Despite some accusations in the War on Plus Four, while I am a staunch believer that the +0 method is a better starting place for fit, I am not militant about the ‘right’ bra size. Every enthusiast worth her salt knows that the key is fit – and that those little numbers can vary from brand to brand and style to style.
More than that, I have been known to dabble in what could arguably be called the ‘wrong fit’ too. I mean, sure my 34E Agent Provocateur Fifi digs in at the shoulders and I spill over the top when I walk – but does it matter when it’s so beautiful and it doesn’t leave the house?
And I’ll admit – my 32F Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless is a bit loose and does require occasional jiggling – but in the absence of a 30G and with standard balconette/plunge styles murder on my bony and prominent sternum – does it matter?
Well, my Thai holiday (the reason for my recent hiatus, and for this horrible jet lag…) may have taught me my lesson. Held up by my 32F strapless, I walked, ate and tuk-tukked my way through a day in Bangkok for before catching a 3 hour train north to our next stop.
Aside from the fact I was boiling to death (molded cups do not love 40C temperatures), I was super-aware of just how wrong my fit was. The movement. The wobbling. The shifting. In the heat, it felt more of a compromise in fit than it ever had before.
I knew I couldn’t wait to get the thing off, but I was surprised at what I found when I did: long thin strips of blisters decorated my sides from where my bra had rubbed in the heat. Gross, and ouch.
Fortunately, Mr B4J’s first aid skills saw them reduce significantly overnight, and though I was sore the next day the blistering had at least gone down. The day after, I could wear a bra again. Two weeks on though, I still wear the scars.
The moral of the story? Of course, when you’re in the G+++ echelons of bra sizing, it’s often tempting (and sometimes essential) to compromise on fit to get something you want. And we’re grown women – it’s up to us how we dress our own boobs. But when playing this game, let’s not forget that it’s a compromise. We need to be careful about our assets, and while we’re at it not forget that the perfect fit exists – and that with our custom and our complaints slowly more companies are inching towards it. Something perhaps perfectly demonstrated by the fact that Wonderbra have – perfect timing – revealed their Ultimate Strapless in a 30 back up to a GG. I do love a happy ending.
Oh, and another lesson learned… don’t even think about molded styles in the upper thirties. They’re bra saunas that close to the equator. Cruel. And unpleasantly sticky…
Every girl should have at least 3 bras that fit really well. If your a home then it doesn’t matter what you wear as long as it makes you feel good about yourself. I have a 40DD bra the does almost nothing but it’s red and I look amazing in it.
As a Texan, the heat is something we deal with here as well. Even a well-fitting bra can be uncomfortable, and having thighs that rub can also lead to welts and blisters. During the summer I try to stay in air conditioning as much as possible!
Sensible. I’m realising I am something of a temperate flower perhaps – not sure I could hack it full time!
I moved north for 4 years and loved it, but the family is in Texas… It’s a good thing I love them, because I dread summer. On the upside, it’s lovely right now.
My problem with badly fitting strapless bras isn’t discomfort but that they turn into a very unclassy belt within a few minutes. For other styles I do sometimes compromise on fit, which is usually OK provided I don’t do anything too energetic. I did once get a nasty pulled chest muscle from jumping up and down too much while wearing a 30E (26FF in an ideal world).
Goodness! Have you tried Ewa Michalak for a smaller backed strapless? Although I have been hearing unhappy rumours that their smaller backs are vanishing…
Yes, I now have an Ewa Michalak in 24G as I was told the style in question runs large…it really doesn’t. It’s a bit on the small size and I actually use a bra extender, but too small plus a bra extender is as good as perfect fit. I’ve got a 26FF on the way too and one from the Big Bra Bar. When I ordered from Ewa Michalak there was no mention of not doing small bands any more.
That’s good! Some people had reported that ‘off the peg’ smaller backs were being phased out. Am glad to hear that’s not the case.
I wouldn’t attribute your blisters solely to the heat and the fact that the bra didn’t fit entirely right! I also have a Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless, although mine fits perfectly, and after wearing it for 14 hours yesterday I’ve been left with unsightly lines of blisters on my ribcage. I went to the doctor this morning who advised me that they are very likely to be due to an allergic reaction and an internet search reveals that I’m not the only person to suffer from this; most other people report never having suffered a skin reaction to anything before. I’ve contacted Wonderbra to ask exactly what their gel strips are made of, as I’ve worn strapless bras from other brands before and not had this issue.
Interesting – although I’m certain it was the heat for me in this case (didn’t happen before or since), a friend of mine recently said that she’d replaced her Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless and experienced a negative reaction. I wonder if they’ve changed the gel strips and this is causing problems? Please let me know if you get anything back from Wonderbra x
Wonderbra got back to me this morning – I’m returning the bra to them to see if it’s faulty and they’ve been kind enough to offer me two complimentary bras. They suggest that I might be allergic to the silicone, which I guess is possible, but given the current state of my ribcage (the blisters have now filled with blood and one has burst despite the fact that when I go out I’m reduced to wearing a particularly loose, unsupportive bikini top and the largest sleeveless top I own) I’d like more information, so I’m asking them whether the silicone is treated with any potentially allergenic chemicals during the manufacturing process – I’ll report back on that.
On the subject of Wonderbras, how well do you know the range? I’m usually sized out by them (I normally wear 28F/FF but the 30F Ultimate strapless was a perfect fit) so don’t have any idea what to order; do you know if any other of their DD+ styles run small in the band at all? Thanks x
I’ve only ever tried one other Wonderbra – it was just a standard (extremely low plunge). Fit was pretty good but it definitely ran on the snug size – actually I found the 30 back (I have a 29 inch rib cage) a bit too tight. So definitely worth trying. Please do keep me posted on the silicone issue: I mentioned it to my friend and she’s extremely keen to know what may have changed between this bra and the last.
I’ve had exactly the same problem with the silicone straps and blisters: Long thin blisters, which are about 5mm tall. It’s really frustrating as otherwise, it’s a great bra. I liked having the weight off my shoulders for a change
I am definitely going to reach out to Wonderbra on this!