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After some weight loss, I had no idea what bra size I was. I went into JL wearing a 34C. She advised I should be wearing a 30D. Initially I was sceptical as I simply did not think my small chest could fill a D cup. But she brought me a Calvin Klein bra to try and wow! The fit and look were such an improvement. DH also amused to suddenly find himself with a D cup wife!
Please do not get fitted in M&S. Or anywhere that adds 4 inches.
With your back measurement you should be in a 28 or a 30 - anywhere that says you need something like a 34, back out of the room fast!
As Sorrel says, if you try say a 28 or 30 but in an A, you won't be able to breathe. Because there won't be enough space for your breast tissue, which means the band will be getting pulled to try and make enough room. Which will cause it to feel too tight.
John Lewis are generally fairly decent, and a lot of Debenhams seem to have upped their game recently. Bravissimo are brilliant but they start at a D cup, so maybe try a few bras on and if it looks like the 28D is right (which would be my best guess) then head in there where you will be able to try on quite a lot.
Avoid M&S like the plague. Independent lingerie shops or bravissimo are your best bet. But you can always just take a stack of bras in and try Look for - centre wire lying flat (if it doesn't, go up a cup size). Bra back not riding up (if it does it's too big). No 4 boobs effect (cup too small) And it should fasten on loosest hook so as it wears you can tighten it
Wow, really??? Ok, thanks, I will give it a try ... and I might just get myself down to Peacock's to tide me over while I figure out where on earth I'm going to find a decent bra shop..... Do I want an old-fashioned place where I'll get measured and prodded by a prim old dear (flashbacks to my first bra fitting when I was 12) or will John Lewis / M&S do the job?? Sorry to ask so many questions!
I bought something very similar from Peacocks for £6 for two. They are lovely and comfy (am a 34 D), but the shape isn't fabulous and obviously the support isn't as good as you would get in a proper bra. That said, it is fine for everyday use under a jumper - if I was wearing a fitted top I would wear a more structured bra.
Best to try one on, but i think it would be fine for an A cup because you maybe need less support.