I have a deep-rooted fear that at some point in my life, I’m going to be scooping my breasts off the floor. Can you blame me? When I was 14 and attending my grandfather’s funeral on the island of Abonnema (Nigeria), an elderly aunt whose role was to ensure the women in the family were bedecked with the appropriate gold and jewels, stalked around the house topless, her twins hanging clear on down to her waist. It really wasn’t a pretty sight, and yet, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I remember thinking in a panic, ‘Is this going to happen to me?’.
God I hope not! As I’ve grown older (and a bit heavier!), my boobs have expanded accordingly. In the past, I have been found guilty of wearing the wrong size bra, like a large percentage of women. For a while, I supported my babies with a 34DD cup, convinced that was my size after I was told this during a previous fitting in Ghana. They looked wrong and felt awful. Yet, for some odd reason, I persevered, until, during a Christmas trip to the UK, my sister insisted I had my measurements wrong and I traipsed off to Bravissimo, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams to be fitted. Turns out, she was right and for a while, I sported a 30FF, complaining bitterly to one bra fitter that the band was too tight and I couldn’t breathe.
During my last six months in Dubai, I found it impossible to find the right size bra. Victoria Secrets only go up to a DD; Debenhams in the UAE start from a size 32, and I’m not sure what’s going on with La Senza there, but there is no way that I am a B cup (according to their fitter), who tried everything possible to get me to purchase their bra, even though nothing clearly fitted. I suffered with a lot of breast pain. So much so that I went to see the doctor insisting that something was wrong. So the first thing I did upon my return to England was to take a trip to Bravissimo, Ealing. Turns out, I am currently a GG cup (if you see me you will honestly think I’m lying, most of my friends do), and, in being so, I have crossed into a land where my bras now cost me about £35 a pop. Not cool.
The worst thing about this new price tag is that I was recently told that the average life span of a bra is between three to 12 months. It would be great if Primark or H&M sold my size. Their support systems are pocket-friendly at least. But as I said, I’m now in Expensive Bra-Land and I really do not have the inclination to fork out £100 or more on three items mostly made up of lace, elastic and wire every few months.
Thank heavens for online sales! The downside is, of course, buying a bra that does not fit properly. I watch websites carefully and was ecstatic to find a Freya bra at Debenhams, in my size, for a mere £9.50, original price £40 I think it was. OK, I was NOT keen on the electric yellow shade with animal print straps, but to be honest, no one is going to see it (well now you will as I’ve posted a picture of my purchase!). I don’t think this particular bra is still in stock, but you can check out the current sale here. I quite like Freya and they stock them at Bravissimo where I purchased my first two pairs (£70 in total), who also by the way have nice sales, but Debenhams are really doing it for me right now.
I also invested within this past week in a sports bra, again Freya, again at a reduced price (£15.20). Again, Debenhams. I was tired of double bra-ing it during my workout (I know, I know, not good!), and since I’ve kept up with my routine for the past four months, I figured it was a good time to keep my breasts happy as both my old sports bras have outlived their usefulness. The colour is nice and bright and far more supportive. I do not wince anymore when I have to jump up and down. This one has individual cups, a nice tight band and it is adjustable up to four steps. Each step has four sets of eye and hook. Be interesting to see how long it lasts for.
Marks & Spencer seem to have sales and reasonable prices, in general, although nothing in my size. By the looks of it, their GG cups start from a 32.
For my next purchase, I’m considering purchasing a Sloggi top. Not for every day use because I doubt they offer much support judging by online reviews, but rather to sleep in. I know that there have been in the past, arguments on whether or not sleeping in a bra can cause breast cancer, but according to an article by the Huffington Post, there is no evidence that supports this.
Tips I learned from Bravissimo
- Hand wash your bras to ensure that they last longer
- Get fitted each time you buy a new one as your size changes more often than you realise
- Make sure that the band sits firmly against your body
- Straps should be adjusted so that they cannot be pulled more than two-finger widths from your body. The lady also recommended stitching a mark onto your bra once you have the right position so that it is easy to find it every time
- The back should not ride up or your bust tilt forward