Bra fitting help » How come this bra doesn't rest on my IMF?
Cleo » Piper Longline Balconnet Bra (9351) » 32H 32:11
Band too small and cups a poor shape match
The underwire is about an inch below my IMF. Can anyone tell why? The cup width seems good. The band may be too small (I've gained 10 pounds and maybe should bump up to a 34). The gore *almost* rests on my sterum, and I have some top spillage, but I also have wrinkling at the bottom of the cup due to my IMF being higher, so I'm not sure if a bigger cup would fix the issue.
Background: I have very pendulous breasts and most bras, even professionally fitted bras, give me an achy pain on my sides after several hours of wear. It's not underwire pinching, and this pain gets worse as my bras reach the end of their lifespan, making me think it's a support problem. I switched to longlines three years ago, which cause less pain. I think understanding my shape might help, but because my unsupported shape is cylindrical and my breast tissue is soft, shape is really tough to tell.
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This is definitely too tight in the band--Cleos run small to begin with but a longline will always tend to fit firmer due to the greater band surface. A too-tight band will tend to creep down towards the more compressible bottom of the ribcage/waist area, so this could be one of the things happening.
Try an extender and then pull the bra up to get the underwire as close to your IMF as possible, and loosen the straps as much as you can without them falling off to make completely sure you are not artificially pulling the upper cup shallower than it would otherwise be. If you still cannot get a tack, or if you get overspill and/or the gap between breast base and wire soon reappears, then you could either try 1 cup volume up (size up in band as well) or you could conclude that the shape is not good. This particular Cleo actually has a flatness and steep slope to its upper cup panel reminiscent of main-collection Panaches, meaning that it is best suited to wearers whose upper breast shape is tapered at a compatible slope. This cup design is highly unlikely to work for you if you have a round breast mass that is all concentrated on the chest wall rather like a letter "b" when viewed in profile .
I would not stress out about defining your shape based on this bra (nor about pendulousness which essentially is meaningless when we are considering how the breast acts when supported). If you like Cleos, the Marcie is more of a versatile cut (for anyone who doesn't have excessively tiny shoulders) and has a more forgiving top edge.
Regarding pain on your sides, I think the question of whether it is a wire problem versus support issue is a false dichotomy--IMO it is often both. Bear in mind that the pain from a boned garment is frequently what is called referred pain i.e. the spot where you feel it is not necessarily the exact place where something was pressing, digging or straining. If you have been mostly wearing Cleos, Panaches or other bras with notoriously hard wires, or indeed Elomis or another brand known for extra-wide wires, that could be the explanation as both can cause pain, even when they are properly-fitted and rest on your ribs or muscles instead of breast tissue. If you are active or just naturally muscular and have well-developed pectorals the tip of a wire on a full cup bra can often sit across or poke into part of your pecs which is VERY painful; if you are not especially muscular and the wire is just doing its job, with a heavy chest a harder wire or less-supportive band or both can still cause a fair bit of pain. The fact a longline causes less discomfort is actually quite relevant to the wire issue as a longline band's support lessens the force with which wires press into the wearer (in a standard bra, the wires are the only part of the structure that significantly "pushes back" against the body to compensate for the outward and downward pull on the cups when a heavy bust rests in those cups; in a well-fitting longline, the whole back surface of the longline helps "pull back" against that outward/downward pull, so the wires aren't doing so much of the work anymore, if that makes sense).
Updated on April 1, 2019 Flag this
I think I remember this being a hard-to-fit bra, but it looks like its too shallow for you?
Updated on March 31, 2019 Flag this
I would say it’s too shallow. Your boobs are searching for more space higher in the cups by the apex, which pushes the bra down, and simultaneously making the cups too small.
Updated on April 1, 2019 Flag this
Update: Per Wendy's suggestion, I hiked up the same bra as high as I could, with the straps as loose as allowed. (Photos #7-10). These are selfies, so I apologize that they aren't as good pics.
Observations: The underwire is now only about 1/4-inch below my IMF. My breasts are now more in line with the bra's apex. Instead of spilling out, I now have some gaping at the top, particularly near the straps. (See photo #9). Some slight wrinkling remains at the bottom of the cup, but much less. (See photo #10). The wings are now nearly in my armpits.
This seems to confirm the need for a larger band, more projection (especially immediate projection), and a different shaped cup. I am also wondering if this indicates that my breasts are high-set.
Updated on April 2, 2019 Flag this