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As mentioned in my previous post, two weeks into pregnancy, my boobs grew two full cup sizes, from UK 30G to 30H. Initially, I really didn’t know what size I was, I just knew all my old bras didn’t fit any more. I kept wearing a few of my old ones that ran a little big or were more flexible, but on a routine trip to see my fertility doctor in NYC, I made a beeline for the Bravissimo store.
I planned on buying one or two bras in person and also trying on loads more, so I could pick some up online in their sale (which is still going on) since buying from the UK site is cheaper than the US store or US site. (Some of the bras that I kept wearing, by the way, included the Sugar Candy “Crush” wireless bra, Ewa Michalak CHP bras, and Comexim plunge bras.)
Unfortunately, it wasn’t actually that successful a trip, as nearly every bra I’d seen online and wanted to try was not available in the New York store. Still, I did walk out with one bra and walked out knowing what size I am (for now!).
I started out trying bras in a 32 band because I figured I would grow into them as the pregnancy progresses and my ribs expand, but I found them all really uncomfortable. I’m just so used to a super tight band that anything less than that doesn’t feel supportive, especially with my boobs feeling so heavy and full these days. I also started out with only one cup size up, but quickly realized that wouldn’t be enough.
Once I landed on size 30H, I next concluded that my boobs are too close together for bras with a mid-height gore. It needs to be either a plunge so the gore stays well below the fullest point of the breast, or full coverage so the gore stops above my cleavage. Anything in the middle badly pokes into breast tissue.
That started really limiting my choices, of course. I had the shop girls bring me every sale bra in size 30H with at least a moderately plunging gore. This included Panache, Bravissimo, and a couple other brands. Strangely, they didn’t bring me any Freya, but maybe there just weren’t any in my size on sale. I didn’t take any notes or photos because I was in a hurry and trying on so many at once.
Sadly, one after another, the bras just did not work. Nothing seemed to suit my shape or have a gore in the right spot. As a reminder, I’m exceedingly projected and full-on-bottom and above average full-on-top, with narrow roots and tall tissue. So in general, I need bras with extremely narrow wires and straps, extreme projection on the bottom, openness on top, and tall cups. The only brands that actually fit me perfectly are Polish ones (such as Ewa Michalak, Comexim, Gorsenia, and Kinga), but I still shop with British brands since I can often find something that’s “good enough” and they’re just so much easier to find and cheaper.
I would have ordered Polish brands in the first place, but Ewa’s shipping has gone up to $50 (!!!), and it’s been so long since I bought new Comexim, coupled with the fact that I’m wearing a new size and Comexim uses Polish sizing rather than UK cups, that I’m not confident I’ll purchase the right size. I also assume that I’m going to grow more as the pregnancy progresses, so I was really hoping to purchase either super sale bras or second-hand ones, rather than fancy new ones that I may only be able to wear for a couple months.
Anyway, back to the Bravissimo store! Eventually, I was brought a Cleo by Panache “Selena” longline bra. It was a revelation! Finally, a gore than plunged deep enough and cups that were tall enough. (By the way, Selena comes in sizes 28-38 D-J—impressive!)
It was so much more comfortable than the bra I was wearing that day, that I wore it out of the store! The shape is beautifully round yet with a slightly more natural teardrop shape. It also keeps my boobs well separated. This is a real relief, because I’ve started to have some skin irritation/rashiness where my now more substantial cleavage smushes together.
After wearing Selena for several days straight, though, I did find some issues. As usual, the wires are too wide for me. Though it’s certainly not the worst offender I’ve ever worn, by day 3 the wires had really started to irritate. You can see a pretty bad red spot here where the wire tip nearly broke the skin:
Luckily, after washing the bra and putting it into rotation with a few others whose wires hit me in different spots, it’s no longer rubbing like this.
I must also note that the band runs a full size large. I’m wearing it on the tightest hook, and it still feels a bit loose. However, since it’s a longline style with 5 sets of hooks-and-eyes, it doesn’t ride up in back, so it’s fine. The cups are also a wee bit generous, so overall I think I have room to grow, which is nice.
As with any longline that doesn’t have vertical boning in the front, the lace band does scrunch up. But the lace is so light and the band isn’t tight, so I don’t find that aspect uncomfortable or irritating. Among the few wired bras I’ve purchased since, I still find this one to be the most comfortable.
After my Bravissimo adventure, I next tried 6 different Freya bras through Amazon Prime’s “Try Before You Buy” program. Spoiler alert: I only kept one. But I did take detailed notes, so you can expect that report very soon.