DimitySO's Glum Pixie
Things go in cycles for me. One month I'm cuckoo for shoes, another I can't get enough of fabrics. This particular month finds me mooning over pretty lingerie, which is fortuitous since this is lingerie sale season.
I guess I'm also on this lingerie kick because I'm all of a sudden hyper-aware of just how wrong most women have it when it comes to their bra sizes. I get it, stores offer very limited selections and would have you believe that life stops at the d-cup (unless your band size is big) and that women with small backs have tiny breasts. It's not true. A d-cup is honest-to-God not big at all. As a matter of fact, I'd say the average cup size is d. Because I'm sure that most everyone's wearing the wrong bra size, I offer this advice:
You're wearing the wrong bra size if --
1. You have quadra-boob (the appearance of four boobs) or have "meat" hanging out the sides and/or bottom of your bra. Go up a cup size or two (34 d or dd instead of 34 c).
2. You can comfortably wear your new bra on the tightest hook. Go down a band size (32 d instead of 34 c. When you go up or down a band size, you must go down or up a cup size to maintain the same proportion of band to cup. A 30 e (ddd), 32 dd, 34 d, 36 c, 38 b, and 40 a roughly the same size.). New bras should fit best on the largest hook and progressively stretch over wear and time to fit on the smallest.
3. You can fit a fist or more (some say two fingers or more) in the back band. Go down band sizes. Your band is meant to provide most of the support, not the straps. If your band isn't firm, you are not being properly supported and may have back pain.
4. Your band rides up your back and is not completely horizontal. Go down band sizes. As mentioned above, the band should be comfortably snug, and not loose enough to ride up, to provide the best support.
Accept that you'll probably have to buy your bras online, in small lingerie boutiques, or at high-end departments stores once you've been properly fitted. The unfortunate thing about the US lingerie market is that 32-36 band sizes are very hard to find in cup sizes above d in most cases.
That said, there's some gorgeous stuff available if you look hard enough.
My favorite right now, this is Wacoal's Retro Chic. Comfortable and 50s-esque. Goes up to g-cup if you need it. I'd totally recommend buying more than one.
One of the best lines out there for small band, large cup seekers. Bright colors and gorgeous designs aplenty. They use a more European cut, so I find it's best to go up a cup size in most bras (a 32 f instead of 32 e.) Right now I'm in love with this Frankie style. I guess it's my thing for polka dots. Goes up to gg-cup.
Don't know why, but I just love this bra, Fantasie's Elodie. Maybe it's the grey and the embroidery and the lace, who knows? Another brand that usually runs small in the cup but accommodates the larger cupped. Goes up to h-cup.
Just gorgeous. This is Fauvre's Merissa. Another brand with a good reputation. A bit rich for my blood, but if I had the money, I'd be on it. Goes up to g.
Agent Provocateur is my La Perla. I love their lingerie, but there's no way I can pay two hundred bucks for a bra. Some day. This is Fenella. Isn't she pretty?
I'm not all frill and lace, I like the structural, geometric designs too. Once upon a time, you could find this Danish lingerie designer's line on Figleaves.com. One Christmas, I ordered the most perfect winter white, polka dotted set and waited with bated breath for it to arrive. It never did. Either the postman stole my booty or a neighbor got a free gift that year. To this day, I get pissed when I think about it. (Proof that Figleaves is fantastic. Even though they had a record for delivery, they refunded my money ... all of it.) Either way, this is Early Jet Set and Cartland.
Another specialist in large cups, Miss Mandalay. From left to right, Gigi and Paige. Once you could find this brand on figleaves, but not so much lately. Go to their website or try smaller lingerie boutiques.
A final note on places to buy pretty lingerie that fits: Figleaves.com, Barenecessities.com, BiggerBras.com, HerRoom.com.