Monday, April 14, 2008

Brava! Brava!

Style Spy has a confession. There is one garment for which I do not like to shop. Yep. It exists. That thing is bras.

::deep sigh::

I am a difficult size to fit. Without revealing too much, suffice to say that in what has become a world where it seems large, cantaloupe-esque silibreasts have become the norm rather than the exception, Style Spy finds herself standing on the sidelines feeling rather left out.

And of course, we all know that when we undergo a weight loss, the first place we lose is the place where we'd rather not: in other words, our bustlines. So I spent last weekend trying on bras. I went to four different department stores. I'm pretty sure I tried on about 60 bras. And I bought... two.

This is not a good average. And since I underwent my bra-fitting revelation last summer, I've been even more particular about them fitting properly. But I need bras. A gal's gotta have 'em.

Well, now I know where to go...

Oh, great day in the morning, I can buy squillions of bras online!!! I can try them on in my own home!! When I get around to it! While listening to National Public Radio, or possibly Serge Gainsbourg music! With a fortifying glass of sauvignon blanc at the ready!! Woo-hooo!!

The genius thing about this website is that I can search by size. Instead of rifling through a jungle of tangled elastic, I just push a button and they show me all the bras available in my size. And then when I click on the bra that I'm interested in, they also show me whatever other elements from that line that happen to match it -- which is nice if you're someone like me and you like to be matchy-matchy with your bras & underduds. So that is how I found this adorable little number:


(Um, this is not me.)

and its cute matching panties that are not a thong:


(I've said it before and I'll say it again -- Style Spy flosses her teeth only.)

They're by a label called No Romeo who seem to specialize in adorable, colorful, fun things. Because we all need a wardrobe of black & nude underwear, but sometimes a gal wants to shake it up a little, and it is not exactly easy to find a 32A bra (there, now you know) that fits, is comfortable, and is cute.

I shopped my size, ordered about six bras, and then sat back to wait for FedEx to work their magic. One more really great thing -- shipping was only $4.50. With gas well over $3.00 a gallon, it costs me about that much to drive to Nordstrom. And return shipping? Is free. It is darned hard to argue with that.

At the end of last week I got a Box O' Brassieres delivered to me and I gradually tried them all on over the course of this weekend. I'm sending all of them back except the sweet little blue one, but I've already ordered another batch, including different sizes of some that I tried on the first round. I'm pretty confident I will never have to try on a bra in a department store again, and I am walking on air about this.

The other thing that has is swimsuits. As we know, shopping for swimsuits is not usually a festival, either, so I'm really excited about this as well. They have tons of bikinis sold as separates, so that you can get tops & bottoms that actually fit you, and a lot of really attractive one-piece suits, including this one, which I'm really taken with:


It has patent leather trim. (Patent leather!! How sassy!!) It also has, according to the website, "good rear cover." I dunno about you, but those words are music to Style Spy's ears. has a great section on fitting and a whole glossary of bra parts (so now you can speak with authority about your center gusset) and maybe best of all -- reviews. Real women buy these bras and then they go back on the website and write about them, so you can get a lot of information on fit and style from reading them. The reviews have actually made me an even more educated bra-shopper. Thanks to them I'm thinking about not only my band and cup size, but my breast placement (fairly wide-set) compared to the size of my frame (I have broad-ish shoulders, but an pretty narrow ribcage). This means that when I scroll through the several pages of bras in my size, I'm mostly paying attention to the ones with a wider center gusset (See! It comes in handy!), because those are going to fit me better.

Knowledge is power, ladies.

So, go! Shop!! Buy some bras! (And let me know how it goes!)

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Anonymous said...

Yep - small-cupped women have issues for sure. My mom wore 38A, which was almost impossible to find; she used to repair her bras just to get through...

Anonymous said...

Greetings from the land of the small cup and small ribcages! I never thought of myself as well endowed (36B), but here in Paris I feel like a giant. Or at least it sounds like it when you put it into centimeters (95) and then try to find bras in that size, especially during les soldes. You would have the best selection here! As for me, I was very happy to find some very pretty bras that fit made by Jezebel when I was in California in January.

Bonne journée,

Karen in Paris

Alexandra said...

You would think that given the world with the cantaloupe-esque silibreasts, I wouldn't have a problem but I do. Tiny ribcage, large boobs ( genetics!) makes for so much fun! The overwhelming majority of manufacturers simply do not manufacture my size, so no luck buying off websites either. Argh! I have like 3 brands that fit me well and no luxury of picking the design/style/colour I might prefer.

Anonymous said...

The only place in Central Texas where I can find bras is at Petticoat Fair in Austin. I am very hard to fit - a 30 D. I can walk out of that store with a bra that fits.

Anonymous said...

Yes, figleaves is good. I find Bare Necessities to be even better. Free shipping over $100 which is not hard to reach these days! No label for shipping back but I can usually stuff any returns into a Priority Post box. And I LOVE being able to try them on at home and have 60 days to hem and haw and decide. I find the European brands fit my ribcage better and those can't usually be found in the department stores. So let's just say that Bare Necessities and I are very good friends. Kim

Anonymous said...

Oh Grr , My body hates bra's. Why oh why can they not make a bra for a D or DD (sob) in petite. It seems to be assumed that a D is worn a large person by the evil bra manufactures. If I leave the straps where they put them they would be off my shoulders ,well they fall off anyway!!!! So my challenge is always "the bra". Which if they have one for me I will jump for joy thank you running off to site listed k

StyleSpy said...

I hear so many, many comments like this from women all the time, and yet when I go into a store and look at bras, I swear 75% of them are size 34 and 36C. Who are all these women wearing 34Cs?? And if so many of us are having trouble finding bras to fit, why aren't the manufacturers addressing our needs? It's time to start writing letters, ladies!

Anonymous said...

anon #6 - try Chantelle. I am a petite D. I have really short shoulders and a tiny ribcage, and I can wear some Chantelle bras. Also, some nicer lingerie specialty shops either have or can refer you to a good alterations person for bras.

Anonymous said... is a fairly new online service with a nifty little questionnaire that guides you through the bra-fitting process and then presents you with a selection of bras not simply in your size but also in your desired bra qualities (nipple coverage, cleavage, whatever). Then you can click through to an online vendor (including Fig Leaves, Nordstrom, and others) and buy your bra. Zafu offers a similar fit questionnaire for jeans and pants. I haven't yet bought anything, but I'm impressed with the results so far: one of the bras Zafu recommended for me is a style I currently own, and it's one of the best-fitting bras I've ever purchased.

Anonymous said...

Hi There,

Cool Post! Allow me to quickly introduce myself. My name’s Tia and I’m Community Manager for an online lingerie store called Herroom. I truly believe that undergarments play a huge role in fashion. Undergarments definitely help to boost your body. Wouldn't you agree?

Did you know that there's an Undie Awards that happens every year? Yep! The Undie Awards! It's held by Herroom. It’s a revealing look at America's favorite underwear. It honors the best (and worst) in men's and women's intimate apparel. This year was extremely special because we were able to raise money for Cancer Research.

Well, unfortunately, the awards are over but I do have a list of the ”Best Summer Bras” as voted on by American Women in the Undie Awards for average and full figured women. I would love if you blogged about it. May I send you the list and pics?