As you might suspect, I’ve come to live in a sort of “boob bubble” where I rarely encounter women who don’t know their bra size. This explains my astonishment when the first woman I met at the Campbell & Kate and Dirty Dolls trunk show last month was horrified that her DDD cup size was the equivalent of an F cup. “I’m a 34H,” I said, hoping to demonstrate that an F cup isn’t that big, and that non-porn stars can wear an H cup. Her wide eyes and silence as she hurried away left me feeling out of sorts. “It’s going to be a long night,” I thought.

Then I met Charlene. Oh how I wish you could have joined our conversation. I couldn’t write down her words of wisdom fast enough, and today’s post barely touches the surface of her fabulous attitude. She’s a 42G with three lucky daughters aged 6 months, 10 years and 16 years, which makes her the perfect subject for today’s Mother’s Day post.

First off, Charlene considers herself “a full figure plush woman,” and she believes that breasts should be “separate, lifted and appreciated.” She shops for bras at Lane Bryant, Avenue, Ashley Stewart and Fashion to Figure. I was going to recommend Elomi to her until I realized that Lane Bryant’s Cacique line offers way cuter styles like these:

(I was also ready to gush about the Curvy Kate Showgirl line to Charlene because she’s a total Showgirl type of woman, but I was sad to realize that their bands end at 38.)

Charlene’s fitting advice for women in general:

When you see that the bra you are wearing leaves you with four boobs instead of two, then you need to go get measured at a GOOD bra store. If you know that you are a woman with a little extra, you need not be shopping at Victoria Secret ’cause she’s not keeping your secrets. A cheap man always pays twice.

How she approaches her teen:

I teach my teen that a young lady should always have different bras for different outfits: occasion and “just because.” Especially she should always have a black bra. That’s why whenever we go shopping for undergarments, we have that conversation on how it should fit, look and feel. If you put it on and jump in it and all of your girls are falling out, go a size up.

My 16-year-old has a very mature and positive attitude about her body, especially since she wears an 34 C/D bra. She said she gets it from me! Whenever I take her shopping for bras, she gets really happy since she feels that my money is her money–aka nature’s credit card.

When it comes to her picking out bras, she looks for colors. I look for shape, support and comfort. We have our disagreements, but when I explain to her what I am getting at, she smiles. I will say things to her like, “When you’re choosing what bra to wear, make sure that the straps are comfortable and that you have that full coverage, i.e., all of your breast is tucked into the cup, including your sides.”  When it comes to colors, shape and style, she likes a lot of strapless bras, which is cool with me as long as it’s teen-appropriate. I allow her to buy bright, loud-colored bras because at the end of the day, I don’t want anything to show through her bra. Howeve,r she loves color. She has bras that have stripes, hearts, and polka dots.

Regarding her almost-tween:

My 10-year-old loves to go bra shopping since she wears training bras. We usually go to Cookies department store (a kid’s store). She loves  to get the matching bra and panty set with different designs and styles on them. Sometime she will say things like, “Mommy, these can’t fit you. What size are you?”

Her answer to the question, ” What would your advice be to a 13-year-old who has a larger bust than the rest of her classmates, especially if the 13-year-old were your daughter?”*

Well I don’t recall ever having small breasts. I was in the fifth and sixth grade wearing a DD cup, so I was that girl in school with the big ones–or as my friends would call them, “miniature people”. To be honest, I loved it. I think as a parent, first and foremost you have to have that talk with her teaching her to embrace what she has and letting her know it’s ok. Also teach them how to wear the appropriate bras so that they won’t have future back problems. Luckily in this generation the kids are growing bigger and faster than the kids years ago, so they have plenty of options on where to buy their bras. I know Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant have “Minimizers” that make your breasts look smaller than what they are.

Finally, more on her own experience growing up:

In my family having big breasts skips a generation. I can remember my mother taking me to Sterns Department Store in the city for my bras. She gave me some advice. However, I learned a lot on my own when I went shopping for myself. As I stated before, I was in middle school wearing a DD cup, in high school I was a DDD cup, and now as an adult currently I am a 42G, and I love it.


Recently someone asked the Busty Girl Comics artist,  “Is 36C considered large for a 13-year-old?” She answered, “She may want to wear a sports bra until all her peers catch up.”