What do you women do about ill-fitting bras? (Posted by an ignorant male)

It was mentioned in this thread that a great many women wear a bra that’s the wrong size.
Again I plead ignorance on a matter dealing with women. But I am curious: What do most women do about it? Do they just wear one that’s a size too big, stuff it with cotton or Kleenex and hope for the best? Or do they pay for custom-made bras that do fit? Or do they just suffer? (multiple :frowning: here)
I once created a fictitious character, a woman whose bust measurement is a slightly odd size. She has custom-made bras, but they cost much more: She usually wears them only in public (so she doesn’t wear them out too soon). So she does without them at home and is otherwise normally dressed.

I buy bras that fit. I know my measurements, and try them on before I buy them.
Most department stores (The Bay, Sears, etc. in Canada) have professional fitters, as will some of the the smaller lingerie stores.
You simply can’t alter a bra without throwing it all out of whack.

Throw them away. I’ve bought one (count 'em - one) bra via a catalogue (Victoria’s Secret) and it fit okay, but man was it uncomfortable. Scratchy, pokey. Guess it wasn’t made to be worn long-term. :wink wink, nudge nudge:

Tossed it. No use for anything not comfie.

The Gap has comfie bras, even if they are a money-grubbing, child-labor abusing bunch of corporate bigwigs.

Typically, the problem is not as obvious as someone just needing more boob to put in the cup.

Often, the symptoms are more like the back creeping up during the day, the straps digging into the shoulders, or the center place where the 2 underwires meet doesn’t lay flat.

Many women just accept these problems without batting an eyelash.

Some women insist that they are wearing the correct size even when they can’t breathe and their boobs are falling out of the bra. Hey, whatever makes you happy.

Finding the right size bra can take a long time - you have to be willing to try on multiple sizes in multiple bras. Some women are happy with almost right. But if she really wanted to, she could find the perfect bra with perserverence.

Bras are complex bits of engineering and I think it would take an expert seamstress to alter one without making a mess. It’s possible to get custom-made bras to fit all kinds of sizes, but they’re pricey. Or, as Ginger says, a good bra fitter can be a great help.

For those who don’t have the bucks to get a bra custom-made, underwear varies in size from brand to brand at least as much as other women’s clothing does. Shopping around to find a brand and style that fits reasonably well and then stocking up is what most hard-to-fit women would do.


The women wearing incorrect bra sizes are most likely wearing ones that are too small, not too big. Take my friend Laura, for example. At the age of 24, she finally went and got measured at a lingerie store to determine her size. She’d been wearing 36B for years. When she finally got measured, she learned to her complete astonishment that her real size is 34D. She had misunderstood how a bra should fit, and so had no idea how comfortable they can be. In her case, the back strap would ride very high, curving up between her shoulder blades, the shoulder straps tended to dig or else slip off her shoulders, and the underwire would ride up all day. Now, she has happy boobs. I’m sure she would love that I posted all this, but that’s just the kind of friend I am.

There are many ways a bra can be ill-fitting. I have experienced:

[li] Wrong band width (the part around the ribs)[/li][li] Wrong band size - I hate buying extensions[/li][li] Not enough vertical rows of hooks & eyes (one is great if you are smaller cupped. Some of us need 4 and 5.[/li][li] Wrong cup size - either too small or too large[/li][li] Itchy lace (I absolutely HATE this!!)[/li][li] The “creepies” - where the back band is sitting above my shoulder blades[/li][li] Slippery material - satin bras end up everywhere but where they should be!!![/li][li] Straps that dig into shoulders[/li][li] Design - I finally find one I like and it’s been re-designed or pulled from production[/li][li] Styles - The really pretty ones usually offer no support for me, while the really comfortable ones look like something a stada baba would wear.[/li][li] Underwires - they may support other people, but not me![/li][li] Too damned old - elastic is stretched out, should have been retired months ago, but it’s still a favorite![/li]
Rarely have I gotten the same measurements in different stores (somewhere in GQ is my thread about getting measured different ways), and this leads to a lot of confusion. Not to mention the fact that a lot of manufacturers limit what they sell in the stores - I’ve never seen anything above a 48 in Lane Bryant, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to order something so fitting by mail or computer.

Sigh. The eternal search continues

If I manage to get a bra that doesn’t fit quite right, then I either put it into the donation pile, or I use it to make a costume out of. If I screw up when I try to turn it into a costume piece and remove the reason for it not fitting quite right, no big loss. If it works and it now fits well, hey, great. (I also do this with bras that are finally falling apart.)

[mild rant, slight tangent taken] Now, if they could give each boob the equivalent of independent suspension… and if I could find more in my size that isn’t plain, simple, and white… [\mild rant, etc.]

<< If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular? >>

dougie, as you can see above, there are a lot of variables. Most women seem to find a brand or two that work for them, since manufacturers often use similar features for different styles. For example, I can wear almost anything from Frederick’s - but I guess my boobs aren’t pointy enough for Bali. (Well, something’s wrong, and I’m going with pointy as the closest possible description.)

Since bras have a lot of elastic and stretch fabric, though, I’d say that custom bras are about as common as custom made shoes. (Not very.) I have a bitch of a time getting bras to fit, so I just stick with the faves - and if it won’t make a difference, I wear a sports bra. Much easier to fit.

Now ask us how we find jeans that fit. [sub]The horror! The horror![/sub]

I try to wear bras where the “fit” doesn’t matter so much.

As often as I can get away with it, I wear those “sleep bras.” They’re shaped like sports bras but aren’t designed for the support sports bras give. They are stretchy and comfy. I started using them as nursing bras and just stuck with them. They don’t “enhance my shape” but under the kind of clothes I usually wear, it doesn’t matter much.

I haven’t found my real solution yet. At least not one I like. I know that I have to go get custom fitted for one, but I keep putting it off. In the meantime, I have to continually adjust my bra throughout the day so the “pop-out” isn’t as noticeable.

For the record, I am one size above a DDD (larger size letters often vary from one company to another, so I thought that would be the easiest way to state it). I have found some mail-order places from both the US and Britain, but I haven’t found one in Canada, and ordering from out of the country is a pain and really expensive.

I’ve been desperately trying to lose a few more pounds to see if I can lose enough to fit back into a DD, which is the largest size I’ve been able to find in department stores here, but no luck so far. Nothing will come off where I need it!!

I would like to state that shopping around for a style and brand that fits isn’t an option for some of us. I’ve been shopping around for years now, and haven’t found a single, supportive bra in my size yet, available over the counter, in my country!

Is that too much to ask??

How do I get a job as a bra-fitter? :smiley:

I do feel sorry for ladies that have issues where their cups runneth over. It’s not all that flattering, and look uncomfortable too.

I’m lucky in that I’ve found a manufacturer that’s perfect for me, but it’s a difficult task and one requires much shopping around lest you fall prey to the terror that is quadra-boob. It’s just not a flattering look.

What’s even MORE annoying, is they tell you how to measure yourself. Once you have that figured out (which tells you your cup size), you then are supposed to turn into a contortionist to put your bra on “properly”.

Just when you think you have the right size and it’s put on correctly, you stand up and realize that the danged thing isn’t resting on your body the right way!

I long for the days when I was thin and had no chest. ::sigh::

Don’t wear 'em. Gravity will never get me down. :smiley:

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I have two that get worn twice a year, when I’m wearing translucent blouses.

Other than that, don’t need 'em and am just as happy about that. Although I have wondered what it would be like to have cleavage without being preggers.

Oh, heck, why bother? Just quit wearing bras altogether.

And then there’s the problem of having different sized boobs - one is almost always larger than the other and you have to chose the bra that fits the larger one. Custom made bras are waaaay too expensive but they’re the only way to get different cup sizes on the same bra.

dougie, I think it’s universal that there are two reasons why women wear bras (everyone feel free to correct me here):
One, because we’re expected to wear them. Unfortunately, going braless in public is tantamount to jumping up on your desk, hiking up your skirt, and shrieking, “I’m a slut! I want to do every man in this office!” Speaking from the perspective of a naturally (but not presently) non-chested woman, even if there is no physical reason to wear a bra, you are compelled by societal pressures to do so anyway.

I think this is because even flat-chested women possess n*****s, which are illegal in the USA.

The second reason is gravity. Women who have naturally large boobs experience pain without adequate support (and often, a somewhat lesser amount of pain with it). I haven’t experienced this myself, but my well-endowed best friend suddenly stopped running and playing when she was halfway through puberty, and to my knowledge she has been unable to move faster than a brisk walk since then.

Regular-sized women can go braless with comfort, but if they succumbed to this temptation they’d all look like the photos in National Geographic.

My theory: boobs are naturally meant to look like those in National Geographic, but our society demands we contort them into bizarre shapes to please the menfolk, similar to foot-binding. Just one more reason to be bitter and resentful.

I throw away any bras that don’t fit comfortably and correctly. Since I’m not too top heavy, I have little difficulty finding bras that fit me.

I hate to see a woman with four breasts. This typically happens with larger women who don’t buy bras with the right cup. Their breasts poof out the top and make them look like they have another set of bras. I want to scream at them that their boobs are not supposed to look like that.

Um, that’s supposed to say another set of boobs.