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I’m Bustin’ Out!

January 29, 2009

This one’s for all my fellow ladies out there. If you can’t identify with this or be glad you don’t have to deal with this, then let this be a cautionary tale against wishing too hard that you were more like me in this regard. Today’s topic? The headaches (and backaches!) of living with a large bust.

Depending on the particular manufacturer and design, I’m somewhere within 36 or 38 D or DD. This means I fail the pencil test rather spectacularly. In fact, I fail the CD-in-case test. And the small-paperback-book test. This means, of course, that good support is hard to find. When you’re well-endowed, this can be a very important thing. For one thing, skin doesn’t breathe. Even in the winter, if I’m lounging around at home without a bra, it can get sweaty under there, and I don’t like to sweat. It’s rather uncomfortable. For another thing, and I realize this is rather controversial, I don’t like the feeling of bouncing around when I move. The downward swing of the bounce pulls rather hard for me and hurts just a little bit.

So of course I do what most women in Western society do: I spend the better part of several afternoons bra shopping. I have all the usual criteria, of course. It has to fit just right (with minimal amount of “side boob,” preferably none at all), meaning just enough lift that I’m not sagging, cups that hold me in so I don’t pop out, and straps that stay on my shoulders without cutting into them. Surely that’s not too much to ask, right?

In a way, I’m lucky that I’m only a DD. It’s a large size, but at least it’s at the edge of normal, which means regular stores are reasonably likely to stock what I need. It’s one of those in-between sizes that are maybe a bit big to be easily found as part of a regular line, but just too small to be part of most plus lines. It often takes a bit of shopping around, but I generally find a bra that reasonably fits me and that doesn’t cost too much.

But what about those pesky shoulder straps that keep falling down, and that I have to keep hauling up every two minutes? I don’t seem to have that problem with front-loaders, but this time around I just couldn’t find a good one in my size. I can’t express how utterly relieved I was to finally find an accessory that would save my sanity. It’s the cleverest thing: It hooks to the straps in the back and through simple horizontal tension keeps the straps from constantly falling down my shoulders. I haven’t needed to haul my straps up at all since I got it. Best five bucks I ever spent! Mind you, it sort of creates its own problems. Despite the instructions on the box, I find it very difficult to put the bra on with the connector strap in place, and it’s basically impossible for me to put on the bra and then attach the connector strap. I used to be able to put a bra on directly and hook it in the back, but I haven’t been able to do that for quite some time now, and I’ve taken to hooking it in the front and turning it around. That’s rather more difficult to do with the connector strap in place. Ah, well. Everything has a price, I suppose.

Remaining on my bra-related wish list is a way to keep the whole assembly from sliding forward. The back rides up, the front inches down, and soon I’m only nominally supported. If there were a reliable way to keep the back low and the front high, I’d be a happy gal. On the other hand, I often wonder whether that would be a good idea. Somebody my size in what’s essentially a push-up bra? I’m afraid it would take somebody’s eye out.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 2, 2009 4:49 pm

    It sounds like your bra is the wrong size! If your back is riding up, the front riding down, and your straps falling off, I’d bet your band is too big! That’s the most common mistake women make. Have you been properly sized? I don’t mean at Victoria’s Secret (they’re totally crappy at sizing women properly, in my experience)…I mean at a little old-fashioned lingerie shop with a huge range of sizes (Nordstrom will do, but many other department stores don’t make it). I would bet your band is at least a size too large, maybe even two or three. If I were you I’d go down a band size (and up a cup letter to maintain the same cup size) until you find one that stays parallel to the floor all day long. So, instead of a 38D try a 36DD, then a 34DDD/34F, then a 32FF (keep going until you find the one that fits correctly). The band should be quite snug.

    I know it’s a pain – I’m an H cup and there is only one lingerie store I know of (within reasonable driving distance from my home) where I can buy my size. I have to purchase exclusively online. But it’s so worth it to be wearing the correct size!

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