One of my biggest pet peeves is that once I realize I’m doing something wrong, and I’m unable to do anything about it, I get irritated with the situation. In this case, I was irritated by the fact I had to wait until Thursday to get a bra I purchased from eBay in the mail.. so I did some online exploring to see what my local department stores had to offer. After perusing briefly through the websites, I concluded that Dillard’s would be the best place for me to hit. So I left Ruthie and Oscar with my friend and ran over to the mall. I tried on EIGHT bras this time, and came home with three! Here’s a brief rundown.
Three of the bras were full coverage. The brands I tried on Whimsy by Lunaire, and two Modern Movement bras. The Whimsy was unlined and was too wrinkly due to it being a full coverage. The Modern Movement bras were full cups… which confirmed that I need to STAY AWAY from full cups due to my shape. They were TOO full coverage so I had a difficult time determining if the wrinkling I was seeing was caused by the cups starting too high for my stature, or the cup shape or a combination of the two.
The bra that I almost got was made by Wacoal, and was an unlined cup as well. I decided to not get it after pulling on my shirt over it and saw it was basically saying “I have a lacy bra on, look at the amazing texture!” I wasn’t exactly wanting to call unneeded attention to my breasts.. It was rather interesting though, because of how perky it made me look. Overall the bra was made with a lacy mesh, but on the inside, there was some stiffer fabric that was in place to give lift and perk. I liked the concept quite a bit, but the lacy texture was too much. Maybe it was the shirt I was wearing today, I don’t know. If it had been a smooth texture, I would have bought it.
*The 8th bra I tried on was actually the strapless bra in a 32DD. I had that sucker on for 2 minutes and realized it was incredibly tight. I toyed with the idea of getting it and just letting it stretch out, but after wearing it for 2 minutes and then taking it off, I already had red marks! So I went and scoured the rack for a 34D.. and luckily there was one! I tried that on and it felt so much better. And guess what, look of my breasts were the EXACT same! So I can verify that going up a band/down a cup (or vice versa) within the exact same brand/style is 100% correct!!
Now, you’re wondering about price, right? Both of the CK bras were $16.10 each, and the b.tempt’d was $14!! The CK bras came off the clearance rack, and the b.tempt’d bras are currently marked down (but not on clearance rack) due to some sale Dillard’s has going on right now. If you’re thinking of going to get new bras this week, Dillard’s is the place to go if you have one nearby! I did ask the gal what was their largest cup size that they carry in stores, and she informed me US H (UK FF) so if you find that you’re above that in cup size, then I wouldn’t try Dillard’s. I saw at Nordstrom Rack they went up to a US K, so consider going there (if you have one locally) or Nordstrom if you need a size larger than what Dillard’s offers.
So, today I decided to head over to Nordstrom Rack to try on bras in my new size. I ended up trying on 5 different brands. Here they are with links to the exact/closest in style bra that I tried on in my size of 32DD; and how they fit and my notes I made for myself in a spreadsheet. Below is the “sister sizing chart” that allows me to determine what bra size I would need to wear per brand if there was any variance in the fits of the bra. Keep in mind that when you try bras on, the bands have to fit properly on the loosest set of hooks. Over time Elastic will start to relax and lose it’s ability to go back down to it’s perky and springy self; so the idea is as the elastic NATURALLY relaxes, you move to the smaller hooks. Once you’re on the last set of hooks, and it becomes too lose, this means that your bra has worn out and you need to replace it. I also followed these instructions on how to bra shop (just do the measuring yourself at home, it’ll most likely be more accurate) and followed the two finger test when determining how tight to get the straps. Read them over before heading to the store.
Cup fit: Was good!
Band fit: Too loose on the loosest hooks.
Straps: I was able to adjust them appropriately.
Conclusion: Since the band was too lose, this means that I would have to go DOWN a band size, but UP a cup size. Remember, you need to stay within the proper VOLUME range to get proper fitting cups AND band! I have to stay within 590cc, so that means I need a 30E, or in the sizing system of the bra, a 30DDD.
Calvin Klein brand.
Cup fit: Was good!
Band fit: Almost perfect. I like my bands with slightly tighter fit, if you’re into a moderate fitting band, then this may be a good option for you.
Straps: They were too loose even on the tightest setting.
Conclusion: If it weren’t for the straps, I would have bought the bra. Just as a reminder, I’m 4’11” so I do have a smaller torso than women that are taller than me. Provided that your breasts are close set like mine, you may find that this is a good brand and fit for you if they carry your size. I was simply too short, so I ended up not purchasing it, I don’t want to deal with straps slipping down.
Cup fit: Was good! But was a bit awkward at the same time.*
Band fit: Perfect! Snug but not uncomfortable.
Straps: I was able to adjust them appropriately.
Conclusion: *Out of the bras I tried on, this was probably the most perfect fit. However, according to this page on their website, my breast shape was not appropriate for the bra. I have shallow breasts, and the bra I think is more suited if you have a full bust. I will aim for a bra style that they recommend for my shape.
Cup fit: Was good! And due to the style of the cup, I loved how my cleavage looked; there was more of it.
Band fit: Too tight! I noticed the fabric was not as stretchy as most other bras are, and when I exhaled I heard a thread pop. WOOPS
Straps: I was able to adjust them properly.
Conclusion: Since they only had one style of bra at the store, I couldn’t see if their other bras were stretchier or not. Without factoring that in, I will need to go UP a band size, but DOWN a cup size. Which means that I would need to wear 34D in this brand.
Cup fit: A tad iffy. Not because the volume was off, but because of a wider underwire. The bra is probably intended for women who have breasts that are ‘far set’.. which means your breast tissue starts more under your armpits than other women. Nothing wrong with this, and I think this is probably common with women for fuller breasts.
Band fit: Pretty good.
Conclusion: I was actually surprised to see that this was made by Natori. But this looks like its their “economical” brand; which of course has no bearing on the quality, but on the price. I think if you’ve got fuller breasts or your breasts are ‘far set’, then this may be what you’ll want to try. Not to say that Josie doesn’t have closer set cups or Natori doesn’t have far set cups.. I couldn’t tell you. It’s really dependent on the cut and style of the cups!
Conclusion? 590cc cups are spot on for me! This means that I would have to purchase a 30DDD(E) in one brand, 32DD in 3 brands and 34D in one brand based on the bras I tried on today. The band and cups change but the volume does not.
I hope with sharing my experience, I am able to instill more confidence to take the plunge -hahaha plunge bras are a style, get it?- and take matters into your own (or husband’s) hands and measure yourself properly and accurately! But there WILL BE DISBELIEF from the men and even yourself! You have to show them the chart above, and if they STILL don’t believe it, I’ve created the most un-sexiest visual I can come up with on why the bras I currently own are the WRONG size in the cups with.. RICE. I used this unit conversion calculator to quickly determine how many cups each cc number equates to, AND I put them in identical containers too!
On the left, that’s what my current bras hold. On the right, that’s what the bras I tried on today hold. That’s a significantly different amount of rice, and it’s INSANE that I was trying to contain that much ‘rice’ in a container that hold the amount of ‘rice’ on the left. It has to go somewhere, and in my case, quadboob (mostly this), armpit boob (mostly this) and under band boob (not too much), and back boob (less than underband boob). Yes breast tissue migrates to all sorts of crazy places.
Oh and I need to clarify something.. if you have ‘pendulous breasts’ (as in they dangle down really far due to age/pregnancy/nursing).. you may want to follow these instructions on getting your proper bra size.
If you have pendulous breasts, you may wish to take two measurements. You can measure yourself once in the hanging position, then once in the standing position, and average the two numbers. However, your best bet is leaning towards the larger measurement to start, to make sure that there is room for your breasts, then work down to a snug cup fit.
Well there you go! Let me know how it goes for ya and if you have any questions.