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To be disappointed/frustrated with bra sizing. Help!

(35 Posts)
AlmostAlwyn Wed 13-Jun-18 12:06:21

A while ago I read a post on here raving about boob or bust, that she was so happy that she'd finally found her true bra size and wanted to shout about it from the rooftops! I tried it, and came out as a 32h (formerly I was wearing a 36C but I've been breastfeeding for a year now and don't really have a clue what size I am currently). I ordered a couple of bras in that size and they've arrived today.

AIBU to be really disappointed that they're just ridiculously massive on me? What did I do wrong? I followed the instructions carefully!

Any suggestions on what to do now? They're quite critical of Marks and Spencer on the boob or bust website, but maybe I'll just go there and see what they've got?!

Travis1 Wed 13-Jun-18 12:11:32

Don't go to M&S. Join 'Fairyboobmother' on Facebook and you'll get guidance on there if you post some photos etc. BoB is just a starting point for a lot of people and I never got on with it because I can't measure for shit.

My boobs have never been so happy since I followed Fairyboobmothers advice

Blobby10 Wed 13-Jun-18 12:39:38

Second the advice not to go to M & S!! Or any of the big dept stores tbh. I use a small specialist shop in my local town and she's great! Gets a rough idea of what you do and don't like, guesses your current bra size (got mine bang on!) checks the fit (mind was right so I do admit to feeling just a tad smug!) then brings in several options to try. Not all brands are the same so whilst I'm a 38D in most, in some I'm a C and in others a DD.

What I really dont understand (even though it has been explained numerous times to me!) is how you can go down a back size and up a cup size and have the same fit. How on earth does that work? My back doesn't miraculously lose 2" of fat if I get a 36DD and my boobs dont suddenly go up a cup size! All that usually happens is I get back fat bulges in a 36 which I dont get in a 38!

PellyBay Wed 13-Jun-18 12:43:26

Bravissimo changed my life! I usually get a 'check-up' fitting every few years, especially since I've been through a few pregnancies. They are very professional but relaxed and help you swiftly navigate the way you may come out as a slightly different size in different lines and find you exactly the style you're after. I've been getting all my bras there for about 12 years now.

girlwithadragontattoo Wed 13-Jun-18 13:14:02

Bravissimo all the way!!

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 13-Jun-18 13:29:56

OK, can you do the following please?

Measure your underbust tightly, in inches, Then
Bend forward at the waist so your boobs are hanging down (glamorous, not!) and measure around them, again in inches but this isn't a tight measurement, no compressing breast tissue.

If you can post those measurements it'll be easier to help.

Also, the bras you bought - you say they are huge but can you describe where they are too big specifically? Have you tried the scoop and swoop? Basically bra on, then stick your hand inside the cup and round towards your armpit and pull all the soft tissue forward in to the cup. Repeat on other side. Also make sure you've shortened the straps.

dementedpixie Wed 13-Jun-18 13:33:25

If you measured 32 under the bust then that is your back size. It's jusy a matter of finding the correct cup size. I jade seen comments that the BOB method overestimates the cup size so maybe you just need to come down in size. What are your under and over bust measurements?

dementedpixie Wed 13-Jun-18 13:33:50

have not jade

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 13-Jun-18 13:35:47

Blobby10 - down a cup size/up a back size doesn't give the same FIT, what it gives is the same volume in the cup. So if you try on a bra and it's a bit loose in the band but the cup volume feels right then you'd go down a band, up a cup to try and get the same cup volume but on a firmer band.

Cup size is a volume measurement and it changes with band size, so (roughly) a 30E has the same tit capacity as a 32DD, 34D, 36C and so on. But those cups will be different shapes in most good brands, with the 30E being narrower bit deeper compared to the 36C. Think of it like comparing a wide mug to a narrow tall glass, they might hold the same amount of liquid but in different shapes.

Gottagetmoving Wed 13-Jun-18 13:39:36

I did the BoB calculation which said I was 30HH. I've been wearing 36F. As I've lost some weight I went to buy bras yesterday so tried a few 30HH....and they were far too tight!
I went to an independent retail store in our town and the assistant helped me to find an absolutely perfect fit 34E.
What I hate is how difficult to locate any bra size in stores. They are all over the place. Why not put ALL bras of each size together so you don't have to wade through all different sizes!

Wide0penSpace Wed 13-Jun-18 13:45:11

I wear 36C which fits me fine. I did the BoB measurement last week and it came out at 34G! My boobs are the smaller side of C, I don't really need to wear a bra to be honest and I whip it off as soon as I'm home. G cup would be ridiculous on me!

DieSchottin93 Wed 13-Jun-18 14:13:51

Remember the style of the bra can have a big difference e.g. if you have bottom heavy breasts then a full cup bra will probably seem really huge at the top of the cups, whereas a balcony style bra would fit better. Moulded cups can also be difficult to fit into as your boobs basically have to be the exact shape of the cup.

thedevilinablackdress Wed 13-Jun-18 14:20:50

All brands and styles of bra are not the same!

Just because you come out as a certain size when you measure doesn't mean all bras labelled that size will fit. It's a guide, you have to try them. A bit like women's clothing sizes but not quite so random!! E.g. the size I usually get in other stores does NOT fit me in M&S (this may partly explain the issues people have with M&S)

2b1c51 Wed 13-Jun-18 14:23:20

I recently did BoB and came out at 32J! Ordered some and the cups were enormous, so I went to Debenhams where we spent 45 mins trying different sizes and settled on a 32h. Also realised I need a balcony bra not full cup as 4.5years of continuous pregnancy and/or breastfeeding has left my poor boobs a bit lacking in fullness (probably why BoB overestimated the cup size as my dangle measurement didn't take into account sagginess blush) So I definitely recommend Debenhams, or buying more bras in a range of smaller cups and different styles to see what fits best.

AlmostAlwyn Wed 13-Jun-18 14:53:09

Snug underbust 35" and leaning over is 45" (if the tape isn't squashing anything).

I got two bras (as I did the BoB measurements twice and it and it said 32h then 34h the next time). The 32h definitely feels too tight in the band and there is masses of space at the top of the cups. The 34h is better in the band (though maybe still a bit tight? Or perhaps it's just because it's new?) but there's still too much space in the cups, both above and below. It seems like the underwire is just too big/wide for me.

Thanks for your responses everyone. I've managed for a while just going without, but I've got an event to go to on Saturday and I've obviously been procrastinating on this and left it to the last minute confusedsad

longlostpal Wed 13-Jun-18 14:57:58

I have found the ‘bra intervention’ sizing doesn’t work for me either - massive cups and band is painfully tight. I wonder the ‘new’ way of measuring works less well on people with smaller boobs and back?

thedevilinablackdress Wed 13-Jun-18 15:43:33

Space in the top of the cups sometimes means a different style would be better. I usually get balcony/balconette to avoid this.

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 13-Jun-18 15:58:14

OK, snug underbust of 35 would normally mean either a 34 or a 36 rather than a 32. It's sometimes necessary to go down in a band if you have very large boobs but I wouldn't normally do it as a start point.

On a 34 band you would want to try a GG and H, on a 36 it would be G/GG. However, these are only absolute starting points. The whole pointof bra intervention type methods is working through the different sizes (just like a good fitter does) to find something that suits rather than relying on a tape measure only.

Can you tell me what bras you bought? Also, are your breasts quite soft? If you have quite soft breast tissue (quite common in post pregnancy/breastfeeding boobs, or if you've lost weight for example) then the measurement can end up coming out too high on the cup. The other thing that can happen is that, as PP suggests, you might need a different style of bra which doesn't have lots of fabric in the top half of the cup if this is where you tend to find gaping.

Longlostpal, the method works generally but there are always exceptions - IME if you have somebody very slender with not much padding over their ribs they might need one size up from their measured band. On the flip side, those who are a bit squidgier in the torso sometimes need to go down in the band to get enough support from the band.

Bras are also like jeans in that there is a lot of variance between brands and cuts - or maybe it's just me that has to try on 15 pairs of jeans to find one which is right! Generally bra sizing is a bit more consistent in the bigger cup size brands (companies like bravissimo, freya, panache, curvy kate etc) - they still vary a bit but not ridiculously so whereas IME the companies who aren't so specialist are much more erratic.

Bettyfood Wed 13-Jun-18 16:02:16

I'm currently struggling to get a new sports bra. They are all tiny and uncomfortable. My coach says they are meant to be tight and my current (comfortable) one will give me back problems (I have never had back problems in 20 years of running) but one I tried in my size felt like I couldn't breathe and it just squashed me out everywhere. I think I would get back problems from wearing it. Would much rather stick with the softer ones than have any discomfort when running. Surely bras are not meant to hurt?

I think it's all bollocks and they are just really poorly sized, designed and made, and I'm not spending £60 for something that hurts, would rather stick with my £6 Sainsbury's one.

Bettyfood Wed 13-Jun-18 16:07:05

Also the problem I find with the bra intervention method is that it makes my breasts look larger and higher/sticking out more, which is the last thing I want. I want them to be a bit smaller and minimised.

KatnissK Wed 13-Jun-18 16:09:46

I tried the measuring myself thing and I'm just rubbish at it. I went to Bravissimo and got measured - bought 1 bra there which is super comfy but expensive and then some cheap-yet-surprisingly-comfy bras from Asda which are fab. This was post-baby and I honestly had no idea where to start as I've never had boobs before and am now a 36E. So I would definitely recommend Bravissimo.

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 13-Jun-18 16:10:11

A good bra will make them more upright unfortunately, minimisers are blooming uncomfortable IMO!

What should your (correct) size be? Personally I wear the panache underwired sports bra which I find very comfortable - the bra is firm but not remotely digging or pinching and it doesn't compress the breast tissue which is how most of them work. I can't get on with non wired sports bras at all, the crushing effect isn't for me.

DaphneDiligaf Wed 13-Jun-18 16:21:19

I went to Rigby and Peller originally but now use Bravossimo own brand. Not cheap but if you hand wash they last for ages.

AlmostAlwyn Wed 13-Jun-18 17:00:21

One was Curvy Kate and the other was Triumph. I'll have a look in a local shop tomorrow and see what they have. Thanks for the advice and wish me luck! smile

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 13-Jun-18 17:08:56

Not tried triumph in ages, but CK tend to have VERY wide wires. Try and find something by Panache/Cleo, or Bravissimo own brand to try for comparison.

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