Bra Fit and Flattery

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I spent a morning with Jen of Alluring Lingerie who showed me her gorgeous range of bras. Even though I’ve been fitted for bras over the recent years, we decided to do another fitting – and guess what – my rib cage has shrunk! Having kids expanded it a bit, but since that’s been a few years, it seems to have reduced in circumference.

Jen has a gorgeous range of bras, and I got to try a heap of them on, though I had her in stitches with one of them (my cup did runneth over) check out her website – she has lots of bras that go up to a G cup, plus the Erin Brokovich of bras that if you haven’t got the cleavage you desire, will give it to you!
She provides an online shop, but also, if you’re in the Melbourne region, she’ll also do fittings with you – which is a fabulous service. If you’d like a review of some of the range Jen stocks – check out this post by The Bra Queen.
If you can’t get to see her, this is a great bra size calculator – measurements are in inches, and then you can always order online. Like all clothes, sizing isn’t completely standard across all styles and brands, though it probably is closer!
So how should a bra fit?
  1. The band should be horizontal around your rib cage – if it rides up, go down a size (or two). It needs to be firm – most of the support of a bra comes from the band, not the straps.
  2. The breasts should fill the cup but not spill over – if you get indentation in your breasts from the edge of the bra, try going up a cup size (or two).
  3. The underwires should sit firmly on the chest, the whole way round, if they dig into your breast under your arm, the cup size may be too small, or it could be that this particular bra is not the right shape for your rib cage. If they don’t sit firmly on your chest at the cleavage, you’ll get a monoboob and not much in the way of separation. This is a real trial and error situation, brands differ and even within a brand some will fit better than others.
Whilst on the subject of breasts – Eternal Voyager did a post on how to get rid of armpit and back fat that’s worth a read.

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16 Comments

  • I also got re-fitted a few weeks ago and was surprised to find I'd gone down another band size (and up another cup size…now a DDD/G!) But it's so worth it; my clothes look much better on now that "the girls" are sitting up and paying attention!

  • It is hilarious – I had always considered myself kindof small in the boob department. I wore an A cup up until two years ago some started to feel better. Then I was properly measured a couple of months ago and my cup size jumped to DD! And I still don't consider myself particularly full busted.

    I have to question the back fat thing, though. No way can that all be breast tissue. Surely you develop some regular fat there as well. I wonder if there are others supporting this tissue migration theory? I always put my bras on like that – bending over – and so far there has been no back fat reduction. But hey, I'd love to believe that it'll eventually help…

  • Anusing that your bra fit post follows your happiness project. Happiness IS a well fitting bra!

    Julia Roberts, commenting on her Erin Brokovitch costuming (with her relatively modest bosom), said, "It takes a village to raise a cleavage,"

  • Also wanted to say bras don't have to be frayed or stretched out to no longer support- replace them often if you want good lift! I am a C and buy three or four new everyday bras every six months.

  • Anne it won't work unless you have a bra with a snug band, otherwise all the fat that you have gathered in will sneak right out. Usually I recommend that the band should be at least 5 cm smaller than your underbust measurement. That's because most bands stretch up to 20 cm.
    I measure 71 cm, and so I wear band size 65 or even 60 (when I can get it).

    And Imogen, a big thanks for linking to me ! I was thinking yesterday that I wished someone would feature one of my post in their weekend links post… and voila !

  • Been lurking on your website for a while and enjoying your approach to clothing and style.
    The right size bra is vital, and as you say, we change over the months and years. I can thoroughly recommend http://www.bravissimo.com/. They're based here in the UK but will ship all over the world. As well as lingerie, they do swimwear and clothes for us, ahem, more generously proportioned women.

  • My ribcage has also become tinier lately. I think it's due to shallow breathing while at the computer. Thanks for the great tips. You have inspired me to go out and find some better fitting bras.

  • Deja – isn't it strange how our rib cage size keeps changing? I wonder why?

    Anne – You actually need to also 'pull' the skin from under your arm into your bra (I also lean over etc), this brings more around to the front. I took a friend to a fitting once and she too thought she was small breasted and went from a B to a D cup!

    Duchesse – yes – happiness is a well fitting bra! And great tip on the elastic – handwashing will keep them going longer (but I personally can't be bothered).

    K.Line – not sure – email Jen and find out!

    Sal – don't put it off.

    Eternal – happy to – you have lots of great bra related info!

    Claire – it always amazes me when I hear that about 70% of women are in the wrong size!

    Tess – thanks so much for de-lurking! Yes Bravissimo is great – I buy from them too – fantastic shipping all over the world and they stock one of my favourite bras (plus their swimwear is super too).

    Rosina – is that what you put it down too? I was thinking that mine was due to being over 4 years away from having had my last child so all the stretching and expanding my ribcage did in pregnancy was gradually going away.

  • This post inspired me to finally do something about my bras. I have unfortunately gained a little weight, and have been experiencing unrelated breast tenderness (we can blame that one on perimenopause) so my now slightly-too-small bras have really been bugging me. They did fit when I bought them – I bought them as a result of a professional fitting – but now the wires were sitting just slightly on breast tissue near my underarms. They were just bugging me and I hadn't done anything about it.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you! Your post pushed me into the store and I bought some lovely Fayreform bras (a brand new to me) a cup size larger and MY BOOBS ARE SO HAPPY!

  • rb – I'm so glad your breasts are happy! Sometimes we need a gentle prod to go and fix something and then we wonder why it took us so long to do it?

  • Oh mama…I've got an awful lot of "migrated breast fat"! And I thought that belly was from all those babies, who knew???? LOL…

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