Monday, October 5, 2015

Bra Fact and Bra Fiction Quiz

In five years of talking about bras I've had to debunk my fair share of bra myths. There is a lot of great bra information out there but there is also a lot of bra nonsense that is keeping hundreds of thousands of women from their best fit. How many of these bra 'facts' are actually rubbish and which are the real deal? (I'll post the answers in the comments in a couple of days!) xx

1) Your bra band should be parallel with the ground

2) It's normal to get some back fat with a well-fitting bra

3) After you measure round your ribcage you should add 4 inches to find your band size

4) Not all bras in your size will fit you

5) Straps falling off your shoulders is a normal part of wearing bras

6) You should be able to lift the band away from your body so you can see the bottom of your breasts

7) The direction of the seams on a cup changes the shape of the look of your bust

8) The gore should lie flat against your body between your boobs

9) If your bra leaves red marks on your body it's the wrong size

10) Wearing a bra at night stops your boobs sagging

There are many, many more but if you can sort the fact from the fiction in this list then you've got a great handle on your bra fit! xx

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Day in The Life of a Badly Fitting Bra

You'd be forgiven for thinking that your bra is out to get you as it pinches and pokes you and leaves your breasts in free fall. But in reality the reason your bra hurts you is that it's desperately trying to fit and it just can't. To give you an idea of what happens when you put on an ill-fitting bra here's a short day in the life of that bra...

Beginning of the Day...
Bra: "OK everyone, it's a new day and today we're going to keep her boobs in one place. Is everyone with me? Straps, Band, Cups, are we ready?"

All: "Yes(ish)!"

Bra: "Band, can I get an elastic report?"

Band: "Elastic cooled to room temperature but stretch damage at 90%. I'm reporting majority of elastic fibers broken or maxed out, Commander."

Bra: "Let's put that 10% of working elastic to the test then Band. Engage band support. Straps, status report."

Straps: "We are reading a 75% degrading of our surface resistance. Likelihood of sliders loosing grip at 80%, Commander."

Bra: "I don't want any slacking on this watch so keep those straps in place soldier. Cups, what's the situation with you?"

Cups: "We appear to have sustained some damage during the last aquatic drill, Commander. We are reporting some increased volume and weakening of the surface tension."

Bra: "I need you to hold it together cups, stand fast. OK, this is it. All stations engage support."

Not Long Later That Same Day...
Bra: "All stations we are loosing support integrity; immediate emergency reports."

Band: "Elastic has heated up to body temperature and we're loosing tension at a rapid rate. We are reporting a 15 degrees increase in altitude up the spine."

Straps: "We also detect the increase in altitude, Commander, and can no longer maintain strap stability. We have lost functionality in the right strap. Strap down, I repeat, strap down."

Cups: "We are loosing altitude, Commander. We are reporting major tissue spillage in left cup and wire malfunction at the gore. We appear to have increased tissue pressure at the sternum. Please advise next steps."

Bra: "All stations, we appear to be having a catastrophic function failure. Advise one of us learns how to write a note for her to get a bra fitting and put us out of our misery."

So the next time you find yourself cursing your bra spare a thought for how hard it's trying to contain your breasts against all odds. If you don't know where to start figuring out what size and style features you need in a bra then our Free Size Consultation is a great place to start. xx

Monday, August 17, 2015

Our 5 Most Useful Posts of All Time

We've had lots of new customers, blog readers and newsletter subscribers lately and many of them are at the beginning of their bra journey. To make it easier to find your best fit I've put together our top 5 most useful blogs that have helped thousands of women.

Basics about Bands
Your band is the most crucial part of your bra. It should do most of the work in lifting and supporting your bust so if your band is wrong a whole heap of problems can arise, and they do!

This blog video explains why a band that's too big for you causes problems like straps digging and slipping and cups spilling. Watch the video here

Cup Letters Mean Nothing Without The Band Size
This is at the crux of understanding bra sizes. The fact that a 36G is a whole cup volume bigger than a 34G because the band is longer is something that most women don't know. If you've been wearing a 38C that rides up like mad so you tried a 32C and the band was crazy tight and you were spilling out everywhere it was because the 32C is THREE cup volumes smaller than the 38C.

Not All D Cups Are The Same is our most read post because it explains and shows how cups and bands relate to one another. Read the post here.

How Can I Be an 34FF and a 32G?
One you understand that cups get bigger as the band gets longer you start to realize that cup letters mean nothing without their band size. Your bra size is actually a cup volume, not a cup letter. Sister Sizing explains how the same cup volume has different sizes depending on the band length. It's really useful to know your sister sizes. For example, if you know that a 32G is your best starting size but you read that a bra you love runs really tight in the band so you need to go up a band size, you'll know that your sister size is a 34FF so that's the size to order to offset the tight band.

What Sister Sizes Look Like is our post that shows you what the same cup volume looks like on different band lengths. Read the post here.

Height and Bra Fit

Something that few fitters will explain to you is that your height can play a huge part in which bras will fit you best. If you are under 5ft 5" then this post is well worth a read!

Getting Your Mind Into The Right Bra
Once you've read up on all the 'science' of a well fitting bra the prospect of changing bra size and style can be daunting. You can never get the right physical fit until you are emotionally ready for a good fit.
The Mental Leap from the Wrong Bra to the Right Bra is a guide to help you work out what's keeping you from better bra fit and to help you take your time. Read the post here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Transitioning Back from Nursing to Regular Bras

In the early weeks and months of breastfeeding your nursing bra clips are up and down like a jack-in-a-box. As the baby starts to eat solids the prospect of getting back into regular bras becomes a possibility. Evelynne is now 14 months old and eating solids like a boxer in training. She still finds time to fit in a few breastfeeds in the day but not enough to warrant being in a nursing bra all day. Now that I don't need to be so available to her I have started transitioning back into regular bras and discovered that's harder than I thought.

Body Shock Post Nursing
When Evelynne was about 8 months I really missed regular bras. I had great nursing bras but the shape they all give you is pretty similar and you don't get the same lift as you do with a wired bra. When I realized I could start wearing wired bras again I was really excited to get back into my Panache Jasmine and Cleo Lucy bras because they're my favourite shapes. Unfortunately this wasn't to be.

My size had barely changed from my pre-pregnancy size. I was a 32GG before Evelynne and I was now a 34GG, so up just one band size and one cup volume. I tried a 34GG in Lucy and it was too much of a shock to my system to have such a long wire and rigid support again after 12 months of wire-free, relaxed support.  This body shock happens a lot for women who have spent their whole lives in the wrong bra. They know they are uncomfortable and their straps hurt in the wrong bra but once they put on a band that is actually supportive it's too different from the loose fit they're used to and it can put off a lot of people from persevering with a better fit. I knew that the shock meant I needed to take smaller steps back into wired bras.

Related Article: What to expect when you start wearing the right size bra

Baby Steps Back into Wired Bras
I had to start experimenting with new styles to help me find my way back to wired bras. I have never been a big fan of smooth cup bras because I don't like the shape they give me as much as a seamed cup shape, but I discovered that soft smooth cups (so no rigid molded cups) were very comfortable, especially as I am still nursing so still a little sensitive.  I also found that even though I can wear pretty long wires I was more comfortable in a shorter wire. A shorter wire meant less pressure around my torso (and less support in my case) but it proved to be a good middle ground between no wire and long wires.

Short wired, smooth cups are bras that I've never regularly worn but they have given me back more lift, a different shape from nursing bras and the body confidence to start wearing a firmer band again.

Here are the bras that are rehabilitating me back into wired bras!

Verailles by Lunaire
Short wires, scooped straps and smooth cups made Versailles a great post nursing bra.

This bra is pretty firm in the band so I tried a 36G (the equivalent cup volume of a 34GG) and was very pleasantly surprised at the comfort and support. I particularly like that the straps scoop in on the shoulders so this bra is invisible under a tank top. Shop Here

Basic Beauty by Wacoal
Smooth cups, lots of support and scooped straps were my favourite post-nursing features on Basic Beauty
The cups are made of a double lined material which adds support without irritation your nipples. The cups come up pretty high but this gives a fantastic support. Again the straps scoop in on the shoulders on this one so it's been useful in the summer with strapless tops. Shop Here

Etta by Elomi
I love the short gore on Etta and the seams hit me in the right place post-nursing
I needed something with a shorter gore than Versailles and Basic Beauty so I tried Etta and it was ideal. The wires are probably a little short on me (I have a tall bust) but the shape and comfort made up for that. The placement of the seams didn't irritate me and it's so nice to be back in a seamed, wired bra. Shop Here

I plan to get back into Jasmine and Lucy eventually and my transition bras are helping me get there. Having and nursing a baby is such a huge change for your body that I guess it's no surprise that your body needs time to transition back into pre-baby bras. xx

Monday, July 6, 2015

5 Things You Shouldn't Say To A Busty Woman
If you have a large bust then at some time in your life chances are someone has commented on them, maybe passed judgement on them or asked you about them. This happens to a lot of women regardless of their bust size but for women with larger breasts these questions can be frequent, repetitive, boring and upsetting. Here are 5 things that you should never say to a busty woman:

"You're so lucky!"
We don't know how to respond to this. "Sure, I love that my genetics gave me lucky big boobs." Are we lucky that our breasts attract a lot of sexual harassment and judgement? Are we lucky that it's hard to find clothes and bras that fit? Are we lucky that large breasts can be hot and painful and cumbersome? This can be a very confusing statement for someone who doesn't like their large bust and even if we're completely happy with our breasts they still require effort so please don't tell us we're lucky.

"Oh, your poor back!"
Millions of women with large breasts don't have back pain so don't assume that we do as though our breasts are a problem. Most women find that with proper bra fit (which invariably means firm band and smooth cups) that they don't get any back pain.

"Can I touch them?"
No. No you can't. I am always amazed by this one. Touching another person's body, any part of their body, is at their invitation and consent. Just because large breasts may be a novelty to you does not mean our breasts are an amusement

"I'd hate to have breasts that big"
Well then, lucky for you that you don't. This kind of unwarranted comment is such an insult. You don't have to like or want larger breasts but you also don't have to share your opinion with other people, especially those people who have larger breasts and may actually like their body. Say this to someone who is struggling with their body image and you've inflicted a really painful and damaging blow so just don't say it.

"How do you sleep/run/swim/lie down/function with those things?"
My first instinct is "None of your business" unless it's someone struggling to come to accept and manage their own large bust. Every person has their own physical story and manages their life accordingly. Large breasts can require some management for how you lie down and run etc, but how each person manages that is their own business and does not need to be explained to others.

Even if you know someone really well asking these kinds of questions or making these remarks can leave a person feeling self-conscious. Every woman is SO much more than her breasts so don't reduce someone to this one physical feature with irrelevant, invasive and stupid boob comments. xx