Help! Boobs MIA after 2 kids - bra recos?

(32 Posts)
mamaandmore Sun 28-Oct-12 23:51:13

Hi, I read another thread about losing fullness in the chest department, and wondered whether anyone had any good recommendations re bra styles and brands for boobs that have lost their fullness.

I was a substantial 30F pre-children, then dropped a cup size after DD, and now after DS I am down to 30DD, and the dreaded lack of fullness has hit. I feel totally yuck, have zero cleavage, and a bit down about it (yes, I know it's to be expected post BF-ing), however I'd like to get some bras that make me feel a bit more of a yummy mummy than a saggy mammy.

disparatefishwife Mon 29-Oct-12 07:20:57

I have gone from a pert 36b to a very droopy and sad 36b, there is no 'fullness at the top of my bust and all my clothes sit oddly! I am at the tail end of breastfeeding my youngest baby and have tried a range of bras as breastfeeding bras tend to be so visible at all my necklines. I'm only 5 feet tall and all clothing seems to be lower cut on me.
Anyway, ramble over, the point I'm trying to make is that if you have a tk maxx nearby you must try the Marilyn Monroe Intimates range. I have tried gazillions of bras and these seem to be the only ones that cater for the empty upper boob and give a cleavage at the same time. They also have a lovely line under clothes. I bought one to fit under a party dress and for the first time in three years I felt confident in the bust area. I went back and bought another at the weekend and I think I might just go and buy all their stocks in my size, they are £5.99 and I have gone for the plunge style.

SorrelForbes Mon 29-Oct-12 10:07:34

Morning both, I'm no expert on BF bras etc so hopefully StatiscallyChallenged or HazelNutt will be along to help soon!

However, I will just ask you both if you're sure you're wearing the right size (bra bore alert).

OK, here goes. Measure under your bust (hold the tape tight) to get your band measurement. Then measure across the fullest part of your bust. Each 1" of difference between the two measurements equals a cup size.

So, Mama, let's say you measure 30" underneath and 35" across? That would give you a starting point of 30DD.

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.

disparate Are you absolutely sure you're a 36? Droopiness is very often caused by wearing too big a band.

Good online shops are Bra Stop, Figleaves and Bravissimo. If you order online, then I would try three styles (full, balcony and plunge) in a few sizes each so you can get a really good idea of what fits and suits you. Boobs that are fuller at the top usually suit plunge and those that are fuller at the bottom (like mine) usually suit balcony. Avoid M&S like the plague. They can't fit for toffee and the bras are poor quality. John Lewis and Debenhams stock good ranges though but beware of any fitters that measure you and try and add the dreaded 4 or 5 inches!

Hi mama, I'd recommend trying Cleo Juna for a start. Also Panache Melody balconette, Bravissimo Satine and Mademoiselle, and Freya Deco.

If you've lost a lot of volume, the plunge styles (Satine and Deco) may make your boobs slide towards the centre of the cups. Try them on, have a jiggle and if you are bulging out of the centre/front of the cups whilst having a fair size gap near the top by the straps, then the other styles will be better as they have deeper centres.

Hope that makes sense.

disparatefishwife Mon 29-Oct-12 21:46:30

Hi sorrel thanks for your message.

Funnily enough I had a nightmare of a time getting my bust measured, I went to about 8 different stores in my town and all of them gave inconclusive results, I actually had a really humiliating time in some of them and I did get desperate and started trying to measure myself which was a disaster!
I have pnd amongst other things and wearing giant and loose nursing bras plus being treated like I had frankentits wasn't helping my cause at all.

I finally booked with m&s, got two bras that I disliked and are huge on me.

So I finally arrived at that size by going into stores on my own and just trying on hundreds of bras and honestly I don't have much time to myself so this has been over a really long period.
I think that the boobage has droopage because at one point they were absolutely huge and I think that they just weren't strong enough to bounce back afterwards. Now they look like two socks filled with sand
:'(

MacyGracy Mon 29-Oct-12 21:53:04

If you have the budget you have to try this one. I am a 34d currently and these make em nice, round and perky! I will never buy another style so hope they make them forever!

MacyGracy Mon 29-Oct-12 21:54:41

Oh I've BF'd two DC for 15 months each!

SorrelForbes Mon 29-Oct-12 22:07:46

Sounds like you've had a bit of a bra nightmare! Have you got any energy to measure as per my post above (only if you want to of course!)? Honestly, I was wearing a 34DD and they were nearly down by my waist. Now I'm wearing a 30G and they are perky again. I can 'fit' into many siszes when trying on bras but the results can be grim!

pinkpaperpiggy Mon 29-Oct-12 22:12:37

I'm in the same situation. I was always very comfortable with my breasts - I'm a 38E and used to have great cleavage. After breastfeeding 2 children for a total of 5 years I now have awful droopiness and empty on top.

My only decent bra just gave up due to some serious over use.

I live in the backend of nowhere so will have to travel which is going to add to the cost.

I know it is silly but it really bothers me. I hate to let dh see me without a bra now sad

disparate I had PND too and I think the fact that I used to go days without changing out of my PJs or putting a bra on has contributed to my problems.

SorrelForbes Mon 29-Oct-12 22:31:02

I have breasts that are fuller on the bottom than on the top and I find that it's only balcon shapes that do the job for me!

pink Are you absolutely sure you're a 38 back? If not,
could you satisfy my curiosity and do an under bust measurement?

pinkpaperpiggy Mon 29-Oct-12 23:35:50

I'm pretty sure on the backsize. I am a size 18 on top, several stone overweight. I will measure tomorrow if i get a chance though.

pinkpaperpiggy Tue 30-Oct-12 10:55:05

Hi sorrell, I measured myself this morning. I was 37 inches around the back and 43 over the fullest part.

What size do you reckon?

38E or F even?

My poor boobs are so soft and saggy now. I really need something supportive. I think I prefer full cup. Not sure I have ever tried balcony style.

Thanks

HazleNutt Tue 30-Oct-12 11:33:06

My weight goes up and down and of course boobs also get saggier when i lose weight. I've found that push-up styles don't work for me then, as the breast tissue is just too soft. A good padded balconnet bra is better.

Pink paper, I would suggest trying a 36 f and ff too, I measure 31 and wear a 30, and most people who are in between seem to get the better fit by going to the lower back size.

I'm a fan of the bravissimo alana for unpadded but good uplift, I wore it a lot in the post baby empty boo phase!

MyMelody Tue 30-Oct-12 16:08:35

I will second the cleo juna mentioned by marriednotdead - its brilliant. I am now very tempted to buy the freya deco!

SorrelForbes Tue 30-Oct-12 17:32:08

I like my Deco and wear it when I need a smooth bra but it's definitely not the best for me shape wise out of the nude bras I own.

straighttohellymelly Tue 30-Oct-12 17:42:00

I measure 26-27" and wear a 30 as I have for years, a 28 fits but feels tight, so how can a 30" back be a 30 bra? But anyway, I have also lost fullness at the top after nearly 8 years bf, not quite finished, so I am in need of style advice too. I used to have a very impressive set of knockers at 40, now at 48 they are somewhat erm..lower down.

SorrelForbes Tue 30-Oct-12 19:21:52

Hi straight

I would hazard a guess that you need a 28" but in a bigger cup (probably more than one size bigger!). For instance, I wear a 30G (measure 30.5" under bust) but a 30E would be excruciating! A too small cup means the boob has no where to go and therefore the back has to take up the slack and feels too tight. This also causes back fat and underarm bulges!

SorrelForbes Tue 30-Oct-12 20:41:36

Sorry, also meant to add that you might want to try a balconette shape which tend to be better for those with fullness at the bottom.

I'd echo Sorrel, I don't find a moulded is the best shape for boobs which have lost fullness - for me they only really work for smoothness or where I need a plunge and cleavage.

straighttohellymelly Tue 30-Oct-12 23:16:25

I'm a 30FF, but I was a 30E pre-feeding I did try a 28G but I found the tight band made my back hurt.
What I don't get is that as far as I know you add 4-6" to your rib size to get your bra size, so a 30 back would be a 34. When it was tricky to even get 32" bras,(And I measured 25" at the ribs) most of my friends were a 34". I used to have to alter bras to fit. Then the 32" arrived and I was ok, some would be a bit big, some might fit ok, but the arrival of the 30 meant I finally had bras that fitted off the peg. So if bra sizes have changed so that the size on the bra is your actual rib size, then the small backed women are still in the same position as years ago, because no one is making a 26". That seems mad. Is it a vanity sizing thing or something? I do think a 30" bra now is slightly bigger than a few years ago, but not in all ranges, or all bras. Its very confused

SorrelForbes Tue 30-Oct-12 23:26:21

As far as I know the adding inches goes back to when bras were made of fabric that didn't have the stretch in it that it has now.

Nowadays there is no need to add inches to the under bust measurement. The concerns us is that places like M&S still add inches is so that they can fit most women into the small range they stock.

I measure 30.5 under bust and 38.5 across. I have been fitted in R&P etc as a 30G and this fits me perfectly. However, if I was fitted in M&S, they would round me up to 31 under bust and then add 5 inches to take me to a 36. They would then say that I had a two or three inch difference between my two measurements and would try to fit me into a 36B/C.

Obviously this is totally wrong but you can are how so many women have needed up as a 34/36 back! I have so many friends who are tiny that swear they are a 34/36 because that's what M&S/Victoria's Secret/La Senza (delete rubbish fitting service as appropriate) has told them.

Funnily enough, about 6 months ago I tried on a very old bra (more than 15 yrs old) in a 32C. The back was too big. So, I don't think that bras have got bigger. Mind you, that's not a very extensive sample grin

pinkpaperpiggy Wed 31-Oct-12 08:50:58

I think I must have met an old style trained fitter in Debenhams once! I went in to be measured for breastfeeding bras. Pre-breastfeeding I wore a 38E. The woman in the store measured me and suggested I try a 44B!!!

What a joke. I told her I would just sort it out myself. My boobs were enormous and she was putting me in a B.

There are a lot of them around pinkpaperpiggy!

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Oct-12 08:53:03

Hilarious. There are some great bra blogs out there with people's nightmare stories of fitting experiences. Victoria's Secrets are especially good wink

straighttohellymelly Wed 31-Oct-12 17:33:25

Back when fabric didn't have the stretch it does now? Blimey Sorrel I'm not that old. I have lots of vintage lingerie and the stretchiness came in the 60's, before that bras were non-stretch with a small piece of elastic. Certainly bra fabric has not changed in recent years, and many places still say to add on inches. Tis all very confusing.

SorrelForbes Wed 31-Oct-12 17:39:03

Ha ha. I think what I meant is that companies haven't updated their sizing guides since those long ago days (pre 60s maybe). So, certainly since then places like M&S have been fitting people incorrectly. Shocking really when you think about it. Obviously, there would have been the odd good fitter even in department stores like M&S but I think they're few and far between. I seem to recall than M&S head office agreed that they shouldn't be adding on any inches but that doesn't seemed to have filtered down to their fitters! I am on the verge of emailing the new M&S Style Director Belinda Earl to whinge about it!

angelene Thu 01-Nov-12 07:16:52

I went to Leia at the weekend where they fit you properly (you can't use linear measurement to measure volume) and got a fab fab bra which has finally given me my shape back since I stopped bfing 2 months ago. I really recommend them, so helpful and a next best thing to Rigby & Peller now I don't live in London (also substantially cheaper wink)

On a separate note, will my boobs ever come back? They did after I stopped feeding dd 6 years ago, but I can't remember how long it took.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Nov-12 08:32:14

Leia are very good (as of course are my beloved R&P). Yep, it's very hard to fit purely by measuring. That's why I always suggest a few sizes to people as a starting point. You can get the bad size fairly accurately by measuring (although it will still differ by brand) but the cup is much more trial and error.

Glad to hear you had a great bra shopping experience.

mamaandmore Tue 13-Nov-12 22:54:32

Thanks ladies! I dared myself to go into Victoria's Secret, having been humiliated out of there when I was a teenager... this time, I bought two bras, that actually give me more of a look of where I was when I was last told "we don't do sizes for you" (when I was actually measured the same size I am now again... funny how things go around) : )

MrawMraw Wed 14-Nov-12 20:24:07

I am going to try the method from here as soon as I find my measuring tape grin.

I agree with the M&S fitting being rubbish - they had me as a 34 back size, no way. I'm 5ft 1 and a size 8 petite. I'm not sure what I actually measure (yet), but I feel ok in either a 32B or a 30C/D.

I do have a bit of the "teardrop" (as my granny calls it) shape - fuller at the bottom, nothing on top which annoys me as I look silly in anything low cut. However I was lucky in that I only went up about 1 cup size and maybe 2 at a push when pregnant or breastfeeding 2 DC so they have not suffered too much shrinkage, just a little droopy.

I have an OK bra from Debenhams - the plunge style does gape a bit at the top but it is the best plunge type I have found, lasts well, washes well and there are removable pad bits so you don't have to go full-on cleavage if you don't want it can be used as a sort of t-shirt bra too.

Here - www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_10001_10001_152010107680_-1?breadcrumb=Home~Lingerie~Bras

Also, not a huge fan of Ann Summers but I found a well-fitting lacy non-padded bra in there, the boning bits in the middle seem to give things a lift -

www.annsummers.com/p/pure-lace-black-underwired-bra/01bruwas1058006

Going to try that John Lewis Chantelle one I think, but yes pricey. I was thinking I should perhaps buy cheaper bras (like primark, supermarkets, matalan) but buy more of them - this is what most people I know do, however they all seem to start in a 32 inch back , some even start in a 34 inch back shock.

Also, am I the only one who still wore maternity bras up to 2 years after breastfeeding was finished? and who also still wears them to bed sometimes? blush

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