how i went from a 34A to a 30DD and changed my life

how bra fitting changed my life

When I decided to make getting professionally fitted for a bra one of my goals for September, I honestly didn't know what to expect. The only time I have been fitted is when I was about 16 and my mom took me to Macy's because I needed nicer bras to wear with my suit for speech tournaments, and the little cotton bralettes I had just weren't cutting it. I don't remember much about that fitting, but it was awkward and I walked away with two padded Wacoal bras, one in black and one in nude, each with a little satin bow in the center.

The next time I really took notice of my chest and whether or not my bras were fitting was the summer of 2014. I had been working full-time at my hotline job for about nine months and had gained a significant amount of weight. I was constantly uncomfortable in my clothes because I didn't really have anything that fit. I eventually went out and purchased a chunk of a new wardrobe, but that didn't include bras in a new size. In fact, I was complaining constantly about how much the underwires in my bras bothered me, so I bought a couple of wireless bras from Gap in 34A, the size I've worn since I was 16, and called it good.

Recently those Gap bras, as well as the single strapless bra I own, haven't been fitting so well, so I thought maybe it was about time to do the grown up thing and get fitted. I stumbled across this article the other day that inspired me to go to Nordstrom and see what they had to say. I recently purchased a new swimsuit top in a 34B from J.Crew, so I was pretty sure I just needed to go up a cup size, but maybe a band size too. Do you think I was right?

 So, without further adieu, let's look at my body in a bra, shall we?

aerie audrey bra

Hey, those are my boobs on the Internet! Well, sort of. Anyway, here is the Aerie "Audrey" strapless bra I have owned since sophomore year of college. As you can see (though apparently I couldn't for the last several years????), my poor breasts look pretty sad in this bra. It does little more than cover the important bits, providing approximately zero support.

When I entered the dressing room, I told the lovely Nordstrom fitter that I needed to leave the store with a strapless bra, and would also consider buying a regular t-shirt bra if I fell in love with one. Little did I know that EVERYTHING WAS ABOUT TO CHANGE!!!!

Paige, the fitter, measured my band size from behind. She slipped the measuring tape under the wire of my bra and, without asking the size of my current bra nor measuring across the cups, she slipped out of the dressing room to retrieve some bras.


When she returned, she hooked me into a lacy unlined bra with ruched straps (I tried to track down which bra this is, but I can't seem to figure it out UPDATE: several lovely commenters let me know that this is the Chantelle "C Chic Sexy" bra). IMMEDIATELY my posture improved. Like, I couldn't believe how straight my shoulders were without trying, all because the band and straps seemed to fit so perfectly! I assumed that this had a lot to do with it being a new bra, as opposed to all of my worn out bras.

I didn't think that the cups fit me particularly well in this bra, so I asked Paige what size it was. 32D. I was...shocked doesn't begin to explain how surprised I felt. The little edge of cup that didn't fit great had everything to do with the bra itself (I'm not an unlined girl) and nothing to do with the size. In fact, Paige and a senior Nordstrom fitter agreed that I needed to go down a band size and UP a cup size. 30DD, y'all.

calvin klein seductive comfort

The next bra could not have fit more perfectly. Paige hooked me into the Calvin Klein "Seductive Comfort" in a 30DD and my whole weight shifted. I felt thinner, taller, fuller in all the right places, and happier. And, holy cow, my boobs looked as awesome as they felt! Later in our appointment, Paige tracked down this baby in beige and I bought it. I have never felt so supported or comfortable in a bra as I do this one. As soon as I get paid, I'm going back for the black!

natori feathers bra

Now that we found my size, we started looking at more options. Paige found this gorgeous blue Natori "Feathers" bra and, even though I mentioned not liking lace on the cups because I tend to think it shows through my clothing, I fell in love. I realized that I have never really felt sexy in a bra until I put this on. I always thought of bras as entirely utilitarian, and over the course of the last year, I wasn't even utilizing bras for what they're really for -- support! How did I get so far off track when clothing and body image are the two things I spend all my time thinking about? I unfortunately did not purchase this bra, but I do definitely plan to go back for it!

betsey johnson forever perfect

Because I really need a strapless bra, we focused in on finding the one. First I tried on the Betsey Johnson "Forever Perfect" bra in 30DD and then in 32DD and, well, it wasn't perfect at all. My cups spilleth over and I became suddenly insecure about my chubby armpits.

wacoal red carpet

Paige called in the senior fitter, who said "It's time for the Wacoal." Oh, Wacoal -- back to the brand of my first real bra! However, I was not expecting the monster of a bra that entered my dressing room! Two big cups and a band so wide it needed four separate hooks. I was sure this Wacoal "Red Carpet" bra in 32DD would eat me up, but it actually fit pretty well! I say pretty well because I still think the cups come up a little too far, but that may just have to be something I have to get used to. Thankfully, Nordstrom has the world's best return policy. Either way, my puppies aren't going anywhere in this bra! Anyone have tricks for putting on a bra with four hooks?

UPDATE: I ended up returning the Wacoal "Red Carpet" bra after a few comments about it not fitting correctly and honestly agreeing. I exchanged it for the Calvin Klein "Naked Glamour" bra in a 32D and it's a perfect fit!

same person two bras

SIZE I ENTERED THE STORE WEARING: 34A
SIZE I LEFT THE STORE WEARING: 30DD (as my mom said "Is that even a real size??)

As I write this, I am still very much on a high from the fitting experience. I was so excited leaving the store that I stopped into Gap for a sec and preached the gospel of bra fitting to everyone who would listen, include Shaunte, the very-happy-to-see-a-happy-customer-on-Labor-Day cashier whose day I positively made, thankyouverymuch.

But, in all seriousness, I think this experience and my new bras are going to change my life in some bigger ways than eliminating breast pain. I mentioned above that my posture immediately improved. My posture is something I have been incredibly insecure about for the last couple of years. I used to have stellar posture, but with the weight gain (and apparently boob-size-gain), I just slumped, slumped. slumped on over. I mean, no wonder -- my poor DD breasts were chillin' in sad A cups with no support! Earlier this summer when I was doing physical therapy, we determined that my poor posture had a lot to do with my constant dizziness and vertigo. Who knew that all I needed was a new bra?

I also already feel 100x better about my body. I always felt yucky about my tummy sticking out further than my breasts. It was so hard to shop and see myself that way. Now that I'm in the right size bras, my breasts are lifted several inches higher than they were in my old A bras and my figure already looks so much better! I have never felt better about myself and my body as I do wearing my new bra. I can't wait to fill my closet with properly fitting bras!

I also want to be sure to give a shout out to Kimi over at Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair (who, if you aren't following, you need to be!). She sent me a link to a subreddit about bra sizing the other day and informed me that true A cups are actually very rare. I looked into it and decided that I was the exception. Aren't we always the exception? No. We aren't. Go get fitted, because you are almost definitely wearing the wrong bra size. Go to Nordstrom. Find your Paige, find your bra, find your confidence!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post by Nordstrom or anyone else. All opinions and boobs are my own. ;)
P.P.S. Thank you to all of the brilliant former and current bra fitters who commented on my goals post! Y'all are badasses for what you do! Go spread the gospel!

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