Your Voices: Megan, size 28HH
Megan: Starting when I was around 14, I have always been tiny everywhere except in the chest. I'm five feet tall and 110 pounds, and my bra size is 28HH [editor's note: this is her UK size, equivalent to a US 28K]. I'm 26 and am finally now starting to feel good about myself, but for many years I hated my chest and had no clue what sort of bra I should be wearing, or what my real cup size was.
Bras Outside the Box: How was your body image related to the size of your breasts?
M: They made me feel out of proportion and discouraged about my appearance. I considered a breast reduction but never went through with it. I thought my boobs were freakish-looking because of how small I am everywhere else. My mom has the exact same body type, petite and large-busted, and she always taught me that I should wear things that made them look smaller -- mainly sports bras that crushed them down. I feel like she may have wanted to protect me from getting too much of the wrong kind of attention.
BOTB: When did you first discover a bra that fit properly, and how did you feel about it?
M: About eight months ago I was in a boutique with my sister so she could get fitted for a bra to wear for her wedding. The sales lady asked if I was interested in trying something on too and I decided why not go for it, so she brought me four bras that were bigger than anything I had ever worn. I figured there was no way these would fit, because they looked huge, but then all but one ended up being too small!
But the one that did fit, I loved. This was a 30H Parfait by Affinitas bra, black lace with bows on the straps. It looked and felt great on my body, and I found it was liberating to wear something that was not a sports bra and wasn't meant to squash me, but was instead designed for support. My sister and the sales lady both thought it looked amazing. So I bought it and then wanted more like it, because I soon got sick of my old sports bras, now that I had this one that actually fit!
I searched online and found out that I am actually a size 28HH due to having a very small back, which means you need to purchase bras with a smaller band and bigger cup to get the support you need. The support needs to come from the band, not from the straps or the cups.
BOTB: Are you frustrated with the limited selection of bras available in your size?
M: I am still getting used to wearing bras that actually fit me. I have four now, and the one thing that I don't like is how expensive they are, but I am convinced it's worth the expense to feel and look the way I want to. If I have to spend more to get that, fine, but if I need a new bra it's not like I can stop in at Target on my way home from work and pick one up. But that doesn't bother me too much because I end up with better quality bras that I love, instead of more practical cheap ones. I'm saving up for more. And they will last longer too.
BOTB: What's your favorite bra that you're wearing these days?
M: I got it online, and it's another bra from Parfait called Charlotte in a 28HH. It comes in different colors so my next bra purchase will probably be another Charlotte in a color I don't have yet.
BOTB: Is there any advice you can offer other women with a figure similar to yours?
M: Having a good bra will make you feel better about yourself and it's worth spending more if you have to, even if that means you need to save up for it. You are worth the extra expense. I feel like the best thing you can do for yourself if you have a bigger chest is not to try and make it look smaller, but instead, work with what you've got so that you end up with something that gives you the right amount of support. Go to a boutique and get fitted, and don't be surprised if you are given a bigger size than you thought. Keep an open mind and try on the bras in that size, because you might end up loving them!