Q&A about bra-fitting with the expert team at Panache - ANSWERS BACK

(35 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 15-Nov-12 09:33:46

We're running a Q&A this week on bra-fitting. Do you have any questions about how to find the perfect bra? Do you struggle to find the right fit? Are you looking for advice on bras for maternity, nursing or special occasions? The expert fitters, designers and technical bra boffins at lingerie manufacturer Panache are here to answer your questions on all things lingerie, from styles to sizing to picking the perfect bra for your shape. Send your questions to the experts before the end of Tuesday 20 November and we'll be linking to the answers on 29 November.

TickledOnion Thu 15-Nov-12 10:38:57

Can we have a bra-fitting Q&A with M&S? grin


That would be great fun!

FriggFRIGG Thu 15-Nov-12 10:46:54

I've just got my sizing right after a friend explained how to measure myself...after years of being measured incorrectly.
I can't believe the difference it's made.

There should be a campaign...or something...

<wanders off muttering>

Lavenderhoney Thu 15-Nov-12 11:47:42

I have a lovely silk dress which I am struggling to find a bra to go with. It must be seamless with no lacy bits as they will show through. The t shirt ones are all padded or made from really hard material which gives my boobs a funny non natural shape and look or not in my size. I am a 32ff. This makes it harder IMO, almost no choice.

I don't want a sports bra masquerading as a bra, my dress is scalloped neckline and a fitted silk, so a bra structure will show through, and I don't want to look like I've got a sports bra on or a minimiser ( I like my boobs!)

Thank you for any advice!!smile

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Nov-12 13:17:22

Tickled grin

I have 34GG boobs, but so many of the bras in my size are moulded or padded. I don't really want or need padding, plus I don't have the space to store the monstrosities. Am I missing the point of all this padding in bigger sizes? Should I be wearing padding?

Kopparbergkate Thu 15-Nov-12 14:42:05

Currently 20 weeks pregnant and already a 34L (Definitly fitted properly) - any ideas what I can do for nursing bras? I have been told by a bra retailer (Bravissimo) to buy eg a 40K and take the back in myself. Any other ideas?

I'd be happy to have a couple made to measure but I'm NOT travelling to Rigby and Pellar in London just before or after birth which is when I'd need to get them fitted

MorningPurples Thu 15-Nov-12 15:00:15

I am SO different on both sides (always have been) that nothing ever seems to fit right. If I fit the bigger side, as is usually recommended, the cup on the smaller side just folds over and looks wrinkled etc. I've never found any 'fillers' the right shape to add to it. Any suggestions?

Also I have trouble getting the straps to be short enough. I'm built really 'high', and have very sloped shoulders, so the straps just slide off much of the time. Any kind of scoop neck top or vest top or anything always ends up revealing way too much. I work with chlildren and can't bend down without showing all. Any ideas?

BandersnatchCummerbund Thu 15-Nov-12 15:22:50

Can you recommend any bras (that start in a 28 back!) for someone whose boobs have sagged and lost all their fullness at the top? I am sick of expensive, attractive bras in the right size that still seem to leave my boobs sitting at waist level. I want to be able to wear low cut tops without feeling ashamed! It doesn't help that so many bras only have half-adjustable straps. They all need to be fully adjustable!

fryingpanalley Thu 15-Nov-12 16:30:13

Is there actually any robust medical evidence that underwired nursing bras, properly fitted and worn after the first few postnatal weeks of crazy Lola Ferrari boobs, cause mastitis, blocked ducts and all manner of horridness? As it is a total nightmare that neither the NCT nor Bravissimo sell them, pointing at the health risks, yet I and many other MNetters have ordered them at great expense (and to-ing and fro-ing) off t'interweb and never had a problem. This is not just a vanity issue, it is a basic one about comfort and back health, even about length of time for bf. Has anyone done a proper study or is it all anecdote, supposition and scaremongering?

cakes82 Thu 15-Nov-12 19:45:15

Why is measuring for a bra so complicated? I was looking for nursing bras on the internet cause I live too far from shops that offer measuring services. So I checked web for how to measure some say add inches to under bust measurement some don't it all got very confusing. Plus who can afford to pay some of the prices for nursing bras that are being asked when they just had a child. I just found some nice bras at Matalan they look nice, they are cotton they feel nice and they weren't ridiculously priced either smile

HellothisisJoanie Fri 16-Nov-12 07:36:01

really god q re wires. I must admit i wore them in pg 3

I want to say how much i LOVE your bikinis. thanks for that.
I also want to suggest that you do less lace! women with big hooters dont want masses of frills imo.

Also can you do bras with tapering straps so that if they are visible you only see thin bits at the top? or normal bras with removable straps so you can put pretty ones on and the bra acts as a semi strapless?

( god this is sounding like a sex toy! Sorry)

EauRouge Fri 16-Nov-12 11:45:43

Ooh good!

Hello, Panache. I'm a big fan of your Tango bra. I have a question about different styles of bra. I'm a 30GG. I have a teensy rib cage so very little space between my norks. For this reason I can't find a balconette or full cup style that will fit me, the space between the cups is always too big, so I always end up getting plunge bras. I would like something a bit more supportive sometimes; what would you suggest?

ParuDM Fri 16-Nov-12 13:26:39

I always end up having to buy expensive bras (due to the size 32ff/32G), and the wire seems to break within 12/24 months. When I get a new one it feels sooo tight, I can't wait to take it off. It seems to settle down a little once I've worn it a while, but I still feel uncomfortable especially when my period is due. The wires always seem to dig in at the side whether I wear one cup size up or down...?

sansucre Fri 16-Nov-12 15:45:06

Why do so few of your bras available in a 28 band size?

PS. ParuDM Bras don't last forever! 12-24 months sounds about right. Wire often break when the bra becomes too small. Additionally, a new bra is tighter, it loosens slightly with wear and why you should always start doing it up on the loosest hook. It probably gets uncomfortable when you have your period because your boobs are a little bigger! Lastly, all bras fit differently, maybe the shape you're wearing isn't right for you. Go get fitted again and hopefully they'll suggest some styles that don't dig in at the side (this suggests you're not in the right size at all.)

sansucre Fri 16-Nov-12 15:46:40

Terribly phrased questions. That should have been -

Why are so few of your bras available in a 28 band size?

Mumsnet, I wish you had an edit button, so many other message board do.

cashmere Fri 16-Nov-12 20:13:46

I'm tall (5ft10) and always have to have the straps at their/near their longest setting. As people get taller could you consider adding an extra inch to strap length please?
I've considered getting them adjusted but it seems a shame to cut up pretty new bras- expect I'd need to add fabric at the back.

Also I wear a 30 or 32 back, but find that having bras as tight as recommended can mean they cut into my ribs. I've very little flesh (am very slim), so wonder if this is an issue for others with less padding around their rib cage? If the trend us to wear bras tighter to achieve better support I'd appreciate a thicker 'comfort' bra with a lightly padded/wadded band. I realise this wouldn't work under tight clothes but the option would be nice for some days.

cashmere Fri 16-Nov-12 20:16:29

ParuDM- that digging in feeling is what I'm getting at. I'm sure it's less of an issue for someone with a greater covering of fat but if you are slim tight bands can feel uncomfortable against your ribs.

CMOTDibbler Fri 16-Nov-12 22:21:27

I've been told by bra fitters that I'm an odd shape as my norks (36b) are quite far apart, and its a real challenge finding a bra that gets the breast tissue which is basically under my arm into the cup.

Any ideas ?

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 16-Nov-12 22:31:56

Any tips for fitting tubular breasts? My neice was told she had tubular boobs by a plastic surgeon and nowhere seems to fit her well. I took her to a few places but as nobody knew, she still bursts out of the bras, and feels even more like a freak.

I'd love some great advice to make her feel a bit better. There's literally nothing on this topic!

Tyranasaurus Sat 17-Nov-12 06:11:27

Why are large cup small back szes scaled so badly? It seems that most bra manufactureres just keep scaling up smaller cup sizes, but at some point your boobs stop getting wider and just keep going out, but in many brands I have teh underwires coming round under my armpits.

I'm a 32JJ and whilst I can get a nursng bra in my size they are the most depressing saggy boob things ever. Don't tell anyone but I've sent the last 6 months breastfeeding from an underwired bra (Freya) which I adapted with nursing bra clips.

Northey Sat 17-Nov-12 06:30:40

Hello panache, how lovely of you to come and talk to us!

Two things:

Could you recommend (or create <begs>) an underwired style which deals with narrow breasts set close together on the chest? I'm a 34 GG, and the underwire placing and width that would suit me is more like that which you would get on a 28 AA, but obviously with masses more room in the cups for my boobs to go into.

Now that people are gaining more support from a more firmly fitted rib band, it would be great if bra manufacturers could remember that there is probably less need for hideous thick shoulder straps. Not that you are a particular villain in the regard smile

Theas18 Sat 17-Nov-12 06:59:24

Agree with large cup, small back size combo resulting in the wires poking you in the armpits. The youngest really needs a 28 G, (tango 2 balcony-the only bra style that's ever really fitted her -fitted by bravissimo) but has a 30FF because the curve on the wire is too wide and deep-and this is still a bit of an issue.

Also why no 26 back bras? really needed 26 back as she was growing, in b/c cup. Had to have scarce 28 back ones.. She isn't underweight , but slim and curvy

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 17-Nov-12 09:27:12

Can I agree with the plea for less lace or embroidery? Even a quite thick jersey top shows the bumps through it,

What design of bra is best for post-breastfeeding boobs where all the fullness has gone from the top? I wear a DD so that wires enclose the whole boob and don't dig in underneath, but that means there is space at the top.

droves Sat 17-Nov-12 11:59:44

Why don't you make bras for short women ?

I can find quite a few in my size ,but the adjusting straps are always too long even when the are fully adjusted to be at their shortest length .

The problem is a 5 foot women doesn't have the same length body as a 5"6 or 6" woman .

I'm sick of getting out my sewing machine to alter bloody bra staps .

And it's not like I've got tiny boobs either ...32 e/ f ( depending on make and style) .

droves Sat 17-Nov-12 12:02:54

And why is 90% of bras underwired ,or with padding ?

I'm an E ...I don't need anymore padding I have enough boobs of my own thank you very much without having fake bits sewed on to my clothes.

kellestar Sat 17-Nov-12 12:30:47

Tyranasaurus I have a similar question...

Last time I was pregnant I wore 34JJ nursing bra's, they were horrible and unattractive, I had unaboob through the 15 months of feeding. I wanted to go up a cup size but couldn't find anything that fitted well, the K cups actually felt smaller, even if I went up a back size. I liked the Elomi Bra's with Soft Flex wires, but they just came up small and there was no chance they would fit. I was a 32G before I was pregnant, after I stopped breast feeding went to a 34GG.

I am pregnant with DC2, my boobs have already gone up 2 cup sizes and a back size and I'm 18 weeks. I am currently wearing a 38JJ. I am worried that once I start BF'ing that I won't be able to find anything to fit.

Why aren't there bigger cup sizes for nursing bra's? Also why don't they offer more support like soft flex wires?

justcait Sat 17-Nov-12 13:37:08

I have exactly the same problem as CMOTDibbler - 36B with a lot of space between my breasts. I've more or less given up on finding a bra that fits. Help! Also, why don't bras come in half sizes? I actually think a 35 would fit me better, but they don't exist...

HellothisisJoanie Sat 17-Nov-12 14:16:21

agree re padding although a TINY bit does stop nipple show through

musicposy Sun 18-Nov-12 00:28:07

Would second the 26 back bras. I have a slim (not underweight, just narrow) but quite well developed 13 year old. She is currently in a 28B but the cups are now too small so we will have to source a 28C. These are very difficult to find.

However, really 28 is much too wide for her. She has the band on the tightest fit and it is still too loose. She's really a 26C and therefore we cannot find a bra to fit her properly. As she's so narrow I can't see this improving, just getting worse as her cup size increases. How can I find her a bra to wear?

Musicposy M&S (of all places) do a 28c and there is a polish company called Ewa Michelak who can do a 26 back I believe.

But yes, we definitely need 26s and probably even 24s to become mainstream.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-Nov-12 10:01:33

Thanks for all your questions. We'll be sending 20 over to the experts at Panache later today and will link through to their answers on 29th November.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 10-Dec-12 17:52:29

You can now read the answers for the experts at Panache here:

Q&A about bra fitting and sizing

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