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Can anyone who understands bra fittings come and tell me where I'm going wrong.

(255 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Sat 18-Jun-11 10:44:42

Quite a few of my bras are past their best. I've also put on a few pounds and think my boobs have got bigger and with some of my bras was getting a bit of a four boob effect which I presume is caused by a too small cup size.

So I went to m&s yesterday, tried some on was told I now needed a 38d rather than usual 38c. Tried some on, they felt fine and looked ok.

But today I've been moving some furniture nd when I bend down my boobs fall out the top. So does that mean the cup size is too big. I tucked them back in and tightened the shoulder straps a bit but then seemed to get a bit of a four boob effect again.

They are a plunge style type bra and the inner, middle sides of my boobs isn't covered up by the cup. So I don't know if I need a bigger cup size or a smaller one. Can your boobs fall out if the cup size is too small? Or might it just be the plunge style which doesn't suit.

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Sat 18-Jun-11 11:05:49

The wisdom of MN says you should never get fitted for bras in M&S. Bravissimo are meant to be good, or Rigby and Peller are supposedly the holy grail of bra fitters if you are feeling flush and fancy a trip to the smoke! But what do I know, am currently reclining seductively on sofa wearing ill fitting Primark blush

HettyAmaretti Sat 18-Jun-11 11:08:40

Yup, M&S shouldn't be allowed to fit bras.

Chances are it's wrong on all counts. Model. Band size. Cup size.

you need to measure yourself, I need to put DS to bed then I'll come back and tell you how...

Northernlurker Sat 18-Jun-11 11:13:10

You probably need a bigger cup size and a different style and possibly a smaller band. When I went to Bravissimo I was wearing a 42G from M&S blush

I now wear 38HH - huge difference but you also have to get the right style. I need quite a lot of support on the inner part of the breast or everything just slides everywhere.

Take the M&S bras back and go to a department store with good underwear department or Bravissimo or an independant lingerie shop.

ggirl Sat 18-Jun-11 11:15:44

hard to help with sizing but def need a diff cup size and style
agree M&S are notoriously bad at this
JOhn Lewis are better . A good make is Fantasie or Freya

hobbgoblin Sat 18-Jun-11 11:16:06

I find this happens because of having large breasts these days after 4DC bearing and that the volume is all at the bottom of each boob iyswim. It's called over mobile boobage and you need non plunging deep cup to contain.

LadyGok Sat 18-Jun-11 11:16:48

All shops you will measure a different size hen.

Now never ever get measured at M &S they are beyond shit and try and get you to buy loads of them.

Bravissimo and debs are the best ones I find for measuring you for the right size bra.

Awaits hetty on how to do it properly as I never have oops

RamblingRosa Sat 18-Jun-11 11:17:00

I agree about going to Bravissimo on John Lewis or somewhere better at fitting than M&S. Usually most people find they should be in a smaller back size than they thought and a bigger cup size. So for example, you could find you're a 36E.

The other thing is the style. You said it was a plunge style. It's probably easier to fall out of a plunge style than it is a style with a bit more coverage IYSWIM.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 18-Jun-11 11:18:51

I thought bravissimo only did large borked women, so dd and above?

HettyAmaretti Sat 18-Jun-11 12:14:11

OK, here comes the essay...

IME, the only way to ensure you have well fitting bras is to learn to fit yourself. It's not difficult, just common sense and a tape measure. I can fit others by eye, no problem, but it's impossible to do it to yourself without measuring. Sure, Bravissimo and most independent shops are capable of fitting properly but that ties you to their prices too, which is a real PITA.

There's nowt wrong with M&S bras, as long as you don't let M&S fit you for them.

So, here's how.

Measure under the bust, no adding no subtracting, if it's not an even number then round down in the first instance. Lets say the measurement is 35 - that gives you a starting band size of 34.

Now measure over the fullest part of your breasts, if they don't stand up on their own (mine sure as hell don't), do it wearing your best fitting, non-minimizing bra.

The difference between the two measurements gives the cup size. 1 inch equals 1 cup size. So, say the band measurement was 34 and the nork measurement 40, that gives a starting size of 34E. You can work from there.

Now, bra sizing, like clothing sizes vary massively between makes and models. It's no good grabbing any old 34E and assuming it'll be right. This is were the fitting comes in, I'll probably make it sound complicated, but it's not. Really it isn't.

Bravissimo have good info on how to see if a bra is fitting right, here. They miss out some vital info though. They say throw away the tape measure, I don't really agree with that, you shouldn't take your measured size as gospel, it's a starting size IMO, you have to start somewhere after all. I measure a 38B, I need a 32E.

The same sized wire (or cup base for non-underwires) is used in many different bras, it's the same wire in a 42A, 40B, 38C, 36DD, 34E, 32F and 30G. If the brand in question has odd sizes like no DD or FF the one inch = 1 cup size rule still applies, count up from A (AA is band and breast measurement the same). M&S will tend to put you in, say, a 38C when they should have given a 32F, even if they have the right size in stock. idiots. If you need a cup size that's not in their range they'll just keep upping the back size until they get a cup that more or less fits.

So, back to fitting yourself. The band should tight, that's what should take the weight of you norks, NOT the shoulder straps. That's the most important thing. If you slip the shoulder straps off when you're wearing a well filling underwired bra your breasts should stay more or less where they were, even if you jump. The band of a well fitting bra might feel uncomfortable at first if your used to wearing a band that way too big and letting your shoulders take the strain. It's worth getting used to.

When trying bras grab your starting size, say 34E, and one size up and down, in this case a 36DD and a 32F. Chances are, if the model works for you one of them will fit, if not go for a different size based on what's wrong with the fit. Buying a bra that's technically the wrong size (based on your starting measurement) is often necessary, it depends on the cut and model, some cups are skipily cut, others too generous.

Always try a bra with the hooks on the loosest setting so you can tighten it as the band stretches with use, on new bra the difference between the band on the loosest and tightest settings is 1 band size. Trying a new 34E on the tightest setting is the same as trying a 36DD on the loosest, just try the 36DD.

Fitting yourself is a learning process, if you don't know how a well fitting bra feels then you can't really fit yourself. So, pay attention when you're fitted in a decent shop, take the above into account and you'll never be stuck in badly fitted or unnecessarily expensive bras again.

Not all models work on all breasts, micropore tape can sort flop out for an outfit where plunge bra is essential but it's not an option for every day.

<wonders how foar the tread has moved on since she started typing an age ago>

VivaLeBeaver Sat 18-Jun-11 12:25:29

Betty, thanks so much thats really useful. Have measured myself and I make me a 36dd.

The bravissimo site backs the fact that I need a bigger cup size up. The bulging out at the top and also that I have the wire standing out from my body in the middle at the front. Right, back to the shops, this is worse than trying to find jeans that fit.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 18-Jun-11 12:26:01

Hetty, not Betty. Sorry, damm autocorrect.

HettyAmaretti Sat 18-Jun-11 12:32:02

much worse than jeans, at least at first, sorry. But, once you can fit yourself and don't have to rely on the 'experts' it gets a lot easier.

Give it a year or two and you'll spot the right fit on the rack from the end of the isle half the time. Fitting fully clothed friends is a good party trick too wink, you'll know what size they're wearing and more or less what they should be wearing by eye. It becomes second nature.

If you've got heavy, overmoblie, hangy norks (like me sad), chances are you'll need to go down a size or two for your band from what you measure.

wendihouse22 Sat 18-Jun-11 13:13:04

I get fitted at a little shop that just does bras and knickers. The lady who owns it knows all there is to know about boobs, backs and which style of bra to best go for. Some times, with a different manufacturer of bra, you may need a different fitting too.....depends on the make. My Elle Macpherson bras require a bigger cup. I haven't bought bras at M &S for years as I always ended up with I'll fitting bras and the four boobed effect!

HouseOfBamboo Sat 18-Jun-11 13:16:41

Hetty - useful info, thanks. Do you have any recommendations for people with ridiculously sensitive skin? I find wearing a tight bra band brings me out in big red welts - I wriggle around all day and can't wait to get home to take it off.

I'm guessing that something with a wider band all round and soft material would be less irritating, but most bras seem very scratchy and nylony to me.

darleneoconnor Sat 18-Jun-11 13:21:17

I got fitted at bravissimo and still ended up with a bra so tight it gives me red marks and the 4 boob effect.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 18-Jun-11 14:00:26

See I hate tight bands. When debenhams measured me as a 36d ages ago I tried one on and it felt awful so bought a 38c instead as it was comfier. The fitter insisted the 36d was the better fit.

MarknadNutidaPlats Sat 18-Jun-11 14:00:42

I have to have high cotton bra's, underwired and no poly lining, fun is not bra shopping but have had good success online with Marisota, my holy grail is that the wire rests on my ribs all the way and i lift the boobage once all fastenened so a better fit and tho the back stays the same the cups vary from currently F-H.

HouseOfBamboo Sat 18-Jun-11 16:33:33

See the thing about underwires is that they all seem to be a perfect C shape (I know, because I tend to rip them out of bras in frustration).

And I really can't imagine that most womens' breast tissue sits neatly at the front of their ribcage forming a perfect C shape where the underwire is. My breast tissue is a 'half of a heart' shape underneath, and ends up much further round my ribcage (towards the armpits) than underwires ever go. It's a design flaw, I tell ya.

HopeForTheBest Sat 18-Jun-11 16:45:42

Just marking place. Ignore me smile

woopsidaisy Sat 18-Jun-11 17:05:58

Viva,if you are used to wearing a bra that is too big,it will feel tight and uncomfortable at first in a bra that fits correctly.
But you get used to it. Stick with it and you will feel much better and look better too!

housemum Sat 18-Jun-11 17:21:48 have a fitting guide as to which bits to change (cup size or band size) to get the right fit. There used to be an MN discount there, might be worth checking the shopping page to see if there still is.


HettyAmaretti Sat 18-Jun-11 17:30:38

darlene - that's why you need to learn to fit yourself.

Bamboo - I don't know what to suggest really, in any case you'll have to hunt for bras that feel soft to you. A good moisturise before you put them on might help. It sounds like you might be between band sizes, someone has to be, try going for a band size up and fitting on the middle hooks. Your bras won't last as long as they otherwise would but if it saves the pain and gives you a chance to get used to them it's probably worth it.

DonaAna Sat 18-Jun-11 17:32:02

Hetty, thanks for the essay, never in my bra-wearing life have I seen anything more useful (and am also wondering whether I've gotten my cup size all wrong all these years). Do you have a doctorate in Bra Science?

Beaver, given your bra size, the plunge style bra is all wrong on you. You risk looking like someone from People of Walmart if you continue wearing it. Get properly fitted and get more support!

VivaLeBeaver Sat 18-Jun-11 18:10:06

From the Figleaves website;

If your bust is bulging over the top of the cups, they are too small. Try wearing a t-shirt over the bra to show up any bumps. Please note, where tissue has lost elasticity you may see some bulging in half cup styles.

I fear that the second sentence rings a bell in my plunge bra.

Lol at People of Walmart. It was a bloody expensive bra as well. Grrrrrr.

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