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Underbust Survey

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Old 02-03-2012, 06:06 AM   #1
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Ok, probably many of you on here know that I'm really an advocate for getting well-fitting bras, especially after (and during!) weight loss. It can do so much for a woman in terms of self-confidence, support, and can help to avoid back/shoulder/arm pain.

Because of that I created the Underbust Survey and I'm really hoping that the ladies on here can take a minute out of their time to fill it out. There are only 5 simple questions that are required (although I'd love it if you were able to fill out the rest too! The result of which I'll be posting on my blog at the beginning of March and I will also be sending them to lingerie companies to point out what sizes are needed vs. what they are actually selling to us.

The results are 100% anonymous (I don't ask for an email address, I can't see your location or anything) and I really am hoping to get ladies of ALL shapes and sizes to participate to get an accurate representation of the population. If you have any questions/suggestions let me know! Also, if you have any friends who you think would take it too, please pass it on.
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Starting Measurements (B/W/H): about 51/40/46, 240 lbs Goal Reached Pre-Pregnancy: 39/29.5/38, 156lbs Current: about 43/34/42
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:39 AM   #2
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(((running))) - hey girl. Guess what? I came here this morning looking specifically for you. I was going to respond to our last conversation. I measured and I am a 35 under bust "band" size. I know it doesn't exist. So either I'm 34 or 36. Currently, I'm wearing an oldie (older but not really that worn out) which is a 38, and it is on the 3rd hook. D cup. I totally fit into the cup and the "lift" is better than some of my larger now-ill fitting bras (which may have been ill fitting all along...I don't have a clue), but the issue is, if I tighten up the bra straps, the entire back of the bra slides up my back while the heaviness of the girls still pulls the them down. Now I don't know why some people think my boobs ought to rest somewhere under my chin (which always makes me nuts when people have the nerve to comment that my boobs are hanging low.....and trust me, people comment) and I reply....where the heck should the be--on my shoulders?

My boobs are "long". They were always large and I'm sure when I was a young girl - pre-motherhood - they still weren't up high and pointing towards heaven. Also, if you look at a body builder, his nipples aren't in the center of his pec - they are towards the bottom of his pec. Thus, my nipples are in the right place, and my boobs are where my boobs are meant to be. Even tho they're a bit national geographic due to gravity and age!

Anyhow, I have planned to take your advice and bra shop. I will try on 34 and 36. My current drawer full ranges from 38s to 42s, but all are D cup. I will try on larger cups and see how that works out. I plan to camp out in the lingerie department for the day.

Thanks friend.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:26 PM   #3
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Interesting! It's neat that you are doing that.
There is so much mis-information out there about bra sizing
I kind of just had to try a bunch on and see what fit best. Even with the "right" size there is so much variability between brands ...
(32" underbust, 36" max, best fit I have found is a 34C but it is padded/pushup - that's what that Polish bra-fitting calculator said I would be, so that is encouraging)
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:52 PM   #4
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Bad bra fitting is a pet peeve of mine, for sure - almost as much as most specialty bra stores STILL not offering 24 and 26 bands, as though many thin women don't have ribcages smaller than 28 inches :roll:
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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And I must say I really enjoy your blog, Venusian Glow, and FullerFigureFullerBust - they're some of my favorite bra blogs and desperately needed!
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Last edited by Arctic Mama : 02-03-2012 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 124chicksinger View Post
but the issue is, if I tighten up the bra straps, the entire back of the bra slides up my back while the heaviness of the girls still pulls the them down. Now I don't know why some people think my boobs ought to rest somewhere under my chin (which always makes me nuts when people have the nerve to comment that my boobs are hanging low.....and trust me, people comment) and I reply....where the heck should the be--on my shoulders?

My boobs are "long". They were always large and I'm sure when I was a young girl - pre-motherhood - they still weren't up high and pointing towards heaven. Also, if you look at a body builder, his nipples aren't in the center of his pec - they are towards the bottom of his pec. Thus, my nipples are in the right place, and my boobs are where my boobs are meant to be. Even tho they're a bit national geographic due to gravity and age!

Anyhow, I have planned to take your advice and bra shop. I will try on 34 and 36. My current drawer full ranges from 38s to 42s, but all are D cup. I will try on larger cups and see how that works out. I plan to camp out in the lingerie department for the day.

Thanks friend.

Hey, so with the bra strap riding up it's because the band is too big so it doesn't sit flat. When you're tightening the straps that it pulls the band up and your breasts sit lower up front. If you had a tighter band than your breasts will actually sit quite a bit higher. One of the reasons that you want to have your breasts sit higher (and your band to sit lower) is where it puts pressure on your back. It's better to have the pressure lower on your back, otherwise you're going to feel it more between your shoulder blades and are more at risk for back pain (something I experience almost immediately if my bands start getting to big ).

As for having long breast, me too. Some bras are going to fit you better because of that. Look for bras with narrow wires and deeper cups (Freya, Fantasie, Bravissimo, and Ewa Michalak bras are all known for having narrower, deeper cups and I've tried all but Bravissimo at this point and agree).

Good luck with trying on bras!!! I really hope you find something that works for you and is comfortable!!!
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Starting Measurements (B/W/H): about 51/40/46, 240 lbs Goal Reached Pre-Pregnancy: 39/29.5/38, 156lbs Current: about 43/34/42
Mini-Goals
Started at 240
Onederland 199 (Jan 6, 2010, exactly 2 years after my previous due date!)
Overweight BMI 185 (Aug 3, 2011, one year after joining 3FC!)
Pre-pregnancy weight 175 (Oct 18, 2011)
Called Goal 156

My Bras, Fashion, and Weight Loss Blog
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:56 AM   #7
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EmmaD- There certainly IS a lot of variability between brands, it's extremely frustrating! There are actually a few independent bra makers that have started to go back to the old stiff bands, which means you really would need to add 4 inches (although I seriously want to try one of these because I suspect that stretchy bands are not the wisest thing for women with large busts).

Ultimately it definitely takes some experimenting (and reading reviews). At the moment I own mostly 30'S (but just ordered some 28's because my 30's are too big). However, I have a suit in 32G and it still fits perfectly.
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Starting Measurements (B/W/H): about 51/40/46, 240 lbs Goal Reached Pre-Pregnancy: 39/29.5/38, 156lbs Current: about 43/34/42
Mini-Goals
Started at 240
Onederland 199 (Jan 6, 2010, exactly 2 years after my previous due date!)
Overweight BMI 185 (Aug 3, 2011, one year after joining 3FC!)
Pre-pregnancy weight 175 (Oct 18, 2011)
Called Goal 156

My Bras, Fashion, and Weight Loss Blog
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:02 AM   #8
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Arctic Mama- I know of two brands who now offer 26 bands:

The Big Bra Bar has just come out with a 26 band bra in a few limited sizes: http://www.thebigbrabar.com/index.ph...ming-soon.html and will add more if it sells well

Also Ewa Michalak will make custom orders down to 26's.

So far in my survey I'm finding A LOT of women do need 24's and 26's. Some actually need smaller than that!

Also, I'm glad you liked my blog and the others too.
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Starting Measurements (B/W/H): about 51/40/46, 240 lbs Goal Reached Pre-Pregnancy: 39/29.5/38, 156lbs Current: about 43/34/42
Mini-Goals
Started at 240
Onederland 199 (Jan 6, 2010, exactly 2 years after my previous due date!)
Overweight BMI 185 (Aug 3, 2011, one year after joining 3FC!)
Pre-pregnancy weight 175 (Oct 18, 2011)
Called Goal 156

My Bras, Fashion, and Weight Loss Blog
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:20 PM   #9
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That's why it bothers me so much - I am a US 34I these days, I can find bras online without much issue. But knowing how many women need smaller bands than what is made, and they're not even all that unusually shaped? Where is the industry's head on this? It's a money maker for them to target that demographic and so few do it!
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:05 AM   #10
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OK, so my under-measure is 37 and across the fullest part of my chest is 42. I wear a 38D in molded cups. Although at Macy's they wanted to put me in 40C and it didn't work for me at all. I've tried on 38Cs also, and to be honest my boobs need a 38C in a soft cup bra or the cups pucker. The fit smoothly in a 38D molded when I am standing up.


According to that Polish bra calculator, I should be a 38DD. That would be too big for me.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #11
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OK, so my under-measure is 37 and across the fullest part of my chest is 42. I wear a 38D in molded cups. Although at Macy's they wanted to put me in 40C and it didn't work for me at all. I've tried on 38Cs also, and to be honest my boobs need a 38C in a soft cup bra or the cups pucker. The fit smoothly in a 38D molded when I am standing up.


According to that Polish bra calculator, I should be a 38DD. That would be too big for me.
That's why trying on bras is so important. The shape of your breasts, their fullness etc can affect what size you need. My measurements are:
Bust: 39-40"
Underbust: 29"

That means a calculator would tell me that if my bust is 39" I'm between a: 28H/30GG and if it's 40": 28HH/30H (remembering that the volume of the cup in a 28HH=30H and ditto for 28H=30GG). However, in reality I need a 28HH because all 30's fit too large (I've tried various brands) and 28H's give me serious four boob. I imagine in some styles I even need to go up to a 28J. However, if someone asks me to give a number I say 28HH but there's always the caveat that I need to try on bras first to know for sure in that brand and that particular style. Even though my bust has been measuring 39" there's no way a 28H/30H comes close at the moment (I even have a 30H at home that I check on occasion to make sure) so that means I need to go up 1-2 cup sizes from what's recommended.

All those calculators can do is give you a good starting point (sounds like BMI, right? ) and from there you have to deal with variations between brands. Some brands might not fit you all together because the wires could be too wide or too narrow. Unfortunately, these things can take a lot of experimentation.

I will say, though, that finding the right band size is definitely the first step. Otherwise it's nearly impossible to find the correct cup size. For instance, that 30H that still gives me the four boob effect? Well, if I don't put the strap on the tightest hook it looks fine, BUT it gives me major back pain after just an hour of wear. So without the correct band size your cup size might be off but you're not able to see it.
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Starting Measurements (B/W/H): about 51/40/46, 240 lbs Goal Reached Pre-Pregnancy: 39/29.5/38, 156lbs Current: about 43/34/42
Mini-Goals
Started at 240
Onederland 199 (Jan 6, 2010, exactly 2 years after my previous due date!)
Overweight BMI 185 (Aug 3, 2011, one year after joining 3FC!)
Pre-pregnancy weight 175 (Oct 18, 2011)
Called Goal 156

My Bras, Fashion, and Weight Loss Blog
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:42 AM   #12
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That's why it bothers me so much - I am a US 34I these days, I can find bras online without much issue. But knowing how many women need smaller bands than what is made, and they're not even all that unusually shaped? Where is the industry's head on this? It's a money maker for them to target that demographic and so few do it!
I honestly don't know. The more results I get back from this survey the more obvious it becomes that the sizes available are WAY off compared to what women need. For instance, I have not had ONE WOMEN respond that she has an underbust of 40" or over (and I have respondents with BMI's well over 35). Yet, if you go to Lane Bryant you can be hard pressed to find a bra that comes in a 38 band, let alone a 36!

ETA: I take that back I do have one respondent with an underbust over 40". If any women do have larger underbusts and are reading this please do my survey so I can continue to update the states.
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Starting Measurements (B/W/H): about 51/40/46, 240 lbs Goal Reached Pre-Pregnancy: 39/29.5/38, 156lbs Current: about 43/34/42
Mini-Goals
Started at 240
Onederland 199 (Jan 6, 2010, exactly 2 years after my previous due date!)
Overweight BMI 185 (Aug 3, 2011, one year after joining 3FC!)
Pre-pregnancy weight 175 (Oct 18, 2011)
Called Goal 156

My Bras, Fashion, and Weight Loss Blog

Last edited by runningfromfat : 02-06-2012 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:59 AM   #13
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Even when I was at a BMI of 36+ I don't think I ever went higher than a 40 band.

I think it's crazy how those bigger sizes are readily available when there's probably a higher need for the smaller size bands. I have a 30" underbust and there are many, many women who are more petite than I am. I've noticed that some of them have their bra bands riding up so far in the back that they must be getting no support from their bras. Personally that would drive me crazy.

I have seen 30 bands in stores, but only 30As in the training bra section. 32s I've only seen to go up to A or B cups! When I was a 34D that was hard to find in a regular ole department store! I wonder why there's this assumption that smaller band=smaller boobs.

I'm sort of thinking I might need to go a cup higher than calculators indicate too. As much as I love the Panache bra I ordered, I think the next cup size would be better. So, a 30FF. Good thing the other bras I ordered are 30FFs.

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Old 02-06-2012, 11:06 AM   #14
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Even when I was at a BMI of 36+ I don't think I ever went higher than a 40 band.

I think it's crazy how those bigger sizes are readily available when there's probably a higher need for the smaller size bands. I have a 30" underbust and there are many, many women who are more petite than I am. I've noticed that some of them have their bra bands riding up so far in the back that they must be getting no support from their bras. Personally that would drive me crazy.

I have seen 30 bands in stores, but only 30As in the training bra section. 32s I've only seen to go up to A or B cups! When I was a 34D that was hard to find in a regular ole department store! I wonder why there's this assumption that smaller band=smaller boobs.

I'm sort of thinking I might need to go a cup higher than calculators indicate too. As much as I love the Panache bra I ordered, I think the next cup size would be better. So, a 30FF. Good thing the other bras I ordered are 30FFs.
So I changed my original response. I do have one respondent with an underbust over 40". However, that's still one person and I have a significant number of respondents in the overweight/obese category so it really has me scratching my head why Lane Bryant isn't carrying smaller band sizes.

Good luck going up a cup size! At least you got a good starting point and now hopefully the other ones will be an even better fit.
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Starting Measurements (B/W/H): about 51/40/46, 240 lbs Goal Reached Pre-Pregnancy: 39/29.5/38, 156lbs Current: about 43/34/42
Mini-Goals
Started at 240
Onederland 199 (Jan 6, 2010, exactly 2 years after my previous due date!)
Overweight BMI 185 (Aug 3, 2011, one year after joining 3FC!)
Pre-pregnancy weight 175 (Oct 18, 2011)
Called Goal 156

My Bras, Fashion, and Weight Loss Blog
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:04 PM   #15
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Hi, I had to read this thread as I have a terrible time finding bras! Unfortunately, I'm having problems at the opposite end of the scale. Having just restarted my weight-loss battle after regaining a lot of what I had lost, I did the survey to give you some data for those with band size over 40".

I'm amazed at the bra size that the Polish bra-fitting calculator said I should wear. At 44" under-bust and 51" at the largest, the calculator says I would be wearing a US 44H!! Right now, I'm wearing a 44 C and it's a very small C as I've been trying on bras for months now and most of the 44B's are so big I can fit both boobs into one cup!! Quite frequently I have to just get simple stretchy athletic bras (you know the kind that just kinda squish you but have very little support). I'm hoping that as I lose weight the search for a bra gets a little easier, but even when I was down at 190 pounds, I had trouble finding bras with my band size that had cups small enough
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