind, too kind grin

I must give an honourable mention to HazelNutt who also haunts these bra threads from over the channel (and also has to contend with European measurements!).

You are all too kind!

SlipperyVixen Wed 14-Nov-12 12:47:12

Hello again. I'm just reporting back that I collected my 28C bras from M&S today and they fit!! I'm amazed and delighted!

When I gave my measurements up thread and SC suggested 28C I was hugely sceptical having worn 32A all my life (except for the pregnant/ breast-feeding years), and picturing a C cup as a tennis ball sized sphere!

I have nothing in the ways of boobs at all - two tiny pyramids of flesh that look like they don't need a bra.

Whenever I've seen the statistic about women wearing the wrong size bra I've always thought that it doesn't apply to me because I've got the tiniest boobs and I wear the smallest size available already so how could I change?

What I've realised today is the the 32A was effectively flattening out what I've got, spreading it out against my chest wall. The band used to rise up and I'd be hoicking it down all day cursing my lack of boobage to hold it down. Whereas the 28C gathers it all in and sits it in a beautifully comfortable forward position. There's no gaping when I bend down, I genuinely fill the cups, and whilst I wouldn't go as far as to say I have a cleavage I do have two mounds with a dip inbetween! And it feels very comfortable too. I no longer feel flat-chested, I just have small boobs that suit my frame.

Anyway, I know I'm being ridiculously over enthusiastic and it's only a change in numbers after all. I'm still the same size as I always was but it is still a huge psychological boost to be a C cup (a C cup!) as opposed to an A.

So thank you SC and SF and HazelNutt and everyone else who has contributed to this thread.

The next challenge is finding the elusive 28C bras!!

So glad to hear you had a successful shopping trip.

I believe Ewa Michelak (a polish brand) do a very good range of sizes including custom sizes so they would almost certainly be able to help. Sorrel uses them regularly so will know better but I believe their back sizes can come up tight so it may be worth ordering a non-custom in a few sizes just to try and makes sure that if you do get a custom order it is the right size as they are non-refundable.

Another option which might be worth considering is finding a half decent tailor/seamstress. If you could find bras in a 30 where the cup fits (probably a 30B) then it wouldn't be much of a challenge for a good seamstress to take 2" out of the back for you. A lot of women who actually measure <28" use this option.

Finally, it looks like M&S used to do a bigger range of 28Cs - which means there are a bunch of em on ebay. Some are soft wired but there are a few sets of wired ones kicking around.

DonaAna Wed 14-Nov-12 13:51:02

Slippery I had the exact same experience - A and B cups flattened and tried to squash together my smallish wide-set breasts, C and D cups contain them and enhance them. And a good tight band gives support that I did not know I needed.

I would have gone to a specialist shop earlier but I had the idea that they are only for women with really big breasts.

thingy1 Wed 14-Nov-12 16:50:20

Advice needed please.

Have been following thread & finally measured this morning, I'm 27/28 underneath and 32/33 over bust. So I worked out 28DD or 28E. I went to debenhams today and purchased these two sizes. Got home and couldn't for the life of me get the bra clasp on, far too tightsad. When I finally did get clasp done (assisted by my 17yr old DD, who was in fits of laughter by the way at the thought of her mother getting into a 28 bra) I found it incredibly uncomfortable?

Where did I go wrong

HazleNutt Wed 14-Nov-12 16:52:27

thingy, are they both the same brand? Some just fit smaller, I'm generally 32 but definitely need 34 in some brands, so why don't you just try a size larger? Sure it shoudl be tight, but you should still be able to breathe as well.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Nov-12 17:00:37

thing1 Have you tried them on back to front (don't swivel it around and put it on properly)? Will they do up back to front on the loosest hooks?

thingy1 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:02:28

Yep same brand Hazelnutt, both from debenhams. It took me forever to find a size 28 in any cup size tbh, so was hoping if the cup size in DD or E fit I would scour Internet for future buys because it was ridiculous how little choice in size 28 back there is. I could breath but the flesh on my back was being pinched together, that can't be right.

Would u suggest 30dd/e?

the fact that you could actually do it up (with difficulty!) suggests you probably need to go up one back size in the specific brand. I wouldn't go up any more than that. At the moment I wear a 30 and could probably just about do up a 28 and wouldn't have a hope of doing up a 26 (if they existed)

I also feel (having been a 28) that for some reason there is a massive variance in the back sizes of 28s that aren't as obvious in other sizes.

Which bras did you buy?

Are they Debenhams branded (the Gorgeous range)?

thingy1 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:05:50

Yes statisticallychallenged they are the gorgeous range.

thingy1 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:10:20

Sorry Sorrell I missed your post, I did manage to do them up back to front but once swivelled round and put on properly my back was being pinched.

I think several people have previously reported finding the Gorgeous backs come up small. I have previously had to buy 32s in them.

There are quite a few brands who make 28s but unfortunately a lot of the high street stores stick a very small number of them.

Also - have you scooped when you have the bra on?

thingy1 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:17:52

Yes I scooped and the cup size E especially gave very good support from the front. Maybe I got unlucky and it is that particular brand.

I wanted to be sure of my size before purchasing any further bras, the two I brought today cost over £30 and that was with the 25% discount offer at debenhams.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Nov-12 17:18:55

Hmmm, how difficult was it to turn the bra round? I find it very difficult to swivel mine round as I do like a tight band. Is the band bearable when back to front?

To echo SC, have you scooped?

thingy1 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:24:09

It wasn't easy at all to swivel it round I had to pull it down swivel and pull it back up again.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Nov-12 17:36:23

What band size were you wearing before? I wonder if this is a combination of a brand that runs small in the back and the difference in feel between your old and new band size?

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Nov-12 17:38:15

I have a Gorgeous bra and it fairly snug in the band but not so much that I needed to go up a size. However, this just highlights the huge inconsistencies in the bra sizing world! It's so frustrating.

I think you are probably right Sorrel re the combination. I wonder if something with a band which is a bit softer like a Freya or a Curvy Kate might be the solution while you get used to the smaller back. They tend to be a bit stretchier and I think the fabric/edging tends to be softer too. Some brands are far worse for pinching than others.

thingy1 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:47:45

Im now back wearing my 32B, which I now realise gives me no support whatsoever but god it's comfortable grin

When I measured this morning under the bust I was 27 but know there would be no chance of finding a 26" back so went for the 28. I will take the two back and try a 30 back & see how I go.

Thanks for the advice ladies, I shall report back with hopefully more success.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Nov-12 17:48:32

I agree SC. My Curvy Kate is very stretchy. I have the Thrill Me and after about 10 wears I'm already doing it up on the middle hooks.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Nov-12 17:49:51

Good luck. You might want to try a Freya in a 28E/F?

Same here with my tempt me and Tease me. I think the fabric on them is also lovely and soft.

Thingy1 it does take a wee bit of time to get used to a good bra especially if you have been wearing one at least 4 inches bigger for a long time. I'd make sure you try each one on as Gorgeous especially has some big sizing inconsistencies - I have seen me buy the same bra in 3 colours and each one was a different size :S

SteppingOnLego Thu 15-Nov-12 14:21:57

I have just found and read this thread. Wow. I think I might be another one in the wrong size. I just thought bras didn't fit properly because my boobs have got a bit saggy and changed shape but perhaps not...

Was measured as 36B ages ago (bet you can guess where) and have pretty much worn that since except when pregnant, breastfeeding etc. Just measured and I appear to be 31.5" below bust and 37" over it. What would that make me?

Also is it just best to go and get fitted properly if I can? (I'm going somewhere next weekend which has a bravissimo). The thing is I really don't think my boobs are very big and wonder if they will tell me they haven't anything small enough?

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Nov-12 14:24:43

It's always best to go and fitted somewhere like Bravissimo, so I'd definitely head there next week if you have the opportunity.

In the meantime however, if you want to try fitting yourself, try a 32DD, 32E and maybe even a 30E/30F.

NessunDorma Thu 15-Nov-12 14:48:13

Hi, sorry to jump in, I am 32inches underneath ( when pulled very tight) and 38 around my bust (loose-ish) what size do you think that would make me?

Am currently wearing a 34C bra from Primarni grin

After having 2 children my breasts aren't as full as they were, so I find that when I bend over slightly, the bra gapes and people are likely to get an eyeful blush

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Nov-12 14:51:45

NessunDorma Try a 32E, possibly a 32F too.

You may find that a balcony shape works better for you than a plunge style. My boobs are fuller on the bottom and I struggle with plunge bras as they gape.

NessunDorma Thu 15-Nov-12 14:55:14

Thanks Sorrel, if I find the band too tight am I right that I should try a 34D?

SteppingOnLego Thu 15-Nov-12 15:02:22

Thank you. I shall take your advice and go for a fitting I think. In the meantime I'll try to get my head around the mad idea that I might be and E cup shock

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Nov-12 15:23:59

Nessun Try a 34DD.

To 'test' the tightness, put the bra (in your case a 32 back) on back to front. 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.

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Nov-12 15:26:29

Honestly, an E sounds big but it isn't always the case! I'm a 30G but I really don't look like I have a huge bust (apart from when I'm wearing my Ewa Michalak bras which really push them up and out!). A 32E is the same cup volume as 34DD, a 36D, a 38C and a 40B.

ArtVandelay Thu 15-Nov-12 15:29:39

Hello! Just letting you know that I got my bras from figleaves this morning. The 30D fits, the 30Cs were very small and will get returned and next time I'm shopping I will get a mix of D and DD to try because the D is on the edge sizewise. Its taking a bit to get used to the band being so tight!

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Nov-12 15:34:33

That's good news. Yes, the tightness does take a little while to become accustomed to but it's well worth it for the benefits of having the proper support, lift etc.