Abstract: This is a blog about bras. In this introductory post, I talk at extreme length about the blog, online shopping, and my 32FF boobs.
Welcome to Lingerie Abstracts, a blog for bra reviews, questions, rants, and other underwear-related natter.
I’m Lia. By way of introduction, here is more than you ever wanted to know about my boobs:
- In the very useful dichotomous terms of Bratabase, they are pointy, full on the bottom, narrow-rooted, wide, separate, and low on the chest.
- The left boob is bigger than the right.
- With a 32″ ribcage and a 40″ bust, my bra size is approximately 32FF (UK).
- I have shoulders like a rugby player, which means I never experience problems with bra straps slipping off, but then again, it also makes me look like a rugby player. You win some, you lose some.
Bra sizes, shapes, and cuts vary hugely both between different brands and between different styles from the same brand (and sometimes even between different colors of the same style from the same brand!) Right now, none of my bras are the same size as each other. I own bras in bands from 30 to 34 bands and cups from DD to G. Because I live outside the UK, I buy nearly all my bras online, which can be pretty hit-and-miss. Sometimes you order three or four ‘ballpark’ sizes only to have them all turn out wrong. Maybe that particular style runs large or small in the band or cup and you actually need a size that you didn’t possibly think you could fit into. Maybe the straps aren’t fully adjustable, maybe the bra has got some ‘dealbreaker’ feature or other that you weren’t previously aware of, or maybe it isn’t supportive enough and/or generally doesn’t agree with your boobs. Whatever the reason, you then pack your order up again, return it at your expense, and wait another few weeks for your exchange order, which may again prove a poor fit, returning you to square one.
I’ve been there. I think we all have, at some point. It can get a little frustrating. One of the goals of this blog, therefore, is to provide lots of detailed fit and sizing information in order to help other women with online lingerie purchases. There won’t be many photos because I’m not keen on the idea of sharing pictures of myself in my underwear with the entire internet, but I’ll try to include photos from retailers and manufacturers as well as my own drawings and diagrams. Overall, then, I aim to contribute to online bra data and discussions and also, of course, to spread the message about the importance of a well-fitting bra and the existence of sizes outside of 32-38 A-D.
If you think the post ends there, you are sadly mistaken. I’m very long-winded, you see, and the introductory post is a good place to write about my ‘bra story’. Here goes!
I’m currently in my mid-twenties and only found out my proper bra size not too long ago. As a younger teenager, I didn’t pay much attention to my boobs at all. I wore a sports bra to school every day because I was (and still am, in fact) a comfort-over-fashion kind of person. By sixteen, I’d more or less ‘figured out’ that I was a 34C, which was the size I continued to wear for the next few years. I started wearing underwired moulded bras more often, though it was still sports bras at school all the way up until graduation.
For quite a long time, then, my boobs and I simply ignored each other. Bras, for me, were simply nipple-concealing devices. Sure, they weren’t particularly comfortable and I had to constantly pull my bands down when they rode up, but I figured that was par for the course, that that was just what bras were like.
I never thought of my boobs as being particularly big until, in my late teens and early twenties, some of my friends began to comment on them. Upon starting to wear clothes other than jeans and T-shirts, I also noticed that:
- The seam on a dress that’s supposed to sit under one’s boobs went directly across the top of mine, and
- Those button-front shirts that fit my waist wouldn’t button up over my chest, and those that fit my chest hung like a tent over the rest of me.
Still, I didn’t think much of it and concluded that I was just shaped wrong.
Somehow or other, a few years ago, I stumbled upon the blog Venusian Glow and read about the Bra Matrix and the egregious falsity of the ‘plus four’ measuring method. It changed my life, and I’m not just saying that. I promptly got out a tape measure and found out I was not a 34C at all. At the time, my proper size was 32E. I went to a department store and lucked into a perfectly-fitting bra after a short search. The band didn’t slip around, the cups contained my boobs perfectly, the center gore sat flat against my sternum — it was amazing. My old bras felt hideously uncomfortable in comparison, and I never wore them again.
Since then, my boobs have grown a bit more, and my formerly-perfect 32E bra is now unfortunately far too small. I’m now in the process of searching for new perfect bra with help from online blogs and reviews, and I’ll use my own blog to catalogue my hits and misses along the way.
Finally, a minor point: why is the blog called ‘Lingerie Abstracts’? An abstract is a short summary of a longer piece of writing; given my long-windedness, I thought it might be a good idea to precede each of my posts with one of these. When acronymized to ‘LiA’, the title also vaguely matches my nickname, which makes it easier to remember!