With the great amount of attention that we put on shopping for great outfits, we tend to ignore what lies beneath. Foundation-wear is essential to looking great for every outfit that you put together which is why I was so excited to learn about Curvy Couture from body positive designer and blogger, Alyssa Dalessandro of Ready to Stare at Curvy Con this year.
Curvy Couture is an online plus size intimates retailer that sells lingerie and bras internationally up to a H cup. As I got the chance to take a look at some of their bras in person at their booth I decided to order one for myself. I’ve never owned a t-shirt bra so I decided to order one in the color nude, a shade that has yet to grace my bra collection. My favorite thing about my experience shopping at Curvy Couture was the fact that returns are free and the team is goes the extra mile to help you get the right fit. I’ve had my new bra for a month now and it has become one of my favorites. That said, I figured this was a great opportunity to discuss bras and bra shopping. So if you’re looking for a new bra or to just refresh your collection here are some points to keep in mind.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.
1.) Shop a brand that specializes in curvy intimates.
I’ll be honest prior to 2010 I only shopped at major department stores for my bras, particularly in Kohls and JCPenney as they were one of the few retailers that had bras that seem to fit my bust. Unfortunately, very few bra styles were ever available in my size and I was stuck with either minimizers, or thin-strap demi bras which would dig into my shoulders. I was then introduced to the Lane Bryant Cacique Intimates collection and have since stuck with shopping bras from plus size brands. With wider bands, thicker straps and a great variety of styles to choose from, these retailers design their pieces specifically for plus size women in mind in all styles and designs.
2.) Get measured!
The number of women who wear the wrong bra size is astounding. Poor fitting bras cause all sorts of issues– from neck pain to posture issues, to poking underwires–all of which can be avoided by knowing your size.You only look good if you feel good, so a good fit is a must. While getting measured is not the end all be all of what size band and cup you will be wearing (it can and will be different depending on the style of bra), it does provide a guide for what you should look for. Unfortunately getting measured properly often comes with a price tag, however, not all is lost as there are retailers that host bra fitting events where you can get your bra measurements done for free.
3.) Try the bras on, even if you already know your size.
Earlier this year I was helped a friend shop for a work trip to Central America and one of our stops was Century 21 to buy a new bra. I have never even glanced at the intimates section at Century 21 so I don’t know what brands or styles they usually have, yet my friend assured me that the quality was good and the prices were even better. To be honest the prices were pretty spectacular. I mean, $15 for a bra? With sizes up to a 46H? That’s too good to be true…and it was. Needless to say my friend got her 34G bra which she immediately packed into her suitcase only to find, once she arrived at her destination, that the bra was far too small for her.
Most brands have their own measuring system so until you try a bra on you won’t know if it really fits. This is especially true when it comes to shopping online. With my Curvy Couture order I had to size up to a 42DD because my usual size (40D) was too snug, but once I got that done it was a perfect fit; so much so that I used it for my first professional photo shoot (an experience that I will be sharing on the blog very soon). I’ve noticed that when it comes to bras some women will refuse to size up the band and/or size down the cup. I think this has to do with the social ideal of bigger breasts being better, so larger cup sizes are desirable, however when it comes to the band-size, smaller numbers are coveted as a larger size implies weight gain. You don’t want a bra that digs into your sides just for the sake of “being a 34C” when in reality a 38D would fit you best. This is about your comfort so the size really doesn’t matter as long as it is comfortable and fits.
4.) Make sure to care for your bras properly.
I know that many will agree with me when I say that buying a bra is a financial investment. The high price for this necessary piece of clothing, especially for us more endowed, makes a very noticeable dent in our budgets so it stands to reason to protect that investment so that it can last for as long as it can. Even with my hectic schedule, I hand-wash all of my bras so that they can retain their shape and elasticity. This is not to say that you can’t use the washing machine, you totally can though I advise that you do so carefully so that you don’t ruin your favorite bra. The same goes for storage; using hangers or laying them flat in a drawer have proven to be the proper way to store bras.
5.) Get some “fun” bras.
One of my favorite childhood animated shows actually referred to the bra as Battle Ready Armor, and to an extent that really what a bra is, as one that fits you well can transform your posture, as well as your overall look that will help you put your best foot forward when you go out to conquer the world. Yet I’ve noticed that when it comes to this kind of shopping most women tend to take it as a necessary evil. We look for lift, support and fit, leaving style to the side. So yes, get the full coverage functional bra, but don’t forget the lacy sexy bra, the bralette, the cheetah/floral print bra, etc. After all this is about you, why not have some fun?
Where is your favorite place to shop for bras? Have you tried Curvy Couture yet? If you have, which bra is your favorite at the moment?