Monday, 19 October 2015

Transitioning Out of Nursing Bras: Part II

Hello again, and welcome to the second half of of my journey back to "normal" bras. If you remember correctly (and I know that's quite hard as it was written a few weeks ago, sorry! Life got the better of me for a bit there...) I left off Part I at the realisation that I would have to book myself in for a professional fitting in order to discover my current bra size. Now I'm a procrastinator so I put it off for a while longer until one weekend I had the most immense back pain by the end of the day. Changing out of my clothes I spotted my reflection in the mirror and realised that the band of my ever faithful Anita nursing bra was stretched up around my shoulder blades. Definitely not where it is supposed to be, and most likely the cause of my back ache.

The next morning I immediately booked myself in for a fitting at none other than Bravissimo. I love that they don't use measuring tapes, something that I've already shown to be useless in deciphering my bra size, instead just going off of how the bra you're wearing fits or doesn't fit in my case. I walked in wearing my Lorna Drew Alexa with tightened cup adjusters which allow the wearer to decrease the cup volume a small amount.

I think this may have thrown the fitter off a bit as I tried to explain that the adjustment meant I was much smaller than the 30HH the bra was labelled as, but she decided to just try a 30H to begin with. So below you can see me in the Alana Bra by Bravissimo. As I'd imagined there would be, there was a lot of gaping and puckering along the top of the bra so it was immediately obvious that I would need to go down a couple more sizes. I would also like to take a minute to explain why I didn't manage to get pictures of all the bras I tried on. My fitter often brought in 3 or 4 bras at a time and I obviously didn't want to take pictures with her in the room! So you, my dear reader, will just have to cope with the pictures I managed to snap while she dipped out to the stockroom. 

It's a no go I'm afraid!

The next few bras were trialled and we gradually moved down cup sizes and back sizes before settling on 28GG/30G as the one which would work the most for me, depending on how tight the bra band is. My hero buy was the Panache Porcelain Bra which I'm wearing in the first picture of this blog post. I love this bra. Can you believe I've never owned a t-shirt bra before? No, I can't either. It's so wonderfully smooth, supportive and minimalistic. It's padded enough that I don't have to worry about nipples showing when I'm cold; but it doesn't feel bulky under clothes. Seriously,  I can't get enough of how wonderful it is to wear a bra which actually fits. And yeah, it also doesn't have a bow on it's centre gore. #winning

Looking like a munchkin in a robe clearly designed for the more average height and size bravissimo customers.

So at this point I'm kind of on a high and decide that maaaaybe I can treat myself. I spotted the Cleo Breeze as I was first walking into the store and may have let out an audible sigh. So now that I have my basic bra I timidly ask if I could try the longline on. My fitter smiles knowingly and ventures off to retrieve it for me.

 After she returned and we resumed the process of cinching and scooping me into the bra. At one point I felt like Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Carribean, being laced into her too tight corset. I said, laughing but in all seriousness, that I may need the 32 back because I've got some upper belly pudge left over from my baby bump. And it is at this point that she informs me that she actually went for the 28 back, not the 30, but insists that it is doing up! Sure enough, she squeezes me into it but I can barely breathe and ask if I can maybe try the 30.

That is my slightly panicked expression FYI.

The 30 ends up working great, but is actually a FF cup because according to my fitter this bra runs large in the cup. In actual fact I have initial gaping along the top of the cups whenever I put this bra on but, going back to adjusting to my new incredibly soft breasts, as I wear it throughout the day my breast tissue migrates into the gap and even over spills slightly near the gore. This is kind of frustrating but worth it because I feel so damn gorgeous whenever I wear this bra.

...And that is a genuine smile because PRETTY.

This trip was definitely a lesson in figuring out which shapes work for me as the Cleo longline was not the only splurge I went for. While walking to the checkout I spotted the Freya Eden Bra, which I have been lusting over for so long, and immediately snatched it up. Unfortunately I may have been a bit too hasty as it's actually a demi cup and my breats just will not stay put in it if I wear it for any length of time. When it first goes on, all is well. Two hour later, my nipples are poking out the top. Not really day time appropriate.

I've accepted at this point that I'm on a learning curve when it comes to figuring out what's going to work for my new body. I'm glad that I now have a basic bra size to work from thanks to the lovely ladies at the Liverpool branch of Bravissimo, but I've also been taught that different brands, shapes, and designs will all result in sizing discrepancies. Also, it's going to be a bit of trial and error over the next little while figuring out exactly which bra shapes are going to reign in my breast tissue. For now, I'm happy rotating round my little selection which still includes a couple of nursing bras. I'm not ready to give up that wireless comfort quite yet!

Thanks for reading. x