Before we get too excited and into our reviews, we decided it would be a good idea to share our breast-related stories with you. As you’ve probably already gathered, I am Sian, the one with the big cups.
I was known throughout school as this by a lot of people (sadly!). For a bit of further explanation, before my teen years, I was taunted for being a ‘surfboard’ – ie. as flat as a board and beanstalk-like. Apparently overnight I went from a 32AA to a 32DD and also developed hips to match; this understandably gave people quite a shock. I have not always been proud of my somewhat curvaceous figure, suffering with body image issues during my teens, but I have now come to realise that I have a somewhat enviable figure to some (even though it may not always seem to be so to me!) with big boobs, small waist and balanced hips.
Unfortunately, the big breasts/small back world is somewhat limited; there are very few brands that bring these sizes to the masses. So I’ll take you on my journey through the bra fitting world to find my true size.
My first bra fitting was aged around 13 in M&S – 32AA. I was at this time still a skinny little thing, so was more likely to have been something like a 26B, but we’ll get into that in later posts! Over the next couple of years, I slowly moved my way up through 32As to 32Bs and settled into 34Cs. Now I know these weren’t fitting right – I remember the feeling of the band being up around my shoulder blades and the cups, well, not covering everything. There was a lot of tugging, a lot of straps falling down and a lot of discomfort!
Second bra fitting, probably aged around 15, again in M&S: 34D. I had not got significantly broader around my ribcage than that first fitting of 32AA, but that’s what I accepted. I settled myself into 34Ds, with the occasional 32D. I knew a bit about sister sizes, but still thought the +4 method was the way to go, simply because it’s all I’d ever heard of from magazines etc. I also thought that cups didn’t go bigger than a DD – just because above that seemed huge and was for ‘bigger’ people than my small frame.
Around 16 I lost quite a bit of weight due to my body issues at the time, and here I nearly hit on a much better true bra size than what I was wearing. I picked up a few 30Es and even a 28F from La Senza. At the time, I estimate I was most likely a 26FF, but as far as I knew, these did not exist (and still barely do – we’ll get into this later too). But once I regained that weight, I was back to my old 32Ds.
Third bra fitting, aged around 19 in Debenhams. I’d been wearing 32DDs and 34Ds for some time now, thinking that people with breasts of my size were not meant to be comfortable – it was just something you put up with if your boobs were big. The woman in there took one look at me, asked the size I was wearing (32DD) and told me I was a 30F.
Initially I was shocked and a little bit angry. I saw no sign of a tape measure, and she didn’t even come inside the fitting room, just stuck her head round the corner. The service could have been better – especially after she brought me the granniest bra I’d ever seen (I still don’t know what it was, but it was cream, full cup and lacy) and told me it was my only option because it was the only 30F they sold. I took this to mean: you are a weird human being and no one sells your size. I didn’t buy that bra. But I did go home and do some research.
The first ‘large cup/small back’ company I stumbled upon was Curvy Kate. I was already running my style blog at this point, so I sent them an email explaining the fitting service I’d had and asking what they recommended. They very kindly offered me a bra to try – that was the Princess in hot pink which I reviewed here (and will re-review here soon!) in a 30F and I was amazed to discover it fit perfectly. And I’ve never looked back.
I now know this: your measurement around your underbust generally equals your band size. DO NOT ADD 4! Obviously it’s not the same for everyone, but it’s a good starting point. My underbust measurement currently sits at around 27in meaning a 28 band fits me just about right. Unfortunately, some bands (ahem, Freya) run bigger than their supposed band measurement, meaning that I could do with smaller than a 28 band occasionally. I currently wear a 28G with a few 28FFs and the occasional 30FF or 30F when the brand doesn’t manufacture 28 bands and I really want it.
No doubt about it: I will be campaigning here for you to find the right bra size. I hope that at least a few people will come across this blog and think maybe they should rethink what they’re wearing too. Hence, my mission to convert Charley….