So I just measured by bra size and I'm shocked, is it right?

(776 Posts)
SchrodingersFanny Thu 18-Jul-13 22:55:16

I measured under and I'm 34. Well I'm 33.5. That is taut, completely flat to skin.

When I do the lean over measurement (which made dh smirk) I measured 41inches.

Am I right thinking that makes me 34E?

I have teeny (saggy and deflated) bosoms!

SorrelForbes Thu 18-Jul-13 23:14:57

Try a 34F, 34FF and a 32FF, 32 G.

MrsLettuce Thu 18-Jul-13 23:15:08

34F I think

MrsLettuce Thu 18-Jul-13 23:15:19

x post

SorrelForbes Thu 18-Jul-13 23:16:30

I have friends and relatives with very soft, empty boobs and who measure around 30/35 and need a bigger cup than tr measurements suggest. Don't be afraid to try a bigger cup than you think you need. You may be surprised, especially after scooping.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Jul-13 00:14:34

Do you mean you have to lean forward to get your boobs to fall to their fullest point and then measure round them? And then count the inches between them and each inch is a letter further? So 30 and 33 would be 30C? Is that right?

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Jul-13 00:42:16

Jesus I'm 35 and 44. My boobs are long and saggy now! That can't be right, that would make me a 36H or so! I usually take about a 40DD.

WhistlingNun Fri 19-Jul-13 00:56:38

I've always been bamboozled by these threads. I haven't been properly measured since i was 13 and my mum did it for me!

Since then, i've just been guessing my way along.

I'm currently wearing 34 C, but don't think it's quite right.

Following the measuring guide (ie leaning over) my measurements are

30 inches underbust (tape measure pulled taut)

36 inches full bust (leaning over; tape not too tight)

What does this mean? confused Would love someone to wave their magic wand for me so i can go buy a bra tomorrow that might actually fit for the first time in my life.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Jul-13 01:00:13

Me too Whistling, hope somebody knows!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Jul-13 01:02:36

Me too Whistling, hope somebody knows!

WhistlingNun Fri 19-Jul-13 01:03:48

Ilovemydog, i've just used the above link (which came heavily recommended on another bra thread) and according to that - if i've read correctly - my measurements mean i should be wearing a 30E!

There's no way that can be right. I have an old DD bra in my drawer from my pregnant days and it's giant on me.

I'm really rather rubbish at this. grin

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Jul-13 01:10:07

Well that would make me a 36G. There's no way I'd get a 36 round my back. I've got a 38E and it's a real squeeze. I usually find my 40DD fits alright. And it depends on the make as well.

sparkle12mar08 Fri 19-Jul-13 07:29:37

Ladies, ladies, ladies grin

ILove - 35/44 gives you a starting point of 34GG. The reason your 38E is tight is precisely because the cup is too small - it's trying to steal 4 cup sizes worth of space from the band! That cup is roughly equivalent to a 34FF so is still two sizes too small anyway. Your 40DD won't fit 'alright' at all if you scoop, position correctly, and look at the distance you can pull it away from your torso at the back grin

WhistlingNun - yes, 30E to start with, what band size is the DD cup on that you tried? If it's on a bigger band, given that you were pregnant, you're right that it will be too big, but the right cup on the right band won't be, by definition, and because cup size is relative to back size and not an absolute measurement, a D cup on a 36 for example is actually smaller in volume than an F cup on a 32. So try the 30E and see how it feels.

Whistlingnun, what back size is that DD? Cup size is relative to back size so a 34DD would be bigger than a 30E in cup size terms.

Ilovemydog - your 38E is tight because the cups are too damn small smile as sparkle says. I am a 30HH roughly, can barely do up my old 30GGs though.

WhistlingNun Fri 19-Jul-13 08:38:50

Thank you. Its a 36DD. Is that why its so big on me?

30 E sounds such a strange size! Im going to pick one up though when I head out later to give it a try.

Quite excited now!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Jul-13 08:41:30

Well now I'm completely confused. confused << my face

I'm currently wearing a 40DD and it feels fine. It's an M&S one. My boobs are completely scooped and it's snug comfortable across the back. The straps are comfortable and don't fall down.

I was always told that you take the rib measurement and add 4 or 5 depending on odd or even. So a measurement of 34 would make me a 38?

I think the shape of my boobs is misleading. Standing up would give me an extra four or five inches. It's the bending over and measuring that's the problem. Think tennis balls in socks. sad They're fine in a bra but I couldn't ever go braless, they'd be in my waistband. sad

DayOldCheesecake Fri 19-Jul-13 08:42:36

Ilovemydog Stop fighting it and try a 36 back with a decent cup size. As statistically says, it's only too tight because you're trying too small a cup.

I was an early developer and wore C/D cups at 14 - I'm in a GG now. My tits have not grown massively - I've just got my head around my cup size! I spent nearly 20 years thinking "only tarts are over a D-cup".

30E is the place to start - but don't be scared to try sizes around it too. The 36DD us designed for someone who measures roughly 41" around the widest part, so quite a bit bigger than you. Have a look at fitting advice section so you know exactly what to look for and how to test the fit. Get the back right first, and don't be scared of the bigger letters. If you have one, your best bet is Bravissimo, Debenhams or similar to have a good choice of bras to try. The Debenhams Gorgeous range runs small in the back - probably try Freya, fantasie, panache etc to try and work out your base size, and try a back size up from that in Gorgeous range.

Ilove...take that bra and put it on back to front. Now - how far away from your body can you pull the band?

And adding 4" no longer works because bras now have a lot of stretch

rebecca87 Fri 19-Jul-13 09:04:34

So if I'm a 28.5 back and 33.5 at fullest (tape measure loose) do I start with a 28 or 30 back? Would 30 not be too big? thanks

CelticPromise Fri 19-Jul-13 09:07:13

28DD or E Rebecca.

BitOfAFatCowReally Fri 19-Jul-13 09:08:49

I read these threads and went from a 36C to a 32DD. It is an amazing difference! I couldn't believe how much better I looked and how comfortable I felt.

Seriously, trust the experts on here; they really do know what they're doing.

rebecca87 Fri 19-Jul-13 09:09:20

Thanks! From reading all of the bra fitting threads I have started noticing other people's "badly" fitting bras blush

Knotter Fri 19-Jul-13 09:12:28

Sorry - I've managed to miss all the bra-measuring threads - can anyone link please?!

Mumbledore Fri 19-Jul-13 09:30:47

There's not an EE cup, is that right? So when you're adding your inches it's D DD E F FF? Can't wait to go bra shopping and try this out!

Mumbledore Fri 19-Jul-13 09:34:14

Following on from A B C I mean!

sudointellectual Fri 19-Jul-13 09:34:59

DayOldCheesecake, yes, what is that about? I realised after getting my head round all this that I had an unconscious ranking in my head:

A cup = child
B cup = decent woman
C cup = famous/perfect woman
D cup = porn star
Over DD = Lolo Ferrari OR Les Dawson dressed as a woman

What the ACTUAL FUCK? I felt like washing my brain out with bleach. I would never have thought those (senseless, mad and awful) things were in my head, but somehow they had lodged there, and I only really uncovered them when I examined just WHY I couldn't possibly possibly be a 32F.

loraflora Fri 19-Jul-13 09:37:26

If I lean forward, my under measurement is 36 and my overbust measurement is 47. Am I right in thinking 36GG? I am unfortunately saggy after too much yo-yo dieting in the past.

Lancelottie Fri 19-Jul-13 09:40:35

Ermm, when measuring under the bust, do you breathe in or out?

I can make a 4 inch difference that way (woodwind player here, so I think my ribs expand rather a lot) and fear being unable to take a breath ever again if I size down to the tightest measurement

sparkle12mar08 Fri 19-Jul-13 09:54:16

The media have a lot to answer for in that respect DayOld and Sudo, a lot! Reporting that someone like Christina Hendricks is a 34DD or whatever is ludicrous, she's closer to 30J territory, Jordan more like a 26/28GG/H/HH etc. Yet porn stars are commented on as being DD/E/F etc which is again bonkers and cements in peoples minds exactly the connotations you rightly identify. Mad, mad, mad.

Loraflora, try 36GG, H and HH. Technically you're at 36H with those measurements, but it's trial and error across different brands for the most part. Also you may be more comfortable sizing down a band to get firm anough support, if so don't forget to size up in the cup as well, add 34H, HH and J to your try on list too.

Lancelottie I think I'd try both 'correct' and next size up band measurements in your postition, if you play daily etc you're going to need at least a decent amount of stretch so it might be worth having different bras for different purposes. What are your actual measurements?

Branleuse Fri 19-Jul-13 10:02:00

neither, just at rest.

Branleuse Fri 19-Jul-13 10:03:27

its ok to size ether up or down 1 inch.

I measure 29in under, but i wear a 30 band

Lancelottie Fri 19-Jul-13 10:05:34

Anything from 28 to 32 band size but weirdly I seem to get 36 either way for the overbust measurement (baffles self).

sparkle12mar08 Fri 19-Jul-13 10:13:09

In which case I'd try 28F and FF, and 30F and FF. I think anything smaller in the cup on a 30 band will actually feel tight because it will be artificially reducing your cup size - you have an 8 inch difference at rest, whereas a 30E would be designed for only a 6 inch difference.

CelticPromise Fri 19-Jul-13 10:32:33

Knotter you can put your measurements on here if you like, measure tight around your ribs under boobs then lean forward and measure loosely around your dangling boobs.

tapdancingelephant Fri 19-Jul-13 10:50:05

sudointellectual - you have summed up perfectly how I have always felt about my boobs, but never really known!

I was measured as a 32C for my first bra at 12, which must have been complete bollocks, going by info here. after dc 1 & 2 I found myself passing by a Bravissimo, and got measured properly. Can't remember the exact fitting now, as was years ago, but was something like 32Eish, and that was 15 years, 2 children, and about 3 stone later than my original 32 band fitting shock

Am now a few more years, and one more child down the line, and still breastfeeding (in very uncomfortable, but will never find anything to fit so grab the best of a bad bunch bf bras!). Will grab a tapemeasure a bit later and see how I measure up - will be something shocking, which will horrify me along the lines of sudo's rundown earlier.

But I will do my best to get my head around it all - after all, I will still be the same size as my slightly-large-but-socially-acceptable (according to ridiculous scandal rags and similar) mis-fitted 'C' cup, but just in a properly fitting bra with different letter!

AtYourCervix Fri 19-Jul-13 11:03:07

There appears to be 8 inches difference between my measurements.

Would that make me a FF???

sparkle12mar08 Fri 19-Jul-13 11:04:41

Yes, AtYourCervix, a FF grin. Mind if I ask you band size?

AtYourCervix Fri 19-Jul-13 11:08:38

Holy shit!

38 band.

46 around saggy empty boobage.

Blimey. Currently wearing 40D blush

AtYourCervix Fri 19-Jul-13 11:10:16

Although couldn't find tape measure so did it wuth string and metal tape measure.

Itching to try on new bras now. It'll have to wait til next week.

Lancelottie Fri 19-Jul-13 11:18:34

Have been online to Debenhams sale for several different sizes, half expecting them to email back 'Don't be silly, you deluded teeny-busted woman, you!'


notapizzaeater Fri 19-Jul-13 11:19:12

Now I am big of nork - think porn star ! 36 under 49 over so what should I be ? Sick of painful bras

SorrelForbes Fri 19-Jul-13 11:23:15

not. Try a 36J and similar sizes.

AtYourCervix. How's your head this morning?

Raahh Fri 19-Jul-13 11:26:35

Ok- i keep meaning to put my measurements on these threads- used to work at JL, where a colleague measured me (by eye) as a 34e. I've had another child since then, and my ribcage seems wider, so go for a 36e.Think this is a bit loose though.

I measure 35 under, and 43 around when leaning.

Am I wildly out?

trikken Fri 19-Jul-13 11:31:03

34 and 40 if I did it correctly. What would I be?

AtYourCervix Fri 19-Jul-13 11:31:17

Head is surprisingly well thanks. Pimms Turbo is my new favourite drink grin

Chickpeas2 Fri 19-Jul-13 11:32:11

Hello wise bra fitting types,

I'm in a bad place with bras after nearly 5 consecutive years of pregnancy and bf (not to mention the weight loss/gain/gain thing I have going on....) anyway I've bitten the bullet, measurements are:

33 back (squidgy so have rounded down to 32)
44 boobs

Does that really mean I am a 32 HH?!?! I didn't even realise such a size existed....

sparkle12mar08 Fri 19-Jul-13 11:45:14

Raahh - start with 34FF and G

trikken - 34E

Chickpeas - yup, 32H and HH. will become your new best friend for pretty bras in large cup sizes!

trikken Fri 19-Jul-13 11:47:33

Thanks for that, sparkle.

Chickpeas2 Fri 19-Jul-13 11:53:11

Thanks so much- off to check out that online shop now...

AtYourCervix Fri 19-Jul-13 11:53:37

Just done some scooping with ordinary bra on. Yes the cup size is far too small. Spillage all over the place. Damn.

Raahh Fri 19-Jul-13 13:00:15

thank you sparkle (only just got back to this after having to go out).

KOTK Fri 19-Jul-13 13:15:00

Ok, have I got his right, I've just measured as:

underbust 44
full bust (bending over) 54

Does this mean I should start looking at around a 44GG?! This sounds completely wrong to me as I've always been a huge fat woman with teeny tiny boobs. They're kinda long and saggy and very wide set. blush Bet you're jealous eh? grin

I don't have a single bra that looks good, and only have a couple that are comfy(ish), and those are 48B/C.

Right, next question - where do I buy the damn things (online & as cheap as poss please), and what kind of style best accomodates long, saggy wideset norks? And what's all this balcony, halfcup, fullcup stuff? I am a crap girl and at 37 still don't get any of this stuff.

Please help me!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Jul-13 13:34:20

I actually cannot wait to go and try on some new bras. Shame the kids are off for weeks. They hate coming shopping with me. Will be seriously amazed if I really am about a 38G and not a 40DD which is what I have been wearing quite happily for years.

I have to say though, that although my bras are perfectly comfortable, I've always though they look too low. Hopefully a better fitting bra would perk them up a bit as well.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Jul-13 13:36:48

34 I mean, not 38. Think I've got it right.


CelticPromise Fri 19-Jul-13 15:39:34

ILove you'll get much more support from a firmer band so almost definitely more uplift :-)

CelticPromise Fri 19-Jul-13 15:45:18

Yes start with 44GG and cup sizes either side KOTK. I bet if you scoop your B and C cups don't cut it. You should also be prepared to try 42 or even 40 as lots of women who are a bit more padded get on better with a smaller band. Don't forget to go up a cup size if you go down in the band.

Try Brastop, mycurvesandme, amazon, eBay and Debenhams sale for well priced bras.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Jul-13 17:20:55

I've just ordered some 34G bras from Next which will come tomorrow. I'll report back to say whether they fit or not!

DayOldCheesecake Sat 20-Jul-13 06:09:04

KOTK - try Evans, they use the M&S style of fitting so everyone there is wearing an erm... 48B/C wink - plenty of stuff in the bargain bin to be had!

SprinkleLiberally Sat 20-Jul-13 06:25:25

Makes me mad the way shops do just a handful of DD+ as if it is some kind of freaky massive size and a B is "normal".

sudointellectual Sat 20-Jul-13 07:15:55

Yeah, I just looked it up and apparently Lola Ferrari was a 54F.


My boobs are not that big, tbh. I've never had bouncing/ligament issues (used to play netball and have actually seen someone sprain their boobs on the court, ouch!!). But since getting proper bras I have noticed my persistent entrapment neuropathy has improved (also my armpits have stopped being tender sorry tmi). Which is great but also makes me quite angry.

M&S have a lot to answer for.

TheCountessOlenska Sat 20-Jul-13 07:28:03

Just making my place as I keep reading these threads but can't find a tape measure !! Will buy one in town and come back and measure myself asap.

pinkpiggy Sat 20-Jul-13 07:40:25

Can someone tell me please what size i am if i measure 35 inches then 42 inches? Pretty please grin

sparkle12mar08 Sat 20-Jul-13 07:59:54

Pinkpigg Try 34FF and sizes surrounding, so 34F, FF and 36E and F, though I think the 34's will be a better fit. Also worth trying a 34G as it's easier to spot a too big cup than a too small, and you'll know that you're heading in the right direction.

TheCountessOlenska Sat 20-Jul-13 08:23:45

Found tape measure, God bless my Mother! I've got 31 and 40, pretty please sparkle or anyone? smile

TheCountessOlenska Sat 20-Jul-13 08:26:24

p s Got measured as 36F is m&s last week - she only measured round my ribcage not boobs!

TheCountessOlenska Sat 20-Jul-13 08:30:00

Sorry for multiple posts - it was last month actually so to be fair my boobs might have gone down a bit as lost weight and baby is 4 months now (bf ing) oh and i don't bother with nursing bras!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 20-Jul-13 08:30:55

Ok, so 29 under bust and 32.5 if I Lean over. I'm in a 30c strapless at the moment but its feeling a bit loose on the first setting after a few months.


CelticPromise Sat 20-Jul-13 08:31:14

Countess try 30G and GG and 32FF and G. 30 may well be better. And post on the M&S thread! 36 ffs, I expect you could get a friend in there with you.

CelticPromise Sat 20-Jul-13 08:32:22

28D Fluffy, maybe DD.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 20-Jul-13 08:35:30

shock DD? I'm teeny. Honestly blink and you'd miss'em.

Morning! Hoping this is the new bra thread?

Wonder if anyone can advise - I used to love Freya's Polyanna bras, but they are discontinued (I've been in an Anita nursing bra hinterland for three years). Any suggestions for comparable fit? Thanks!thanks

TheCountessOlenska Sat 20-Jul-13 08:43:33

Thank you very much Celtic Have posted on m&s thread already - I bloody knew she was doing it wrong but you feel a bit vunerable stood there topless with post pregnancy boobs and stomach - grrr.

OryxCrake Sat 20-Jul-13 08:49:54

Hello! Am reeling with shock here...

I normally wear a 34C (self-measured by old method).

I've just measured this way and my measurements are 30 and 38!

So a 30FF. Is that right??

OryxCrake Sat 20-Jul-13 08:51:00

No wonder my bras never feel comfortable grin

Yup, you've got it OryxCrake smile

Pollyanna was replaced with Faye, but they are quite a different fit. What are your measurements?

OryxCrake Sat 20-Jul-13 09:26:49

Thanks, marriednotdead. Right, off to the shops on Monday...

sparkle12mar08 Sat 20-Jul-13 09:48:08

Sorry, had to check out of the early morning shift to go do my run for the weekend! God I love these bra threads, as someone said - Changing the world, two boobs at a time!

pinkpiggy Sat 20-Jul-13 10:10:49

Thank you! I have always worn a 38a so feel shocked i might actually be a totally different size! Will try

pinkpiggy Sat 20-Jul-13 10:18:10

Can someone please explain this scooping action you are supposed to do? I don't have much to scoop but need to try on 34 FF (mind boggles)

sparkle12mar08 Sat 20-Jul-13 10:24:43

When you've got yuor bra on, lean forward/bend over and taking your right hand reach around your left breast inside the cup to the armpit/back and pull all that flesh forwards into the left cup. Do the same again on the right breast with your left hand. Repeat both again to ensure all the migrated breast tissue is actually in the cups and not escaping towards your ribs and back. You should notice an immediate reduction in back fat if the band size is actually correct, and it will also be immediately apparent if your cup size is too small - you'll have quad boob all over the place. You have to be firm with scooping, especially if you've been wearing a vastly wrong size for many years. I find a quick scoop every time I go to the loo helps me keep nicely positioned all day and takes just seconds once you're practised at it. In many cases a bra that looks and feels alright when first put on, will in fact turn out to be a cup size or two too small once vigorous scooping takes place.

RedBushedT Sat 20-Jul-13 10:27:03

I've been re-measured from a 34D to a 30FF but when I've tried them on they are absurdly uncomfortable and leave red marks around my torso. The back fat issue is horrendous too! This can't be right? I'm not particularly fat but this size bra makes me look awful due to being so tight.. What am I doing wrong?

sparkle12mar08 Sat 20-Jul-13 10:37:51

It should feel firm but it shouldn't actually break the skin or cause bleeding. Some red marks are normal, it's like having sock marks for example - the band has to be firm enough and grip the torso enough in order to provide the support to the cups. Also it's normal to feel a little uncomfortable for a little while when wearing a completely different size because there will be fabric touching the skin in places where it previously hasn't. But that should go with a wear or three. When you scoop, what does the fit look like RdBushedT? It may be that you need a slightly bigger cup again, and that if the current one is still a tad small it's distorting the fit on the back. If you put it on back to front, can you fasten it and breathe in, and not pull it away more than an inch or so?? If so the band is probably correct - you shouldn't really be able to easily spin a bra round for example. All of that said, it's not unknown for those with very little padding on their torsos to need to size up a band especially if they're between band sizes, as there's little flesh to absorb the pressure. Sadly I'm not one of those lucky people, and I have to size down a band to get the grip and support I need!

LegoCaltrops Sat 20-Jul-13 10:46:30

Hi can you help me please? I'm currently wearing 34C (this was measured for me by someone when actually seemed to know what they were doing, as opposed to the likes of M&S) but I've lost some baby weight since then. I now measure 31/32 under, & 36/37 across. I wear my 34C on the tightest hooks & it's ok but there is no room to scoop as the cups are already full. Bra is still fairly new so it's not stretched. What size should I be in - 32D ? Or am I miles out. Thanks.

Lego you're in between back size so try a 30E/F and a 32E/DD to start with. If your 34C is fairly full I'd tend to try the larger cups first

sparkle12mar08 Sat 20-Jul-13 10:56:37

Hmm, you're between sizes all round so go through 32DD, 32E, 30E and 30F. I think the 30's will likely be a better fit, probably the 30F given that you say scooping has nowhere to go currently.

Snap sparkle!

faulkernegger Sat 20-Jul-13 11:14:53

Go to Bravissimo. They will fit/measure you properly. I found I was a 34FF and not 36D as I guessed for myself; my clothes all look so much better on and I rediscovered my waist!

Chigertick Sat 20-Jul-13 11:15:29

So I looked at the blog and with my measurements of 31 under and 39 over I think I should try a 30F /30 FF - Is that right?
I too am amazed by this discovery! smile

try 30FF/G to start with, and maybe 32F/FF

Chigertick Sat 20-Jul-13 11:32:17

Thank you - I've got a child free shopping day this week - I think I'll be mostly trying on bras smile

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Sat 20-Jul-13 12:17:01

So inspired by this thread I got out the tape and discovered that under bust is 33 and bending over dangly measurement is 39. I am guessing my 36c isn't the right size then? Guessing...I dunno 34 dd? Sounds ridiculous because I have no boobs to speak of....

Please help oh wise mums net....I would so like a bra that I can bear to wear and aren't counting the minutes till I get home and take it off.

Mermaid try a 32E, 32F, 34E and 34DD

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Sat 20-Jul-13 12:30:18

Thank you, am off to the shops having realised my current bra is shocking!

Right, off to measure...

Ok, 33" and 45". Go.

try 32J, 32HH, 34HH, 34H as start points. The 32s are more likely especially with bigger norks. Better support smile

Thanks. Have all sizes between 30H and 36G here.
And Ive already had a breast reduction ffs hmm


If you have any 32s, try popping them on back to front so you can assess the back without the too small cups getting in the way or distorting. You should only be able to pull the band a couple of inches max. That will at least narrow it down a bit for you

nextphase Sat 20-Jul-13 12:53:58

Someone up thread asked about how cup sizes go - afaik, it depends on the brand. Some have dd, ee, ff, some dont, some have some and not others, so its a case of trying on a number of sizes in each style your interested in.

I was converted from the M&S measurement system after DS1. went from a 40D nursing bra to 34 EE normal bra, and instantly lost several kg in weight in appearances. Give the advice above a go. The difference is amazing.

NappyHappy Sat 20-Jul-13 12:57:48

My back size is 38" and the 90deg size is 51" so that would make me a 36H? I've been wearing 36e bras for ages and they are just not right at all shock shock

The majority of UK brands go ABCD,DD,E,F,FF,G,GG,H,HH,J,JJ,K,KK,L but it does depend. M&S for example miss out FF as do a few others.

NappyHappy start at a 38J but also consider trying a 36JJ and sizes around there as it is quite common for those of us who are a bit more "padded" to need to go down a back size from measurement to get adequate support - especially when paired with big norks!

and try scooping in your existing bra - I suspect a past description of "it looks like my breasts are wearing ear muffs" will apply


All those bumps, lumps, back fat, armpit fat - they get yanked in to the bra! However it only works if A: the back is small enough and b: the cup is big enough.

Basically, put bra on, then stand side on to a miror. Lean forward, put your right hand inside your left cup, reach round as far as you can and pull/scoop/yank all the flesh/soft tissue that is bumping under or over the back, around the straps or the armpit and haul its ass in to the cup. Repeat at other side. You might need to do it a couple of times (as doing one side knocks the other out slightly)

NappyHappy Sat 20-Jul-13 13:09:45

I think I've just fainted. I'm only really padded round the belly area wink ! Good excuse to buy new bras! Thanks! No wonder I've been suffering with a bad back all these years. confused confused

llamallama Sat 20-Jul-13 13:13:53

I'm 33 and 41

And breastfeeding...where is best for nursing bras??

Mothercare say I'm 38c !

Mothercare are mad...try a 32G, 32FF, 34FF, 34F

TheCountessOlenska Sat 20-Jul-13 14:07:39

Gah! Measured myself 31 and 40 this morning and Celtic kindly recommended 30G, 30GG, 34F. Just back from M&S and they didn't have a 30GG but tried a 30G and a 32GG but both too tight around the back, could barely do them up sad Disappointed!

I'm pretty sure I got the 31 measurement right but the "hanging down" one could have been bigger than 40 (my novelty tape measure only went up to 40 blush ) Maybe 41 or 42.

Does that sound like 30 would be right for my back but I need a bigger cup size?

I really need to go to Bravissimo for a fitting don't I?

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 20-Jul-13 14:19:41

Did you try doing them up at the front then moving it the right way round?

Mine was too tight but it's slackened off in only two months.

lots of reports of marks bras running small this season so try elsewhere

TheCountessOlenska Sat 20-Jul-13 14:27:14

Ok, thanks Statistically - to be fair it was a 30GG I was looking for and they didn't have it. Will try Debenhams next time! (Have to shop in 20minute intervals due to small children!)

SorrelForbes Sat 20-Jul-13 14:33:12

Yep is try a 30GG/H/HH at least

llamallama Sat 20-Jul-13 15:08:33

Right I'm off to M&S... They do nursing bras right?

SorrelForbes Sat 20-Jul-13 15:35:55

They do but I'm not whether the do your size as their range can be very limited (and doesn't fit anyone!)

llamallama Sat 20-Jul-13 16:38:57

Right M&S had in Mothercare (sat feeding baby)

I was wearing 38c but (though I still don't believe it) the recommended 32G fits! All boobs scoped in! However the central bit doesn't lie flat....any advice?

I'm wondering if its because its a nursing bra this no underwires?

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:48:21

From what I've read if the central bit isn't flat on your chest it's too big.

llamallama Sat 20-Jul-13 16:53:24

So what would be the better size to try?

HazleNutt Sat 20-Jul-13 16:56:01

if the central bit is not flat then you need a bigger cup size.

Hang on - nursing (non wired) pretty much never lie flat in the middle

sparkle12mar08 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:56:55

Other way actually, if the gore isn't flat it's too small. However if it's a soft cup bra they never lie entirely flat anyway, they just don't have the structure to be able to do so. But you might like to try a 32GG and possibly an H as well, just to check it's genuinely not too small - it's easier to spot a too big cup than a too small one, and if the GG fits better then you'd know.

sparkle12mar08 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:57:27

x-posts again!

HazleNutt Sat 20-Jul-13 16:59:27

ah true, soft cup bras will never fit the same. There are some underwired nursing bras out there as well, like Anita.

LisaMWill Sat 20-Jul-13 17:22:23

Ok, I've been lurking this thread and have been so intrigued by it I've gone and measured myself, I'm a 31 under bust and 38 around the fullest part. Surely I can't be a 32ff?! My boobs r empty little sacks after bf 2 dd!

SorrelForbes Sat 20-Jul-13 17:25:34

Not only that, you should also try a 30FF/F!

LisaMWill Sat 20-Jul-13 17:27:40

Wow! Have to find somewhere that stocks f cup bras blew!

LisaMWill Sat 20-Jul-13 17:27:59

Oops now not blew

LegoCaltrops Sat 20-Jul-13 18:32:43

Thanks Statistically and Sparkle. Much better! Now, where to find 32DD or E bras in my price range (found a gorgeous Lepel in Boyes for £8 but not much else). Any suggestions? Preferably where I can order online. Asda & Tesco were useless, most of their band sizes started at 34. I don't want to spend a fortune though as I've still around a stone of baby weight to lose.

Brastop, Leia outlet, there are often some fabulous bargains to be had on Amazon too. Mycurvesandme is also a good bargains website. 32DD/E should be too hard

anazon curvy kate
lepel balconette
lepel again
cleo jude
cleo lucy

All under £12 on amazon

EeTraceyluv Sat 20-Jul-13 18:44:32

so..whats 30/37? completely confused now! Have been wearing 36 C for about ten years!

In that case prepare for size shock and a band that will feel strange for a while - start at 30F. That's only one cup size bigger in volume terms than your existing bra but a much smaller band.

llamallama Sat 20-Jul-13 18:49:37

Thank you!! The middle was pretty close but not flat. I'm going to order a couple to try at home as sizes in store were awful!

EeTraceyluv Sat 20-Jul-13 18:51:55

wow shock

Married thank you.

I'm a 32FF at the moment. I've tried Freya's Faye but it's too high under the arms for me for comfort.

LegoCaltrops Sat 20-Jul-13 19:24:38

Statistically that's fab thanks!

FML 36 Ff ! Been wearing 38 Dd have I been looking atrocious? Just ordered a Curvy Kate bra as well. I am size 16 so would have thought under bust would have been larger!

smellylittleorange - I wear a 14 in most things, sometimes 16 (ignoring size charts who claim my hips and boobs are a 20+ shock) and I'm only a 30 back.

Oh good thought id the tape measure upside down or something. Yep hate size charts with a vengeance

AddictedtoCrunchies Sat 20-Jul-13 20:03:48

I've been reading there threads with interest and wouldn't mind some guidance.

I've lost 20lbs since January and my 38d bras were loose and gaping so I went to Debenhams (my usual go to for bras) and they fitted me as a 34e. I bought three bras; two fit ok but feel tight and I have fat armpits which looks grim and the other seems to be too big on the cup. When I lean forward the cup gapes. I also went to M&S and bought one of their own brand sports bras in a 34e. It's an overhead one and, when I tried to put it on, I felt something 'split' so I took it straight off and it's been in the drawer ever since blush

So I just went and measured myself the way you recommend and I'm 36.5 under my bust and 45 round when leaning forward.

Does this make me a 34e? Or do I have it completely wrong? I'm loathe to spend more money without knowing the right size.

What do you think wise women?

OK. On measurements its very wrong smile Can you pop one of them on for me please and try scooping so we can check it better

Basically, put bra on, then stand side on to a mirror. Lean forward, put your right hand inside your left cup, reach round as far as you can and pull/scoop/yank all the flesh/soft tissue that is bumping under or over the back, around the straps or the armpit and haul its ass in to the cup. Repeat at other side. You might need to do it a couple of times (as doing one side knocks the other out slightly)

Also - please put one of your bras on back to front and see how the band is when the cups aren't distorting it. You should be able to pull it a couple of inches from your body, no more, but it shouldn't be painfully tight

IsaacCox Sat 20-Jul-13 20:28:18

Been lurking on this thread and as I'm going shopping tomorrow, I thought I'd try some on in what you think is the size I should be. I currently wear 38E but the cups are feeling a little big (lost nearly a stone so far)

Just measured and I'm 39 under bust and 50 loose when I bend over but 47 when standing up.

So what size do you reckon?

Thanks smile

There is no way those cups should be feeling big. Can you try scooping please? See post above for how to

AddictedtoCrunchies Sat 20-Jul-13 20:32:26

Back to front, I can pull the band out about an inch but no more.

Round the other way and after several scoops, my right breast is all contained but feels quite 'pushed up'. My left breast has a 'tube' of about an inch bulging over the top. I pushed the wires up so they were under my breasts too so there was no wrinkling.

I felt like, after a school run and a bus journey to school, it wouldn't stay in that position. blush

Caddie08 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:32:45

What would a 32/40 be? I'm wearing a 34b at the moment. Thanks :-) xx

addictedtocrunchies...based on your measurements you are coming in at around a 38G-HH. I suspect there is probably still breast tissue at the back/sides, plus the bulge you mentioned. If you have asymmetric breasts then have a look here at the article on how to manage it.

Caddie08- start with 32FF

Caddie08 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:39:39

Wow, will do, thanks!

Hanginggardenofboobylon Sat 20-Jul-13 20:41:19

So have managed to crash the Brastop website??!! Just tried to check out and crashed!!!

AddictedtoCrunchies Sat 20-Jul-13 20:41:39

Holy crap are you sure?shock

IsaacCox Sat 20-Jul-13 20:42:17

I've been mainly wearing strapless bras lately (and just checked- they're 38DD not E and only cheapy ones from tesco, and they've gone a bit out of shape!) Just done the scooping and they weren't big anymore. I've been wearing them on the tightest band thing as well.

That's certainly where I would start. It's easier to recognise a cup that is too big than too small. Make sure you scoop like a crazy lady - get everything you possibly can in to the cups, then appraise. Don't put them on and immediately thing "too big" - my bras look gapey until I haul tit!

IsaacCox Sat 20-Jul-13 20:45:07

I've just put it on back to front and pulled the band (on the tightest 'setting') and can pull it 6 inches at the most

SorrelForbes Sat 20-Jul-13 20:46:36

"Haul tit" [grin[

SorrelForbes Sat 20-Jul-13 20:48:27

6 inches? Ok, that's about 5 inches more than you should be able to pull it!

OK...your measurements don't quite tie up with what you are saying so I think you will need to find a shop with a good range (or do a big online shop) and experiment a lot. Your measurements put you at around a 38FF at least (that's the standing measure!) - the leaning measure would be more like a 38HH. If those bras are quite old then it could be that the bras have stretched a lot so I think you need to start afresh trying new bras and start with the biggest cups and work your way down

IsaacCox Sat 20-Jul-13 20:50:24

Ok thank you. They are old bras and quite misshapen (sp?) plus I've had a glass of wine blush Will go and try loads on tomorrow.

Queenbee245 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:51:56

With regards to the scooping- I usually wear t shirt bras but halfway through the day I need to re-scoop, is this normal or I wearing the wrong size, I don't have a tape measure to work outta
Correct size

I do have to rescoop occasionally blush

AddictedtoCrunchies Sat 20-Jul-13 20:55:12

Where do I start to find a 38g? No Bravissmo near but have M&S, Debenhams and BHS. Could go to Cribbs for John Lewis? confused

Debenhams or john lewis

NarkyNamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 21:01:05

Ooh this is interesting...

I have a 35 under bust measurement and 41 over good measurement.

According to the thread I'd be a 36E?? That's not possible. I currently wear a 36c and the cups gape sometimes (but the b cup is too small).

Please help! smile

AddictedtoCrunchies Sat 20-Jul-13 21:01:45

OK thanks for your help grin

narky...try scooping please

NarkyNamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 21:05:09

I thought I did scoop but it doesn't work for very long and I mean minutes!

SchrodingersFanny Sat 20-Jul-13 21:05:14

Well there is no way I am a 34F. I tried several today and I could easily fit both boobs and my hand in one cup.

It can't be right, I have tiny boobs. If I wear no bra, its hard to tell if I even have boobs.

schro are your boobs quite empty/soft?

Thats fine narky - just want an idea of what it looks like post scoop

Also, schro what style were the bras you tried, and did they feel empty all over, or mainly like they had space at the top of the cups?

NarkyNamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 21:11:25

Also when I lean forward my boobs go pointy blush and so I think this is making the second measurement deceptively bigger.

SchrodingersFanny Sat 20-Jul-13 21:12:43

Top of cups were empty. And yes after two children they resemble empty bean bags! I know I probably need proper measuring, but I can't face it with a 3 yr old and 1 yr old!

If the scooping doesn't hold there are generally two causes. The back not being tight enough (so it escapes) and there not being enough space in the cup to hold everything you've scooped - so it makes a break for freedom. I'd be tempted to try a 34F as a start point and work from there.

CelticPromise Sat 20-Jul-13 21:14:03

Narky I reckon you need a smaller band. 34F? You need a tight band to keep the scoopage in, and most women between sizes get on better with the smaller band.

NarkyNamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 21:14:12

They look much perkier when I scoop and look rounder and fuller but the cup edge near my underarm still gapes a bit.

WhatNo Sat 20-Jul-13 21:14:35

Have lurked and measured and think I too am one of the many who have been wearing an ill fitting bra. Have always thought I was a 36A/34B ( measured by M and S) and have pathetic non-norks. I always wear push up bras in an attempt to give a bit of oomph. Straps fall down and cups not very full - bit gaping with current bras.

I'm 31 round my back and 35 when bending forward. Very excitedly went to try 30D 30DD 32D 32DD today. 30s seemed far too tight round my back - there were bulges both above and below round the back and sides but cups looked great. 32s better round back but cups looked a bit empty. Anyone any ideas about what I should try next? Have I got it wrong? Thank you.

CelticPromise Sat 20-Jul-13 21:15:19

Twang grin

NarkyNamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 21:15:38

Bloody hell 34f?? That's massive and I'm really not!

Understandable Shrodingers! Were you by any chance trying t-shirt/moulded/quite full cupped bras? Whilst I suspect you might need to go down a cup size or so, I have a feeling a lot might be style too. Once your boobs are post babied then certain bras just never work - it's not size so much as shape. Balconettes are very good for emptier boobs as they are very open at the top so there isn't that top section to be empty!

whatno - where did you try bras? What size did you feel looked good cup wise in the 30?

I have just measured and am 31/38, what would that make me?

I am currently wearing 34B which aren't too bad but if I scoop the cups overflow and then slip back out again, hopefully that makes sense!

SchrodingersFanny Sat 20-Jul-13 21:23:30

It was a t shirt. I'll try a balconette tomorrow.

Makes perfect sense ThreeDaughters - try a 30FF, 30F, 32F, 32E

WhatNo Sat 20-Jul-13 21:23:51

Ahem ... whispers M and S (but I didn't ask for any help!). Just sort of scurried in in disbelief that I was trying on D bras. The 30DD was the best cup wise, did lots of scooping but there was all the bulging. It was a push up T shirt type bra.

OK, M&S bras seem to be having back issue this season - loads of people who used to find them fine suddenly saying the backs are tiiiight. Try a 30DD elsewhere

Shro try the 34F to start with in the balconette, scoop lots, and work your way down from there if you need to. I can't really wear t shirt bras, they can be 2 cup sizes too small and still gape

WhatNo Sat 20-Jul-13 21:29:40

Thanks Statistically - I'll try Debenhams tomorrow. Is it worth going to Bravissimo or am I too small?!

Thank you. Do you know if you order bras online can they be returned? I'm just thinking with knickers you can't normally.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sat 20-Jul-13 21:32:31

Ok so I have measured again and I am 35/49. I tried a 34G and I could just about do it up comfortably but there was no way my norks were going in those cups. They were stretched across me and my norks were spilling out so much over the top I looked like I had four of them. Even after trying to scoop up the spillage.

Yet the 40DD I'm currently wearing is, I have to say, very comfortable. My norks fit perfectly and it's snug across the back. Should I try a 36JJ?

Oh goodness yes - I return bras all the time

Ilove - try the 34JJ/K and 36J/JJ. I'm suspecting it might actually be the 34 as the difficulty doing up the old one was probably due to the cups.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sat 20-Jul-13 21:38:13

Will do, thanks.

CelticPromise Sat 20-Jul-13 21:55:58

Whatno I reckon it's easier to get the fit right in an unpadded bra so I'd start with maybe a plain old balcony type bra next time you go. If you go to Debenhams be aware their Gorgeous range is small in the back. Bravissimo will def have bras for you.

WhatNo Sat 20-Jul-13 23:16:57

Thank you. Looking forward to going shopping tomorrow. It's a whole new world smile Can't believe I'm going to go to Bravissimo. Didn't think it was for the likes of no-norks me!

shoeprincess2 Sun 21-Jul-13 09:15:48

This thread title is perfect- I am still shocked with my measurements and daren't even try and calculate my bra size. My underbust is 28 inches (I am small framed), but the dangle method comes up at 36 inches (I suppose I am quite booby). What does this mean for my bra size?

CelticPromise Sun 21-Jul-13 10:10:45

It means you start with a 28FF princess and cup sizes either side. What size are you wearing?

shoeprincess2 Sun 21-Jul-13 10:23:11

I'm currently in a 32E and I am ending up with quadraboobage!! My bra is on the tightest setting and I can still get a hand down the back of it, so it would make sense to drop down a band or 2. Thank you. I shall try that sizing shock

If you are getting in quad in the 32E you may need to go even bigger in the cup. The volume of a 32E is equivalent to a 28F. On me at least, one cup too small is "slightly bump" rather than full quaddage so try the 28FF but also try at least a G and maybe even a GG

shoeprincess2 Sun 21-Jul-13 11:36:31

Holy moley statistically! Ok, I'll go for a selection of cup sizes. Quadraboob is a pain for me at the mo- fed up of keep fiddling and trying to hoik them in. This is an eye opener for me. Bra-vo to the ladies advising on these threads.

magso Sun 21-Jul-13 11:57:03

Hi, my under bust measurement varies from 29 to 32 with breathing (asthmatic) and around 37 for the second measurement. I usually buy a 32DD in M&S although they measured me as 34 c some while ago. I have a 30 E autograph one which fits nicely but feels a little tight on my boney ribs. I can pull it out an inch though. Should I take the biggest under ust measurement or the smallest?

StringBeanJean Sun 21-Jul-13 12:04:56

Spied this thread and I have just measured out of curiosity - I have always thought my teeny bosoms were 32A, and that was being generous. However, post-preg I bought some new bras from M&S and they are clearly not fitting at all. I have tried the scooping technique today and think 32A might actually be too small in the cup.

Can anyone guide me to the best bra size? I measure 30 around chest and 33.5 around fullest boobage.

Thank you in advance boob gurus grin.

I'd be inclined to maybe stick with the 30s but try a 30F from another brand as M&S can be a little on the small side. I think I tend to be breathing out when I measure.

magso Sun 21-Jul-13 12:29:04

Thanks Statistically.

CelticPromise Sun 21-Jul-13 13:48:48

Stringbean try 30D or C for starters.

StringBeanJean Sun 21-Jul-13 13:57:44

Wow, seriously Celtic Promise?! I would never have even thought of trying something in that size. Thank you so much! I am returning my 32As tomorrow so will have a try on then. Thanks again for your help grin

StringBeanJean Sun 21-Jul-13 13:59:25

Ridiculously excited about actually getting a bra that fits properly!

Stringbeanjean if you have somewhere else to try bras then consider it, if not bear in mind that lots of people are finding the M&S sizing a bit conky just now.

CelticPromise Sun 21-Jul-13 14:04:59

Happy shopping smile It's life changing, well it was for me. I first got properly measured about six years ago and went from 36DD to 32G. I looked like I'd lost a stone instantly!

tigerchair Sun 21-Jul-13 14:34:02

Hi I've measured myself and I'm 31" around ribcage and 41" hanging over around boobs, anyone know what bra size that would make me? I'm preparing myself to be shocked grin

Currently wearing a 34G M&S bra.

tigerchair, more likely a 30GG/H or 32G/GG

Don't bother looking in M&S - they skip FF, so their GG is a G in reality and they don't go any higher!

tigerchair Sun 21-Jul-13 14:42:48

Thanks StatisticallyChallenged, I'll try some of the shops mentioned on this thread smile

StringBeanJean Sun 21-Jul-13 14:50:11

Thanks, Statistically will bear in mind the wonky M&S sizing. Just out of interest, would you recommend anywhere else to try? Having just grabbed the closest vaguely fitting bra in M&S all of my life, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to bra shopping...

I'd probably head to Debenhams or John Lewis as they stock a good range of bras and generally the smaller back sizes too. Watch out for the Debenhams own brand - they also run small in the back

Isthiscorrect Sun 21-Jul-13 20:38:00

Can you help please. I'm embarrassed to put my measurements but here goes. I'm a 39 underneath quite firm and a 46 on top at 90 degrees. I don't think I've ever had a bra that fitshmm even when I was much less well padded I had nothing. I've never filled a cup properly and my straps always slide off. Currently I wear a 40 b from M&S and just barely fill the cup in an underwired padded bra. Thanks.

CelticPromise Sun 21-Jul-13 20:41:23

Correct how's the cup if you scoop? I make you a 38FF for starters. You might like to try a 36G if you are a tad squishy as those of us who are often get better support from a smaller band.

CelticPromise Sun 21-Jul-13 20:42:13

38F/FF sorry, worth trying 36FF/G too. smile

CelticPromise Sun 21-Jul-13 20:43:34

Straps sliding off = band too big.

Sorry for multiple posts- I'm multitasking!

Isthiscorrect Sun 21-Jul-13 20:49:51

Thanks Celtic off to the shops tomorrow. I can't tell you how excited I am. And yes of course the straps are sliding off if the band is too big. Doh!

Isthiscorrect Sun 21-Jul-13 20:51:50

And of course scooping doesn't stay in place with the band being too big. Gah can't believe I wasted do many years. Bloody woman in m&s.

CelticPromise Sun 21-Jul-13 20:54:43

Post on the M&S thread! They are hopeless and they need to listen!

Happy shopping smile Is there a Bravissimo near you?

Isthiscorrect Sun 21-Jul-13 20:56:22

Sadly not, but in a few weeks I hold be able to get to one. My cc with probably go into meltdown ;-)

LIZS Sun 21-Jul-13 20:57:10

Debenhams online still seems to imply adding inches to band size , if you look at the Size Guide table.

Iwantmybed Sun 21-Jul-13 20:58:24

Okay I did it a few years back before DC2. It came out at 36FF didnt do the lean over though. Now measuring properly I'm 34/45 is that 34 GG? I'm confused with the double lettering.

BlackStiltonBoots Sun 21-Jul-13 20:59:06

Hi I'm sorry to butt in on the thread but I have chance to go bra shopping tomorrow and I need some help please!

My measurements are roughly 35.5/36 under boobs, and 44.5/45 around boobs. I am quite fat so pretty squishy.

After reading a bra thread last year (when i was in a 36D) I grabbed a couple of m&s 34G bras, but I don't think they are right. The wires dig in under my boobs, and if I scoop I still get a bit of quad boob. It doesn't feel supportive either. My boobs are quite empty/soft at the top so I'd like a bra with a bit of padding in the bottom of the cup to give me a bit of oomph, do they do that in the larger cup sizes?

Can any of you recommend me some sizes, styles, and stores to try out please? It's is my only chance for ages to shop where there are a few bra shops/ department stores so I'm desperate to pick a few new bras up if possible!


sparkle12mar08 Sun 21-Jul-13 21:12:53

Iwantmybed - 34H, but you could try the GG as well.

BlackStiltonBoots - I'd start with 34GG and H, and I think you'll find the larger cup is probably better. M&S sizing & fit this year seems way off from what people are reporting here, so it might be worth trying that size from other brands as well. I'm no expert on styles and brands, but Curvy Kate padded balconettes are quite wide and shallow, and Cleo Juna is very popular with lots of people here. is fabulous for larger cup sizes, has free delivery over £75 usually, free returns, and frequent flash sales (read:weekly).

Most online charts do LIZS - it's balls! smile

blackstiltonboots - M&S don't go a FF, so their G is everyone else's FF. Based on measurements, I would have said in a 34 back more like a GG/H cup - which would be 2/3 cups more than you are in just now. For empty on top, something like a Cleo Juna is quite good. T shirt bras are generally a disaster as they just can't adjust to the shape of your boobs.

You will probably find that you don't actually need padding when the bra is the right fit - you will be amazed at the uplift! Shop wise - where are you going? there's bound to be someone local who can recommend. If there is a Bravissimo then go and get fitted, otherwise debenhams, john lewis, house of fraser all stock a good range of bras but in all cases fitting is ropey although John Lewis seems to be head and shoulders above the others dept stores for fitting.

sparkle12mar08 Sun 21-Jul-13 21:17:42

The other reason the M&S G wouldn't have been right is that they don't do a FF so beyond F they run a cup smaller than everyone else, and they stop at a G in all but a handful of their own makes, and have just half a dozen GG+, usually on backs of 36 and above. They're awful for small band/large cup size combos tbh.

BlackStiltonBoots Sun 21-Jul-13 21:22:04

Oh thank you so much, great advice.

I'm going to Meadowhall in Sheffield which has all the department stores, not sure if there is a bravissimo but I will check tonight.

I'm quite excited about possibly getting some new, well fitting bras!

I will report back, thanks again.

Wafflenose Sun 21-Jul-13 21:27:20

Ooh, do you mind sorting me out please?

33 under, 41 round.


sparkle12mar08 Sun 21-Jul-13 21:31:58

Start with 32G Wafflenose, and possibly 32FF, 34FF, and 34F

Wafflenose Sun 21-Jul-13 21:34:38

Thank you so much. I am taking the kids to Cardiff for the day soon, so thought I'd visit Bravissimo... are they any good?

I have been wearing a 34 most of my adult life, despite measuring a 36 using the old system. Have put on weight post-kids and am wearing a 36DD, but knew it was all wrong.

CelticPromise Sun 21-Jul-13 21:36:51

Bravissimo are the best, definitely worth a trip. You might want to book a fitting to save time.

Bravissimo are fab, and I think there is also a Leia in Cardiff

Wafflenose Sun 21-Jul-13 21:38:30

Thank you. I will do. I am so embarrassed about my boobs and hope that if I lose weight, I will look a bit better (I'm a stone or two overweight). But in the meantime, I think a good bra will help.

sparkle12mar08 Sun 21-Jul-13 21:42:25

Frankly in the right bra you'll look as if you've lost half a stone and a dress instantly! It gives you a whole new sillhouette grin

Wafflenose Sun 21-Jul-13 21:44:29

Brilliant. My M&S ones are falling apart, so I'll go very soon! I do think this thread is going to change my life. I have seen others like it, but have been too embarrassed about my body to join one. blush

SevenReasonsToSmile Sun 21-Jul-13 21:56:32

I'm wearing a 38D but have a very slight 4 boob look and it doesn't sit flat between the cups, I've never had a bra that has tbh. My measurements are 38/44, that would be 38E wouldn't it? The band on my 38 feels very loose though, I can pull it out a couple of inches and I have definite back fat so I guess I'd need a 36. I'm never sure how the cup size relates to back size, if I wore a 36 would I still be an E or would that change the cup size?


In a 36, try an F and FF. It's pretty common to need a smaller back size than you measure

ChesterCake Sun 21-Jul-13 23:08:37

I've just measured at 38 under and 49 around! Any ideas?! smile

CelticPromise Sun 21-Jul-13 23:17:31

Start with 38H Chester and sizes either side, you may also like to try 36HH or J as it's common to need a smaller band. What size are you wearing?

ChesterCake Sun 21-Jul-13 23:25:29

I'm in a 38G so not far off, it digs in to my armpits and the wires shuffle up my rib cage until they're buried under my boobs, with my boobs covering the wire and resting on my skin blush

I am taking a day trip to Cardiff for the sole purpose of bravissimo in a week, is it best to book a fitting slot?

HoneyDragon Sun 21-Jul-13 23:49:24

confused I wear a 32 or a 34d, the back is always straight and gives me a nice shape. According to that link I'm a 30 FF confused

CelticPromise Mon 22-Jul-13 00:03:20

You might as well book Chester it might save time.

HoneyDragon I don't think bad fit is always really obvious or important if your boobs aren't massive. I expect you can pull those bands a fair way out from your body though. Will you try the 30FF do you think?

HoneyDragon Mon 22-Jul-13 00:11:49

I will put of curiosity now grin

Mind you M&S have always tried to put me in a 36B

PareyMortas Mon 22-Jul-13 00:39:44

Just tried my newly purchased 32dd (having been in a 36/38 c) for years. The band fitted perfectly, I tried it on backwards first to check. I scooped all was good but I did have a bit of bulge under my armpits, my cups were amazingly full do I try the next cup up to loose the armpit roll or do I live with it? It wouldn't scoop.

sparkle12mar08 Mon 22-Jul-13 07:31:15

You definitely need to try one and two cups up, it's currentl;y the same overall volume as the 36C anyway so if that was too small in the cup... Try a 32E and F, and perhaps even a FF for the hell of it - easier to spot a clearly too big cup, so you then know to start working down again. I always give my new bras a good thrree or four hour trial in the house, never ever remove tags until you're absolutely sure you won't need to send it back.

meadowwalker Mon 22-Jul-13 08:45:15

could I have help too please! 29 under, 36\37 over... what does that make me?

CelticPromise Mon 22-Jul-13 09:04:46

Try 28FF and G and 30F and FF meadow. What size are you wearing?

meadowwalker Mon 22-Jul-13 10:58:21

thanks Celtic, I am embarrassed to admit I have always worn a 34B, as instructed by M&S!

CelticPromise Mon 22-Jul-13 11:37:19

Don't be embarrassed, nearly all of us have worn completely the wrong size in the past! Do add to the M&S thread though.

magso Mon 22-Jul-13 15:14:57

I tried on some 30f as suggested (both available in that size) and although they contained all, the cups were much wider than my accustomed 32DD, and came uncomfortably high into my armpit, which showed under my sleeveless dress. I got a 32E in the end which seemed to fit fine. I wonder if this is because I am short - or just that style? I will admit it was M+S -(out of town store is just across the fields for me) but will look at other brands when I can get further afield. Thanks for the thread.

BlackStiltonBoots Mon 22-Jul-13 15:22:22

Argh, just been bra shopping and this is my face angry sad.

I couldn't find a single bra that fitted properly. There was only a debenhams and house of fraser, and they didn't have many larger size brands, just fantasie and freya, and a few debenhams own range.

I tried on the thin, lacy kind of bra in a 34G, 34GG (rare as hen's teeth) and a 34H. H was enormous, the cup on the GG seemed too big and scooping didn't work everything escaped again, and the G cup gave me the back fat look. The GG felt best as the underwire fitted nicely, but the cups were wrinkled and a bit empty.

So what do I do now? I will have a quick look online, but we go away on Friday and I really wanted one before then. Grr.

Ps how far are you meant to be able to pull a bra away from your body? On the tightest fastening my 34G can be pulled out a couple of inches, but surely a 32 would never fit me, even on the loosest fitting? I think I'm designed all wrong for bras!

sparkle12mar08 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:02:23

Back fat is a classic sign of too big a back, and scooping will only work properly if the back is firm enough. If the GG felt okay and just a little empty on the 34 back, I would seriously try a 32GG. If you could pull a 34 out more than an inch and on the tightest setting too, it's far too big, honestly!

HoneyDragon Mon 22-Jul-13 16:04:17

Right double checked measurements and I think I am more an E cup. So only slightly out from what appears to fit now. Have ordered a couple in a 30E to see what the fit is like compared to my 32/34Ds smile

Can't really afford it but they were reduced from £26.00 to £6 grin, so worth a try.

Lancelottie Mon 22-Jul-13 16:13:58

Well, 30E here is definitely the dog's wotsits (though not the prettiest of styles). Haven't yet managed to try the 30F suggested upthread, but
32DD also feels pretty good (thank you whoever suggested trying band sizes either side for luck)!

I was wearing a 34 B. Frankly if I don't fit a 34B, who on earth is meant to be wearing all these A and B cups?

Parisisalwaysagoodidea Mon 22-Jul-13 18:04:15

Could someone help me please? I hate buying bras so much that I have been wearing crop tops for a couple of years now and, aesthetically speaking, they do me no favours! The last time I wore a proper bra I was fitted in M&S as a 36D.

I've done the measuring bit and am 29.5 band and 38 boob.


MrsLettuce Mon 22-Jul-13 18:12:13

THose measurements give a starting point of 30G...

Parisisalwaysagoodidea Mon 22-Jul-13 18:19:09

Thanks MrsL I'm off to Bravissimo tomorrow!

Solo Mon 22-Jul-13 18:19:44

Ok, can I please join in? I've just measured myself and band size 34 and around bust standing I'm 41, but 43 leaning over.

Two things I HATE buying are shoes and bra's, but I have to buy bra's this week.

Pretty please!

sparkle12mar08 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:25:16

Solo - start with 34FF, and G, probably the G will be better.

Solo Mon 22-Jul-13 18:28:02

That sounds so tight though! My 36C feels very snug around the ribcage. But yes, I will try. I can't seem to do all the swoop and scoop either; would I need to do that with this size bra?

sparkle12mar08 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:32:09

Your 36 will feel snug, it's 4 cup sizes too small and will be stealing fitting space from the too large back, distorting the whole fit. Always scoop every time you put any bra on, it's the only way to ensure all the breast tissue goes where it's supposed to i.e. into the cup, and to see whether the fit is actually good or not. I have a quick rescoop every time I go to the loo through the day (that sounds soo wrong somehow!)

Solo Mon 22-Jul-13 18:37:06

grin it does!!!

Thanks sparkle I'll see what I can find smile

BlackStiltonBoots Mon 22-Jul-13 18:49:22

Thanks sparkle, I'm going to go into town either tomorrow or weds and have another look.

These are the bra shops we have- house of fraser, tk maxx, Ann summers, la senza, m&s. So I'm quite limited choice wise! Ann summers won't be big enough, I don't know about la senza as I've never bought bras there, m&s won't go big enough...

I will try a 32 back as well as the 34 next time. I'm sure it will be too small though as I'm very fat!

I can't get the hang of fastening the bra behind me either, I do that ultimate no no putting it on backwards and twisting it round thing. I must practice putting them on properly.

freerangeeggs Mon 22-Jul-13 20:28:09

I went for my fitting at bravissimo today and the bra gurus were right - 28FF!

My boobs look great but the band feels tight and there is some 'splurginess'. The girl said that was fine, and that the bra would loosen off, and that 28s often need a bit of stretching. But is this quite right?? I'm trying to wear it in just now.

Give it a wee bit of a wear in - if it still doesn't feel right after that go back, because you have been fitted they will sort it out

CelticPromise Mon 22-Jul-13 21:52:05

Stilton in those sizes your best bet is really to order a selection online from somewhere with free returns. The high street aside from Bravissimo just don't have a wide enough range in anything above a G. I'm a HH and nearly always buy online.

whitefeathers Mon 22-Jul-13 22:13:30

Room for a little one?

I'm measuring 30 under and 36 doing the bendy over thing.

I usually wear a 32D (and I'm an avid scooper!), I find they tend to fit fine to begin with then after a few wears are too big in the back.

try a 30e and go from there

BlackStiltonBoots Tue 23-Jul-13 07:33:43

Thanks Celtic I've ordered one from amazon which should arrive on Wednesday, fingers crossed it fits! Can return it if not.

Hanginggardenofboobylon Wed 24-Jul-13 10:40:20

Can I just offer a bra recommendation? I have just purchased a Curvy Kate Daily Boost Everyday Bra. It is really, really comfortable.
I would recommend as a t-shirt type bra. Cup and back size appear reasonably true (unlike the really push up Curvy Kates where the cup size is small), although if you are on the cusp of a back size probably size down.
I think its a good halfway house between a plunge and a balconette (in my very non-expert opinion)

Solo Wed 24-Jul-13 10:44:20

Thank you to Sparkle!!!

Well! I went bra shopping for my huge breasts! new bra sizing and La Senza no good for FF or G cup size. Young lady offered to measure me, but I declined. She suggested Bijoux Avenue so I trundled up there and found them extremely helpful and good!! the young lady agreed with the 34FF/G (I'm in between apparently). I didn't purchase from there although I would if I had enough money at the time of buying in the future. The problem being that I wanted at least two bra's and so I went to M&S (I know!!). They don't do FF's, but I got a G cup and came away with 4 bra's for under £40.

I can't get over the size of my cups now!

Auntfini Wed 24-Jul-13 14:55:18

I just tried on the 30gg that I was told to buy by the nice bra intervention ladies. I can't believe the size of it but it fits! (Was wearing a 34c). Only thing is the cost of these bras as places just don't stock a small back and bigger cup

SorrelForbes Wed 24-Jul-13 15:31:10

You are my bra twin then Auntfini!

I buy most of my bras from Brastop, Figleaves, eBay and Me and My Curves. When I'm feeling a bit more flush I have a splurge at Bravissimo.

BlackStiltonBoots Wed 24-Jul-13 16:15:35

Right, further advice needed pretty please!

Today I tried on the Cleo Marcie in a 32GG.

Good news was- it fastened up (thought there was no chance grin)
-my boobs felt much better supported and looked perky!

BUT... The band was quite tight and I had back fat, under boob fat and armpit fat spilling out on the loosest hook. I filled the cups up completely and scooping didn't work (it all came back out). The wires were on breast tissue at the side too.

Does this mean a 32 back is far too small, or would the cups being a bit small make the back feel tighter than it really was? Was it the style that was wrong? What do I try next? confused

thanks for all your help so far.

SorrelForbes Wed 24-Jul-13 16:35:12

OK, that sounds like you need to go up at least a cup size. What was the band like back to front?

Auntfini Wed 24-Jul-13 16:54:37

Thanks sorrel I'll have a browse as bravissimo is expensive! I have got a nice pepperberry one on now. I look slimmer!! I' can't believe I've been in the wrong size my whole life. Ridiculous

BlackStiltonBoots Wed 24-Jul-13 17:22:39

Hi Sorrel I just tried it back to front and it didn't feel quite as tight. I didn't seem to have as much flab poking out underneath it either.

So should I try a 32H next do you think?

SorrelForbes Wed 24-Jul-13 18:09:55

Yes, go up a cup and see how that goes. Unfortunately it's a long, painstaking process!

BlackStiltonBoots Wed 24-Jul-13 19:19:25

It really is!

The lack of choice in the shops doesn't help either.

I may have to pause the search now until after my hols, unless Asda miraculously has a 32H tomorrow when I go shopping!

NappyHappy Wed 24-Jul-13 19:58:58

I got the 36jj and the band is very tight and the top of the cup gapes slightly but I am very impressed thank you very much! And, once scooped correctly my shape has changed so (for now) will embrace my size 20. I will go for a 38j Thank you once again for your help! wink

Blackstiltonboots A word of warning. Marcie is quite a generous fit, especially in the cup. This will mean that if you need a H in it, you may need a HH in other Cleo styles.

Because of the way it is shaped, the best way to get your boobs in properly is to scoop whilst leaning right forward (as if doing the 'dangle' measurement). HTH smile

And the chances of finding that shape and size in a good department store are almost zero, never mind in Asda!

Solo Thu 25-Jul-13 15:57:22

Does anyone else find themselves saying 'swoop and scoop' when they are swooping and scooping? blush or is it just me? grin

Auntfini Thu 25-Jul-13 16:25:23

I ordered some new bras on amazo n yesterday, got a few curvy Kate bras for 11pounds each. I cannot believe they fit, I'm getting a bit obsessive, honestly I look so different. I never realised my under arm fat was boob- now it's in there it all looks so much better.

Treagues Thu 25-Jul-13 16:31:32

I measured my ribcage at 34, leaning over fullest part 41. Had 5 mins near a lingerie dept yesterday so tried on a 34F in 3 different brands.
It was hilarious grin
I can see that the band will fit, but the cup size was ridiculously large. Yes I scooped etc. Am willing to spend more time on this when I have it, but my initial reaction is not awe and wonder grin

shinytoe Thu 25-Jul-13 16:32:01

I tried my new 28dd bra on yesterday and it fitted well, except for a red groove on my skin where the central gore was maybe a tad too tight. As I get more wear ot of it, maybe this will loosen up a bit?

3across2down Thu 25-Jul-13 16:52:07

I've been lurking in and out of the bra intervention threads and have found it intriguing and educational.

Many moons ago I was measured at Debenhams and went from 38C to 36DD. Naively I was very pleased with my new boobs as was DH! Since then I've lost nearly 2 stone and have dropped 2 dress sizes. After following your stories I measured myself and ordered a couple of bras in 30FF. They fit beautifully and I look so much better in them and feel fantastic. Thank you so much!smilethanks

I have chronic neck and back pain and have had 3 spinal surgeries. It'll be interesting to see if my new, better fitting bras will help at all.

My DH is very impressed toogrin He did ask a very interesting question which I couldn't answer. So I'm turning to you -

During my monthly cycle the size of my boobs change and they feel very tender too. Either my DH notices the change or I moan too much! He wants too know if I need a different bra type/shape or a bigger size to wear then?

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 25-Jul-13 16:55:05

shiney the elastic slackens off fairly quickly.

SorrelForbes Thu 25-Jul-13 17:22:20

Treagues. The cup measurement is always harder to get right and can differ a lot between styles and brands. Can you remember which ones you tried?

I usually try about three sizes in any bra that I'm thinking of buying.

3across2down - my bras range from an H to J cup and there is a fair bit of discrepancy between the sizes. I'd maybe do a shopping trip at a bigger boobed time and pick up a couple then too as you might well find you need a cup bigger

Curlyfrizzball Thu 25-Jul-13 18:34:33

I've just found this thread. I don't usually look in Style and Beauty.

I am so sick of my bras as they quite obviously don't fit properly - straps fall down, strap rides up etc. I am wearing 34B.

I have done the measuring thing and I am 30 under and 35 doing the leaning over thing. Looking at the above, that sounds like I should be 30DD? Can that really be right? The cups of my current bras seem too big if anything and I have really small boobs.

Someone please help me - I'd love to wear a bra that's actually comfortable for a change.

The cups of a 34B are equal in volume to a 30D - don't be put off by the letter. Also, because the back of your current bra is too big you can get pretty bad gaping issues because the band just doesn't hold it upright properly. Plus, le scoop (see below) generally reveals another cup size or two that's been hiding elsewhere in a too big back too small cup combo. Try it in your current bra...I'd start with trying the 30DD and work from there


All those bumps, lumps, back fat, armpit fat - they get yanked in to the bra! However it only works if A: the back is small enough and b: the cup is big enough.

Basically, put bra on, then stand side on to a miror. Lean forward, put your right hand inside your left cup, reach round as far as you can and pull/scoop/yank all the flesh/soft tissue that is bumping under or over the back, around the straps or the armpit and haul its ass in to the cup. Repeat at other side. You might need to do it a couple of times (as doing one side knocks the other out slightly)

Curlyfrizzball Thu 25-Jul-13 20:13:07

I've just tried that and I can see what you mean! The cup only just covers my nipple when I do that. I'm amazed - I've always thought of myself as being really flat-chested and it turns out I'm supposed to be wearing a DD!

I will be going out bra-shopping ASAP. Should I go anywhere in particular to try different sizes? I can't afford to spend a fortune but I'm thinking M&S may not be too helpful!

If the cup only just covers your nipple then you may also need to try an E cup. Assuming you don't have a Bravissimo locally, Debenhams seems to be about the best for range of D+ bras especially with 28-32 backs. Their fitting is ropey though, so read up on the fitting info on the blog so you know what to look for. John Lewis also seem to be ok.

M&S may stock but tbh the quality isn't great and they don't seem to scale their bras very well into the D+ range. Plus there have been reports of band size issues this season

mummiebummie Thu 25-Jul-13 20:49:36

Hi all, would like a little input please. Have read the threads with interest. Have always worn 36A and (big confession) wore strapless bras very often, like almost always over the past ten years. Because as such a flattie, I basically just wanted to pad out my flatness and cover nipple. Never imagined I needed support sad and couldn't be bothered with falling down / visible bra straps.

Anyway, following the guidance on here, my measurements are 32.5 under and 37 over so this would mean 32DD. Well, I've tried on about thirty bras -30, 32 and 34 D DD and even E. They obviously vary from brand/shop but I think 32 is right (and even 30 feels okay in some shops) and DD is fine. Can't say I notice a massive change in posture etc but the straps don't fall down - this is a revelation and I do want to start looking after my boobs, taking bras seriously etc and feeling the epiphany that many of you have felt. But my issue is that it still looks crap on the armpits, no matter how much scooping I do. I have no more back fat than before but under the arms is horrible. Is my breast shape is the issue? (wide set, downwards point, empty at top, gaping at the top is a problem)

Is there a style of bra I need to source or do I just need to keep trying?
Finally, anyone have first hand experience of the migration/armpit issue improving over time? I accept that years of too loose strapless bras have obviously not helped but I had no idea.

If your breasts are quite wide, you need bras to match. What did you try out? Generally balconettes are quite good, particularly the Curvy Kate Showgirl ones (Tease me. Thrill me, Entice, Fleurty for eg) and the Tutti Rouge range from Bravissimo. Bravissimo half cups are good too. These bras would also resolve gaping at the top which is generally particularly bad in moulded t shirt bras

Also - are you sure you have the bras high enough up (i.e. that the wire is running just under your breast not sitting lower down your body - it's easy done!)

sparkle12mar08 Thu 25-Jul-13 21:30:51

I understand that it does improve over time but you will need to be persistent in scooping a few times a day. I find a quick scoop when I go to the loo helps. Also if the cups are too narrow then any actual breast tissue that is naturally outside the line will never sit properly in the cup by definition. Some particularly wide root cups that I've come across include the Curvy Kate range and particularly their Showgirl styles, and also many of the Bravissimo own brands.

sparkle12mar08 Thu 25-Jul-13 21:31:51

Hello again Statistically - I've finally managed to get back on the internet after days of no signal on holiday!

P.S. Curvy kate runs big in back, small in cup. So you might want to try 30E or even F in them (the 30E is the same volume as the 32DD so the F is only actually one cup up)

You might also want to look at the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless for a good strapless that will fit properly. Go for the 32 to start but be prepared to try a few sizes.

Hello sparkle! Psychically recommending the same bras again I see!

sparkle12mar08 Thu 25-Jul-13 21:39:27

We're communing over the ether - this is my spiritual home, of that I'm sure!

Ditto. There were a couple of spectacularly bad bras in my office today - women I don't really know but badly wanted to save!

kasbah72 Thu 25-Jul-13 21:47:27

Please can someone translate my measurements for me? Completely confused! I seem to measure 36.5/37 around and then 45 on the bust when I lean forward.

What does that actually mean?!

Start by trying a 36G and work from there kasbah

kasbah72 Thu 25-Jul-13 21:54:29

Blimey, that is a very different measurement to what I am wearing. Eek! Will go shopping tomorrow and try some on. Thank you!

bottleofbeer Fri 26-Jul-13 01:19:57

I used this method recently. I was wearing anything from a 36D TO 38C. I was really confused because no wayyyyyy my back was less than 36 and no way my boobs were more than a DD. So, I really couldn't fathom what size I should wear because neither size I wore ever fit properly.

I measured myself at a 34F. They fit perfectly, absolutely tailor made for me. If I put on an old 36D the cup is actually so big on me that I have inches of space between flesh and bra so it IS confusing, how can a D be so big on me but an F fit perfectly? and the real kicker is the cup of an F looks quite average, it's not some huge mound of material you imagine it to be. I pretty much guarantee anyone wearing a badly fitting bra is wearing a back size which is too big and a cup size which is too small. I think we were all thinking of the EE F G cups as being for absolutely enormous boobs, but they're not. They're pretty average sizes.

SorrelForbes Fri 26-Jul-13 08:45:39

The thing is, cup sizes are relative. An E cup on a 30 band is completely different in volume to an E cup on a 38 band. As you've discovered grin

Stixswhichtwizzle Fri 26-Jul-13 09:03:18

Right ladies. I ordered panache melody from bravissimo in 36GG and 38G (my measurements were 37 under 47 over)

36GG: Whilst the central gore? Bit sits in the middle at the bottom, at the top it sits on breast. Why is that? Am I just odd? The back is tighter than I'm used to but it seems to fit ifswim. The cup is confusing me. I've scooped and swooped and pulled under wire up so it sits under breast not below but the side underwire sits under my arm pit. When I move my arms I can feel it. Does this mean its too big? The lacy bit at the top gaps a little but the fabric below it is tighter I.e no wrinkling.

Aaagh! So complicated!

Thanks in advance.

that sounds more like style issues to me. gaping at top only normally means that you need something more balconette. sitting on boob at top suggests that your boobs are quite close set. and armpit wires is typical panachegrin

maybe try cleo juna and a bravissimo balcony like cherry fling alana or candy bliss and see if they work

Stixswhichtwizzle Fri 26-Jul-13 09:31:07

Thank you! Did wonder if I was oddly shaped or something!

Stixswhichtwizzle Fri 26-Jul-13 09:37:58

Will post these back and order some bravissimo and Cleo ones.

Dfg15 Fri 26-Jul-13 09:44:07

So I did the measuring and I'm 38/48, I think that makes me a 38GG? I usually wear a 40DD

DFg If you are squishy of torso, also worth trying the 36H.

HidingUnderMyDuvet Fri 26-Jul-13 10:30:19

I'm far too confused to figure this out!
Please could someone help me?

My measurements are:

29 under bust and 34 across the middle when bending over.

I've decided to revamp my wardrobe this summer and I'd like to start with a well fitting bra!

Dfg15 Fri 26-Jul-13 11:02:58

Not vastly squishy, but I'll give it a go, thanks. God its confusing! who'd have thought it was such a science!

Wafflenose Fri 26-Jul-13 11:11:34

I confidently set off to the only big local bra shop (M&S) to find something less baggy and embarrassing to wear to Bravissimo next week than my very old 36DDs, which don't fit at all.

The advice I had on here was to start with a 32G, and also try 32FF, 34FF, and 34F.

The 32G was too small all over, and so tight it hurt. I couldn't find most of the other sizes, but have a new 34F and love it! It's very firm (almost to the point of tight) on the band, and the cup is a vast improvement. My boobs look smaller and perkier. I'm not sure I've got it exactly right, but at least I won't be embarrassed to strip off now!

just for future reference-m and s are currently running small in the back and they also don't do a ff so from g onwards everything is a size smaller compared to other brands with the same size cup.

Wafflenose Fri 26-Jul-13 11:46:27

Thank you! So a small 34 is probably spot on then (I measure 33"). The F is fine. Next size probably would have been better if they'd stocked it. But I was so desperate to try it out, and get rid of my nasty old bras. I will be washing and wearing this one until I can get to Cardiff next week (it's my nearest Bravissimo, and about 90 minutes away, so we are making a day of it, and the kids are excited about visiting Wales for the first time!)

wrinklyraisin Fri 26-Jul-13 15:23:34

I'm measuring 38 and 48, and I usually wear a 40dd (well i have been for about 5yrs) What's my proper size? Thanks so much, I also used m and s 5 years ago... Funny how we trust them with our cleavage so much.

start with a 38gg and work from there

ringaringarosy Fri 26-Jul-13 15:47:33

I just measured myself and i came out as 37 underneath and 50 on top!that makes me a 38 hh i think?i wear a 38 ff at the moment and the straps always leave thick red marks on my shoulders,and i get 4 boob syndrome so i knew i was in the wrong size!

AM going for a haircut tomorrow so might go and try on a few bras,is marks and spencers any good?thats the only place in my town that i an think of that sells bras theres no specialists i dont think?

treaclesoda Fri 26-Jul-13 16:05:33

Marks and Spencer are really not good, although you have more chance of getting a good fit if you know yourself what you're looking for, and don't let them come anywhere near you with their 'advice'.

Mail order? Order loads and loads from somewhere that do free returns, you are far more likely to get something you are happy with, with the added bonus that you can try it on with some of your own favourite tops to see how it looks underneath your clothes.

SorrelForbes Fri 26-Jul-13 16:07:45

OK, try a 36JJ/36J and a 38J/38HH. If your straps are giving you red marks then that suggests that your band is too big and not giving you enough support. I suspect a 36 will be better for you.

M&S bras don't really cut the mustard in bigger sizes. Bear in mind too that they don't stock an FF so their G is really an FF. Likewise, they don't do an HH so their J is really a HH! I doubt if you will find anything their that will fit tbh. Do you have a Bravissimo, Debenhams, JL or HoF anywhere close by?

ringaringarosy Fri 26-Jul-13 17:03:03

theres a bravissimo in brighton,i might try ordering a load online and sending theones that dont fit back.

celticclan Fri 26-Jul-13 21:11:11

I can't fit into my correct bra size. The small back sizes just won't do up.

What do you measure and what did you try on CelticClan?

celticclan Fri 26-Jul-13 21:30:37

Before I had children I was a 27 under bust but couldn't fit in anything below a 32 (even the lady in Bravissimo agreed that a 32 was better on me.) Now I measure 31 under bust and I'm wearing a 34 it feels too loose (not supportive enough) but I can barely fit in most 32s and they are agony I can hardly breathe and have to take them off as soon as I get home.

sparkle12mar08 Fri 26-Jul-13 21:38:42

But what are your actual measurements, do you have a tape measure handy?

Hanginggardenofboobylon Sat 27-Jul-13 09:09:23

Hiding, I don't think anyone has replied to you yet, I think that makes you a 28D

<runs back to lurking>

celticclan Sat 27-Jul-13 11:33:45

Sparkle I don't have a tape measure but last time I measured I was a 31 under bust and 38 over bust. I'm wearing a 34F at the moment, it doesn't offer enough support and is a little too small in the cups. I just can't get into a 32 without great discomfort.

SorrelForbes Sat 27-Jul-13 11:36:14

You are struggling to fit into 32s because the cup is much too small. If an F cup on a 34 is too small then you need to try at least a G on a 32 band (and probably a GG) and even a 30GG/H.

celticclan Sat 27-Jul-13 11:47:17

I have tried 32GG but they are too painful. I keep having to take it off because it cuts in too much and I can't fasten it on my own.

The bravissimo woman said that there is no such thing as a standard bra size and you have to try each bra on individually to find the right fit. It makes buying online very difficult.

When I was slimmer Bravissimo were the only bras that I got on with. I think I need to lose weight and try them again.

hotair Sat 27-Jul-13 12:16:29

I have success! I cannot believe I am saying this, but I am sat here in a bra that fits- wires flat, back tight and utterly comfortable. I don't need to have it adjusted. It feels amazing. It's 38jj, so I think we can say elomi cups come up very large. I also got a 38k in a different style and my boobs were swimming in it!
Any one around the KK/L border struggling with bravissimo should clearly try elomi!

Great news hotair! I bet you look fantastic!

SorrelForbes Sat 27-Jul-13 12:54:27

Yey! Brilliant news.

mummiebummie Sat 27-Jul-13 13:57:10

Thank you so much, Statistically and Sparkle. I lost track of all that I've tried on....Triumph, Fantaisie, Calvin Klein, Janet Reger, Wonderbra...

Thanks for the recommendation on Curvy Kate and Bravissimo. I definitely like the look of Curvy Kate. I have found I have too many issues with online buying (I just keep everything as I can't be faffed with returns/live in the middle of nowhere so returning to shops isn't possible/can no longer be objective once something crosses the threshold of my house) so I will persevere with what I have newly purchased in 32DD (a Lepel, Calvin Klein, a Janet Reger and something else I can't remember) and hopefully the armpit issue will improve with regular scooping and eventually, I will get to a Bravissimo or a shop where they sell Curvy Kate. I think I've had a skinful of bra shopping for the moment.
By the way, do you Bra Gurus go bra shopping with your friends who need help? If so, they are very lucky! Bra shopping has been a bit of a torture but I guess once you find the holy grail, it might be a pleasure. Thanks again

SorrelForbes Sat 27-Jul-13 14:01:17

I go bra shopping with friends and family whether they want me to or not

Curlyfrizzball Sat 27-Jul-13 18:10:08

So, I have been bra shopping today, armed with the advice that StatisticallyChallenged gave me yesterday - thank you.

I couldn't do up any of the ones with a 30 back, but of the ones I tried, the 32DD seemed the best fit so I bought two. I'm wearing one (still with the label on so I can take it back if necessary!). It's definitely loads better than what I was wearing before, but there are a couple of issues:-

The band feels tight, but I can definitely get more than two fingers behind it on the loosest setting. I really couldn't do the smaller ones up though, so I'm guessing that's ok.

Also the cups feel fine when I'm just standing straight, but at times the bra gapes a bit at the top - is this just style? It digs in a little under the arms (the base of the strap) but I think that may be just me as I have a short torso and narrow shoulders.

Any thoughts anyone? Does that sound like it fits ok? I don't trust myself to know as what I was wearing was so wrong before! (My measurements are 30/35 if that helps at all).

hotair Sat 27-Jul-13 18:17:14

travelin- I feel on top of the moon and like I look incredible! Thank you so much mumsnet bra gurus-this is amazing!

Curly, what bra did you buy - can you link?

SorrelForbes Sat 27-Jul-13 18:22:56

Curlyfrizzball Which bras/styles did you try and which did you buy?

Measuring 30 you should be fine in a 30 band in most brands, the only exceptions I can think of being some M&S and some Debenhams bras which run small.

Some styles of bras, especially the moulded t-shirt type, tend to gape on a lot of people. Many bras will gape depending on posture and whether you need to re-scoop.

Curlyfrizzball Sat 27-Jul-13 18:34:46

I can't find them on the website at the moment but they are T-shirt style ones from Debenhams, so that may explain the problem! Also, in the sale which may be why I can't find them online. I've only ever worn T-shirt style bras (and the odd strapless one) so just tried those in different sizes as that's what I know. I had DD with me so couldn't spend ages! Sounds like I may have shopped too hastily?

Sorry, I'm very clueless about bras - I spent quite a few years pre-children not wearing one at all, as my boobs were tiny and I found them uncomfortable!...

Maybe I need to order a variety online and send back what doesn't fit? Suggested websites? (not too expensive).

Curlyfrizzball Sat 27-Jul-13 18:36:36

The sizes I tried were 30DD, 30E, 32D and 32DD.

T shirt style and gorgeous branded by any chance?

Curlyfrizzball Sat 27-Jul-13 19:18:28


I've just realised that now I've got used to it, I can move it up to the tightest setting, so I guess that means the back is too big? It feels tight now, but not uncomfortable.

Gorgeous branded bras run small in the back, as a rule. So I suspect that in most brands you will actually be a 30 back. T-shirt bras are generally trickier to get a good fit with as they can't adapt to your boob shape.

Have a good look at your boobs and try to work out where they are full. If they're quite empty at the top (common after babies!) then t-shirts are often a nightmare however it might be worth trying the curvy kate smoothie and the freya deco. The smoothie I would probably try a 30E, the deco maybe the 30DD and E, as it runs a bit big in the cups.

I would also try something balconette like a cleo juna. I think this runs fairly true to size, so maybe try a 30E. It's a good option for people who like t shirt bras but have less full boobs as it isn't as high at the top, so no gaping. These three will all have quite different shapes (each company has slightly different wires and some are wider/deeper than others) so hopefully one will fit or at least get you in the right direction

Curlyfrizzball Sat 27-Jul-13 19:43:06

Fantastic - I'm off to order those now.

Thanks so much for your help - you're really good at this - you should set up business as a bra adviser!

Curlyfrizzball Sat 27-Jul-13 19:45:25

Ps Yes, definitely less full at the top - ie fairly non-existent!

mrsannekins Sat 27-Jul-13 20:12:16

Ok, I've read a few of these threads, so I thought I'd give it a go.

Rib cage measurement was 42 (though I lots of back flab)

Round the boob measurement was 48...

Can you tell me what sizes to look for? (Eeek, it's definitely not going to be the size I'm wearing now, thats for sure!!)

ringaringarosy Sat 27-Jul-13 20:37:24

tihs might sound silly but do you meausre around the fullest part with or without a bra on?im guessing without?

ringaringarosy Sat 27-Jul-13 20:39:03

ah just saw on that blog!

leaning forward, no bra

mrsannekins, start with a 42E. What are you wearing just now? You may well need a smaller back and therefore bigger cup than you measure eg 40F/FF

mrsannekins Sat 27-Jul-13 20:50:54

statistically, you'll laugh but I'm in a 38C at the mo, and was wondering why I'm constantly tugging at my bras, or having to readjust my boobs as they are escaping out of the top!!

Can't wait for payday, I might take myself up to Bravissimo as well!

Can you test the back on the 38? Put it on back to front and see how it fits. It could be that you need a 38 (it's really common for slightly larger ladies to need a smaller back than they measure to get adequate support - no offence meant!) so if you need a 38 you may need to try even bigger cups in the FF-GG range

Oh and try scooping in that current bra - I suspect you will discover it is basically a nipple shield ;0

LineRunner Sat 27-Jul-13 20:54:09

I always wore the wrong size bra and looked shit till I read these threads. Now I'm in a 38G and look soooo much better and slimmer.

I also found a really nice affordable couple of bras in Tesco.

ninilegsintheair Sat 27-Jul-13 21:33:55

Can someone tell me what I should be please? blush Just measured and I'm 29 under, 36 leaning forward.

I've been wearing a 32C since I was last measured a few years back, but find that the straps fall down a lot on most bras. In fact, the only place I can get anything that's comfortable (and even then not always), is at Ann Summers. I'm sure that's some kind of bra faux pas right there wink

straps falling down-back too big

try 28F/FF and 30E/F

SarahNoDuck Sat 27-Jul-13 21:44:51

Can I just please check before I go placing any online orders. I'm about 29.5 under and 35 around. Should I be looking at 30D? TIA.

ninilegsintheair Sat 27-Jul-13 21:47:03

Really Stat? Eep, makes me sound like I've got massive norks, they're really not! Horrid little saggy sacks sad

nini Photo of me on my profile - I'm 30E, it's not a big size, barely a handful blush. Cup size is relative to band size.

Sarah, difference of 5 inches makes DD. So 30DD. Try 28E too. (I measure 31 and wear a 30 back).

SarahNoDuck Sat 27-Jul-13 21:54:15

Thank you!

ninilegsintheair Sat 27-Jul-13 21:58:52

Yes I see travel, you are a very similar build to me smile but you have much nicer hair! Love the cut grin.

I'm off bra hunting! No more shopping in Ann Summers I swear...

meadowwalker Sat 27-Jul-13 22:08:29

hmmm, not quite there with the bras yet! I am 29 under, 37 over. I ordered a selection of 30Fs as a starting point of which the best fitting is a Freya balcony. The band feels ok I think. However, there is quite a lot of space at the top of the cups (saggy post bf boobs I guess) and quite a bit of bulge in my armpits! I would love to hear what the bra gurus would suggest to try next.

meadow I'm not a guru, but I would be trying a 28 band with a bigger cup - that arm bulge should be in the cup. Maybe 28G? And scoop!

What happens if you a) put the 30 on back to front - how far does it pull out and b) scoop into them. Does the armpit bulge vanish?

meadowwalker Sat 27-Jul-13 22:25:20

Thanks travelin, I think you are right. When I scoop the bulge goes back where it was before when I let go! I can put a couple of fingers under the band and pull it out a bit.

Another convert here! After reading the instructions on how to meaure myself properly (36" under bust, 46" over) , I went out this afternoon to M&S wearing a 40E and have returned wearing a 36GG! grin

WooWoo86 Thu 01-Aug-13 17:01:30

Hey everyone I've measured myself and I'm 29 inch under bust and 34 inches full bust. That would put me at a 30e? I spent literally the whole day trying to find a fitting bra but just couldn't find anything. Every 30 inch was massive around the back. Tried a 28f on and even after scooping i still had fat by my armpits and it just wouldn't stay in the cup. Tried 28ff and the cups were massive and I still had armpit fat that I do t have In my 32DD I wear now. I'm so confused and left frustrated. I ideally wanted a padded, plunge, push up bra but it doesn't seem to exist. If it does I wouldn't know what size to get! Been in Bravissmo, John Lewis, Debenhams, m & s and la senza.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Aug-13 17:06:27

Did you have a proper fitting in Bravissimo?

WooWoo86 Thu 01-Aug-13 17:40:05

No I didn't Sorrel they seriously scare me and I hate even the thought of someone else seeing me in a bra.

Can anyone help me? Ive been wearing nursing bras and stopped breastfeeding a year ago. I'd like to pick my tits off my knees before a wedding on saturday so i tried this measuring thing.

I got 34.5 back and 42 droopy spaniel ears pointing like arrows at the floor!

Cockadoodlequackquack Thu 01-Aug-13 18:09:50

Inspired by the 'permission to look good' thread, I have just measured myself as a 28D....bahahaha! Can that really be right, a D cup!? my breasts are so smaaaall, smaller now I've finished bf if that's even possible.

Maybe I didn't measure correctly- taut around the back, and varying from 27.5 to 28.5 depending on how high at the back and how hard I breathed; and 32 leaning 90 degrees, measure taut, but varied from 32 to 32.5 depending again on back placement and how much consideration was given to my rather sticky out nipples.

Did I do it right? And where would I find a bra that size?

I have previously been wearing a 32B by the way, going up to C when pg, but knew the back size was too small after a pitiful experience in debanhams trying to buy my wedding underwear...

CelticPromise Thu 01-Aug-13 18:48:10

Doctors I would start with a 34FF but if your boobs are lacking a bit of volume you might find it too big, it's quite easy to spot a too big cup and go down though. I'd start with balconette styles, I have quite soft boobs and plunges just don't work for me. Happy shopping!

StuntNun Thu 01-Aug-13 18:50:52

I had a bra intervention a while back (ended up in 34J) but I have lost weight grin and need new bras. Under bust is 33, around bust is 41. I was thinking of trying 32G?

CelticPromise Thu 01-Aug-13 18:51:06

You're right cock, maybe even DD smile 28D is fairly readily available. Cup size is relative- the cups on a 28D are more or less equivalent to a 32B.

CelticPromise Thu 01-Aug-13 18:56:10

Stunt sounds like the right place to start, 32G a bit easier to find on the high street too!

Oh thank you! They are quite volumous i think just so dragged down i think they've forgotten where to hang. Like bungee people just dangling aimlessly at the end waiting to be hoisted back in.

Off to look online thank you

StuntNun Thu 01-Aug-13 19:25:08

Thank you CelticPromise, I was thinking that sounded like a bit more common size so maybe I'll have a bit more choice than last time when I bought the only two bras the shop had in my size!

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Aug-13 20:25:30

WooWoo86 Oh dear, it can be a bit uncomfortable, but the fitters in Bravissimo really do respect your privacy and you absolutely won't need to be naked in front of them.

The thing is, that although you want a 'padded, plunge, push up', that might not be a good style for you and that could be why you struggled to get a proper fit. If you can bear it, go back to Bravissimo and ask for a proper fitting and give them a free reign to find you something that will really suit your shape.

Cockadoodlequackquack Thu 01-Aug-13 20:28:04

A few corrections to my earlier post, I meant the measure was not taut when measuring cup size, and that I knew the back size I've been wearing was too big. I think you got my gist though.

Thank you Celtic promise, I rattle around in my 32Bs, so it must be the back not the cup size. I do hope you're right about the DD- I'm normally so shy and reserved but if it turns out to be the case I'll be telling everyone and you won't wipe the smile off my face 'til Christmas grin

Cockadoodlequackquack Thu 01-Aug-13 20:32:06

Also, the majority of bras seem to have such wide middle bits which I find uncomfortable so have always had plunge styles.

.... D cup, maybe DD, <fails to get over self>. I mean, you can easily feel my ribs through my breast ffs. [grins] I believe you though, and hope to have a revelation when I go bra shopping at the weekend smile

VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Aug-13 21:21:25

HELP me please. I think I need it, find all bras fairly uncomfy.

Have just measured, am 38inches across my chest / where the bra band would be,

43" across the biggest bit of my boobs.

I used to wear a 38b but was finding it too tight so am now wearing 40b.

What size am I?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Aug-13 21:23:25

I have tried bigger cup sizes btw but don't seem to fill them.

CelticPromise Thu 01-Aug-13 21:24:47

Viva not surprised your 38B was too tight, I'd start with 38DD/E. You may also like to try 36E/F.

CelticPromise Thu 01-Aug-13 21:27:08

x post. If you fasten the band of your best fitting bra back to front how far can you pull it away from your body?

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Aug-13 21:27:43

VivaLeBeaver Try a 38DD (and if you are quite 'squishy' of torso, you might want to try a 36E). Bear in mind that a DD on a 38 is smaller than a DD on a 40.

If you 'scoop' whilst wearing your 40B, do you get quadboob/overspill?

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Aug-13 21:28:17

Evening Celtic - x post!

VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Aug-13 21:28:17

It was the band that seemed to tight, would upping the cup size make the band feel less tight?

I was starting to get double boobage in a 38b and going to a 40b has stopped that. I did buy a 40c but my boobs seem slightly lost in it, not too bad.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Aug-13 21:33:38

Right, have just tried with a 38c and a 40c (can't find any b cups ATM)

If I scoop with the 38c I get overspill, I don't with the 40c.

I can pull the band of the 40c about 4 or 5 inches from my front and even with the 38c I can pull it a couple of inches away from me.

SorrelForbes Thu 01-Aug-13 21:49:48

Ok, I would say you need at least a 38D (same cup volume as the 40C) or a 36DD.

Upping the cup size will definitely make the band feel less tight. I'd try a few 36s on back to front. You should only be able to pull it about an inch away from your body.

CelticPromise Thu 01-Aug-13 21:52:17

Evening Sorrel smile

VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-Aug-13 22:14:12

Ok, will go to M&s next week and try some on. Thanks a lot.

poshbeaver Fri 02-Aug-13 09:55:28

I think I must have done the calculations wrong! I currently wear a 34b, just measured out of curiosity and I'm 32 under bust and 36 across the fullest part: what does that make me?
I am really flat chested!!

CelticPromise Fri 02-Aug-13 10:08:29

posh that would be a 32D for starters. I bet you have a bit of overflow if you scoop in your 34B...

Bear in mind that cup size is relative so a 32D is only about the same volume as a 34C.

poshbeaver Fri 02-Aug-13 10:10:57

I've just had a really good look in the mirror and I think I've got under arm boob!
Gosh, 32D, my teenage self could only dream of such!
I'm excited about bra shopping now! Thanks Celtic!!

Pigsinablanket Fri 02-Aug-13 10:13:35

Hi bra ladies ..having watched these threads I've just measured and am 32 back/under boobs , and 37 for the second measurement. Am currently wearing bras ranging from 34c to 36dd none of which feel that great/comfy. According to the bra guru I should be 32 dd??? Can this be true??

37.5 round chest, 44 rounds boobs...

Please diagnose me! thanks


I think this thread is a god send i was being measured horribly for years at m&s and lasenza then at the age of 22 i went to and independent bra shop which took me from a 38 b to a 34 d. I am now a 38 f (got broader with age) my boobs look so much better and I have never classed them as big lol

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Aug-13 10:47:31

Suzy. Try a 38E/F and a 36F/FF

Thanks. Is this just for non-padded / non push-up stylee bras?

CelticPromise Fri 02-Aug-13 10:59:00

Pigs you're right. Happy shopping!

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Aug-13 11:18:08

Nope, same measuring principle for all bras. However, you may find that you need a different size in some styles. For example, I usually need a bigger cup in a plunge style to stop me falling out of the middle!

Pigsinablanket Fri 02-Aug-13 11:21:47

Thanks Celtic off to shops right away ....this might just change my life!

CarpeVinum Fri 02-Aug-13 11:31:09

I don't have an inches tape measure so I've had to convert from cm

Under bust 33.4
Bending over actual boobies 38.6

So that's a 34D ? grin (that letter makes me the small boobed fell delighted, like I have a "proper" bust) I'm still quite perky (minor miricle, cos I just about doubled my wieght during pregancey) so not a great deal of scooping to be done, which means I would not need to be overly generous cup size,mright ?

This is going to be difficult cos Italian bras mostly come in sizes 1 -2 -3 -4- 5 without a range of cup sizes for band size. Might have to wait till I go home till I can buy something. I'm having to wear those stretchy "one size practically fits everybody" short tank top bras at the moment, becuase all my "proper" bras feel horrible on. But I am starting a community teaching project in Spetemeber, and I don't think stretchy "not exactly a bra" bras are going to go with a more professional look than I usually opt for.

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Aug-13 12:09:05

CarpeVinum You should try a 34DD/D and a 32DD/E. Brastop often do free International delivery.

Thanks Bra-guru-ladies, much appreciated smile

Xiaoxiong Fri 02-Aug-13 12:34:43

Ok here's a random question - my two favourite bras have just given up the ghost. However I am
- 30 weeks pregnant with DC2 and
- still breastfeeding DS (19 months) once a day or so.

Using the methods outlined on this thread I'm measuring 36.5 under and 47 over. Pre pregnancy I was wearing 34F's from Freya. The one nursing bra I have left is a 34H from Hot Milk - the band seems to fit fine even though it's a 34 not a 36 but it gives me the dreaded monoboob so I always thought the cups were too big.

Is the same method used to measure for nursing bras if I'm ordering online? Does anyone know if there is there any point in measuring myself now, or whether I will change in shape again significantly? Anyone know about ribcage expansion and pregnancy and bra bands? confused

SarahNoDuck Fri 02-Aug-13 17:10:18

I have followed the Guru method and am lovely the new pert look of my breasts in bras sized 30D and 30DD. However, after wearing one new bra all day today, the wire is quite uncomfortable, especially in the middle, between the breasts. Should this loosen as I wear and wash them or have I spent too much money on the wrong thing? Help!

SarahNoDuck Fri 02-Aug-13 17:11:12

Loving not lovely

RabbitFromAHat Fri 02-Aug-13 17:11:53

Thanks to these threads, I am now the proud owner of one fabulous 30FF Fantasie bra, and thrilled with it! Thanks. grin

StuntNun Sat 03-Aug-13 16:01:42

I'm just back from the shops, the 32G was too small in the cups and they didn't have any bigger cup sizes unless I went up to a 34. hmm Most of the nursing bras were horrible designs anyway. I'll just have to wait until I'm near a Bravissimo.

StuntNun Sat 03-Aug-13 16:03:05

Oh and I almost had to stage an intervention when I heard the sales assistant tell the woman in the next cubicle that she was a 34B but I didn't quite have the guts to burst in.

JamEyelid Sat 03-Aug-13 20:23:50

I measure 36 under and 44.5 over. I currently wear 36E.

Does this mean I should be wearing 36F? (or do I have it completely wrong)


JamEyelid Sat 03-Aug-13 20:31:11

Ooo thank you thanks I will try both of those.

I've only just got over being measured as 36E at JL as I was wearing 36C before.

Try scooping in the 36E.

nomorecrumbs Sat 03-Aug-13 21:40:36

Lol, went in La Senza today to ask them what their smallest band size was (I used to quite like La Senza, when I bought their 32B bras, but none of them fit me now and my own intervention measurement was 28DD)

Shop assistant asked me what my band size was. When I said 28, she did this: shock as if she didn't believe me grin and said their smallest was 32, but they use 'Canadian' sizes so a 32 should fit me fine.

Bollocks to that. No 28s in M&S or Debenhams either. I'll have to carry on ordering them online...

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Aug-13 22:40:39

'Canadian sizes'? WTF?

I wear a 30 band (measure about 29.5") and I tried a 36 band in La Senza. It didn't feel any smaller than the 36 band I tried in M&S and was equally ridiculous!

TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Fri 09-Aug-13 08:50:51

Ok ladies,I have never heard of measuring for a bra this way..I thought it was always done stood up straight?

Anyway,knowing my bras aren't quite right (the underwire in the centre sticks out from my chest-my books look pretty good though lol) I decided to measure this way this morning.

I currently wear a 36/38 G or GG

My underbrush measurement was 33 1/2 inches
Overbust,with the leaning over,was 47 inches!

So,what does that make me and is this way of measuring normal now?

OK, based on those measurements I would suggest trying a 32JJ/K and a 34J/JJ

The underwire sticking out is a sure sign that the cup is too small, and generally that the back is too big as well.

You will probably want to try sizes around those I've suggested too as the measurement is only a starting point. The reason we do it this way is that the bra you are wearing has a huge impact on the measurement. Even in a well fitting bra, my overbust varies a couple of inches depending on the style of the bra. If it doesn't fit, its a whole new ball game. The best shops don't use a tape at all as they fit by eye but obviously we can't do that

Have a good read of the fitting info on the blog so you know what you are looking for when you go shopping.

TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Fri 09-Aug-13 09:20:47

Ok,thanks.Guess this makes bra buying even harder...think I've spent years just buying the biggest cup in the pretty bras I like and putting up wit it lol

With any luck you will be in the J-JJ range rather than the K, as that makes a pretty big difference to availability. Have a look online at bravissimo, brastop, mycurvesandme, Leia, amazon(some bargains!), there are loads of pretty bras that go up to those sizes. Curvy Kate, Cleo, Masquerade, Freya and Bravissimo all do some beautiful things

celticclan Sat 10-Aug-13 11:20:19

Well I measured myself properly and I measured 32/42. I ordered a bra from Bravissimo in 32H. It took me a while to get it on as it is very small in the back but now it's on it feels comfortable firm but not too tight. There is a slight gap between my boobs and the bra material, does that mean that I need to go down a cup size? Does it really matter? I'm in the process of losing weight so will probably have to buy another one in 6-8 weeks anyway and don't want the hassle of returning.

It's a lot more supportive than the 34F that I was wearing.

SorrelForbes Sat 10-Aug-13 11:26:58

OK, on those measurement you should be looking at a 32GG so it makes sense that the cup on the 32H is a little large.

celticclan Sat 10-Aug-13 11:45:11

Thanks Sorrell. So what is the formula for working out the cup size?

Rooners Sat 10-Aug-13 13:42:32

Sorry but can anyone point me at the instructions please? I've been avoiding these threads for months but it is probably about time I took myself in, erm, hand grin

SorrelForbes Sat 10-Aug-13 14:19:51

1" difference between your under bust and across bust measurements equals a cup.

1 - A
2 - B
3 - C
4 - D
5 - DD
6 - E
7 - F
8 - FF
9 - G
10 - GG
11 - H
12 - HH
13 - J
14 - JJ
15 - K

and so on

Bra Guru guide here

celticclan Sat 10-Aug-13 14:24:02

Thanks smile

Rooners Sat 10-Aug-13 14:31:06

Thanks Sorrel!

Rooners Sat 10-Aug-13 14:44:13

Crikey. I have gone from 36/38 B or C down to a 30 FF.

(30 under, 38 that right?)

Are nursing bras made with some kind of allowance though, because I don't know what I am normally and if I bought nursing bra under this system, would it fit me as I just measured, or be for someone 'normally' a 30FF?

Just measured myself (with a bit of enthusiastic help from Dh!) And I'm measuring 33-43. So I'm now a 34 gg or do I go down to a 32 back? M and s were convinced I was a 36d. maybe this will help with the post baby sag!

Rooners, nursing bras are for the size you are at the time,so yes start with 30FF

SpecialCircumstances try a 32GG, 32H, 34GG and 34G

Rooners Sun 11-Aug-13 09:02:34

thankyou flowers

now where sells size 30!!!

BRavissimo, brastop, figleaves, debenhams, mycurvesandme, john lewis

The first 3 are possibly the best bet for nursing bras

Rooners Sun 11-Aug-13 10:01:34

Thankyou so much. I will look at those. It is very difficult to believe I'll fit into a 30 anything!

Joycey29 Sun 11-Aug-13 10:25:32

Lurked for ages but gone to meandmycurves and am going to do it!

I'm a 32.5 under and a 39 when leaning and dangling.
Does that make me a 32? Currently 34c
What size cup my head is spinning at a 7 inch difference!!!blush

Also can you return to meandmycurves as want to try a couple.

Thanks for a great thread!

celticclan Sun 11-Aug-13 10:52:57

I remember at antenatal group our midwife told us to buy nursing bras in a back size smaller and 4 cup sizes bigger! My bra was so big that I could actually fit my baby into my bra it was like a sling! My breasts didn't increase in size during pregnancy or breastfeeding. They were big enough to start with so it was quite a relief.

Joycey start with 32f

cheeseandcrackers Sun 11-Aug-13 11:33:34

I'm finally going to have time to go bra shopping this week. I have always worn a 36a (seriously non-existant boobs) and have secretly thought I was probably 38aa as the band often feels too tight & 38a is huge.

I measure 31 & 35, am I right in thinking I should try 30d & 32c? Any other combinations I should try?

Try 30D, 30DD, 32D and 32C

cheeseandcrackers Sun 11-Aug-13 13:09:23

Thanks statistically!

I've gone from a 36E that was too baggy around the ribcage and too small in the cup to a 34GG that fits like a dream! smile

Joycey29 Sun 11-Aug-13 19:13:22

32Fs ordered -I ll keep you posted!grin

PinkPepper Sun 11-Aug-13 19:31:02

My measurement is about 31 round my ribcage and 36 round my boobs. I wore the rather common 34b before baby+bfing havn't measured since (still bfing couple of times a day) do I round up to 32?

you will want to try both sides - so try 30DD, 30E, 32DD, 32D

PinkPepper Sun 11-Aug-13 19:41:06

E!!? Even if I don't need to wear a bra half the time at home?

Sorry that's what everyone's saying isn't it :s

It really does sound unbelievable though!

Twinklestein Sun 11-Aug-13 19:52:43

When did bra measuring change?

In the conventional method, your underbust measurement is not your band size, it's is your underbust measurement plus 1-2 inches.

Apols if this is covered I haven't read all 18 pages...

amothersplaceisinthewrong Sun 11-Aug-13 19:57:53

From all the threads I have read, the golden golden, nay platinum rule is that Underbust is bandsize, - In the rules of bra sizing this is the first commandment, (isn't it???)

Twinklestain, bras changed a long time ago - no one is 100% sure what happened, most common theory is elastic arrived! The old method actually was to add 4-5" to your bust, and it just doesn't work anymore. Bravissimo (who fit by eye) have been going for about 15 years, and if you get fitted there the band size will not be one which adds inches.

Twinklestein Sun 11-Aug-13 20:05:14

I knew it had moved down from 4+ inches to 1-2 inches, but I didn't know the 1-2 inches had been dumped as well...

Sadly most shops didn't get any of the memos and are still adding 405" to their fittings and charts, but the actual bras fit with no added inches. Very annoying!

Joycey29 Sun 11-Aug-13 21:00:36

Who knew EBay could be scuba source!

Joycey29 Sun 11-Aug-13 21:01:09

........blush .... That should read such a course!!

ThistleDown Sun 11-Aug-13 21:56:49

I just measured myself using the end over method. I measure 39.5 for band and 50.5 when bending I've round fullest part. Should I try a 40H? confused.

SorrelForbes Sun 11-Aug-13 21:59:49

I'd try a 38HH/J

sameoldIggi Sun 11-Aug-13 22:27:46

Following on from my own bra conversion, I was eavesdropping in BHS fitting room the other day while a woman opposite was having a bra fitting. I heard "you'll be a 38 then" and lingered as long as I could in the hopes of saying the woman to judge if it was right! (Gave up as looking very suspicious). That was my former size, now in a 34.

SorrelForbes Mon 12-Aug-13 08:57:32

BHS definitely still add on 4/5" so that poor women was without a doubt being fitted into the wrong bra sad

Iwillorderthefood Mon 12-Aug-13 09:59:58

Hi just told my mum about this, and so she measured she measures 31 under bust and 36.5 around the fullest part of her bust, she is currently wearing 36A, could go tell me what she should be wearing?

Iwillorderthefood Mon 12-Aug-13 10:02:50

So should this be 30E?

SorrelForbes Mon 12-Aug-13 10:19:28

Yep, she should try a 30E/F and a 32E/DD

This measurement method doesn't work for everyone. If you have shallow boobs i.e. ones that peak out at the bottom but are shallower high up then you should try a smaller cup size than this method suggests. If I follow these instructions I come out at 30D. I'm actually a 30C in a balconette style, and don't fit full cup styles at all.

SorrelForbes Mon 12-Aug-13 10:55:55

Well, that sometimes is the case but not always as many shallow breasted women need a bigger cup than they measure as they have wide set breasts with flesh out towards their armpits. A friend of mine with shallow boobs measures 30/35 and needed a 30DD in a Cleo Bonnie but a 30FF in a Cleo Juna.

the cup measurements are only ever a starting point. The key thing is that it is right on average and gets you close enough to be able to work out what you do need.

HumpheadWrasse Mon 12-Aug-13 11:13:45

Could I have some advice please? I came home triumphantly a couple of weeks ago with two new 30E bras after taking the advice on these threads. I measure 31 under and 37 over, tried on 30F too but that gaped. However, they are very uncomfortable over my breastbone, they really dig in. Also the cups seem to be pulled round under my armpits. Where am I going wrong? I would love to get a bra that actually fits for once. Thanks

SorrelForbes Mon 12-Aug-13 12:19:47

HumpheadWrasse Which bras did you buy?

HumpheadWrasse Mon 12-Aug-13 13:28:01

Hi Sorrel, they were just standard t-shirty type bras. From m&s because that's the only place I could find the size.

OneHolyCow Mon 12-Aug-13 14:47:39

Okay, maybe a silly question, about armpit fat.. that means the cup is too small?
I might just be weirdly built. There's like a 'dip' and then a bulge of armpit fat. How elegant. But that does not go in the cup of the bra.
Do I need a bigger cup? Or put up with it?

is it almost like a separation? It could actually have been caused by bad bras - if the wire is sitting on breast tissue then it can actually cause that. Judicious scooping is required to correct it - you may need a bigger cup to fit it in though, and possibly to "rescoop" a couple of times a day to train it back to where it belongs

celticclan Mon 12-Aug-13 14:59:57

What is the scooping thing that everyone speaks of? My whole breast fits into the cup. There is nothing to scoop.

It is very shape dependent, but a lot of women (me included) are prone to underarm and back bulges which are supposed to be manhandled forward in to the cup as they are primarily breast tissue and it make the bra look a billion times better. Hence scooping to move it there. Basically, put bra on, stand side on to a mirror and lean forward. Left hand inside right cup, reach right round towards the strap at the back and pull anytjing soft, squidgy or escaping in to the cup. Repeat on other side

OneHolyCow Mon 12-Aug-13 15:07:11

It is like a separation.., I've been wearing A cups since forever and have now moved up to a DD. First lot of bra's came in today and a lot are too small, shock! So I'll order some other ones and E cups too I guess.

In guru measurements I might even be an F but so called shallow boobed I don't see that happening.
Do you have that link somewhere with the relative sizes of cups and bands? I've lost it and wanted another look. Going from 36A to 32 DD or E or so is quite a change!

Thanks Statistically, you're a great help!

SorrelForbes Mon 12-Aug-13 15:11:52

HumpheadWrasse Many M&S bras come up very small in the band which could be causing some of the discomfort.

What shape are your boobs? Do they have a narrow or wide root (where they join your chest)? Are they side or narrow set? Do they project out or are they quite shallow?

OneHOlyCow, shallow doesn't necessarily mean you won't need the F - what it does mean is that you need to get a bra to suit it. Shallow boobs are often good in Curvy Kate showgirls, Bravissimo half cups, Tutti Rouge are good too

What was the link like? I'm quite a fan of for women in proper sizes. is a great blog

OneHolyCow Mon 12-Aug-13 15:33:52

Thanks, that's the sort of link I was looking for.
I will continue looking for a fitting bra then, will look into those recommendations.
I had about 6 today and they were all different.

OneHolyCow Mon 12-Aug-13 15:37:48

Ah, this is the armpit issue:
That's me.

I'm wearing a 34gg right now. Bought earlier.

my boobs are no longer hanging round my ankles!

There was a bit if back/armpit bulge but some scooping has sorted that out!


OneHolyCow Mon 12-Aug-13 15:56:29
UriGeller Mon 12-Aug-13 16:14:28

I have major breast migration! I've always had small boobs (didn't bother with a bra most of the time) but now I'm BFing my 4th baby, they've become humongous!

I've been wearing a 34 D but most of what I thought was just fat and now realise is actually boob is stuffed under my armpits. I think it might be whats causing my painful letdown and blocked ducts!

If I measure the new way, I'm 30 under and 39(!) round my boobs when bent forward.

Please, What size should I be wearing??

Joycey29 Mon 12-Aug-13 16:16:46

Sitting here in my 32f and it fits!
I m so pleased with my new perky boobs.
I reckon the balcony style will suit me better but loving the new me grin
Thanks guys!

30g uri. The bad bra could well be contributing

hardtostayfocused Mon 12-Aug-13 18:01:32

This thread has been a revelation - thanks to all the bra gurus out there - especially the Butterfly collection blog link - what a great breast crusader that woman is!

I've measured myself at 32/41 so probably close to a 32G (the two year old 34Es I wear probably aren't cutting the mustard, supportwise).

If any experts are still out there, I'd love some tips for brands/styles for my fairly low slung, wide spaced, pointing out to the sides dugs please!!

fuckwittery Mon 12-Aug-13 18:14:54

Hi, can anyone tell me if the measurements are correct during pregnancy?
I've got 10ish weeks left to go and need a cheap new maternity bra as mine are so uncomfortable although I bought some bigger bras at the beginning of my pregnancy.
I'm currently wearing 34DD.
My measurements are 35 inches flat under and 44 inches dangling. So, if I were to try 34G or 36FF would that be the right place to start?

The general method is fine, yes. Your measurements suggest 34GG, 34G, 36G or 36FF. Now most people get on better with rounding down but with 10 weeks to go your ribs may well expand a bit in the next few weeks. How is the band on your current 34 (try it back to front)

fuckwittery Mon 12-Aug-13 18:52:28

Thanks SC! 34 width Band on current bra feels pretty snug on the loosest setting, so I will try a 36 on the tightest setting.

UriGeller Mon 12-Aug-13 21:12:13

Thanks SC grin bra shopping this weekend!

janji Tue 13-Aug-13 03:03:15

Just done my measurements and measured 42 under bust and 48 bending forward!!! Currently wearing 38C and the cups are too big at that but the band around rib age is fine! Any ideas /advice please?

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Aug-13 07:32:33

It's not unusual to need a smaller/bigger band than your measurements suggest especially for the squisihier and bonier among us.

How does the band in your current 38s feel if you put it on back to front? How far can you pull it away from your body?

If you scoop, do you get overspill/bulge in the cups?

Your measurements suggest a 42E which is a bigger cup than your current 38Cs. What type of bras are you wearing?

oscarwilde Tue 13-Aug-13 14:25:09

My turn - I've read the links and the other posters but I'm still not sure.....
I'm measuring 31 under bust and 37 while bending over. I also measured the distance between nipples (7 ins) as I thought I saw that instruction on here somewhere but can't find it now or was having a moment blush blush blush
I've got some pre preg 30 band bras which are v uncomfortably tight so I am assuming that 32 will be better. Do I then lose a letter off the cup size though since I am a 31 and not a 32? I'm sure I've got an underwired 30G nursing bra (optimistic fitter) which is ginormous in the cup and and too tight on the ribs somewhere.
32E or 32DD would that be right ?

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Aug-13 14:33:48

As you're between sizes I'd suggest trying a 30F/E and a 32E/DD. Make sure that you try on all new bras like this as it helps you establish whether the band fits properly before confusing the issue with the cups!

Your pre preg 30 bands were probably too small in the cup or possibly were a make that runs small.

oscarwilde Tue 13-Aug-13 14:49:11

Cheers Sorrel. Am I missing some advice about style of bra being important too ? I consider myself completely flat chested so the DD thing is totally throwing me !

vicarlady Tue 13-Aug-13 14:53:05

This is an amazing thread! I have just gone from a 34D to 32F and seem to have gained a waist and a flatter tummy in the process!
Thank you for all the information.

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Aug-13 14:57:07

A DD on a 32 band is still relatively small (as is an E on a 30) so don't panic!

Style is going to very much depend on your shape. Are your boobs wide set? Start high on your chest or lower down? Fuller on the bottom or the top?

Many smaller breasted women also have shallow boobs which brings its own fitting problems.

I have a friend in a similar size to you and she seems to be able to wear plunges and balconettes quite happily.

oscarwilde Tue 13-Aug-13 15:47:40

Oh dear. blush Other than always wishing they were bigger I haven't the faintest idea whether they would be considered high or low set. What do you mean by shallow boobs?
They are fuller on the bottom - the top is mostly chest iykwim. Think Keira Knightley in a bikini except considerably chunkier since kids. sad

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Aug-13 15:50:45

Have a look here for some info on shallow boobs.

Re. the high or low thing. Do your boobs start form quite high up, close to your collar bone or do you have quite a gap before the breast tissue starts.

Do your boobs seem to start under your arms/out towards your sides?

janji Tue 13-Aug-13 16:04:25

Sorrell my current 38C fits fine around the rib cage but the cups seem a little big?!blush They're just the t shirt plain bras with ever so slight padding. I tried going down a cup size but then the band was far too tight and I had overspill. Went to the dreaded M&S but as you know they measure with a bra on and were hopeless! Can't seem to find any decent fitting place nearby (tried a few and bands were excruciatingly tight, they suggested a 36!) I just can't seem to get it right.
I've gained lots of weight hence the larger rib cage size and would love a good bra that fits well.

oscarwilde Tue 13-Aug-13 16:17:35

Hmm - definitely shallow. Like shape 3 from left in the diagram.
High up and from my sides I guess.

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Aug-13 16:42:18

janji OK, is it a moulded type t-shirt bra? If so, are the cups gaping at the top? This is very typical of that type of bra as they don't mould to your own shape. You are probably fitting the bottom of the cup?

Perhaps look at something softer. The Cleo Juna is an un-moulded t-shirt style bra and the Panache Idina Balconette is another favourite of mine. Other popular t-shirt styles are the Curvy Kate Daily Boost and the Panache Porcelain.

Can you do your measurements again and this time include a lying down across bust one?

To an extent I think we should ignore your current M&S bra sizing as their sizing is all over the place at the moment!

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Aug-13 16:43:03

oscarwilde Did you see the list of recommended bras? The Cleos are all very nice.

oscarwilde Tue 13-Aug-13 16:52:09

Emailing links to my personal account for some browsing later. Internet police at work are none too keen on lingerie shopping smile

Thanks for all your help.

janji Wed 14-Aug-13 00:38:04

Sorrel I still measure 48 across bust whilst lying down (dh raised eyebrows several times at my shenanigans lately)!

Yes you're spot on about the moulded t shirt bra thing and it does gape only at top!

You are a bra wizard!! smile

janji Wed 14-Aug-13 00:52:54

Do have quite a bit of squishy back fat if that makes any difference?!?smile

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 09:03:15

A lot of that squishy flesh is migrated breast tissue which needs to be helped back to its correct place inside your cups.

Did you re-measure your underbust?

Your measurements do indicate a 42E. Let's stick with a 38 back though as that seems to be working for you. I'd try some different styles in sizes from 38C - FF! I suspect that the right style will probably it in around a 38E. Are you fuller on the top or the bottom? Do your boobs start at the side of your body or are they more narrow set?

hellymelly Wed 14-Aug-13 11:05:25

OK, I am completely confused re the supposed new way of measuring. HEEElp MEEEE ladies. Am roughly 26.5" ribs, and approx 10 inches more measured leaning over, but that is quite hard to judge, not sure how loose to hold the tape? Am about 35" bust standing up. By the old way of measuring that made me 30 bra, and I'm in a 30FF, I sometimes wear an F as my breasts vary in size with my cycle, or from eating less cake....
When I have tried a 28 (sometimes a 30 in a particular style might have been a bit loose )it has seemed uncomfortable and has given me back pain.
I can pull my bra back away from my body about 5 inches, at least I can easily get two fists in there, feels about 5 inches but it doesn't noticably ride up through the day. So advice please, am I in the wrong size, or not? I have no idea what "scooping" is either! Oh and I live in the back of beyond, so can't get to a shop.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 11:15:41

OK, a 30 band is certainly way too big for you. Unfortunately there is nowhere that makes 26 bands although a few places like Ewa Michalak who do custom made sizes (26 has disappeared off their website recently but you could email them to check). However, you can buy a 28 and then adjust the back wither using Rixie Clips (from eBay) or by sewing the band - instructions here.

Ideally you should be trying sizes around a 26G/GG. The equivalent cup in a 28 band would be a 28F/FF. However, you're already wearing a 30FF which is bigger in volume than either a 28G or a 26GG! How is the cup on the FF? If you scoop, do you get overspill/bulge?

Lean forward, drop your breasts in to the cups and do the bra up at the back. Now, take your right hand, put it round inside the left cup, all the way round under your armpit, and scoop all the soft tissue and flesh in to the cup. You might not know it, but all that soft tissue under your armpit is breast, and it needs to be in the cup. Now, repeat on the other side. The wire should totally encase your soft breast tissue, and you should have no overspill or wrinkling in the cups. The central gore should sit flat in between your boobs.

hellymelly Wed 14-Aug-13 11:37:36

Ok, have tried that. This bra does seem about right in the cup, possibly I have slight overspill at the front edges, but that may be the style? It is a Freya Carys, the plunge, not padded. I have a 28G bra here (in a different style though) I will go try and scoop with that and report back. I didn't really have anything to scoop though, it all seemed properly in the cup.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 11:39:42

Always scoop, even if you think there's nothing there wink, it makes sure that everything is in the right place.

hellymelly Wed 14-Aug-13 11:52:52

I am also at a loss as to why bras don't fit? When I first needed a bra, in the 1970s (I am late 49) there was nothing at all made in my size, even 32s were only made in small cup sizes although a 32 then was possibly smaller than now. I was also a lot smaller, about 24 ribs, I was 25 ribs at the most through my 20s. I spent years altering bra bands, and because there weren't even larger cup sizes below a 34 or even a 36, I had to take in bras by quite a bit. Like my Mum in the 50's I often had a knot tied at the back of my bra band. Anyway I badgered M+S, and other retailers, and eventually 32s arrived in larger cups and then 30s. Fantasie at first, Then they started and more size 30s. Marks and Sparks, who had told me there was no market for small back sizes started making them. I felt a 30E , which I wore pre babies, was a good fit, and certianly the backs on my first Fantasie 30s are tiny, I have some of them here still, they don't stretch t much more than 27/28 at full stretch. So why are bras getting bigger again? I know my ribs were unusually narrow, I could get into Victorian boned dresses with ease before I had the dds, but even so there seems to have been a step back. Indian women often have tiny ribcages, narrower than Western women, and there must be a huge market here from the Asian community alone.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 13:35:08

The problem is that as long as stores like M&S continue to use the +4 method, they don't need to extend their size range! In addition, like other clothing items, there is no standardisation both between and within brands. As a nation, we're getting bigger though. A size 10 from the 60s is generally too small for a size 10 now. I guess a similar thing has happened with bras? Having said that, I have a 34 band which is over 10 years old and it measures 34".

I have seen a couple of M&S 28 bands recently, one measured (stretched) 27" and the other 24"!

My first bra (mid 80s) was a 28AA grin. Looking back it was still too small.

hellymelly Wed 14-Aug-13 14:46:33

We are getting bigger, but that isn't the issue, as there is a large range of sizes upwards. Vanity sizing has led to things like the silly size 6,( or even 4 ) which measures the same as a 10 did when I was a teenager. We could have just stuck with a ten. And in fact if a M+S 28 measures 24, then that is roughly right going by the old system. And would mean that smaller women and young girls could get bras to fit right now. Whereas if the system changes then manufactures would have to start bringing out 24s and 26s when there is no reason to change if those sizes are catered for by a 28 and a 30 as they were under the standard system. The standard system went on the assumption that if you measured 31 around the back then you would be roughly a 36 around the breasts, hence the 36" name for that size bra. A 30 bra should fit someone with a back of 25 -26. Very few women would need a 28 aside from teenagers. But if the system shifts then it could take a few years for the smaller sizes to be made again. So it is a step backwards rather than forwards ifyswim? We are being conned into thinking we now have a wider range of clothing sizes, but we don't , its just semantics, the names of the sizes have changed that's all.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 15:19:03

I see your point but the +4 issue isn't just about the band size. Lets ignore M&S for now as their sizing is all over the place. Adding four inches means that your band will be too big but also means that your cup will be too small as it will have been calculated from the +4 band size.

It's not about vanity sizing. Most brands make their bands to fit that size when stretched. So a 32 will measure approximately 32 when stretched. There is no need to add 4. M&S know this but financially it's not worth it to admit it publicly!

Elasticsong Wed 14-Aug-13 15:43:19

Sorry to butt in mid conversation. I just wanted to say that my new 38I (eek!) underwired nursing bra fits beautifully. Having spent 6 months in an ill-fitting, unflattering and uncomfortable 42D (measured by an independent nursing bra specialist) I can't express how happy we (my breasts and I) are!
Thank you to the woman/women who started all this bra info here on MN.

janji Wed 14-Aug-13 20:53:05

Sorrell, boobs start at the sides and under bust still 42 no matter which way I lie /stand. I obviously need to set aside a good amount of time to try on lots!!

hellymelly Wed 14-Aug-13 22:30:55

But my point is that bras didn'th used to reach that point when stretched, the 32 or whatever wasn't intended to be a measurement of the band per se, it was an assumed measurement of the actual chest. Then one measured around the chest itself, and if the number was the same, got the standard cup, an A. Initially there would also be a "full cup", which was around a C. Then bra cup sizes developed and the difference between the assumed measurement and the actual (of around the full bust) gave the cup size, so no, it didn't mean that your cup would be too small, as each inch difference gave a cup size increase. Then one would allow for differences in volume and spacing of breasts and adjust up or down by eye. The system was/is accurate, but many women either found it confusing, or stuck with the cup size they were as teens, or weren't ever measured by a decent fitter. There is much more advice now about getting fitted well. I was a fashion researcher pre children and I have a large collection of vintage underwear, so I understand fitting really well. My problem now is that there is allegedly this new system in place, but stores and manufacturers seem to suggest that the old system still applies. I am now completely confused as to what size I should be, as some bras I try seem "right " in a 30, other 30s seem more like an old 32. They never seem as large as an old 34 though, which is what they should be if the system has shifted. confused.
Anyway, I tried on the 28G. It fits -ish, feels tighter than I like around the back on the last hooks, but the 30 I am wearing is a bit too loose on the first ones.... The cup could be slightly small, I don't know, they cut in slightly at the cleavage edge, and I bulge a bit too the sides, but that could be the style of the bra. I have worn the 30 a few times, but not the 28 so that might also be a factor. I can't image finding a 26 comfy. It measures 22" unstretched and 26" stretched. It is hard to get any more stretch out of it. (loosest hooks, Freya Pollyanna).

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 23:11:27

The system of +4/5" developed before modern fabrics (e.g. elastane etc) were around. This is why you needed to add inches as the band just wouldn't stretch enough to accommodate your size. I also have vintage underwear and a hobby that involves wearing the same so I know how much things have changed. However, back in the 70s/80s manufacturing changed to incorporate the new fabrics but alas fitting and measuring didn't change at the same time resulting in the appalling situation we have now where a lady with a 27" under bust and 34" across bust measurement is fitted (by M&S et al) as a 32B rather than a 26F or a 28E. Bras are now made to stretch enough to meet your under bust measurement. As I said I have an old 34 band bra and it measures 34 so I think it really is just a difference between manufacturers causing the slight difference in tightness today.

Some brands are a looser fit than others but this is no different than when buying a pair of size 12 jeans. I am a 30GG and can wear a 30 band in every single brand I know. However, a Panache is a tadge tighter and a Curvy Kate is a bit looser. Annoying but unavoidable.

Visit the Sub Reddit, A Bra That Fits. The people on there are brilliant at explaining all the background and history. Much better than me!

With regards to the bra you mention above (the 28G), it sounds like the cup is at least one and probably two cups too small and this will be contributing to the band tightness. Freya are no really known for very tight bands. It could also be a style issue. I can't wear Freya at all, they just don't suit my shape (deep, narrow set)

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 23:12:56

janji Unfortunately, it's a painstaking, time consuming process. But well worth it when you find a bra(s) that work for you!

hellymelly Wed 14-Aug-13 23:27:46

Also with a 28, there is so little of the band full stop, and so much less of it is elastic, it can't possibly have the stretch of a 34 band. This one really wouldn't even do up on someone with 28 ribs, it just won't stretch that far, but I imagine that varies from style to style. Maybe I should try a different style in a 28 GG and see how I go from there? I won't be in London for months, and so have to do it all by post which is tedious and expensive.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 23:48:00

Yep you're correct, a bigger band will have relatively lore stretch as it more material. Ladies who measure bigger than a 38 can often size down as they are maybe a bit squisihier and the bra has more stretch too.

The stretched measurment on your particular 28G bra sounds very small

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 23:48:37

Oops. Stupid phone.

Sounds very small indeed. Is it black? Black bras often come up smaller because of the dye.

nomorecrumbs Thu 15-Aug-13 08:32:42

I have a black bra in a 28DD (Cleo) and measure 27 around my ribs. It's quite tight but I'm getting used to it - certainly not unbearable. A 30 or 32 is far too large. Maybe try a different style of bra?

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Aug-13 09:02:46

Possibly or try it in another colour? I have a Cleo Juna in nude and black and the black one is tighter. Which Cleo do you have?

KosherBacon Thu 15-Aug-13 15:01:13

My mind is blown. I've just discovered this thread and the A Bra That Fits Reddit. I stopped breastfeeding just over a week ago and my plan is to get a new black bra and nude bra to keep me going for a little bit until they settle down a bit more. I've always been a Bravissimo fan and wore a 32e before getting pregnant, however now understand a lot more about why certain shapes fit me more.

Thanks! And great supported boobs to all of you!

hellymelly Thu 15-Aug-13 16:17:02

I've never tried Cleo, are they nice? Am keen to find other brands as I usually stick with Freya. Panache wires tend to be too high in my armpits. I have a drawer full of bras and not one which I really love . Either they don't really fit well, or they fit but they aren't comfortable, or they just don't give me a very nice shape <moan, moan, moan..>.

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Aug-13 16:31:49

hellymelly Cleo is fast becoming my favourite brand. (I love Ewa Michalak too but have had some issues with ordering!). Fauve is my other love but they are pricey.

I've just bought a Cleo Melissa and it fits like a dream. It gives a very forward shape which suits me and means I have a narrow, deep set shape! I'm about to buy a Cleo Bella and a Cleo Marcie too.

I have the Cleo Meg but I get a big of bagginess at the top of the cup (smaller size cuts in) but nothing noticeable under clothing.

I don't get on with any Freyas and only own one Panache, the Idina balconette which gives me a similar shape to the Melissa.

Have you seen the sub-reddit Bra swap? That might be a good place to so some enhancing of sizes/styles?

Marking place as have been very slack lately

What sort of shape are your boobs helly? maybe we can make some suggestions? I can't wear standard panache either, the shape is just all wrong for me

hellymelly Thu 15-Aug-13 23:43:40

I have a fauve bra, and it is my favourite, but I am allergic to it! Really! I have chronic hives at the moment, triggered by an allergic reaction to antibiotics, and they have a possible trigger (salicylate in food thinks the doc) but when I wear the bra I come out in hives only where the bra is touching, everywhere except the actual fabric bit of the cups. GP agreed it was clearly the bra and gave me steroids so have been reluctant to try another bra by the same brand, even though I am fine with all my other bras, (maybe it is the dye in this one? I don't know).
Shapewise- rather rounded. I was very round, almost implant like, pre babies, but they have dropped lower and are heavier now. Still a basically rounded shape though. Nipples point forwards and there isn't any space to speak of between the breasts which can make bras with high central wires uncomfortable as they sometimes press into breast tissue. I have slightly lost volume at the top from years of bf and general ageing, but not to any great degree. I stopped breastfeeding about 8 or 9 months ago but my breasts don't seem to have changed much so I am assuming they have settled down now.

hellymelly Thu 15-Aug-13 23:47:55

I just googled Cleo and it looks as though they are made by Panache, so are like Freya is to Fantasie? Do they have the same high wires?

SorrelForbes Fri 16-Aug-13 07:06:50

Yep, sister brand to Panache. I don't think the wires are as high. They only have two hooks at the back and are definitely the young, fun range! I only have one panache so can't do any comparing at home but the worn really well for many women. The uplift is very good indeed b

I'm not as rounded but I have the same issue with no gap between my boobs. even plunges can be problematic on me as the top of the gore tends to be pushing in to me. The best bras I have found for this are the ewa michalak s and sm styles. I think the pl would work too. They are very narrow in the middle-I think they cross the ends of the wires over.

bulby Fri 16-Aug-13 10:24:53

Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread but wanted to say thanks for making me go get bras that fit! I would say my boobs are very much average in size and wore a 36C. Measuring myself using the lean forward method gave 32DD using this as my starting point I found that 32F was the best ( yes I did walk around in shock after!).
As I said I look to have very average sized boobs and in fairness had no difficulty buying this size BUT the 'ranges' often only go up to a D cup which on a 32 band I now realise would be fairly small- if I was to put on a lot of weight I'd have no issue at all.
At 6ft tall with a size 9 foot i already have to pay a premium for my clothes and shoes and now I know my true bra size wiil have to for my bras too- mumsnet you've skinted me smile

SorrelForbes Fri 16-Aug-13 10:28:39

Oops grin. Try Brastop, Figleaves, Amazon, Leia Outlet and My Curves and Me for on-line bargains. eBay can be good too if you are looking for a particular bra.

UriGeller Fri 16-Aug-13 10:42:26

Meh. I just tried a 30g and while the band fitted nice and tight, the cups are too big, there's a swathe of empty cup fabric under each boob and bagging at the top. I'm disappointed because I so wanted this new way of measuring to work for me.

Ill try an F today, it'll mean another trip into town....this is going to take a while, I can't get the double pram in the fitting room so I have to buy and try at home!

Remember to scoop Uri

SorrelForbes Fri 16-Aug-13 11:14:25

What style was it Uri? Remember to try FF too and as Stats says, scoop!

Nottalotta Fri 16-Aug-13 12:13:53

Blimey. Can someone help me please? I'm a bit scared as have a HUGE amount of lovely matching sets in a 34b. Which are too small as i have got a bit fat.

So, firm tape about underbust/ribs is......32 and the leaning forward one is 39.

SorrelForbes Fri 16-Aug-13 12:15:19

I'm afraid you're going to have to do some bra donating to Oxfam grin

Try a 32F.

I bet if you scoop when wearing your 34B , you get major overspill?

Nottalotta Fri 16-Aug-13 12:25:30

Oh dear god. Well, only in some of the smaller ones really. I don't get the double boob effect on most of them. They do vary enormously in size (the bras......) even within the same make.

I will trot along a try a 32f. I just can't imagine it. DH will be thrilled!!

Nottalotta Fri 16-Aug-13 12:26:38

It makes more sense than the traditional method though - where you add 4 making me a 36. And then measure bust standing up.....i'm in the minus!!

ToysRLuv Fri 16-Aug-13 12:29:58

I'm probably weird and unusual, but I found that I hadn't anything to scoop. confused