I recently found a bra that fits me well. This may seem like a simple thing, but it took a lot of time and effort to get to this point. I had to suffer through years of wearing bras that rode up high on my back and slid around with my every movement. Those bras seemed too big at times, and yet other times they felt much too small. I knew that there was something not quite right with the way that my bras seemed to migrate up my torso, but I couldn’t seem to solve my fit issues even when I tried different sizes.
My frustration led (as is often the case these days) to a googling spree, and I soon found myself browsing the pages of information at r/abrathatfits, a subreddit dedicated to helping individuals find their correct bra size. I used their bra size calculator to determine my true size, UK 26FF. At first, I was skeptical. I did not know that size even existed. I had been wearing 34B bras for a long time, and did not consider myself to be large chested.
Despite my doubts, I began the process of hunting down a bra in this new mythical size. The hunt was difficult. Retail stores near me did not stock any bras with a band size lower than 30. I was still hesitant to order an expensive bra online and have to return it, so I attempted to get a better fit by “sister sizing” to a 30DD/E bra. This bra did fit me much better than anything I had ever tried, but after a couple weeks of wear it became apparent that I was still experiencing fit issues.
Style, Not Just Comfort
I made the decision to order some bras off of Amazon, where I had some options in the next sister size down, 28F. These bras seemed to be another step in the right direction, but they had their own problems. All of the bras were unlined, which was a style I was not used to and I felt self-conscious in thin shirts because the seams would show. I thought it was a little scandalous.
These bras also dug into my sternum quite sharply at the bra’s gore. When I removed my bra at night, there would be a deep red groove in the center of my chest. I put up with this discomfort for a couple of months because I felt better despite the unpleasant stab of the gore. I felt more confident most days, and these bras actually supported me unlike the old bras. Ultimately though, I began to wonder if I could find a bra that would give me those things without the pain. Finally, I made the decision to order a bra in my true size.
Twenty-six band bras are even less widely available than 28. Searching on r/abrathatfits led me to consider a Polish brand, Comexim, which made lined bras in my size. I decided to order through a US company, Wellfitting, because I was too intimidated to order directly from Poland. After browsing their website, I ordered 2 bras. The first was a practical beige t-shirt bra, and the second was a demi bra with a cat print on it, because why not?
Since the bras are made to order, and because they had to travel all the way from Poland, it was a couple of months before they were finally delivered. During this time, I kept wearing my pokey bras and prayed the new ones would fit me so I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of returning them all the way to Poland. When the box arrived, I opened it carefully in case I would have to pack everything back up to return. I tried on the first bra, and I was amazed.
The band did not feel loose, it felt snug. The support was good, and the bra was invisible under my shirt. Best of all, there was absolutely no stabbing. I felt triumphant. Months ago, I had been wearing a bra that could only perform the function of offering nipple coverage, and look at me now!
A Learning Curve
The journey was long and full of deciphering things like wire width and breast shape, which were things I had never once considered. To finally find a bra that fit, I had to learn more about myself. For too long I had been ignoring many of my personal characteristics, shoving myself into a bra that I thought should work, and then feeling miserable about myself when it didn’t work.
I finally found a bra that fits me well, but I have also found something that is more significant than the undergarment. I now know that with some trial and error, I can find things that fit me well and I don’t have to settle for a bad fit anymore. It is more work, but it is worth it in the end.
I have applied this philosophy to other aspects of my life, this refusal to accept the conventional or mainstream when it does not fit me. At times it can be a bit frustrating, but when I find the best fit, it feels empowering. I used to feel like nothing ever fit me right because there was something wrong with me, but now I know that there is nothing wrong with me, I was just looking at the wrong sizes.
By Emily W.