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I don't know what's happened but my bras are driving me crazy and I can hardly bare to wear one at all! I was always a 36b, then measured in a shop at 34c so that's what I'm wearing. Went to buy new bras and measured 38a but nothing fitted. However measuring myself and calculating 38c! I've recently lost a few pounds, and now the underwire is rubbing on my ribcage making it really sore. I'm going out tomorrow to find new bras, so does anywhere sell non wired, nice looking slightly padded bras? I'm envisioning the huge things my poor old nana wore and it's not really the look I was going for! Also can someone recommend a good accurate bra size calculator as I'm getting varying results. TIA
Hopefully mumsnets resident bra gurus will see this but basically you need to measure under your breasts and this is your bra size. If you are an odd number then probably the size below will be better ie if it is 31 then try a 30.
Then measure the fullest part - think you are meant to lean over a bit possibly. If it is the same you are an A, one inch more a B etc. not sure how things like DD fit in as I am 30C so have never hit those heights. Different styles of bra and different makes of bra will fit differently so you need to try several on.
Personally, I like this calculator, and I really think getting a properly fitted bra is what will make the biggest difference for you in terms of getting a bra that's really comfy. Generally people wear too large a band size and too small a cup size (I know I was!) so that might be something to look out for.
I haven't tried it myself (I'm all about the underwire ) but I think the Deco soft cup might be worth a try. Here. The underwired Deco is amazing and the soft cup has had good reviews. The link is too Bravissimo and their measuring is fantastic, much much better than M&S etc, so it might be worth popping in and having a look.
The old calculators used to say you should add on 4 or 5 inches to your rib size (some still do) which is why I was wondering if you had done that to get the 38 measurement. As JeanPaget says many people wear too small a cup and too large a band such as my mum who is much smaller than I am in all respects and yet wears a 32AA bra
Try a 34C or D and you may need a 32D/E depending on style. Google The Better Bra Campaign blog for measuring and fitting advice. Do not add any inches to your measurements and stay away from online calculators, they're are nearly all wrong (especially M&S!).
Sorry, meant to say that rubbing is usually a sign that the band is too big. Don't discount underwired bras. A properly fitting one won't be uncomfortable and IMHO it's impossible to get a decent shape or good lift without wires once you're much over a D cup.
I'm amazed you think I might actually be a D cup! Last week when I was measured as 38A in M&S, I clearly saw that as she measured my ribcage it showed 34in. When she said 38a I was genuinely shocked, and she snapped back "well that's what the tape measure says" before flouncing out the cubicle! Yes I think the calculators and M&S add 4 inches on.
Yep JL are pretty good. It's is worth baiting a Bravissimo if possible as they will still advise you in size, shape and style. However I have a sneaking suspicion that you'll fit in a D .
Not only do M&S add inches, they also measure very loosely. Are the blog mentioned above for some M&S fitting horror stories. I could hardly feel the tape measure. The fitter measured me at 31 under bust and added 5" to make me a 36 (she did suggest I try a 38!). Her recommendation was a 36D. I actually measure 29.5" and wear a 30GG.
So today, amongst others, I went to BHS! Not expecting to find anything, or even be accurately measured but how wrong I was! The lady was so helpful, laughed at M&S ridiculous opinion on my size. Measured 34c, but once it came to trying on bras it would seem I am more of a 36C in a full cup and 36B in a balcony style. I tried on about 15 different bras, and just found the 34 band a bit tight as I have a flarred ribcage and had bulging over in the underarm.
So thanks everyone for your helpful advice, I am now no longer being driven up the wall by an uncomfortable bra!