Unpadded versus Moulded

See!  Unpadded bras can give better lift (in fact, they almost always do!)

See! Unpadded bras can give better lift (in fact, they almost always do!)

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So to start this off… I’m going to scare y’all: Bras 101

Alright, so this blog will be about bras, so I might as well start off by saying with close to 100% certainty that you’re wearing the wrong size.  Now why do I say this?  The bra industry doesn’t recognize the needs of the everyday woman.  Your underbust measurement should be your band size (or very close to it, there are exceptions to this rule).  They say that the average size in the United States is a 36C.  That would mean that you would measure 36 around underneath and then 3 inches more above, 39 inches.  A lot of people disagree with this method, but I think that your band should not be 3, 4, 5, or 6 inches bigger than your underbust because otherwise, you can’t get proper support if the band isn’t firm.  How can a band be firm if it’s that much bigger than your underbust?  Well in most cases, it really can’t be.

I’m a fairly average sized lady.  I’m still trying to find a good size that works for me as a starting point for all brands.  This is difficult because each brand has it’s own idiosyncrasies.  But I think that 30G or 28GG are good starting points for me in most brands.

28GG and 30G?  Average sized?  Why yes, I’m a little bit big, but not that big.  Before I started my journey of bra discovery, I wore a 34C, a whopping 5 inches larger than my underbust.

So to get your totally insane sounding (but not insane fitting) starter bra size, you measure you underbust, round down or up (however you feel) to the nearest even number.  Then you measure you over bust.  However many inches larger, you go up a cup size.

Starting from zero they go in UK sizing (the only sizing I trust) AA, A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K, KK, L.  Women might be above L, because we come in different shapes and sizes, and that’s really cool.  Ya know?

Your new size might sound crazy, but there are a few companies that do that size.  Freya, Panache, Curvy Kate, all of the related brands (Eveden: Freya, Fantasie (starts at 30 band), Elomi, Goddess, Huit 8, Freya Active, Freya Swim, Fantasie Swim, Fauve; Panache: Panache Superbra, Masquerade, Cleo by Panache, Panache Sport; Curvy Kate: Curvy Kate, Flirtelle, Fullfilled (maybe?)), Ewa Michalak, Comexim, Gossard (start at 30 band, end at G), Bravissimo and more.

Most of these sizes are really only found online, though there might be a nice boutique near you that sells the right size.  That being said, I don’t trust people to fit me.  The band almost always is too loose, and the cup can’t possible encase all of my breast tissue.  One time I walked into a boutique that sold my size and they fit me at a 32DD.  What is this madness?  The closest I’ve ever gotten to anything close was a woman who asked what size I wanted to try on.  I told her a 30FF Freya Deco (they didn’t sell 28 bands and the Deco runs large in the cup).  It fit well, not as well as if it had been a 28G and she got it for me, told me the fit was great, but the band was a bit tight.  Little did she know that I was able to stretch it four inches away from my back!  There are places that are excellent at fitting women, but they are few and far between, especially here in the United States.