Bras - Sizing, Shopping, Finding the Best

equiraptor

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Not-A-Dudes, where to you go to find bras that actually fit you? What sizes can you find near you? What doesn't fit, what does? What resources do you use to find bras, and for fitting tips?

And even better, what shape and size are you? What bras fit you best, and how do different bras compare?

To start, what's your favorite daily wear bra, and why?

What's your favorite strapless/multiway?

What's your favorite sports bra?

Tell us about them!

Some of the vendors I've shopped with (If it's not obvious, links contain pictures of women in lingerie, and some contain men as well - you are warned):
Bravissimo has a selection of bras in ranges form D cup to KK, and from a 28 band to... I think I've seen as big as a 40?
Figleaves has a huge selection of undergarments in a wide range of sizes, from 28AA to 50+ bands and JJ-ish cups. These seem to generally be a touch more expensive than Bravissimo, if Bravissimo offers the same bra, though.
Brastop has last season's and extra-stock large-cup bras at discounted prices.
Breakout Bras has a selection, as well, and occasionally does "grab bags". I got their "4 bras for $50" grab bag, and while all the bras are colors I find horrible, they all actually fit and are wearable (some just need darker shirts to be sure they don'ts how through)

I've found Bravissimo is the most helpful for finding your fit. They have fantastic customer service. There are also blogs and various communities out there to help find resources and proper fit for women not within the "standard" 32-38 and A-DD range (or who think they're in that range but actually aren't!). There are some amazing sports bras with cup-fit that actually contain more ample bosom. :)

And then there's Bratabase (I believe there's a sister site in German, as well). This is not a commercial bra related site, but rather a site intended to be a database of reviews. It also has some for sale/for trade/give-aways. At this point, it's of somewhat limited use for finding and comparing bras, as it needs more reviews (more data!), but it's useful for sharing reviews. The more data we give the site, the more useful it will be. :)
 
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LP

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All the dudes:

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Emarline

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For ages I thought I was a 38D, then I discovered that I'd been wearing the wrong band size (turns out it's not supposed to ride up in the back, who knew?), so did the usual go down a band size, up a cup size to a 36DD, and I thought I was fine, but recently I ordered a 36E on a whim from Bravissimo, and sweet jesus. My boobs have never been so well-contained.
 

ninjacoco

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I <3 Nordstrom for offline purchases. Well, them and Petticoat Fair (Austin-area store).

(Fine, I'll say it. I have HUUUUUGE TRACTS OF LAND!)
 

rickhamilton620

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I <3 Nordstrom for offline purchases. Well, them and Petticoat Fair (Austin-area store).

(Fine, I'll say it. I have HUUUUUGE TRACTS OF LAND!)

Petticoat Junction. The first thought that came to my mind upon reading your post.

Yeah I need to get out more.....
 

Shentar

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this thread will be a rollercoaster of Not-a-dudes being helpful, and dudes wanting to say something. But most dudes will say it, just in a way that seems like they aren't.
 

equiraptor

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For ages I thought I was a 38D, then I discovered that I'd been wearing the wrong band size (turns out it's not supposed to ride up in the back, who knew?), so did the usual go down a band size, up a cup size to a 36DD, and I thought I was fine, but recently I ordered a 36E on a whim from Bravissimo, and sweet jesus. My boobs have never been so well-contained.
My story is similar to yours, Emarline. I started in a 32D thanks to Victoria's Secret (useless place). Bras were horrible, uncomfortable things, but so was going without. Finally, after complaining about the ridiculousness of bras to a friend, she suggested I try Petticoat Fair. I went, and they told me my proper band size was somewhere between a 30 and a 28. They brought a few bras of each band size for me to try, but the few 28s they had were ugly, lacy things. They had a smooth, soft comfortable bra in 30E, though, and it fit well enough with the band on the tightest hook. It was fantastic... At the time. My bras didn't stab me anymore, and they actually provided support. For years, I wore this bra in this size.

Then I realized... the band is still riding up. And the underwires have started to stab me again. So I emailed Bravissimo looking for help. They talked me into a Deco. I generally hate moulded cup bras, but gave it a try on their suggestion. They looked at my sizing issues with the Fantasie bra and said it looked like my cup size was up to an F on the 30 band, but since I needed to go down a band size, to get the same volume I needed to go up a cup size. So I'd be a 28FF. Except... the Deco can run large in the cup, so for that one go back down to 28F. I did as they suggested, and the bands on the bras fit wonderfully. And for the first time in... well, maybe not forever but certainly years, my entire boob was in the bra. There was no sideboob hanging out outside the wire by my underarm. That was great. But the Deco is a plunge, push-up bra, and I think the F cups are a bit small for me. As a result, my 28F Decos are massive cleavage bras. While there are times when I like showing off cleavage, it's not what I want in a daily wear bra, and that's what I'm looking for! Not only is it not-always-appropriate, it's also hot, sweaty, sticky, and generally nasty. I had ordered a few other bras in 28FF, and these cups were quickly too small, as well.

Back when I was still trying to fit into a 30E, I had ordered a Rio (also a Freya bra). Though I'm not real fond of the looks, I found it was comfortable and supportive, and wasn't bad about showing lines under clothes (for whatever reason, that pattern manages to hide). I tried on my old Rio again, and the band rode up a bit, and the cups were clearly way too small, but it was still comfortable and still didn't show lines. So I ordered another, in 28G. It arrived and... wow. The band doesn't move. Even after breaking in, it stays in place. The straps did have issues with loosening themselves - they're very smooth - but I used some safety pins to correct that during the break-in period (winter is great for hiding things like that) and now that's it's broken in and not moving anymore, I can sew them down. It's also definitely a full coverage bra, and I have to break out the Decos for some of my low cut tops.

And... now that I've discovered it's great... the Rio is canceled. Freya is not making any more. They've said they're replacing it, and truly, it is in need some upgrades. The metal bits are uncomfortable, and really annoy some, and the unstable straps need to be fixed. But I don't know which bra is its replacement, and I'm not sure what I want to do about low-cut tops when I don't want to show massive cleavage with fake-looking boobs. I need flesh tone, smooth (or smooth enough) cups, and a Freya style cup, not a Panache style. Everything I find is either Panache (which irritates my underarms) or bumpy, fancy, and not something that will hide easily under clothing.

Grumble.
 

he-he

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What amazes me about bra sizing is that so many places use a completely wrong method to measure your fit!

  • Measure around your rib cage under your boobs. If an even number, add 4"/10cm, if odd add 5".
  • This is your bra size.
  • Measure round the fullest part of your boobs.
  • The difference between this and your bra size is your cup size. 1"=Acup; 2"=Bcup etc

Errr... WTF? This would make me a 34C. (I'm actually a 30F.) This method is the main reason so many women are wearing the wrong size bra - basically cups not big enough causing double-boob, and band size too big so that it rides up your back.

Bravissimo is the best place on this earth, closely followed by Rigby and Peller. The fitters in those places can tell what size you are by just looking, and really do give advice on what styles suit you. Marks and Spencer? Forget it. The last time I went for a fitting there the assistant tried to convince me that I was a 36B. Jeez, the band was so big you could've fitted another person in it with me, and the cup was a joke. Grr.
 

mgkdk

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I seriously need to go somewhere to find out what size I am, I'm sure my size was wrong before and after a pregnancy and breastfeeding the only bras I 'fit' are the breastfeeding bras <_< but I would also like to loose a kg (or 10) before investing in proper bras.
 

geeman

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Boobs mentioned.
 

suggsygirl

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I have worn pretty much every size bra under the sun and have been told I'm anywhere from a 42DD to a 36J. Because I've got quite a small back size in comparison to the cup size I had the problem of either my boobs sneaking out under the wires or getting the double boobed thing where you spill out of the top. I have come to the conclusion that the only company that makes bras or me is Bravissimo. I went in there - with a friend, talk about men's fantasy stereotype situation - and ended up with two sales assistants and said friend in the cubicle with me, poking and prodding and adjusting. I ended up being a 36J in the Melody bra and wear that for everyday but for cleavage situations I wear a tango plunge bra in a size too small to get the pushed together look.

I can never not wear a bra for any period of time when I'm not on my back, fnar... because it hurts to hold the bloody things up and I find I'm leaning backwards all the time. However on the plus side men have actually lost track of what they're saying altogether through staring at them. Swings and roundabouts really.
 

Cowboy

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