Big breasts, bra sizes and just fed up really!

(58 Posts)
Fontella Fri 26-Aug-16 21:50:38

I am very top heavy. Size 10 jeans but above the waist is a different story. I have very big breasts on a narrow frame and it is the bane of my life. I am probably an 18 on the top - I don't really know because I live in baggy tops and generally try to hide the upper part of my body.

Wearing a bra is so uncomfortable, I can only usually last a couple of hours. As soon as I get in the house, it's the first thing I take off, and then put on some voluminous garment - oversized man's shirt or similar and am then comfortable. As I work from home it is very easy to spend all day like that.

But when it comes to going out I am always having to find outfits that work around my boobs. Despite being narrow - long legs, short body - I do have a large rib cage (if that makes any sense), which makes my huge boobs appear even bigger than they actually are.

So last night I decided to measure myself properly and get some decent bras that fit and start accepting the fact that I am a big boobed woman and be proud of it rather than hiding it. I went on two separate websites, which suggested different methods of measuring - and both came out the same - 40D. I checked and double checked I was doing it right and both sites agreed that was my size.

So I ordered four bras online last night and today I was out shopping and picked up another one. I got home, put it on and it was miles too big and I mean miles. The cups were actually sticking out with a great big gap between the garment itself and my boobs. I was better off guessing my size because this was so far out it was ridiculous, even though I'd followed the instructions to the letter.

So the chances are the four bras that are on their way to me won't fit either and the whole thing has been a waste of time.

Does anyone else here have this problem? I'm sure some of the responses will say 'go and get properly measured' - but I am the kind of person who wouldn't feel comfortable with all that and apart from that, I'm not well off (single mum blah blah) and can't afford to be spending 50 or 60 quid on a bra.

I know I'm big breasted and I measured myself exactly as I should have done and didn't lie or tweak the measurements (why would I)?

If you are big breasted and have had similar problems to me and have resolved them ... how, without throwing loads of money at it?

Ginmakesitallok Fri 26-Aug-16 21:53:28

So what were your measurements? I'm a size 18-20 and wear a 38" back.

VanillaSugar Fri 26-Aug-16 21:57:39

Different bra companies and styles have different sizes. Go into M&S, get measured and spend twenty quid.

thatstoast Fri 26-Aug-16 21:58:12

No way are you a 40 back if you can wear size 10 jeans. I'm an 18/20 and wear a 38JJ.

Did you use the bra guru site?

Flowersonthewall Fri 26-Aug-16 22:00:22

HAve you been on the boob or bust website...very helpful al so has a Facebook page. M and s are notorious for bad sizing.

EttaJ Fri 26-Aug-16 22:00:27

Go to Bravissimo, if you have one near you or an independent store. M&S are not great for sizing.

QforCucumber Fri 26-Aug-16 22:00:39

What website did you use? I'm an 8-10 bottom and fit wonderfully into a 30g bra, only discovered this after finding the booborbust site. Was previously in a 34e and never got a comfortable fit.

Ginmakesitallok Fri 26-Aug-16 22:01:25

Don't get measured at m&s!! You'll end up in a 44c or something ridiculous!

BigGapMum Fri 26-Aug-16 22:01:30

No, whatever you do, don't get measured in M&S. They're rubbish!

NuggetofPurestGreen Fri 26-Aug-16 22:01:31

Don't go to m&s! They are terrible for measuring. Told me I was a 38b and I'm a 30G.

NuggetofPurestGreen Fri 26-Aug-16 22:02:04

Ha! Triple Xpost

dementedpixie Fri 26-Aug-16 22:05:14

I am a size 18/20 and wear a 36 back so doubt that you are a 40.
thebetterbracampaign.blogspot.co.uk/p/fitting-advice.html - gives instructions on how to measure. Whatever you do, don't add extra inches to your back size or the size will be wrong

wiccamum Fri 26-Aug-16 22:11:49

I was in Glasgow a few weeks ago, got measured at House of Fraser...the woman was a bloody marvel. She just looked at my boobs, said "I'll be back in a mo" and came back with the most comfortable bra I have EVER worn! I'd been in the wrong size for ages, and now I'm wearing the right size I feel more comfortable and confident. I splashed out on a few more pricier bras, but sooooo worth it! My bosoms thank you Natalie from Glasgow 😊

NicknameUsed Fri 26-Aug-16 22:11:55

"Go into M&S, get measured and spend twenty quid."

FGS don't do this.

Fontella Fri 26-Aug-16 22:12:07

I measured my rib cage under my boobs and it was 36 inches. The site I was on said add 4 inches to that and it gives you your band size.

Then it said measure round the fullest part of your boobs so I did that and it measured 44 inches. The 4 inch difference between band size and cup size means I'm a D cup.

Only I'm clearly not as the bra is so ridiculously huge on me it's not even funny.

Someone up above said M & S will measure you and it's 20 quid ish for a bra? If that's correct, then I'll do it.

But then someone else says they are shit at measuring.

All I want is a comfortable bra that fits me (not a sports bra of which I have a drawer full).

dementedpixie Fri 26-Aug-16 22:14:03

Your measurements suggest a 36FF. You don't add 4 inches to your back size

Fontella Fri 26-Aug-16 22:16:23

No way are you a 40 back if you can wear size 10 jeans. I'm an 18/20 and wear a 38JJ

My boyfriend just said that to me on the phone. He said 'you have a narrow back'. He agrees with the cup size but says there's no way I'm a 40. I think my rib cage has something to do with all this - the way I stand and it kind of pushes everything out. But I carefully measured under my boobs (36 inches) and then at the fullest (44 inches).

But then the bra I bought today - it was the actual cup that was enormous. It literally stands out away from my boob with a huge gap between skin and fabric.

wiccamum Fri 26-Aug-16 22:18:51

Bravissimo, Debenhams, Frasers...all good for measuring. Why not try a couple of places for a free fitting? You don't have to buy anything if you don't like what they have, just take the fitting. Compare sizing...hopefully they will all come up around the same. Also, some sizes are the same. By that, I mean cup volume can be the same in different sizes. So I went from a 34D to a 32DD...I haven't gained more in my cup volume, I was wearing the wrong back size. It can also vary with style as well. I am still a 34D in a balconette style, but if it was a plunge style, my cup would runneth over. God it seems complicated...you can see why we struggle to get the right size!

footballwidow12 Fri 26-Aug-16 22:22:30

Do not go anywhere that uses a tape measure to measure your boobs - it's all wrong!

I'm a 12/14 and a 30HH.

Go to bravissimo smile

Tinklypoo Fri 26-Aug-16 22:22:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NicknameUsed Fri 26-Aug-16 22:23:19

"The site I was on said add 4 inches to that and it gives you your band size."

This is a load of bollocks. If you measure 36 inches round your rib cage this is your band size. The difference between this and the measurement round the fullest part is the cup size.

This makes perfect logical sense. M and S make perfectly good bras, but are crap at measuring.

Please read dementedpixie's link.

bluebiro Fri 26-Aug-16 22:26:57

Fontella don't despair! Measure yourself following this method:
thebetterbracampaign.blogspot.co.uk/p/fitting-advice.html

As others have said, many shops (inc M&S and the websites you've looked at) use a very outdated method of measuring whereby they add 4" to your underbust. This means that you end up with a bra which is too big in the back, too small in the cup and is uncomfortable and unsupportive. I have heard that Debenhams and other dept stores are variable as to their measuring skills! Bravissimo are usually good, however.

You need to measure under your bust, pulling the measuring tape quite firmly - that is the bra band measurement. So, if you measure 36" then you should try a 36" bra. If you're between sizes, then probably size down.

When measuring around the fullest part of your boobs do this while leaning forward. This sounds a bit scary (or did to me at least!) but go with it! Then for every inch that measures more than your underbust measurement, go up a cup size - it starts at an A cup for 1" more and goes: A,B,C,D,DD,E,F,FF,G,GG,H,HH,J,JJ,K,KK,L... The bra size you get will then be your starting point to trying a load of new bras. Don't be alarmed if it's a much bigger cup size than you thought!

This measurement is not necessarily your definitive bra size, but should be a very good starting point. You may need to try a few different styles (eg full cup, plunge, balconette) and a few sizes around your starting point to get your perfect bra. You could order a few from Bravissimo, say, or Brastop are good for bargains. Different brands suit different shape breasts as well - post back here for help as there are some brilliant bra gurus around who can give detailed advice on this!

Don't forget to "scoop" as described on the link as well - this makes all the difference!

RaisingSteam Fri 26-Aug-16 22:27:32

I'm about 41 inches bust and wearing a 32GG or H. I'm well endowed but it's not a monster size.
I would definitely recommend Bravissimo, they will put you in a bra that feels firmer and more structured than you've ever worn, then you'll try your top back on and go "wow" at how much better it looks. Their bras average £30.

Fontella Fri 26-Aug-16 22:28:32

God it seems complicated...you can see why we struggle to get the right size!

Yes it a struggle and one that's starting to get me down if I'm honest. I've always been big breasted, and have got round it by wearing baggy tops but in this hot weather it's horrible and also, I've got a good figure if only I could figure out what to do with these boobs. If I breathe in and stand up straight I literally look like Jessica Rabbit. So I slouch down and wear something that just covers everything up.

My mum had breast reduction surgery in middle age, and although I rarely go the doctor and literally hate the thought of anything like that, I can totally understand why she did it.

I'm just fed up with them. Every outfit is ruined because of them and apart from Sports bras (which are reasonably comfortable but do nothing for my shape, I have yet to find a bra that fits.

Cinnamoncookie Fri 26-Aug-16 22:28:42

If you try putting the bra you bought today on backwards (cups at the back), you can see how tight/loose the band is. If you can pull the band more than an inch or so away from your body, it's too big.

Often if your band size is too big and the cup too small, the bra feels tight because your boobs are 'stealing' fabric from the band because they won't fit in the cups.

However, the cup gaping sounds like it's the wrong style as well. Not all styles of bra fit all women - i can only wear plunge bras as anything with wires that come higher in the centre dig right it, and I need a wider wire as well. I'm a size 18/20 like PP, and I wear 36G/36GG (depending on the style).

Hopefully one of the bra intervention ladies will be along soon to help with suggestions of brands and styles, but this is another vote for the Better Bra Campaign website. Please ignore any website that tells you to add inches - that kind of thing is waaaaaay out of date. And never get measured by M&S. Bravissimo are the way to go, if you have one local to you.

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