I’ve been researching bra fitting like crazy the last two days, thanks to two of my close friends Megan and Jennifer. I was buying some shirts from Megan and Jennifer commented that my current bra was not fitting me right AT ALL. Get ready to learn something ladies! My research started here with learning how to properly measure myself. This is a totally different way then what I had been told before!
For a long time I had decided I could never wear an underwire bra because they just plain hurt!They always dug into my ribs to the point I couldn’t even sit! I gave up on wearing them. Especially while nursing because who wants to deal with that and a wiggly baby? However this time I desperately wanted to wear all these amazingly cute dresses and shirts I had just bought from Megan. (Thanks again Megan!) Currently I was wearing probably what is now known as the saddest bra ever, a nursing sports bra with zero support. So I went bra shopping a few days ago and thought this 44F with underwire I bought was the right one for me. It fit ok in the store, but as the day went on it got more uncomfortable and started to dig into my ribs and shoulders. I had to take it off after a few hours. There was no way I could wear that again.
Something wasn’t right, so after reading the above article I decided to measure myself. I followed the instructions and entered the measurements into what several sites have deemed the best bra size calculator.
I think I about passed out when I read the result. I even re-measured myself THREE TIMES.
40M FOURTY M, YES M, M?! THEY MAKE SIZE M?! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?
From my research I found out that I’ve not only been wearing the wrong size, but also that I have been putting my bra on wrong and wearing it wrong. I just thought that bra’s were supposed to be uncomfortable. Nope!
If you didn’t already know this, but to put a bra on correctly you are supposed to lean forward and scoop them up into the bra, and then pull the straps all the way on. The cups are supposed to be up near your armpit (something I assumed meant the bra was too small — wrongo!) Then the bra is supposed to be tight on the very first clasp and as you wear the bra and it stretches you move in. I always went right for the last row right off the bat. Mistake number 3! THEN, (this is the key apparently), you are supposed to reach into your bra and pull the fat (migrated breast tissue) from under your arm and “swoop” it back into the bra. Yes you heard me, migrated breast tissue. You apparently have to do this several times because by wearing the wrong size bra, the breast tissue got moved and pushed back under the arms. I found this Bra Fit Guide extremely helpful; it has a lot of great pictures.
I also learned that the center of the bra, in between your breasts (called the gore — nice name) is supposed to be flat against your chest. Otherwise the cup is too small and your breasts are pushing the bra away from you. How come no one tells you this stuff when you’re 12? Bah!
Other signs that your bra isn’t fitting right:
- When lifting hands over head, breasts pop out bottom
- The dreaded quadra-boob
- Breast coming out from the under the arms
- Deep indentations in the shoulders
- Band rides up the back
- Underwire digs into ribs or the sides of your breasts
- Breasts smashed together in the center (unless you are going for this effect — then carry on!)
- Infections/Rashes underneath the breasts
Another thing I learned is that some breasts are fuller on top meaning the nipple points downwards or fuller on the bottom where the nipple points forwards or sometimes upwards. This is important to know because some bras are not made for certain types of breasts. They simply will just not fit at all. This is known as breast shape.
Lastly I learned about sister sizes. You would think one would go from 38 B to 38 C and so forth, but not true! If you go up in a cup size, you need to go down in band size. Or vice versa down in cup size, up in band size.
I went to the Methodists Women’s Hospital’s breastfeeding boutique in hopes to find a nursing bra that would come in the size I supposedly needed. Sadly, the biggest they had was 42H. Despite being a few cup sizes too small, I already saw a HUGE (pun not intended) improvement! The underwire wasn’t trying to cut me in half finally! I could tell that was not perfect either, but I bought it anyway because I was down to that one sports bra that Jenn was going to kill me if she saw me in it again. I bet she wept for my poor boobies stuck in that horrible bra.
Here are some other places you can find nursing bras at:
- Baby Junk – very knowledgable and carry up to size H/I in some brands.
- Motherhood Maternity
- Breastfeeding Support and Supplies of Omaha
- OmaBra – By appointment only – largest selection of plus size bras
Your size not available here in Omaha? Here’s a list of Online Retailers from BustyResourcesWiki.
SO if you’ve been avoiding underwire bras or bra shopping in general (me) then give it another shot by measuring yourself and try bra shopping again. I am already feeling so much better and I am glad I get half my wardrobe back too!
If you decided to re-measure yourself, what is your new size? What was your old size? Share it below!