(“Bras, Bras, Bras” to be whined in an intonation similar to the infamous “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”)
Sometimes I wonder if the bra I wear most is as supportive as they feel or if I’m just really used to them—in fact, I think a lot of bra comfort has to do with what you’re used to and what you look for in a bra. I want it to hold up my boobs, mainly, and to also provide some separation and definition. I’m not a fan of minimizers for daily wear. I generally find soft cups either don’t provide enough support for me OR they use way too much compression. (I do find a cotton soft cup with compression is great for exercising. Not so great for work. But that’s me.)
The bra I’ve been using for years is the Lilyette Women’s Maximum Support #908 (thru 44DDD) which is also known as Cortland Full Figure Underwire (thru 52DDD). Usually I find these for $24-$34. However, they have gotten harder to find. The local Macy’s and Nordstrom’s quit carrying them; the local Catherine’s sometimes has them but only in soft cup, which I always feel I’m drooping out of.
I’ve been wearing these in both 46DDD and 44DDD, depending on time of the month, but the 46DDD are becoming bigger (or I’m slightly smaller) and moves around too much. Meanwhile the 44DDDs are older and very worn. I also tend to adjust them to make them fit — often bending the underwires inward toward the breastbone, or removing the stays on either side.
So I’ve been trying some new bras. In particular, I’ve been looking into larger cup sizes. The Elomi Jasmine underwire full coverage bra I initially found at Nordstrom’s in 44G. The band is tight, yes, but the underwires are right against my breastbone in front, and the girls feel lighter somehow. Thrilled, I bought 2. At first it was great for the first few hours, a bit tight/weird for the next 3-4 hours, and then uncomfortable after that. I have to keep my torso straighter in this bra; I would not attempt yoga in it, and the underwires do come right up to my armpits. Now, well, either the band’s stretched a bit or I’m getting more used to it, but it’s much more comfortable — at least for the first 10 hours.
The Elomis are priced at $54 though, which, ow.
Again, I’m not sure how much of the comfort/discomfort is about what I’m used to and how much is the bra itself. But I wanted to try a few others. I’d given up on Lane Bryant for bras, but I’d heard on the Fatshionista LJ group that Lane Bryant does have larger-cup bras in their Cacique stores, and there is one in the greater Seattle area. So I ventured south to Tukwila and tried some, eventually purchasing a Cacique (LB) Lace full coverage bra with seamless cups in 46DDD that felt great the first hour or so … and then I felt like my boobs were falling out, as in, the cups are smoothing but not supportive. Tightening the band and straps didn’t help. Also, a month had gone by, too–a month in which I began working out more frequently. My 46DDD Lilyettes are looser too. So I got a 44DDD (in blue!) a few weeks ago. The band was a little tight but the cup fit was excellent…
I thought …
Until yesterday, when again, I felt like the cups weren’t, um, there. Or not there enough. Then, about 4:30, I looked down to see a white-tipped underwire poking out between the buttons on my blouse.
Head, meet desk. Only no, don’t, not sure what that would do to the underwire. I adjusted my blouse to cover the wire, went to the women’s room, undressed in the stall, and poked the underwire back into place. Then I went home to change.
So now I get to decide if I want to try to return a two-week old bra that has been worn 3 or 4 times. Without receipt. Or if I want to sew the underwire’s “doorway” closed, and perhaps only wear it to be seen in. (AKA a “date bra”).
Also, in the meantime? My 46DDD Lilyettes are looser yet, to the point where the stay on the left-hand side (I lean to the left when mousing) has actually scraped some of my skin off last week. I wore exercise bras all weekend to help with healing. Today I’m wearing an Elomi bra, which fits snugly and doesn’t have side stays.
And I think I’ll be getting more of the 44DDD Lilyettes.