Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Keeping boobs close to heart

Two days ago I got really excited about a new bra I found online! In this blog post I will tell you why a piece of underwear made me so excited. So bra-talk coming up! I've meant to write about this topic for a long time, but have always decided not to. Last time I posted about bras online it got judged by a group of my classmates as "fucking stupid".

But today, I decided not to care about my fears and people who judge talking about these things as "too personal". This is actually a fairly important topic because for many people this particular piece of clothing might be the most important part of their outfit. It prevents unnecessary pain, allows us to move smoothly, makes us feel more confident, and some of them can be really pretty too. In this blog post I will provide some bra-fitting advice and explain how the sizing works, which might help some of you, if you're struggling to find comfortable bras.

If you are over-sensitive about this topic, you might want to skip this blog post. Or if you really must, you're welcome to leave an angry comment.

Made in Preston Blog.

So, the other day, I was online and noticed a link to Made in Preston's website on Thin and Curvy blog's Facebook page. Made in Preston is an UK store that makes "fitted fashion for bigger boobs". They sell tops, dresses, swimming costumes and underwear. They have three different shapes of all their clothes to fit different size boobs. That's really brilliant! And they make bras in 26-back size! Now they only have two different styles available: Winter Punk Lace and Winter Brights. They make both styles from 26DD to 26J (and up to 38GG, but that's not the big news here).

Why do I think this is great news? Because I have never seen bras in 26 back size sold anywhere. And I've often wished they'd make it when I've had to leave a bra in the shop because the band wasn't tight enough for my ribcage. There really is a market for 26 back size bras. I'm sure if Made in Preston keeps making these bras, they will sell worldwide.

But why would someone spend so much money on bras, when you can get some in Tescos? Well, the most important thing about bras, is not to cover our boobs. Some of them - for some reason it sometimes feels like that most bras available in my size - are see through, and really don't. For instance, Freya's Lyla bra.

Freya Lyla Lingerie.

But what do Freya bras do then? They fit and give support. As long as you pick the right size. And based on my personal experience of the world, most girls wear the wrong size. And no, I did not go and check what the bra labels of people that I meet say, I have just gone bra shopping with some of my friends. I really enjoy going bra shopping. And seriously, one of the best things that ever happened to my boobs was, when one of my friends took me bra shopping for the first time. Having a supportive bra makes such a difference!

From what I've seen, people seem to be very shy about underwear and would rather buy it without needing to try them on, but unfortunately you can't do that if you want to make sure that the bra you're spending your money on will be worth any of that money for you. To make this even trickier, most high street clothes stores, such as, H&M, New Look, Primark, etc. only do a very limited range of bra sizes. Some lucky ones are able to buy their underwear there (it's cheaper!), but many unlucky people believe that they can get bras that fit them but in fact their size is something completely different. Some places offer a "bra fitting service", but they are unfortunately not reliable, as they most of the time will only offer you the closest fit from the bras that they have. Cheryl from Invest in Your Chest blog undertook a High Street Fitting Challenge, where she visited several high street shops and tried out their bra fitting services to see what bras they would suggest her. The results where shocking, as most fitters appeared to have no clue of what a well-fitting bra even looks like.

When you go looking for a bra that fits you perfectly, you can start anywhere that sells bras and has a fitting room, but your best bet is in a store that stocks a wide range of sizes. And no - a shop that does cup sizes from A to D, is not one of them. Even if you're used to wearing a bra sized 34B, like I used to, it doesn't mean that a shop with that range has a bra that will fit you. Most people need a tighter band than they wear, and when you go down in a band size, you need a bigger cup size. Cup sizes are not "static", they are dependant on the band size. 30D looks completely different from 38D.

Band size is represented with a number. It's the measurement you get when you measure the circumference underneath your boobs. It's a good guideline if you have no idea what you're correct bra size is, but you still need to try on bras to find out which one fits you best. 

If you're using a measuring tape in inches, the number you measure is the actual band size. If you're measuring tape is in centimetres, you need to take 12 centimetres off the measurement you get.

Cup size is represented with a letter. The letter is calculated alphabetically, and it's the difference between your band measurement and bust measurement. If the difference is 1 inch, you're an A cup, if it's 2 inches, you're a B cup. In different countries the cups are calculated slightly differently, but commonly in UK they are counted: 
AA, A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K, KK, L. 
There are doubles for some letters, and I is skipped completely. AA is the only cup that is smaller than A, all the other doubles are bigger than the single.

If you're measuring in centimetres, you need to compare the original measurements - don't use your band measurement to compare the cup sizes. Instead of 1 inch, each cup size is 2cm bigger than previous one. Note that, 1 inch is not the same measurement and that when you get to bigger cup sizes, European cupsizes don't respond to UK sizes well.

Freya Lingerie.

Trying to find a bra that fits perfectly can be challenging if you've never owned a bra that fits before. It's easiest if you have a friend who help you, but as the above example shows, shop assistants might not be trustworthy. But if you follow this guide, you can check whether the bra you're trying on fits or not.

1. Hook the bra to the loosest hook, and check how many fingers you can get underneath the band. If it's more than 2, go and get a smaller back size. 

If this is the first time you're trying on a bra that size it will feel very tight. You will get used to it, but if you wish you may buy the next size up - but buy only one because soon you will probably want to buy the smaller band size.

2. Once you're band is tight enough, look at the band and wires between your boobs. They should rest tightly against your ribcage. This time you should not be able to get any fingers underneath the band (in the front). If the wires are not resting against you, you will need to go up a cup size.

3. To check whether the cups are the right size, you first need to make sure that all of your breast tissue is in the cup. Then make sure you're not bulging out from the sides or from the top. No part of the cup is meant to dig in to you. 

Many girls wear too small cup sizes in order to get a "push up" effect. Please don't do that. It actually only makes your boobs look smaller. Get a bra that is the correct size and just stick silicone cushions in there that are meant to make the effect. Or socks. Everyone has socks. It will be a lot more comfortable, you will look better and your boobs will thank you.

4. If you're bra otherwise fits well, it's time to adjust the bra straps. You may have had to do this a little bit before this step, because it's impossible to try on a bra with super tight bra straps. Now it's time to make sure they are snug, but not too tight.

Many people who wear the wrong bra size, believe that the support in the bra comes from the straps, when it actually should come from the band. When you're band is tight enough, you don't really even need the straps. If you're bra does not stay where it should be when you take the straps off, you're bra is not the right size.

5. Does your bra still not feel right? You might be trying on a bra that's the wrong style for you. There are loads of different bra styles such as full cup, demi cup, balconette and plunge. Depending on your boobs' shape, some of them might not fit you, but most likely something will. You just need to be brave and actually try on different styles!

I visited Tallinn like I said I would!

I hope this helps someone, because finding out how bras are supposed to feel has really changed my life and improved my self-confidence. The sad part of finding out my actual bra size was that there actually are very few bras made in my size, which is exactly why I wanted to share the Made in Preston bra on Facebook, so that other thin and curvy women, could find out about it as well.


  1. Hyvä, että päätit olla välittämättä tyhmistä kommenteista! En oikein ymmärrä, miksei rintaliiveistä voisi puhua. Aika normaali asia, jota melkein kaikki naiset tarvitsevat. En itsekään niistä kovin aktiivisesti puhele, mutta totta kai siitä voi.

    Mä en ole oikein varma mun koosta. Se parani siitä, kun olit joskus asiasta puhellut, mutta en vieläkään ole oikein varma. On vaikeaa. Varsinkin kun harvoissa kaupoissa on monia vaihtoehtoja. Halvoista kaupoista Cubuksella, Lindexillä ja KappAhlissa on joskus on jotain virkistäviä kokoja.

    1. KappAhlissa en ole varmaan koskaan erityisesti edes käynyt, Cubuksessa silloin sun kanssa! Lindexillä tosiaan muistankin joskus nähneeni jotain kokoja, mitä muissa vaatekaupoissa en ole nähnyt. Parhaiten Suomessa ehkä on Sokoksella ja Stockmannilla. Tai muistaakseni sieltä joskus kyselin ja ne sentään ymmärsivät, että kokoja mitä kyselin saattaa olla olemassa, vaikkei niillä itsellään juuri silloin ollut. Ehdottivat kyllä, että jotain Calvin Kleinia voisin sovittaa, kun se on istuvuudeltaan tiukempi kuin jotkut muut. Mutta ei ollut varaa Calvin Kleiniin. Myös niiden ehdottamat kaventelut kuulostivat älyttömän kalliilta.