Are you my boob twin? What do you wear?
May 23, 2014 4:32 PM   Subscribe

I am having such a hard time finding a good bra! Even after finding my bra size. Any boob twins out there who can help?

After amazing help from all of you (in this thread) I have discovered that my true size is closer to a 28D instead of a 32B. (27.5/28 Underbust, 32 standing bust, 33 leaning bust) However, I'm having a hell of a time finding a good bra, especially in a 28D.

I've been finding that I fit better in most cuts made only to go as small as a 30C, but then the band stretches out easier and thus gets loose again. I know I can alter the band on 32s and 30s, but that tends to make them a bit uncomfortable with how the straps end up in the back and the lumps from cinching the fabric/elastic. I shop Figleaves and Amazon most often and live in SLC.

My problems:
- I have shallow, wide-set, low on bottom breasts. They tend to need some lift from the bottom and full coverage over the top makes them look like little mounds under my shirt.
- I'm skinny so sometimes the center gore pokes my sternum. I have tried some high-center-gore bras where the band and underwire felt GREAT but the cup fit horribly.
-I like a nice rounded shape that gives a big of cleavage. They don't tend to make these in the 28D sizes.
- I get problems with gapping and edges because of my shallow shape, however I'm pretty sure that if I go down a size I will spill over. (Uhg.)
-I do my research on reviews and Bratabase, but I'm not finding a true boob twin out there.

Bras that work:
30C Bow Bra is okay, but the straps run short.
30C After Eden fits amazing, but the lace band is stretching out.
32B from Target is actually an amazing fit in the cup, but I'm on the tightest hook so I'll have to alter it at some point.
30C Betsy Johnson Demi is okay, but the edges don't sit flat on top.
30C Besty Johnson softcup is okay, but the wires are a bit jabby.
30C Betsy Pushup fits amazing, but again the band is getting a bit loose.
30C B Tempted is super comfy but the band runs really big.

Bras that I tried that suck:

28D Freya Softcup was just too big over my boobs, I kept it though. (Or did I return it...?)
30C and another 30C that both were a bad shape on me.
28D Cleo Plunge was super tight in the band and the cups have edges. I had to keep the one I bought because I got it from HerRoom on closeout.
28D Cleo felt amazing on the band and the high gore was comfortable, but the cups had the orange-in-the-glass effect where they were too small and too big. Looked horrible under a shirt.
28D Freya Plunge the gore was way too low and cups were really large. The gore tried to dig under my ribs.
28D Curvy Kate Smoothie just arrived today and the cups make little mounds on my chest.
Also not ALL the bras I've tried too.

Is there any hope for me with this shape? Are balconette bras going to be a joke on me? Am I stuck with loose bands or altering bras? Are you my boob twin?
posted by Crystalinne to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Have you had an bra fitting? Ther are some stores that do it (Victoria secret is one) though it didn't work to well for me. They might be able to give you some hints even if they don't carry your size.
posted by AlexiaSky at 4:40 PM on May 23, 2014

My answer to finding the perfect bra is to try on all the bras they have in a store with decent selection. It's been a numbers game for me so there are times I'll be in a store for hours trying on up to a hundred different bras.

I think lingerie companies are finally coming around to the idea that breasts come in different shapes and sizes. This website True & Co attempts to address this by offering a different bra sizing and fit approach, then making suggestions on which bras suit your needs. You can order a bunch to try on and only pay for the ones you keep. I'll be trying this the next time I look for new bras.
posted by loquat at 4:43 PM on May 23, 2014

Oh I should have clarified. As far as I can tell, True & Co doesn't carry my size. They were suggested in the last thread I posted. No I have not been fitted, Victoria's Secret defeintely won't fit me right, but I have done extensive fit reasearch (I'm talking HOURS on /r/abrathatfits.) I use this calculator (which actually puts me in a 28DD, but that would be too big for my shape.

On Preview: I do use Bratabase, and have an account there. There aren't many 28D ladies with reviews and photos.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:49 PM on May 23, 2014

I've used the Bratabase for this exact question with great results. You might want to head over there and check it out. It is basically a social networking site for bras, where people tell you how different bras fit and what shape breasts they have and so on. It is hard to describe but it's a very useful tool.
posted by sockermom at 4:49 PM on May 23, 2014

Ugh you mentioned the Bratabase in your post. So sorry.

I have similar breasts in a similar size and demi-cup bras work very well. I like Wacoal petite bras.
posted by sockermom at 4:51 PM on May 23, 2014

Have you considered going to Macy's or Nordstroms to be fitted by a real live person? I don't know where SLC is so it may not be possible. I know others have mentioned specialty bra shops in New York City and other places that have been really helpful when a person has band or cup problems like you are describing. Good luck with your search.
posted by cairnoflore at 5:31 PM on May 23, 2014

I am your very close boob twin and i LOVE the little bra company. they have expensive bras but i really really liked this one. you have to order the 30c but because they are made for small women, it still fits pretty tight. Other successes i have had were with the freya half cup, but it's not a perfect fit, but it makes my boobs look so awesome that i don't care.

There is also this amazing wonderful invention called the Rixie Clip that can shorten the bands on these bras. so you can get more wear out of bras that fit perfectly but the band is stretching out. Here is one on Amazon.
posted by ruhroh at 5:36 PM on May 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

I am interested to know how long it takes before the band is stretching out to the point where you can no longer wear the bra without alterations. I think most bras in the ~$50 range are not going to last longer than a year. If you are finding the bras are only working for you for, like, a month, obviously that is an issue! But if you're upset that these bras aren't lasting, like, 5 years, then I think you just need to get used to purchasing bras more often and replacing them when the band gets too stretched out.
posted by rainbowbrite at 5:51 PM on May 23, 2014

I have had these bras less than a year. I rotate my bras regularly and try to wash them (gently) when needed. I just have a tiny rib cage so the stretchiness of a 30 band gets loose pretty quickly, not to mention some of the brands run a tad big in the band. They also don't fit super snug in the first place. (And 32 is too big so I have altered a couple that fit well in the cup.)
posted by Crystalinne at 6:03 PM on May 23, 2014

I am pretty close - 28E - which I didn't even know existed until a few years ago. If you can, get to a Nordstrom - they do great bra fittings, and will order anything you need. (And the half yearly sale is now, and the anniversary sale is in a few months.) The woman who helped me was amazing - and she was able to pull and order tons of sizes and options. I find Natori works really well for me. I ended up wearing 34D for band fits - so try other similar sizes.

I see there is a Nordstrom in SLC - they will be your best bet. And once you find a style and size you like, you can buy others on eBay.
posted by umwhat at 6:17 PM on May 23, 2014

Nthing Norstrom for a fitting and shopping assistance. They are the bra whisperers.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:36 PM on May 23, 2014

I am almost but not quite your boob twin. Typically I'm around a 30 DD, though it differs from brand to brand. Mine are bottom full, as well, so I know what you mean about full coverage ones getting weird up top.

I do want to nth all the Nordstrom recommendations, but specifically want to suggest the Natori Feathers Bra which I just found there. The demi cup fits a bottom full boob well, but the mesh/lace over top gives it such a pretty look IMO. Plunging center is good for the cleavage. The bands run small, so although I'm a 30 in just about everything else, my Natori bras are 32s. So you with a 28 band may fit just fine in their 30!

Good luck; finding well-fitting bras is such a pain. I liked the Natori so much I bought 2 right away, and the saleslady said they are always coming out with new colors so it looks like I'll be starting a collection.
posted by misskaz at 7:20 PM on May 23, 2014

Me! Me! I'm a 28D or DD. Nthing Nordstrom's. I wear Wacol petites and Natori. Chanterelle fits as well. Get fitted by them and then have them order what you need.
posted by mrfuga0 at 7:54 PM on May 23, 2014

This is a wild-card and perhaps terribly unhelpful answer, but: one can sew one's own bras. There are companies that sell kits with all the findings. There are many patterns. There are many, many resources on the internet for fitting and sewing instructions. All you need is a regular old sewing machine. Here are a few roundups of resources:

Sewaholic: Lingerie Sewing: A List of Resources

Cloth Habit: Bra-making Sew Along

Bra-maker's Supply

Make Bra
posted by a fair but frozen maid at 7:59 PM on May 23, 2014

As a fellow /r/abrathatfits enthusiast, I just want to say hang in there! It really does take a lot of trial and error. I'm 28F/FF and super narrow and projected. It's been a journey. I've found my best fit in Avocado, but it's still not "perfect." Considering clothes don't fit off the rack either, I think this is just something I need to adjust to. Unless I'm willing to tailor my bras or go full custom (I do usually sew the gore narrower on most bras). In the past, I've moved the straps in to be less wideset on other bras (I can link to a tutorial, if interested). I think you're finding that you like the molded bras because they don't fit that well. That is, they hide the fit flaws better. So, don't necessarily be misled thinking the particular features of those bras are "must haves."

Have you tried a Rixie clip? Have you tried the Freya Deco Halfcup? (deco is known to run about a cupsize big; plus be stretchy in the band, so not the best choice, but the halfcup is 50/50 shallow friendly). What about other Freya halfcups like the Patsy? You may also like Masquerade bras -- the Rhea and the Delphi -- I found that the 28 band on Masquerade is very firm.

I assume you've seen the shallow bust guide on a bra that fits, no?
posted by melissasaurus at 8:08 PM on May 23, 2014

Also, I'd say your measurements indicate closer to a 28DD (33-28). I too have a BTT of 27.5 and I prefer a 28 band, but I know a lot of people with those underbust measurements prefer a 30. I'm wondering if (a) you really are shallow and/or (b) maybe aren't getting wide enough wires. Both of these issues (being too projected and/or too wide) would make the wires slide down in front and the band ride up. I thought I was shallow at first ("tissue up to the collarbone") but it turns out I'm just high-set. I like a 28 band even though my BTT is 27.5 because I can't ever get enough projection in the right cup volume, so I need the extra tension to stabilize the band. Anyway, feel free to memail me if you want to bra-nerd it up a bit more or get more specific with your shape.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:17 PM on May 23, 2014

Not quite your boob twin but I'd recommend Nordstrom Rack for a large selection of nice bras in a range of sizes at reasonable prices. I'm a 30dd and a similar shape and usually find lots of stuff to try on there.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 10:41 PM on May 23, 2014

I've had bras altered just as I would other clothing. If you get a good cup fit but see that, for example, the band is too large, the straps can't be adjusted enough, etc, go to your tailor. I do recommend a lady tailor, heh heh, otherwise things can get weird.
posted by Lornalulu at 4:58 AM on May 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

The smallest size that I could ever find without being sent into the training bra section was at Victoria's Secret. I love the 32! I started at 32 B but, with their recent change in sizing and some over 40 weight gain, I'm now a 32 DD or a 34 C, depending on the size. The bras keep their shape well and give great support and push up without hurting. Go in, try on a few different cup sizes in the 32, and then try on a bunch of different styles. I'm a 28 inch around now but was 27 when I started looking. The 32's at Victoria's Secret are the only bras so far that stay on tight enough to do me any good.
posted by myselfasme at 5:26 AM on May 24, 2014

I will +1 on Natori! I have a smaller cup size than you but similar issues otherwise, and they are great. I've found them cheaper on Amazon as well if you want to try a bunch at once without breaking the bank.
posted by thirdletter at 6:39 AM on May 24, 2014

IANYBT but I'm not too far off (28FF). I swear by Polish brand Ewa Michalak. Ewa is a bra genius and these are my favourite bras ever. She really knows how to flatter a variety of different shapes, sizes, and conditions (soft, firm, after childbirth, etc.). I have previously owned many bras from Panache, Cleo, Masquerade, Freya, Fauve, Le Mystere, etc. etc. but Ewa blows them all out of the water.

28 (60) bands are custom order only which costs a little extra. Her bands are well known for running tight though so you may be okay in a 30 (65) band which you can buy off the rack. I generally just buy a 65 band from Ewa and I'm happy with the fit.

For an amazing rounded shape with a bit of cleavage you would probably want to try the 3DM style which is designed especially for those in the A - F cup category. It has a very low center gore so that should help your issues with poking in the sternum.

You should be able to find quite a bit of Ewa Michalak fitting advice on Bratabase.
posted by RubyScarlet at 11:17 PM on May 25, 2014

Sorry - I made a mistake with the style name I mentioned above - I should have said 3D rather than 3DM. 3DM is a similar cut but has a sheer/unlined cup, whereas 3D has a light foam lining.
posted by RubyScarlet at 11:26 PM on May 25, 2014

Thanks for answers. For future readers, Victoria's is a no-go. I used to wear them for a long time but the bands are way too big. I just tried the Freya halfcup and it was horrible on me! The cup seemed 3 sizes too big. Weird. I have another bra on the way and we'll hope that works.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:06 PM on May 31, 2014

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