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Band Length Frustrations » All bra adventures

Band Length Frustrations

So I've recently started looking for better fitting, more supportive bras. I had been wearing sports bras in the past year or so mainly because they felt more supportive than my previous VS bras. In hindsight, my 34DD VS bras were probably too loose in the band from the time of purchase, which is why I didn't really feel supported in them. I was relying on the straps to help add support, which clearly didn't work; even at their tightest the bras didn't actually lift any tissue really.

After taking measurements a few weeks ago, I got recommendations for 30G-30GG bras. I've ordered several bras from Amazon in the last few weeks without finding any keepers yet. 30GG plunge bras all seem too loose at the top but 30G sizes cause breast tissue to spill out on the sides. 30G - Freya » Deco Delight Moulded Plunge Bra (1561) was causing some quadboob issues due to shallow cups. The 30GG - Freya » Marvel Side Panel Bra (1501) band seemed too tight and cups too shallow. The 30GG - Cleo » Maddie Moulded Balconnet T-shirt Bra (7091) 30GG band was too tight. I really thought I'd found a winner with the 32G - Fantasie » Isabella Padded Half Cup Bra (9331) in 32G, but the wires were poking my underarm area on the side and the sides in general seemed rather tight. The 32G - Panache » Envy Balconnet Bra (7285) and Panache Jasmine Balconnet Bra (6951) in 32G were way too pointy, but the same bras in 30GG fit much better. The jasmine band just seemed uncomfortable as far as texture (not necessarily tightness) and the envy cup/side wing height was too tall to be comfortable.

The 32G - Freya » Hero Side Support Plunge Bra (1841) and 32G Fantasie Alex Side Support Bra (9152) were a little loose on top. The 32G Cleo Hettie Balconnet Bra (9011) and Cleo Blake Balconnet Bra (9151) were both a little (or a lot in the case of the hettie) poking into my sternum at the top of the gore and were a little loose on top.

I also received the Panache Clara Full Cup Bra (7255) in 30GG which seemed like it fit perfectly, but after a few hours of wear, I felt like I was wearing a corset. While wearing it, I thought the wires were too tight or in the wrong location on the sides, but when I took the bra off, the wires were in the right spot but I had massive red marks from the band being too tight. I had a similar experience to a less extent with the 32 G Cleo Marcie Balconnet Bra (6831) .

Anyway, after initially thinking that the cleo marcie and panache clara would work, only to be uncomfortable later because of the tight band, I retook my measurements today. More accurately, I had my husband take the measurements to make sure I wasn't pulling on the measuring tape too tight when measuring the band length. I assumed I probably pulled the tape too tight initially and that I actually needed a larger band size, yet the measurements were even smaller!

My comfortable ribcage is now 72 cm, loose ribcage is 76.5 cm, tight ribcage is 70.5 cm. Horizontal and vertical perimeter are 26 cm and laying perimeter is 27 cm. N2N is 26 cm, breast base is 22.5 cm, and frame width is 24 cm. My current recommended size in 30F-30FF. Given that 30GG and 32G bras seemed too tight (so either the band was too tight or cup was too small if I understand things correctly), I don't have a lot of faith that any 30F or 30FF bra will be comfortable either. Any thoughts or suggestions? Before retaking the measurements, I assumed I'd be trying to see how either 34F or 34FF bras felt but now I'm even more confused.


Filed under Bra sizing and fit

Shared on Jul 16, 2017 Flag this


  • Are you trying the bras on upside down and backward? I suspicion some of your breast tissue is requiring band length. This has been a problem for me with center fullness and shallow underarm tissue.

    And, if the gore can't sit flat, the tops of the cups will wrinkle. Bras that were painfully too small (I have compressible breast tissue) would present wrinkles in the top causing me and others to think I needed a smaller size. Incorrect diagnosis.

    Considering your measurements, it is unlikely a 32F will fit. This journey can take a while....

  • The calculator here underestimates my cup by one size and maybe it's underestimating yours as well. So maybe 30G, 32FF?

    Some of the bands shown in your pictures did look tight but nothing that an extender wouldn't take care of. Also you are used to stretchy VS bands in a larger size and whatever the bands of the sports bras were like, so 30 and 32 bands are going to feel tight. Try wearing an extender until the bras stretch a little.

    Or try some 34Fs. A Cleo Lucy 34F is still going to be firmer than a VS 34 band. I've heard of people who took a year or more to feel comfortable enough to wear their optimal band size. As long as it doesn't ride up it's fine.

    The thing is, bra size calculators give only a suggestion of sizes you might try. Your comfort is more important than wearing the "correct" size according to your measurements.

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