Same Bra Woes Two Different Solutions

I recently had two fittings back to back and each had drastically different bust sizes.  One was fairly petite and the other was full busted (meaning small back with fuller bust).  Both women had the same complaints.  A gaping cup, riding back band, slipping straps, and the general comment, “I’ve never found a bra that actually fits.”

The petite woman was fit about 8 months ago and the full bust woman was fit about 6 months ago.  Both had been fit at Victoria’s Secret.  What I found very interesting was the petite woman was fit to a 36A (huge back band for someone so petite) while the full bust woman had been fit to a 32DDD. Neither women had been given the right fit but the woman with the full bust was actually pretty close — her cup was just too small.  Both purchased the bras they were fit to and continued to encounter the same frustrating issues. Gaping cup, riding back band, and slipping straps.

Our petite woman had given birth a few years ago and suffered from a loss of elasticity. The easiest part to solve for her was the riding back band and slipping straps. I fixed both issues by decreasing her back band from a 36A down to a 32C. I placed the 32 back band much lower on her back then she had been used to in the past. Because she was somewhat short-waisted her band sat pretty close to her actual waistline. Positioning the back band this way also tilted her cup back towards her chest and helped decrease the gaping issue.

Bad fitting bra

But, it was not perfect. 

Once her band was correct, I focused on the cup and realized she was filling out the base of the cup really well so decreasing her cup size may help with the gaping but she would be uncomfortable because the underwire would then be sitting on her actual breast tissue. Instead, I suggested a lower cup style in the same 32C size. I chose Ongossamer Bump It Up and it fit beautifully! In the past, her trouble with gaping cups occurred from choosing styles that offered too much coverage. Her breast tissue lacked the firmness to fill out the top. By giving her a lower coverage option, a firm band that held her cup back, and a padded feature, we were able to boost her volume and fill every part of the cup.

Our full bust woman was already wearing the right band size (32).  It was the cup size and style that was all wrong. The size was too small but it was also a push-up bra so her breast tissue was actually being pushed right out of the cup leaving her with unwanted bulging and gaping near the strap. She was suffering because many retail stores offer a limited selection of cup sizes. She didn’t realize cups are actually available in several sizes larger than what she had been exposed to in stores.

I increased her cup size by three and fit her to a UK 32G. The bra I used was Panache Andorra.  It was brilliant on her! The new cup offered lift and shape with seams. An unlined style, it featured  flexible lace that adjusted to her shape, preventing both bulging and gaping. Because her breasts were fully contained in the cup and her bridge tacked back against her sternum to offer support, she felt pressure taken away from her shoulders and did not feel the need to tighten them to the point of pulling up her back band. This actually prevented her straps from slipping.

What most women don’t understand is that tight straps pull up the back of the bra, resulting in slack and even more slipping. It’s a vicious cycle!

I’m always eager to fit women and shed light on the mysteries of bra sizes. Both women were suffering from the same issues, yet their actual needs were very different. If you have trouble finding a proper bra fit, contact me with your questions or concerns. I would love to guide you down the right path.

 See below for tips on achieving a proper bra fit.

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