Friday, March 12, 2010

What's *your* size? (EDITED)

     [AHH! So sorry. I realized after re-reading my post like a week later, I deleted part of my "how-to". Without it, it's not very good instructions. Not sure what happened there. I must be really tired these days with the 70-90 hour work week. Here's a re-post if you are interested. My bad.]

So I decided to dedicate this post to bras. In particular bra size. Just because it's one of my pet peeves when I can just look at a woman walking down the street and I can already tell that she's wearing the wrong size bra. 80% of women wear the wrong bra size, and I'm sure that a lot of us tiny petites are a big part of that number. I find that we just like to go with the smallest common size (32A) because it is the most accessible, and well, most women just don't know how bras are *supposed* to fit. For the longest time, I thought that I was a 32AA. I just didn't fill out a lot of A cups! Then I realized that, in fact, I was not a AA. =/ So how do we figure this out? My first recommendation is to go somewhere like Nordstrom's to get a bra fitting. Not VS. They have no idea what they are doing. If you aren't comfortable with some stranger in your fitting room, these are some instructions:

(1) Figure out your band size. With a (non-padded, minimal lined) bra on, stand up straight, and measure around your ribcage just under the bust. Add 2 or 3. Whichever # will give you an even #. (Not 4 or 5! That is the old way.) I personally measure a 27. So I add 3 to get 30.

 

(2)  Figure out your cup size. Measure around the widest part of your bust.

 
(3) Figure out your cup size. The difference between the number you measured in (2) and your band size (from Step 1) will give you your cup size. If there is one inch difference you are an A cup. If there is a two inch difference you are a B cup, etc. etc. Here's a chart:


            0 inch difference = AA
            1 inch difference = A
            2 inch difference = B
            3 inch difference = C
            4 inch difference = D, etc.


    I think many women will be surprised, especially with petite women about what their actual bra size is. Not a 32! But a 28 or 30 band. If you are petite, buying a bra made specially for petites can give a little room to change sizes. I am a 30B, and usually a 32A will just not fit unless that bra fits particularly small. The wire will leave indentations in the center of my chest. That is definitely a sign that I need a smaller band or a petite size. If the bra is a petite 32A then I find it will definitely fit me better than a regular 32A. I fitted my mom for a bra, who has a much larger chest than I do, because I was just sick of seeing her in the wrong bra. She went from a 44B to a 36DD!! And to think she wanted to buy a A cup for more "push-up". We were in the fitting room in Nordies and she was totally in denial. Finally she's come to accept her true size (well, a 38D, because she can't stand the thought of being a DD), but she's so much happier with how her clothes look. Uhh, yyeaaaa! LOL.


      If the band is a snug at first, don't be alarmed, it will fit like that for a few wears, but after a while will stretch out with wear.  The bra should be closed on the last look, and as the bra stretches you can start using the second hook and eventually the first hook, if you don't replace it by then. Be sure to remeasure yourself at least every year. The body changes as we gain or lose weight, or even as a result of getting older. Also examine all your bras to make sure they're in good shape. They're not really meant to be kept for years and years unless you wear that particular bra infrequently. Other signs that your bra doesn't fit? The band does not sit straight across your ribcage (it should be parallel to the ground all the way around)--instead it rises up in the back. This generally means your band is too large. Also, if your straps are digging into your shoulders, your band is also too large. Most of the support should all be in the band. If it is digging into your skin, try going down a band size and increasing the cup size.


     So the question is, what are my favorite bras? I love Calvin Klein. They are made on the smaller side, so I am able to wear a 32A with no problems. Calvin Klein also comes in petites, including their new strapless bra:

 CK Perfectly Fit Tailored Petites Push-up Bra. Regular Price $44. Comes in Sand Dune and Black.

      Recently they have also released a 30 band size in a few of their push-up bras. Personally, I go with something contoured with no padding. I find that a good contour bra gives good shape, without the padding and minimal lining. One of my favorite CK bras:

 
CK 365 Microfiber Convertible Contour Bra. Regular price, $39. Comes in Black, Sand Dune, and White.


      Another good brand that comes in 30 bands and petites is Wacoal. I only have one of these bras, and it has a racerback, but it is a very good fit. I have it in a Petite 32A. Natori also has 30 bands, but I have yet to try these.


      For sports bras, I've done well with La Senza sports bras in a 32A because there is no real wiring, but it still has "cups". The danger with sports bras is that they all just want to flatten you out! I have a few Champion Shape T-back sports bras (from ChampionUSA.com):

      My most favorite, however, is of course, Lululemon. Lululemon has a wide selection of bras and tops and many come with removable cups for added support and shape. My favorites are the Power Y bra, Deep V tank, and the Power Y tank. The Power Y bra and tank I wear in 4 (XS) and the Deep V tank I wear in either a 4 (XS) or 6 (S). These tend to run VERY small, and even come in a 2 (XXS), which will by tiny, tiny! They are on the pricey side, but they are definitely worth it if you work out regularly (and like to look nice at the gym!).


      Remember, not all bras fit the same.  If the bra is uncomfortable (ex. digging) even with repeated wear and is the right the size, you probably have to try a different brand or style. They're kind of like shoes. We all have different shaped feet, so not one brand or style will fit on you, as it does me.


      Other fashion notes: One of my favorite hat designers, Eugenia Kim, is releasing a line with Target starting April 18th! I'm so excited. Pretty much all of her stuff is way out of my price range to even justify buying one her designs. But Target?? This could change things!!


      On a few other sad notes, over the last few weeks, I found a hole in both my UGGs AND the crotch of my favorites J Brand skinnies. AAAAAHHHH!!! I wear the jeans a lot in many of my posts, and now they have given up on me. They don't sell that particular style anymore in that material except on Singer22.com which they will not let me purchase without a code, so I am on a hunt for a new pair. I have my eye on Paige Blue Heights 10" in McKinley, but I can't find it in my size except on the PPD website (too expensive!). I may have to wait it out, or find a different pair altogether. I also cannot believe I found a hole in my UGGs after only having them two winter seasons! Right in the toe! I have no idea. I had my old pair of UGGs for 4+ years and never came across this problem. Anyways, the good news is that I found a pair on eBay for $95 in Grey. YAY! Thank goodness I've been working these past few weeks. Finally, this is not really fashion related, but one of my friends got married yesterday, and I was unable to make the trip to HK. =( But congrats to him and his new wife! I wish them all the happiness in the world!

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5 comments:

stylepint said...

I thought you usually add 4"-5" to the band size to get your actual band measurement. Otherwise, I'd be a 26D...and I do fine with 30C. It sucks that when they say "petite" bras, it's still just A and B cups.

My fave place is figleaves.com because there's more variety and some styles are pretty cheap. I used to think cheap price=cheap quality...but the cheapest bras there $20/each (figleaves brand) is actually my fave. It fits better than Chantelle or CKU for me.

I'm still figuring out sports bras...but I'll look into the ones you suggested.

ch3r said...

I just read my post again, and I realized at some point before I posted, I accidentally deleted a part of Step 1. Yes, you definitely add 2 or 3, not 4 or 5 to the band measurement. And you are right. "Petite" doesn't change the cup size, but alters the placement of the cups and also shortens the straps, which can be a problem with some bras. I have yet to try Chantelle, but I really should!

Jenn said...

Thank you for posting this. This is exactly what I've been trying to explain to people, yet they just don't believe me. You are correct...they don't know what they are doing at VS (at least, not at the one near me!), but Nordstrom definitely does! I'm a 30D, which is really hard to find except online, and no one makes a petite in this size, which I desperately need. (I'm 5' 1.5", 30D, 25, 35.5, but narrow width-wise and curvy front to back, lol). I hope bra manufacturers begin to expand their size lines even more to accommodate women of ALL sizes.

Jenn said...

Thank you for posting this. This is exactly what I've been trying to explain to people, yet they just don't believe me. You are correct...they don't know what they are doing at VS (at least, not at the one near me!), but Nordstrom definitely does! I'm a 30D, which is really hard to find except online, and no one makes a petite in this size, which I desperately need. (I'm 5' 1.5", 30D, 25, 35.5, but narrow width-wise and curvy front to back, lol). I hope bra manufacturers begin to expand their size lines even more to accommodate women of ALL sizes.

stylepint said...

I thought you usually add 4"-5" to the band size to get your actual band measurement. Otherwise, I'd be a 26D...and I do fine with 30C. It sucks that when they say "petite" bras, it's still just A and B cups.

My fave place is figleaves.com because there's more variety and some styles are pretty cheap. I used to think cheap price=cheap quality...but the cheapest bras there $20/each (figleaves brand) is actually my fave. It fits better than Chantelle or CKU for me.

I'm still figuring out sports bras...but I'll look into the ones you suggested.

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