Last night I asked if you had any questions for me to ask the lingerie manufacturers I met at Curve today, and I got your questions just in time.  Below are their answers.  I’m going back tomorrow, so feel free to give me some more queries if you have them.

Question from Brittany:  I really want to know what it will take for some of these manufacturers to start making smaller band sizes! As I have mentioned on my blog, I need a 24(!) and it feels like they will never listen.

Answer:  Brittany, right now anyone who offers a 28 band is making a big deal of it.  I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear, but they’re so proud of this accomplishment that they haven’t begun to consider anything lower.  One fit expert suggested looking for a 28 back that runs really small, but I think you’ve already done that.  Change is definitely possible, however, because there are so many more G/H cups available now than there ever were in the past.  As one rep told me, “The market demands it.”  Hopefully you and your readers can prove that the market demands 24 and 26 backs.

Question from Momraths:  Why does [Fantasie’s] 4500 smoothing bra in 32 band size push the breasts so far out to the sides? They don’t call it a minimizer–but yet it is made as if it is one.

Answer:  Frederika Zappé, a Fantasie fit expert, explained that it has to do with the center pull of the strap.  The 4500 was their first smoothing bra and has been around for 10 years.  If you examine the placement of the straps, you will see that they come up from the center of each cup.  Now bra makers like to put the straps more to the side of the cups, creating a balcony-like shape that gives a prettier look and pulls the breast in from the side (although not as much as a seamed bra does, she was quick to emphasize).  However, this strap placement is harder on women with narrower or sloping shoulders.  Fantasie is coming out with a new style called the Esme that will be slightly more balcony-shaped than the 4500 and go up to an H cup.  (I got so caught up in hearing her answer to this question that I forgot to ask why they’ve started labeling UK and US cup sizes the same.  I’ll try to follow up on that.)

Question from Donna:  Please keep your eye out for bra size underwire swimwear–one pieces that are appropriate for a modern mom of two to wear to the town pool or complex pool without looking like a porn star–not all of us want to flaunt the “girls” like Sophia V.

Answer:  This seemed like the easiest question of all because Fantasie, Freya and Panache have a lot of one-piece and tankini suits that are supportive, non-porn star and non-granny.  (How do you feel about tankinis?) I also discovered a French brand today called Janine Robin.  I’m going to email their sales rep to find out which stores carry it.  Finally, have you looked into Malia Mills?  They say they only go to an E cup, but I know a 32H woman who loved their bikinis, so there’s a chance their one-pieces can work as well.  (I really want to try them this year.)  If you’re in the market for a new suit this summer, I would LOVE for you to contribute your findings to this blog.