Wednesday 25 July 2012

Getting Real About My Bra Collection

You might remember from my recent post "How Many Bras Do You Need To Own, Anyway?" that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by my bra collection. This is the first time I've ever owned TOO MANY bras and it really didn't feel as awesome as I was expecting. The thing is, bras actually aren't an article of clothing whose primary function is to add novelty to your life. They are ultimately a support/shaping garment and consequently, you are going to find yourself reaching for the same few bras morning after morning no matter whether you own two bras total, or fifty.

And yes, owning too many bras is WAY better than owning too few. Last summer I only owned TWO bras that fit me, so during the really hot weeks where I had to wash them every day, and it was too humid for them to dry properly overnight, it really sucked. I was so confused and unsure about my size at that time, and I was SO poor, that the situation went on for months. I didn't start buying bras until I got to the UK in September, and once I had started, I just never stopped. I've now come to realize that owning too many bras may be better than owning too few, but it's a lot worse than owning the right amount of bras and seeing the rest of that money in the bank.

Looking back on my older post "If Your Boobs Are Bigger Than Your Budget" I can see where I was going wrong. Buying bras had become this ultimate scavenger hunt for me. When I found a good deal, I was so excited and didn't want to miss out on it. I would troll eBay and Amazon looking for deals. Often I would tell myself I was buying something "just to try it" but once I had it in my hands it was a lot harder to return it.

The other problem I've noticed is that I get caught up in the hype of new, exciting products. For instance, I feel this compulsion to try Curvy Kate's Smoothie bra when it comes out in September, even though I don't really wear padded bras.

Given the opportunity, I will always choose a non-padded bra over a padded bra, so why should I buy the Smoothie at all? To review it for my blog, sure, but to OWN? I don't need to own that bra. But what do you want to bet that it is going to be very difficult to let go of it if it's a good fit, even if I know I'll never wear it?

I'm trying to get real and sell a lot of my bras that I never wear. Most of the ones I'm selling have been worn only two or three times. I don't know why I have such an aversion to padded bras, but they just seem so stiff and bulky. They don't fit in drawers, they don't breathe, and they always show so much cleavage. The bras I really wear are my Cleo Lucys, my Panache Sienna, my blue Cleo Brooke, and occasionally my nude Panache Harmony. I sometimes wear my white Thea plunge with low-cut clothes, and I know I would wear my red Freya Antoinette frequently if the straps were thinner, so I'm going to switch the thick straps for the straps from my red Curvy Kate Princess, which I've given up on. Finally, I have an older Curvy Kate Tease Me (this orange one) that I wear to bed because it's nice and soft and has a high center gore to keep my boobs separated while I sleep.

But that's ALL. Everything else is just taking up space and represents all the money I've wasted. It's pretty lame. I need to clear them out.

I'm not saying I will stop buying new bras. I love buying bras and they will always have a place in my budget. I'm saying I should be smarter about knowing what I will wear frequently. Just because a bra fits amazingly (like this Masquerade Delphi) doesn't mean I'll wear it more than twice. Just because I WANT to like something (like this Cleo Bonnie) doesn't mean that I will like it.

Here are the bras that are on my horizon...

The Cleo Lucy is coming out in this interesting Navy/Pink combination this fall.

I like it and will probably pick it up once it goes on sale--maybe for full price, if my coral Lucy has kicked the bucket by then.

I wrote earlier about this yellow Cleo Lucy.

I haven't bought it yet, but it's starting to show up on eBay at lower prices, so I'm thinking about it. I'm not sure if I would really wear a yellow bra, and I don't have any yellow underwear, so I'm going to try to figure that out before I spend the money.

The Panache Sienna, probably the closest I'll ever get to the Perfect Bra, is coming out in the fall in this "Lagoon" color.

Honestly I'm not crazy about this color. It sort of looks... murky. Like... a swamp bra. I wish it was brighter, or that the lace was a lighter color instead of black. But if I find this bra at a low price (like $20) later, I will buy it anyway, even though I don't like the color. (THAT, my friends, is how you know a bra is right for you! If you will wear it more than prettier bras, no matter how ugly you think it is!)

The Cleo Marcie, coming out August (I think) is really cute and looks like something that would fit me well. I would be willing to pay full price for this.

If it does fit me well, I'd wear it a lot. But if it isn't a perfect fit, I WILL return it!

The Cleo Meg, also coming out in August, is really, really cute.

I just don't have the best feeling about how the shape will work for me. I might try it if I find it on sale. I love the color scheme but I know now that's not reason enough to own something. May as well just own a picture of it in that case...


  1. Can I admit that I am dorkily excited about your possible pruning. I think we are boob twins, and I am where you were last year. I have two bras that fit, I would love to prune out all of my old non-fitting bras and replace them with my real size.

  2. I'm in the same boat as Jasmine, except I'm a totally different size than you. I just lost some weight, so even my expensive new full-bust bras don't fit properly anymore! As a penniless college student, I only wish I could benefit from a boob twin!

  3. I really appreciate this post because I'm experiencing the same realization once again. Every now and then I'll wake up from my boring everyday collection and decide to spice things up. After a while, though, I'll realize that I'm back to wearing the same few bras. Such a cycle.

  4. Actually I own only two bras. To be honest, there are five bras in my wardrobe, but only two are close to wearable. The other three are so horrible fit that I'd never even consider wearing them but for some reason I've not thrown them away or given them to a friend. No idea why. Looks like I have to go bra shopping, I just hate it when size changes quickly, all of my bras are just 1-4 months old but clearly too small. And/or have a streched band.

  5. Those last two Cleo bras are very nice. I hear you though about having too many. I am nowhere near the UK and so I had to fit myself via trial and error. Needless to say, I have a bag full of bras under my bed that I need to sell and more in the closet that are "sister sizes" but still a crappy fit. It's so hard to resist temptation, like those last two cleo bras. I know I'll stalk them on eBay but I also know I shouldn't actually buy them (even if they're cheap) because wide wires don't agree with me.

  6. I really appreciate more and more being able to see upcoming season's styles ahead of time. Those last two Cleo bras you posted (the Meg and the Marcie) first popped up somewhere a few months ago, and I've used them as impulse-purchase control ever since. They're cute, the colors are lovely on me, I like the shapes, I like the briefs, and Cleo is a good bet for a consistent fit. I've been able to remind myself a few times "Why would you want to spend $xxx right now on a brand you've never heard of before in a color you're not crazy about, when there are pretty things in your future?" It's helped a lot!

  7. I'm finally starting to fill out my bra wardrobe again, after several years of studying and making do with bras that were too small - then desperately trying to find something, anything that wasn't as bad as what I had, and ending up with bras I didn't like, which didn't fit. Those are a true waste of money, no matter how cheap they are. But it can be hard to say no to a so-so bra when your current bras are horrible, and you've already returned two dozen bras that don't work and you despair ever finding one that fits.

  8. Oh, and just to show that tastes vary, I like that lagoon color, probably more than any of the others except the red one.

    My last ugly-but-worth-it bra was a Freya Jeanie (many years ago), which was semi-transparent and had a hideous purple and pink floral pattern (see At about $10, it was a bargain, but when it finally wore out I must admit I was glad not to have to look at it any more...

  9. I have to admit I am surprised that you say you don't wear padded bras. You always rave about the padded bras you've featured here (like the Showgirls, etc.)

    I personally can't stand padded bras, and one of the reasons is the lack of breathability you mention. They feel stiff, they feel bulky, they make me feel as though my movement is restricted. I am considering getting a Masquerade padded half-cup just for club-going, when I might wear something low-cut and want a pretty but non-sheer bra to show.

  10. What an interesting post. I too have too many bras , for several reasons, I think. Slight weight change( up and down), migrating tissue meaning that I now need larger cups and finally the sad truth that no design is perfect. Even the Cleo Lucy my favourite shape isn't a perfect design - the backs stretch out too quickly, 2 rows of hooks not 3, slightly scratchy fabric. Of course no perfect design exists in any area of life, we constantly seek better....

  11. The Cleo Meg...I have my eye on that one big time!:)

  12. As I am starting to buy new bras in my correct size I've been thinking about how many bras I really need.

    This post was really helpful!

  13. Back in the days when I was 16 and already blessed with a 34E bra size I dreamed about the days when I would have options and pretty bras would be manufactured in my size. That day has come thanks to brands like freya, miss mandalay and panache!

    And now I find myself with many bras. Most of which I wear on a regular basis, but some I seem not to be able to throw out. Those are often older bras with which I also own the matching bottom of. But I have to be firm worn out = throw out no matter what piece of clothing!

  14. The Panache Sienna is really gorgeous! It may not be perfect but compared to other bras, it looks more classy! It's also versatile in a sense because you can go with either casual or formal attire with it.

    Ted Juhl