There is a saying in the lingerie industry in regards to bras in the United States, “Everyone wants something smooth and nude” There is this innate belief that having a beige colored molded cup bra is a staple in every woman’s wardrobe however this style is predominantly only seen in the US market. Because of this there are a lot of myths floating around about foam injected bras, the top one we hear is “Lacy/sheer bras just aren’t supportive.” We aren’t saying molded cup bras don’t serve a purpose in the world of lingerie, they create a very smooth finish, they can provide a rounded silhouette to the breasts and sometimes they are the only bras that will work with that one shirt (you know the one). However, the issue with molded cup bras is right in the name itself, they are molded pre-shaped pieces of foam, and not all of us have breasts that match the shape of these bras. Some of us have breast tissue that is more dense and doesn’t quite fill out the cups, some of us have less fullness on the top part of our breasts and it leaves a lot of gaping and shifting around of the bra throughout the day. Some of us have very pendulous breasts and with molded cups there just isn’t enough depth to the cup. This can cause pressure against the breast tissue all day long, or even when the wires are the correct size, the breast tissue wants to escape and for a lot of us although it is what we are used to, it is not the only way.
Support: As with all bras the support is coming from the band and the straps to help hold up the breast tissue. Now there are definitely a few lacy bras out there that can provide a little bit more shimmy and shake. However, in our our experience lacy or cut and sewn bras can be just as supportive and comfortable to wear as a molded cup bra (and they’re a lot easier to store in an underwear drawer).
Seams have a purpose: The placement of seams on a bra along with the materials used will allow for more or less projection of our breast tissue in the cups. Vertical seams can help shape our breast tissue upwards, horizontal or arched seams allow for more room in the cup so our breasts aren’t squished flatter. With seamed bras there can be more freedom, they can allow for a more natural breast shape underneath clothing, you can use the seams to hide your nipples.
Breathe-ability: A non-padded bra allows for more airflow, which makes them excellent choices for hot days, whereas with padded bra you can end up sweating a lot more. Which can make for a lot of discomfort depending on the top you’re pairing it with.
Bulking up: No matter what your bra size, a molded cup bra will add some bulk to your breast tissue and can make them appear larger. If you’re trying to reduce the size of your breast tissue those lacier and sheerer fabrics will definitely help achieve that goal.
Fabric makes a difference: Some bras have lace all over and sometimes this is a soft and stretchy lace, however in a higher quality garment there will be an additional layer of fabric to help with the integrity of the lace and will help maintain the shape and support of the bra for a longer period of time. A stiffer fabric either all over the cup or on the side and bottom of the cup can help provide a firmer feel to the cup throughout the day while still providing a little more breathing room, however with a stiffer fabric cup there is less forgiveness in the fabric and if it doesn’t fit 100% perfectly for your breast shape then it’s time to make a judgement call.
Sometimes it seems like clothing companies fail to realize that bras exist. Dresses with low cut backs, racerback tanks, halter tops, narrow cut straps, keyhole necklines and super sheer materials. And while there are a plethora of bras out there that are designed to work with some of these tops, they aren’t always available in our sizes and there are times when we just want to wear our favorite bra with everything.
These are the days where bra accessories come into play.
Flash tape/Fashion tape is super helpful if you have boat neck tops and want to keep your straps from popping out or if you have a crossover neckline and want to keep your bra from being exposed, either affix the tape to the bra and press the neckline of your dress or top in place, or you can stick it directly to your skin. This tap is also excellent for button up shirts that tend to gape.
Racer Back strap converters, help by bringing your straps together to keep them matched up with the fabric of your top. You can also use these on the front straps if you have a keyhole or a high cut halter style neckline.
Clear straps are great for illusion neckline dresses or tops with lace cut outs.
Low-back converter, this is a simple solution for most low back dresses. The converter attaches to your current bra band and wraps around the waist to create a lower support point for your bra so the band doesn’t show.
So you have some great bras that fit really well! But when is it time to replace our faithful and supportive bosom buddies?
The hooks are damaged: Hooks are what keep your bra together and keep your band clasped! If they’ve become bent out of shape or have torn out of your bra they can’t do their job!
The wire is popping out: Now sometimes this can just be a faulty bra and if it happens within the first month or two of wear usually it’s a manufacturing error (if that happens to a bra you purchased from us let us know ASAP and bring it in). But if you’ve had that bra for over 6 months or year it’s time to toss it aside.
The band is no longer snug: Bras contain elastic and it’s only a matter of time before it gets stretched out beyond the point of being supportive. Starting your bra on the loosest set of hooks means you should be bringing it in a notch about once every 2-3 months or sooner if you have fewer bras.
Significant weight gain or weight loss: Our bodies change and your bra doesn’t always shrink or grow the way we need it to if it’s too tight or too loose it’s time to get a new one.
Obvious signs of damage: Torn seams, stains, broken wires, holes, rips or tears, or the cups are becoming misshapen.
When your bust is drooping and your bra no longer does its job: Bras are designed to lift and support and if your bra isn’t doing that it’s time to replace it.
Did you know a bra is designed to last 6 -12 months? There are various factors that will affect how long your bras last you!
Number of bras you regularly wear: if you only have 3 bras that you regularly rotate between you’re wearing each bra for 121 days! Just adding 2 more bras to your rotation means you’ll be wearing each bra for a total of 73 days a year! That adds almost 2 months of life to each bra!
Cup size: If you have more breast tissue to support your bras are doing a lot more work and will have more everyday strain.
Nursing: Not only can your breast size increase with nursing, but the breast tissue is also holding milk, adding more weight for your bras to support in addition to the daily adjusting and readjusting that can occur with unfastening and refastening clasps.
Washing: How you wash and dry your bras will drastically affect how long they last! Ever pull a pair of tights or underwear out of the dryer and have the elastic snap or poke out of the fabric the next time you try to wear them? Heat from dryers will make the elastic more brittle causing them to lose their firmness. Washing Machines can cause hooks to get caught and torn.
We’ve all heard stories of bras along with myths about how bras should or shouldn’t work. Things like bras are supposed to be uncomfortable, bras should make you look bigger than you really are (only if you want them to do that), bras need padding in order to keep your head lights down (otherwise known as nipples), padded bras are more supportive, that your bra size stays the same, or that the shoulder straps are the supportive parts of the bra. These are just a few examples of some bra myths we at Bustin’ Out Boutique hear frequently. Unfortunately the first myth, that bras should be uncomfortable, is certainly the most common. There are many reasons why women feel like bras are uncomfortable. To name a few, the straps dig in, the straps fall off, the wire digs in, the wire breaks, it squishes boob out in weird places, boob falls out from under the cup, and finally having to readjust yourself constantly in public (quick note: all the reasons given for an uncomfortable bra are also indications of a poorly fitting bra).
Things that will help make a bra more comfortable: Wearing the right size: wires that dig into your sides or into your breast tissue mean that your cup size is too small! Our breast tissue starts much farther back on our bodies than just front and center on our chests. Wires snapping or breaking is usually a sign that stress is being put on them in the wrong place, this is usually from the cup sizes being too small. Conversely, if the wires are digging into the chest wall/sternum area it can be a sign that the cup size is too big.
Having a firmer band: When the band of your bra is riding up your back during the day it means it’s not doing it’s job! A properly fitting bra should provide you with 80-90% of your support coming from the band (the part that sits around your rib-cage) , the 28, 30, 32, 34 etc… number of you bra, while the remaining 10-20% should be distributed on the shoulder straps. A firmer band will also help keep things from moving around when you sit down, or bend over helping to prevent wires from moving around as well. All in all a properly fitting bra will give you support where it is intended allowing you to feel more comfortable in a bra than you ever have.
Wearing a cup style suited to your breast shape: If you have fuller breast tissue on the top half of your breasts, the wrong style will dig into your breast tissue, conversely if you have more shallow breast tissue there can be a lot of gaping in your bras if it’s the wrong style making it so your breast tissue isn’t fully supported. Some bras might not have deep enough cups and can add too much pressure or compression causing your breasts to feel sore by the end of the day.
Think of your bra like a good hiking backpack, you want the majority of the backpacks weight being supported by the waist band and minimal amounts of weight on your shoulders because if you are carrying around a heavy load for more than a mile without the support around your waist, you are bound to experience shoulder pain and discomfort before the end of your trek.
When the bra is properly fitted to your body, your body type, and more importantly, your breast tissue, a bra is far more comfortable. We’ll be honest, you probably won’t feel like your breasts are floating on cloud 9 all day, every day but a majority of your bra annoyances will be alleviated. Even those of us that have bras that are properly fitting get to a point in the day where it’s time to say goodbye to our over-shoulder-boulder-holders. However, it should be closer to the end of your day, not within minutes of putting it on. The reason for this is something we all have to remember, regardless of our bra size, a properly fitting bra is a support garment, meaning it is designed to support and defy gravity. In the case of a bra it is holding up anywhere from a few ounces to several pounds of breast tissue, and larger your cup size the more weight you are carrying.
We will be tackling some of the other bra myths in future posts, but we felt this was a very important topic to start with!
Let’s face it, summer time is prime wedding season. Whether you love or hate weddings chances are you’ll be invited to at least one Bridal Shower or Bachelorette party and will need to figure out a gift for the bride-to-be. Fear not! We are here to help you pick out something the bride is sure to love.
Chemises or nightgowns: These are great pieces that the bride-to-be can use over and over again, whether it’s for lounging around, for sleeping or for nocturnal activities. Some of the chemises we carry are dual purpose and also work wonderfully as a slip. Chemises are also a little more flexible sizewise if you’re not 100% sure on the bride’s bra size!
Robes: a lightweight robe is perfect for the bride to wear while getting ready on her wedding day and paired with a chemise or her foundations can make for some great getting ready photos.
Eyemasks: Is your bride-to-be a light sleeper? Is the groom a night owl? Eyemasks are a great solution and an easy gift for the bride-to-be especially if the soon-to-be wed couple have different sleeping habits (They also make a great gift for bridesmaids too!)
Panties/thongs/underwear: a fun pair of panties is a fun and simple way to give a gift you know the bride-to-be will use. It’s a great basic piece that’s always useful and can be a little more colorful.
A gift certificate: Not sure what the bride’s style is but still want to help her find a great new bra or lingerie piece for her collection? Gift certificates are a great way to help let the bride pick out exactly what she wants.
Bustin’ Out Boutique has been nominated for the 2016 Best of Intima Best Shop Awards! (Its like the Oscars for the lingerie industry) We are one of 33 shops that have been nominated for five different categories.
The awards ceremony isn’t until July 31st, but for more information about this awards ceremony check out The BSA Story link below.
Bras are a fun but complicated article of clothing and finding a correctly fitting bra can be a challenge. A truly proper fit comes from taking measurements and a little experimentation (aka TRYING BRAS ON) our bras are essentially containers for our boobs, so the cups of the bra rely on volume and while measurements are a great starting point, there a lot of factors that go into how they fit breast tissue density, breast shape, torso height, style of the bra and more.
There is a lot of confusion about bra fit and cup sizes mostly revolving around the letter D, there is this fantastic myth that a DD is HUGE and that anything at or beyond is a massive cup size when in reality a DD is roughly a 5” difference between your ribcage measurement (taken right underneath your breast tissue, not above your breast tissue, not adding inches to your measurement, not around your waist, right parallel to where your breast tissue stops on your chest). There is also no such thing as a ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ bra size, we are all unique individuals with different body types, different heights, different needs. Our bodies change over time, our breasts grow and shrink weather through puberty, weight gain or loss, breast feeding, finishing breast feeding, hormonal changes and more. This means that our bra sizes aren’t static and just because you were fitted 5 years ago, a year ago or even 6 months ago in one size doesn’t mean you’ll always be at that size.
To make bras even more fun and confusing every brand fits differently, every style fits differently heck even different color ways fit differently, most countries use different size labels and numbers. This means you REALLY need to try them on, every single time. Some brands are more consistent in their sizing but every now and then a style will run loose or tighter.
Ideally a well-fitting bra will be supportive; bras are intended to be a support garment after all. This means you’ll probably need a firmer band than you are used to. This firmer band helps lift the breast tissue up, and will quite literally relieve some weight and strain off your shoulders and for a lot of women can help relieve neck and shoulder irritation. Having a firmer band can accentuate “back fat” this however doesn’t mean that the bra doesn’t fit, it just means that the band is firmer and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We have layers of skin and fat, we are human after all. But the less firm of the band the less lift and support you get, which means the lower the boobs will hang.
Did you notice how both Hollis and the customer above are wearing their bras on the loosest set of hooks? This is because bras will stretch out over time, if you start them at the tightest setting when they are new you won’t be able to tighten them up as the elastic expires. If you know your body fluctuates weight regularly try a band that you can easily start at the middle hook so you can loosen or tighten as needed, or get bras at your highest and lowest fluctuation point.
If you feel like your bra is perfect then great! We will have bras for you when you’re ready to get a new one. However, if you’re not sure if your bra is fitting correctly, let us give you a hand! We’re more than happy to answer any questions or bra fitting concerns you might have.
Here at Bustin’ Out Boutique, we are passionate (almost obsessed) with finding correctly fitting bras for women of all shapes and sizes, and while there is an abundance of brands and bras in our store that cater to women in cup sizes D and up, we were having a difficult time finding smaller cup sizes in band sizes below a 34 or 32.
We are incredibly excited to announce the addition of ‘The Little Bra Company’ to our brand list! The Little Bra Company specializes in band sizes 28-38 and cup sizes A-C so we are ecstatic that we are able to carry them! A well fitting bra can be life changing, no matter what size you wear and we can’t wait to help more women experience that first hand.