Okay, gang, I have a mission for you. Primarily the female ones of you, and possibly also any drag queens.

My bras are all dying. You probably could have guessed. I've also gotten smaller, so even the ones that aren't gasping their last are being taken in. This is not a pretty sight.

I own one of these bras here on the right. t is a "Maidenform Custom Lift Convertible Plunge Bra", style 07747, in 32D. It fit me when I bought it, which is no mean feat. When it stopped fitting me, I started wearing it on the smallest hook. When it stops fitting me again, it will be taken in and continue its life until the cups expire or it disintegrates into its component molecules, whichever comes first. Maidenform does not make these anymore, because they obviously hate me.

So I need pointers to new bras that are similar to this one. You can ignore the fact that it's convertible; that, I don't care about. Gravity has not yet gotten such a hold on me that I cannot "convert" any bra into a strapless one by jamming the straps down into the cups. But it does need to have the following features:

  1. It must come up high on the sides. See how the band on that one swoops up to meet the cup near the top? If it doesn't do that, I get ugly armpit bulges. I have a very short torso and a very high bustline. There is flesh out there that needs to be contained.
  2. It must plunge in the middle. I have no room at all to play with the straps. If I put on one of those hyper-anti-gravity WonderBra things, the inside curve of the resulting breasts goes right up and out to the edge of my clavicle. Push-up bras fit me much better than other kinds, because they're designed to herd everything into the center, where there's a nice open space. I'm not technically a 32D, but I can get away with it in a plunge, without having to spend my life tracking down things in 30E, which is a size that doesn't happen down at the department store level. Anything with fuller coverage cups, or a straighter cut across the edge, gives me the dreaded quadraboob.
  3. It must be back close. I have a persistent problem with the gore in the middle being too wide, even if the band fits. If it has a front center gore, I can fix it. If it has a front center close, I can't.
  4. It must be cheap. This bra is (was) $30 retail, $15 on sale at Macy's, which is where I got the one I have. I would like to have nice bras, but apparently that's not allowed. Unless you're going to buy it for me, don't link me to anything more pricey than this -- it's not going to happen, and seeing them will only make me sad.
  5. No Victoria's Secret. They sell a lot of wonderful things. Comfy pajamas, cute inexpensive cotton panties, hoodies designed for people with boobs, stretchy tailored shirts and dresses, ladies' work pants that can be selected by rise, dress size by hip measurement, and inseam. They are shit at bras. They persistently try to put me in a 36C, which means either every clerk I've ever run into has been a lazy malcontent, or their fitting guidelines are written by an insane person. I could pull a 36C off over my head like a damn sweater.
Note that I do not care if I have to mail order these goddamn things from overseas, as long as they're in my price range. The Royal Mail will put things on an airplane for about the same price as anyone will domestically, it just takes about a week longer to get here. Hell, I don't care if I have to figure out how to order them in Martian Finnish, as long as they fucking well fit. The International Bra Size Converter says that my proper US size of 32DD/30E is a 30F in the UK, an 8E in Australia, and a 65G in Europe and Japan. The bra size I can get away with in a properly-cut back-close push-up plunge, 32D, is a UK 32DD, an AUS 10D, and a JPN/EU 70E.

Comments

  1. Have you tried Marks and Spencer in the UK? All British women get our bras there, it's a rule.

    I'm 34c so don't know what these would be like in your size, but I've been wearing ones like these my whole life.

    They currently have free shipping to the US.

    http://m.marksandspencer.com/mt/www.marksandspencer.com/Pack-Underwired-Padded-T-Shirt-DD-G/dp/B002F7EFWK

    http://m.marksandspencer.com/mt/www.marksandspencer.com/Limited-Collection-Flirt-Padded-Plunge/dp/B002PNR7E2

    http://m.marksandspencer.com/mt/www.marksandspencer.com/Pack-Mesh-Plunge-T-shirt-DD-G/dp/B0040IZCI8

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    Replies
    1. What the ACTUAL fuck? Is the US the only place that prices undergarments like they're made of 24k gold? And refuses to acknowledge that their market comes in a wide range of sizes? Just FYI, once upon a time, I stocked the lingerie section at a fairly big retailer, and the bras we got in were a standard range of sizes: 32A, 34A-B-C-D, 36B-C-D, 38C-D-DD. And that was it. Many of the larger national brands, like VS, have just stopped manufacturing anything with a band smaller than 34. I combed through the ENTIRE bra section at Macy's to find the ONE 32D and the ONE 32DD that fit me even kind of properly.

      I am going to order all of my underwear from the Motherland from now on, I swear to God. 12GBP is about 18USD right now. M&S lists 30E like it's an actual bra size that I didn't just make up for kicks. That is outright insane. And if their 'nude' color is based on nude people of native British extraction, it may actually be the color of me -- 'nude' here is typically much too dark, and the one that matches my skintone is 'ivory' or 'cream'.

      Delete
    2. Dunno re nude skintone, I am a Brit of Brit extraction and it works for me under light-coloured clothes, but without a colour swatch of you it's hard to say.

      The sizing and pricing thing you're talking about doesn't make sense, given that there are approximately 4 times as many Americans and therefore you guys are a bigger market than us. It seems as if economies of scale should work for you.

      M&S serves every British woman, as I mentioned above, and therefore stocks every size. I have no idea why US stores wouldn't do the same.

      You might have trouble finding your size on the racks in a random small shop here (whereas my size is bang in the middle of 'normal' and is therefore easy), but I have definitely seen them in real life, and anyway there is no reason why that should apply for online shopping.

      You might want to have a look at Debenhams as well - http://www.debenhams.com/lingerie/dd-bras - I have occaisionally bought stuff from them and they seem fine, and they're also cheap.

      My sister has a larger bust - something like 38EE if I was guessing - and she sometimes shops at bravissimo, http://www.bravissimo.com/products/lingerie/ but that's a bit more expensive.

      I think bras here used to be a lot more expensive - £35 for one, rather than £16 for two, ten years ago - but I have no idea what led to the change.

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  2. I'm an American in Britain and second M&S as the go-to source for undies. Good quality and reasonable in price. Plus, much more usual here to see small-framed women with large breasts, which you don't see that often in the US (at least not with the help of a plastic surgeon).

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  3. Delurking to note that I'm currently wearing a 'nude' M&S Limited bra and it's a shade or so darker and pinker than me. Me being kind of buttermilk coloured.

    If you're feeling flush, the Rosie For Autograph cream and peach both disappear pretty well under light coloured clothes and are stupidly comfortable.

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