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The Bra Fitter Is Not Always Right

13 Jul

When we visit places like airports, restaurants and shops we tend to assume that the people that work in those places know their trade. We trust what they say, as surely they, as professionals know what they are talking about. I believe that this is why so many women wear the wrong size bra – a lack of knowledge from some individuals whose job it is to help women build the foundation of their outfits.

This is not meant to be a snobbish know-it-all jibe, and I do not profess to be superior to anyone who works as a bra fitter. But ten years of owning tits, seven of which were spent oozing out of cups and yanking on my back band has made me realise that the lingerie world still has a long way to go before everyone is up to speed.

Don’t ever be scared to go for a bra fitting. Don’t think for one second that your body is not worthy of being seen in a state of undress by a stranger. That your boobs are too big/small/saggy/uneven and therefore something that the fitter hasn’t seen before. Bra fitter are like doctors – they see so many bodies, and their focus is not on how the body looks as a whole, but more on how the specific part they are dealing with needs their assistance. If a bra fitter ever makes you feel anything less than comfortable and at ease then it is NOT your fault or problem, and you should report them to their company as they are not fit to deal with something so sensitive and personal as bra fitting. You are in a vulnerable situation and they need to act professionally and respectfully.

A good bra fitter should ideally assess the bra you have on and work from there. Some may use tape measures, but that is only part of the process. A well fitted bra isn’t some equation that can be solved by knowing a measurement, it’s something that is so personal depending on the person being fitted. They should firstly check your band back and see how well it’s fitting you. They will probably need to know how old the bra is and how often you wear it. They will then check how the cups fit you and bring you a few styles and sizes to try. Should they feel that they do not stock something in the size you need they should relay that information in the nicest manner possible without judgement, and possibly even refer to you another store. A good bra fitter does not cram women into any old size just to get them out of their changing room and to the tills, just like a shoes salesperson wouldn’t cram your size 7 feet into some size 5s and dismiss the discomfort that you will inevitably feel.

A good bra fitter should take the time to ensure you are fitted correctly into a bra and you know exactly what to do with it. They should bring you a size that you can fasten on the loosest hook, explaining that the next hooks are there so you can fasten the bra snugly as the brand stretches out over time. They should ask that you scoop all of the breast tissue from under your arms into your cups so that the bras underwires sits flat against your torso, and not on any breast tissue. They should tighten the shoulder straps enough that they stay up, but not so much that they take the strain of the weight of the bust – the band should be doing 80% of the work. And everything they do in order to fit the bra should be explained to you. It sounds so obvious, and maybe implies that women do not understand what bras are for, but it should just be a simple helpful fitting process to give the person getting the fitting the best chance of comfort and value. Ideally you should try a top on over your bra and move around, just as you would walk around a shop in a pair of shoes. Bras can be expensive, and as they are worn for most of the day they need to be as perfect as possible.

In my experience and from the comments left by my readers, so many bra fitters seem to body shame women and give them poor service. It makes me sad to know that these women are out there, making other feel bad about their bodies and causing them discomfort. Just remember: the bra fitter is not always right and as long as you go to a fitting armed with the knowledge of how a well fitting bra looks and feels and what you should and shouldn’t be told with regards to your body, then there is nothing to worry about.

If you have had any outstandingly good or bad bra fitting experiences then share them in the comments.

If you are unsure about how a bra should fit then why not check out my ‘Bra Fitting’ tab, where you can find videos, explanations and much much more.

Bras : The Good The Bad And The Ugly By Leah Chamberlin

18 Jun

Bras! Bras! Bras! Women tend to have a love hate relationship with these nifty little creations. Whether they just can’t seem to find the perfect bra that fits just right or they have an obsession and may “collect” as many as they can get their hands on; after all, some of these things are super sexy and stylish! Bras today have changed in style and design from those …interesting bras of our past, but it seems that there are still some clichés in the system. There are handfuls of women who still have an extremely difficult time finding bras that fit them the way they should. Instead of having the comfort and support they deserve, they may end up with bulge, sagginess, or even multi-boob issues! Finding the perfect or “right” bra size should be a must on every woman’s to-do list!
Bra Fitting - Infographic
Find your best fitting bras at Herroom.

The Latest Fashion Apps for Your Phone

6 Jun

With mobile phone technology improving all the time, even the technophobes among us can get involved with the latest apps. There are plenty of fashion-focused apps on the market, from price comparison apps to apps which help you show off what you’re wearing that day – so you can keep up to date with the latest styles and trends, and keep your wardrobe organised!

Women with fuller figures and fuller busts can struggle in the search for a perfect fitting bra, and if you’re not armed with the right knowledge and tools then the world of lingerie can be a minefield! A properly fitting bra can make you feel like a million dollars, and will bring the best out of your figure – providing the perfect base for your favourite outfits. Well, as that old saying goes, there’s an app for that; and a pretty good one to boot. Bra-Fitter will direct you to take your own measurements and then churn out your bra size. Not revolutionary, you might think, but this little app will also let you know what size you are in all your favourite brands, as well as the size you’ll need for your preferred style of bra and your size in different countries, just in case you get whisked off to Paris to splurge on fancy lingerie; you lucky thing, you. Is your band a few sizes too big and riding up your back? Or maybe your cups are far too small and you’re spilling out the sides? This new app aims to put an end to fit woes, and will educate you on how a properly fitted bra should look and feel.






Stylebook is the perfect app for shopaholics! You can store images of all of your clothes, create outfits and shop your own closet, all at the click of a button. The calendar feature will help you plan what you want to wear in advance, and the nifty packing lists will mean you never forget your favourite flip-flops again!

Fashionistas who like to keep their finger on the pulse can use the Trendstop TrendTracker to follow style industry news and get reports on the latest trends straight to your phone. Great for gathering a little bit of inspiration. If you want to keep up with your favourite fashion bloggers as well, an app like Bloglovin’ or Feedly will help you keep up to date, and provide you with plenty of fashion savvy right at your fingertips.

What are your favourite fashion apps?

Gaining Confidence

22 Mar

I often get comments that express admiration at my confidence. It flatters me, as I do believe that body confidence is one of the most attractive things anyone can have. The ability to present yourself not as egotistical, but as cool, calm and happy with yourself. It’s not something that we are born with, or something that comes easily to us all. It’s not about looks, it’s more about feeling at peace with yourself and feeling comfortable. Here are my tips on how to feel a little more confident and self assured.

Naturally, it goes without saying that the first place you should look too to feel happier and more confident is…your underwear drawer. Ill fitting bras and uncomfortable knickers are enough to knock anyone’s confidence. If you are UK based I would urge you to get to a Bravissimo for a fitting. If you would prefer you can email or call them and they will be able to advise you that way. Alternatively, you can check out Butterfly Collection’s bra calculator which will be able to give you a size that is very close to what you should be wearing. For more information about the styles of bras out there and what they can do, check out my video:

Check out my bra fitting posts here.

In terms of knickers, this post by The Lingerie Addict is a great read for ladies looking for a little comfort in the undercracker department. My advice is to always buy knickers that do not dig in, do not irritate you and if they match your bra? Bonus!

Of course, it doesn’t end there with underwear. My favourite piece of underwear after my bra has to be my shapewear. I know that a lot of women turn their noses up at the idea of shapewear and see it as ‘cheating’ and an annoyance, but personally I adore it. It helps put my mind at ease that my tight dress isn’t showing too much of my bulgey stomach, and it makes me feel smooth, streamlined and carefree. This is my favourite piece:

This is how the shapewear looks when worn with a fairly loose corset.

This is how the shapewear looks when worn with a fairly loose corset.

It is by Maidenform and I adore it. The straps mean that it won’t roll down, and the shorts mean that it won’t roll up – even on my rather large thighs! The only problem with it is that going to the loo can be…ahem…tricky. It has a convenient ‘slit’, designed to make such actions easier, but it’s still something that baffles some, and can take a bit of getting used too!

Once your underwear is in order, you can feel like you are ready to take on the world! You feel younger, slimmer, walk taller and your outfits can look far better. I get countless emails from women who have been fitted for a better bra or found some that work well for them, and they are all positive. These women feel happier and more body positive without having to lose or gain weight or have surgery.

Personally, I always feel a lot happier after exercise. Don’t get me wrong, I loathe going to the gym as much as anyone! But when I leave, red faced, sweating and breathing heavily, I do feel body positive, even though I am a long way away from being happy with my size. Sometimes all I need to do in a few sit ups or go for a short jog. Sometimes it’s a full gym session. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me.

Taking care of my nails, skin and hair is also something that makes me feel good. Yes, they are appearance based and it is vain, but personally I feel a lot more put together when I feel confident with my looks.

Due to my job, I can’t paint my nails too often. But when I can, I do and it makes me feel ultra feminine. Sometimes I indulge myself with a salon treatment, and often turn here for interesting offers on professional manicures in London. I am also a huge fan of pedicures, and my trusty Ped-Egg is the best thing that I have found to use on them. Clean smooth feet with painted toes are something that you don’t even need to show anyone or spend much time and money on – it can just make you feel a whole lot better about yourself.

I dye and straighten and curl and generally abuse my hair way too much! And so treating it to the odd hair mask is a must!. I do love to go the the hairdress when I have the time and money, but it’s just so easy to do some cleaning or cooking whilst my hair rejuvenates in a hair mask, and in a few hours it’s back to looking gorgeous and healthy.

I am also a huge sucker for a face mask, as is my boyfriend!

Pardon my face!

Pardon my face!

It’s another quick cheap easy DIY treatment that really changes how you feel about yourself. I rarely wear foundation, and I attribute that to my face mask obsession and all the water I drink. I have tried a few homemade masks to varying degrees of success, but my favourite has to be this mud mask.

There are of course ways that will and won’t work for various people with regards to feeling happy and confident and exuding that. This post was just my way of sharing how I go about making myself feel like ‘me’. I hope that it has not come across as a vain post, but generally speaking appearance is something that we all rely heavily on to make us feel good about ourselves. I would love to hear from other people with regards to what you do to feel confident and happy within yourself 🙂

Breaking The Rules

22 Dec

Avid blog readers and followers of my Facebook page will know that I am hot on it when it comes to properly fitted bras! A bra needs to fit properly to look and feel great, and there are certain signs that you can look for to check whether or not your bra is wrong, check out my ‘Bra Fitting’ section for more info.

I’d love to think that I practice what I preach, but I have one huge huge weakness…

The Freya Deco.

The deco only goes up to a GG, one cup smaller than I need, and yet I constantly seem to reach for them when getting ready to wear a cleavagey dress. I have tried many other brands and bras and nothing is as comfortable or consistently boobalicious as my Decos. I do spill out of my Decos, as seen here but I can’t seem to shake my addiction! Combine that with my huge huge stash of red dresses and you get this recent purchase:


It was on offer in Debenhams and I couldn’t walk past! Plus the size XL briefs were so comfy and I love having a matching set. But as you may be able to see there are a few problems with the fit of the cups.
IMG_2874Yes I get that great orb like look, the gorgeous decorated cental gore sits flush against my body but…IMG_2873I do have some slight spillage at the armpits…IMG_2872And from the side you can see I am starting to bulge out.

The thing with ill fitting bras is that if they are just a few cup sizes out they can sometimes give a better shape than the same bra in the right size. They can squeeze the boobs up into a fab shape and make it hard to resist getting a better fitted size. As I am someone who commits bra crimes I am inclined to say that if you, like me, have a few guilty pleasure ill fitting bras that you wear purely to look good, and not because you know no better then that’s ok for the few hours that you wear them. But really, I should be breaking the habit, but I can’t seem too! Maybe one day…

Are you a bit like me – do you have a few badly fitted bras that make your boobs look incredible that you find it hard to part with? Let me know!

Merry Christmas you lovely lot ❤

Debenhams Get It Right

2 Oct

When it comes to bra fitting and selling on the highstreet in the UK I am quick to recommend Bravissimo and Leia. I have had some rather bad experiences with shopping at other stores that offer a fitting service – my tale of woe with painful photos can be seen here.

One place that I have not had a chance to try out is Debenhams. I have heard a few things from other people saying the service is ok/great/not good but I have never had the chance to give it a go myself – until now! Oooh this lingerie blogging business gives me a lot of excitement!
I recently attended a lingerie press event for Debenhams and after being given a glass of bubbly and a cake I was offered a fitting – not a bad start to the day! I went to the room with the fitter and after awkwardly extracting myself from my dress I stood there in my undies getting ready to flinch at a tape measure. I could not have been more shocked when she looked me up and down and said ‘36H’. Just like that, the magical boob whisperer spoke and she spoke my language! I do fluctuate a bit, especially with this mega slow weight loss that I am indulging in at present, but she soon had me in this 36H bra and it was spot on. Not only was it spot on, she told me how to put it on, she jiggled my boobs into the cup (note to men reading this: no, you cannot get a job as a fitter) and she explained what everything was for and should do when it comes to a bra. She made me try my dress back on over the bra to admire the shape and lift and talked about other styles that I may want to try. It was amazing, a perfect fitting experience! Of course I fully understand that Debenhams brought a top fitter with them to the event, but to have a woman like that in their company, training others is fabulous. Bra fittings should be fairly hands on and explanatory, you should come away feeling good about yourself and your size and shape, not miserable and freakish like how some places can make you feel.

Debenhams do have a fantastic range of bras. They stock their own brand, the ‘Gorgeous’ range, as well as brands like Freya and Fantasie. They recently started to stock Elomi, an amazing success for the full bust full figured brand – hey, I know someone with the body type…

Elomi are part of the Eveden group (Freya, Fantasie, Huit 8, Goddess) and their bras do fit like those brands. They cater for 34-46 bands, and D-K cups in selected styles. I used to not care much for them as their bras were a little dull and it saddened me to think of all the funky Freya bras and then the frumpy plus size range from Elomi. But they have changed things, responding to the requests from their customers to bring out some funner flirtier prettier styles and now they are an outstanding brand.




I personally cannot wait for this beauty, due out next year in the Spring/Summer collection, wowza…

Debenhams usually have damn good sales and reduced bras by the hundreds in their stores and online, and so if you haven’t checked them out I urge you to do so!
Nice work Debenhams, we can finally start to trust big high street chains stores to give us great service and options.

Bras Briefly Explained

12 Sep

The Not So Perfect Bra

6 Sep

I have posted countless posts and videos and descriptions and examples of what to look for in an well fitting bra and what a poorly fitted bra looks like. But what about when you know your size, you know how to check if your bra fits and yet still your bras cause you trouble? Here are some common complaints that I hear and see frequently.

The Straps Dig In
Sometimes the bra can be a fabulous fit; the band snug, the cups perfect, the wires flat against the torso, and still the straps still dig into the shoulders. I know that personally my straps dig in because firstly I have fleshy shoulders and not much can be done about that. And secondly, the straps should take 20% of your breast weight and 20% of my breast weight is a hell of a lot! The best way to work out if your straps are doing too much work is to slide them off your shoulders and see if your bra still stays up. You may also want to check that they are tightened to a two finger tension, and if too tight just ease up a little. If they still dig in and cause no pain or discomfort then don’t worry too much.

Back FatWe all hate back fat! And sometimes it seems we can’t win – if the bra is too loose it rides up and pushes skin and fat down, it’s it’s too tight it digs in. The thing to remember, as hard as it is, is that you need the band to be firm to support your boobs. Real, fake, big, small, a firm band helps defy gravity for longer and causes less pain and discomfort. When the bra is on make sure to adjust the band into the right position, pull it flat and smooth it round as much as possible. If you are still left with back fat then try to find bras that have multiple hooks and eyes. Never ever be fooled into thinking that a looser band will lessen back fat as it won’t, and it will also give you even more problems!

Asymmetrical BoobsNo women has two identical boobs, and whilst some are lucky enough for it to be barely noticeable, many of us struggle slightly more to make our rack look even. A lot of bras from Ewa Michalak come with removable pads that can help fill out that slightly emptier bra cup. Even simple chicken fillets will work and make you feel happier when it comes to your bust. Don’t be put off by the fact that they are usually used to enhance a bust, I know many large breasted women that swear by them.

The Central Gore Doesn’t Lie Flat
The central gore refers to the two cup wires that meet in between the breasts. On a properly fitted bra the gore should lie flat. However, even when the cup size is spot on the gore can sometimes twist and not stay put in the middle of the chest. I find that a lot of Freya bras do this on me and I have come to the conclusion that I am simply not built for them. I often find that the gore is quite wide on the bras, and the material that covers the wires is rather thick which does not work well with my boobs which are pretty close set and full in the middle. Cheryl has the opposite boob shape to me – her breasts are fairly wide set and full on the bottom and Freya are her favourite brand and work very well for her shape. As with anything we sometimes have to search to find our perfect match.

The Wires Dig In Under The Arms I hear a lot of women complain about how they hate wired bras – and when pressed as to why they often admit that the wires poke them in their armpits and cause irritation. I personally find that my Ewa Michalak bras are notorious for doing that to me, something that I fixed by bending the wires outwards very slightly. If you try this and you still experience problems then maybe, as before, you may want to try a different bra/brand. I know that Panache bras have quite long wires, whilst Eveden bra wires are shorter. Yes, it can be a pain to discover that your bra is not so perfect after a day of wear, but hopefully bending the wires out will suffice with most bras.

The Straps Fall DownEarlier I talked about the straps cutting in – but what about those straps that just won’t stay put? A lot of bras are only half adjustable which means that slimmer shouldered women can really struggle. Sometimes that straps are simply too far apart and just won’t stay up. I would recommend moving or shortening the straps in both cases which I know is a pain, especially after shelling out a lot of money on a bra. Click here for more on this topic.

Do you find that your seemingly perfect bras have that one little bugbear? Is it something I have mentioned in this post or something entirely different? Let me know in the comments.

Bra Sizes Do Not Exist Without Back Sizes

16 Aug

I’m about to show you an image that will blow your mind.

I know what you’re thinking –

“What?! How can they be over a D? They look tiny! How do you know that? It’s nonsense!”

Let me start by telling you that those bras are Curvy Kate bras and they only start at a D cup, meaning that the wearers would have to be a D or even over. And yes, you may start to entertain the idea of photoshopping but why? What makes it so hard to believe that those women have D+ breasts? After all, all a D cup is is a bust measurement that is roughly 4 inches bigger than the underbust measurement. So if, for example, those women are both 28Ds then they theoretically have 28 inch underbusts and 32 inch busts. Is that so hard to fathom?

I see and hear a lot of women talking about their bust as a letter and nothing else, something that infuriates me.

“This dress was perfect on me, and I’m a DD!”

“I don’t get how she’s a G? I’M a G!”

Here’s the thing: to label yourself solely as a letter or make assumptions about a letter is misguided. Without a back size a cup size means nothing. It would be like telling the time and only telling the minute not the hour. It’s half past…but half past what? The two pieces of information need to go hand in hand as without one the other does not make sense.

So when we see a women and she is labelled as being a “32DD”, we cannot, in our 40DD bra, scoff and say ‘But how can SHE be a DD when I am a DD?!’ – it just makes no sense. A 32DD and a 40DD have nothing in common at all apart from the fact that they both have the DD label. They are not the same size, they are just the same relative size – by that I mean the ‘DD’ is an indication of how proportionally large the bust is in comparison to the frame, NOT how large the bust is all on it’s own.

Cartoons like the above do not help with cup letter ignorance. The assumption that ALL DD cup women have huge breasts is false – as proven by my first image.

Cup size ignorance leads to ill fitting bras – women assume, for example, that they can’t be a D cup as D cups MUST be huge, and therefore they suffer in too small cups and riding back bands. Do yourself and womankind a favour and wise up about bra sizes. Don’t always put it down to ‘vanity sizing’.

Are You Wearing The Wrong Bra? By Susannah Perez

5 Aug

This next guest post is brought to you from the amazing Susannah Perez, a blogger and an experienced bra fitter who is somewhat obsessed with getting women in the correct bra size. You can follow her on Twitter here.

It’s a common misconception between women that bras are always uncomfortable, no matter what size you wear. Well, I’m part of the mission that’s working to dispel that belief. Your bra should be comfortable and if it isn’t then you’re most likely wearing the wrong size.
I can hear you crying out ‘But I’ve been the same size for years, I’ve always been a 36D!’
No you haven’t. You’ve been buying a 36D since you were 16, but that definitely does not mean that your size has stayed the same.
Your body changes shape frequently throughout your life and your breasts will naturally change along with it. Every woman’s weight fluctuates – we step up the exercise regime some months, we have lazy months, we change jobs and eating habits regularly. We go through massive changes to our bodies as well, such as carrying a child and feeding them.
Why would your breasts stay the same size and shape for years on end when your weight doesn’t?
Listen to what your body says to you. There are numerous glaring signs that you are wearing a bra that no longer fits you – signs many women often ignore, which can cause numerous medical problems for you in later life. Here are some of the warning signs you should look out for:

1. You wear the bra on the tightest hook, and can pull the back band away from your body by more than an inch. When you buy a bra, you should look for a snugness that means when you fasten it on the last (loosest) hook, you should just be able to fit four fingers under the back band. The hooks are there to accommodate for the expected stretching of the fabric as you wear the bra, so you can gradually notch it up to maintain the snugness.

  1. The back band of your bra rides up and does not sit in line with the front of your bra. If your back band likes to reside between your shoulder blades instead of in a parallel line with the rest of your bra, you need to go down a back size or two (or more – I’ve been known to take women from a supposed 36 back to a 28).
  1. The straps are as tight as you can make them; they dig into your shoulders and you still have a lack of support and lift. This is yet another sign your back band is too large. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s the back band that gives you most of the support and oomph you need – not the straps. So if your straps are so tight they’re causing you pain, try reducing your back size and looking for a design with wider straps.

4. You get back, shoulder or neck pain. If you experience any of these it’s exceptionally important to change your size, as without action it can turn into chronic pain. It is likely that you do not have enough support from the back band of your bra, and are putting far too much stress on your shoulders as the bra straps will be holding most of the weight of your boobs. Go down a back size or two, and look for a full, supportive style.

5. You get pinching or digging in from the wire poking into your under arm. This is generally a sign of needing a bigger cup, not a bigger back band. It is likely the pain is due to the cup being too small, so the wire is digging into breast tissue (which actually extends midway under you arm).

  1. Your boobs either do not stay in the cup, or you bulge out of the top of the bra. Simply go for a larger cup size, though you may need a bra with more coverage and support as well. Opt for a full cup or balconette style over plunge or push up bras.

7. Your boobs manage to peek out the bottom of your bra. This means two things: that the cup is too small which is forcing the bra to sit away from your body and also that the back band is far too large which is allowing the cup to move. Try going down at least two back sizes and up a cup size or two, after cross grading (eg. originally a 34D, -2 back sizes = 30E, +1 cup size = 30F).

  1. The wire does not sit flush against your breastplate. Even if your boobs are not sneaking out the bottom of the cup this still means the back band is not tight enough and the cup is not large enough. Try going down a back size and up a cup size.

9. When you raise your arms, your bra lifts away from your body. Your bra should stay in the same place no matter what you’re doing, and if it doesn’t it’s likely you’ll experiencing rubbing as the bra doesn’t move with you, it moves against you. Go down a back size or two.

10. Your boobs do not fill the cup properly. Only go down a cup size if you feel that there is empty space all the way around your boob (on top, under the arm and at the side). If you just have a small gap at the top, try a different cut of bra – for example avoid full cups and go for a balconette or plunge style that does not sit as high on your breast.

If you have any of these problems, I beg you, please use this advice to find a bra that fits! Get a measurement as a base, but try that size, two below and one above back band wise, and one below and one or two above cup size wise.
Don’t settle for anything that’s not perfect and make sure you have a good few star jumps around the fitting room to make sure the bra’s not moving and gives you the support you need.
Be aware that many high street fitters are trained to sell you a bra rather than give you a proper fitting session. As a rule, if they start adding anything more than one inch to your base measurement to make the number even, forget it. If they bring you a bra and don’t try to adjust the straps, pull the back band to check tightness, or get you to reach upwards, and just simply look, they’re not a properly trained fitter.
Additionally, if you’re large-cupped, small-backed or both, watch out for fitters cross-grading your size to simply try and get you into one of their bras. If you’re having issues with your 32DD bras, and have actually measured up as a 28G, trying their 32DD bras as they don’t go down to a 28G isn’t going to make a difference.
Finding the right bra can be a frustrating time and money consuming exercise, but once you find that bra your clothes will fit better, your posture will improve, your breasts will look and feel supported and you will feel confident enough to fill your underwear drawer with sexy bras.

Do you have any ill-fitting bra anecdotes, or terrible/hilarious fitting stories to share with the class?

Check out this awesome post from Boosaurus on the same matter.