I got a ton of interest when I mentioned this idea on Facebook, so here we are.
The Status Quo
Most boob-havers get fitted for bras using a measuring tape and math. This is stupid, because you can’t calculate the volume of a blobby shape using two lateral measurements, and cup size is about volume. As a result, most boob-havers have spent their boob-having years wearing bras that are too small! This results in a lot of us having breast tissue squished back from our boobs into our under-armpit/upper-ribs area. Bleh! No wonder bras are uncomfortable!
So, how to correct for this?
How To Put On A Bra
I’m sure plenty of y’all are rolling your eyes, but hear me out. Give this a try next time you buy a bra:
- Grab the bra you are trying on and put its straps over your shoulders so the cups hang in front of you.
- Fasten the band on the loosest setting.
- With your left hand, grab the underside of the band under your left arm and pull it away from your body.
- Take your right hand and stick it into the band under your left arm, then use it to sort of squeegee/scoop the tissue from your underarm toward the front and center of your boob.
- Repeat that on the other side.
- Look at your boobs in the mirror, is there loose material underneath them? (There usually is.)
If there is, grab the cups of the bra to the inside of the straps and give a sort of tug-and-jiggle upward to settle them into the cups.
You are now ready to evaluate the bra for fit! Huzzah!
Does This Boob-Sling Actually Fit?
Things to look for:
- Does the bra touch your sternum between your boobs? And I don’t mean kinda-sorta-touch, I mean, is it against your skin if you stand up straight, put your shoulders back, and look straight down.
If it is, proceed. If not, go up at least one cup size and try again.
- Do you have quadboob? This is the state of affairs where the upper/inner edge of the cup restricts your boob so that there’s a dent in it. The cup should be exactly flush with the line of your boob, not cutting into it or wrinkling away from it.
If you have quadboob, go up at least one cup size and try again. If you have a quadboob-like effect under the band or in your armpit, you’re not scooping enough tissue into the cup and DEFINITELY should go up at least one cup size and try again.
- Is the band nice and tight? This is kind of subjective. A good test is: can you slide two fingers under the band and move them around fairly easily? The right band size for you will probably feel weirdly tight, but you want it to be nice and snug so that it stays put and supports you properly.
- The straps should also be nice and snug, but not quite as snug as the band. Use the two-finger test for tension and make sure they’re not too loose or too tight.
- Is the band horizontal? Stand sideways and check in the mirror, the band should be horizontal front-to-back. If it’s not, try adjusting the straps a bit. If that doesn’t work, go down a band size and try again.
Things to remember!
- Cup sizes change with band size. The volume of a B cup is different if it’s attached to a 34 band vs. a 38 band. When changing band size, adjust accordingly!
- Bras that actually fit are usually expensive. This sucks, but I’ve found it’s worth shelling out $80/bra to get ones that don’t become painful once I’ve worn them for more than 15 minutes.
- You are almost certainly going to have to try on a LOT of bras the first time you do this. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and if you (like me) have hands that tire out easily, you can ask the fitter/assistant person to help you with the hook-and-eyes in the back.
- This will be a LOT easier if you have a local bra shop and aren’t relying on the folks at Nordstrom. Sometimes they’re good, but I’ve found it’s a 50-50 chance they’ll be useless. I go to The Pencil Test here in Portland, OR and LOVE THEM TO BITS.
If this seems intimidating or a huge hassle, that’s normal! Boob-havers are generally treated as second-class citizens in the US, we’re used to putting up with bullshit.
Do not put up with bullshit when it comes to bras. You deserve better! Go bra shopping expecting it to take a while (so you aren’t rushed) and make plans to get a treat afterwards. Hell, if you’ve got a boob-having friend in the same situation as you, go together!
Boob-havers of the world, unite!
Got questions? Leave ’em in the comments! I’d also love to hear from folks who’ve found fab bras, especially in larger cup sizes.