The hunt for the Elusive bra size

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Okay.  I'm mad.

Following feedback I've received on my lingerie reviews and my own dissatisfaction I've continued my quest to find my true bra size, if ever 'one size' ever existed.  It seems every year I'm wearing a new bra size.  It was only 2009 when I thought I was a DD.  Now I'm in 32F bras but still defiantly not happy with settling on this.

One suggestion which would surface a few times was that I'm perhaps a 30FF, in that, I go bigger in the cup but compensate in going down on the back size.  Seemed common sense enough to me so I bought (stupidly) a 30FF Freya bra off eBay.  When that arrived I knew instantly it was not big enough.  The cups were impossibly tight as was the band.  So, aside that bra has gone.  (It wasn't even as if it was cheap...)

Then a week or two ago, figuring it can all depend on the type of bra as much as the brand, I decided to go try some bras on in House of Fraser.  I guessed they would have a good range to choose from including brands as opposed to just a shop's own make.   I tried on some Freya bras again in the hope I would find one that would fit.  After several bras and different sizes I ended up buying the Freya Rio bra in a 30FF.  To me in the changing room, it did feel a whole lot better than the 30FF I bought online.  Just goes to show.  When I came home and then wore it for a few hours, I decided I really wasn't happy with this one either.

I'd read a lot online about the Freya Rio for being a good overall bra, and that apparently lots of women are first fitted with a Rio, in shops like Bravissimo.  I did really like the look of it, despite the fact I usually like a slight padding and wouldn't normally go for a soft cup.

What I foung with the Rio, in the 30FF, is that to begin with it felt a job getting it on.  Maybe it's because I'm used to a wider band than I need, but it did feel very tight fastening it up.  I like to fasten my bra reverse to me then twizzle it around but I struggled to do that with this one.  Once on it did feel snug and decidedly fitting.  My boobs were contained well in each cup, which was good, and the centre gore  fitted flat against my chest bone.


This is what it looks like on me.  Looks okay?

Looks a good fit,  no bulging double boob.

But as I wore the bra for a little while I found the ends of the under wire were digging in to under my armpit, and when I ended up taking it off because it felt quite painful, it left quite prominent indentations in my skin.  Then I thought I did actually get a little 'double boob' on the front of the left cup.  After that I didn't feel comfortable wearing it again, so the Rio too has been relegated to my eBay pile.


But this is where it really pinches.  You can see how it's nipping me in.

Doesn't look so nice here.  The cups seem too snug and the centre gore doesn't look very happy.

So I don't know whether the 30 band was just too tight and that I really do need to stay at a 32, or if it's because the cups were a FF that made the band feel so constrictive and the under wired cups so painfully nipping me in.  If I measure myself with a tape measure I'm a 28.  I understand that measuring means nothing really and that the old fashioned 'plus 4' shouldn't apply.  But where does this leave me?  Any ideas?
****

Today as I was in town I decided to pop into Marks and Spencer and to see if they did 30 backs, and if so, if they had a 30G (figuring I should try a G following my experience with a 30FF).  I couldn't see any on the racks of lingerie but when I asked one of the sales assistants they said they had one upstairs, which they brought down for me to try on.  I didn't know whether I was lucky or not.

I tried it on and annoyingly the 30G was just too tight and uncomfortable.  Inevitably as I knew it would happen the assistant 'came to my aide' and started bringing me a variety of different sizes to try on.  They all didn't fit quite right but the majority of the bras were plunge style which I don't usually go for because I find they don't really fit me well.  The assistant wasn't sure what to try next so brought in her superior to measure me and see what she thought.  The minute the tape measure was mentioned alarm bells rang and I knew I wouldn't like how this was going.

The lady said I'm bordering on a 34" back which horrified me, and even more so when she suggested I try a 34E!  I knew fine well that totally wouldn't fit, which surprise! surprise! didn't fit.

In the end she brought in one of the new bras in the DD+ line. We were now back to a G cup but in a 32 back.  I didn't know whether that was because she truly thought I was a 32G or because there was only one 30G bra in the shop and I'd already tried that one on!

After all the faffing about and with a mountain of bras I'd by then accumulated, I ended up deciding to go with the 32G.  I felt snug enough and I didn't have the double boob effect I usually get with my uneven boobs.  To be honest I think I was half persuaded by this point and naively I bought it.

Looking at it now, I see exactly where it's not happy.
The sides don't dig and the cups look wide enough.

The cups seem big enough.  The centre gore doesn't lie flat though.

Back home I tried it on again and low and behold I'm not happy.  The 32" band does feel on the loose side and the straps feel like they want to ease their way down my shoulders, the cups feel slightly baggy, especially underneath, and the centre gore doesn't sit flush against me.  Oh and the side panels which lead to the straps feel like they're digging in and annoys me just in that moment of having just put it on.

The cups look baggy and the centre doesn't lie flat.
The straps feel too wide and dig in to my armpit.

I'm gonna have to take it back.

So if the 30FF Freya was too tight and the 32G M&S feels big and baggy, what do I do?  Please, any thoughts, suggestions and stress-relieving vibes are much appreciated at this time!!  :-)

Becky x

2 comments:

Large Cup Lingerie said...

Hi Becky,
It sounds like you're having a bit of nightmare, but it will all be worth it when you find the perfect bra. If you are able to the best thing to do would be to go to somewhere like Bravissimo as they have great staff and a vast range of sizes for you to try on. I'm glad to hear that you've learned about the plus 4 method being wrong :) If the measurement under your bust is 28 then you should probably be wearing a 28 or 30 back. This may vary by manufacturer or what is comfortable for you. Also, as frustrating as it is, different companies and styles may mean you require a different size.
You may find this blog post by Cheryl at Invest In Your Chest interesting too;
http://www.investinyourchest.co.uk/high-street-fitting-challenge
It just goes to show that different sources can give you very different answers.
Best of luck, and if there's anything we can help with, then please let us know.
Large Cup Lingerie

Cavy.girl said...

Hi, thank you very much for your reply! I really appreciate it. Okay, so now I know I do need to be a 28 or the 30. I know definitely the 32 doesn't feel happy on me. Unfortunately I don't have a Bravissimo anywhere near me but I will have to make the trip to their store in Newcastle. I think it's the only thing left for me to do!
Thanks again for your very helpful advice. :-)

Kind regards, Becky x

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