Now, about that bra size

Nikki Parkinson Fashion 82 Comments

Ok, so the day after I wrote this post about my bosums, I discovered that those said bosums were in fact bigger than I had ever thought possible.

Here I’ve been blissfully waltzing through my lingerie life, convinced that I’m a 16C.  Straight up.  No DDs about it.

Well, flick my bra strap till it hurts, it turns out I’m a 14F or a 16E.  Excuse me but WTF?

And it gets better … or worse … whichever way you look at it (or them). My boobs are sideways boobs. Yep, they’re not of the big, stand-up voluptuous variety. No, they like a good lie down and I need a particular bra to suit that shape.

So, where did this Great Breast Revelation of 2011 happen?  Evie Boo Lingerie in Brisbane City.  Evie Boo’s range begins at a D cup and goes through to a K Cup.  They also stock back sizes from 6-24.

Owner Dawn Clayton had invited me in for a fitting* but to be honest I think she had my boobies sussed from our first meeting at a networking event the month before.

In this video she talks about why she started Evie Boo and why women of all ages have had their life changed on walking in the door.

But back to me.

I’m ushered into the change rooms, as a few bras are handed to me to try out. No, there was no tape measure. The Evie Boo fitters work from the visual and then keep trying different bra shapes and sizes until it’s a perfect match.

And that perfect match for me, on account of the sideways, “shallow” boob thing with which I’ve been blessed, is a balcony or plunge style bra.  A full-cup leaves a yawning gap where breast tissue should lie if they stood up a bit more.

A perfectly fitted bra will have the girls sitting straight across your chest where they belong.

And this is the perfect bra for me.

Panache Tango II bra $99.95. Available up to K cup

Panache Tango II bra $99.95. Available up to K cup.

And so is this strapless one.  Seriously, I’ve never had a strapless that actually lifted my rack to somewhere vaguely near where it should be.

Panache Porcelain strapless bra $89.95. Available up to G cup.

Panache Porcelain strapless bra $89.95. Available up to G cup.

When was the last time you had your rack professionally sized up?

Don’t ASSUME that you are actually the bra size you think you are.  Chances are, whether you’re a size 6 or 26, you’re not.  Hunt down a lingerie specialist – and if you are a D cup or above, seek out a lingerie boutique that specialises in larger cup sizes.

And if you know and recommend a lingerie specialist near where you live and shop, please leave their details in the comment section below.  Consider it a community service announcement!

* Evie Boo Lingerie invited me in for a fitting and I was gifted the above two bras in accordance with my disclosure policy  

 

 

 

 

Comments 82

  1. La Senza bras fit my boobs just right 🙂 Plus they’re made of that super comfortable stretchy material which doesn’t cut into you and are soooo soft. And i’m a small framed girl with a chest so it’s bliss to find a bra that fits properly! 😀 SOFT COMFY BRAS FTW!

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  2. *sighs* All you busty ladies!!! I’m a 10B and have a major case of boob envy. I know noone is ever happy with what they’ve got and you probably don’t want them… but I do!!!!!! 🙁

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  3. Oh yeah, the post-babies sideway boobs… Nice they have a name now. I currently wear Bonds maternity in a 16DD, though need to go down to a 14 now that I’m not sharing my body anymore. But I’m scared to go down in case cup goes up! I don’t have $100s to refit my bra-drobe!!

    PS – No shout outs for Adelaide?? 🙁

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  4. I’m a whopping 14H. Yes, H.

    I go to Brava Lingerie in Prahran, Melbourne as they specialise in D cup and above. The customer service is excellent and the lovely ladies there seems to have that magical ability to measure you by eye and then work out what cup shape suits you best. I go twice and year and usually come out with some pretty and something practical. My first visit was something of a revelation, firstly discover I had a choice of bras that fit and to discover that my size was not restricted to beige and black nanna-style bras!

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  5. If you need a recommended website for ladies who haven’t got a ‘Dawn’ nearby- try http://www.bravissimo.co.uk. They have d cups up and a very helpful video tutorial on fitting bras correctly. Brilliant range of bras. I used them for years in Cambridge and miss them terribly .still order online from them as haven’t found an suitable alternative here . May have to visit Dawn when next in Brisbane.

    Janine, Sunshine coast

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  6. how funny that this is you post today Nikki… I took my mother bra shopping today!

    First we went to Bras’n’things in Maroochydore – and the assistant was so patronising and made my mum feel uncomfortable I handed the bra’s back to her, and said No thanks, we are going to Myers!

    thankfully the assistant there was much more obliging, and Mum walked out with a Bra that she felt really comfortable in, and was rather impressed with the great shape she now had!

    I’m thinking I may have to make the trek down to Brisbane… like the look of some of those bras.

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      Oh, that’s crazy, Vicky – and yes, worth the trip to Evie Boo. Dawn has been great here today answering some of the other questions and comments. She’s very passionate about this topic!

    2. Oh Vicky, that makes me so angry your poor Mum being made to feel like that…ggrrrr! I actually live on the Sunshine Coast so am more than happy to bring items to you to have a look at. Message me anytime [email protected] and I would be happy to help 🙂

  7. For Sydney ladies – I highly recommend Chantelle bras which are finally available here. Best fit and stunning. Jacqueline fits them with expertise and warmth. Worth every penny. At DJ’s in the city.

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  8. I used to be a B-C cup before I got pregnant. I went straight up to a DD in weeks. Wound up an E cup. Post breastfeeding (7 years ago), my back shrank back to a 10 but cups kept getting bigger. I’m currently gaining a cup size a year. Just got refitted recently. 10G in Bendon sports bra. 10FF in Fantasie or Freya. Doesn’t matter if I lose weight; cup size does not reduce. Apparently, some women grow breast tissue in their 30s – 40s, says my GP.

    Maybe I have sideways boobs too? Almost flat on top, huge underneath and out to the sides.

    Best fitting ever from Selfridges, but it’s a little bit too far away!

    I like Mary Holland in the MLC Centre in Sydney.

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    2. I can relate too! When i was pregnant, I went from an E cup to a GG in three motnhs!!! Good job I own a lingerie store i think!

      Please don’t feel alone in the sideways club – many, many of us are members! Including me!

    3. Yay! Someone else that grew boobs with children, all my friends lost theirs post breastfeeding. I was a generous-A/just-there-B, got pregnant, went to a D by 12 weeks and was a spectacular E when breast feeding. Went back to a generous-B/just-there-C after baby no.1 then after baby no.2 settled back to a C where I have been ever since (baby no.2 is about to turn 13), regardless of other weight fluctuations (I just get the ever attractive back fat with that!). And being properly fitted has got to be one of the best feelings.

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  9. After breastfeeding for several years I assumed I just went back to my old size, but um, no – for some reason I have boobs that increased in size after breastfeeding, not go the other way…. was definitely worth getting a proper fitting as I was buying 2 cup sizes too small

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  10. I struggle with the size of the bra, not the cup, the bra.
    Growing up 10’s were way to big, even tightened all the way so I would have to size down cups with kept me at an A cup for most of my bra wearing life.
    Didn’t I get quite the shock when I was fitted last year and told I was a D cup! Hooly dooly! But with that comes the genius idea of a size 8 being available.
    I think it’s great she carries from a size 6 upwards, because it’s just as important to have the support starting there as well as the right cup.

    I had no idea about different shapes of boobs affecting what kinds of bra’s you can wear! Makes me wonder what shape mine are.

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      It’s actually become a very important part of the market, Miss Pink. There are a lot of young girls – quite small across the back but with a decent cup size (see Adrienne’s story below about her daughter). So yes, great to see stores like Evie Boo recognising that.

    2. Miss Pink you are so right about the back size being just as important as the cup, actually it is the back size that is key. You always need to find the correct back size first and then fit the cup after that. So many ladies wear the back size way too big – it doesn’t follow dress size, I am a size 12 but a 10 back for example. They key to great support is to get that back as firm as you can, even more important for ladies who are a D cup and up. if your back strap is not sitting in a straight line across your back, ie it rides up or sits higher than it looks like it should,you need to decrease the back size. Remembe too,, when you decrease the back size, the cup size increases, hope i am not getting too technical now!

      1. ALL my bra’s ride up.
        You know, I thought that that meant it was too tight!
        I am thinking my BFF and I need to save our pennies and road trip it up to Queensland for a visit with you Dawn.
        She is quite large and has a lot of trouble finding bra’s, and I just don’t know what’s going on with mine.
        Bra’s and Things seems to be all we have around here, and more often than not they don’t seem to know what they’re doing.

        1. Miss Pink, I would love to fit you and your BFF. We also sell online, http://www.evieboolingerie.com.au, but you need to know your size first :(. Whereabouts are you based? I am trying to come up with a way that I could fit you virtually! If your bras are riding up though, take it down a back size or two – remember to go up in the cup though. If you are wearing a 12C for example and go down to a 10 back, you would take the cup up to a D cup, down to an 8 back, up to a DD cup and so on, down to a 6 back, up to an E cup. A 6E cup is a much smaller cup than a 12E for example, it’s the back that is the key. Hope that helps. Let me know if you are in Brisbane and I would love to meet up.

          1. I am currently wearing an 8D. I would definitely need to try a 6 on before I brought, and I will defnintely be letting you know if I am ever in Brissie because your store will be a must.

  11. I find it so hard to shop for a good bra, being a larger size makes it difficult, especially when you want something pretty! thanks for the post 🙂
    Grace xx

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        1. Hi Grace
          I used to live in Perth, and if you live there too, Hidden Lace in Subiaco (Rokeby Road) is (or at least used to be) a good place for a specialist fitting.

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    2. Hi Grace, and Nikki –
      I go to the Bra Bar, they are at Perth CBD, Mt Hawthorn and Joondalup. thebrabar.com.au
      I go to the one in the city on my annual city shopping trip – AFL grand final day, so I can shop in the city while the rest of Perth goes AFL mad elsewhere!!

  12. It has been 3 years since I have been fitted for my wedding, since that time I have lost a dress size then gained twoa. My recommendation for Melbourne Victoria

    Specialty Fittings
    Address
    111-113 Douglas Prd, Williamstown, Australia 3016 · Get Directions
    Phone
    03 9399 9774
    They specialise in fuller figure, cup size A – H, 10 – 26, mastectomy, maternity, bridal, swimwear, sleepwear. Personally fitted so you know you are wearing the right bra for your shape!
    Open until 5:00 pm
    Hours
    Mon – Fri: 10:00am – 5:00 pm
    Sat – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

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    2. I’m living in north Brisbane now & Evie Boo fitted me for a lovely strapless corset for my recent wedding. I was living in Melbourne until November last year and was lucky to have a friend’s mum who worked in Myers in their bra section who would size me up properly every time.
      Places I used to find larger sizes are:
      Brava Lingerie on High Street Prahran.
      http://www.bravalingerie.com.au/
      Also Lisa’s Lacies in Seaford – the staff were very helpful and made a fuss of me when I bought another corset for my engagement party.
      http://www.lisaslacies.com.au/

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  13. Try being the other end of the scale! If you ever find someone who can fit an A-B cup properly I NEED TO KNOW! Most assistants just sniff and tell me they “have nothing appropriate at this time”. I feel like I’m less than a woman after bra shopping experiences. Most times I go home with a standard t-shirt bra and cry my eyes out.

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  14. I wish there was a magic bra fitting lady like Dawn in Hobart. I haven’t found the ladies at Myer to be particularly helpful or friendly and have just bumbled my own way through the fitting process to find myself a bra. For all I know, I could be wearing the completely wrong fitting bra too!

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    2. Holly, I will be sure to drop you a line if I visit Hobart. It would be a pleasure to let you know what size you should be in 🙂

  15. Ladybird Lingerie at Maroochydore (cnr Ocean and Duporth) is great. I think it’s Lisa there who is the greatest “boob whisperer” (as my Mum and I called her after visiting.) Again, we didn’t see a tape measure and it’s not just size, it’s shape.
    And yes, the right bra will change your life! And yes again, looking back from the wrong side of 40 I can tell you that things change, even without breastfeeding or childbirth. (Gravity, weight gain/loss, hormonal changes… and just because they have a mind of their own)
    Cheers

    1. Lisa at Ladybird Maroochydore is the way to go! Every year when I go home for Christmas, my Mum, Aunty and I all go and get new bras for the new year. I was TOTALLY wearing the wrong size. Thankfully we caught it when I was about 25, before too much damage was done. My Mum got me on to them, and we send everyone there. It makes the world of difference – I looked so much thinner when they were pulled into the correct place!!

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  16. One day when I grow up, I will get my boobs properly measured. Me and my sisters have sideways boobs too … we call them Marty Feldman tits. Remember his eyes used to go in different directions?

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  17. So glad you brought this up Nikki…. bras have always been the bane of my life! From first emergence there was notable difference in sizing , something which the incorrect bra only exacerbated. ( I am 53 so things have changed thankfully since then in the world of lingerie) I recently took my teen daughter for a fitting after failing with buying off the rack 14B stuff as that was what she seemed to be (to the ignorant eye that is!!)but turned out she was a 10D which has made all the difference to her confidence and comfort which is so important for young teens. Found a good experienced fitter at Bras and things Kawana which was convenient though the range is slim for her.
    As for me….. fitting with the help of an experienced fitter is essential after having had breast cancer and believe me then the choices do get limited! My first experience was in 1988 when you just had to take what you could get so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ranges were soft and pretty now. I found my local Daze and Nites Lingerie to be great …nice and close and convenient for me while I am on treatment and Julie has the experience to make it easy at a difficult time. Through pregnancy and breast feeding I had gone from a 14B to an 18DD and like every woman I still like them to feel and look good in clothes 🙂
    After reading you blog here I now understand why my UK friend here still gets her bras online from the UK ….maybe she should travel to Brisbane with me when I am able !! Could be fun 🙂

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      1. Ha ha ..yes Nikki…bosoms are my business it seems … they have been good and bad to me but you can’t live without ’em 🙂 Re my daughter….can’t tell you how much confidence it has given her to relax about them since finding the right bra!

        1. Hi Adrienne, i would love to welcome you in-store. We do have experience fitting ladies who had undergone treatment for breast cancer, so it would be a pleasure 🙂

          1. Thank you Dawn, and when budget and health matters allow I would love to come down and see you, but that may be a while yet… thanks anyway and I have a few friends in Brisbane who would be interested I feel in coming with me 🙂

  18. I too wanted some nice plain and functional maternity bras. I went to the Australian Breastfeeding Association shop in Melbourne and ended up with an H cup! Yikes! They have a good range called Anita (I think). Thankfully I’ve now hung those puppies up and am back in a cup that doesn’t fit on my head.

    Australian Breastfeeding Association has two retails stores and an online shop.

    Melbourne
    1818-1822 Malvern Road, East Malvern
    9am-5pm Mon – Fri (Tue only 10am), 11am-3pm Sat
    Ph: 1800 032 926 (Sat only ph 03 9805 5501)

    Brisbane
    2A/26 Eva St, Coorparoo
    9am-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm Sat.
    Ph: 07 3847 5187

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      1. We have just taken our first order of Anita nursing bras this week, we go up to a H cup in it. The cups are quite small so don’t be alarmed if you are fitted in a bigger size, we have to go up in the cup. The bra is very supportive, comfortable, the material is so soft against pregnant and breastfeeding skin, we highly recommend it.

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    2. You are correct about the 80% figure…however, in 5 years of fitting, i can count on one hand those who have been in the correct size! i am not joking either! I would say nearer to 90% 🙂

  19. My body changed significantly within the first few weeks of pregnancy (I honestly looked about 6 months pregnant in my first trimester) and I was shocked to discover I was an E cup (normally B-C). I’m so glad I got fitted, instead of just guessing or assuming my size.

    When you’re pregnant for the first time, it’s important to get fitted well as your body undergoes huge changes… for a while to come. Especially if you plan to breastfeed.

    I love talking about boobies so freely now that I’m a new mum 🙂

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  20. I commented on the facebook link, but wanted to add this: All I want is a bra large enough to support, able to accommodate breastfeeding, and not covered in lace. I don’t need sexy, that’s what got me here! I want a simple white/black t-shirt bra that does what it’s supposed to do. Why is that so hard to find?

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    2. Hi Sarah, we have a number of suitable options including Freya Rosalie, Freya Dotty, Freya Pollyanna, all plain, very comfortable (I lived in my Rosalie when pregnant and after giving birth. Pananche maternity bras are also very supportive, plain and soft against the skin, these are Panache Alisha and Panache Anita. We have a new brand Anita in stock this week, as recommended by the Australian Breastfeeding association, underwired for great support but very comfortable, drop down cups for feeding. There are a number of great choices. Perhaps if you called us in-store we could discuss your size and arrange for you to try some bras on? 07 3229 9191, hope that helps 🙂

  21. I was a C once upon a time when I was fit and before I had children. Now I’m an F. Some of that is breastfeeding related, most of it is chocolate related. But a good fitting bra makes such a difference to how you look and feel. But I think I’ll be in my breastfeeding bras for awhile yet.

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