Sunday 5 February 2012

H&M Bras--Look, Don't Touch: Guest Post by Eternal*Voyageur

Today I'm excited to bring you my very first guest post! This post comes from a blogger who has been a big inspiration to me. 

   Eternal*Voyageur helps others break out of the Bra Matrix at Venusian*Glow. She also shares DIY skin care experiments, how she got her dream hair and style tips. When she's not blogging she hoop- dances, thrifts and backpacks with two little people.

You can find Eternal*Voyageur on Twitter, @eternalvoyageur, and on Facebook.

H&M Bras – Look, Don't Touch 

    My boobs still hurt every time I wander anywhere near the H&M lingerie section. Now, in case you are wondering why I go there anyway: I search there for cheaper briefs that match the bras I buy online (and am too cheap to order a matching brief with). However it's a challenge to focus on pretty briefs without cringing too much as I watch girls browsing through the deceptively beautiful bras hanging so innocently on the hangers. You see, once upon a time I was one of them. 

    A long, long time ago, when I was very much stuck in the Bra Matrix, H&M was the place I would go to pick out pretty and inexpensive bras. Except I never actually bought any. I just admired the to-die-for colors, the sweet and the sexy designs. So I spent some pleasant moments picking and armful of the prettiest 34C bras from the shelves. And then some not-so-pleasant moments trying them on in the changing room. 

     Even back then I knew something wasn't right – the difference is that I blamed my boobs for it. If only they had the right shape and size! Then they wouldn't look so sad and forlorn in these beautiful bras. Obviously, beautiful bras are meant for fuller, perkier and, to put it succinctly: more “normal” breasts than mine. Don't laugh – those were the times I thought that the photoshopped-and-stuffed- into-too-small-cups boobs of Victoria's Secret models embodied the perfection of mammarian beauty. 

      Most of the time the bras I tried on at H&M ended up back on the store shelves, since what's the point of buying gorgeous bras if I didn't have the boobs for them? Still I was always back after a month or two, with the persistent hope that something would change. Because these bras are just so pretty and cheap! 

       A lot did change, but it was not my boobs. I broke out of the Bra Matrix when I found out I should be wearing 30D. I still remember the first time I tried on a bra in that size: I couldn't stop admiring myself in the mirror – I actually had boobage! I haven't looked back since then, and neither have my breasts: they vastly improved in shape and consistency, and now I even “grew” a cleavage. And I ended up helping to fit other women, in bras that come in 90 sizes. 
      I still go and look at the pretty H&M bras, because they are such a pleasure to look at. But only to look at, not to wear. 

      So, H&M bras, now I take my revenge and analyze you with the cold, unforgiving eye of one who has experienced well-fitting bras. I find you guilty of: 
 A miserable size range: the smallest band size is 32, and that comes only in A cup (really? Really?!?). This means H&M bras correctly fit, what, 1% of the population?
 Oh, sorry, my bad. You can get a 30 band at H&M, in the kids section. It comes in an A cup, heavily padded (why? why?!? To distort the young girls developing breast tissue while at the same time giving them insecurities?) 
 The H&M padded bras are so padded, they should be called quilted. Is this meant to be a protection against winter cold? In case we decide to wear them on a polar expedition? 
 The underwires often decide to make a bid for freedom and escape out of the bra. 
 In the push-up bras the pads seem to take up most of the room in the cups. 
 Most of the bras are flattening, when seen from profile. Especially the push-ups. 
 The bands can be snug, but stretch out very quickly with washing. (Still, the quality is much better than that of Triumph.)
 The H&M bra size calculator  tells me to “pull the tape tightly around your body below the bust and if it is an odd number add 5 inches, if it is an even number add 6 inches”. Their guide would put me in a 32 band, that is two band sizes more than I need to be wearing (I wear 28 bands these days). Such a loose band would obviously give me no support. 

       So when I see girls browsing through the shelves of the H&M lingerie section, I cringe because I know that in the changing rooms these girls will stuff their breasts into wrongly size cups, prematurely aging their breasts by distorting the tissue. And most of these girls will compare their their boobs to the orbs on catalogue photos and sigh, believing that something is wrong with their bodies.


  1. I have always hated them because of their limited sizing.

    However, I know some women with wide bands and small cup sizes (and they DO exist- although Bravissimo et al hate to admit this) who prefer H&M to the brands generally felt to be better for those of us who have small bands, big cups.

    But it just seems odd- why the random and small size range? Surely they are limiting sales?

    1. I do wonder why Bravissimo doesn't add A, B, and C cups to their line--it's only three more cup sizes, and I often think that many women simply don't go in for a fitting in Bravissimo because they don't imagine they could be a D cup. For instance, as a teenager, when I should have been wearing a G cup or higher, I still thought I was a 36C!

      H&M's bra size range seems pretty standard to me for the US. In the UK, though, I'm surprised they haven't jumped on the boat and at least gone up to an F or G cup as so many stores have begun to.

    2. The mind boggles why a multinational company can't seem to get the size range correctly. Who works for these people! *Facepalm*. Great article, loved it.

  2. Oops....and all this time I'd been looking for a bra that made my boobs look like the ones from Victoria's Secret. So it doesn't exist in the world of comfortable and properly fitting bras? :-(

    My boobs are bottom-heavy and still partially in my armpit (I went through a sports bra "stage"), so finding a bra that pushes them up and towards each other (so it looks like they like each other) and KEEPS THEM THERE is exactly what I'm looking for. Especially if the center is really narrow and the straps are suited for someone with extremely narrow shoulders.

    1. Don't worry, you can still get that look you're hoping for! I find it is easiest to get with bras that have wide underwires, like Panache--especially if your boobs are still hanging out in the armpit area, it 's a great place to start. Look for lower-cut styles that are open on top, and check out my post "What exactly is a "good" shape?" ( for some other great starting points.

      Also, you will probably really like Freya's Deco bra, if you fit in the size range, and Curvy Kate's Thrill Me and Tease Me bras! Those are awesome at giving a round shape.

  3. I have to admit, I am so confused by this post. I am a very small person, I weighed 95 lbs before I got pregnant and always wore a 32 band size. I wear them on the middle hooks and never experience any puckering or discomfort, yet you talk about a 28 band size like it's not out of the ordinary. I've never seen a band size smaller than 32!

    I'm 7 months pregnant and just measured myself (using multiple methods) and as always, I measure a 32A (30C if you use the method that doesn't have you add anything to the band size). The 30C almost makes sense since I was wearing a 32B before pregnancy, but I'm now wearing a 34B. I have many bras that are 32s which I cannot even clasp now (demi, balconette, padded, unpadded). If I was supposed to be wearing a 30 before, wouldn't it make sense that my 32s might fit now that I've put on weight around my ribs? I've always taken my measurement as just inaccurate since I've never felt the need to go down in band size, and an A cup is far too small.

    My point is I am going to go read the rest of your blog because I'm absurdly confused. Where can I find a 30 band size to try on?

    1. Welcome! It is a lot harder to find 30 and 28 bands in shops; they are more easily found in the UK. 30C is unfortunately one of the harder sizes to find, as most specialty manufacturers start at a D cup. However, if you search by size, there is a pretty good selection of options.

      A lot of women who have relatively smaller boobs can get away with wearing a band size that is technically too big. Because there isn't as much weight to deal with in the front, the bra may sit perfectly correctly even if you are wearing a 32 and should be in a 30. By contrast if someone with very big boobs wears a band size that is too big, it will ride up horribly in back as the weight pulls the bra down in front.

      Check out my post "Starting Points" to get some more information, I link to a couple articles that help explain this pretty well. Also, check out Venusian*Glow--her "Bra Matrix" posts are really useful and explanatory.

    2. I bra fit people for a living :V24 June 2013 at 14:56

      This commentary on bands is not true. Any band that is too big for a person (small boobs or not) will ride up in the back. Girls with smaller breats should be extra wary, and not compromise a band size, as it just means your bra will slide around, and you'll be adjusting it every five minutes.

      In other words, if it doesn't fit, DON'T WEAR IT

  4. That article is about me definitely!!! I agree with every single word.
    I used to dislike my boobs and hate trying bras. Sure, I have picked always some 75Bs (it´s the same like 34B) from the shelves and then I have returned them all back usually. :D
    Then.... I have read some articles about bras on the internet and finaly I was awaken from that nigthmare called 75B! Now, I wear 28DD/E and I LOVE MY BOOBIES now!!! :) They look so wonderfull. :)
    What a shame, that in my country these sizes are not sold...

  5. This blog is useless, it hasn't researched h&m very well. Not all their shops stock a huge range of bras. However their larger shops do have a fairly good range of sizes of bras. I believe this cos I'm a 32c not an a (32 c is always so hard to in h&m and end up compromising on style). They are very comfy and cheap! I'm just a huge fan of h&m.

    1. Hello! I'm a lingerie design student in the UK and I've been given a project regarding H&M - I'd love to chat with you if we could get in touch.

  6. I bought a bra at H&M recently that was labeled on the paper tag as a 32B (I was on vacation and needed a strapless bra FAST and cheap, and even though I needed a 30D I was hopeful it might work in a pinch. I didn't have time to try it on (huge mistake) and didn't notice until I got back to the hotel that although it said 32B on the paper tag, the fabric tag was labeled as a 34A. I don't know if this was a factory mistake or if this is standard practice, but I would not be surprised if they label sister sizes as both sizes to appear as though they have more sizes while cutting production costs. I returned the bra and wound up just not wearing the dress I needed it with. This was a large store with a fairly large lingerie section, too.

  7. Ok I'm sorry but I totally disagree with you. Honestly, it seems as if the reason why the bras weren't fitting you is likelly because your boobs were too big- not to small- for the bras. (by the way the majority of lingerie models for VS are all A's and B's, so your boobs would be larger, not smaller, than this category) I'm a 30AA (yes, I know I'm a pancake), and the 32A fits amazing. (as of current) H&M sizes run very small, and my 32B sister wound up fitting the D's. Since I (obviously) don't fit VS like all my friends I own all H&M bras: I love the fit,they are soo amazingly pretty, and yes- they make my boobs look larger. Is it because they can't look any smaller? Idk. I guess just because the small fit works in my favor, it wont for others haha at least yhey have VS. anyways i think your were just very confused, so i think you should learn up your facts instead of making other peple confused too

    1. Do you know what band size your sister is? I'm normally a 32B and I'm trying to figure out which size to order from H&M

  8. Your tits are too big love stop trying to blame it on h&m, if you can't fit into their bras shop somewhere else. Every shop makes bras that suit different shaped boobs and you just have to find the ones that suit you best. I could say that some shops don't make bras small enough for my A cup but that's just how it is. If you don't like them don't buy them simple as, but many people love their bras (me being one of them) and they would choose them over an other shop.

  9. I got one bra that was a pretty pink lace 36 F cup but there was one problem.

    The pink dye kept on bleeding into my underarms!! Extremely hard to get out and I was forced to never wear it again which is a shame cause it was so cute. I gained a cup size anyway since and now a 38DDD/F