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Bra advice - I am throwing myself at your feet in desperation...

(31 Posts)
Kewcumber Tue 09-Jun-15 16:06:46

I could have retired early if I'd saved all the money I've wasted on bras that aren't comfortable.

I'm big (of bust and of body and of height) but just about within the larger normal ranges. 40G in M&S and 40FF in other makes depending on shape.

I've double checked using the Mumsnet method (rather than the old fashioned add 5 business and it does seem to confirm what I think that with the right shape that is the right size for me)

I prefer a plunge type bra if possible as I find it hard to get a bra that sits flat in the middle if the wires come up high in the middle - apparently I have breasts which are quite close together. Some balcony types seem OK too.

I found the holy grail of a perfect bra with good lift and bought three from M&S (sorry I know some people hate the bra service at M&S but this truly was the perfect bra) but they are beginning to wear out and get too stretchy and I need to replace them. M&S have discontinued... SOB...

They have decided that what most women above an F need is padding and a smooth conical shape. Ummmmm....

But the problem is this. Nearly all bras poke me in the armpit. It;s like the seventh circle of heel after a couple of hours.

I have decided that despite being tall I must have a high bust (or low armpits)

Not heaps of money and I hate teh idea of ordering a £40+ bra only to find it doesn;t fit and I have to lose the postage.

I'm told its possible to get a "petite" fitting bra in my size but that sounds a bit nuts for someone 5'9" and sized 22/24!

I looked at Ewa Michelak but couldn't make head nor tail of the website.

Advice from anyone would be much appreciated. I'm so sick of having uncomfortable bras which I discover after wearing them for a day are uncomfortable.

IKnowRight Tue 09-Jun-15 16:21:26

No need to apologise for the M&X undies, I've always found that whilst their measuring service is decidedly dodgy, the actual bras themselves have been perfectly servicable.

I'm a 20/22 and a 38G or H dependent on fit. You might find that other styles fit better if you move away from your usual size? I tend to need to go up a cup size and down a back size for a balcony bra - probably a bit too low slung these days grin.

I'm lucky in that my local department store does a decent measuring and fitting service, they won't sell you a bra that doesn't fit so you don't end up spending money unnecessarily. I will buy one, wear it for a couple of weeks (not continuously haha) and then order a few more online if it's any good. I usually end up with three or four and wear them to death then the whole process starts again. It's independent though so not countrywide. Perhaps somewhere like John Lewis would do similar?

Have you tried Bravissimo? I never have but I've heard good things about their fitting service - again you can buy the same things online for less.

We have a factory outlet shopping park near us which had an underwear shop called Leia until a couple of years ago - they were excellent, I got a couple of really well fitted bras for about �15 each. Sadly the shop closed, no idea if the chain went bang or if it was just our local one.

Kewcumber Tue 09-Jun-15 16:29:50

I've already gone up a cup size! an F in previous bra (hereby to be known as ThePerfectBra) and a 40F seemed to fit perfectly and comfortably. I'm worried if I try going up a size again that it will stab me in the armpit even more!

the new 40G M&S bra I'm wearing does seem to fit OK it just comes up too high in the armpit. NOt just the wire - the whole bra rubs right into my armpit - by going up one cup size to the G it's added an inch to the height of the sides of the bra so I think I either need a G cup with a shorter side or an F cup which just holds me up and allows the top of my boobs to roam free!

Kewcumber Tue 09-Jun-15 16:30:37

Will google Leia - I'm not very brave about bra shops - my experience of them is that it's very hard to get out without buying anything even if you're not sure

ouryve Tue 09-Jun-15 16:40:13

It might be partly that the shoulder straps aren't quite long enough, pulling the sides of the bra up a bit too high.

You've worked out what shape your breasts are in the middle, but what about at the sides? I wear balconnets, but some have wires that are wide and shallow, while others are so narrow and deep that they fit right at the front, with no side bob at all. You'll need to look at the same things with plunge bras. I find that bras with narrower wires, in a tighter u shape really dig in under the arm, while wider shallower wires are more likely to comfortably enclose all the flabby breast tissue and not dig in.

That said, I have bras the same make, the same basic wire shape, with a difference in height of the side bands - too low and it's not supportive enough, too high I have the same problem as you.

If you can afford the initial outlay, it's worth going online to somewhere like figleaves or brastop and just ordering lots of bras and trying them on.

ouryve Tue 09-Jun-15 16:41:38

side boob.

Side bob is probably peeking through the curtains, watching us try on bras.

Kewcumber Tue 09-Jun-15 17:19:52

No side boob - lots of poking out flesh in other places but to be fair thats inevitable at my size!

I think I do need wider shallower wires.

In fact now that I look at ThePerfectBra it is only a 40E!!! Though probably a little small now but comparing the wires it is a much shallower wire.

Why isn;t there a tick option for shallow wires online?

will try lengthening straps as one of the new bras I bought is very nearly OK.

Kewcumber Tue 09-Jun-15 20:48:00

Well that was helpful! Let the straps down an inch has helped. I'll see how it goes tomorrow. Dont think it will work with my other bra but at least this one isn't a complete write off.

Dowser Tue 09-Jun-15 22:51:56

I bought a bra 38 DD at the weekend , the size I usually get, underwired. It was puckered at the top of the cups and a bit tight on the band.

That was me wearing it. It looked perfect when I got it out of the packet.

Measuring myself over another 38DD bra I measured 41 over the fullest bit and 34 around the band.

I honestly haven't a clue, so I've got a solution.

I'm going to put the fastened bra under my foot and tug at it with my clenched fist. If it survives that and doesn't fall apart or the hooks go all wonky, I reckon it'll be perfect!

Because if it isn't...I don't have a clucking foo what to buy next !

ouryve Tue 09-Jun-15 23:09:13

Dowser, you need a bra with a 34" band and to measure your boobs hanging free, while leaning forward. Every inch difference is a cup size smile I bet you're a 34G.

Dowser Tue 09-Jun-15 23:38:36

Thanks lurve but the 38 band was choking me and it wasn't round my throat either!

At rest the bra measured 29 ins on the band.

I will have a go as you suggest.

Do I need to let go of my zimmer frame at the same time lol or does Mr Dowser do the measuring while I hang on tight lol

Dowser Tue 09-Jun-15 23:39:20


And I haven't been at the cooking sherry either!

AnythingNotEverything Tue 09-Jun-15 23:42:28

The band will feel too tight if the cups aren't big enough. If you try the bra in back to front it should be snug but breathable - you shouldn't be able to pull it inches away from your body.

Wearing the right size bra is like losing a dress size. It's amazing, honestly.

Dowser Wed 10-Jun-15 00:08:32

Wow! That's an amazing explanation. Thanks anything.

I often swell up in the heat and as this is a wedding bra for our wedding abroad...would you recommend going up to a 36?

I might just be getting this now.

Although if I go to a 36 that might bring the cups down to an E

Does that sound right?

goodasitgets Wed 10-Jun-15 07:45:30

Bravissimo Satine? Nice plunge, there is padding but it's more smoothing than actual padding. Comes low under arms on me
I can help a little with ewa michalak if you need help

Kewcumber Wed 10-Jun-15 10:39:47

Oh yes talk to me about Ewa Michelak. I'll look at Satine but tbh anything preformed has always been the wrong shape for me. I'm not sure what the technical term is but I seem to have a lot of bosom on top not so much underneath - another reason the more open cups seem to work better.

I meawsured myself according to the Ewa Michelak rules and I was a 40G but I was totally overwhelmed by the million choices and what all the style numbers meant (if anything)

She just seems to have such a good choice I feel convinced I will find a bra that works. But are they true to size or small/large?

Kewcumber Wed 10-Jun-15 10:40:52

bravissimo satine no good - only goes up to 38

Curvy Kate are good for wide and shallow wires, are as Elomi (which is made by the same company as Freya)

Dowser, 29" unstretched seems a little too small for a 38, I suspect you've got a dodgy one. As a rough guide I just checked bratabase and they are showing the Freya Deco as having unstretched measurement of 33, stretched of 40, for a 38dd. The unstretched should be less than you measure as unstretched the band won't do much!

Kewcumber, ignore the EM rules for sizing as they are a bit tricky. What are your tight underbust and leaning non tight overbust measurements (sorry if I've missed them!). I have lots of EM bras.

Kewcumber Wed 10-Jun-15 10:51:19

OK so I have found a blog (curvy wordy) which explains Ewa Michelak a bit better. It seems that PL and CH might be a good shape on me so I just need some guidance on the sizing

The PL is narrower in my experience than the CH/CHP (it's CH in some cup sizes and CHP in others)

She basically does the following:
PL - uber plunge nade from lightly padded/moulded material with serious cleavage, often removable pads, quite narrow wires. Fabric doesn't add bulk
S - plunge/balcony borderline - not as low in the middle as a PL but still gives good cleavage. Wires fairly narrow but a little wider than PL I'd say.
SM - unpadded version of the S shape made in very sheer fabrics which are a lot stronger than they look. These fabrics stretch much less than the others so I almost always take a band size higher in the SM
BM - another unpadded style with a fuller cup. The upper section is incredibly soft and stretchy though so the fit is quite flexible.
CHP/CH - half cup bras, with the CH being designed for smaller breasts. Wider neckline and wider wires, these don't push your breasts quite as upfront as the PL or S shapes.

My personal preference is the S, which is a good in between bra and tends to be very comfortable.

Kewcumber Wed 10-Jun-15 11:07:27

Ooh thank you - not too sure about moulded so maybe the PL isn't for me. Maybe the SM then?

Her website isn;t easy to negotiate is it? Prices are all in zlotys is tehre a euro or sterling site?

The PL isn't properly moulded - it has seams so it's not all in one piece which makes it much more comfortable than a proper moulded, it's just that the fabric is very lightly padded. It's hard to describe because it's not big thick padding either!

The prices are in Zloty, it's about 5 Zloty to £1

goodasitgets Wed 10-Jun-15 12:20:41

I have a SM, a PL and lots of S shapes! Definitely agree the padding is hard to describe, it's not moulded as in stiff like the ones that keep their (bizarre!) shape solidly

goodasitgets Wed 10-Jun-15 12:21:49

This is an S shape. You can see when I'm lying down its not a stiff moulded type

nottheOP Wed 10-Jun-15 12:29:02

You have described the problems that I have and the comfiest bra for me is the Bravissimo Satine. It goes up to a 38 but I find it quite generous in the back so it might work. You usually have to go up a size in the cup though.

It is nice and flexible under the arm and has a plunge shape.

This is a nice cheapie in your size, maybe worth a go

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