Goodbye, old bras! (for women, obviously...)

alisandeNovember 9, 2006

It seems we can't open a women's magazine these days without seeing an article that claims 90% of us are wearing the wrong bra size. Whether that's true or not, it made me think about my bras...the way the straps fall down, for one thing, and the fact that I bought my last one three years ago, and way some of them feel at the end of the day.

Since I don't shop in the kinds of stores that hire bra fitters, I set out for TJMaxx to try on some different sizes. I bought five new bras ($5.99 each, tag price $28). Three are my usual size, and two are not. But the important thing is that they look and feel better than my old ones.

So I threw out more than five of the old ones, and now I have more room in my lingerie drawer. And my straps aren't falling down. :-)

Baby steps...

Susan

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western_pa_luann

If your straps keep falling down, it could be that your band size is too large (then it rides up and the straps fall).
Try one size smaller...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 4:26PM
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talley_sue_nyc

or that your band size WAS the right size, and the elastic's giving way, which means----NEW BRAS!

I had that same realization awhile ago. I always do new bras in big batches.

When I'm sick of publishing, I'm going to start a "custom bra by mailorder" company; we'll send you a kit, directions for measuring your ACTUAL body (instead of measuring at some stupid angle and deciding that ONE measurement in this direction can tell you both band length AND cup size), shaped paper cups for helping you figure out your cup size, for BOTH sizes!

Then, we'll keep your measurements on file if you like (or you can keep the kit), and you just call us and tell us when you need a new one.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 8:10PM
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wantoretire_did

OMG - I'm wearing bras that are at least 7 years old, and keep saying that I must go buy some new ones. Straps are fine, but they are looking pretty shabby. They are like old sneakers for me, hard to let go.

I did get some new cotton camisoles for winter, as I tend to chill out across my lower back and they make such a difference. Long sleeve t-shirts have surely been my downfall. Just too comfy...

Carol

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 8:37PM
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elizabeth10029

Ditto talley sue. When elastic wears out, out they go. A reknowned bra expert (Poupie Cadolle of Alice Cadolle in Paris) maintains that 18 months is the maximum life of a bra and that long only if you take impeccable care of it, washing by hand after each wearing. She is the world's best custom bra person and she comes to this country periodically. Unfortunately you have to choose between granite counters and bras. (There is a reason why I don't have granite counters. I'm saving up for that custom bra!)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 8:48PM
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marge727

Omygosh--I have granite counters does that mean I can';t afford a custom bra. Now that I am finally size 40B and could profit from it--I guess I am doomed.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 8:55PM
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alisande

The New Yorker once ran an article by a reporter who flew to France to get a custom bra. I believe it cost her $600 for the bra alone (kind of like my $6.00 bras, give or take a decimal point).

She swore it was well worth it. Of course, everything is relative. Some, like me, would simply never pay that much for a braor any other article of clothing I can think of. (I am presently agonizing over the prospect of spending $800 on a printer.) And some simply do not have $600 to spend.

Oh, by the way, while I was bra shopping I discovered that Playtex has half sizes. Cool! And I discovered Delta Burke's line, which seems to be well made.

Susan

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 10:50PM
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Julie_MI_Z5

It's definitely worth a trip to a department store with a custom fitter to help you find the perfect size and style. Sometimes straps fall down just because they're too close to the outside edge of your shoulder, a problem I have with some styles. I replace mine frequently, but refuse to hand wash them.

Victoria's Secret is great--they'll measure you and then bring in EVERY bra in your size for you to try on. No more multiple trips to the dressing room; if one style doesn't fit in "your" size, someone will bring you a different size so you don't have to re-dress and go find it.

To those of you with daughters:
My mom started taking me for fittings as a teenager so I'm accustomed to having the appropriate size--no bands that ride up in the back, no slipping straps, no gaps in the bottom of the band in the front. There are too many people who are obviously wearing the wrong size!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 5:52AM
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talley_sue_nyc

It's definitely worth a trip to a department store with a custom fitter to help you find the perfect size and style.

well, the last time I deal w/ a custom fitter at Macy's, I was really annoyed.

I'm sorry, I do not believe they can take ONE measurement, angled up over your bust, and tell you what size you wear.

I do like the idea of having someone bring you bras so you don't have to keep redressing.

So if I can get my price-point down below $600, I might have a business plan? What *would* you pay for a custom bra?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 9:30AM
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Maura63

Talley Sue, I hope this doesn't mean you are giving up on your idea for custom hand bags -- that I might splurge on!

Maura

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 9:46AM
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alisande

So if I can get my price-point down below $600, I might have a business plan? What *would* you pay for a custom bra?

Um....$15?

LOL...better cross me off your market research list. (I'm sure you did that already.)

S.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 9:55AM
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marie26

About 6 years ago, I decided to give myself the luxury of buying my bras at Nordstrom's. They fit you and I've never had a problem with the fit. There is no Nordstrom where I live so I make it a point to visit a Nordstrom's every couple of years when we travel.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 10:49AM
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quiltglo

Well, this is timely. I just bought four new bras yesterday. The straps on my old ones were stretched out and falling off my shoulders, even when I cinched them up. Wal-Mart is the only place I've found that has a style I like. No padding, no underwires. $6.99 each. So hard to find in a 42 C without wires. I finally got smart and put one of the tags in my drawer. Next time I go to purchase new ones I won't be trying to remember the size. Seems like I'm always trying to get a 44 B to fit like a 42 C.

I would pay $50-100 for a bra which fit well. I'd also be willing to hand wash and dry, have it covered in gold leaf and make shadow boxes for in-between wearings. If they were just comfortable. That's all I ask. We have Nordstom's and Penney's, who do fittings, and they always put me in an underwire which I end up cutting out.

DD went through a major growth spurt this month. So much for my great deal on Lands End jeans from eBay. I bundled up her entire wardrobe and gave it to a friend with three daughters who are slightly smaller. While trying to find her some plain old cotton briefs, we had to dig through tons of bikini styles. Not at 9, thank you. The same row had little padded bras. I guess those moms who put their little girls in T-shirts that say, "I'm a hottie." want them to have padded bras as pre-teens. I'm really tired of hearing "It takes a village to raise a child." I'm not at all impressed with my village.

Gloria

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 5:11PM
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maddiemom6

A good bra will make you look 10- 15 pounds lighter.. I can think of no better reason to buy good bras. I am a 44DD and that size is hard to find many places.. but better than when I was a DDD!

I pay $30-$50 for my bras but oten get them at a buy 1 get one sort of thing to help save at least a bit. My big problem is that I seem to be short from shoulder to boob so even when my straps are at their shortest I can still droop.

p.s. there is a custom place that does bras by sending sample cups and a 6 point measuring kit.

Maddie

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 6:58PM
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Julie_MI_Z5

Talley Sue--Macys did what?? A store that fits bras based on one measurement is just guessing!!

I've had good luck in our local stores (never a Macys) and feel like I'm already wearing something custom made for me. :)

Gloria--one of my neighbors noticed the same thing about pre-teen bras, but with girls developing earlier now it's important to have SOME padding to keep some "parts" from showing through under t-shirts.

Oh, and "I'm a hottie" printed clothing should be banned.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 7:28PM
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elizabeth10029

Ooooh. I may be sorry about this self-disclosure but if it is helpful then ok. That article on the 600.00 bra -- it was in the New York Times Sunday Style Magazine three years ago. I read it. I drooled. I've had two drs recommend breast reduction and I am not biting there for sure.

After reading that article I happened to be in Paris. I bit. Three fittings on three separate days!!!! Amazing. It was a really interesting process (l used my own saved up money for this bra and didn't tell DH. Not his business.)

I love the bra because it is about 20% better than the usual dept. store fitted bra. It still isn't exact because if I lie down on the couch in the evening to read, the wires are not comfortable. So I decided that it wasn't worth my hard earned money to get more of these gold plated bras. But I wore it daily at first and then for all special occasions over two years, it wore out completely. But it is still better than my other bras. I like the way I looked in it. Maybe 10 pounds lighter? I decided maybe it was worth it. The fitter also was large breasted and understood and was able to deal with me, but she did say that her main american business is very small-breasted women whose personal shoppers encourage them to get an entire wardrobe of bras for their fancy wardrobes. Still the fitters (there were two people doing the fitting at the same time) were able to deal with me.

The fitters are coming to america next week and in a recent e-mail exchange I am assured that the wires on my pattern can can be adjusted to be more comfortable when I lie down. So I'm doing it again. (No accident that I have butcher block counters.)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 7:30PM
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alisande

Wow, Elizabeth--you really did it! Are the fitters bringing your file from the last time, or are they remeasuring? And you left out an important detail: What color did you get? My favorites are beige, mocha, and grey.

And one more question for everyone: What do women of uneven sizes buy to fill in one cup a little bit?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 2:43PM
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marie26

Elizabeth, are they coming to the States to sell new custom bras to new customers? If so, where will they be setting up shop?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 2:45PM
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elizabeth10029

Alisande -- yes they are bringing my file. If I didn't need any changes I could order direct without a new fitting. (Don't think I am not worried about any weight/shape changes!)

As for color, I chose nude in a utilitarian style but for the same price you can add as much lace/color as you want. I'm going to have a bit more fun this time.

Marie 26 -- NYC. I don't know about the "new customer" part. Nor do I know if they are all booked for this upcoming trip. I seem to remember from my first appt. with them (I didn't buy at that point) that you only got the one fitting--not the three that you got in Paris. Here is the e-mail. (I don't know if this is a public and I hope I am not causing trouble: poupiecadolle@aol.com.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 4:15PM
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pammyfay

A question and a thought:
1) Why are bras getting so expensive now?

2) I believe that there must be men in this female undergarment industry. Because if they realized how it felt to have an underwire bra's wire jab you in the pits when it comes out of its little pocket, quality would be better. What these men need is to have to wear a pair of tighty whiteys with an underwire in them. And then at an "inconvenient" moment--a big meeting, trying to pick up a cute woman--that wire just SPRINGS to life...

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 10:09PM
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marie26

I hadn't thought of it until now but the wire springing to life hasn't happened with the more expensive bras that I've worn in recent years. I've always worn bras with wires and the cheaper ones did have this problem.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 10:55PM
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quiltglo

Julie, these weren't the lined kind. I think Penney's is carrying a line with soft lining so everything doesn't show. These were those hard sculped cups which walk into a room ten minutes before the rest of the body comes. They are big boobs for little girls.

Gloria

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 3:44AM
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Julie_MI_Z5

Gloria--OMG hard sculpted cups? That's ridiculous! Whose mother in their right mind would buy those for a young girl??

Pammyfay--I have always bought good quality underwire bras and never have a problem with pokey underwires. I probably pay the same or less now than I did 20 years ago. Most major manufacturers have improved their technolgy so the underwires don't shift like they did in cheaper bras in the olden days.

Alisande--Usually bras with thicker fiberfill-type padding will smooth out uneven cup sizes without puckering (and you can find a padding in completely seamless bras now). A good lingerie store will have an idea for more than a little difference in size.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 6:22AM
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sheriz6

I would like to know why manufacturers seem to make ALL their bras with underwires -- even for A cups! I am somewhere between an A and a B and I have the hardest time finding bras that don't have underwires. Don't need 'em, don't want 'em.

I'm also rather annoyed at how expensive they are -- I've always bought at Filene's (now Macy's). I need to try Target or someplace similar.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 10:45AM
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Julie_MI_Z5

Today's paper had an article on bras and stated that underwires are essential for every woman over an A (more support). Try ordering online from One Hanes Place for a no-wire style. They'll have many of the same brands as Macy's at a cheaper price. Department stores, though, often have phenomenal sales where you can stock up at a great discount (which is why I tend to buy in quantity and replace mine all at once).

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 5:09PM
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elizabeth10029

New grievance: underwires and airplane security. Wearing my underwire custom bra I have never NOT been stopped in a security line and hand screened. Screeners say "it couldn't be your bra. Must be your zippers. Not true. Very annoying. I'd like someone to solve the support problem without tripping security. Anybody else get stopped or is it just me?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 9:20PM
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marie26

I have only worn underwire bras and have never been stopped by a screener. Could it be the brand you're wearing?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 9:39PM
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Karen_sl

Wow, I am so surprised that others wear old bras!
I am large and always get rid of the ones that do not fit or feel good.
This is my one regular purchase and I do not buy cheap ones!
I went to my favorite store yesterday and bought 2 new ones. I buy in 2's.
Godd for you that pitch tem regularly.
I love old comfy sweats but need a good bra underneath!
Karen L

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 11:53AM
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alisande

This thread has gotten so much response that I'm thinking the site should have a breast organization forum. :-)

Pammyfay, I love that "springing to life" image!

Re no-wires, I've avoided them for the most part because I'm not crazy about the way they look under knit shirts, for instance. And I haven't found underwires to be all that uncomfortable for the most part. But I have a couple of no-wire bras that I sometimes wear when I'm home all day by myself.

Yesterday I found a no-wire Delta Burke design at TJMaxx that surprised me with its very nice line under my sweater. It has a tag price of $27 or $28 but sells for $5.99 at TJMaxx.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 1:10PM
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maddiemom6

I am no fan of underwire bras ans if I am working in the yard or scrubbig the house I don't wear that type... but my clothes look so much better as does the rest of me when I wear my underwire versions. Of course years ago I had breasts that did not need bras to look good.. but 16 years of motherhood and 11 staright years of nursing have had their effect. I would never give up that time but my breasts only are pretty now if I am in an underwire or standing on my head! ~G~

One of the best hints I know is... if the center of the bra wire or not sits flat on your chest bone.. then you are picking the right cup size.. if it pulls away or gaps.. then you have a cup size problem.

Maddie

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 2:19PM
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patches123

I did the VS fitting and sure enough I had the wrong size. No wonder those underwires were killing me. Now in the right size I am so much more comfy. I have to have underwires and I hate it when you wear a bigger size and there is no support in swimsuit tops! I also like a bit of padding, but not tons and it seems they think if you are bigger you must not want any padding. Hello, T-Shirts!

I would pay upto $100 for the perfect bra. My problem is the straps slide off my narrow shoulders.

What I would pay even more for, is a nice body suit that is shaping that has the snaps and comes in size TALL. I am 5'11 and end up having to buy bra band extenders to even snap the bodysuit. I would go up to $150 for that if it didn't also dig into my shoulders!!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 4:33PM
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jenathegreat

Well first let me say that I know I'm a bit out of the norm. I have ginormous boobs. I outgrew anything VS sells by my freshmen year of college (they stock up to DD in store and DDD in catalog). Macy's does not carry my cup size - they stop at DDD too. Not at Walmart either... So no cheap bras for me.

I have to say that I am a HUGE fan of Nordstroms. I buy my bras there or at a specialty lingerie store. I have never had a "one measurement" fitting. Mostly they just measure band size and the women are so experienced they just guess my cup size with amazing accuracy. The lingerie store bras cost $60-90. But at Nordstroms they go from $30-100.

Let me tell you about my most recent Nordstrom's bra-buying experience. I walk in the department and someone immediately offers to assist me even though they look pretty busy. I'm whisked to a fitting room, she measures my band size. She brought me 2 bras to double check the cup size. Having figured out the right size, she goes and brings me back about a dozen bras in my size - from plain solid colors, to gorgeous lacy things, to a plain beige wireless bra. Having made my choice, she asked me if I wanted to wear it home, removed the tags for me and checked me out ($40 after tax).

Total time in the store: 15 minutes.

*That* is a beautiful shopping experience.

I do hand wash my bras. I do not wash after every single wearing. I find they last around 2 years - and I'm usually cycling through about 4 bras at a time. I also find I don't have a problem with underwire bras since I started wearing the right size.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 2:09PM
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OklaMoni

I lurk here, but don't usually post. But this one got me. :)

I am about to toss two bras myself. Funny thing is, both are the same style, but bought about two years apart. When I was first fitted, I bought "only" two bras. Paid over $100. Then I bought three additional bras at the same bra shop. Yes, bra shop. No department store prices!!!

But they fit. Later I bought a department store bra, just cause for once I found one that fit me. That one has gone in the garbage can before my first two fitted ones...

Correct fit makes such a BIG difference... even underwires don't bother you.

I also hand wash, but I do wear my bras more then once. I rotate, and let them "rest" in between wearing.

My fitter measured the band, and guessed the cup size. Most of the bras she brought to the dressing room fit. Thankfully I have moved to the town with the bra shop. :)

It's called: The Bust Stop.

Moni

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 9:34PM
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gypsyrose

Hmmm, interesting thread! I too am rather large (42D) and recently discovered a line that I really love - they are European, called "Wienna" and supposedly the same company that makes "Wacoal" (which happens to be Oprah's choice - lol). I bought them from an ebay store for about $17 apiece, and they are gorgeous, extremely well-made and make me look about 10 lbs thinner! I am going to order some more. I, too, only like to wear underwires when I am going out. For exercise or working at home I wear Bali, without wires.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 9:44AM
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elizabeth10029

News to me: I had my "fitting" today. Gypsy rose -- the advice was the same as yours -- even if you wear your bra every day, you only need to hand wash it two or three times a week. I like the idea of "rotating and resting."

My other surprise -- the old bra I thought was ready to be ditched will be as good as new because the stretched out back elastic can be replaced. Also the underwires can be repadded. The two new bras I bought are going to have thinner underwires so when I lie down to read or watch TV, the wires won't bother me. I figure I won't have to buy another bra for 5 years--maybe forever. The other oddity, my right breast has grown a bit--but not my left. o That had to be adjusted on the new bras.

Getting the right bra to look good AND avoid backaches has been a long time coming but at my age I can chalk it off to an expense better than botox or surgery.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 3:18PM
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harriethomeowner

Another large-size person here (42C). A few years ago I was ready to do ANYTHING (including going to Paris) to find a comfortable bra. Then Lane Bryant started making some new designs that are just about perfect for me. I like the underwires with the wide padded straps. I bought seven of them over the course of a month or so (two in satin and 5 in a sport style) and haven't had to replace any yet. I wear them a number of times before I wash in the washing machine (cold water) and hang to dry. They are a little pricier than some, but if you get on their mailing list they send you coupons every month or so.

Another place that has good bras is the Title 9 catalog, even though the rest of their clothes only come in small sizes.

I bought a couple of clunkers at a bra shop that supposedly helps with a custom fit. They sold me two ugly-a** bras for about $40 apiece that aren't comfortable. They are still sitting in my drawer because I paid so much for them that I hate to throw them out.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 5:53PM
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yeonasky

Large here too, 443D. I don't get the backaches/shoulder aches, but support is hard to find. Most of the stores I've tried, except for Additionelle, don't carry my band size with my cup size. For a good, longer lasting bra, I have to go to an expensive specialty shop and pay for what I get. Maybe I'll try online as the bras are wearing thin and the wire is pinching. I hand wash two to three times a week, depending on what I wear the bra for. I own three at a time, two regular and one sport bra, and rotate and rest as others do.

Yeona

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 2:14PM
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liz_h

For a few years I was in bra heaven. I am a C cup with extremely narrow shoulders. That combination usually meant slipping straps and always a gap in any button front garment. Most minimizers I tried felt like they were crushing my breasts - only somewhat less uncomfortable than a mammogram! Then I found a minimizer that was very comfortable and looked nice under clothes - even T-shirts. The straps even stayed up. Unfortunately when I gained enough weight to go from a 40C to a 42C I was out of luck as they don't make them larger than a 40. Odd for a bra designed for "full figures". Btw, it is the Olga Sheer Tapestry Full Figure Minimizser.

My last foray into finding bras that fit was to log on to the JC Penney website. (They may have a larger stock than the stores.) I ordered one of every bra that I thought would work for me (only about 6). I tried them on at home and will return 4 to the store. I still need to wear the 2 I kept a few times to see if I want to buy more, but I think one of them will do very nicely. The no wire was more comfortable than most, and as I occasionally need a no wire for a medical procedure I kept it.

Btw, perhaps because my narrow shoulders don't give any support, underwire bras have always been more comfortable for me.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 10:17PM
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pirate_girl

Well what a timely thread, I've been in the thick of this battle in the last month. Am in NYC (Brooklyn), work in Manhattan. Was always large (it's just that now it seems 'large' has become much larger than I ever was (38C) for couple of decades).

As a late teenager & in early college I went braless for a long time. On college graduation & coming into the work world, I had to give in & start wearing bras. My Mom had been careful to have her 2 girls properly measured & fitted (we were all nicely busted, mostly C), so I always wore really good underwires (hated them in my youth); well made never had a popping wire, find if they're well made, that doesn't usually happen.

Well, from the 80s & my fabulous stretch lace underwires (Christian Dior, only clothes w/ logos that I ever owned); when discontinued, I did department stores & Bali minimizers, which were also great. Dept. stores got too costly & they no longer had formal & professional fitters; I too ended up at One Hanes Place for discounted Balis. 3 yrs. ago I went bra crazy, bought abt 10 diff. styles & went nuts trying to settle on good fit. Sheers now seem too sheer, or too lined & too low cut, or good cups w/ lousy straps, just nothing exactly right; I'd like mostly full coverage.

Was suggested to go to Victoria's S. w/ disastrous results, was misfitted, ended up in the G_d awful molded cups (not exactly what a full busted woman needs) (2 bras for $89, yikes!!!), which tho' initiattaly seems OK, ended up constricting my breathing (binding my ribs). My sister had done really well w/ Victoria's so she corrected me in what I'd asked for, but it was too late.

After some online research I settled on the professional bra fitters in NYC, The Town Shop, Upper West Side. For slightly less than the disastrous VS ill-fitting bras, I got 2 fabulous, underwires, was size corrected as my sis suggested I'd be, went from a 38C-D, to a 36C (cost 2 for $82). Fabulous, comfy underwires (I can actually sleep in them), gorgeous lace, sturdy straps (Wacoal as it happens).

Seems the theory behind correctly sizing bras is that what actually holds the bra in place correctly is not the back or the straps, but actually a correctly fitted cup, I read this in a number of places & the Town Shop lady didn't even measure me, she simply looked!

I too am a hand-rinser & then rotator, over time the Balis ended up in the washer, just to get them really white again, but these Wacoals are so beautiful I think I'll hand wash 'em for a while. They seem very worth the investment, they stay exactly in place, not riding up (like my old ones were, from the back elastic being worn I think).

One Hanes had some beautiful cups w/ crappy, flimsy straps which ended up as stretchy, doesn't support a heavy boob well at all. I kept wanting to write the Bali bra designers & set them straight on that. Anyway, now that I'm in the proper size, I'll be trying One Hanes again to get a few more, but this time for around $20, not $40 each.

Ditto to whoever said One Hanes has lots of styles w/out wires too, have seen Bali (my fave) & Playtex offered too, so if that's what one wants, I too encourage checking them out.

I'm so happy w/ the results I FINALLY got; good luck everybody!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 6:40PM
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talley_sue_nyc

The Town Shop on the Upper West Side, huh?

Thanks for the tip! I have SUCH a hard time getting a correctly fitting cup. (one side bigger than the ohter.

The other thing I wish I could get is a teesy bit of padding, to smooth things out. But only a teensy bit! I have one bra that I wear under my formal, clingy top to keep things smooth, but I feel as though it wears me, it's so molded.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 7:54PM
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elizabeth10029

This is what I have to say about the Towne shop for what it is worth: They believe in the tight-fitting back and claim that the support comes from tight back hooks. So I am not surprised they suggested a 36 instead of a 38. (They thought my custom-made french bra was "way too big for me.") So I bought their one size smaller than usual bra and I couldn't breathe. Hated it. So again, all this is very individual.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 3:52PM
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harriethomeowner

When I got fitted at Lane Bryant, they too suggested a smaller size, but it was just too tight.

The specialty shop where I wasted my money was trying to squeeze me into a 38 (I think because that's all they had anywhere near my size, except for the two bras I ended up buying).

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 12:37AM
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minnie_tx

Gals this is just for fun!! Let's hope it never comes to this!! (Maybe I should post this to the Emergency Preparednes thread!!)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 3:06PM
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susanjn

I've hesitated to respond to this thread because part of my job includes fitting nursing bras. Some of you seem to be pretty down on bra fitters, so I'm not sure I really want to identify myself with that group. :)

Here are my thoughts:

1) The customer is always right. If you feel a bra is uncomfortable, for heaven's sake, don't buy it! Just say no. A tighter band will definitely support better, but comfort has to come first. I've certainly had customers walk out without buying anything. Usually because they don't like the style of the bra that fits them best.

2) Different brands run differently. Don't get too hung up on your size. You may wear different sizes in each brand. Just try looking at some of the online sizing instructions. You'll get vastly different sizes when entering the same measurements.

3) Thankfully there are bras made to fit every breast shape. Unfortunately that means not every bra in your supposed size will fit and flatter you. Trying on bras can be quite time consuming. I'm actually very surprised when we're done after the 2nd or 3rd bra.

4) For those of you who think you are huge at an E (DD) cup, you are not. Or there are a whole lot of huge women out there. The store where I work has bras up to 52L, I think. I've actually had women apologize for being so big, like that makes my job more difficult. I always say, "No. You are perfect. We just have to find the perfect bra for you." And I mean it!

5) I really wish that our first "look" at a bra would be with our shirts on. Some bras are quite flattering under clothes, but look like our granny's bra on the hanger.

Oh, and for the record, I'm a really boring nominal 36B, and I still have to try a lot of bras before I find one that fits and flatters.

Susan

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 7:03PM
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talley_sue_nyc

Susan--thanks for the insider's info!

The times when I'm grumpy about bra fitters is when I feel they aren't really paying any attention to ME, and MY measurements, and just run a tape measure around me once, then bark out a size. (Macy's Herald Square, anyone?)

I love to hear the info from the pros inside the field, like yours.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 11:04AM
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jenathegreat

Thanks susan for pointing out that "huge" covers a lot more ground than a C-cup. :)

When I said above that I'm "ginormous" I was being a little shy about posting my size, but since everybody else has... (let's hear it for peer pressure!) pregnancy has pushed me up to a 40H from my normal 38G (and that was at only 7weeks pregnant, I think I need a bigger one now that it's been another month)

Oh, and department stores that don't carry my size are very happy to "fit" me as a DDD with a much larger band size just to make a sale. Scary!!

Susan, I see you're in Austin - care to make any nursing bra store recommendations in Houston that carry size H and above? I'm not sure how wide Nordstrom's nursing bra selection is although I've been very happy with their large size range.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 5:44PM
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marie26

Jena, when my daughter was pregnant in Minnesota, I remember that she was able to buy nursing bras and nursing equipment through the hospital. Can you perhaps ask the person who is in charge of the breastfeeding learning program if she knows where you can buy a bra?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 9:28PM
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susanjn

Jena, I've heard good things about A Woman's Work, but I've never been there.

You also may want to look for someplace that sells Fancee Free or Norvelle bras.

Susan

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 12:49AM
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reyesuela
    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 3:27PM
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reyesuela

BTW, I got bras there when pregnancy made me--I'm not kidding--a 36I. So, Jena, biggerbras.com should be a good source for you!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 3:30PM
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yeonasky

I found this site which calculates your bra size for you. I know nothing about the company but like the ease with which they calculate what you measure. They have me at 44E which is the same as 44DDD apparently. That's the size I'm in now.

Yeona

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 4:52PM
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susanjn

E is the same as DD. DDD would be F.

That calculator made me a cup size too small also. That site sells MANY brands of bras. There's no way they all fit the same...even within the same brand.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 5:12PM
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chris_eze_com

You can find good quality women's bras at Paulina Fashions, fyi! You shouldn't have a problem with them falling apart on you so fast.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 1:43PM
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Cassandra

Hm, well. . .is anyone smaller in size, like me? Frankly I'm always a little embarrased to buy bras because I need an add-a-size padded bra just to make me look semi-shapely. I'd never go to a fitter--would make me feel like a pre-teen (and I'm 50). If the straps don't stretch out first, the padding goes bad after a number of washes.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:01PM
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graywings123

Marita - I am small-sized and I can assure you that fitters don't care what size you are. I wear padded bras for coverage more than enhancement.

How do you wash your bras? I place them in nylon washer bags, use a light cycle on the machine, and cold to warm water, then drip dry. The nylon washer bags protect the straps.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 8:16AM
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paulina2009

That is a great idea for washing your womens bras , I'll have to give it a try!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 5:04PM
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donnawb

I have had good luck with Fredericks but the only thing is they usually only have one style and now it seems that most are really padded. I don't need padding.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:12PM
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singleton165

I absolutely LOVE TJ Maxx and Marshalls for bras an undies! I may not find them every time I look, but it is well worth it. I am a 36A and absolutely refuse to pay over $20 for a bra that I can usually get for under $15 if I just take the time to look.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 10:31AM
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