Becky: I'm 20, and I'm not quite sure of my bra size because I've never had one that fits properly, although I suspect it's somewhere around a 36K. I live in a small town in Canada and there aren't many places around that sell bras. The only place I've found any amount of success since junior high (middle school) is at the plus size store Penningtons. I've been able to find bras there in size 38H which are wearable, but definitely not the right size; and of course each one is over $50! It's incredibly frustrating to not be able to find a properly fitting bra.
Bras Outside the Box: What was it like for you when you first went shopping for a bra in middle school?
B: I remember when I first needed bras, I hated the idea, and I was really uncomfortable with it. One day (I believe in grade 5 or 6 but I can't remember which), my mother told me I needed to start wearing bras, and so I started wearing them. Originally she bought them for me.
Eventually around grade 7 when I was finally more comfortable with needing to wear a bra, I started wanting bras that would look nice and be colourful. I remember a specific experience going to La Senza in our local mall. At this point I was already around a DD I think, and it was really difficult to find anything that fit right. I found one; it was black and had some kind of silver lettering on one of the cups, and I think the straps were detachable/convertible. It was nice, but not really what I wanted.
Unfortunately, there weren't many bras that would fit me right, and even this one probably wasn't the right size, but the style made it sort of okay. So pretty much from the time I was comfortable enough to start wanting nice bras, I already couldn't find them in my size.
BOTB: How do you feel about your breast size now, and has your body image changed since the first time you went bra shopping?
B: My feelings have definitely changed. I feel really comfortable with my breast size now. When I was younger, I developed them really early, and I felt kind of different and weird. I still have the largest breasts of all my friends, but I don't have a problem with that at all. I'm incredibly comfortable with it, and my friends and I make jokes about it all the time.
I never would have thought when I started out with bras that I could ever be this comfortable with my breasts, but I really am. I honestly barely even notice how much bigger mine are than other people's.
BOTB: Have you ever ordered a bra online? If so, what did you try and what problems did you have with the fit?
B: I have ordered bras online, but only after I've tried the same style and size in the store. Penningtons, where I used to buy bras in 38H (which is actually the wrong size), stopped selling bands as low as 38. Now they only carry bands in size 40 and up, which is definitely too large since the 38 was already not quite right. Their website still sells 38s, so I've had to order bras there to get something close to fitting. It still doesn't fit right, but it's the best I can get from this website, and I'm too nervous to try ordering other sizes from anywhere else without knowing what size I really should be.
BOTB: How do you define your personal style when it comes to clothes, and what would be your ideal look in bras and lingerie if they were widely available in your size?
B: My personal style is generally quite casual. I like skinny jeans and shirts that are kind of fitted, although not too tight. I don't like anything too baggy because it would just make me look like a box. I also love boots, scarves, and jackets, although I have a really difficult time finding jackets because they don't usually fit over my boobs. I also rarely wear makeup or do anything with my hair other than brush it.
My ideal look in bras and lingerie would probably be something colourful. Everybody needs to have their basic nude and black colours, but I would love to have some bras in bright pinks and greens, purples, maybe some stripes or polka dots. Some lace would be nice as well, but not too much. I'm a very colourful person, so things like that would suit my personality really well.
BOTB: What brought you to the Reddit community Big Boob Problems, and have you found what you were looking for there?
B: I have big boobs, so I somehow came across this; I honestly don't remember exactly how. I've been around there for a long time. I don't have any particular issues that I've been looking to resolve, I just like to read about other people's experiences with larger breasts and maybe they'll happen to say something I find useful. I think it's just a good place to get educated about larger breasts, and to make it feel like a more normal thing, since most people I know don't have breasts as large as I do.
BOTB: Anything else you'd like to share about your search for a bra?
B: The only thing I can think of really is that within the next year, I plan on moving to a larger city, and I'm really excited for the opportunity to be able to go into a store and try on some bras, and find one that fits me properly.