Those of you who do your research and are willing to share your experiences here are such a delight. Last Thursday, I received this question from Karen, one such reader who is on the hunt for a nursing bra:

So would you ever work with a tailor on altering a bra? I am hesitant because to shell out $75 for a bra and another $50 for altering might leave me with a $125 bra that I end up not liking but can’t be returned due to the altering.

Since we know it takes a village to buy a bra, I’m submitting Karen’s query to you. Here’s more background from her email.  I write my response in the comments. 

I’ll start by saying that I have absolutely no idea what bra size I am. I have yet to have a satisfactory fitting, and what I measure seems to be a terrible starting off point when it comes to purchasing bras online. That said, I’m in a terrible need of nursing bras.

I went to my local specialty bra store (the only store within 50 miles of my home that offers bras larger than a DD), and asked the owner of the store to measure me:  29″ underbust, 36″ full bust.  She felt that I would be best fit into a 30 band, but they didn’t carry any brands in that size.

She brought back a 32F, 32G, and 32H of a LeMystere bra. The F cup was way too small. The G cup was okay, but hard to tell based on the band being too large, and the H cup was perfect on one breast, but gappy on the other.

Now, the store does not carry any nursing bras of any brand.  The owner suggested that I purchase the 32H bra and work with their tailor to alter the bra to become a 30″ band, fit the cups to my breasts’ differing sizes, and modify the cups into the traditional flip down nursing style.

I went ahead and ordered 15 different styles of nursing bras online, ranging from 30F to 32H (including F, G, and H cups of each style).   My total bill for these bras was $2400!! However, when you have no other option than to do a virtual dressing room, you need to order as many as possible at once to save on shipping and time. Unfortunately, none of these bras fit just right, so they all will be returned.