Style Staple #1: Support the Ladies

Let me tell you about my latest obsession: finding well fitting bras.

Seriously. Obsessed.

I don’t remember exactly where I saw the first thing about how I was probably wearing the wrong size (probably on Pinterest), but then I found this bra size calculator. It said the size I was currently wearing was 2 sizes too big in the band and at least 2 sizes too small in the cup. But that couldn’t be right…could it?

Then I went back to Pinterest to look for more info and came across The Big Cup Little Cup blog and realized the calculator above was probably pretty accurate. This blog is great to get an idea of what a well-fitting bra should look like on – and I’m not nearly as brave as those ladies to take pictures in my underwear so go look at theirs. Plus they have a ton of resources (including the calculator I used).

The more I learned about how a bra SHOULD fit, the more I realized how poorly the ones I own fit. So I did what any woman would do – dragged my husband bra shopping!

We went to Soma first where the fitting lady basically told me I was in between what I was wearing and what the calculator said and gave me a bunch of bras to try on. However, I had learned that the middle piece of the bra should be flat against my chest plate. After trying their biggest cup size and still having the gap in the middle, I left with no bra and a sad face.

Nordstrom sells the European brands of bras I had read were good for my size so we went there and I got a second fitting. The girl was way more knowledgeable and it was a great fitting. FAIR WARNING: The Nordstrom fitters get ALL up in your business. I wasn’t super comfortable hanging out in my bra in front of a stranger and they help you with trying on the different bras and showing you what areas fit well and which don’t. Helpful, informative, but still very uncomfortable (which wasn’t her fault at all. She was very professional. I just am not one of those “free your body in public” people.) After trying on a bunch of brands and sizes, I ended up with a well fitting Freya bra that was even on sale!

Guess what? That calculator was pretty darn close! Although the calculator says to take your measurements with no bra on, I would recommend measuring your band size with a bra as well if you’re “gifted”. Big Cup on their blog mentions this as well, since us more well-endowed ladies may get a different band size when properly supported.

Once you know your size you have more shopping options. I’m limited to Nordstrom and the internet but depending on your size, there could be more. The two sites I’ve found have the most choices for a small band with large cups are HerRoom and FigLeaves. Quality bras are expensive so it’s a slow process to replace what I have with what actually fits. I thought about those lingerie subscription services but I only found one that carried my size – and they only had ONE bra in my size. What kind a subscription would that be?

In a word, here’s why well-fitting bras are so important: SUPPORT.

  • my back hurts less because the weight from the front is distributed better and actually supported by the wires in the bra.
  • I look skinnier. I’m not sure how much of this is because I’m so short but it’s amazing how much better you look when your boobs are supported up where they should be.
  • no uniboob!
  • my clothes look better. Part of this is from weight loss but part of it is definitely because my bra is lifting and supporting me how it should.

I broke my own advice on this, because my first bra was the one that was on sale, but I would suggest starting with the basics – nude, black, t-back, etc. Also, TRY BRAS ON EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU WILL HATE THEM. My current nude bra did not look cute on the hanger. Hubbin even kinda made a face when I took it out of the bag. But it looks a lot better on. Plus what’s the harm in trying something on? Worse case scenario you get a laugh out of it!

So far my biggest challenge has been finding matching panties that I like. The majority of matching panties for larger cup sizes (even with a small band size) are granny panty-esque and/or I don’t think they would work under most clothing. The struggle is real.

I told you I’ve become obsessed. I’m now a bra crusader!

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