Bra Myths 101: You Absolutely Need a ‘Nude’ or White Bra

This is always an area of bras that drives us a little crazy at Bustin’ Out Boutique. I’m going to start out by saying the word ‘nude’ irks me, because most people take the word ‘nude’ to mean beige and for a lot of women that color isn’t even close to what a ‘nude’ bra should be for their complexion. But let’s start with the reasons that a lot of women think they need a nude or white bra, for years we’ve been told that these are basics to have in your bra wardrobe. And depending on what you do and the clothing you have they can be an essential item to own. But for a lot of us they aren’t really vital.

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A lot of times our clothing hides what color bra we’re really wearing.

When you’re looking for bras really think about your wardrobe and the colors you tend to wear, if you own a lot of white shirts or shirts that are on the sheerer side and wear them regularly, then go right ahead with your beige bras. But a lot of women, especially here in Alaska tend to wear thicker shirts or dress in layers which means that ‘nude’ or white bras aren’t quite essential. If you wear darker colors you can pretty much wear whatever color of bra you want under your tops.

White bras can be tricky to find in the US, especially in the size range we carry. This is primarily because a lot of UK based companies don’t produce a lot of white bras for the US market. When we can find them, they are usually marketed as a ‘bridal’ piece and tend to be more ivory in color and use materials that aren’t quite compatible with everyday wear and tear. White bras are actually more likely to show through your lighter clothing because they create such a stark contrast with our skin tone. Now if you wear a white camisole under everything anyway this isn’t as much of a concern, but for those of us that don’t do this it can make it harder to wear certain tops. In addition to this, lighter color and pastel toned bras are just harder to keep looking clean and bright in general as they can become dingy fairly quickly.

Now if a ‘nude’ bra is really what you are looking for we recommend finding one that is fairly close to your skin tone or the undertones of your skin. If you’re very pale or have a deep complexion a beige bra can heavily contrast with your skin tone and depending on the top you’re wearing the bra will stand out even more than if you were to wear a bra that has pinker or more reddish tones.

– Written by Hollis Kitchin, Co-Owner of Bustin’ Out Boutique and Bra Enthusiast (ok we admit it, she’s obsessed with bras), Photo by Hollis Kitchin.

Bra Myths 101: Bras are Uncomfortable

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.

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Notice how the in poorly fitting back band images (center column) the band rides up, creating an arc and is not parallel with the base of the breast tissue. Image from cathedralchiorpractic.com

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!

Written by Hollis and Lindsey

Demystifying the DD (With pictures!)

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.

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These ladies had all been fitted previously into incorrect sizes. The woman wearing the 32F was wearing a 34C and 36B at times. The woman in the 32H wore a 38DD for almost a decade. The woman wearing the 34DD had previously been wearing a 34C.

 

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.

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A well fitting 34D, modeled by one of our customers. This customer usually wears a 32DD, however this particular bra was running a band size tighter than usual.

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.

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A Well fitting 32H, modeled by Hollis, one of our owners. She prefers a tight band due to her cup size even though her rib cage measures at 33″ and could wear a 34 band instead, but finds they stretch out too fast for her liking. 

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.