I’m starting my blog off with a rant, the way any self-respecting amateur blogger should start a blog.
I’ve bitten the bullet and admitted what I have long been aware of, but avoided remedying: I am wearing the wrong bra size.
I did not want to deal with this because I knew my correct size would be difficult to find. By “difficult”, I mean I can’t just go down to Victoria Secret or Macy’s and try a few on before buying them. No, I knew I would have to scour the internet and probably go through the process of: order-wait for shipment-try on bra-possibly return and reorder different bra/size-wait for new shipment-etc. But then I came across this blog, and learned about “the Bra Matrix”. I laughed, I cringed, and I took my measuring tape out. I was in the Bra Matrix, and I wanted to escape. I didn’t want any more armpit fat, bra bands riding up, boobs falling out the bottom of bra cups, cups gapping because the band is too loose, boobs holding the bra up when it should be the other way around, and so on and so on.
I always knew I needed a smaller band, but I never thought my cup size was wrong. I’m thin, tallish, with a small frame for my height. I’ve been described as everything from beanpole to mildy curvy (as in shape, not size), and I think I’m somewhere in between. My self-image is one of a thin, small-breasted, elegant type of body. I bought 32B bras and the occasional 32C when they ran “small”. The idea of me wearing a C cup was hard enough to accept, forget a D or higher. But the measuring tape told no lies - I need a 28DD or a 30D. These are not large sized bras. These are still the bras of a slender woman with a modest handful, but it’s the bra selection in these sizes that is rocking my self-image.
Unfortunately, even though such sizes as 28E, 28DD, and 30D are truly, genuinely NOT big (Don’t believe me? Well, their “sister” cup sizes are 32C & 34B - not flat, but not big by anyone’s definition), the bra manufacturers lump these in with the “big breast” bra styles. They often have plus-sized women modeling them, or at the very least, voluptuous slender women (and don’t get me wrong; they should show these models also). As a skinny, girlish type, I feel downright silly browsing these bras. I’ve never idolized Marilyn Monroe; I’ve always been an Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly fan, because they’re slender and demure. I had to reassure myself by visiting this Polish bra review site and seeing women who are thin & small like me wearing these sizes and still looking, well, slender and demure (and no, I don’t speak Polish, but a picture says a 1000 words, right?).
To add insult to injury, many (not all) of these bra styles are definitely made for big busts. They have big straps, cups reinforced with 3 seams, etc. Some are pretty, true; there are lots of pretty, “young”, affordable bras for the D+ set now. However, they’re made to function for big breasts, and I don’t need an over-the-shoulder-bolder-holder! My biggest complaint is the 5/8” straps though. Anyone wearing the right bra size doesn’t need 5/8” straps. Why is this so?
- If you are a D+ in small size (ie. 28DD/E), then you can get enough support from a good-fitting bra. Your boobs aren’t big; they just need the right size bra to flatter, lift and shape them. If you’re like me, you want elegant, feminine, delicate bras, not big hefty ones, because you technically have small-to-medium boobs and don’t need those contraptions. In short, I want 1/4” straps, or under 1/2” at least.
- If you are a D+ in a large size (ie. 30G), that still doesn’t mean you have a big body. You could have delicate shoulders, a small waist, slender arms, etc. You probably don’t want big, hefty straps either.
- The bra band is supposed to provide the support - NOT THE STRAPS. The straps are just there to help keep the bra in place. So no one NEEDS hefty bra straps. I will concede that women with larger bodies and/or busts may find larger straps simply more flattering, as they may be proportionate to them & their large bra, but I don’t think they need them for support, not if they are wearing the right sized bra in a good fit.
(Left above: Thick straps on an otherwise cute, Panache Cleo DD+ bra. Right above: Mark & Spencer keeps straps slender on a similar style bra sold up to DD.)
Yes, there are small D+ bras with slim straps out there (see the M&S bra above), and yes, some of the styles sold in that size are modeled by the typical, thin model type (see ASOS model below), but the options are dwarfed by those which are not, as a false dichotomy is being marketed that small busts are all A-B cups and DD+ cups are all big & on big women.
(Left above: Asos.com has an adorable Freya D+ bra modeled by a slender, small-busted woman. Right above: An equally adorable, Curvy Kate D+ bra modeled by a voluptuous woman from BraStop.com.)
What do you, random internet people who found this blog god-knows-how, think about hefty bra straps? Do they annoy you? What kind of styles would you like to see for small DD+ bras, or in ANY SIZE?
(Note: The “delicate” bra pictured at the very top is by Mimi Holliday - a lingerie line that carries a huge selection of sizes, albeit, very pricey!).