“Well, how do you know it’ll fit you?” Believe it or not, online bra shopping is not the scary, risky business that everyone makes it out to be.
Ah, yes, the “how do you know it fits if you buy it online" argument. This is one of the biggest difficulties that those who don’t fit into the “typical" 32-38 A-DD size range face, but it’s certainly not a reason to never buy bras online! :) (For a lot of us, it’s our only choice if we want a bra that fits us.)
The truth is that yes, there are size variations between styles and brands. I personally have about 5 different sizes of bras in my bra drawer, and they all fit me. HOWEVER. Almost everyone in the full-bust/small-back/bra-fitting community buys at least some of their bras online, if not all of them. We’ve all figured out how to make it work for ourselves; it’s really not as big of a roadblock as many would think.
So first off, here are some things we do to avoid making mistakes when ordering online:
- Read lots of reviews before buying. These are pretty easy to find these days, because the full-bust blogging community is bigger than ever. You can even find a blogger with a similar shape and/or size to you, and see what bras worked out well for her. Take note of the shape of the bra, whether or not she ordered her “usual" size, what problems she had, and what she felt worked well.
- Look at measurements on Bratabase. Bratabase is a website where women can measure their bras and enter the measurements on a page, helping others who are trying to figure out which size they need. If you want to know the stretched band length of a 30F Freya deco, you can find it there, among other measurements. This really helps if you’re not sure how tight the band is, how long the wires are, or even how tall the gore is. There are also even more reviews (although they may be a bit shorter) on here, in case you couldn’t find any blog reviews or wanted a second opinion.
- Learn about the different bra constructions/styles and brands and how they apply to you. Certain cuts/constructions or brands usually have a certain shape they fit well, and this can be very helpful when determining which bras are likely to work out. For example, I know that half-cups will work best for me because I have shallow breasts. I also know that plunges are usually a disaster because I’m full on top, and I have to be careful with balconettes for the same reason. I know that Cleo balconettes are likely to be okay because they suit my shape, but to steer clear of Freya and Fantasie balconettes because they will cut in on top and wrinkle in the middle. It sounds like you already know a little bit about this, so you’re on the right track!
However, even with taking these precautions, it’s true that sometimes the bras just don’t work out the way you thought they would. This is completely okay!
The problem here is that sometimes people view buying a bra online as being similar to grabbing a bra off the store rack without going to a fitting room first, and expecting it to fit after you cut the tags off. However, usually ordering a bra online is more like having it sent to your house to try on, and having 30 days (or whatever the return policy is) to decide whether you want to keep it. Most online stores accept returns (and will give you a refund) as long as the tags are still on and you send it back within a certain time frame.
Most people who are first starting out with online bra shopping will want to make the experience closer to a “trying on" session. Generally I will recommend the following to first-time online-bra-shoppers:
- Find a site with a great return policy. Asos and Nordstrom both have free shipping and returns, so it would be a great idea to order from them if you fit close to their size range. Try your best to find a website with free shipping, so at least you’ll only have to pay shipping back. If you can’t find one, at least make sure you order from somewhere that’ll accept returns, and make note of how long you have before you need to return it.
- Or, find a site with cheap prices. If you can’t afford the bras from the sites with free shipping and/or returns, or if you don’t fit into their size range, try to find a good deal if you can. Brastop and My Curves and Me have some great deals; it’s also worth it to check if other sites have sales. (Figleaves usually has great sales.)
- Order a batch of bras. Try getting a few different sizes and a few different styles/brands if you can the first time. Return all the ones that don’t fit, and you now know what works and what doesn’t! :) A lot of online shopping is trial and error—I used to mess up a lot when I was first figuring out what worked for me (we all did at first!), but now I can order something with a pretty good idea of how it fits.
- Don’t cut the tags off until you are completely sure you are keeping it. Some people get so excited when they receive their first full-bust bra that they’ll cut off the tags as soon as they put it on, without thoroughly checking the fit first. They sometimes end up noticing a glaring fit issue within a few hours and then feel bummed that they can’t return it. Before you cut the tags off, examine it to make sure it’s a good fit. Post fit checks on Bratabase and /r/abrathatfits. Bounce around in it and see how it holds up. Sit in it, bend over, walk around, and see if there is any discomfort. It’s okay to keep a bra that has a few fit issues, but make sure you know what those fit issues are first.
And remember to check out some of the bra-selling/swapping communities too, because sometimes you can find super cheap bras on there, and if something doesn’t work out you can always re-sell it there. (Continuing the shopping-in-person analogy, these places are more like garage sales or thrift stores. Some new items, some used.) Some of these places will also allow you to “swap" bras, which is helpful if you’ve spent all your money on bras that don’t fit. ;)
- /r/braswap - sell, swap, and giveaway
- Bratabase listings - sell, swap, and giveaway
- Clothes for Boobs Facebook page - sell, swap, and giveaway
- Ebay / Ebay.co.uk - sell
- /r/randomactsofbras - giveaway
Online bra shopping has its difficulties, but in the end, it’s worth it to have a bra that fits you well. Be sure to minimize the risk, learn from your mistakes, and you’ll be buying the right bras in no time.
Online bra shopping talk.
This is the picture I show anyone who tries to argue with me about bra sizes. When I tell people about my size, or suggest that they may need a different size (when asked for advice), I often get:
- Uh, there’s no way YOU’RE a G… I’M a DD [and I’m heavier than you/have bigger boobs than you].
- There’s no WAY that [30DD/28DD bra] is a real DD. European sizing is so weird.
- I can’t be a [D+] cup, my boobs are small/average/I can’t even fill out a [32-38 AA-B] cup.
- I hate it when flat-chested girls talk about wearing a 32DDD at Victoria’s Secret, it’s 90% padding! They just want to make flat-chested girls feel better about themselves by messing up the sizes.
There are a couple of reasons why DD has such a reputation for being a “big size:”
- A terrifying amount of lingerie companies still advocate the +4 method: adding anywhere from 2-6” (most commonly 4”) to someone’s underbust measurement in order to find the band size. It’s an outdated fitting method: bands are made of stretchy material now, so adding inches is no longer needed (and consistently puts women in the wrong size). Here is an excellent post from Busts4Justice explaining it more.
- Yes, Victoria’s Secret’s method of measuring above your boobs to get your band size is +4 in disguise and doesn’t work for many women.
- That being said, this faulty way of measuring band size allows companies to make fewer sizes (read: save money), since it wrongly puts most women in band sizes that are so big that the cup size hardly makes any difference. (Also, did you know that women with a 34” or smaller underbust are always advised to add inches, but often women with a 36” or larger underbust are not? this makes it obvious that they are trying to stretch their size range farther than it goes.) Instead of providing a full, quality range of sizes (my favorite brands make around 90 sizes), they squish women into the sizes they have (usually no more than 30 sizes). I’m sure there are women who really do need a 34-38DD, but almost every single 34-38DD wearer I’ve met is wearing a too-big band and too-small cups!
So, next time you or someone you know doesn’t want to believe that a D/DD cup isn’t actually that big, try slinging a few of these facts at them (or yourself?):
- Cup size is relative: a 36C and a 34D have the same cup volume, so it’s not unlikely for someone with a small band size (even those who have “small” or “average-sized” boobs) to need a D+ cup. (For example, my 28G bras have the same cup volume as a 38D, just with a smaller band. Many people don’t think my boobs are very big until I tell them my size.)
- At least 10 cup sizes that come after DD exist. Although US sizing and European sizing aren’t very likely to come up with more than 4-5 sizes above a DD, UK sizing makes at least 10 (sometimes up to 14) cup sizes after DD. A DD cup is certainly not the “biggest size available;” in fact, it’s speculated to be a little below average depending on the band size. (32F would be the most common size if the +4 method wasn’t so widely used.)
- Many of the really busty women you know are probably not really DDs. Christina Hendricks is said to wear a 38DD, but that’s highly improbable considering her waist is 30” around. She is speculated (by bra-fitting experts) to be closer to about a 32-34 H-J or so.
- Conversely, some of the not-so-busty women you know are not necessarily an A cup. A lot of petite women (especially those whose underbust measures 30” or smaller) are given bands that are so big on them that even the smallest cupsize floats around their body. If a women measures 26” underbust and 32” overbust, she likely needs a 26E. But if the smallest band size is already 32, then even an A cup (made for a 33” overbust) will seem too big.
Overall, it would be awesome if we could all just stop judging each other and nitpicking our bra sizes. I think most of these comments come from insecurities: maybe the woman who says “there’s no WAY that’s a DD” doesn’t want her large breasts to feel even larger, or doesn’t want her small breasts to feel even smaller. Maybe the woman who says “I can’t be a D+, I’ve been an A cup all my life” has always been told that D is a [slutty/huge/fake/scary] size and never had to think about how hurtful those negative connotations can be. Or, maybe she has passed judgment on the “Victoria’s Secret 32DDDs” before and is scared of being seen as “delusional.”
I hope that spreading some knowledge about bra fit and talking about it openly can help us move past our hang-ups and need to compare ourselves to and judge others. This is the reason I talk about bra fit so much. For me, knowing about the diversity of sizes, comfort levels, and most importantly the ability to choose which bras I want to wear has helped me accept my breasts for what they are and stop comparing myself to others. I no longer dream of a reduction, and I hope that I can spread this feeling to others because it is awesome.
Have you ever been judged for your bra size by friends, family, peers, or even bra fitters? (It does happen unfortunately, yikes!) Tell me about it in the ask box—maybe it will help others realize they’re not alone :)
YES. Everything in this post is true. Excellent reading for all ladies. Expect to see this in the regular blog in any Important Links Roundup style posts.
I just found this video and it’s so cute,funny and informative!From having done tons of research about bra fitting,I’d say this is a pretty good video to start with for help with finding your right bra size.And yes,if you are over a DD cup,don’t freak,it doesn’t necessarily mean you have pornstar…
Listed as lowest band size to highest band size produced. From smallest cup size to largest cup size produced.
UK cup sizes: AA A B C D DD E F FF G GG H HH J JJ K KK
US cup sizes: AA A B C D DD DDD G H I J K L M N
EU cup sizes: AA A B C D E F G H I J K L M N
* brand has it’s own sizing method
I’ve converted all the bands to inches so there no confusion if it’s an 80 EU band size or an 80 FR band size.
A blog about bras and lingerie; DIY cosmetics, skin and hair care as well as everything else a girl needs to know!
Sophie de Oliveira Barata’s “Alternative Limb Project” provides unique prosthetics that are specially designed to blend perfectly with the wearer’s body OR to be an exclusive piece of art made specifically reflecting their personality and interests.
Love Claudette’s having a sale on Gilt!!! I love this brand to death, and wear them all the time. Basically, I picked up two of the colors shown above for the price of one. If you’re not a member of Gilt, you can join using this link.
And, AND, Claudette’s bras go from A cup to G cup (though the mesh styles shown are only up to F cup).
Understanding the cup sizes will help you find the right bra fit.
Most women shopping for a bra will look for a cup size first assuming that a particular letter is going to fit them the same regardless of the band size.
This is NOT the case, and it’s why most women can’t seem to find the right fit.
This is what you should know:
1. A letter representing the cup will proportionately grow along with the band.
2. As the above image shows, a 30D is one cup smaller than a 32D and this continues with each band size.
3. Rather than identifying yourself as a “cup size” you should identify the band first, then adjust the cup as needed.
So next time you buy a bra, let go of the letter and fit with your eyes not by the cup size.
Gossard & Claudette
I feel like a big reason a lot of women don’t want to start wearing their correct bra size is because they’ve never heard of it, or feel like they can’t find it anywhere. Many say things like, “I don’t want to be that size, Victoria’s Secret doesn’t carry it. Where am I going to find cute bras in that size?”
Still others are already wearing a correct “rare” size, and are bummed out by how many ugly, granny, nude, and/or tent-like bras they have. (I know I was!) They are tempted to buy a bra in the wrong size because they are cheap, readily available, and most importantly, cute.
But here’s the thing: Companies that make cute bras in a large size range DO exist! Whether you’re a 28DD, a 30A, a 32GG, a 28J, or a 38K, you CAN have a cute, affordable bra in your size! To show this, I’ve decided to start making photosets that take a cute, trendy Victoria’s Secret bra and find lookalike bras that come in a better size range. Here is my first one: I hope you guys find it helpful! :)
On the left is a white Victoria’s Secret push-up bra with black lace on the bottom half of the cups. It’s gorgeous, but its size range isn’t great: 32 A-D, 34-38 A-DD.
On the right is a Curvy Kate Tempt me bra in gold that looks strikingly similar to the one on the left, only it comes in a broader size range:
- 28 D - J
- 30 D - J
- 32 D - HH
- 34 D - H
- 36 D - GG
- 38 D - G
This bra is great for those who have a hard time finding a small enough band and/or a big enough cup.
On the left is a dark blue Victoria’s Secret bra with white polka dots. It’s very cute, but the size range is poor: 32A-D, 34-38A-DD.
On the right is a similar looking Ewa Michalak 3D Kokietka bra. If you have a hard time finding a bra with a small enough band and/or small enough cups for you, this is the bra you want, with a range of 30A-E and 32-36AA-DD. Although this particular style is made to flatter a smaller bust, Ewa Michalak takes custom size orders at no extra charge. The custom sizes go down to a 24 band, and most other styles they make can be made up to an L cup.
I’ll be posting more of these soon! :)
Feel free to submit a bra that you wish came in your size, along with your size, and I’ll find a bra that does!
Also, let me know what sizes you want to see. :)
View A Cropped Camisole Sewing
Instructions for sewing sandmaiden pattern 4002 which can be found here:
Using a Zigzag stitch overlap the side seams of pieces A2 front and back and stitch together. Lock the seams at the bottom edge with a bar tack
Use the same method to sew together the cups along the curved edge
To assemble the straps use the following tutorial. Using pre made straps may also be a good option.
Right sides together sew the straps to the pointy edge of the cups. Turn under and stitch down the seam for extra security.
Right sides together match the edge of the cups to the side seam of A2 body. The markings should line up with the center seams of the cups and the center marking will line up with the center edges of the cups. Some stretching to fit may be required either way especially if you’ve cut a larger or smaller cup size. Baste in place close to the edges
Use the tabs that were set aside and loop through the rings on the straps. Attach these right sides together to the back of A3 at the markings (not the center back mark) The straps may be crossed over as a design feature and for comfort.
Finally with right sides together you will fit the under bust elastic to the bodice. This will go over the wrong side of the straps and cups
I find it helpful to divide the elastic in quarters and the area it is to stretch over in quarters and then pin them together at quarterly intervals. This helps with controlling tension when stretching to fit. An alternative tip is to pull the elastic at 10% to 20% tension.
Stitch the picot edge elastic close to the fancy edge and trim away seam allowances once done. This may require some grading also if bulky.
Turn the elastic and garment to the right side and zig zag stitch close to the edge
That’s it! you’re finished!
A couple of extra little things I like to do is apply a clear stay tape elastic with a zigzag stitch and a 5-10% tension on the inside of the outer edge of the cups, this prevents spillage from the sides a little bit. Then you can add a few finishing touches as you like such as bows and rosettes.
We’re looking for a pin up/burlesque style model to send our over wire bra and bloomers to for you to shoot - and then keep!
Send portfolio pics and the photog’s portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org
The bra is a 34B and the briefs are a generous 10.
Even if you’re not a model, please reblog this post to win a pair of tassels in either black or red (with contrast tassels) see here:
I’m gonna show you what a girl typically working out would look like versus what you want me to look like
perfect person award
Esty Lingerie are having a giveaway competition. They sell a lot independant designers.
Frantic about Frances
A cool retro style with a quirky prints.
Just start carrying Tutti Rouge
The Misstress Collection’s side tie kickers
The beautiful Teddy by Marika Vera
Kimono Robe by With Love Lingerie
Bright blue bow with Knickerocker
And these sleek bra sets by Andrea Billard
and Louise Ferdinand Lingerie
and those are my favorites.
Never considered that, but good points.
I wore the wrong sized bras for years. I did ok, my boobs remained in vaguely the right place, my shoulders didn’t ache all the time and I had several dresses and tops that I could wear, although most did tend to show my ugly bras off – the only ones I could find in my supposed size. I considered my bust size to be a blessing and a curse in equal measures. Having a larger chest is fab up until a point, but the misery of finding clothes, lingerie and swimwear that fits and suits is sometimes a little unbearable.
I remember when a fellow busty buddy pointed out that I was in the wrong sized bra. She started prodding and poking me, telling me off for my double boob look showing so plainly under my top. I really didn’t take the news well and felt slightly angry at her uncalled for judgment. My 40FF bras were the best I could do – it wasn’t my fault that my body was so freakish and refused to play nice in bras. However, the more I listened to my lovely friend, the more I realised that I really did need to take some action and give the lingerie stores one more chance. And so I trotted off to Bravissimo in the search of some titty slings that could stop my aches, pains and bulges.
I emerged a little dazed clutching my brand spanking new 36H bras. 36H?! It seemed like a crazy combination, but boy oh boy did it work on me! That snug back band meant that my breasts were perky as the bra didn’t droop at the front due to it riding up at the back; it remained at the same level all the way round my torso. The bra cups fully encased my breasts instead of causing them to spill over. The central gore of the bra sat firmly against my chest, separating my boobies and giving me the most magnificent shape – was this some sorcery?! Sure it took me some time to get used to the firmer band but just like a new pair of shoes, I wore my gorgeous new bras in.
Now that I had the foundations sorted I started to explore the world of – shock! - dresses! I had never really gotten on well with them before as I had never really had a waist to speak of and my poorly supported breasts did not want to be seen. Yet I felt like I had been given a whole new body and I was keen to explore a few new looks. It took me a few years of experimentation, but I finally managed to nail my style – and lo and behold Pinup Girl Clothing was a huge part of that journey. The dresses gave me enough room to pour my chest into them, and with the right bras it looked pretty damn good! The myth that large breasted girls cannot wear plunge bras was quashed my by sassy combinations of Freya Deco bras and Erin dresses. My Masquerade Rhea bras gave me the perfect wench like cleavage in my sexy Jessica dress. And my Maidenform shapewear gave me a clean cut smooth silhouette. I felt so insanely feminine and – dare I say it – curvy, voluptuous, bodacious, and womanly. Smaller busted girls no longer had one up on me, I too could work in it beautiful dresses that hugged my shape and showed me off. And if it wasn’t for that underwear epiphany, I would never have felt that way.
I now understand how bras work, that D cup is not such a huge size, that H cups breasts are not some huge monstrous unlivable orbs, but manageable mounds that can be found in the most delicious of dresses. Back sizes start at a 24 and a 28 band is needed by more women than you would think. Snug bands will stop your shoulders from aching and your breasts sagging, and usually means you may need a bigger cup. Cup size cannot be judged unless you know the corresponding back size and even then you cannot make assumptions about the owner of such a size. Breast shape and fullness plays such an important role when it comes to choosing what you can and cannot wear – for example, I have a very perky breasted friend who has boobies that are quite bottom heavy – she cannot get that “orb” look going on in plunge bras. She also cannot get bullet bras to work for her and her boobs will just not mold to the pointed cups. Yet I have many friends who swear by them – and the best brand for them seems to be “What Katie Did” - although at present they only go up to an F cup. Owning breasts and bras sometimes seems as complicated as owning a car but when you have it sussed, you feel like you can do anything. So never feel miserable about your body and underwear collection - know that it is the garments that need changing and not you. Once you have that sorted the world is your oyster!
Follow Georgina’s blog at https://www.fullerfigurefullerbust.com
Some great bras and sites:
A bra calculator:
Elle Macpherson Intimates Obsidian Collection
I’ve been working on a list of different bra brands and the sizes they carry. Just a note, I did the band range and then the cup range they carry, just because the brand offers 28 and a B doesn't necessarily mean they have 28B’s. And even if they have a bigger range doesn’t they’ll have a huge selection for every size, though I’m hoping to comb through the list later and group brands based on their target buyer. Cup sizes are based on the company’s sizing system, it’d just be too much work to convert them all.