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Old 11-19-2010, 12:09 AM   #1
 
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Default Bras at this time of life

"For bra shopping these days I've moved up to Nordstrom's for a fitting, and I found a style that fits like a dream and takes 5 pounds at least off - a good bra that fits you right can do that, and make you look younger." - cara4art

"off topic, i agree with you about the bra shopping. i went to saks for a fitting, bra, and what a huge difference! my daughter also goes to nordstroms for fitting/bras. we both said we'd never blindly shop for bras again!" - rbb

These other posts(one by myself) got me thinking. At this time of life and especially as one gets well north of 40(try 60+ LOL!)the specter of a decent-fitting bra raises its head. When one is young, and one's assets sit up higher on the chest, and aren't more than a B-cup, one can wear just about any cheap bra or not and still look good because there's not that much there to support and since it's still all sitting high not all much support is needed. Cheap bras, and even some well-known over-priced ones often don't really support, and then there's the by now well-known fact that at least 80% of women are wearing both the wrong size and the wrong style of bra, especially after that Oprah show was on about bra fitting(The Great Bra Intervention or something like that). Then there is the fact that as we age, things change and head south, and also increase in cup size due to either plain old weight gain, having had and nursed children, or menopause, or all of the above. After being fitted not long ago at Nordstroms by a sympathetic fitter, I found a style that fits beautifully and makes C-cups look good LOL instead of saggy, etc. It visually took 5 pounds off my small frame, seriously, and I'm going back to the store to buy these although it's a real expense, but my old bras are just no good after seeing these new ones in action. Another issue with bras now is that SO MANY are these heavily foam-lined/padded monstrosities - over on another board someone referred to them as foam life preservers - they make everyone look like they have implants(not always a good thing) and after a certain age and cup size, trust me, a lot of us don't want to look any bigger than we are, especially due to the fact that the average woman at or after menopause gains 1-2 cups sizes due to the shift in breast tissue to more fat, even without a significant weight gain. I myself went up a whole cup size(but not band size) - was a nice B-cup for many years since I was slim and on the smaller side.
Anyhow, what all these heavy foam-lined bras do is often make one look HEAVIER and more short-waisted than one really is(crucial if one does have a torso that's on the short side - I know this from my own body)and at the same time don't really support all that well. Another issue with bras is that a lot are pushups that squeeze things together into some sort of "baby butt" arrangement which again doesn't always work for mature women. I think the heavy foam-lined things became popular as "t-shirt bras" because nothing would show through, IYKWIM. They're likely also cheaper to make than bras that are well-constructed and actually fit well, so many of us might find ourselves having to spend a lot more than formerly to have a bra that really does it for us. The right one can really make a difference as to how one looks in one's clothes - either dumpy, or more trim it seems. Some people who have been properly fitted look like they've taken 10 pounds off, just like that! There was that Oprah show that brought the importance of proper bra fitting into consciousness. I look around at my gym in the dressing room, in a large city, and still many of the women are wearing the wrong bra of one sort or another, especially mature women.
To add to the mix, good supportive flattering bras are expensive, and women often find themselves going with cheaper bras that don't fit because of this, and hold on to them longer to boot, even though bras tend to wear out after a year or so(or maybe 2, if you take really really good care of them). Looks like I'll be spending more for my bras now than my other clothes LOL(since I get a lot of my clothes at second-hand stores).
Anyone else with tales in the bra wars?
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:40 AM   #2
 
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You've convinced me to go for a fitting at Nordstroms. I've lost about 35-ish pounds over the past 15 months and haven't had a proper fitting since then. I think I'm wearing the right size - but that probably means I'm not! I also need a bra to wear when practicing yoga - it's low impact, but I still need some support. There's not a whole lot to support since I've lost weight, but what I have isn't sitting nearly as high as it once did! Plus there's a total lack of symmetry - hopefully they'll be able to recommend something to help w/that.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:52 AM   #3
 
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".......the fact that the average woman at or after menopause gains 1-2 cups sizes due to the shift in breast tissue to more fat, even without a significant weight gain.
WHAT?

I have never heard this...You mean I may have boobs after menopause? I nursed 4 kids without busting out of the A cup, really. You think hard to find bras for older ladies, try finding nursing bras in size A.

One good thing about that, though, is they didn't really go anywhere yet. Much softer though.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:55 AM   #4
 
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I've thought about designing some well fitting bras! I agree with the OP. I hate shopping for bras now. Who in the world comes up with the designs?! They must be morons to believe that everyone wants to push them up from the sides and out of the top! I feel as if I could put my eyes out with them. Talk about ill fitting! You start out with 2 and end up with 4 because of the bubble tops! Not a flattering look. I'm a petite D in my late 40's so I don't need nor want to look any bigger then I actually am.
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:19 AM   #5
 
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I had a nightmare time looking for new bras earlier this year. Even after being "professionally"fitted in two different lingerie shops I still ended up with bras that didn't fit. They seemed ok in the changing room but as soon as I wore them in real life, disaster - falling out, spilling over the top, bits digging in, ugh. I did eventually manage to find some that fit properly though I found myself bending, stretching and generally jiggling about in the changing rooms before buying any, just to make sure they would be ok. I dread to think what I looked like but I'd already wasted a small fortune.

I've gone up two cup sizes since I last bought a bra, was a 34b for as long as I can remember, even through two pregnancies and now am a 34d.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:46 AM   #6
 
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Wow. I'm just happy to still be able to wear Victoria's Secret bras! I found out while in my 20's that nothing...and I mean NOTHING fit me better at that time. I was a 32B. Do you know how hard it was to find that size in a department store???? No store I ever went to stocked that size. Only VS or maybe the cheapie stores where the bras never fit at all. So, VS it was. I've been in them ever since and, hopefully, will stay there.

I've changed from that 32B of yesterday, of course. While nursing my son, I was up to a 38D. And weight gain kept me at a 38B for a long time. But, I recently lost 30 lbs and now I'm in a 36C, very comfortably. Body by Victoria is the best. I'll never buy anything else as long as they still make the line.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:46 AM   #7
 
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Default Bras at this time of life

I'm so-o glad to hear I'm not alone in this, seriously!
Even with being in reasonably good shape with excellent posture, it's STILL hard. Plus the dressing room lighting and mirrors that we touched on on another thread don't help either - every little bump and lump shows up - ugh! Bra designs really changed in the last 10 years or so, mostly for the worse, except the more expensive ones that are designed better.
@Robin in FL - yes, it is true - this is a very common physical change at menopause(sometimes not manifesting until a few years post, like it did for me in my 50s)along with the fact that fat tends to go the tummy, even on a relatively slim person like myself, another story altogether. Go to menopausal message boards and you'll see what I mean. The hormonal shifts really do a number on a lot of people. However, living a healthy lifestyle that includes lots of exercise and keeping one's weight down along with good nutrition all helps, even with these changes.
But back to the bra thing - I've often wished that I could just go without, but that ain't gonna happen, not only for general appearance, but for "show-through" that garners unwanted attention. Even when I was younger and at that 34-B, I still wore a bra LOL and I liked the way I looked better.
Here's something else to add to the bra horror stories - SIZING is all over the place, often with vanity sizing in reverse, but not always. What used to be, say, a C-cup, is now a D, so some young woman can say "look honey, I have D's!" LOL! Victoria's Secret is particularly guilty of this, as they're aiming at a younger market. Years ago, I wore their bras for years, until the quality and the designs went down. Then sizing will be different among manufacturers. The bra that fit that the Nordstrom fitter got for me runs small in the cups, so she had to size up another cup size. At this point, it's whatever fits one is what counts. Another aspect of sizing I found out that I suspected was verified when looking at some well-preserved lingerie from the 1940s-60s. There were some C-cup bras - guess what - they were more like today's Ds - at least from what I could see. Yet clothing sizes are being vanity sized in the other direction(hey look, I still wear only a 6 even though I gained 20 pounds since 25 years ago LOL!) - another topic.
Keep the stories coming, please!
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:56 PM   #8
 
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I recently learned how to measure myself to properly fit my breasts.

http://www.getsizedup.com/how2.aspx then match your measurements up with the chart below on page 2 of the pdf

http://www.getsizedup.com/articles/C...yTimes7-07.pdf

this chart tells you the closest bra size to fit your cups. For me it worked well enough that my cups are a perfect fit now but I still need to take in the band about one band size. So, ideally I would take a 38G US size or a 38F UK size.

Since it's really hard to find bras in the stores that size, I've settled for a 40DDD/F US or 40E UK size. I will be getting my band tailored to fit and then my bra should fit perfectly!

Check it out, you might find you have a different size than you thought...
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:23 PM   #9
 
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I go to the Just My Size rack at Kmart and buy mine.

They aren't the prettiest things in the world but they fit and are comfortable; the only things I really care about bras at this stage of my life.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:59 AM   #10
 
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By that measuring method I would take a 44B. I don't think I've ever seen that size in a bra store.I have enough trouble finding 40B,which fits me fine by the way.. Bali is the only company that makes my size in any variety, I think I'll stick with it.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:00 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerWife7 View Post
Wow. I'm just happy to still be able to wear Victoria's Secret bras! I found out while in my 20's that nothing...and I mean NOTHING fit me better at that time. I was a 32B. Do you know how hard it was to find that size in a department store???? No store I ever went to stocked that size. Only VS or maybe the cheapie stores where the bras never fit at all. So, VS it was. I've been in them ever since and, hopefully, will stay there.

I've changed from that 32B of yesterday, of course. While nursing my son, I was up to a 38D. And weight gain kept me at a 38B for a long time. But, I recently lost 30 lbs and now I'm in a 36C, very comfortably. Body by Victoria is the best. I'll never buy anything else as long as they still make the line.
I totally agree!
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:37 AM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerWife7 View Post
Wow. I'm just happy to still be able to wear Victoria's Secret bras! I found out while in my 20's that nothing...and I mean NOTHING fit me better at that time. I was a 32B. Do you know how hard it was to find that size in a department store???? No store I ever went to stocked that size. Only VS or maybe the cheapie stores where the bras never fit at all. So, VS it was. I've been in them ever since and, hopefully, will stay there.

I've changed from that 32B of yesterday, of course. While nursing my son, I was up to a 38D. And weight gain kept me at a 38B for a long time. But, I recently lost 30 lbs and now I'm in a 36C, very comfortably. Body by Victoria is the best. I'll never buy anything else as long as they still make the line.
I totally agree!
I've never even tried on a Victoria's Secret bra. I went in the store once and they didn't carry my size.
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:28 PM   #13
 
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According to the Size Me up chart, I should wear a 42DD. However a 42 floats on me...it's way too loose. Right now I wear either a 36DD or 38DD depending on the maker.

I hate bras, and because of breast surgery, underwires irritate my scars.
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:55 AM   #14
 
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I have a drawer full of Victoria's Secret bras and they are soooo uncomfortable. The straps cut into my shoulders. I recently bought a brand called Wacoal and it's very comfortable.
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:50 PM   #15
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wacoal is the brand of the style bras the woman at saks recommended. best bras i ever bought!! and not super expensive, they also sell them at lord & taylor. and, i picked up a few at the 'friends and family' sales at both stores at 25% and 20% off.
i love the fit! very comfortable and my clothes looks so much better.
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Old 11-25-2010, 06:58 PM   #16
 
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Every time I find a favorite bra that fits great, it gets discontinued. I'm tired of reinventing the wheel over and over again, so I think I, too, might do the Nordstrom fitting one of these days.

Besides, have any of you ever been inside one of their fitting rooms??? They are a JOY. I could stay there all day.....
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:36 PM   #17
 
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Update here - two days ago I went back to Nordstrom's to buy those Chantelle bras that fit me so great, and the fitter who fit me a little while back wasn't there as she was off work that day. However, another also sympathetic fitter confirmed the Chantelle style and size as being perfect for me, so I went ahead and bought three of them, 2 in nude, and one in black. So glad I did this, as EVERYTHING looks so much better on me! I feel like I look like myself again instead of having some foam-molded things on my chest - LOL! Even DH noticed, and I do indeed look like 5 pounds came off just like that, at least! I'm not bothering with cheap ill-fitting bras ever again, I swear! I'd rather have a few things that I like for clothes in general rather than a whole closet full of "nothing to wear". This was an expense, since these bras are $68 each, but I thought that right now I'd be better off spending money on something that would make the clothes I have now look better rather than just getting some more clothes LOL! Not to say that won't be in the future when I see something really cool at the second-hand store(non-bra) that's good quality that I love and that fits. And yes, the dressing rooms at Nordstrom are a lot better - very roomy and the mirrors are better too so that helps.
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:39 AM   #18
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Update here - two days ago I went back to Nordstrom's to buy those Chantelle bras that fit me so great, and the fitter who fit me a little while back wasn't there as she was off work that day. However, another also sympathetic fitter confirmed the Chantelle style and size as being perfect for me, so I went ahead and bought three of them, 2 in nude, and one in black. So glad I did this, as EVERYTHING looks so much better on me! I feel like I look like myself again instead of having some foam-molded things on my chest - LOL! Even DH noticed, and I do indeed look like 5 pounds came off just like that, at least! I'm not bothering with cheap ill-fitting bras ever again, I swear! I'd rather have a few things that I like for clothes in general rather than a whole closet full of "nothing to wear". This was an expense, since these bras are $68 each, but I thought that right now I'd be better off spending money on something that would make the clothes I have now look better rather than just getting some more clothes LOL! Not to say that won't be in the future when I see something really cool at the second-hand store(non-bra) that's good quality that I love and that fits. And yes, the dressing rooms at Nordstrom are a lot better - very roomy and the mirrors are better too so that helps.
i went to saks for my bras, only because closer to me. but i think it is the same in service as nordstroms (my daughter lives closer to a nordstroms, and also went for a fitting there, and is also thrilled with the results).
what i did is when the friends and family sales came, i bought more of the bras she recommended at whatever store carried them and was having that sale. lord & taylor also carries the style i wear, and had 25% off for a week of f&f sale, saks had 20% off for their f&f sale. i believe most stores have those sales twice a year. you should also check around and see if anyone is carrying a black friday sale that includes bras!! (do a google search with the brand/style bra and see who carries it.).
my girlfriend feels the right bra takes 10 years off the age a woman looks. i agree that a woman does look more youthful with the right fit.
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:44 PM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotsawaves View Post
I have a drawer full of Victoria's Secret bras and they are soooo uncomfortable. The straps cut into my shoulders. I recently bought a brand called Wacoal and it's very comfortable.
Quote:
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wacoal is the brand of the style bras the woman at saks recommended. best bras i ever bought!! and not super expensive, they also sell them at lord & taylor. and, i picked up a few at the 'friends and family' sales at both stores at 25% and 20% off.
i love the fit! very comfortable and my clothes looks so much better.
HAHAHA!... I'm laughing because I have a few Wacoal bras in my dresser that just sit there because they don't fit me properly and feel horrible on! Funny how different we all are!
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:33 AM   #20
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which is why fittings are so good!! no longer have drawerfuls of bras that don't fit right. (not all wacoal fit me right, it depends on the style, as you know.)
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