Your Voices: Tiffany, size 36M
Tiffany: I'm 22, and I was last measured as a 36M in UK sizing. I was first properly sized about a year ago thanks to the help of the lovely Reddit community members of A Bra That Fits and Big Boob Problems. Before then, I was wearing bras from Lane Bryant because they were the largest I could find. Those bras were far too large in the band and the cups were still too small, so I had a lot of spillage out of the tops of the cups.
And on top of that, I had grooves and bad shoulder pain from bra straps supporting the full weight of my breasts.... which are very heavy. Though, since then, I've been properly fitted and shown the different brands that sell bras in sizes closer to what I should be wearing. So I've had to do a lot of sister sizing and making my own adjustments.
Bras Outside the Box: How has being large-busted affected your body image? Do you feel happy with your size, or does it cause problems for you (or both)?
T: My breast size has caused me to have quite a few issues with my body image. Most of these issues were during middle school and high school. I've always had a pretty small frame, but with a large cup size, so I looked bigger around the torso than I really was. And the fact that I wasn't properly sized and wore baggy tops to try to hide my breasts didn't help.
I wanted to wear a lot of the types of clothes my friends were wearing, but I couldn't due to my breast size. The teasing from other students and all the attention I got because of my breasts made me really hate them. But over the past few years, I've learned style tips and tricks for larger bust sizes to help compliment the rest of my body which took some of the attention away from my chest.
So while my breasts have grown quite a bit over the past couple years, I've learned to love them, even with the problems they bring. I still have issues finding the proper bras in my size along with tops that flatter my body type. But at least now I know what I'm looking for.
BOTB: When you got bras from Lane Bryant, were you fitted there or did you find them on your own? Have you ever had a good experience being fitted for a bra in person?
T: I was actually not fitted at Lane Bryant. When I first ventured into one of their stores for the first time, I didn't understand the importance of a properly fitting bra. So I didn't feel the need to ask for a fitting. I grabbed one that looked like it would fit, tried it on, made my purchase, and left. Looking back, I probably should have been wearing a 36J or JJ, but was wearing 42Hs from Lane Bryant.
Unfortunately, I've never had a good bra fitting experience. I went in for one at a local shop recently just out of curiosity, and was given the result 34K... which is not even close to my actual size.
BOTB: What's the best bra you're wearing these days, now that you are in the proper size?
T: The best bra i have right now is from Ewa Michalak. I just recently bought a bra from them in a 36M and I love it! It's from their FB (full bust) line which I believe is one of their newer styles. The wide straps and the strong material they use for the cups makes it great for heavy breasts like mine. But because of their price, I only have one.
BOTB: What are the sister sizes you can wear, and what are the alterations you've had to make in order for those bras to fit correctly?
T: The sister size I normally buy is 40L, and I get those from Bravissimo. I buy them in the large band and then give them to my mom who shortens the band for me. She's a lot better at it than I am!
The only issue is that the L cups I have run more like KKs, so I still do a bit of quad-boobing when I wear them. But I still get more support from them than when I was wearing the Lane Bryants.
BOTB: Do you have any advice for other women with a similar body type about how to get the best fit?
T: I don't have much advice since I'm still trying to figure things out myself, but I would have to say, don't give up. There are a lot of resources out there and a lot of good people who have been in this position and can point you in the right direction. And while it seems that our body type isn't well-represented, which is kinda true, I have seen progress, and hopefully it won't be long before finding clothes for us is commonplace.