Hey y'all - I've been super busy on all the fronts this week so I haven't had a proper chance to discuss any of the numerous things I find fascinating. (That's code for "write blog posts".) Happily, Veronica is back with another installment of awesome answers to awesome questions. Please let us know if this info is helpful!
Kay asks what many of us want to know:
Would Veronica have a recommendation for a non-underwired bra (I don't wear bras with underwire) in a 30 band, having less outer circumference, more depth, less upper bust volume, more lower bust volume, really narrow shoulders... bust cup H-I-J (depending on the day / what I ate the previous week) with plenty of support please?
Hi Kay: Non-underwire bras are really tricky. Unfortunately there is still not a lot of selection, and many styles have a narrow size range. Having said this:
- My favourite is the Freya Dotty softcup. They make a 30H, which is on the smaller end of the size range you wear, but this bra is cut rather big in the cup (and unfortunately a bit big in the back). This bra should work for your shape, and it has great lift, separation and support.
- My second favourite is the infamous Triumph Doreen. This bra has amazingly firm hold and support and gives great separation. This style starts at a 34 band, but the backs are cut very firm (I wear between a 30 and a 32 band, and the 34 fits well on the second hook). A warning/bonus: the shape is rather 1950s "sweater girl".
- Next up is Aviana's Jacquard softcup. It's very comfortable and gives decent support and will likely suit your shape. They make your cup size, but start at a 32 back, so this bra would require alteration.
- Finally, Royce specializes in wirefree bras and they make two bras (the Charlotte and the Sadie) in 30H-J. I am vaguely familiar with the Charlotte (I've seen it on maybe 3 women) and not familiar with the Sadie. I find Royce bras are tricky. The straps are often too thin (and can be uncomfortable), they don't give much uplift and tend to give a very separate "east-west" look. But perhaps one of their bras could be made to work.
Ed. note: I've tried the Dotty and the shape is front and centre but it really smushes the boobs together (as bras with no wire all seem to do). The only non-underwired bra I've tried that doesn't smush - at least nowhere to the same extent - is the Triumph Doreen. I can second that I've bought the bra in a 34 and I can wear it on the second hook and I, too, wear a 30 or 32 back. BTW - I LOVE this bra and it's crazy pointy shape. It's truly retro. I mean, seriously, they haven't updated this bra since 1958 and they're proud of it! I also go down a cup size in the Doreen cuz it fits roomily, IMO. I've tried the Royce Charlotte. I never wear it, though I bought it as a lounge bra. It gives a bizarre shape - bad pointy - and it's insanely tight in the back. The straps are strangely positioned to provide maximal hurtiness.
And Anonymous writes:
I have been measured by a pretty reputable store as a 32DD. I have a hard time finding a bra because despite that DD I don't think I'm that prominent. Somewhat of course…DD on a small frame…but to me it seems like my breast shape is more wide than tall if that makes any sense. I can feel breast tissue from my center all the way around to my side and most of the bras dig in on the side and leave a gouge mark by the end of the day. A bigger cup doesn't help because then I don't fill it up.
I've been told the wire shape is called the "smile" and so I feel like I should be hunting for a bra with a wide smile rather than a U shape. So:
1) Is there a brand or certain type of bra style that has a wider smile?
2) How do I get fitters to understand this?
Thanks for introducing me to the term "smile". What a great way to describe an underwire! It sounds like you have shallow breasts with a wide root. I find this shape of bust fits best in a broad demi or a shell-shaped plunge (a shallow plunge with more fullness on the bottom and sides rather than one with lots of depth).
Brands in your size, that tend to have a broad shallow shape, include Marie Jo (the "Tom" is a great shell shape), Prima Donna (many of their lined demis and the "Madison" low full cup) and Curvy Kate's showgirl range. You'll want to avoid Simone Perele and most of Freya. When you are trying on bras, make sure you "swoop and scoop" your breast tissue into the cup to ensure all of the breast tissue is firmly encased in the wire.
Not sure how to help you to get fitters to better understand your needs, as it seems like you have a pretty clear understanding of your body and your challenges with bras! I suggest that you start by clearly stating your situation, and then view the fitting as a way for the fitter to help you (generally women become fitters because they want to help people). Ask to try some of the styles I've mentioned here and see how it goes.
Ed. note: Man, I seem to have a lot to add today! What I'll say is that you know you've found a good fitter when she listens to what you say and encourages you to make bra suggestions to her (or at least is very open to bringing you the brands you'd like to try - even if she senses that they might not end up working on your frame). Bra-fitting is part science and part art. If you and the fitter observe that things are working or not working, you can join forces and move towards the brands, sizes and styles that work best for you. If you don't feel immediate chemistry with your fitter, that's not the death-knell of the experience. We all settle in at a different pace. Remember that fitters see a lot of clients who are really off the mark vis a vis what will actually fit so they sometimes have to develop a "firm" (for want of a better way of saying this) approach to help those women come to terms with new sizing. Some fitters (just people, after all) do this very gracefully and perfectly for the client. Some need a bit of latitude to understand the client better. Mind you, if a fitter is not open to collaborating, I suggest you try on a couple of things and politely move on.
Today's questions: Do you wear a non-underwired bra that works for you? Do your breasts have the shallow shape / wide root and, if so, what brands are your faves? My shape is as far from that as could be, so I love learning more about this!