A bra story

I thought that this subject might appeal to a broader audience so I thought I separate posting might be helpful. This is a response I provided to Biscuitsmom's question what brand/style of bra do I wear when I do my posts.

I rotate between 6-8 bras on a daily basis. I do not wear the same bra 2 days in a row. I wear a size 34K and even discovering that fact took more than a good professional fitting. (SA's are reluctant to lift up the girls to get a proper band measurement so I usually ended up in a 36J which would constantly ride up my back. I enlisted DH to help me get an accurate measurement and I no longer have ride up issued now that I have 34" bands.

I have 2 Bravissimo Alana bras
I have 1 Panache Tango II bra
I have 1 Panache Tango Classic bra (today I wore this one)
I have 1 Panache Tango Luxe Balconnet bra
I have 1 Fantasie Kathryn underwire side support bra
I have 2 Goddess Kiera bra (these are American bras so they are size 34M -- American bra sizes beyond D cups only increase by a 1/2 inch rather than 1inch like european bras)

I also wear a Flexees "fat free dressing" shapewear cami under most of my outfits. I have 2 of these in black.

I buy all of my bras on line. My favorite websites are:
Bravissimo.com -- I usually never have to pay more than $50.00 for a bra here
Herroom.com -- expensive but lots of great reviews on fit and quality
figleaves.com -- they have great sales I got all of my Panache bras from them and paid less that $35.00 for all of them in late December

other sites I like for comparison are:
Biggerbras.com
barenecessities.com
ladygrace.com

* I forgot to mention that all of my bras are classified as full coverage for the most part.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

20 Comments

  • Mo replied 8 years ago

    Coming from the opposite side of the spectrum, I have to add that us smaller ladies should still go for a true fitting. Many of us think we are A or B cups when in reality we might be D when you get down to the proper band size!
    This was a good collection of online bra calculators I found helpful. http://www.boosaurus.com/2012/.....ators.html FWIW, I often 'make do' with 32C that I sew the bands tighter on, but should be in 30DD. I have a Simone Perele on the way, so we shall see . . .

  • Vicki replied 8 years ago

    Oh, Day Vies, this is so timely for me, because I just posted late on Angie's "How to Prioritize a Shopping List" blog that I've been procrastinating on bra shopping. I think it's because Wacoal no longer carries my 32DD in a wireless bra (#25276 and #25226) and when I went to Nordstrom to check out the Simone Perele, I was fitted for a 30EE, and the short time I had to try on bras came up with nothing and now I've been reluctant to go back and start the fitting process up again.

    Thank you, so much, for these great websites. What is it about the Bravissimo and Panache that you like, as I notice you have several of these? btw, it's not that I have to have a wireless bra, as I do like to have a higher lift, since gravity seems to be winning at this point, but the wire-free are comfortable.

    So glad you posted this.

  • jenanded replied 8 years ago

    I need to chec out biscuitsmom's post but is the bravissimo alana good? I have seen it online with good reviews but wasnt sure about buying - very pretty. not sure if other people are like me and try and do something 'unique' in a different city so went there for a fitting which I had seen discussed online. I booked a time before I left home, the fitting department was en entire floor of the store, the waiting room was with lounges etc, a raft of personalised fitting consultants... Transformed my bra size life!

  • Mary Beth (formerly LBD) replied 8 years ago

    My sizing was trial-and-error. I had been measured as a 34DD. After years of being the same size, one day, I took off my bra and happened to see in the mirror that when I took the bra off... nothing really happened. I had pretty much been walking around without any real support.

    I went online to research how to figure out your size, and came up with about four different sizes, so I went back to my 34DD, and realized that the band was too big, and the cup too small. In my searching for sizing, I also found the link to Oprah's Bra Revolution, and from there I found the Le Mystere Dream Tisha. I ordered it in 32F (same as DDD), although 30F is optimal.

    I've tried other bras but this one has been my favorite, because of the support and the smooth silhouette. (Although it is molded cup, and my boyfriend makes jokes about it being a Valkyrie bra) They go for around $70 on Bare Necessities, so I look for them new on eBay and buy them there for a lot less. Or I go to a lingerie warehouse store north of Atlanta, they frequently have them in for around $30-35.

    Oh - and the Dream Tisha has a wider strap, so the weight is distributed a little more equally along the shoulder, which makes a world of different for my neck.

    Not all large-size bras are equal. French and English sizing is different - in English sizing I wear an E-cup. In French and American, an F-cup (aka DDD). And not all manufacturers are consistent.

    I love the look of Wacoal, but I find that their bras are meant for taller girls. If I get the right fit in the cup, I end up with the top of the cup landing somewhere around my collarbone :(

    I've worn Panache, and I like it, but the one I have is lacy and makes ripples in the fitted tops and sweaters that I like to wear. Also, it isn't quite as comfy as my Dream Tishas.

    I'm a wire-girl all the way, I like having these things hefted up and outta the way :D

  • Day Vies replied 8 years ago

    Mo -- I could not agree more a good fitting is a great starting place. I wish it could be as simple as figure out your size then buy all the bras you like in that one size. Bra manufacturers like other clothing manufacturers refuse to standardize.

    Vicki -- I was quite happy with Wacoal bras until I realized the sales person just picked the largest size that would fit me and told me that was my size. I also started wearing underwire bras in high school for the same reason you mentioned I love the higher lift.
    With Bravissimo bras I took the plunge because I'd ordered my Panache bras from them (I had the correct size and styles from a recent trip to Intimacy). They also have great seasonal sales (right around $30.00 per bra) and I discovered once I ordered them that they're very well-made and came in more colors than just black white and taupe. Even with the over seas shipping I spend LESS on bras ordered from Europe than I do ordering from American websites. I save on average 20- 30 dollars per bra -- so I can actually afford to buy sets ;-)
    I know I have harped a lot about price but my favorite bras on American sites are generally $65 - $90 just for the bra. Who can afford that every 6 months for 6-8 bras?

    Jenanded -- I started wearing the Alana in late 2011 it is one of my favorites because the straps don't dig. The profile is lower but your breast tissue points FORWARD not off to the sides (which creates a really strange silhouette). Many bras in my size push breast tissue so far to the side that you end up looking like a lollipop. The Alana profile is helpful when I wear deep v necks and low scoop necks because no cleavage will show. Also I like the fact that because things are facing forward, it is easier to see separation between my arms and bust line.

    LaBelle -- seems like you understand that taking a sales associate's word for it that you are a certain size is NOT a good idea. You really do have to invest time and effort in finding the right bra for you then finding it at the right price point. Good for you!

  • jenanded replied 8 years ago

    Vicky, I am butting in here before Day Vies, but bravissimo have an entire store and range ONLY in larger sizes. Panache, as well as Fantasie and Freya also have enormous ranges in many colours and styles. These are all English brands. I have tried shopping in the USA for my size (34G in English sizes) and I have 3 to try on so can share your frustration... Bravissimo and Figleaves ship round the world at REALLY good prices...

  • biscuitsmom replied 8 years ago

    Such great info! Thanks, everyone!

  • Mo replied 8 years ago

    Yes, Day Vies, you are so right that sizes till vary quite a bit from brand to brand. Trial and error. And sometimes it takes (me) several wears to realize a fit issue and by then it's too late, and the money is lost. :(
    I buy mostly on eBay - and actually quite often they are returnable, so it's a win/win.

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 8 years ago

    My usual favorite is the Freya Deco but I bought a few others recently. Curvy Kate makes a good product at a reasonable price but their lace bras are not as consistent in size as some brands. I bought the CK elegant and love it. I also bought the Fantasie Rebecca (called a spacer bra since the molded cups are thinner and more flexible than most). I also tried a Masquerade style (very pretty) and the Charlotte style from Affinitas by Parfait. At my current weight I range from a 32F to a 32G.

    I have two of the Dream Tisha bras but don't wear them. I paid over $130 for the first one (Canada) and find them to feel very restrictive.

    A good lingerie store is priceless.

  • T-Rex replied 8 years ago

    This may be a good time to share my friend's lingerie blog. Lots of good information here...

    http://www.thelingerieaddict.com/

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 8 years ago

    This is another good resource. You can look up by brand and style and see reviews and also what other brands styles the wearers found similar in fit.

    http://www.bratabase.com/

  • T-Rex replied 8 years ago

    Dianthus, that does look like a good resource. I've bookmarked it.

    Day Vies, back when I indulged my lingerie lust more often, I almost always ordered from Europe. England, in particular. I love the retro look that some of their niche brands have. And when I was patient enough to wait for a really good sale, the prices weren't bad. I just had to make sure that the retailer remembered to take off the VAT.

  • Agnes replied 8 years ago

    I just went and used a couple of the online calculators and they were extremely off ... two of them suggested I am a 38 ff ! and in fact my bosom only just fills out the cups of a C cup or a D at most. I'd say definitely get a real life fitting.

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for generously sharing your bra info with us, Day Vies. YOU ROCK, and so does your impeccable bust line.

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Ahhh Vicki I'm in the same boat as you, putting off bra shopping (and sizing *ducks*). Day Vies thanks for the reminder, I really should get on that.

  • shevia replied 8 years ago

    I want to put in a plug for my bra here. I have tried many bras looking for one that keeps me in place with no bouncing and a normal shape and after much trial and error have found Chantelle rive gauche full cup t-shirt bra is the best I have found. I wear a 32DD and have nursed 3 children for reference.

  • Joy replied 8 years ago

    Day Vies, thank you for this thread. There is so much great information here.

  • CocoLion replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for the Bravissimo.com tip DV. I have been relying on Bare Necessities and Nordstrom mostly.

    My favorite brands are Calvin Klein, Natori and Simone Perele. Although the Simone Pereles are too loose in a 32 band. I have been told to go with a 30 band but I don't like how hard it is to find that size, also I prefer a comfortable band.

    I am very short from bust to shoulder so twice I have had to get the straps of my bras shortened/altered. Unless they are fully adjustable, of course.

  • dizzys replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!!! The Panache Tango II is my favorite. I started wearing their Chleo bra and I love that too. I still get confused with American and European sizing differences. It is so important to get the correct rib cage measurement for sure! Glad you worked that out. So many people are wearing the wrong size.

  • Aziraphale replied 8 years ago

    Day Vies, thanks for this post! A good reminder for all of us, even those on the smaller end of the spectrum. As it happens, I went bra shopping today, since I was in dire need of a new nude bra (how is it that I seem to have five black bras and only one nude one that is nearly worn out?). I did find one, but only after trying on what felt like fifty (although I'm probably exaggerating). I'm a 32D, which isn't that big -- you'd think there would be tons, but if you hate molded cups like I do, there's really not a lot. Why is it that you can get all kinds of 30" and 32" bands with A, B or C cups, but nothing above? (I ended up with a Wacoal t-shirt bra that is, I have to say, very comfy, very supportive and invisible under a t-shirt, although it's a little on the fugly side).

    Next time I'm going to a fancy bra boutique and looking into some of the brands you recommended.

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