With my children on Spring Break we decided to spend a week in my hometown in Michigan. Growing up and living there until I was 19, I now know I was wearing the wrong size bra for years. Not knowing much about proper fit and not having access to a proper fitter, I was left to fend for myself. The closest thing I had to helping me figure it all out was my local Victorias Secret. It isn’t surprising that after several trips to the mall and quite a few glares from well meaning staff, I walked out with 34DD bras. Looking back I know my band size couldn’t have been above a 30.
Returning home as a grown up with many more years of living as a busty gal, I was curious. What would my options be if I still lived in Flint, Michigan?
I returned to my local mall.
After an hour or so I was simply exasperated.
Not even the Macys there had anything close to my size.
I would have settled for any style, any fabric, any granny nudish cone shaped cup that would hold the girls but there was nothing. Even though I was wearing a gorgeous perfectly fit bra at the time, going in and out of store after store leaving empty handed was depressing.
I left the mall and later the state wondering how much lower my opinion of myself and my J cups would be if I still lived in this bra desert.
I don’t know how I would have ever handled trying to figure out my true size if I’d stayed there. Sure there is the internet, but how many countless returns and exchanges would I have been forced to go through before finding the proper fit?
Do you live in a busty bra desert? If so, how did you find your way into a beautiful proper fit?
I also live in a “busty bra desert.” I’m not quite sure how I found correct information on sizing online, but somehow I did, so now I just order my bras online. I’ve only returned one bra and one bikini top, which is pretty good! I would love to have access to an actual store with my size though, so I could try things on and be more picky about what I keep (I don’t like returning things).
Im curious. Did the lack of having sizes available in your ate make you feel out of place? I was suprised that going back to my hometown and being basically sized out brought back negative body issues for me.
A little bit, but mostly it just bothers me that other women may be wearing bras that don’t fit correctly, and that I can’t shop in an actual store. When I was wearing 36Ds, I though a floating center gore and needing to adjust all day was normal (I wear in between a 30 and 32G).
My mom would drive me an hour and a half to get a bra close to my size (I think they originally put me in a 32/34DDD, I was probably a 30/32 band but sister-sized it worked out alright.) Now there seems to be two or three stores within 45 minutes that at least carry the right brands.
You’re so lucky to have a mom that did that for you. Is she busty as well? When I was walking around the mall I kept thinking how isolated I would feel to be a young lady shopping with friends but not being able to find things that fit.
Before having kids and menopause she was (it’s not very clear what size she actually was but she said when she was nursing she could fit a grapefruit in each cup.) She didn’t want me to have the same discomfort and stigma that she experienced growing up. What’s interesting is that afterwards she had a difficult time being sized. For years she was told she was something like 36AA and while she has a slightly larger rib cage than I do, there’s no way it was 9″ larger. She was finally sized correctly as a 30D/32C the other year and now is trying to get her sister/sister-in-laws in properly fitted bras because of how great she feels now.
My friends in high school were all different sizes and had different expectations – from the busty friend who insisted on buying VS push-up bras to one who only wore training bras. It helped that most of us were too busy with music ensembles and other clubs to really spend time shopping (also the nearest mall was 30 minutes away.)
It sounds like we grew up in very similar circumstances
Yep bra waste land, it’s much much better than it used to be but to try my size 32jj on in a shop it’s 3/4hr drive away :0/ , bravissimo online and bra bloggers have kept me sane.
I would have had to go an hour to Detroit to find a store that would be able to fit me and even then they may not have my size on site. I so feel your pain.
I have a petite friend who complained about her bra moving on her. When I asked what size she was wearing she said 40DD (!!). I told her she needed a fitting and should probably be something more like my 36H. Her response – but I’ve been all over for bras and I’ve never seen anything bigger than a DD. And we don’t live in a small town. Very sad.
Wowzers! Unfortunately, that doesn’t surprise me. When we don’t have access to stores that will properly fit us we just settle for whatever is available.
I don’t live in a “bra desert” if you just go by the availability of my size where I live; I can’t imagine that added to the frustration of simply finding a decent bra. However, stores carry fewer smaller band/larger cup sizes than others. And I don’t just mean under 30 bands… anything below a 34 in a larger cup tends to have limited selection. I think what did make me feel out of place (and still does some), -was- that I always had to settle for the nude granny bras. Most stores now carry the Freya Deco and its various incarnations, which is a huge step forward, but still, get above a G cup in any band size, and you’re looking at mostly full-coverage, very basic cuts and colors, while smaller cup sizes get a lot of “fun” bra options.
You are so right! It is so hard to be a J with a smaller band size. Who wants to wear ugly plain old granny bras? Ummmm, not us! We are sexy hot mamas!
Howell and Plymouth have Sunny J’s. Not super close to Flint, but not awful for a few times a year.
I definitely live in a bra desert! I used to wear 40DD. If lucky, I was able to find the rare 40DDD. I figured out that Olga seemed to have a bigger DD cup size than other brands. I tried 42DD’s but always felt my boobs would fall out of the bra! Every bathroom break involved a bra readjustment.
Anyhow, about 10 years ago I found Bravissimo and have been ecstatic ever since. Almost all my bras are bought online from them. Imagine going from 40DD to 36JJ! No more spillage or constant adjusting.
Unfortunately my size can’t always be bought at US online sellers. I know certain manufacturers definitely make JJ cups, but it seems the online US sellers will only sell up to a G or H cup. If they do have my size, it seems to sell out quickly. It’s very frustrating.
Bra shopping was always depressing. (I’m 50 by the way.) Most cute bras that a teenager would wear only came in 32-36 A-C cups. Some brands actually went to 38D! Woo hoo! I remember waking up in the morning hoping that the huge boobs I had were just a dream and I was really an A cup! No such luck though.
I have to admit to envying the European ladies who have a much more decent selection of bras and mfgs that actually recognize cup sizes over DD exist.
Why are you guys looking at malls? The only places that carry decent selection of large cups are the small boutiques. There are 2 small boutiques within 20 minutes of me here in Richmond, VA – which is the 99th biggest city in the country, not exactly huge. The smaller shop sold me a 34GG (but I’m really a 32J). The bigger shop had a few 32Js, but nothing that really worked for me. Heck, I have basically 1 bra that really, totally works for me.
I think it’s the idea of a one-stop shop. It takes a special mall but it is possible. Tyson’s Corner comes to mind. Of course then you have to brave not only beltway traffic but also finding a place to park.