The girls are unhappy.
March 31, 2014 7:54 PM   Subscribe

Apparently I can no longer tolerate wearing a bra.

I had twins sixteen months ago and pumped around the clock for five months after they were born. Ever since I stopped lactating and went back to regular bras, I find them horribly uncomfortable. The band around my chest feels too tight, and if I loosen it with an extender it feels like it's rubbing my skin. I had been measured before my pregnancy and I recently went back to Nordstrom to be measured again, so I feel like I must be wearing the right size. The band width increased and the cup size decreased, which doesn't surprise me given the weight I've gained and how pumping changed the shape of my breasts (much more saggy now). I've tried different styles of bras but nothing is helping. Fortunately I can go most days without wearing one at all but when I do I feel horrible in it after just a few hours. Going out in public without one isn't an option. I don't remember this being the case before my pregnancy so I think it must be related, I just can't figure out how or what to do about it. I was a 32 DD before and am now a 34 D, if that helps. I just can't imagine living another 40 years being this unhappy in a bra.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Barely There We Have Your Back bra. Since I have found this bra, all others are horrible in comparison. This bra is incredibly comfortable and the way the back is designed, it is not binding. It's the most comfortable bra I have ever worn.
posted by Fairchild at 8:13 PM on March 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

Check out Decent Exposures - made in the US, customizable, designed for comfort.
posted by booksherpa at 8:36 PM on March 31, 2014

Go get sized again by someone else. Not all bra fitters are created equal! Find the bra shop in your area that's been around forever and let them measure you. It really sounds as if you're still not in the right size and brand of bra.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 8:52 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've never been pregnant but I think my breasts are pretty un-perky, kinda more heavy at the bottom and not so fully on top, and this is the only bra that I like (and I really like it). (And it comes in small band sizes with big cups):

The cups are stretchy but still sort of molded and supportive, and the wire is on the outside so there's no chafing. Sometimes I have to ask for them at Nordstrom because they don't have them on display.
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:05 PM on March 31, 2014

Reddit, ever excelling at community specialization, offers /r/abrathatfits. Read through the sidebar for instructions on how to get help, community lingo, what's acceptable behavior in the subreddit. Sign up for a free anonymous account, if you so desire, Nathanial Hörnblowér, if that is your real name.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:56 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

This is just an off-chance thing, but if part of it is rubbing in specific places, at one point after an extended illness I found that all my bras were driving me absolutely nuts. Realized finally that I had a relatively minor thrush infection, and so it was really that my bra was fine but the skin was irritated, not the other way around.
posted by Sequence at 11:33 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

I ordered some of the Decent Exposures linked above and tried them on. The stitching all around the edges of the bra has a really scratchy texture on the inside of the hem. It looks like they used a sort of plastic-textured elastic thread and the serger causes it to knot up and make bumps everywhere. I'm debating whether to wash them to see if it softens, or just return them (since you can't return them after they are washed). This is offered as advice in case OP is thinking about trying the Decent Exposures, but it's also a follow-on question to see if anyone has this experience and does it get better after washing??

Also, try looking for sleep bras. I looked up all the bras in this thread and ended up buying some sleep bras at Target which are super soft, have no irritating edges or industrial-strength structures. Just a microfiber band with straps and hooks on the back (to which I added extensions).

I figure that if I am willing to walk around without a bra, that means I don't really care what kind of lift or support a bra gives me. I just want something which meets the minimum requirements for social acceptance and doesn't itch or bind.
posted by CathyG at 6:26 AM on April 1, 2014

I'm not sure which qualities of bras you need to feel comfortable in public, but maybe a camisole would be a reasonable substitute?
posted by metasarah at 8:38 AM on April 1, 2014

I have the same complaints as you (and the same size), and I wear a lot of fairly unstructured but slightly padded non-underwire elastic generic sports bras, basically whenever I'm wearing fairly high-neckline shirts (lower cuts need a more traditional bra if you don't want it to show). I just don't like the tightness of the band you need with regular bras to have enough support, and a looser band will just ride up which is not much more comfortable than the tight band.

The unstructured sports bras aren't crazy supportive since they aren't very tight, so you might need something more structured especially if you're running around (I don't know why they're even called sports bras) but it's worth a try since they're enough support/padding to be presentable for the public and they're really comfortable (I sleep in them sometimes).
posted by randomnity at 10:25 AM on April 1, 2014

I have abnormally large breasts, and the only comfortable bra I can wear while exercising, or even through the airport is Enell brand sports bras. It's kind of annoying to close up (like 20 hook and eye), and comes up pretty high in front. seriously, I have been fitted properly and I still have breast pain every day from underwire, but no pain from enell. Worth a try!
posted by Kestrelxo at 12:39 PM on April 1, 2014

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