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To still be struggling with the bra situation - warning - saga!

(82 Posts)
pouffepants Wed 22-May-13 19:13:14

IABVVU since there have been at least 8 billion bra threads, but I'm clearly far too thick to get it right.

I watched with interest when the bra interventions began. I often heard it quoted that most women wear the wrong bra size, and I assumed I was one of them. This is due to a bra fitter making me cry as a pregnant teenager in mothercare, telling me I would have saggy tits forever since I was wearing a 'c' cup, and she said I only needed a 'b' cup even when feeding. So I've spent years ashamedly grabbing sizes c/d over the years convinced that a) people would laugh their socks off if they saw, and b) I'd just have to put up with saggy tits since I couldn't bear to wear anything smaller.

So when it started on here, I thought 'what the hell' and got the tape measure out. 32' under and 39' over. Wtf?? That's 32f! So someone said to lean over to do it. That's something I always avoid since my boobs seem to go long and sausagey when I do that, the reason I was convinced they were saggy, just seem completely empty. Well that was even sillier! Measurement 41' = 32g.

So I ignored that one and went to m&s and bought some 32fs which to my astonishment seemed to fit. All good. But within a couple of weeks I realised that I had 4-boob again. Weird! So I decided to measure myself again. But when I leaned over, I found the weirdest thing, my boobs no longer went sausagey, they were quite full. And measured 43'. Surely boobs don't just grow to the space available? Bit scary really! And another realisation, my boobs aren't saggy at all, they're pretty upright really when I stand up, it was only ever when I leant over, that I thought they were saggy. There's not much of a crease underneath at all.

So i went back to m&s (only place local) but couldn't find anything I was happy with the fit of. So I followed the advice on here and went to bravissimo. Had to make a day of it, since it's miles away.

The fitter agreed that my bra was a bit small, and put me in 32ff. I did query the amount of armpit fat, but she said that was normal, and then i felt so self conscious that I went along with it. I hate shopping at the best of times and since I was so far from home I felt pressured to buy (by myself not them), so I bought 3 bras including a sports one.

£90 down, I now realise that my bras don't pass the points put on here. The back doesn't ride up, but I can pull it quite far from my body even on the tightest hook, which I'm wearing it on. There's definitely overspillage of boob at the top, and I think under the arms, though that may be just my fatness.

I feel like I should have tried lots of different sizes, but the fitter kept telling me they fit great, and I didn't argue. She kept saying about scooping, but then showed me just a little gentle nudge to get them in place, I felt far too silly to do a major tit yank, like I've been instructed here.

So of course I've cut the labels off, they're never going to accept them back now are they, even though I've only had them 3 days. And the whole point of going was so I would once and for all know my size, so I could buy on the internet in future, and not have to trek about all over the place for bras, and I don't even know that! And I can't afford any for ages now!

mumofweeboys Sun 26-May-13 22:10:33


Iv always found freya bras to be a funny fit for me. I dont get in with them.

pouffepants Sun 26-May-13 20:17:58

Hi everyone, just to update.

Bravissimo have been fantastic and are accepting the bras back, and have advised 30gg, which they're going to send me. This sort of makes sense, under the sister size thing, 32ff would be the same as 30g, and then an extra size again would be 30gg. But, if you start from scratch then 32 band plus 8 inches would be 40 inches, and 30 band plus 10 inches is also 40 inches, but hey-ho, if that's what they say.

So I've posted them off, and am waiting for replacements. But today I was in a different town, and there was a house of fraser, so I thought I'd try some on, although I wasn't going to buy anything. They didn't have any 30gg at all, so I tried a 32g. OMG, it was absolutely colossal, I hardly touched the cup. So I tried 30g, which was also much too big.

The ones i'm waiting for from bravissimo are panache, and these were freya. Do the sizes vary that much? Which makes my whole bra size hunt pointless really. Anyway I now await the arrival of my bras with trepidation.

ButternutSquish Thu 23-May-13 14:54:48

Thanks, going to measure again and then try some different bras over the weekend!

MummytoKatie, the bras themselves are made to fit without adding inches but most retailers are still measuring that way so the bra doesn't fit right. If you've been "measured" at a 36B for example, then that suggests you measure somewhere around 31-32 (probably nearer the lower end as you sometimes wear a 34) and about 38 across. Which means in reality you are more like a 30FF, 30F, 32F or 32E.

Thats very reough - if you can measure yourself as per the info /blog links upthread we'll tell you where to start

HazleNutt Thu 23-May-13 14:37:25

mummy can you take the measurements and post? But if you have been measured as 36B by mothercare or M&S, you are more likely around 32D - you need to go up a cup size if you go down a band size to get the same volume.

diddl Thu 23-May-13 14:35:37

Thanks everyone for taking the time to explain to me!

I have changed from an 80 band to a 75.

Really don't think I could go lower than that!

HazleNutt Thu 23-May-13 14:34:37

diddl I think what might have been said is that if you measure 80cm then based on that, you would want to grab a bra that's labelled EUR80/UK36. However, 80 cm is not 36 inches - 80 cm is 31,4 inches and therefore, you should try bras that are labelled EUR70/UK32.

isThis people are all A,B and C because they are wearing too big back sizes. A true A-cup means that the person has just 1 inch difference between over-and underbust measurements. Try it with a tape measure, an inch is really not that much and honestly, most people have more than than.

And for example 36C cup size is exactly the same as 30E - no, the wearer did not grow gigantic boobs suddenly.

MummytoKatie Thu 23-May-13 14:30:11

I'm really confused by this. Have all shops stopped doing the "add 4 / 5 inches to the under bust measurement" thing or just some.

I'm 39 weeks pregnant at the moment so about to go into nursing bras (which I've been measured for) but normally I'm a 34B or 36B (depending on the bra / how skinny I am at the time / whether I want to fasten it on the highest or lowest tightener).

Does that mean I'm now a 30B or 32B? I guess I just need to be re-measured when I finally get my body back again and stop feeding but it's very confusing!

piprabbit Thu 23-May-13 14:24:02

diddl - I did a bra shop last Friday and found that i could only use my MN bra size as a starting point because I found there was a huge variation in the fit depending on manufacturer, style and materials.
According to MN, I'm a 40G - but my boobs are old and saggy so my gut feel is that I'm more of a 40F. In one shop I picked up 6 bras in sizes 40F - 44G in the same style bra and none of them fitted me at all - purely down to the weird shape and fabric. I ended up with a 42F from M&S which fits nicely (although I would have liked to have tried on a 40F, but there were none in stock and I was getting a bit frantic by that stage).

So I'm not sure what 'true to size' means but it doesn't seem to be happening reliably.

Two reasons for smaller bands - the band gives the majority of the support so it needs to have quite a solid footing. If you are quite "squishy" then sometimes the band you measure won't actually be firm enough because it's sitting on soft flesh so needs to go a bit tighter so it grips. This also depends a bit on how much you pulled the measuring tape (i.e. if you squidged when you measured!)

The other reason is that as a bra band gets longer, it can literally stretch further. So a 30 band may measure say 26" unstretched and 30 or 30" unstretched, but a 40 band might be 36" unstretched but actually be able to stretch up to say 44 which would be too big.

UK manfacturers are all pretty much making this way now though.

diddl Thu 23-May-13 14:15:30

OK-that makes sense, thanks.

I think that someone did say that on the last threadblush

So are all UK manufacturers now making true to size?

I'm sure that quite a few people on the old thread were told to buy a smaller band-why would this be necessary if they are now making true to size?

Sparkle there are some times I would love a "like" feature on here ;)

Isthisagoodidea - An f cup on a 30 is not Jordan. Period. The media do not understand and grossly misreport bra sizes. Jordan is probably a 26 back and more like a JJ cup. Also, most people find their bras stretch after a few wears/washes...not shrink. It's fine if you think a 34 works for you but please don't come on being rude and declaring that we "think we have giant boobs" cos you just sound like a numpty. I have lost count of the number of times our response to size shock has been "no, that's really not huge"

Bra measurement has changed. We have Lycra now.

Eu sizing - basically when the UK went "add 4 inches to get your band size" the EU went "buy the number you measure in CM and we'll build in the flex. Which is why if you convert a CM measurement to inches it doesnt tally for bra sizes.

So if you need an EU bra - work out your UK size to get the cup. The back size will be roughly your CM measurement-10

sparkle12mar08 Thu 23-May-13 13:54:16

There's not a lot I can say to you really, Isthisagoodidea, not without sounding snippy. But it's a shame you don't want to understand.

IsThisAGoodIdea Thu 23-May-13 13:51:46

I find it a bit odd that suddenly everyone has giant boobs (or think they do) after these "bra interventions". Everyone ends up being ridiculous letters, E, F, GG which, in the past, you had to be seriously large-busted to wear. Nobody's an A B or C anymore. Which, of course, people are flattered by and so keener than ever to buy new bras. It's vanity sizing.

I feel comfortable in a 34 band. But bra-measures always want me in a 30. After a couple of washes, I can't breathe and am sticking bra extenders in them. Plus, yes, I am booby but am no Jordan yet am advised to wear an F cup.


piprabbit Thu 23-May-13 13:50:19

Pouffe - I wonder if your boobs change size/fullness depending on your periods. Mine always feel more firm/solid when I'm at my most hormonal.

diddl Thu 23-May-13 13:47:19

Unfortunately I've got no UK bras to measure against.

But they are labelled as 80cm/36in.

So they're lying?confusedgrin

sparkle12mar08 Thu 23-May-13 13:43:05

Wouldn't mind if they came with a box of Thorntons, I must say!

Buzzardbird Thu 23-May-13 13:42:20

"Continental bras" mmmm, that make them out of chocolate? Yum! grin

sparkle12mar08 Thu 23-May-13 13:38:39

Ah, that's different, continental bras are labelled differently, I think it's covered somewhere on the blog. In the UK manufacturers started labelling true to size but not on the continent or something like that, anyway.One of the gurus will know, I'm just good with UK sizings!

diddl Thu 23-May-13 13:33:50

OK-but what I haven't misunderstood is that I was told to look at 32s even though I measure 36!

Well, actually I'm in Germany & measure 80 & wear an 80 & was told to look at 70s!

sparkle12mar08 Thu 23-May-13 13:28:12

If you've been measured in a shop using the old add four method eg M&S, then we might say as a starting point to look at two sizes smaller, but only because they've measured wrong, not because bras are labelled smaller iyswim?

sparkle12mar08 Thu 23-May-13 13:26:34

No you've misunderstood diddl, that's not how it works. You measure your underbust quite tightly, and that is your core band size, no additions/subtractions necessary. However some of us who are quishy of torso often do better in a size smaller gien the stretchyness of modern fabrics and designs and the squishy padding we have on our ribs.

Buzzardbird Thu 23-May-13 13:24:02

Oh god diddl, really? Now I am confused <doesn't take much>

diddl Thu 23-May-13 13:20:18

I thought a smaller band was needed than your measurement due to the add four inches thing!

I measure 36 band & was told to look for 32s!

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