Tuesday 28 February 2012

Starting Points

You might notice I’ve created a new category for posts called “Starting Points”. I think this is important because not everyone is at the same point on their journey towards bra happiness and boob happiness.

When I started this blog, I decided to proceed with the assumption that everyone who ended up here would already have some idea of their size, or at least would know that there are sizes above DD. But it’s unfair to assume that awareness of the sizes implies knowing your own size, plus we all need to re-check once in a while.

A great post that has a comprehensive overview of the whole topic is "The Bra Fitting Revolution" at Barbara Rae's Rants. However, she doesn't say much about 'swooping and scooping', so go read her post, and then come back and read what I have to say.

The most important thing about bra fitting is to achieve a stable, comfortable fit where the band is tight enough to provide support and the cups are large enough to fit your breasts. The band should be straight across your body, not riding up, and the center gore (the part of the bra between the cups) should be sitting flat against your body.

To figure out your band size, measure around your underbust--the place right under where your boobs end. Do it in front of a mirror and make sure that the tape measure is sitting horizontally straight. This measurement will help indicate your band size. If you want a tight fit or have very heavy boobs, you'll want to try a band size that is the same as your measurement in inches (so if you measure 30 inches around, try a 30 band). If you want a slightly looser fit for comfort, without sacrificing stability, add 2 inches to your measurement (so if you measure 30 inches, you'd try a 32 band). Don't be afraid to try multiple band sizes. If your measurement is not an even number, you can either add or subtract one inch to get your size, depending if you'd prefer a tighter or looser band.

Band size is important to figure out, but cup size is MOST important. You can find more detail on that in my post here. Most women will find they are wearing a size that is too small. A great starting point to figure out your cup size is the Sophisticated Pair bra calculator.  Another good one is the Curves and Corsets calculator. These two are the only calculators I've found online that are fairly accurate. Based on what these calculators tell you, you'll want to order A TON OF BRAS. Order bras in the suggested cup size, one size smaller, and one and two sizes bigger. (Don't worry, you're going to be returning most of them.) You need to try a lot of different shapes and sizes in order to figure out what works. Bravissimo, Figleaves, Brastop, and Large Cup Lingerie are good places to start looking for bras.

When you try bras on, YOU MUST 'SWOOP AND SCOOP' your tissue to figure out if the size is correct. Basically, reach into the bra cup and pull up all the tissue. You'll find that a bra that might have looked too small will now fit; a bra that might have seemed like it fit will be revealed to be too small. You must swoop and scoop every time you put on a bra to make sure your breast tissue is being supported and lifted, not crushed and damaged.

To increase your success, it's best to also educate yourself on breast SHAPE as well as size. For this, check out my posts on figuring out the shape of your boobsmore detailed information on the same, and figuring out what shape you like to get from a bra. These posts will likely also help you figure out what bras to try.

You can also check out my brand overviews on FreyaPanache/CleoCurvy Kate. More overviews to come on Bravissimo, Fantasie, Tutti Rouge.

A lot of people will tell you that the only way to get properly fitted is in a shop, but that isn't realistic for everyone. First of all, real professional lingerie shops with good size ranges are very difficult to find, especially in America. Second of all, if you don't have a vague idea of what size should work for you, how can you tell if a fitter is doing their job correctly? You don't want to be victimized by a mediocre fitter. If you live in New England, definitely go to Zoe and Co; I can vouch for them that they are amazing, attentive, respectful fitters. Intimacy is another good, trustworthy store to get fitted at. If you live in the UK, Bravissimo is the ideal starting point for a fitting. Regardless of where you go, it's always a good idea to go in armed with some information.

Assorted tips and hints:

Beware of any website, store, brand, or size calculator that uses "American bra sizing"! There is no such thing as a standard of sizing in America. Most brands that market to America and reputable stores in America will usually use UK sizes. That is, in proper UK sizing, the cup sizes are AA, A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K, KK, L. Each size is one size bigger than the one before it--there is no such thing as "half sizes"; some of the cup sizes are just called by a double letter while others are called by a single letter. One really odd thing I have seen is that certain online retailers only stock the single-letter sizes, as though they believe that the double letters are "half sizes" (they aren't!). Be cautious with retailers like that. If you see anyone listing sizes in a way different than what I've listed above, be careful when ordering from them because what you get may not be what you expect. If you encounter an American bra whose cup size is listed as "DDD", this is the equivalent of a UK size E.

If your bra has underwires that feel too wide, or the wires are digging into your ribs, it’s probably because your body isn’t constructed out of flat planed surfaces. Be sure to check out my post on bending the underwires to fit your body.

If a new bra has itchy bits on it from the rough edges of seams or threads in small areas, try rubbing at that itchy part with a nail file so it becomes smooth. Often this will solve the problem. If the tags are itchy, save time and just cut them off.

If a bra has a ribbon bow that’s too long and you want to trim it, but don’t want it to fray, cut it and then gently dab at the end of the ribbon with clear nail polish. That will seal the end so it can’t fray.

If you’re a student and your back hurts from long hours sitting in lectures and the library, try studying in bed. You’re worth it. (Sadly, this doesn’t apply to office jobs unless you work from home.)

Read this article on Boobius Maximus to learn how to recognize bad bras from good bras, and to pick out bras similar to ones that have worked for you in the past. This is the biggest wealth of information EVER contained in a single blog post. Read. It.

A great classic post from Thin and Curvy about good versus bad reasons to have reduction surgery

Thursday 23 February 2012

How to Figure Out The Shape Of Your Boobs

I had a question in my comments regarding breast shape and how that can affect bra fitting. My post on “What Exactly is a Good Shape?” was an importing starting point for this, but I think it’s also pretty important to share a bit of the background to that post. Because I’ve tried so many bras and the shape of my boobs is very stubborn and frustrating, I’m very aware of it. Figuring out your shape is something that tends to happen gradually the more bras you try. But for trickier shapes, or for those who haven’t tried as many bras, it can be more difficult to figure out what shape you are. Once you’ve figured out your shape, you’ll be better equipped to choose bras that will suit that shape.

If you have boobs that are full on top, you will find that you struggle with bras cutting in across the top, especially when there is a ribbon or tighter detail there. In some cases this just means the cup size you are trying is too small, but women with full-on-top boobs will often have this problem even if the bra fits otherwise or is even too large everywhere else. Full-coverage bras can be very hard to fit into properly for those with this shape. If you find that you fit lower-cut bras in a certain size, while bras that have tighter upper section across the top cut in and give a “four boob” effect, you might be fuller on top and more suited to bras that are lower-cut or more open in that part. Stay tuned to this blog for reviews of bras that will work well, as this is the shape I have.

People with boobs that are more full on the bottom are likely to have more luck with bras that have a tighter upper section, like Bravissimo’s Alana and Dotty Spot or Freya’s Arabella. On the other hand, these women might find they need to size up with bras that give a lot of uplift by pushing the bottom of the breast tissue, like Curvy Kate's Thrill Me and Tease Me styles. Women with this shape will also have an easier time fitting into full-coverage bras, though they may find that style doesn’t give as much support and uplift as they’d like. I have no scientific data on breast shape, but from people I have talked to, and my observations of bra designs that sell well, I believe the full on the bottom shape may be the most common shape.

Other women have boobs that are more full on the sides, which I imagine would mean they are better suited to wide underwires; or full in the middle, in which case you might find you 'fall out' of plunge bras in the center. Or, some people’s shape might combine several of the shapes I’ve described. If you've tried lots of bras and have never noticed any of these effects, you might have a balanced shape that doesn't skew to any one direction, which could be good, and mean you fit in a lot of different styles.

If you haven’t been able to try on a lot of bras, you can also start to guess your breast shape based on the shape of your boobs without a bra. See if you can tell where most of the volume of your boobs is, and where they are most firm. For instance, my full-on-top boobs have the most volume on top, and that area is also very firm compared to everywhere else. Your monthly breast self-exam is a good time to investigate your shape while you’re at it.

You also may be able to tell your shape based on the appearance of your boobs without a bra. Although once again this is not scientific and won’t be true of everyone, boobs that are full on top tend to look more like the figure on the left without a bra, while boobs that are full on the bottom tend to look more like the figure on the right.

One last point is that some boobs are close together, while others are set further apart. If you have close-set boobs, you might find that you get a lot of cleavage without trying and need a narrow center gore, or to alter wide center gores so they don’t cause discomfort. If your boobs are wider-set, you might find it is harder to get cleavage when you want it, and you might find it is difficult to find plunge bras that work for you—Cheryl at Invest In Your Chest has talked about this difficulty.

I hope this post is useful to anyone who is working on finding the right bra for her shape. Of course, like any such guide, this is only a starting point. The main point I want to make is that there is no “wrong” shape for breasts. Every shape is normal and attractive, and every shape deserves a bra that fits well. There are lots of different kinds of bras out there, and especially as the market is growing, there will be something out there for everyone. The more you know, the better luck you’ll have. 

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Curvy Kate “Emily” in Flame (Review …ish)

This will be a quick post; I just wanted to share my answer to a question I’ve had for ages. Exactly what color is "Flame"?

 I’ve long considered buying Curvy Kate’s Emily bra in this color, but I wasn’t sure if it was red or orange, or in between, or a bit of both. It seemed to look a bit different in every photo I’d ever seen of it. Personally, I love red, but I’m not so crazy about orange, which was why I was so curious that I ordered the bra.

The answer? As you can see, it's highly dependent on the use of flash, but I’d say it’s more red than anything else. It's a shade of red that is slightly tinted towards coral or orange, but to my eyes it falls solidly in the category of red. For a much better visual aid, here’s a photo of the Flame Emily next to my red Princess, which is a classic pillarbox shade of red:

As you can see, the two colors are not that far off. However, the Flame Emily does have embroidery in orange, so I think it will satisfy fans of orange as well as red.

As for the fit and shape… well, last time I reviewed the Emily I wasn’t very kind to it. But that was unfair, since I had tried the Emily in one cup size up and two cup sizes up, but never in my actual size. In my normal Curvy Kate size of 28J, the Emily was a good fit and actually gave better shape than the other Curvy Kate bras I’ve tried. It’s still not open on top like a Panache balconette, but the top section is much looser than that on the Angel or Princess. In fact, the material makes it a lot like the Ella, which is the Curvy Kate bra I found the easiest fit. The Emily is, like the Ella, pretty forgiving and I think it’s a good Curvy Kate bra to start with if you are still trying to find your size in the brand.

The shape from the side is pretty good, not mind-blowing. It’s still a little more triangular than I’d like, and not as round as the shape I get in my favorite bras (Panache Sienna and Confetti, Cleo Lucy and Brooke). It’s not a terrible shape, just kind of average on me. I would consider this more an everyday bra than a sexy number. Of course, sometimes that's what you're looking for.

Sunday 19 February 2012

Cleo "Brooke" Review

Once again, this is an older bra that isn’t being produced anymore, but I consider it one of the “oldie but goodies”, so I’m doing a review to help anyone who is considering picking up the Cleo Brooke on sale or on eBay.

I find this bra very similar in shape to Panache’s Sienna and Confetti bras, and Cleo’s Frances. It’s very open on top, which is perfect for my full-on-top boobs. I wear a 28J in this bra, which is a good fit but a tiny bit roomy; I could potentially also fit a 28HH because it is so open at the part where I have the most volume.

The shape from the side is stellar, placing this in the short-list for Best Bra Ever in terms of how it looks under clothes. I also think it’s cute without clothes, especially the bow in the middle of the cups.

I also like the fact that the color and fabric (mesh) are the same all over--I find that sheer or color-blocked upper sections can often be unflattering in higher cup sizes. 

To get to the bad points, though, this bra suffers from a few annoying problems. The straps are only half adjustable—not a problem for me as I have pretty average-height shoulders, but for anyone petite who normally needs to shorten straps a lot, this one is a miss. The back band has only 2 hooks rather than 3, which I find annoying, but which I know can be a plus for those preferring the more delicate appearance of a thinner band. My final annoyance with the Brooke is that it’s been VERY difficult to break in. I know, from my experience with my Lucy, that once Cleo bras soften up they are very comfy, but it can be a long road to get to that point. Right now, my Brooke feels very rough in the center of the underwires, even though I bent it to fit my body like I do with all my bras.  It’s a bit of a vicious cycle—because it’s not broken in yet, I don’t often wear it, but because I don’t often wear it, it’s not broken in yet. Hopefully I can get past the discomfort at some point. A brand-new Brooke is not for the faint of heart—or at least requires the purchase of some Band-Aids for the first five wears.

Thursday 16 February 2012

Bras I Want: In Which I Am Not Bitter

I spend a lot of time being annoyed at small size ranges, poor bra construction, and boring design. But there are a few bras in upcoming collections that I’ve been drooling over since the photos came out, so I figured I should share the lust. I’m feeling optimistic today!

Cleo Lucy in Yellow (Spring/Summer 2012)
A YELLOW bra all the way up to a J cup! 

I hadn’t realized that people of any size were wearing yellow bras, but that is exactly why I love the fact that this exists. I always say that as soon as someone starts making J-cup bras with sequins on them, we’ll know we’re really getting somewhere… This vivid shade is nearly that. YAY for random colors! Down with only making big bras in black, white, pink, and nude! I don’t even like yellow all that much but you can bet that I am going to buy one of these just for the sheer hedonism of it.

Curvy Kate Tease Me in Cherry/Blush (Autumn/Winter 2012)
Anything in a colorway called “Cherry/Blush” is bound to be made of sexy. Seriously, just say it aloud. Now look at this bra. 

I want it. I need it. I have to have it.

Curvy Kate Entice (Autumn/Winter 2012)
Curvy Kate is just killing it with these awesome, awesome upcoming styles! Look at this! 

This is what I want! And look how the strap has that wider section connecting to the cup! That is brilliant and will give such a nice shape to the cup by spreading out the tension from the strap! I am way too excited!

Curvy Kate Wild (Autumn/Winter 2012)

I don’t actually want this (my boobs tremble with fear at the thought of most deep plunge bras), I just think it’s cool-looking. I’m pretty sure we can all agree that this is cool-looking. I assume everyone who likes plunges is going to buy 12 of this bra on the day it comes out. You go, ladies!

Curvy Kate Smoothie (Autumn/Winter 2012)
The heralded molded bra “up to a J cup” which really only goes up to a J cup in 2 band sizes—for once, I am actually in that size range, though barely. I’m bummed they didn’t make this in more sizes. 

But I’m PSYCHED that they made it in a weird leopard/cheetah print for their very first go! Down with basics! I’ll definitely buy this just to see what it’s like. (Seriously, though, they’ve got to expand the size range for this one in future seasons.)

Curvy Kate Fleurty (Spring/Summer 2012)
This bra, which looks to be the same shape as the Tease Me/Thrill Me, is coming out a bit sooner than these other Curvy Kate bras—just in March! WHOOO! 

I have wanted this bra for what feels like my whole life. I love the colors. I love the sheer overlay. I love it. I will have it. And look at the color for the next season! I think I’ll take that too!

I hope you enjoyed my moment of glee. Photos are from Cleo’s website and Curvy Kate’s Autumn/Winter 2012 catalogue

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Back Pain Even After A Proper Bra Fitting?

Does your back still ache from the weight of your boobs even though you're wearing the right size bra? If so, head over to Venusian*Glow to check out my guest post focusing on tips that may help. This is a topic that's really close to my heart since I've struggled with it for years, so I hope my ideas can be useful to others.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Cleo "Frances" Review

I got a comment the other day asking about the fit of Cleo’s Frances bra. This bra isn’t current-season, but there are still plenty of them floating around out there so I figured doing a full review would be helpful for the person who commented and hopefully for others too. If there’s a bra I’ve mentioned that you’d like more information on, mention it in the comments—I will do a review if I can!

It is not too full-coverage from the front, and I even get a nice separated but visible cleavage.

My Frances is actually a size 30GG, since I bought it a couple of years ago when that was my size. I wear a 28J in most bras now, but I think I could wear a 28HH in the Frances. It's very open on top, like Panache’s Confetti and Harmony bras. So if your boobs are full on top, you may be able to size down because the bra doesn’t go up high enough to have to deal with that full part. If your boobs are more full on the bottom, or if you don’t want to worry at all about it being too small, I’d stick to your normal size.

The shape is nice and round--similar to the shape I get in Panache Confetti and Cleo Brooke and Lucy. There is one problem, a slight indentation near the top edge of the bra, which you can see in this photo: 

I think it would be less visible in a big enough cup size--I never noticed the indentation when my Frances was the correct size for me. When it comes down to it I think this is just a strange incarnation of quadraboob from a too-small cup, and would be corrected with a size or two up. 

I personally think the Frances is very pretty with its floral details. My boyfriend, however, once casually described this bra's pattern as “baby vomit.” Perhaps other people’s partners would be less petulant, but I’d say this is a bra to buy for you, not for your significant other.

My dislikes with this bra include the two-hook fastening (I personally prefer three) and the straps. The straps are nice and a good medium width, but are made of a firm double layer which tends to bunch up in the front. This can cause a little pinching throughout the day. They are also unfortunately only partially adjustable. I don’t think of this as a bra with especially long straps, but for those who struggle with straps that are too long, these straps can be shortened to a length of 11 inches, for reference.

Since this bra is too small for me now, I don’t wear it much, but I keep it around for one surprising function it serves—under white shirts, it works like a nude bra for my skin tone. I never expected this, because after all, it’s purple, and patterned. But I think something about the subtleness of the colors makes it just blend in.

Overall I think this a pretty nice bra. I bought it in a shop (the wonderful Zoe and Co., happiest place on earth, in Concord, New Hampshire) and my fitter told me that it was a popular bra and that a lot of people were getting a great fit in it, so I think it must also be relatively versatile.

Friday 10 February 2012

Review: Bravissimo's Current Offerings, February Update

I went back to Bravissimo today to try out their new stock. I’m sorry to say the experience was kind of depressing in terms of the service I received. I’m not usually one to get on my high horse about this, but I was bewildered and embarrassed by my talk with the women who helped me; if I had even a fraction less confidence about my boobs, I might have just walked out.

In my experience, when you go into the fitting area in Bravissimo, the women working there always sort of stare at you like they are waiting for you to say something highly specific. In all my visits, I’ve never figured out what they want me to say, because everything that comes out of my mouth seems to totally baffle them.

Here’s how it would work in my mind: I go up to the desk, they say, “Hi! Would you like to get fitted?” I say, “Well, I normally wear 28J, but I can fit into a 28HH in certain styles.” They put me in a basic bra to check that I am still wearing the right size, then they bring me all the styles they have in my size and I try them on and buy what I like.

Here’s how it worked today: I said, “Um, hi, I wear a 28J but—”
The woman interrupted me and said, “What would you like to try on?”
I said “I’d just like to try things out and see what you have.”
She responded, “Well, everything in a 28 band sells out almost immediately so we don’t really have very much. We definitely won’t have much in colors.”
I said “Can I just try on everything you have in a 28J and also the things that stop at HH, in a 28HH?”
She said “Oh, no, I can’t bring you everything. Here, look through this catalogue and pick out the styles you would like to try on.”

Really? First of all, if everything sells out right away in a 28 band, why don’t they stock more? Second of all, that wasn’t even true—there was only one style that was actually sold out. Third, if there really was so little, why couldn’t she bring me everything they had? Fourth, do they really expect most people to walk in knowing one or two specific bras that they want to try? How are you supposed to know what will fit if you can’t try on a variety of styles?

Eventually my look of embarrassment became too much for her, and she caved and brought me the basic concept of what I asked for. Here are the results.

Bravissimo Ditsy Blossom

This one was actually prettier than I expected; from the online photos I thought it would be hideous, but the pattern and color were quite nice. The shape was similar to the Alana, so I knew it wouldn’t fit me even in a 28J. They only had a 28HH, so this is me breathing out all the way to make it look like it wasn’t horribly too small.

For Alana fans, this bra will probably be a nice fit. The band is quite tight, so it would last longer too. The fabric of the cups is pretty stiff and scratchy, though.

Bravissimo Rococo Charm

This is another half-cup along the lines of the Demi Diva/Parisian Plume. The fabric in this one was a lot stiffer, though, and I’m still not a fan of how high the center gore is. Once again, I recommend this bra for people who want to get a very minimized, round, compact shape from the side--compare it to the side views of Bravissimo's other bras.

Panache Melody

Since I own this in a 28HH and it’s a bit small on me, I simply wanted to try it in a J-cup. It was indeed a much better fit, although it became even more V-necked and Freya-ish in its appearance from the front. 

I don’t like how big the upper leafy section is—it makes the bra a lot less open at the top so it isn’t as good a fit on me as Panache’s Harmony bra (the supposed model for the Melody).

Also, the width of those wires is just getting crazy.

Bravissimo Broderie

This is one of those bras that has that pesky extra lining in HH-K cups, so it looks like a totally different bra from the product photo.

That said, I don’t dislike the way it looks with the extra lining, and I think it looks nice from the front. I’m not crazy about the shape from the side, though.

I think Alana fans might like this bra better than I did. It is also fairly low in the armpits, which I know a lot of people really need, so there’s that.

Bravissimo Boudoir Beau

This was an unpleasant surprise for me, because I had really loved the Boudoir Beau when I tried it in the red and grey color. This black one seemed like a totally different bra! It was stiffer, smaller even in the same 28J, and just MEH all over.

The shape from the side was pointy and low-slung, nothing like the nice rounded shape I got in the red/grey version. I’m… confused.

Bravissimo Starlet Bra

I love me a nice red bra, but this one wasn’t my favorite. It looked a bit dull from the front, and from the side you can see that I didn’t get much uplift in it.

However, it is REALLY REALLY low in the armpit, so again, for people who seek that feature this bra could be a miracle. Not to be a broken record, but I also think this bra would be appreciated more by Alana fans, although the shape is a little different.

It also has very wide, shiny satin straps. I was torn; on the one hand, they are very comfortable and soft, but on the other hand, I imagine they would just slide off the shoulders over and over—the satin is on the inside of the strap as well.

Bravissimo Moulin Rose

Oh man, I really wanted to like this. I think the concept is lovely, the colors are nice, and the textures are delightful (satiny cups, velvet ribbon). Sadly, this was not a bra I got along with. I had to try it in a 28HH because there is no J, but the HH usually fits me in Bravissimo’s half-cups (this one is padded, like the Parisian Plume that fit me fine in a 28HH) and this one just DIDN’T fit. 

It was very small, but it was also kind of flattening—taking the minimizing effect of these half-cups to ridiculous levels.

I would recommend going up a cup size, or even two, for people trying this bra.

Bravissimo Dotty Spot

This bra is a favorite of lots of people I know for giving a super-uplifted shape—one of the best for giving the “green shape”:

It’s not a shape that really suits my body, but I am a fan of this bra on other people’s behalf. As you can see, the 28J was a bit small on me, so I didn’t really get the full uplifted glory and projection that this bra gives others, but it’s not a bad shape. 

It’s also very low in the armpit, for fans of that.

Curvy Kate Thrill Me

The Thrill Me is a bra that I’ve owned in various sizes and colors, but it’s not one that I’ve had an easy time with. I’d say it definitely runs about a cup size small in this color. Because it was small on me, the center gore didn’t sit on my chest, and I felt very unsupported. It would have been nice in the right size, though; overall I think the Thrill Me is a great bra, though in my opinion it doesn’t measure up to its sister the Tease Me.

Bravissimo Satine

This bra is the same as last season’s Bettie Mae bra, which I’d quite liked, except this one is a million times better. It’s not orange, and it’s smooth and satiny and luxurious-feeling. I absolutely loved this bra. The center gore sat right on my chest, and it gave a delightful subtle cleavage and a nice shape. 

I would have definitely bought this except for the fact that they didn’t have my 28J, so I had to try it on in a “sister size” of 30HH. I may still order it online even though it’s well outside my normal budget for a bra.

Bravissimo Thea

For some mysterious reason, Bravissimo is keeping this bra a big secret. It’s not on the website, it’s not in their catalogue, you can’t order it by phone, and they didn’t bring it out to me until I asked for it by name—even though they had it in my size! The only reason I knew about it at all is from a couple of people I know who had tried it on in the shop.

This bra is basically a plunge version of the Alana. As you may have gathered by now, I do not get on well with the Alana, but the Thea was awesome! It gave a really good shape from the side, only cut in the slightest fraction on even my full-on-top boobs, and the center gore was fairly low (low enough to show my hideous scar from the Sienna-stabbing) without making me nervous. Like with the Satine, the center gore sat right on my chest and I felt very secure and supported.

At this point, if you live near a Bravissimo you will need to go into the shop and heckle them to even get a look at this bra. But if they ever end up putting it up on the website (really, how can they NOT? Everyone will want one), I highly, highly recommend it.

Finally, I want to mention Bravissimo's Luxe Heart bra. 

This was the one style that was actually, genuinely sold out in anything approaching my size (or so the woman working there told me). I'm going to have to say that I wasn't too depressed about this. I got a chance to look at, and feel, the bra in the few sizes they had out in the front of the shop, and I found it very stiff and scratchy. I'm also not crazy about the colors or design. I'm clearly in the minority, though, so if you like this bra you may want to be quick to order it (although it's not sold out in any sizes online yet).