My Experience- How I Became Bra Obsessed

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At first, I didn’t even know I had a problem with my bra size.

I would go to a large department store and get a 36C, based on a measurement from fifth grade when I first started wearing bras. In about eighth grade, I upped myself to a D cup after it was clear the C cup wasn’t working anymore. After a few years of falling out of the D cups, I headed back to the same chain store and got DDs. I figured that HAD to be my size – after all, it was the largest cup size they had available.  I had occasional moments of spilling out, but I reasoned that this was because of the bra style. So I started buying only full-coverage bras, which of course were practical, streamlined, and incredibly dull. I was resigned to a life of boring, plain bras- no cute demi-cups for me!

Then, a change began. My friend was planning on going to a specialty bra fitter, much like our Bra Doctor, and wanted me to come too. I had just bought a slew of new bras, but I went for moral support, as my friend had said that the way they fit bras was much more than simply measuring.

I was in for a surprise. We went into the store and I saw bras of all styles and colours, in sizes I had never heard of before. 30G? 34 H? What were these sizes? At chain stores, I had noticed that the larger back sizes (the number) usually corresponded with larger cup sizes. I had no idea people could have a tiny back size and a large cup size.
As I waited by the dressing rooms, I saw countless women buying new bras, preaching the truth of their new-found sizes. They vowed to throw away all the bras they had at home, even tossing the bras they wore into the store in the trash, thrilled to finally be wearing the right size. I saw older women beaming with delight. Teenage girls who came in sulking left with their heads held high with new confidence.
I was extremely jealous. Though I was fairly confident in my sizing abilities, I had a sneaking suspicion that I too was wearing the wrong size. I insisted my friend come back with me the next week so I could get fitted myself.  When I did, the friendly saleswoman measured around my torso with a measuring tape, and then had me take off my bra (no shame allowed) so she could inspect the merchandise.

“34 F,” she proclaimed.

I gasped. 34 F? I was almost correct in the back size, but the cup size I was wearing was two sizes too small! With a flourish, the saleswoman went to find me new bras. She came out with a nude coloured bra, a practical black, and a demi cup black bra with lace that I swooned over. After a life of plain full-coverage, I emerged with pretty, feminine, gorgeous bras that fit better than any I had ever owned.

Because of the correctly-fitting bras, my entire wardrobe went through a major upgrade. Button-down shirts that had popped open whenever I lifted my arms suddenly fit perfectly. My breasts looked shapely instead of saggy, and didn’t bounce around uncomfortably when I walked. I looked thinner, and the huge boost of confidence I felt from looking good made me stand up straighter and walk taller. I was converted into a brand-new, bra-obsessed woman.

This is why I became a bra blogger, so I could share my love of bras and lingerie with all of you. I would recommend any woman, young or old, to contact the Bra Doctor and get the right fit for their “ladies” and at last diagnose and solve the real reasons behind any bra fitting problems (e.g. “spillage”, red marks, etc.).

 

For a teenager, a special experience buying a great bra can make a changing body a positive experience. For an older adult, getting the right support can make her feel a renewed appreciation for her body. And for any woman, it will increase her confidence so she can take on her day, and the world.

 

Have any bra-buying experiences to share? Comment about it below, E-mail me or tell us on Twitter and Facebook!

Rachel

rachelg@nowthatslingerie.com

 

10 Comments

  1. EM

    October 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I think I have the correct cupsize and band size but the straps dig in, as if they are not long enough. I’m not tall, just 5’3 but wear a 38E bra. The straps feel too tight. What should I do? smaller band/bigger cup?

  2. Rachel Graham

    October 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    @EM

    You have the right idea- as our Bra Doctor says in this entry (http://www.nowthatslingerie.com/bradoctor/blog/bra-fitting-advice/common-bra-fitting-problems-solutions-part-3-the-straps/2010/01/29), when straps are too tight and dig into your shoulders, your bra is not supporting your bust enough. The band should be the main source of support, not your shoulders. Many women are surprised at how TIGHT a bra feels when the band is actually the right size!

    I would suggest trying on a smaller band and bigger cup, and also trying a different style. Some women (like me) are “top heavy” which makes certain styles, like plunge bras, very hard to wear. Something more supportive, but in the same size, might work for you too.

  3. Sandy Sampson

    October 5, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I’m so uncomfortable, I take off my bra as soon as I get home. I don’t know what my correct size is! I am comfortable in a razor bra. Help!

  4. Rachel Graham

    October 6, 2011 at 12:54 am

    @Sandy Sampson

    Oh dear, that doesn’t sound good at all! Some general guidelines from our Bra Doctor are here: http://www.nowthatslingerie.com/en/checkpoint.php

    I’m not sure just from your post what the issue might be. Being comfortable in a racer-back might mean that normally your straps fall down off your shoulders; a racer-back bra prevents this.

    Whether this is a problem for you or not, I would definitely make an appointment, either with our Bra Doctor or another specialty bra fitter and get refitted. I’m guessing you’ve gone to a department store or large chain- specialty stores have highly-trained professionals who are better at fitting, and they also have a wider variety of sizes. It’s possible the size you need can’t be found at a department store!

    You can contact the Bra Doctor and get more specific help here: http://www.nowthatslingerie.com/en/contact_us.php

    Good luck! I hope you find a more comfortable bra!

  5. admin

    October 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Hi EM,

    Thanks to Rachel for her reply to your comment! I also believe that a possible issue is that the bra styles you wear do not have sufficiently long slide adjusters along the straps, which make your bra only partway adjustable. The distance between the top of your shoulder and the top of your breast may be longer than the loosest configuration of your bra straps, creating a tight feeling even when you are “comfortably” adjusted.

    The more common reason for this happening is what Rachel mentioned – that the straps are excessively adjusted to feel “support” for your bust, when the real issue is the band size and cup size, which are typically too large and too small respectively. Do you experience other bra fitting problems at the cup or back level? I suggest taking a look at some checkpoints for bra fitting from one of my previous blogs:

    Common bra fitting problems & solutions
    Common bra fitting problems & solutions, part 2: The Back Band
    Common bra fitting problems & solutions, part 3: The Straps

    I hope this helps! Don`t be shy – you can e-mail me at bradoctor@nowthatslingerie.com if you have more specific bra fitting questions for me!

    Bra Doctor

  6. admin

    October 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for your message! (& Thanks for your reply, Rachel!)
    I don’t know what specific bra fitting issues you have, but Rachel is right – it is time to get fitted for a bra! For a starting point, you can check out these guidelines on How to Measure Your Bra Size, and below are some links to more specific bra fitting problems and how to fix them. If you want, you can always contact me at bradoctor@nowthatslingerie.com to make sure you’ve diagnosed yourself properly, or just to ask me any questions at all!

    Common bra fitting problems & solutions
    Common bra fitting problems & solutions, part 2: The Back Band
    Common bra fitting problems & solutions, part 3: The Straps

    Hope this helps! EVERY woman deserves to be comfortable in her own skin – and it starts with the right bra!
    Bra Doctor 🙂

  7. Cakelingerie

    November 24, 2011 at 3:12 am

    Informative post!The UnderWires that make these bras so supportive and comfortable are the very things that create a real and insidious problem for women. All UnderWires are made of a plastic coated metal. It is this metal that causes problems.

  8. admin

    November 25, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Hi Cakelingerie, thanks for your comment. I just wanted to specify that it is not the underwires in themselves that “cause problems” for women. The real problem is the lack of understanding about one’s real bra size (and the correct shape she should wear, because some underwires are made narrower than others depending on shape/style), and often the inaccessibility to a professional bra fitter who can help a woman find her ideal shape, style and size can contribute to this. Underwire is not in itself harmful (there are no studies that I know of that indicate this) but when a woman continues to wear the wrong size bra for a long time it can constrain the breast tissue and potentially cause problems and discomfort. Most commonly women tend to wear bras that are too small for them. Ladies, get personal bra fitting advice by contacting me (Bra Doctor) here.

  9. Sara J. Tol

    November 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Rachel-

    I went to a bra specialist as well! I was also wearing the wrong size, my bras were HUGE in cup size and putting on one that was the correct size was so odd at first! It has been years since I have been back to the bra specialist but now even when I do go to department stores I ALWAYS buy my new size and its a natural fit! Good to hear this is a very common diagnosis 🙂

  10. admin

    November 28, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Hi Sara, thanks for your comments! I’m glad you’re making sure to wear the right bra size 🙂 Isn’t it incredible how comfortable you feel when you’re in the right size?! Let’s spread the word to more ladies – get yourselves fitted properly! (or email the Bra Doctor for help at bradoctor@nowthatslingerie.com.) Hope you’ll keep checking back.

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