Boobs, Lingerie & Bra Questions Thread (Continued)

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anna_spanner89
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I've redone this thread from (lingerie and bra questions) simply to update issues aswell!

About Me
Ok, I’m simply a girl your age, my first job was working at M&S lingerie department in 2005. I then worked my way up into a bra fitter, whilst working as a bra fitter at M&S during 2005-2007, i also worked a few extra shifts at La senza also as a bra fitter. Finally, September 2007 i took the great unknown leap and moved up in the world into John lewis. Here I enhanced my skills greatly, went on numerous training conferences, product knowledge sessions and was a lingerie advisor there for a year. I'm now a student nurse and although i'm not working as an advisor now my knowledge still has stuck with me!

The Breast
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To know why we need or wear a bra, it’s important to understand the breasts anatomical structure.
Pectoralis Muscles: These are simply the 'pecs' and runs acorss the chest like a fan. The function of it is to bring the humerus (the bone which runs from the shoulder to the elbow) to the chest
Lobules: Each breast is composed of up to 20 sections called "lobes." Each lobe is made up of many smaller "lobules," where milk is made. Lobes and lobules are connected by small tubes called "ducts" that can carry milk to the nipple.
Nipple: The main function of this is where fluid comes out of, to aid breast milk to be delivered. The average projection of a Nipple when cold, sexually aroused or during breast feeding is around 10mm. The erection of the nipple is partially due to the cylindrically arranged muscle cells found within it. In many women, there are small bulges on the areola, which are called 'Montgomery bodies' which is why sometimes your nipple area may seem 'bumpy'.
Areola: Careful inspection of a mature human female nipple will reveal several small openings arranged radially around the tip of the nipple (lactiferous ducts) from where milk is released during lactation. The size and shape of areolae is also highly variable, with those of sexually mature women usually being larger than those of men and prepubescent girls.
Duct: They are structures which carry milk toward the nipple in a lactating female.
Fatty Tissue: There are two types of breast tissue; Dense and fatty tissue. All women have areas of dense breast tissue. Young women have mostly dense tissue. This is when our breasts feel firm (and many times, lumpy) and look "perky"! As we age, that dense tissue is replaced by fatty tissue....this is when we sag more.

It’s very important to look after the mammary glands and ducts, these are active during pregnancy and nursing any damage to them before or during pregnancy can cause infections, swellings and problems breast feeding.


  • I’m sure you’ve found when you move around daily whether it’s jogging or walking you’d find your breasts move. The primary supporting structures in the breasts are the Cooper’s ligaments. With secondary support only from the skin, these can easily be stretched if repeatedly loaded, as occurs during activity. This can also cause the breast to sag.
  • Women wear bras for different reasons, because they want to prevent sagging, they feel they need support, they feel immoral going without, they can get discomfort from sweat and also to stop them moving around when being active.

  • Not everyone feels the need to wear a bra however, whatever your reason if you’re going to wear one, wear it right.

Different Types Of Bras
1. Training bra. This type of bra is designed for preteen or teenage girls who are in the early stages of breast development. It is smaller than standard bra sizes, and its cups come without underwire support. Aside from providing some measure of breast support, it helps young girls to become accustomed to wearing a bra. Usually recommended from the puberty-16yrs
2. Full cup bra. This bra provides full support, as it comes with underwired cups and covers most of the breasts. It is recommended for all women, and especially for those with heavier breasts. When women think of full cup bras they usually think of heavy utility bras, however new ranges such as fantasie and freya do sell pretty full cup bras for larger ladies.
3. Demi cup bra/Balconette bra. A demi cup bra covers only half the breasts, with its cups coming up above the nipples. This bra is suitable to wear with clothes that have plunging necklines. It is supportive, yet provides maximum exposure of the breasts.
4. Padded bra. This bra comes with padding inside the cup linings, adding volume to smaller breasts. Padded bras are popular with teenage girls, who may otherwise stuff their training bras with tissues to make their breasts look fuller. It’s also useful for women who don’t want their nipples showing under tight tops.
5. Underwired bra. Bras can come with or without underwire in their cups. An underwired bra provides strong support to the breasts and also maintains the shape of the bra. Some women claim that underwired bras lift their breasts, while others find these bras uncomfortable or painful.

6. Strapless bra. Strapless bras come with no straps or straps that can be removed. This style is very useful for clothes that bare shoulders, such as tube dresses and halter tops.
7. Convertible bra. This bra comes with detachable straps that can be arranged according to one's needs. It is usually worn with clothes that reveal the back and shoulders, such as backless dresses with halter top necklines.

8. T-shirt bra. T-shirt bras are made without a raised seam in order to appear invisible when worn under a body-fitting t-shirt.

9. Minimizer bra. This bra is commonly sought after by large-breasted women who wish to reduce the appearance of their breasts by a cup size or two.

10. Maximizer/Push up bra. These bras lift the breasts and emphasize cleavage through their unique structure and extra padding. The padding may come in various forms, such as water sacks or silicone inserts. The goal is to give a fuller, more natural look to breasts of all sizes.

11. Sports bra. Sports bras are made for active women who engage in rigorous physical exercise. They are designed to be comfortable and supportive by holding the breasts in place during motion, therefore reducing damage to soft tissues of the chest. These bras are usually made of stretchable material to provide a snug fit.

12. Built-in bra. A built-in bra is one that comes with the clothing, eliminating the need for a separate bra. This style can be found attached to the insides of swimsuits and tube tops. Some built-in bras are just horizontal, elastic fabric, but others have padding and underwired cups as well.

13. Shelf bra. This bra covers only the lower part of the breasts, leaving the nipples and upper part of the breasts exposed. It is not supportive and is worn in sexual situations.

14. Peephole bra. A peephole bra features holes around the nipples. Its loose coverage of the entire breasts is insufficient to provide significant support. This type of bra is also worn in sexual situations.

15. Maternity bra. Women's breasts become more sensitive, heavier and larger throughout pregnancy. Maternity bras are adjustable and can expand to take these changes into account.

16. Nursing bra. These bras are worn to ease the breastfeeding process. They are made with flaps that can be unclasped or pushed to the side, keeping the breasts supported during breastfeeding.

17. Mastectomy bra. A mastectomy bra is intended for women who have undergone the removal of one or both breasts due to cancer treatments. Here, the cups are made with pockets to keep breast prostheses in place and simulate the existence of breasts.



Bra Fitting Reviews
It's reccomended that you try and get bra fitted between every 6-12 months reguarly. I wish to add here reviews from TSR users from many high street branches who offer the bra fitting service. I'd like a rating out of 10 on the following aspects:
1. Customer service. Did you feel welcomed? Did the fitter spend personal time with you? How did you feel about the way you were treated? Did you feel enough time was spent on YOU the customer to achieve a style, fit and price you felt comfortable with? Bare in mind the average time for a good 'fit' takes around 10 minutes.
2. Enviroment. Was it a comfortable place to be in? Was it clean and presentable?
3. The Fit. Were you given an explanation as to why you were fitting a certain bra? Were you told what to look for in a bad fitting bra or not? Do you feel the bra you were told that 'fits' ticked all the boxes on the 'good fitting bra' (see below)?
4. Price. is it worth it?
5. Variety of choice on offer. Were you offered other styles to try on? Were there a nice selection of bras for you to choose from?
I'd invite all users to send in reviews, name the shop (and location) and when you got fitted there and the size you were given. PM me your review and I will add it here, if you wish to remain anonymous that is fine and mention it!

FAQ'S
1. I’m after a good strapless bra, any recommendations?
Yes, http://www.figleaves.com/uk/product....uct_id=PA-5210, i’m still waiting to see this bra NOT fit on anyone well yet!!!
2. I have a halterneck/backless dress, what is good?
For any halterneck dresses, a good strapless bra with long straps can help that fine, or alternatively just go for strapless!!! As for backless, this is a tricky one! You’d be hard done for to find a bra thats backless for cup sizes over F, however for any other sizes this bra
http://www.figleaves.com/uk/product....-p323404-front is not half bad
3. I’m after a good push up and low cut bra, any suggestions?
Gossard, BLOODY BRILLIANT! I swear by this bra, and it goes up to a G cup aswell!! www.gossard.com
4. I’m a large cup size and can’t find anything pretty and sexy to wear, help!
Try www.freyalingerie.com or alternatively google fantasie! These are brilliant bras for the larger lady, they also do swimwear!
5. I’m a small cup size and want something that’ll give me a good shape without flattening me, what bras are there?
Elle Macpherson and Princess tam tam are gorgeous bras made for the smaller bust, they’re sexy and pretty whilst giving a good shape. Go onto www.figleaves.co.uk put your size and the brands in the search engine and shop away! On top of this, any balcony bra will give a good shape to the smaller bust!
6. How often should i get measured? I got measured once when i was younger, but i don’t think i’ve changed!
Your breasts change in shape and size over the years, thats why it’s important to keep on top of the bras you wear and their size! This can simply be hormonal, weight change...whatever!
7. Why are bras so important?
Those in the know reckon that 80% of us are wearing the wrong size bra, with most of us wearing a back size that is too big and a cup size that is too small. Not only does this mean that we aren’t supporting our breasts in the right way (which could lead to unsightly saggy boobs in the not so distant future, as well as back and neck ache) but in addition, if you get fitted into a correctly fitting bra, it can totally transform your figure, putting the curves back in the right places and changing your silhouette dramatically.
8. Is it a good idea to wear a bra at night?
By all means where a bra at night, however make sure it’s the right one. Most of the growth hormone is released when you are sleeping, meaning your boobs will be growing. If you’re wearing a wired bra, this wire will inhibit any growth causing numerous problems. If you’re going to wear a bra to bed, make sure it’s a non-wired one!
9. Whats the best way to put on a bra?
1. Begin by slipping the straps over your shoulders. Make note of the location of the bra's label (e.g. side seam, back).
2. Bend over at the waist and ease your breasts into the cups. Your nipples should be centered into the fullest point of the cup, and the cup should completely contain the breast (with the exception of push-up and demi cup styles).
3. Hook the bra closure in back, and then stand upright.
4. Run your finger along the area where the bra's label is to make sure it is lying smooth and flat against your skin.
5. Tug downward on the back of the bra so that it rests beneath the shoulder blades. The line of the bra should be horizontal from front to back.
6. Visually check to see that your breasts are in the proper position.

NOTE: This technique can be challenging for someone who is not limber enough to put their two hands behind their back. It is also difficult to tell if the bra is on the proper closure without checking in the mirror. This technique helps the bra keep its shape and not loose its elasticity sooner!
10. I’m an AA cup, do i need to wear a bra?
Yes! Please make sure you wear a bra. Often, small-breasted women will wear an undershirt and no bra, or flimsy triangle bras held together with elastic.
Neither choice does anything to enhance your look. What A-cup women need most is definition. A bra with light foam padding or fiberfill will add a natural-looking shape to your breasts. A padded bra with bump pads will even create some cleavage. You also may not be interested in cleavage or enhanced shape. That's fine too. But, even A-cups need tissue and muscle support. There are bras on the market in your size with no padding, but provide support and have underwires
11. Whats the most common mistake when buying a bra?
Most women walking around in the wrong bra size are wearing a bra with too big a band size and too small a cup size. So, a good starting point is to go down a band size and up 2 cup sizes and see how that size feels. For example, if you are wearing a 40C go to a 38DD (or 38F), You go up 2 cup sizes because when you go down a band size, the same cup size will actually be smaller as well.
12. I Have Narrow Shoulders And My Straps Keep Falling Down. What Should I Do?
Women with narrow shoulders need to find a bra style with close-set straps. Racer-back style bras are one great solution. Demi cup and front closure bras tend to have straps set farther apart and should therefore be avoided.

The Good Fitting Bra
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1. The straps, these should sit firmly on the shoulder not be digging in or falling off. However individuals with ‘sloping shoulders’ should look for more thicker straps.
2. The Wire, in an underwired bra it’s important this wire is sitting nice and far behind the breast tissue, always check as this can cause many health problems. I’ve had many stories about blood blisters or cuts from wired bras digging into breast tissue and causing infections etc
3. The sides and back, again the sides should sit firm, occasionally there will be spillage of skinas it’s totally normal, however if it gets to the point of it rubbing try going up a back size. As for the back, it should be sitting on the LOOSEST hook and be sitting straight across around your body, not riding up or moving around. If this happens it’s a sign it’s too big.
4. The seams. This area should not pucker. Usually you’d find in smaller women a slight puckering around this area, it can be a sign that the bra style is not good. The nipple should also sit against this area
5. The bottom of the cup is important, if any breast tissue is spilling out underneath or if there is space then this is a sign it’s too small or big. However, after you put your bra on remember you may need to alter yourself into it.
6. In this area a good fitting bra will sit nice and flat against the sternum, however some body shapes do differ in that they can be quite hollow, wide or thin and this may dig into breast tissue etc..it’s simply about finding a bra that sits right.
7. Again, should sit nice and flat
8. Like the top of the cup the material should sit agains the breast tissue with no tissue spilling over nor gaps. Also if the cup is too small you’d find the breast tissue is sitting all at the bottom and the bra is stretching over this area to sit in, try changing the style before going down a cup size.

The Bad Fitting Bra
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1. The straps are digging in, classic sign the back is too big. This is because the back isn’t doing any support and the straps are doing most of the work!
2. Again, it’s digging in
3. Skin is bulging over here, also if you look at the side it’s not sitting nice and flat across, if we turned the woman around i’m sure we’d see a back riding up.
4. The wire is sitting on the breast tissue
5. Again the wires are sitting on the edges of the breast tissue
6. Breast tissue is spilling out underneath, sign the bra is too small
7. Tissue is spilling out OVER the bra also, although the woman has a lovely cleavage, it’s simply not a good fit!

*** I've added furthur guides to the bottom of this thread attached. These are breast health and shapewear***







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FizzBitch
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I know there is a mass bra/lingerie thread but I wanted to start a new thread in the hope of more people noticing it!

Why do most shops never sell 28 (and sometimes 30) back bras? Most shops seem to start at 32, but surely there must be a fair few women who have smaller back sizes
There's lots of women who are size 8 and under, and shops sell clothes in these sizes, so why not bras in small back sizes?

Also does anyone know of any shops that sell 28 back bras in larger cup sizes? The only 28 back bras I've ever seen are A cup training bras for young girls.

I know a few internet sites sell 28 back bras, but I'm looking for shops that sell them so I can try them on first.
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SiaSiaSia
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I've always wondered this actually (not that I am a 28 - I wish!- but my friend is)
I guess it's lack of demand, I mean, there's not that many 28s in the world
It's similar to how you never really see a 40 or a 42, I guess
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.x.--Lou--.x.
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La senza, debenhams and marks and spencers all do but only in a few of their lines. And they only ever seem to actually appear once in a blue moon, so i tend to get mine from sites like Bravissimo...tis a tad expensive though.

Also have you tried independent lingerie shops..they tend to stock smaller back sizes, or at least they can order one in for you. Again though they tend to be more expensive.
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FizzBitch
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(Original post by SiaSiaSia)
I've always wondered this actually (not that I am a 28 - I wish!- but my friend is)
I guess it's lack of demand, I mean, there's not that many 28s in the world
It's similar to how you never really see a 40 or a 42, I guess
I'm surprised there's not more demand though, seen as there are lots of petite/small built females. There's demand for small clothing sizes so why not bra back sizes? For example topshop sells size 4 and 6 clothes but their bra sizes start at 32.
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~miffy~
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im technically a 28 inch back but h&m 32A bras fit me ^o) lol, maybe have a look in there? I think they sell the 32's in bigger cups than A and B as well
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Em_maK
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The brand Freya has many! Try Debenhams.
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FizzBitch
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(Original post by Em_maK)
The brand Freya has many! Try Debenhams.
I've never seen any 28 backs in Debenhams
Will look again though!
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Meltdown30
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Bravissimo has the best selection there is. They stock Freya, Panache and a few others.

La Senza's Girly and Gorgeous range are really tight in the back so a 30 is really a 28.

More people definitely must be a 28 back. I'm a size 8-10 and a 28.

Some department stores sell Freya but they don't usually have many 28s in stock.
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Zastrugi
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I think it's because clothes sizes are in the actual inches whereas your back size for a bra, you add 4 to the actual measurement if it's an even number and 5 if it's an odd number, hence why 'size 28' in clothes and 32 in bras seem to fit...
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Meltdown30
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(Original post by Zastrugi)
I think it's because clothes sizes are in the actual inches whereas your back size for a bra, you add 4 to the actual measurement if it's an even number and 5 if it's an odd number, hence why 'size 28' in clothes and 32 in bras seem to fit...
That's a really out of date thing and the reason so many people wear the wrong size bra. My underbust measurement is 28 inches, I wear a 28 back bra.

Most people that are a size 8 have relatively small boobs so can get away with wearing the wrong size. Mine are pretty big though so I got a sore back when I was wearing a bigger back size.
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Zastrugi
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(Original post by Meltdown30)
That's a really out of date thing and the reason so many people wear the wrong size bra. My underbust measurement is 28 inches, I wear a 28 back bra.

Most people that are a size 8 have relatively small boobs so can get away with wearing the wrong size. Mine are pretty big though so I got a sore back when I was wearing a bigger back size.
Oh, really? I didn't realise, and I was taught that only a few years ago at school

I've never really used it tbh I just buy what feels like it fits properly since it varies so much between shops anyway!
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Meltdown30
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Worringly, some bra fitting places still use that method! A fitter in La Senza tried to tell me I was a 32C when I was wearing a 32D that I was spilling out of. :rolleyes:
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NinjaBread
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(Original post by Fizz*****)
The only 28 back bras I've ever seen are A cup training bras for young girls.

I know a few internet sites sell 28 back bras, but I'm looking for shops that sell them so I can try them on first.

I'm a 28A and I have to buy kiddie bras I'm 17, major embarrissing I tell you

What internet site? I'd quite like to own a bra thats not pink with love hearts all over it :mad: :tongue:
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Meltdown30
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Figleaves have a grand total of 3...one looks kiddie and the other 2 are expensive!

http://www.figleaves.com/uk/nsf/qwis...wer=1&answer=1

Try a 30A in any of the balconette styles of these from La Senza (not the lace plunge ones):

http://www.lasenza.co.uk/bras/girly-...geous-bras.htm

The back is really tight, it's tighter than any Freya 28 I have. I have it in 4 colours already and I'm tempted to get more. :redface:

There's websites that sell what they call "petite bras" in A and AA cups but they only seem to start at a 30! I know lots of girls that are really petite and must be more like a 26.
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Meltdown30
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Debenhams do a 30 in quite a few of their own ranges. A lot of major brands like Ultimo, Gossard, Panache etc go down to a 30 too. Figleaves have a good selection and if you're a D cup or more, Bravissimo have loads.
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FizzBitch
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(Original post by Meltdown30)
and if you're a D cup or more, Bravissimo have loads.

Oooh I will be checking out Bravissimo then!
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Hygeia
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(Original post by Fizz*****)
Oooh I will be checking out Bravissimo then!
Another vote for bravissimo here
I need either a 28 or 30 backsize and get a lot of my bras from them - freya and panache in particular (you can get freya in john lewis and debenhams as well as house of fraser - if my memories not playing tricks on me!)
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Meltdown30
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John Lewis is good for Freya as they usually stock 28s. I asked in Debenhams and they say they get some delivered occasionally but it's rare and they sell out quickly.

I've noticed that you often get 28s in Freya in the sale in John Lewis. *nod*
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jim_is_alive702
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Yeah I recently started wearing the right size (30C) and tend to find most stores start at 32 ¬_¬
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