Tag Archives: Bra fitting know-how

How to make your breasts feel comfortable during a workout?

Sports shops everywhere are full of bras or bra tops such as shown on the photograph above. You are supposed to wear them when you workout and all of them fall within xs-xl in size category, or at best 32-38 A-DD. The question is: do your breasts really feel comfortable and supported when you wear these kind of sports tops and do a hi-impact workout (running on a treadmill, an aeroboxing or hilo aerobics class, playing tennis etc)??? Or do your breasts behave like two balls bouncing up and down drawing the attention of anybody willing to comment about dynamics of breasts of any size????  They do??? And you curse having breasts (no matter big or small) at all? Or you just avoid doing any sports at all because doing it is so uncomfortable and painful?

How to prevent your breasts from jumping up and down when you practice sports? To solve this problem, first let me remind you the basic rule of brafitting  – 85% of support of your bra comes from the band. Where does the support come from in case of the above type of tops when you have to stretch them in order to pull them through your head, and over your shoulders and breasts just to put them on?  Unfortunately, these can work only for relatively small breasts and low impact activities.  Why?

Let’s begin from the structure of the breast. What is it built of? Muscle? So that you can improve its shape by doing push-ups…??? Well, let’s look at the drawing. What do we have here?

Fatty tissue, glandular tissue, Cooper’s ligements and the muscle under the breasts.  The anatomy of the breasts  is very well explained by Maheda (one of the best Polish bra-fitters) in her article . If you devote some time to read it  you will see that apart from Cooper’s ligaments and skin there’s nothing that actually provides support from within your breasts, and even these two are kind of fragile and easy to damage. If you don’t wear a correctly fitted bra, things such as aging, weight fluctuations, nursing make your breasts look saggy with time and no miracle cream or exercise will actually be able to help you. Here I must recommend reading carefully the  paragraph about bras helping tone breasts. What Maheda has written there is very good news for a lot of women who feel less then happy with the looks of their breasts.

Now let’s look what is going on with your breasts when you do a high impact activity. Meet Dr Joanna Scurr of Portsmouth University who did a research how exercise affects women’s breasts and examined 70 women while they run on a treadmill. Tests were done for women without a bra, in normal everyday bras and in Shock Absorbers. The whole article from Science Daily about the research she did is available here . Don’t you find it interesting? I do. 2 years ago, before discovering my correct size (and bra-fitting rules) I used to exercise in my everyday bra and my breasts didn’t get any support at all, it was slightly better in a compression bra (I mean a tight sports top that provided support by flatting my breasts all over my chest) but  my looks were kind of questionnable when I was wearing it:( I must admit though I keep wondering about the results that showed that everyday bras didn’t reduce much of a bounce… Were all these women from the research wearing correct sizes? Do you remember the article about advanteges of good bra sizes? A lot of the lobbyists were emphasizing the fact that they were able to run to catch a bus without a discomfort and having to hold their breasts with their hands…

And here’s a short video of Joanna Scurr for you to see:

And here are some  animations presented on the website of ShockAbsorber  They are quite educational as they show that even smallest breast do experience the bounce. However, there’s a little snag here – they just show cup sizes like A, B, C, D etc without telling that with different back sizes these cups will differ – 65D won’t be equal to 75D etc. They also show one shape of relatively big firmness and not large weight… And there are many other types of breasts, each of us is different. Definitely, there’s much too research yet in this area.  

Another video (less scientific, more down to earth)  also shows very well in slow motion what happens to badly supported breasts is a Freya Active ad:

I hope here the difference between a sports top and a properly supportive sports bra is clearly visible (from 0:18 to 0:40). Women with bigger breast know this problem very well, women with smaller breasts may not really experience this bouncing to a big extent, but nevertheless it is there and they should get a proper support too.

Would you trust the scientists (what they discovered so far) as well as thousands of users of  bras such as Freya, Shock Absorber, Royce (another brand of sports bras available from 28-40 from D -J) or Panache. So here’s the message from us – these bras DO work! I wouldn’t change my Shock Absorber  to any Nike, Reebok, Adidas or any other sexy sports bra (just like the black plunge from the photograph at the beginning of the article, btw, how can any woman workout in something like that???) for nothing! I’ve had it for almost a year and a half and it’s still with me – unstretched, even though I use it very often – 4-5 times a week. The difference in comfort is great – I can run, jump, do whatever hi impact activity I choose and my breasts  stay “plastered” to my chest, the bounce is almost eliminated. I agree these bras don’t look particularly nice (but this is not their function – they are not supposed to be sexy push-ups) and they peak out from under every sports top, my breasts look like cones or rockets (still, I prefer this shape rather than flattened pancakes that I had when I wore Nike sports bras)… Tell me one thing, why do you go to a gym? To work out or to pick up fitness instructors? Even if you go there for the latter;), the handsomest fitness instructor or personal trainer is not worth having breasts looking like spaniels ears in the future.

I hope that I’ve convinced you that wearing a real sports lingerie (such as shown on the above photo) is beneficial for your breasts. I just feel sorry when I see women with bouncing breasts exercising in whatever circumstances (jogging in a park, running on a treadmill, doing a body attack class), my own boobs simply start to hurt just from looking <shuddering>

The photographs of sports bras from the first collage come from various sellers on Ebay, the photos of Freya Active, Shock Absorber, Royce and Panache come from Figleaves. The diagram of a breast comes from Breastcancersource.

What does it mean to wear D or DD cups?

Do you remember the note about G and GG cups? I wanted to show you then what G and GG breasts really look like and bust the myths related with the perceived largeness of this cup. Today I want to do the same – but this time I’d like you to have a look at real D and DD cups. Thinking about this cup most people have a picture of big breasts in their mind. If we (I mean – the Lobbyists) try to convince a woman who wears a 34(70)B that her real size is 30D or 30DD, she’s usually shocked to hear that and voices a lot of protests, main of them being “I don’t have such big boobs”.  It’s not only women who misperceive the bra sizes, some bra manufectures are also of an opinion that D and DD cups belong to big boobs and that’s why it’s not necessary to produce bigger ones (as bigger ones can only be worn by some freaks of nature).

It’s high time to finish with this attitude. These harmul stereotypes make millions of women  in the world wear incorrect bra sizes. Ladies (and gentelmen – if any bothers to read this blog) – I’m giving you “Real D and DD busts” in correctly fitted bras- a collage made from photos that readers of Balkonetka post on that blog.  See for yourseves: 

Are these really big breasts????

As you can see, these are slim girls with relatively small breasts. This colage has nothing to do with common belief about “dong” or “double dong” (from that stupid video from you tube that I posted in the note about G and GG cups)…

You may feel suprised though that there are only 28,30,32 and a few 34 bands on the photograph… Well, I agree bands higher than 34 (and also 28Ds) are not really represented here, mainly due to the fact that few wearers of 36 from Balkonetka haven’t sent their consent to use their photographs for this action. I’m still waiting for them to agree, then I’ll be able to replace the collage and show you a more represantative sample.

So far I would like to thank the following girls: alex24, elftherini, magdus, anulla1974, migotka, agugabi, espera_nza, amytyst89, sellenka, minimka, tigga, nivalis, gosha, ava.adore, sunako, sencha, jantarrka and minimka.

G and GG cups – do they always stand for “get a reduction”?

Internet and Youtube are full of stupid videos made by people who are complete ignorants about bra-fitting.  Just like this one for example:

It’s totally idiotic, and if you start reading the comments there you’ll come to the conclusions that 95% of them are even more moronic (let’s not be afraid to use this word) than the film itself.  What videos like these do is only to reinforce harmful stereotypes that having bra sizes with cups over DD is something strange, abnormal  etc.(here you can put any other negative adjective). Generally these stereotypes force women to wear bras with D or DD cups (which are considered “normal”) and much too wide bands. Even if any of these women who wear bad sizes happens to enter a store with a real bra-fitting, she’s often shocked to hear that she should wear a 34FF or 34G instead of 38D that she always used to wear, what’s more she may get hysterical saying – I can’t/don’t have such big breasts. And refuse to wear a correct size because of that. This is what we call a “letterphobia” – this fear of wearing DD+ cups.

We  fight with these painful stereotypes. The Lobby organises numerous bra-fitting events and members try to promote the idea wherever and whenever possible. I’d like to present you the latest initiative by butters77 G and GG busts. Dear ladies, look at this photograph.

The caption under the photo says: Don’t believe the stereotypes – G cup is a size like any other –   (biger photo in the link – you can zoom it more than twice there). The point is – all the women shown on it wear G or GG cups with different bands. What’s more, almost all of them wear British G/GG cups, which means if they wanted a continental bra size they would have to go for J, K or L cups

Are these huge, enormous breasts? No, as you can see they vary in size. There are some smaller breasts that sport 60G or 60GG and some bigger ones with 85G but none of them reaches the proportions that were show in this idiotic video from Youtube.

And the bras themselves. Aren’t they beautiful? There’s a huge difference between lingerie that you can buy in so called “normal” shops that don’t carry all the sizes and the ones that do have them available (no matter if they are online or real ones). The bras that I an M were given  when we were doing the research here in Lisbon didn’t even resemble  the ones from the photo by butters77. Frankly speaking they were ugly (though it’s also a matter of taste, and as they say, you don’t discuss taste) . And much more expensive than these colourful, lacy bras that we normally buy.

Ladies, take a look at your breasts. Look around yourselves too. Look at the breasts of your mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, girlfriends etc. How many of you have similar busts but yet  choose to squeeze them into cups that are too small for them and bands that are much too wide and don’t provide support?

What has a correct bra size given to me?

Why am I trying to convince you all to get a correct bra size? They are not even available at the shops… Why are all these women (and girls) writing their own blogs about bra fitting or setting up forums about the same subject? After all a bra is not really something that is visible under your clothes so why should you care about it???

Well, those of you who have been following my blog already know that the statement from the last sentence is not true. A bra does influence your silhuette even though it’s hidden, it also influences your comfort and also some other things that you may have not thought of considering them “normal”.

I would like to show you what the women from Big Boobed Women’s Lobby and Small Boobed Womens Lobby say about changing of bra size. Let them tell you what happeded to them, their breasts, figures and a general attitude to themselves after switching to their corrct bra size.

 Here we go:

 Aguchiak86 says: “I don’t have to push my breasts into cups whenever I bend down or jump. I look slimmer. I feel more confident. I don’t risk taking someone’s eye out when I work out at an aerobics class. My breast are firmer now, their shape has improved, stretchmarks got smaller.”

 Maheda says:” Before the “enlightening” I measured 87/120cm and shop assistants at Triumph lingerie stores were suggesting 90E or 95E. Do I need to say what I looked like in them? After some time of wearing these 90s and 95s I just had to tie them up on the back to get a little support. If I had to run anywhere I had to hold my breasts – otherwise it was jumping and jiggling in all possible directions. I had two deep, red groves on my shoulders that were always sore at the end of a day. I don’t even mention the hurting spine – it was a nightmare. I was beginning to dream about cutting off these overgrown breasts once and for all. They were not even resembling breasts, they just looked like flat dangling potato sacks. 

Now I’ve been wearing good sizes for more or less a year. My first impression – from the very start – my breasts are really high in this bra. Second impression – Gosh, I can run.  Other people were saying:” My God, you really got slimmer.” or “Excuse me for asking, did you … have a breast lifting?”(…) Generally my breasts look like breasts now. They are rounder firmer, the nipples are high. Soon I may even be able to wear halfcups.  And a funny thing, my breasts look smaller in good sizes…”

Maith says: “Before: When it turned out that a 75D is too small for me I was given an 80D. Or even 85D. What were the results? I had to adjust my bra continously as it just wouldn’t stay in one place, my breast were trying to escape under the cups (as the band was too loose). When I was running (for example to catch a bus) I had to hold my breasts to prevent them from jumping (it hurt). When I wanted to exercise I had to sew the bra on me to make it steady, The first thing that I did at home was to get rid of my bra because it felt uncomfortable. It was like a nightmare. 

After switching to a correct bra size, it suddenly turned to be immobile. Nothing moves now. I don’t need to adjust anything. The breasts have no chance of escaping from the cups. I just put it on in the morning and remove it in the evening before bedtime. I forget about it during the day – it’s so comfortable. And it supports my breasts. When I exercise I use a sports bra or my everyday bra if it’s a low impact activity. It’s enough.”

 The_mariska says: “ Bulges of fat that used to be under my armpits have disappeared (I thought they were the result of the fact that I’m fat). The cups don’t cut into my breasts making me look as if I had 4 breasts. I don’t need to shorten the straps to the maximum to have the breasts at the correct height and suffer from them digging into my shoulders. And these ugly groves are disappearing too. I stopped being frustrated shopping for a bra, Whenever I used to do it I ended up thinking I was looking hopeless after trying on thousands of bras in different stores. I dicovered other bras rather than push-ups and also the fact that I can look better wearing these soft ones. My roommates stopped laughing me because of my breasts “going for a walk”. And all of these because of you!:) You’re great!

Zefirelka says: “I look much better, slimmer and more proportional to my height. Even without a bra my breasts have a better shape. It’s easier now to buy fitting clothes. It’s a surprise actually, that now with my breasts higher more clothes fit me fell. I know that bras for me do exist and I don’t come back crying after shopping for lingerie anymore. I’m happier and more confident. I look better and I feel better because of it.

 Ganbaja says: “ I used to hate my breasts. These ugly, dangling huge sacks… I thought that the band rode up my back was because they were strange. I dreamt about breast surgery – wanted to remove them completely. When men were looking at them I felt really disgusted and pissed. I couldn’t run without holding my breasts with my hands, whenever I bent down they were spilling of the cups.  More, my skin was constantly chafed in summer.  Shame, shame. I’d only wear turtle necks and other concealing garments.  I used to hunch my back and have a lot of back pain.

And now?: I just love decolletage. I love my breasts. I wouldn’t even mind if they got bigger. I feel more confident. I’m still 10 kg overweight but I look better in every outfit. And everybody claims though that I look 8 kg slimmer. Isn’t it beautiful? And and I don’t mind men looking at my breasts anymore.”

Vesper_lynd says: “ The breasts are at its correct place, not lower (…) I suddenly discovered that I have a WAIST. My breasts are firmer and rounder. I’m so happy about it. And I didn’t believe it. At the age of 20 something (no kids) my breasts were sagging, I had stretch marks and bulges, It’s a year now since I got converted to wearing a correct size and the results are incredible – no bulges, they just disappeared. My frame measurement got smaller by 4 cm (I didn’t lose weight), the breasts grew from 98-99 to 102-103. They are round and firm.

Only advantages. As you said – without surgery, dieting, miracle lotions etc. Only a correct size of bra did it all.”

Aadrianka says:” Bulges under my armpits have disappeared. My breasts don’t move anymore too. Well, if I jump wildly then something may move a bit but now no bus will escape me. I say I wear a 65G. When everybody stares surprised at me and asks: “Eeeee, what???? How much?” I add: “ A British 65G, in continental sizing it’s 65J.” Even more surprised they say: “but you don’t have big breasts…”. I say: “ exactly” and leave them thinking hard (…)

Schaetzen says:” (…) Finally I have beautiful lingerie. I stopped thinking something must be wrong with me if I can’t buy a right size for me (…)

Antyka says: (…)I like buying lingerie now. I stopped thinking about breasts reduction. Stopped being jealous of otherwomen with smallerbreasts.   Well, there’s one disadvantege: I went into red…”

Effuniak says: “ I lost all my (old) bras. I just have one. But I got back my breasts, I have my first soft bra. My husband touches a sponge only when he bathes.”

 Asiabbasia says:” First advantages:  no spillage, no having to readjust the bra every moment (how could I have functioned like that), when I run I’m not afraid that my breast will fall out from the cups. I’more confident, I even start to like myself (even though I still have several kg more than I would like to).

Now for “negative advantages”:  where are my savings?!?!?!? (well, probably in my lingerie drawer – all these Masquaredes, Freyas and Panache bras)I’m starting to have an obsession about breasts, mine in particular.   Yes, I am obessed, I look at every women’s breasts trying to see if her bra is correct size. I got addicted to the forum.   I got addicted to shopping online (thus point no 1).

Larenata says: I used to wear a 75B, now I have 65E.  I stopped feeling bad about having small breasts – they are still quite small but they look much better.   I look much better in tight fitting tops.   My breasts are forgetting what gravity is.  They are firmer.  I feel good about buying bras online. When I asked for a band 65 in an average lingerie shop, the reaction was:”Yyyy, 65??? Do they exist? Aren’t they for teenagers?” or “ We have only 65A”.   And I have a mission, to educate women about bras so I talk about brafitting to anybody that is willing to listen,

Sylwiastka says:”Before I had much complex – I didn’t like and accept my breasts and body. I didn’t feel feminine. I used to cover my breasts with heavily padded push ups. I had to adjust my bras all the time.Now: complex about my looks is over. I’m young and I feel feminine, I like my body. I don’t have to adjust my bra. And I got to know what a great forum community means. Girls, you are fantastic!:)

Eriu says:”I started to like my breasts. They finally have a good shape and I don’t need to be ashamed of them. I love seeing myself in a mirror wearing a bra or without it. I started to feel more attractive in general too.(…) Thanks to the Lobby I’m discovering the world of soft, sexy bras I always wanted to have.”

Yaza0701: “Well, I’m only 18 years old but I already managed to harm my breasts. I used to wear only push-ups that were too small and were only flattening my boobs on the chest. I started to wear a correct size in August, I got 7cm of breast tissue back during 2 months and from what I see under my armpits it’s not over yet.  I was always the one with the smallest breasts in the class, I used to wear a 75A from Intimissimi and I never expected to wear anything more than heavily padded push ups. I didn’t like my breasts, it was ugly and was starting to sag . (…) Now? I’m just going to have a “studniowka” party at my school and I’m wondering what bra to buy for it. I’m really looking forward to a night of wild dancing knowing I won’t need to adjust anything and my decolletage will be stunning. I have bigger, rounder breasts. I migrated from 60D-DD to 60F-FF. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s cold I would be wearing tight fitting tops with my new soft bras all the time. I just don’t know how I could have wasted all those years wearing push ups.  I’m not amused by seeing women with big breasts wearing incorrect bra sizes. I just feel like grabbing her and shouting:” Girl, change it! You’ll suffer! Get rid of this crap!” Each woman, big or small breasted, has become like a sister to me. Every male friend of mine gets a whack on the head if he happens to say something negative about any woman’s breasts. There are no untypical breasts, each of us is beautiful.”

Faforzyca says:”(…) Now I’m not afraid that when I take off my bra I take off my breasts too. Anyway, I always felt that wearing enhencing bras was just deceiving yourself and others.”

100krotna says:”(…) I’m starting to be narcissistic(…) I don’t wonder anymore what to buy to boost my mood – always a bra. (…) Men say:”If I were a woman I would touch my breasts all the time” – it seems I’m a man, I touch and touch them and it feels wonderful (or maybe I shouldn’t admit to it?)

Natashka says” (…) It’s better than a breast surgery, a change from 67/83-4 to 68/93. I just can’t believe it myself.” 

Yarshiva says:” My boobs are gorgeous. I’m so delighted with them. I would look at them in a mirror all the time and touch them:) I love you, girls, I love my breasts:) (…)”

Biljana says: “It’s the first time in my life that I have a soft bra and I do have breasts wearing it. And they are mine, it’s not a sponge from push ups (…) I feel really feminine and sexy. Apart from that the Lobby and bra fitting mission gives a sense of community and sisterhood. It’s a real feminizm”

There are many more statements from the already “converted to wearing a correct bra size”, you can find them here: http://forum.gazeta.pl/forum/w,32203,75213023,,Co_mi_dala_zmiana_rozmiaru_stanika_na_wlasciwy_.html?s=0 and here: http://forum.gazeta.pl/forum/w,50580,80316287,80316287,Co_mi_dala_zmiana_rozmiaru_stanika_na_wlasciwy_.html (if you happen to have somebody that speaks Polish next to you:) ) However there are over 300 post there so for obvious reasons I can’t quote them all here… Anyway I think I gave you a representative sample – from big, avarege and small breasted women who described not only the changes these bras did to their breast but also to their overall attitude to their body etc.

What do you think? Did the girls convince you that it’s worth trying?

Edit: I just found a nice thread on 32D  where a woman expresses her feelings after being fitted.

Different sizing systems

If you have been reading this blog as well as the contents of all the links that I provided (Stanikomania etc) you may start to feel a bit lost – so many different sizes, with some that sound “cosmic” just like 32J – what the heck is 32? And why such a “big” letter? Well let’s have a closer look at this jungle of sizes.

There are several sizing systems that are used around the world: continental (European), British, French, American, even the Australians have one of their own.

Let’s start with continental system used by European manufacturers (although most of them lack small underband/big cup combinations). In this system the number in size corresponds to your measurement under-bust rounded to the nearest five multiple. At least this is the theory. In practice, underbands are so elastic that you should be taking a band 5 to 10cm smaller than your actual under-bust measurement. Cup sizes are marked by single letters and grow every 2 cm.

Band sizes are: 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 95  ,90, 95 (every 5cm)

Cup sizes are: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K etc (every 2cm)

For example a person wearing 75G has breasts that are by 2cm smaller than a person wearing 75H.

British system

According to kasica (from Stanikomania) it’s a favourite sizing system of all bramaniacs. Why? Mainly because most of British brands that are using it produce bras in all possible band/cup combinations. It’s also quite logical and easy to recalculate into European sizing.

The digits used in this system correspond to our under-bust measurement in inches – at least they do more or less. The classic theory claimed that to calculate your British band size you had to add 4 or 5 to your under-bust measurement. This might have worked in the past when bras were made of un-elastic fabrics, but now bras are so stretchy that in most cases you can forget about this rule and try a bra with the band much closer to your actual frame measurement. What you have to know is that continental:

60 = British 28

65 = British 30

70 = British 32

75 = British 34

80 = British 36 etc

So, you see, band sizes go up every 2 inches (5cm) – just like in the continental system.

British cups start at AA and grow every 2,5cm (an inch). Somebody that wears 34F is 2,5cm smaller around boobs that a person wearing 34FF. Yes, British system uses double letters, it’s not a “half-size” as some people may think.

Cups in the British system are as follows: AA, B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K. There’s no double for E and I/II are missing – they just don’t exist.

The only point where these two system actually meet is D cup – in both of them this a cup that is designed for a person with 19cm difference between a band and measurement around breasts.

French system.

It’s a mutation of continental one, the cups are the same (theoretically), the numbers are different. To calculate your French band size you need to add 15 to the continental band size you wear. So if you wear a 70 – it means it’s a French 85, a continental 75 is a French 90 etc…

American system

It’s a mutation of the British system, digits are the same – 32, 34 etc (they don’t produce 28 and 30) and cups end at D – probably due to an advanced case of letterphobia… You just have D, then DD, DDD, DDDD….. it’s just ridiculous. As if calling the cups with multiple D letters would make them be smaller than F or G or H etc.

If anybody actually makes bigger cups, sometimes they name them FF, G, GG  or G, I, J – it’s a bit of a mess, really.

Here, a digression – some of you may associate American bras with Victoria’s Secret… Well, before I found out about real brafitting rules I thought Victoria’s Secret was a paradise. But after I discovered my real size and comfort it gives I know I will never buy anything from them again. They don’t really have all range of sizes (even though they claim they do), the quality is really low – these bras are terribly stretchy and unsupportive, they also get damaged fast when you wash them… Frankly speaking it’s a crap that is nicely packed into a shiny pink gift bag .

One thing I would like to point out here is that different bra makers around the world don’t really put much effort into recalculating bra sizes from one system to another. So just be careful and don’t trust the labels when you see for example: EU 80F, UK 36F.  In this case only the numbers are right. You remember that continental cups sizes grow every 2cm and British ones every 2,5cm and have double letters? So how come EU 80F and UK 36F be the same??? (according to the label). But in reality, a continental 80F is for a person who has 103cm around breast and a British 36F is for somebody measuring there106,5 cm. This mistake can be also found on British bras. I’m just holding one of mine in my hand. The label says: UK 32G, EU 70G, FR 85G – which again is not true. British 32G will fit a person  that measures 101,5 cm around breasts, while continental 70G will be ok for 95cm.

I used kasica’s article about different systems.

How to calculate your size?

You already know how a bra should fit, you have knowledge about different bra sizing systems. Now, at last, it’s time to learn how to calculate your bra size.

  1. Take a measuring tape into your hand
  2. Measure your frame  under-bust, horizontally – attention, the tape has to be tight – exhale and squeeze it a bit. (don’t worry, your bra band is much more elastic than the tape)
  3. Measure yourself around breast – loosely, don’t squeeze this time. You can take the measurement in a bra and without it. Then consider the bigger number.

Ok. What did you get? For example: under- bust:70cm, around breasts – 95cm…

If you have 70cm under-bust, most probably you will need a 65(30) underband.

Why so small number? Remember that the bra band will stretch, all of them do, some more some less. Remember rule number one for bra fitting??? 85% support of the bra comes from the horizontal underband… This is why it’s necessary to go down on it. Sometimes it’s only 5cm – if a bra underband is quite tight, sometimes you need to deduct more – up to 10cm if a bra underband is stretchy.

Now cup size is a difference between measurement around breast and the band. Take a look into the British size chart (it’s in the links). You look for the row with 65 – British 30 and then you look for a column with number that corresponds to your measurement around breasts, for 95cm it will be something between cups FF and G –so 30FF/30G is what you should try. If you look for a continental size, then it would be 65I or 65J.

Surprised with the letter you got? You are probably  thinking: “What will I put into this huge G? I havent’t got so big tits!” Or I have no tits at all” Well, you’re not the first nor the last to react like that;) Remember what I said about cups – they are NOT the same with different underbands. Compare for example cups in 70B, 75B, 80B, 85B etc – you will see the difference between them. In the same way 30FF or 30G are  NOT big. I hope you read kasica’s articles from Stanikomania – you can clearly see it there. Moreover, if you put on the bra correctly it may even turn out that the cups are too small…

The 65FF or 65F should be fitting you snugly when you fasten it on first loosest hooks, you will use the middle ones and the tightest ones after some time when the bra streatches.

What else should I mention here? Well, for a start we recommend soft bras, forget about padding. Padded bras are much more difficult to fit than soft ones, when you try on a soft bra it’s easier for you to see if everything is ok with the cup, if you like the shape it gives your breast, padded cups somehow force your breasts into certain shape…

Ok, this is the theory which seems simple enough. Unfortunately practice is not so easy – “applied bralogy” is not an exact science. It’s mainly due to the fact that all of us are differently built. Two women with the same measurements can end up with two completely different bra sizes and vice versa, the same size can be worn by women with different measurements.

Why? First of all, our bodies have different compliance to “squeezing”. Those of us who have thicker “thermo-isolation” 😉 usually can be “squeezed” more than those who are very thin or muscular. Bear in mind that choosing a fitting size is not a competition in fastening “the tightest band possible” – if you try you won’t be able to breathe and do everyday stuff. A bra isn’t supposed to be a torture device, but a comfortable piece of clothing for your boobs.  Also, if you take a too tight band it can simply stretch on you and  pull the underwires to the back and you’ll end up with your boobs under your armpits again…

The second reason why the size chart may not give you 100% fitting size can be your wider back – those with it will need a smaller cup. Another group of women that will need smaller cups are the ones with soft and limp breasts. Finally, all bras are different. Some are more stretchy, some are like “boa constrictors”. Some have cups that are slightly bigger that the size implies, some have smaller ones… Unfortunately this can happen even with the same model, brand and size but – different color. For example,  Freya Arabella is very famous for its stretchiness and also has bigger cups than the actual size implies – in this case you can even downsize more on the band but consider slightly smaller cups…

At the moment you can only check out what  is best for you by trying on several models in neighboring sizes. So, the hypothetical 30FF and 30G, but you can also try 30F and 30GG – then you simply send back the ones that don’t fit.

This is also why I wrote articles about how a bra should fit you – you just have to know these rules, because the size you get from here is just a starting point. You may end up with different size for every brand and model you try on… I wear sizes from 30GG to 32G or 32GG or 32H depending on properties of a given model.

An important thing – if you calculate your right size and you get a bra that fits you well, don’t buy too many of them. Your dimensions will change… All this flesh that used to be pushed out under your armpits will simply come back to where it belongs – it means you end up with bigger boobs and sometimes smaller measurement under-bust… Ladies, it’s true… A lot of women from our Polish bra fitting communities confirm this, and even if nothing changes in actual dimensions, your boobs get much nicer shape.

So for a start, buy one or two bras just to cover your every day needs. Time for a shopping spree will come later.

How to put on a bra correctly?

Ok, you already know how a bra should and shouldn’t fit you. Now I want to describe how to put it on correctly, not just squeeze your breasts into the cups (that are usually to small).

Ladies, don’t laugh? It may seem stupid, but it’s quite a serious matter.

Only putting it on correctly can show you if a given size is good for you or not. Take a look at this pair of photographs from Polish blog Stanikomania by kasica_k (www.stanikomania.blox.pl

 hot to put onjpg

Both photographs show a girl wearing exactly the same size, continental 70A. However, there’s a difference.  On the right photograph the bra is put on correctly which clearly shows that it’s too small – you can see the bulging even through her clothes. Quoting from another Kasica_k’s article: “We think that putting a bra means fastening the hooks and putting on straps. And if our breasts don’t look like flattened pancakes, we don’t have to look for them in the cups or they don’t fall completely out of them, we think it’s ok”. Well, it’s not

Putting on a bra is not putting it on your breasts. It’s the opposite – you have to put your breasts into it, exactly into the cups. There are a lot of instructions how to do it online, but the most important thing is to make the bra fit you correctly and support your breasts, or to recognize a wrong size.

Here’s the way that Kasica and other Polish bra fitters came up with (it’s based on the one made by the British online lingerie store: www.figleaves.com)

  1. Bend down. Adjust the straps to the maximum length and fasten the underband (if you can’t do it on the back, do it on the front and turn it around without straining it too much). Put on the straps on your shoulders.
  2. Straight up. Make sure the bra is not too low, the underwires should be on your ribcage just under your breasts. Now, an important thing –  put your right hand into the left cup and gather all the breast tissue from under your armpit (and even your back) into the cup, at the same time hold the left underwire with your left hand. Repeat the procedure on the other side.
  3. Make sure the underband is horizontal. Hold both underwires with your hands, bend down a bit and gently shake the bra to allow your breasts to lie comfortably in the cups. Straight up.
  4. Adjust the straps. You may need to slide them down to do it. They should support your breast slightly without putting too much pressure on the shoulders.

 Did you try with your bras??? What was the result???

 One more important thing, imagine you try on a bra for the first time, in a changing room in a lingerie store or at home (in case you bought a bra online), you followed this 4step procedure and everything seems fine, the bra fits correctly. Hurray!!!   Wait a moment! Remember it has to fit you correctly all day, not only when you remain straight in front of your mirror.

Give it a crash test: jump around a bit, bend down and straight up, raise your arms – just do some “gymnastics”.  Does the bra still fit? If it does, lucky you, you have a good bra. If not, well, you have to exchange it and try another size.

Of course you don’t need to do the whole procedure every time you put on a bra – especially if it’s a one you already use.

Remember that those of us who maltreated their breasts with very incorrect sizes may have a lot of this breast tissue that “escaped” from its rightful place – it just needs to be “convinced” to come back. That’s why this gathering movement from the second step is so important. Do it and your breasts will reward you – they will  get  much better shape, they may also become slightly bigger, your measurement under breast may become narrower…. There are a lot of women in Polish bra fitting online communities that experienced this phenomenon after changing from incorrect size to a good one. We call it  “migration”. Just have a look at this article from Stanikomania: http://stanikomania.blox.pl/strony/howtolookgood.html   Scroll it down till the last paragraphs. The photos there show this positive change. But don’t exaggerate with this gathering movement, not everything under your armpits is “boobs on the run”, don’t stretch this delicate skin too much.

I used fragments of Kasica_k’s note from Stanikomania “Jak zalozyc stanik”