Guest Post: K.Line on the Elements of a Great Bra


Irene e-mailed me with this plea:

I read sewing blogs (my regained passion) and I always come across the same advice: get a good bra, one that fits, elevates and makes what a good bra is supposed to do. Well, I think always “duh” but when I look in my drawers I don’t like what I see (too big, too small, padded bras that put the 50′s bullets to shame and the only bra that actually fits it’s long past it’s due date).

Now, I know that a trip to a well stocked shop is a must and that I must try 1,000 models and cups before I can find the right one. Asking specialized advice at the shop is not an option, since the 20-year-old girls attending seem to have even less experience than I do. So, my question is: What exactly is a good bra, what should I be focusing on when shopping, how do I recognize it? Mind you, I’m not asking for brands or types, I know every woman has a different bust, but a bit of guidance would be nice.

As I admitted to Irene, I generally trust the 20-year-old sales associates at Nordstrom. I mean, I know that a good bra should be snug, that the cups shouldn’t gape, that it shouldn’t produce copious cleavage, that it shouldn’t carve up the flesh on your upper back … but as a small-breasted girl who is relatively easy to fit, that’s about all I know!

So I called in an expert: K.Line. K has written many, many posts on brasierres and even sewed one herself! (Pictured above. Impressed? I sure am.) She is smart, witty, a superior shopper, and has loads of opinions on this matter, so I cajoled her into whipping up a guest post. And she is here to answer that age-old question: What makes a good bra good?

* * * * *

Sally has graciously offered to let me field reader Irene’s pressing question: What, exactly, is a good bra?

As a fellow sewing blog aficionado, a 40-year-old woman with large breasts and an urge to make my chest seem a) lifted and young and b) proportionate with the rest of my curvy, but small, frame, I hear her. I know the question she’s really asking is about general elements. In effect, “What’s a good bra for me?” I sense she knows there are as many good bras as good women. You just have to mix and match them correctly.

Fortunately, an obsessive love of shopping, a fearless willingness to surf the web (to see the vast array of stuff to choose from), patience to try on lots of miserably ill-fitting products, and a tolerance for super friendly fitters will take you from schlumpy to fantastic in no time flat. (Ha, ha, get it?)

First things first, take a look at yourself. Naked, I mean. Is your chest large or small? Are your breasts the same size? Do they sag or are they high? Are they dense? Is your back narrow or broad? Do your shoulders slope?

Next, put on a few of your current bras and review. Which one do you wear most often and why? Is it the one that fits best? Is it the seam-free one or the lacy sexy one? What colours do you like? Do you loathe them all?

Now be honest: Do any of those bras actually fit?

Elements of a Bra that Fits


The Band:
In short – the band needs to be snug on the first hook (the loosest) so that, if you take the straps of the bra off your shoulders, the cups may slip off your breasts, but the band isn’t going to budge on your back. Another way to see it: the underwire (presuming you wear bras with underwire) will stay put right under your breasts. Correct band fit will determine, largely, the ability for the bra to lift and beautifully distribute the weight of your chest, large or small.

The underwire: Underwires are sized based on cup size. (I know this since I started making bras earlier this year.) The wire needs to fit the full expanse of your under-breast without being so long that it cuts in under your arm or comes too high at the breast bone. It needs to be long enough to press against your chest wall when the band is clasped. If the wire draws away from your chest it is either because the wire is too short or because the cups on the bra are too small. Underwire seems mysterious, but I assure you it’s just a piece of metal, manufactured in many sizes. The question is: Does that size fit you?

The cups: If your breasts pillow over the top of the cup, or pop out underneath (or at the side) OR if the wire comes away from the chest wall, the likelihood is that the cup is too small. A cup that’s too large will pucker, often diagonally and usually at the centre top of the cup down towards the wire. The breast will “shrink away” from the cup, leaving an unwanted span between the fabric and the skin. The worst offenders, in my experience, are molded bras which are a) seam-free (so the fabric doesn’t pull away from a centre point seam in different directions towards the cup edges) and b) stiff, by nature. Most breasts don’t work optimally with most molded bras, despite their usefulness under a t-shirt. Some breasts don’t work with any.

Caveat: If you have 2 breasts of rather disparate size, a molded bra can be helpful in presenting a more even silhouette, but the smaller breast will swim and you must wear the size for the larger breast in that situation.

Other caveat: Fantasie makes a molded bra that isn’t firm. It’s seam free and without stretch but it moves and it’s very supportive. It’s also very flattering if it fits your frame. I have heard that it’s a fussy one to fit, but it’s my neutral staple. I’ve never come across another bra constructed of the same material (and in smaller sizes) but perhaps it does exist.

DO NOT DESPAIR! In this wonderful day and age, you will be able to find a bra with the right band size and the right cup size. (Unless you fall into an extremely small minority at either extreme.) Note that as the band size decreases the cup size goes up. So… 38C is the same as 36D is the same as 34E is the same as 32F, etc. Your back size influences your cup size. An F cup is not intrinsically huge (or freakish, I might add) – any more than a 38 back band is freakish or huge. It is what it is. Just buy the bra that fits.

  • Side note: In my experience as a woman with large breasts, the optimal cup fabric is low on stretch (or even stretch-free). Also, 3 piece cups (cups comprised of 3 pieces of fabric seamed in two spots on the cup) are better for sizing and more flattering than molded, 2-piece or seam-free cups. (There are of course exceptions.) If you are of small- or moderate-breast size, the world is your oyster. Go for those slinky stretchies with less architectural integrity. If you don’t need it – and you are young – you may not need to pay for it.

I should share my bias right now that good bras should cost. I’ve made them. I know the price of the materials. I know the degree of intricacy that goes into creating them. I understand the requirements for large (or small) manufacturers to produce beautiful product and to market it adequately – while paying for and respecting qualified staff. I spend upwards of 200 bucks for bra and panty sets. (I always wear sets.)

After years of shopping at small boutiques, my new fave way to buy is online. Yes, I know it sounds crazy – especially if you’re unsure of your size or if your tolerance for returns is low. But you can buy easily on Figleaves.com if you know a brand that fits or if you are very sure of size and the fit of the product. (Or if you are a lingerie daredevil with appetite to return as necessary.) The site offers products for about 30% less than small lingerie shops. For instance, a not-on-sale Freya set, purchased on Figleaves, will run you about $80 – $90 bucks. (Note: Much though I wish it were so, the peeps at Figleaves are not paying me in product to tell you this.)

Another plus for online bra shopping: You’ll have more stock to choose from in a wider range of sizes, and you’ll be able to try on 8 zillion things in the privacy of your own boudoir while drinking a gin and tonic. It’s vaguely irritating to return lots of stuff, but worth it, as far as I’m concerned.

I do appreciate qualified SAs who know their stuff and who work in stores that stock the products I wear. Unfortunately, I’m not satisfied with my options lately. I know enough about my body to know that trial and error is an appropriate system for me right now. I’m not suggesting it will work for everyone.

My go-to bras are by Freya, Fantasie, Panache and Charnos (to name a few). I can actually buy a Freya bra sight-unseen and pretty well know it will fit. I own practically every style as they really work for me. I’ve learned that Freya works perfectly for my small back and large, upper-dense breasts. The brand, British, cuts for exactly my body type. The underbands (the part that encases the wire) of the majority of their bras are not overly thick. (Now, that’s a whole other story for another post perhaps. Underwire bras can be constructed in 1 of 2 ways, and one of those ways adds more bulk – and, theoretically, more lift and structure – than the other.

I’d better quit this post while I still have a reader or two – as you can see I am passionate about the bras! Feel free to email me, or to check out semi-regular lingerie posts on my own blog, if you have any questions.

* * * * *

Got any questions for K.Line? Other tips for judging a good bra? Where do you buy yours? Any brands or stores that you’ve come to trust?

  • Sidewalk Chalk

    This was such an informative and well written post! I've struggled for years to find a good-fitting bra, because it seems like my cup size changes every year.

    I finally got things straightened out when I went to a dept store and asked for help figuring out my size. I got a black Calvin Klein bra and it is the most comfortable thing ever.

  • Almost 40

    SUPER AWESOME guest post, sweet Sal and KLine! As someone who finally went to the right store and got properly fitted (an independently -owned boutique with a well -seasoned owner), I can chime in that the right bra CAN change your life!

    Prima Donna is my cadillac brand. That puppy set me back about $110 each (I got 2). HOWEVER, it's an amazing piece of engineering and worth every dime. It takes a lot to get these girls looking good.

    I had plenty of pricey bras that *I* thought really fit and I loved. But having a proper fitting, I hate these same bras! Get a real fitting. It's worth it. My girl would not let me go until BOTH of us were satisfied.

    One mistake I made in the past was not having the middle part of the bra resting on my chest – it pulled away and I thought that was fine. Clearly, I needed a bigger cup size and a smaller band size. Now, all is well.

  • La Historiadora de Moda

    Excellent post! I adore Kristin!

  • orchidsinbuttonholes

    Bravo K.Line! This is fantastic information. I've loved reading about your bra-building experiences because I never knew why bras worked the way they did, or how much work went into a high quality bra. It's incredible, really.

    I swear by Intimacy – they have a few shops throughout New York City and across the country. Their specialists have been extremely helpful and knowledgeable (and patient), and they have a really large selection of bras.

    My favorite bras are those by Chantelle. They're well made and last a long time and do what they're meant to, and they're pretty, which I appreciate.

    Thank you for this post, Sal!

  • Denise

    Oh my gosh, K.Line: well done! And the fact that you've actually sewn a bra makes me sad that I can't hire you to sew mine!

    I like molded cup bras far better than you do, but I agree that they have some issues. But so does every bra, in a way. I also agree that you get what you pay for, in design and materials. If you're able to find good fit at discount stores, go for it. But don't be disheartened or surprised if you can't. I worked in a lingerie store and learned very quickly that nearly everyone has fit issues.

    One thing I noticed, too, about underwire bras is that some women are very short "arm-pitted" (the distance between the center of their armpit and the top of their breast is quite short) and the wire will poke them no matter what. It's not common, but I've seen it enough to know that I need to try another type of bra on her.

    Great post; thanks! Oh, and may I add: hand wash those babies! (I'm sure you do.) When you pay a lot of money for bras you want them to last as long as possible.

  • Leah

    Oh, thank you for this post! I have SUCH a hard time finding bras that fit me. (In fact, I'm not sure I ever have!) I have very small breasts and I'm also very tall and slightly broad-shouldered. So any cup small enough for me is constructed for a skinny teenager. I usually just wear a tank top with a shelf bra, but I'd rather have at least ONE real bra. Sometimes I need the coverage, if not the support.

    I'll be checking out some of the brands mentioned here, for sure!

  • Charlotte

    Ah, a subject very close to my heart (literally). Indeed, I used to run a website dedicated to all things breast-related! (I handed over the copyright to my ex-boyfriend, and I believe it's still accessible at breastchronicles.co.uk).

    Very informative post!

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny

  • Cynthia

    One of the big problems with bra-finding is that the instructions for finding your size that are out on most websites are totally wrong. If I followed them, I would be a 41 negative A. Seriously. I have come to love Bare Necessities because they have real fitting instructions posted online. I went from a 38C to a 36D after reading them :)

    My favorite bras are a batch of fierce minimizers from Olga's Christina that I got a year or so ago, which have since been discontinued (why, god, why?). They are not cut like most minimizers, they look like what is called a "contour bra" in smaller-sizes (straight across low neckline and wide set straps), and they were actually only about $35. I have previously had good luck with Freya bras, too. Bras can be sized correctly and still just not work, and I dread having to find a new model that I like for everyday.

  • Irene Bullock

    Hi, Sal & KLine, it's Irene here. THANK YOU so much for this post!! Actually, after receiving the gracious reply from Sal telling me about this upcoming guest post, I did what I should have done in years: go bra shopping (duh!). As in, spend 2 hours trying the whole dept store. The conclusion is simple: I was buying the wrong size (double duh!). Sorry about the TMI moment, but this may help others: I've always been a 75B until 2 years ago when my body changed and the band in the 75B became too tight (the cup was ok). So I thought, well, now I'm a 80B (logic, right? the cup was ok, but the band was not). But 80B increases sizes in the band AND cup! But just like KLine says in the article the band size decreases the cup size goes up (and viceversa), so I know now that I'm a 80A and also that Esprit bras have the best fit for me. It's actually not a speciallised lingery brand but it does fit so whatever. Life is complicated. (Thanks again, yay!)

  • Gillian

    You've made me feel proud of my 32DD/32E boobs! After I got fitted, I realized that bras really are worth the money. I also wore some of my old bras this week, and I have been plagued with neck and back pain. Bras are worth it!

  • Heather

    Lots of great info! Thanks for getting it out there KLine!

  • Ketura

    Wow, I am going to forward this to a bunch of friends and clients. The number one thing a woman can do to improve her overall look (especially if she's a larger woman) is to get a bra that fits! And you explained a lot of common problems with fit really really well. Thanks, KLine and Sally.

  • La Belette Rouge

    WoW!! I wish I had this post 20 years ago. I have been wearing the wrong bra for almost that long. It wasn't until I went for a fitting at Nordstrom with the department manager that I finally got a bra who fit. But I love the idea of really knowing what works for me so well that I can shop from home instead of the always unpleasant in store lingerie shopping.

  • Anonymous

    Great post–thanks!

    I just wanted to mention that Target, Lands End, and Hips & Curves (http://www.hipsandcurves.com/plus-size-lingerie/) all seem to carry a nice wide selection of sizes and styles. I've had professional fittings that ended with bras I can't stand to wear, and realize now that a 38C for one style/maker isn't the same as a 38C for another. So, when you shop, be willing to try sizes you normally might not wear.

    Kendra

  • Blume

    If you're worried about price, I would suggest looking for bras on eBay. Once you find a style you like, you can input the brand, style number, and your size, and often find NWOT bras for less than half their retail price. Sometimes you have to be patient – I find a lot more beige bras than my preferred black — but you can set up email notifications that will message you whenever an item including all your search terms comes up.

  • Angela

    I can't email you, but I am interested in discussing more about this as I am an unusual size.

    Thanks,
    Angie

    Andrea Hewitt Gibson posted about you.

    My email is captainahabswife@yahoo.com

  • Kylara7

    Great information. I'm with Leah on being a small-breasted tall adult woman who has a hard time finding non-teenager/training bras. I'm also "wide set" in the boob department in that my breasts are set further apart than the norm, so a lot of bras just don't fit at all (the "center" or nipple of MY boobs don't line up with the center of the bra cups). I'm a dancer and I don't mind being flat-chester when I perform, but I would like a little shape/curve in street clothes. I usually fall back on padded bras and "chicken cutlet" inserts for fancy dress occasions.

  • Nicole

    Awesome post! Not that it makes me happy to know that zillions of women are walking around wearing the wrong size, but I was starting to feel like I was alone! I like hearing women talk about this more openly.

    I've never had much interest in bra shopping, so I just decided that I would be a certain size and didn't try on another bra for 3 years. One day I realized how ridiculous I looked- the cups were way to big so I had gaps, the band was being stretched and I was sausaged on my back and it all looked totally unnatural. I wasn't really sure what to do, so I read a little bit about bra sizes online and went to a store to try on as much as possible. I had an inkling about what size I might be, and immediately had luck. As dumb as it sounds, I was worried that my change to a smaller size might be a little bit of a blow to myself esteem, but rather it just felt great to have a bra that actually fit and looked good.

  • cvb

    I swear by my Nordstrom fitter – the staff at my store are highly skilled, consummate professionals, and well past 20 ;-). I put it off for a long time, but would recommend everyone have it done at least once at an upscale department store or good lingerie shop. It's expensive to buy, the education will make your future discount shopping a lot more effective. Also, like other readers, I've found one or two styles that I *love* and have a saved search on ebay for them. I pay, on average, about 60% off retail that way.

  • Stefka

    Huge amount of useful info here – many, many thanks to K.Line and Sal!!!!!

    The bit about thick vs. thin underbands is new to me. K.Line, from what you said I'm guessing the brands you mention have the thinner underband. As someone who (desperately!) needs "lift and support", I'd love to know which brands have this thicker underband. Thanks again!

  • Kelly

    Fantastic post! I carry a bra-sizing soapbox with me everywhere I go ;-) so I'm totally with you on everything you said.

    People can't believe I pay what I do for my bras (especially considering that I bargain shop with most other clothing) but bras have real WORK to do (as opposed to a skirt which technically just has to cover my ass) so they're worth every penny IMO.

  • Scholar Style Guide

    Thank you for this post! I'll shop differently from now on thanks to her advice. :)

  • Strange Attractor

    Which Fantasie model has the awesome molded cups? There were about a zillion styles there.

    They are less comfortable, but molded cups are a total necessity is my cold workplace.

    Thanks for the advice I will use for helping my large-chested daughter. As a 34B I didn't really know what her 34DD need were. I guess I need to spend more on her bras so she will wear something other than her sports bra. Sigh.

  • Candice Virginia

    I was once an (exactly) 20 year old VS Bra Specialist and Fitting Room Supervisor. I can attest to the fact that (at least for those of us who cared, and in all age ranges) there was a lot of valuable information and training available regarding the fit of bras for all body types.

    This is a great post! But if you ever find yourself stranded in VS, looking for a good fit in a bra, ask for a Bra Specialist (usually maybe one person per store). I took a lot of satisfaction in seeing a customer walk out of the fitting room with a bra that made her feel amazing.

  • Laura

    Great post. I wonder, the link given for Fantasie just links to all their products on figleaves – was there a particular bra style that K.Line was referencing in that sentence?

    I only wear non-wired bras; I've never been able to find an underwire that didn't just poke me and sit in the wrong places, so I've given up. Fortunately I'm able to find wireless bras (the discount retailers like Kohl's seem to have a wider selection than somewhere like Nordstrom). I hate losing or gaining weight because as you say, the size of the cups is relative to the band size, and I have to start again with fit when I do.

  • Rad_in_Broolyn

    Thanks for this post. Fitting bras and a large bust is not an issue for me but it's great to be educated. I used to think small breasts didn't need anything but nipple coverage, but I've learned that even I need good support.

  • Becky

    I've added this to my favourites, it's rare to find information about bras so understandable and well written. I've attempted to find advice so often but have always come away confused. Thank you! I desperately need to find well-fitting a new bra to replace my current rubbish ones, hopefully now I'll be able to :)

  • Rubiatonta

    A good bra takes about 10 pounds off of your perceived weight, so it's worth doing the work to find one that really fits.

    I'm another huge fan of having a fitting at Nordstrom — the staff really knows their stuff, and the woman who helped me, though young, was super! Totally non-judgmental, patient, and kind.

    When you do go to be fitted, be sure to wear the kind of clothes you want the bra for — knits and wovens want different kinds of support.

    Give yourself a lot of time, be willing to try on a lot of cup sizes (they vary from one brand to another, though your band size probably won't), and try to pick a day when you're generally feeling at ease with your body. You're going to need to do a lot of looking at yourself in the mirror, and frame of mind REALLY helps.

    My two fave brands are Lane Bryant Cacique (in which I wear a 40C), and Wacoal (where I'm a 40DD!).

  • Mardel

    Great post filled with valuable information; information I wish I had known years ago, although I had learned much of it recently after reading a lot of much more complicated information. Thank you for being so clear.

    I can chime in that the right bra makes everything better; and I had been fitted before but apparently by people who took in my height and the idea that I didn't look very busty (my mom said I had a dart-less figure which is most definitely not true) and in put me in bras that were uncomfortable and almost had all the problems you describe. As for myself; I can at least say I didn't know any better.

  • Sarah

    This post could not be more timely for me, as I'm planning to go bra shopping this weekend to replace some of my daily workhorse bras. I know I will need a professional fitting and was wondering where folks could recommend besides Nordstrom. The nearest Nordstrom to me is about an hour away and I'll make the trip if necessary, but was wondering if there are any other department stores or specialty shops that provide a good professional fitting. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • K.Line

    Hello Everyone: I'm so thrilled you have enjoyed the post. I love hearing your thoughts!!

    Denise: I totally know what you mean. I don't fall into that subset but I know that, for some large breasts on small frames, the wire pokage factor is high. I know how to resolve that with handmade bras (cut the wire at the outer edge, but I don't know the best brands for dealing with it. Something I should research…

    Cynthia: I hate it when that happens! I'm not into minimizers myself – I like lift more than minimizers tend to – but of course we all have individual shapes and bras that suit them. Keep trying – maybe Panache will work well for you…

    Irene: I'm so thrilled to hear you've found a solution!

    Gillian: What a wonderful thing to say! I feel this whole post is a success if you feel proud of your shape. You should!

    Heather: You have taught me so much – you are the original handmade bra-queen!

    Bel: What brand is it?

    Blume: Great advice!

    Kylara: Have you tried Lejaby or Princess TamTam? I think they might work well for you.

    Nicole: You've hit the nail on the head. Wearing the wrong size is the only thing bad for your self esteem. When the bra fits, your natural shape – in it's best light – comes out.

    Stefka: The two types of bras are full band and partial band. Full band is the thicker span surrounding the underwire (it can also be wire free, interestingly). Partia band MUST have underwire (construction feature) but it is less wide around that wire. I do wear partial bands. They can be every bit as supportive in a 3 piece cup. Check out Freya. But for long torsos and very heavy breasts, full underwire can be a boon…

    For everyone who asked, this is my Fantasie go-to bra: http://www.figleaves.com/uk/product.asp?product=Fantasie-Smoothing-underwired-balconette-bra&product_id=FE-4520&size=&colour=Nude. It's the smoothing underwire balconette. You can see, in one of the Figleaves photos, the bra doesn't fit the model well. If it works for you, though, it's genius!

  • Kaija

    I just want to say that I read this this morning and bought a bra this very afternoon that was a larger cup size/smaller band size and fit perfectly, thanks to the info from K.Line! :)

  • Dorky Medievalist

    Thank you for this excellent post.

  • K.Line

    Kaija: Yay! Let's hear it for bra power :-)

  • Anonymous

    unless you are very young or small breasted do not go to victoria's secret! time to get a proper bra fitting at nordstrom, ladies! for years i thought i was 34c and found out i am 32d. what a difference the right size and a well made bra makes! don't skimp and buy the cute, cheap bras. i have had wacoal bras for at least 5 years, sure you pay a little more but it's worth it.
    kelly

  • Valerie-MN

    As a full-breasted person, I have had lots of trials/tribulations with bras. Finally, I bought "good" bras several years ago and continue to buy whenever there is a lingerie sale at my favorite stores (like JC Penney) to get expensive bras for a reasonable price. Brands I like are Bali, Playtex 18-hr criss cross as well as the Playtex with the gel pad shoulder straps. I like Breezies from qvc.com (especially the one with the framed support…..full band under the bottom of the breast). Glad I discovered the full frame under the breast (all of my bras are now that way…more comfortable to me and support the breast with no "breezy" opening at the bottom of the bra). Oh, and if you need more width around the body, but the cup fits well, you can buy a bra extender.

    I know some friends who wear Le Mysterie, Wacoal or Goddess.

    I know a lot of people go to Nordstrom's for a fitting or to local bra/lingerie boutiques (Allure here in St. Paul or this longstanding bra shop in Blaine, MN – for you MN girls).

    For those wanting to know of bra boutiques that do sizing for you, you may want to contact the fashion editor of your local paper. The St. Paul fashion editor here is excellent for that.

  • Sox

    K.Line! You are Canadian! You give me hope I can actually find the items of which you speak.
    This is a great post.
    I had found a wonderfully fitting bra (38D Olga Signature Support 55007) to fit my newly expanded body. I like it because it doesn't cause the flesh on my back to flow around the straps and band. Now that I have my food sensitivities figured out (who knew that could cause a 20 pound weight gain) and am back to my original size, I can't buy the Olga because they don't make them that small. When I went on an hours long test fit, the sales clerk (new? tired? jaded?) could not think of one brand that had a similar style back. I have to try again soon. I can store my lunch in my oversized cups right now.
    Happy Canada Day!

  • K.Line

    Sox: You're from Winnipeg – a beautiful, livable city, but not one with tons of bra specialty shops, if I'm not mistaken. Doncha love it when your body changes shape and the bras don't work anymore?? Feel free to email me with info about your new size. If it's, for example, a 34D or 34E, Fantasie may work well for you. The band fabric is v. structural (and not too narrow) reigning in back flesh very well. You might need to order online in a couple of sizes and styles and then return the ones that don't work for you. Figleaves from UK (US will charge duty) will ship for 5.50 pounds which is very reasonable if you buy a bunch of stuff. Let me know how it goes.

  • landsoftly

    I've only recently discovered your blog and you are just amazing, love your style – this post has perfect timing and makes me feel so much confident about bra shopping, thank you thank you thank you.

  • Kylara7

    K.Line, thank you for the brand recommends..I will most definitely check those out :) Great to get info from those in the know!

  • Anemone

    I'll admit to being one of those 20-year-old sales people. I have struggles of my own, though, at a 32F. Freya is also one of my favorite brands, though I primarily get it from Bravissimo. I also sometimes alter my bras, buying 34DDs and tightening the back.

    Part of having good bras is keeping them in shape, too. Wear a bra 3-4 times before washing to avoid over-washing it (unless you've been sweating a lot). Use a gentle detergent like Baby Dreft, which doesn't eat at the lining. And always wait 24 hours between wearing the same bra so it has time to rebound fully and doesn't get stretched out.

  • ChristineB

    I have the Fantasie moulded cup bra (two of them, actually – a 32E and a 32F) that I first bought at Intimacies in Boston. The removable straps are set very wide (IMO) and were chafing me until I finally moved them closer together. The moulded cups definitely add volume, though, so I look GINORMOUS (but perfectly smooth!) wearing them. :-)

  • ChristineB

    BTW, mine is the Fantasie bra model #4530NE

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