Your boobs aren’t wrong. Your boobs are normal and wonderful. If you’re unhappy with how bras fit you, it’s because there is so much misinformation about how bras are supposed to fit out there.
So many people experience discomfort, pain, and a lack of security because of some fabric that sometimes has metal in it. And they can really contribute to insecurities. But, should you choose to wear bras, it doesn’t have to be this way!
Bras have a reputation of being annoying at best, downright torture devices at worst. And many professional bra fitters perpetuate this myth. Why? Because a lot of them don’t really know what they’re doing. Many of them are given little training and are instructed to use outdated fitting methods so they just don’t know any better.
But I’m going to tell you now that the #1 aspect of bra fitting is comfort and how you feel in a bra. They shouldn’t make you feel bad and if they are, consider trying a different size and/or shape because poorly fitting bras can really get you down in the dumps about your body.
When I was 14, I didn’t feel great about my boobs. I was a busty teenager and I hated how they hurt when I ran and bounced about while I was walking. To me, bras were just a piece of clothing I put on that provided some amount of strapping down, as if my boobs were just a part of my body that caused minor annoyance. I know now that my experience is actually slightly uncommon and that more women experience constant discomfort and pain from wearing bras (as opposed to my neutral position on them), but they still keep wearing them because that is what is deemed socially acceptable.
I was browsing the internet and came across a link on Reddit (ABraThatFits). ABraThatFits wants to help people find bras that fit them properly. We’ve all heard those statistics – x% of women are wearing the wrong size – but I just thought to myself: “that’s not me. I’m pretty sure I’m wearing the right size“. I measured myself anyway, just out of curiosity and the result was astounding. I’m talking 3 band sizes down and 3 cup volumes up (I use cup volumes because cup letters aren’t static – cup letters have different volumes depending on the band size. If you size down in the band, you have to size up in the cup to maintain the same volume).
I didn’t really believe it but I asked my mum to take me to a nearby shop and try on one of those sizes – just on the slim chance that it would work. The difference in feeling was so immediate and so drastic that I struggled to wear my old bras out of the shop, they felt that unsupportive.
At that point in time, along with happiness at finding bras that fit properly, I also felt disillusioned. Why did society lead me to believe that this was the right size for me? I spent years of my life buying and wearing support garments that didn’t support me!
Along with the disillusionment I also felt enlightened. The sensation of a bra that fit was so amazing that I thought to myself “EVERYONE MUST FEEL THIS FEELING!”. And that’s what truly started my involvement on the subreddit A Bra That Fits.
What I learned there over the next few years not only has enabled me to personally (attempt to) help hundreds of people, both online and my friends and family, but also made me a better, more empathetic person. People of all body shapes and sizes and from all walks of life were united by a common cause: finding bras that fit them despite how difficult it can be with almost every shop and most online guides doing a bad job.
The more I read and the more I participated the more I began to appreciate the diversity of people’s bodies.The human body is beautiful and boobs can be an infinite combination of shapes and sizes and they are all honestly gorgeous to me. One of the things I love about the ABraThatFits community is how they emphasise that all shapes and sizes are valid, and that if something is wrong it’s the bra’s problem, not yours.
Along the way, I appreciated the rest of my body too. Bras were not a thing that I just wore “because” any more but something I invested time in. I started caring about how my boobs felt in a particular bra and overall began paying lots more positive attention to them. And that (with the help of reading body positive blogs that I found via the lingerie community) made me appreciate my body more. Around that time I developed an illness which left me in chronic pain for a few years, but I still managed to appreciate the quirks and unique parts of (the exterior of) my body. Your body might be going through a lot of changes right now, and buying clothes that fit (including bras) can help you accept that change instead of fighting against it.
ABraThatFit’s tagline is also important to me: because anyone who wants one, deserves a bra that fits. No matter how badly you feel about your body or how low your self worth is, you deserve bras that fit – provided you wish to wear them. You deserve as much help as you need. And maybe bras that fit well will help you feel at least a tiny bit better.
Many thanks to my wonderful sister who drew those beautiful illustrations, and many thanks to Sarah Frances Young for allowing me to write this guest post.