I tried on the last bra in my diagnostic bra haul, 34HH - Fantasie » Memoir Full Cup Side Support Bra (3021), and learned some very valuable information: not only are my breasts full on top, they're extremely full on top. They're so full on top that they made a full coverage 34HH bra look like a too-small balcony-style bra. When I put on a bra extender to see if the tight band was distorting the shape of the cups, I did manage to get them a little more fully into the cups, showing that they are indeed pretty shallow cups, but mostly it revealed slight gaps on the sides of the cups. So again the problem is not enough depth and a too-low, too-wide cup.
With this in mind, I've been paying closer attention to the seams on potential bras as I keep looking, and I'm beginning to reach the conclusion that my breasts are just too narrow and full up top to get the kind of fit I want out of a bra. This would be so much easier if I could just go try on a bunch of bras until I found one that was close enough to deal with instead of researching all over the place and trying to make educated guesses. I picked a terrible time to realize that I've been wearing a bra roughly 8 cup sizes too small and two band sizes too big and completely the wrong shape. On the other hand, I'm also thinking I might not have been able to find something in my size anyway, and I almost certainly would have walked out of a store with a 38DD wireless bra not knowing any better had I not been forced to get a little more creative, so go figure. (It's really amazing how much you can get away with in a wireless bra while an underwire bra immediately reveals it is absolutely not the right size and not going to even pretend to play along.) I also realized that my breasts are reasonably close-set, so this may be contributing to the fact that not a single gore has even approached contact (but I'll have more answers about this one if I can finally find a bra with enough depth and immediate projection).
I keep trying to research what bras seem to work best for people with very full on top, large boobs, but all the recommendations I see either don't come big enough or they're pretty extreme balcony bras, and from my admittedly limited experience with true balcony-style bras, they cause me immediate shoulder and neck pain. I'd be willing to try some again, but I'm not comfortable relying on them as my everyday bra. (Although if I can find recs for some balcony bras that extremely full on top people with projected UK 34H/36GG+ boobs swear by, I'd give it a shot, because I think I'm narrowing down my size range to that, but i recognize that that's a tall, very specific order.)
It's so frustrating because I got such a beautiful shape with the Fantasie Memoir. Very round and almost minimized. I could see over my chest! They were held firmly in place! They projected like 2" less than they want to in pointier bras! It even seemed to work with my soft breast tissue. But absolutely everything else about it did not work, and there was so much jiggle and revealed breast up top that even if it hadn't been very painful to wear, I'm not sure I could have worn it in many settings (although it did look very nice in a shirt). And I'm kind of bummed that I never, ever wanted a cute bra in my life and always gravitated to the most plain, uninteresting bras I could find, but suddenly decided that I'd like something pretty and got excited over all the gorgeous bras out there, only to realize that I'm sized out of most of them (and the ones that might work and are cute are so, so expensive compared to the bras I'm used to).
So. I caved and bought the biggest Glamorise wireless bra I could find (US J) in a 36 band just to have something to wear. I know it's a toss-up if it'll fit, but it's probably close enough. I have literally no bras at this point and I'm tired of walking around like this. I can't believe I've been squeezing into D cups for the last two years and C cups before that. I know my breasts have gotten bigger this past year or so with some weight gain, but there's no way they grew that much, so I think it's safe to say that D was never the right size.
Filed under Bras ups and downs