Posts Tagged ‘curves and corsets’

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The Bra Band Project – 30 Bands and Below

April 10, 2012

In the US recently it was stated that women who wore a 30 bra band or below are not catered for in the lingerie industry because they are juniors…

Following this, the Bra Band project came about. Here is the aim of the project:

“Recently at the Curve Expos in both New York and Las Vegas, brands that cater to large-busted women suggested that 30 bands and under were either for juniors, or that there was no market for them.  However, that is simply not the case. There are many women out there who need 30 bands and under, and we are not all juniors.  While we come in all different shapes and sizes, we all have a small back size in common.
To prove that we are not all juniors and that we exist as a market, we have decided to create the Bra Band Project where we are looking for photos of women who wear 30 bands or under. We will make a flickr album and eventually a collage with our photos to show that we are not just juniors, but women of all shapes and sizes that need small bands.
 
We’d love your help, so please submit your own photo and band size using the form below or email it to brabandproject@gmail.com.  Note we need both your bra size and your photo. We cannot include a submission without both of those. If you are a blogger who would like to help out with this project email us at brabandproject@gmail.com.”
 
While big-busted women struggle to find bras that fit in the cup, smaller backed women also struggle to find a band that fits their back. You don’t even necessarily have to be a slim woman to have a small band, and you can be any cup size from A all the way through to K.
I’ve got UK size 14 hips, and I still wear a 30 bra band. I am not a junior, and most definitely not close to being underweight. You can be any size or any shape, and still may need a 30 bra band or below. Perhaps if more women could really see what these band sizes look like, they would be much more open-minded about trying alternative sizes. There are women out there with 26 inch backs that cannot find a bra that really fits unless it is custom-made. We need the industry to wake up and see the giant gap in the market.
 
There are many other bloggers joining in on the Bra Band Project: Boosaurus, StackDD, Braless in Brasil, Bras I hate, and By Baby’s Rules.
 
We all want to join the fight to prove that 30 bands and below ARE NEEDED. Ladies we need your pictures ASAP. Please fill in the form below or email brabandproject@gmail.com with a photo and your bra size.
 
 
If you’re unsure of your size, you may find this bra calculator helpful: Curves and Corsets Bra Calculator
 
Love
 
Sophia xxx
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Are celebrities bad bra role models?

February 20, 2012

We’ve all heard the statistic that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size, but no one really talks about why.

Countless times I’ve heard the phrase “but a DD is huge” or “a G-cup is glamour model size isn’t it?”, and often, these phrases come from women.

Both men and women need to be more bra-aware. How do cup sizes and band sizes relate to each other?
The most imporant thing to remember, is that a cup size means nothing without the band size. A 28DD and a 38DD are vastly different sizes.
The volume of a cup from a 28DD bra is equal to the volume of a 34B. If you held those two bras side by side, they would look the same size (excluding the band).

If you wear a 34E, and you find that the band is a bit loose, the next step is NOT a 32E. Each time you decrease the band size, you must increase the cup size – so a 34E with a smaller band becomes a 32F and vice versa.

DD+ cup sizes have somehow become taboo. There are jokes made about women based on bra size, and implications that if a woman over DD does not look like Christina Hendricks in the bust area, that surely she must be wrong about her size. These jokes and ignorant assumptions are so outdated, especially when there is so much more information about bra sizing available to us. Despite this, many women still insist on wearing the wrong size.

It is precisely this sort of thinking that bothers me – as I have blogged about before, Christina Hendricks is apparently something like a 38DD or 38DDD according to the media. Now whether she has confirmed this or not, I don’t know, but I don’t see why a woman in the public eye should let us believe she is a size that is actually incorrect. Frankly, that’s just being a bad role model for all the women out there unsure of their correct size. I have heard many a woman say “but I’m not as big as Christina so I can’t be over a DD”, and this really skews our perception of women’s bodies. (I speculated at the time that she was probably a 32H/32HH).

But, Christina is not the only one, she’s just a more obvious one. There are many more celebrities who really need to do a little more research to find out their correct bra size. Here are a few that come to mind:

Beyonce:

Beyonce is the ultimate independant woman, which is why this one stresses me out so much. She’s been both slimmer and curvier through the years, but always seems to be in the wrong bra size. Her gorgeous figure looks squished in that yellow bikini, and even in her very popular Best thing I never had video, she is wearing a basque where the wires are pretty much lying directly on her breast tissue; it’s even more obvious when watching the video. She is probably around a 30E.

Liz Hurley:

What can I say, Liz just never looks supported in the bust area. All her bras seem far too big in the band and small in the cup. Famously an advocate of diets and being slim, she is well known for once saying “I’d kill myself if I was as fat as Marilyn Monroe”. She claimed that having seen Marilyn’s dresses, she wanted to get out a tape measure to check the vast size. I get the feeling that as her breast size has increased over the years, she has refused to accept that she’s bustier than she once was, as quite clearly the label matters more to her than what she actually looks like; some role model.
A well fitting supportive bra could do wonders for her shape, my guess is that these days she’s more like a 30FF or 30G.

Tyra Banks:

The gorgeous model claims that she is a DD, but with what looks like a back size of about 28, it’s quite clear she’s bigger than a DD. More likely a 28GG or 30G. On the left she’s squeezed herself into a very small bra, and on the right, you can see that the band of the red bra is loose and not supporting her.
Tyra has embraced her curves as they grown over the years; I really think if Bravissimo could get their hands on her to measure, that she would be very surprised with the outcome. She could be a great role model with the correct size.

Sofia Vergara:

With roles such as Gloria in ‘Modern Family’, it’s hard to know whether Sofia creates this big cleavage-y look on purpose. I get the feeling she doesn’t know her real bra size, but I’d guess quite similar in size to Christina Hendricks. In my opinion, Sofia looks to be a 30HH, but most likely if she wore her correct size, she wouldn’t have her beloved chin-high cleavage effect.

Kelly Brook:

The bra on the left has a band that is far too loose, not giving her any lift or support. On the right, it’s a cup that is far too small, cutting into her breast tissue on the side (I’m certain that minus the airbrushing on that one, it would be far more obvious). I’d put Kelly at a 28H, possibly 30GG.

Katherine Heigl:

Katherine Heigl

Gorgeous, but often wearing a bra or bikini that is a few sizes too small. I’d put her as a 30F/30FF or similar.

The fact is, whether these women know it or not, they are putting out a really distorted idea of breast sizes. It’s no wonder 80% of women don’t know their own bra size, because these are the sort of references we have.

Take a look at the following picture of D/DD sized women, with varying band sizes:

D-DD Cup Sizes

And next, a picture of G/GG sized women with varying band sizes (65 = UK 30 and 70 =UK 32).

G-GG Cup Sizes

It just goes to show that you cannot estimate a cup size without estimating the band size too. There are far more sizes out there than A-DD, and we all need to be more bra-aware.

If you think you are wearing the wrong size, try putting your measurements in Curves and Corsets bra calculator (the most accurate one I have come across) and see what you get: Bra Calculator

A great place to go and get measured professionally, is Bravissimo, I highly recommended them for both the fit and service.

Love

Sophia xxx

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Are you wearing the correct bra size?

June 18, 2011

Most ladies are already aware that it is really important to make sure you wear the correct bra size – however, this does not mean everyone necessarily is.
Wearing the wrong size can damage your back and posture, it can change the shape of your breasts, not to mention make you look bigger than you really are (and I don’t just mean around your bust…)

Bravissimo Campaign

80% of women are wearing the incorrect bra size, and it’s not even necessarily their fault.
DD+ sizes just are not talked about in the media. They are largely ignored, and sometimes considered ridiculously ‘big’ sizes because they haven’t been openly discussed; people are not quite aware of how common these sizes really are.
I know a few years ago, I myself wouldn’t have even thought that there was anything beyond an E cup – that was the biggest I had come across. I didn’t have busty friends, or female family members to ask, and there was no one to tell me that the 34DD I was wearing was completely wrong for me in every way.

One day I got so fed up of being in pain, and feeling uncomfortable in my bras, that I agreed to a fitting at La Senza. The woman there was quite hard on me for wearing a bra that was “so clearly the wrong size”, going on to say that my breasts were becoming deformed because of all the ‘sideboob’ squishing out – she wasn’t wrong, but she wasn’t nice about it either!
She decided (without a measuring tape) that I was a 34F and that’s what I should wear from then on. So, I did.

Wrong.

I was probably a 32FF at the time. The problem is, that if a professional bra fitter tells you “this is your size” and you don’t know any better, then that’s what you will wear.
Nowadays, I know immediately if my breasts are changing and whether I need to increase/decrease my bra size; I’m currently a 30GG-32G, and so clued up about my sizing, I wonder how on earth I didn’t see it all through my teens and early 20s.

So, I thought I’d give a few tips on how a correctly fitting bra should look, and what to avoid.

First of all, tape measures are unreliable. BUT, if you have no clue where to start, I would recommend using one just to measure your underbust. Say for example you measure 31″ underbust; that gives a pretty good indication that you should try both a 30 band and a 32 band, and see which one fits you the best. It is important to note that both band size and cup size can vary depending on which brand you wear. As for finding the right cup size, try a few around what you already wear, and you may discover that some seem far more comfortable than others.
When you become familiar with your size and shape, you will probably have no real use for a tape measure. You will know instantly by the fit and feel whether a bra is right or wrong for you.

I will be using this gorgeous Curvy Kate bra as my ‘correct’ example of how a bra should fit. It’s new, today, this is the first time I have worn it. I measure 30.5″ underbust, and this is a 32G. Remember, it’s important to try a few of the closest band sizes to your measurements to find the best one.

Curvy Kate ‘Emily’ Flame – 32G

The first thing to remember is that you should always start off using the loosest hook. Bras loosen with wear and age, so you need those other two sets of hooks to be able to tighten it up over time. Otherwise, within a few months your bra will become useless and unsupportive.

Horizontal bra band – doesn’t ride up your back, fully supportive

You should comfortably be able to fit two fingers underneath the band; any looser and it will be too big, any tighter and it will be too small. If you stand side-on, the band should run horizontally around your chest, and not ride up at the back.

Check that two fingers can fit comfortably under your bra band

The band is 80% of the support for your breasts, this means the straps should not be tight on your shoulders. Again, you should be able to fit two fingers under the shoulder straps – they should not be digging in or causing you pain.

Enough space for two fingers to fit under your shoulder straps

The centre gore (which is the join piece in the middle of your bra), should lie flat against your chest, and not pull away from it at any point. If it does pull away, then you need a bigger cup size.

The centre gore should lie flat against your chest

The cups should fully encase your breasts, and there should be NO overspill on top, (creating the four boob effect), or round the sides (giving you the ‘sideboob’ effect). Most women will have one breast slightly larger than the other, like me.
If this is the case, it’s best to make sure the bra fits your biggest breast, not the smallest. If you have a noticeable difference that you’re not comfortable with, there are lots of breast fillet products that can placed inside the cup to even them out.

Your breasts should be fully encased in the cup, with no overspill on top or around the sides

What to avoid:

These are the same sort of examples, but wearing the ‘wrong’ bra, to show you what it shouldn’t look like.

If your back band is riding up all the time – this means you need a smaller band size, and you current one is not supportive enough; your shoulders will be feeling the effects.

Band riding up indicates you need a smaller band size

If the band feels tight instead, and is causing you pain – this means you need to try a bigger band size.

If the centre gore pulls away from your chest, then you will need to go up a cup size so it lies flat.

Centre gore pulling away – bigger cup size needed

The same goes for breast over spill on the top (or underneath) of the bra, and also what I like to call ‘sideboob’, where breast tissue spills out of the sides of your bra – this again means your cup size is too small.

Over spill and ‘sideboob’ indicate a bigger cup size is needed

If instead, you find you have excess material in the cups – this means you need a smaller cup size.

Don’t forget, when you put a bra on, you should ‘arrange’ your breasts inside them so they are properly encased. This is the best way to tell if a bra fits you or not.

The most common mistake is wearing a band size too big, and a cup size too small.
If you have just discovered you are wearing the incorrect band size, and you need to downsize, remember that you must increase your cup size too. For example, if you have been wearing a 34DD that’s too big in the band, you would be a 32E or a 30F. Even then, if your original 34DD was small in the cup, you may still need to go up a few more cup sizes, and vice versa.

If you want to get measured professionally, I would recommend heading into a Bravissimo store – they are the most accurate fitters I have come across.
If you also want to buy a new bra to try some alternative sizes, I recommend having a browse on Brastop, they do some great deals on gorgeous Lingerie.

If you want to check your measurements online, the most accurate bra calculator I have come across is here: Butterfly Collection Bra Size Calculator
It may not be perfectly accurate, it was for me, but of course it depends on the person. Give it a try anyway.

If you have any questions, or concerns that I haven’t addressed here, please feel free to ask me. Between me and my blogging bra friends, we can probably work out what the issue is.

Love

Sophia xxx

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