Friday, February 22, 2013

Bra Fitting Resources Roundup

So, you want to figure out your correct bra size - but you're having a bit of difficulty knowing where to start. Or, you know what your approximate size is, but you want to learn more about sizing, bra care, and styles/brands. Feeling lost? Have no fear! The wonderful world of correctly-fitting bras is at your fingertips! There are SO many great resources out there, but below is a roundup of some of the basics.

Good Bra Calculators:
The quickest, easiest way to determine your "starting point" bra size. [note - these may not be as accurate for very small busts. See Bra Fitting Guides below]

"Bras 101" Guides:
These comprehensive guides take the calculators to the next level, explaining how to measure as well as pointing out some exceptions that may crop up, giving tips on correct fit and how to wear bras, noting various good brands and styles, and more! Check out the "Bra Fitting" tab at the top of this page, too ;)

Online Fittings:
A great option for those wanting to get an accurate fitting or fitting/sizing advice from an expert without having to leave home

Online Resources/Forums
Great places to get general various information, research different brands, and (anonymously) ask questions about sizing, measuring, bra styles, and more

In-Store Fittings (U.S. Specific):
I actually don't really recommend relying solely on store fittings to determine your size - at the very least, measure yourself before going to get an idea - but the below U.S. stores usually have a good range of sizes available and often have reasonably good fitters
Have more resources to add or questions to ask? Feel free to share in the comments!

The rest of this month's roundup posts:
Smaller-Bust Bra Blogger Roundup
Larger-Band Bra Blogger Roundup
Nursing and Maternity Bra Blogger Roundup

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Honey Babydoll Review [Guest Post by Erin]

Today's guest post is from Blog Contest Winner Emily! She gives a review of the Honey Babydoll, provided by Parfait by Affinitas. Emily was clever enough to figure out an everyday use for this simply lovely piece of lingerie as well!

If you'd like to keep up on the newest collections and news from Affinitas, you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter :)

I received the Honey Babydoll as a prize from Boosaurus' dream bra writing contest (yay!). I'd been eyeing it for quite some time but held off on buying it as it is definitely not an everyday item for me. Needless to say, winning it was a real treat.

The customer service from Affinitas was great - it took just under a week for the babydoll to get here. When it finally arrived, it was just as pretty as I'd hoped. The lace is eye catching and looks utterly fantastic on the frilly straps. Normally I wear a size 28FF/G, but since Parfait doesn't make 28's, I ordered a size 30FF. It fits pretty well. In this case, the 30 band is just fine on my 27" ribcage. The band fits snugly enough on the first hook, but best on the tightest. Since it's not an everyday bra, I'm not too concerned about it being less tight than I prefer. It also fastens with three hooks, which was a first for me, and shockingly comfortable.  As far as the cups go, the shape is a bit off for me. The cups are too tall and too wide, and the straps are set too far apart for my narrow frame, so I experienced a bit of rubbing in my armpits. There is also a tiny gap under the strap. This makes me think a 28 band would be better in this style. Sizing down to a 30F could help, but I think the cups would not have enough depth in that size.

However, these fit issues were not enough to deter me from flouncing about the house in my underwear when my roommates were gone. For a few hours wear (for me), the babydoll is delightful. The shape it gives is lovely: rounded, but not overly so. The skirt part is soft and floaty, and I feel like a dreamy pixie while wearing it.

As far as functionality goes, it would be fantastic under dresses that don't have too low of a neckline. The center gore is a bit high for super plunge-y dresses, but it fit just fine under my Urkye Skolowana dress. As for other outfits, I've been wanting to try the "underwear as outerwear" trend, so I came up with this. The shirt is my Urkye Kokarda top (in a 36o/oo), with the babydoll underneath, over skinny jeans. I wore it around the house for a while and really enjoyed it. It's a bit too cold where I live for this one to make an appearance for a few months, but I might try it once the weather warms up.

Again, thanks so much to Boosaurus!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Nursing and Maternity Bra Blogger Roundup

This week's roundup is a collection of bra bloggers who've blogged about their experiences during pregnancy (posts include nursing/maternity bra and clothing reviews, tips on bra fitting while pregnant and nursing, discussion about body/breast changes, and more!). It can be tough finding good bra-related pregnancy resources if you don't know where to look, so hopefully this will be a helpful list for new moms needing bra-related advice. :)

Stack DD+
Sarah has quite a range of awesome posts on bra fitting for pregnant moms, nursing bra reviews, body changes, clothing reviews, and more! She's currently on a a blogging maternity leave (babies can keep one busy, I hear), but her pregnancy-related posts start around February 2012 - she's helpfully posted a roundup of most of her pregnancy-related posts all on one page.

Image and Bravissimo Tank Top Review from StackDD+
By Baby's Rules
By Baby's Rules blogs from a more unique perspective as a woman going through pregnancy/nursing with breast implants. Her pregnancy/maternity-related posts start in April 2012. In her posts, she not only takes into account the special considerations that apply to women with implants, but also includes bra reviews, body changes, breastfeeding, and more.
Image and Ahh Bra Review from By Baby's Rules
Braless in Brasil
June is currently blogging about her pregnancy - her related posts start in November 2012. She has a great mix of bra reviews and thoughts on body/breast changes so far!

Image and Fantasie Kara Bra Review (30J) from Braless  in Brasil

Various informative posts geared towards the bra side of pregnancy/nursing/maternity:

VenusianGlow has a great brief-but-comprehensive post on (Almost) Everything about maternity bras and supporting your breasts during pregnancy and nursing

Guest poster Patricia gives a great series on StackDD+: Top Nursing Bras and Tips for the Already Endowed Mama - part 1part 2part 3part 4

Breast Changes and Care during Pregnancy and Nursing - very detailed and helpful post from VenusianGlow

Guest poster April gives her advice on things to consider when shopping for nursing bras

Venusian Glow challenges readers to Break out of the Maternity Bra Matrix, and discusses some common (and sometimes harmful) Maternity Bra Myths

Rachel and Jess share their tips and experiences in "New Moms and their New Boobs"

DIY: How to transform a regular bra into a nursing bra, from Venusian Glow

Erica of A Sophisticated Pair talks about Nursing Bras: When to Buy Them

What to look for in a Maternity and Nursing Bra, as well as some Brand and Model Recommendations, from VenusianGlow

Georgina of FullerFigureFullerBust hosted a series of guest posts called the Mummy Monologues on her blog, where readers contributed their pregnancy/nursing stories and experiences

Dbusted (Australian, so note that a 12GG = 34GG) posts on her struggles in finding the correct size and getting correctly fitted in store,

Sophia Jenner posts some tank top and fitting suggestions in her post on "What to do about that ever expanding bust?"

Darlene of Hourglassy points full-chested moms to a few good resources, including a nursing bra top review

Although she isn't pregnant, CurvyWordy has tried out and reviewed several nursing/maternity bras as sleep bras (Royce Jasmine, Emma Jane Maternity)

The fitting guide from Breakout Bras has some good advice on nursing/maternity bras near the end (and great fitting advice throughout!)

Got other resources or bloggers to point out? Have questions about maternity/nursing bras or anything related? Feel free to share!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Larger-Band Bra Blogger Roundup

It's time for another bra blogger roundup! This time, I'm focusing on bra bloggers who wear and review bras on the higher end of the band spectrum.

To start off with, I want to say that the term "larger band", just like "smaller bust", is a fairly fluid one. What really makes someone "smaller busted", or "larger banded", or "larger busted", or "plus sized", anyway?

It's like the "What are small cups?" issue that I wrestled with before posting last Friday's roundup. Does "small cups" mean just the AAA-A range, as is often assumed by mainstream manufacturers? Or is it more in the DD-and-under cup range (basically, women who have 5" or less difference between their bust and underbust measurements)? How does band size factor in (remembering that a 38C is about equal in cup volume to a 30F, and a 28D to a 34A)? I feel like there's no one real answer, and I mostly based last week's list off of those bloggers who identified themselves as "smaller busted".

In regards to the "what is a large band size, exactly" question, Nicole of FussyBusty had some good thoughts in her recent blog post "Breaking Up the Sizes" (and there's some good discussion in the comments, as well). I would personally tend towards picking 38 bands as the "cut off" for "larger bands", since many brands and styles stop at a 38 or 40 band, which forces 38+ band women to look for alternatives outside the brands that sub-38 band women generally can wear (however, the definition is still tricky, as there are many women who consider themselves "plus sized", but wear 34-36 bands. Remember that all bodies are different, and larger bands tend to be stretchier!).

With that said, it really is fairly rare to come across bra bloggers who wear above 34-36 bands. There are lots of great and lovely "plus-sized" fashion bloggers out there who would probably wear 38-40+ band sizes, but there are markedly few bloggers who choose to focus on bras (or review bras at all). Thus, my list is going to be fairly limited as a reflection of that. Hopefully these little roundups will help reveal the need for more bloggers in these various ranges!

(Also, just as with the smaller-cup-bloggers post, I would LOVE to hear about other bra bloggers in larger-bands (especially 40+ bands and in smaller cups), or posts that relate, so do share if you know of any more!)

Fussy Busty
Nicole of Fussy Busty has a great mix of bra reviews, thoughts on sizing, plus-sized fashion, and more (and she used to work in a bra store)! She wears/reviews bras in the 38-40 HH-JJ range.

Elomi Hermione Bra, 40HH - image from and review by FussyBusty

Bra Nightmares

Bra Nightmares blogs in both Finnish and English (the English translation is in the second half of the posts). She generally wears about a 40H, although she's reviewed bras in the 38-44 G-HH range, depending on brand and style.

Panache Sport Bra, 40GG -  image from and review by BraNightmares

Brood's Big Bras

The lovely Brood owns her own bra store, and she focuses on Curvy Kate bras - so if you're looking for Curvy Kate reviews, this is the place! She generally goes for the 36/38 K/KK size range. Note that Brood is from Australia, so she often uses AUS sizing (36K = 14K).

Curvy Kate Romance Bra, 36K - image and review by Brood's Big Bras

Lily's Lovely Lumps

Mhairi wears in the 38GG range. The majority of her posts tend to be fashion-related, but she does have some good bra reviews and bra advice scattered throughout, as well! (I also must say that I love and admire her sense of fashion!)
Masquerade Rhea Bra, 38GG - image and review by Lilybobombs

[There are several other awesome bra bloggers that I wouldn't really categorize as "larger band" bloggers, but they tend to label themselves "plus sized" in regards to fashion, and sometimes review bras that come in larger bands, so I've included them below]:

Fuller Figure Fuller Bust
The lovely Georgina has scads of posts on proper fit/sizing, clothing, fashion, and bra reviews, and more! She generally wears in the 34-36 H-J range, but sometimes goes for reviewing "close enough" sister sizes (like 38GG) for bras that don't come in her exact size range

Bravissimo Fleur Bra, 36H - image from and review by FullerFigureFullerBust
XL Hourglass
XL Hourglass writes very thoughtful and detailed bra and bust-friendly clothing reviews, sharing her thoughts on correct fit along the way. I really appreciate how she gets into the why of whether or not things are the best fit or the right shape (often with helpful diagrams/drawings!). She currently wears and reviews bras in the 34 J-K range, generally.

Pepperberry Dress - image from and review by XL Hourglass

The Curvy Pear
Emerald wears/reviews bras in the 34HH/36H range, and considers her body type a "pear with boobs". She only has a handful of posts on this current blog, and she's on a hiatus now, but she has several great bra review posts up and I'm hoping she'll be back soon!

Elomi Abi Bra, 34HH - image from and review by The Curvy Pear

Various informative posts:

Fussy Busty's very useful guest post on The Lingerie Addict outlines 8 Bra Choices for Plus Sized, Full-Busted Women

Georgina of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust talks a little bit about her journey to well-fitting bras (and what sizes actually mean) in her post Obsessed With Breasts

Bra fitter Claire of Butterfly Collection Lingerie talks about why women with "squish" around their torsos may do better in smaller bands than their underbust measurement may indicate

XL Hourglass has similar thoughts on firmer bands and "back fat" , with pictures of how various band sizes look for her in particular

Holly of The Full Figured Chest's guest post on Butterfly Collection deals with cup size shock that can come from getting properly sized (generally going down in the band and up in the cup)

Bra Sizes Do Not Exist Without Back Sizes - very informative post by Fuller Figure Fuller Bust on why "DD" by itself isn't a size.

Bra Nightmares has a good overview of thoughts and tips in her post Bra Fitting 101 for the Overweight, based on her experiences

Brood writes A Story About a Plus-Sized Girl and her Bikini Top

Venusian Glow gives some quick tips and reminders for bra fitting in the larger-band spectrum

Great fitting guide from Breakout Bras - it's always good to fit-check!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Smaller-Bust Bra Blogger Roundup

Happy February! This month, made-to-measure lingerie is on my mind... so be expecting some related posts in the (hopefully) near future! Today, though, I'm giving some attention to one of the more underrepresented groups of online bloggers - the "smaller busted".

I know "small bust" is a rather relative term, but it tends to be difficult finding blogs that cater to, say, sub E or F cups (of any band size). And from my experience, women who wear "small sized bras" sometimes express that they feel like having bras and pretty lingerie that fits isn't as important for them - or that it's impossible for them to find anything that works. This is simply not true! Having lovely lingerie options, bras that fit well, and resources to draw from are important things for every bust size.

With that in mind, here's a list of those that I know of in the blogging community that are in the loosely-defined "smaller bust" category. If you know of any others, I'd love to hear about them - the more resources, the merrier!

The lovely Denocte blogs in both German and English (click on the UK flags to see the English versions of her posts). She's also quite a talented seamstress, and has made her own bras, costumes, etc! She generally wears and reviews bras in the 32B, 28D/DD, and 30C/D range (depending on brand and style).

OnlyHer Tabasco Bra, 30D - image from and reviewed by Kurvendiskussionen

Eternal Voyageur of VenusianGlow is one knowledgeable lady! Her lovely blog is full of natural beauty tips, wonderful bra fitting advice, bra reviews, and more! She usually wears a 28DD, and her bra reviews are always detailed and thoughtful.

Masquerade Lula Ma, 28DD - image from and reviewed by VenusianGlow

Seins du Sphinx 
Galactica is a relatively new blogger who blogs in French (GoogleTranslate is helpful!). She's still figuring out her size, but it looks as though she's generally in the 28F/30E or so range. Her passion for finding the right fit and her honesty about her own struggles to find a perfect fit is very refreshing!

Image and Center Gore Tutorial from Seins du Sphinx

The Lingerie Lesbian
Caro is a somewhat newer lingerie blogger, but oh, my, does she have a lovely blog! Not only can this talented lady make her own lingerie(!), she's very knowledgeable about lots of lovely, smaller-bust and smaller-name brands, and she provides thoughtful reviews of lingerie (not just limited to bras!) as well as her opinions on various lingerie-related issues. She wears in the 34A/B range.

Image from The Lingerie Lesbian - and bra *made* by her!

Amanda (along with other reviewers) focuses on reviewing bras and brands that cater specifically to the "small bust" market, and has a real passion for helping women in the small-bust range find lingerie that they love! She currently wears a 32B.

Image and Kaori's Closet review from 32AAbra

"What you’ll find on this blog is empathy with the quest of the small-busted woman to find lingerie and clothes to fit her frame." Catherine blogs about smaller-bust issues, reviews, and overall provides a great place for smaller-busted ladies to discuss and share. She generally wears a 32AA.

Atlantis Jerry Bra image and review from 32AAbra

Small Cup
"Oaza niewielkich biustow/An Oasis for Small Busts". This is a blog that I *just* discovered, but I felt it worth mentioning! It's written in Polish (Google Translate saves the day again!) and goes quite far back in date (2009) - I feel a little silly for not giving it a read before now! It looks like the current main author wears the 32D range, and there are quite a lot of nice, detailed reviews for bras that come in the small-bust range.

Ewa Michalak Coquette bra, 32DD - image and review by Small Cup

Of Lambs and Lace

Again, a fairly new blog (and a newly-discovered blog for me) - but I had just had to include her! Lamb's blog is so cute, and she has a good number of lovely bra reviews up. She recently got fitted from a 32A to a 30C, so her reviews are all within that range.
B.tempted Bra, 30C - image from and review by Of Lambs and Lace

Various informative posts geared towards smaller busts:

VenusianGlow shares a great list of where to buy very small cups + very small bands, as well as some thoughts on fitting that are well worth reading

Invest in Your Chest just posted a review of several The Little Bra Company bras (her reviewer was refitted by her from a 34AA/32A to a 30C)

Shallow Breasts with a Broad Base - a great post by Venusian Glow on a common breast shape for smaller-busted women, with some bra suggestions

Small Bust Bras: An Interview with By Baby’s Rules & 32AABra (part 1) and (part 2) on The Lingerie Addict - great thoughts about the issues that smaller-busted women face in regards to fitting, the lingerie industry, and more

Denocte has a great 3-part series on Bras for Smaller Busts

Joyce, a "Bra Fan Forever", is refitted from a 34A to 28D and describes her fitting experience from Linda's

Why Changing Bra Sizes Means Something More than a Number from The Lingerie Lesbian - "I’d like to stop critiquing parts of my body like there is anything wrong with the way I am. There isn’t. I’d love it if you all would give it a try too– and the second you hear yourself saying that some size is “too big” or “too small”, check yourself, whether talking about yourself or others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, no matter what you think of your shape. I promise."

ByBaby'sRules shares her experiences of being very small-chested growing up, and how/why properly-fitting bras were still very much needed

It Finally Makes Sense - a short post by Curves Uncovered describing some common frustrations that many smaller-busted women face in regards to poor measuring guides

Denocte writes a "Fairy Bra Mother" letter to a smaller-busted girl, telling her own story at the same time

SweetNothings shares a list of some lovely/sexy brands that carry options for smaller busts

No Comparisons Needed - guest post by Erica of A Sophisticated Pair on 32AAbra on bra fitting and loving yourself without comparisons.

Bra Fitting for Small Breasts - guest post by VenusianGlow on BraNightmares. Great thoughts here on the perks of a properly fitting bra!

For some examples of women who wear 26-30 A-D bras, check out the "D and Under Cups" section of the Bra Band Project - and feel free to contribute, as well!

Do you have any additional resources that you know of? Any thoughts about smaller-busted issues? Questions that need answering? Do share!