4.08.2015

bosum buddies

Over the past 24 hours I have had more concern about the veracity of my bust measurement than I can shake a measuring stick at, AND I LOVE IT! Since posting about the jump up in cup on my Watson bras, peeps have hollered in all manner of media outlet, worried for the comfort of my girls. 

But seriously, let's reflect: ladies I've never met (and several I've been very fortunate to meet), are pondering the size of my knockers, and not in a sexy way. Wild. (Actually, I guess I'm used to the lack of sexy thought when it comes to my mammary glands. For real, there's a complete absence of cleavage going on around these parts. I hear that attribute makes up like 80% of the "sexy" equation. I once lost a very awesome role due to only having 20% of the goods.) 

So of course I had to measure again, for the sake of science, and here are the results per Amy's chart: 

Rib cage 33" = Band size 36
Full Bust: 38" minus Upper Bust: 35" = Difference of 3", Cup size C

Yes, that 38 is a shocker. Hanging out in tabletop gives me a full bust of 38, versus 36.5 standing! And maybe this table is different if one is making a wired bra? I'm a babe in the lingerie woods, dudes, you tell me. Here's how she fits...


(Sorry, Rugster. I know you thought you'd escaped me posing in my undies on the web. It happens.)

I really love the fit. I also added 2" of length to the band for more of a tankini feel. I'm looking down my own shirt right now as I type, and there's not a bit of gap. But maybe you see something else?

What I've always hated about bras is the absence of fabric where bust meets upper armpit--wired bras push on me and create a display of what Jennifer Lawrence so charmingly called "armpit cleavage" on the red carpet. All that time I spent cramming my tatas into a teeny size probably displaced some mass-- K line wrote at length about that awhile back, she writes fascinating stuff about bras, and it was an aha! moment for me (which obviously didn't stick). So that could be the source of my bra rage.

Maybe the surprise of size has something to do with all the ballet and singing? My erect dancer's back definitely presents fit issues, so why wouldn't the years of dance play tricks on my boobage? Holding my arms in second position during barre work... years of filling up my lungs to capacity from the top down for those held high notes... hell, even doing my hair might contribute to those numbers. (You wouldn't believe the arm definition I've acquired just from coiffing my MASS of locks every morning. It's a workout.) And, my broad, straight shoulders are the widest part of me. (Well, in a 2-D view. The booty is a small planet.)

And types of boobs! Maybe they're perky and sit straight out? Or carry most of their weight in the bottom? SO MANY QUESTIONS! LINGERIE IS A DEEP DARK RABBITHOLE!! 

And do remember, Ruggy is a whiz at making me look twelve inches taller. Maybe he's working unknown juju on my hooters? Well, I can answer that question, but it's a PG blog.

All that said, I LOVE that y'all felt comfortable jumping in and telling me I might be off base. Please do that! That rocks! The wealth of knowledge out in the blogisphere gets me giddy, and sharing it constructively is gold. I may even take my new-to-blogging friend up on her offer to get remeasured by a fancy bra shop in town. 

I haven't had time yet to respond to everyone from that first post, but do you have more thoughts? Maybe there are work or hobby related activities that affect your fitting, that you hadn't thought of till now? Maybe you know of some patterns for our better endowed H cup ladies? (HH. That exists?!) Do tell!!! LET'S TALK BOOBIES YO!

ETA 6/20/2017: sorry y'all, I've had to turn comments off for this psot! Apparentl, the subject matter attracts a plethora of anonymous 'bot comments. Do take a look at the comments section, though, there's a lot of great info there!

98 comments:

  1. Ha! I was a ballroom dancer AND I have scoliosis. It totally changed bra fit. I have puzzled several very competent ladies at the local boutiques. Bras are designed for a certain back-to-front ratio, and if you posture and/or build changes that, you're in for complications:). My back is broad, but my torso is very shallow due to the scoliosis, so the bra fitting is all kinds of weird:)

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    1. whoah nelly! that's a helluva combination! interesting, my back is always a source of consternation--i have to take out width or add darts, but not on the watson. of course jersey is way more forgiving!

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  2. Boobies after babies is an obvious one, but I had no idea quite how much til I reviewed my bra drawer after I'd well and truly settled down after two kids. (I lost half a cup size and gained a shoe size with each kid, malheureusement.) Some were from the teen shelves and some could easily have been upcycled as shopping bags. I gave everything that wasn't my new size to our babysitter here in Morocco. I'd heard a podcast where Oxfam said they sent all their donated bras to Africa (unwanted second hand in the countries where people donate, expensive, hard to sew and much appreciated in the developing world, of course). She handed them out around the poorest neighbourhood in the capital. Greatest bra-related mental image of all time: a nice woman sizing up her mates and acquaintances around town and producing her guess at the appropriate style and comfort/sexiness level from her carrier bag. You look like a double G Marks and Spencer with lace, love, there y'are.

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    1. "upcycled shopping bags." I SPIT OUT MY COFFEE. and then you top it off with the bra bag lady. although, i'm kind of sad to think of a townfull of ladies being introduced to bra life. but i guess there were bigger knockered ladies who realized a whole new level of support!

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    2. That's not even the silliest old underwear-reated story I have from Morocco. There's no formal recycling collection here but people go through your garbage all the time to find stuff to sell. I was about to throw away some old underwear and stopped short with the vision of the dumpster diving recyclers going through it and throwing anything unwanted over their shoulders in the street. So, I drove to another part of town altogether, far from home, the school run, work or any of my friends' places - which is a locus of about 3 streets in the capital - to find a dumpster where I could bear the thought of my old underwear being thrown about. I mean, it's great to be in touch with where stuff really comes from and where it really ends up, but some things should just, yeah, disappear. My husband saw me paused in the driver's seat, keys in hand, thinking through the route. Had to explain myself. The progression of his facial expressions made it all worth it. ....oh and I think "Support for Africa" would win the NGO Naming Olympics in the category of genius but sadly unworkable.

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  3. I love this! (I knew you were a 33 back and I wasn't so off in the full bust either - huh?) Here's the thing - the way Amy measures for her pattern is different than the way RTW measurements work. And, even with RTW bras, there's all kinds of controversy about sizing. For the purposes of this comment - cuz much of the time you'll be buying bras in stores, I imagine, I'm going to talk RTW sizing which is quite different from Amy's. Don't extrapolate one from the other. It's like the diff between RTW clothing sizing vs. patterns...

    Here's what I know - and I am an expert in few things, but in this I am an expert: The best way to gauge your size for RTW bras (from a starting off point) is to measure your underbust snugly and your full bust at a snug skim (but not so that your breasts pillow). The difference between those is your best starting off point in RTW bra size. (Of course, numerous other factors will influence your final size, but this gets you 75 per cent of the way there. The rest is trial and error...)

    Now, by that standard, you'd actually be a 32-34 D-DD at a lingerie store. It's exciting, no? :-) But the fact is that you've got a shallow shape and wide roots (in the scheme of things). Shallow breasts - like projected breasts - make things all complicated, size wise. You have been able to wear 34B bras for years for a few reasons - 1. you didn't realize HOW they weren't fitting 2. you were younger and potentially a bit less dense in the boobs and 3. shallow breasts generally fit small for size, by one or 2 cups. Not 3 cups, mind you, which is the diff between 34B and 34DD, but when breasts are shallow they seem smaller than their volume would indicate.

    On the flipside, for fun: My back is 30 inches and my full bust 38.5. However, I'm mega projected with small roots (kind of your opposite). I have very little back squish so I prefer a 32 band to a 30. with a 9ish inch differential, I should wear a 30G (ish) but because projectect breasts - especially those with centre projection (i.e. from the gore) - tend to require a larger cup size for volume, I wear a 32G much of the time (which is one cup size larger than a 30G). Of course, different bras fit differently - so I wear everything from a 30G to a 34FF, and then some - but you get my drift.

    To add to this interesting comparison, your breasts are likely much more self supporting, naturally than mine (you're younger, haven't had a kid, breasts are shallow). Don't get me wrong, all things considered my boobs are NOTHING to complain about, but I can't wear this Watson bra. Even if I could get it to fit in the cups, it would squish my centre full boobs towards the gore and there wouldn't be enough support from the unwired base to provide the sort of cantilever I require. This bra is best for a shallow shape, which is why it looks so awesome on you.

    When you think about it, we basically have the same full bust measurement, but our boobs couldn't be more different!

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    1. I have the same "problem" as Oona (not a problem at all to me) - shallow broad based breasts (34-36DD NZ size). Which means most bras are really uncomfortable because the underwire is too narrow (too acute an angle) and it's hard to get the right shape and bust cup for both. Which is probably why I love this bra so much, and just going without when I feel I can!

      For reference though, the Watson bra fit me much better when I went by my RTW size rather than my measured size (which was waaaay too big), and even now it's too big in the band. Bah.

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    2. And I have a very, very disappointing lack of cleavage. There is NONE

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    3. kristin, this. is. FASCINATING. i have such an urge to rush over to TJ Maxx and find some 34DDs! though a costume designer once shrieked when she heard i bought my bras at discount stores-- apparently i'm probably buying seconds with major flaws, and on top of that, in the wrong size ;). i cannot believe we're the same size! and how did i not carry my knowledge of RTW sizing versus sewing sizing over to lingerie?

      the wide root thing, that's what i was looking for. when i do buy bras, they have to have a wide band between the cups, or the wire is absolutely insufferable. sophie-lee, i know the feeling there! there are times i love our no-cleavage "problem" though, like in the dead of summer when i can wear a neckline that goes down to *there* :).

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    4. I was surprised at your 36C result too just knowing what I know from a minor obsession with bra fit.

      I am not familiar with Amy's chart but for good fit and support I would not put you in a RTW 36C - at least not in the European brands, or Wacoal and the like. 32DD would be my guess too - which actually goes with the sister sizing of bras. For a lounge bra though, it's probably fine.

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    5. Can we start a wide root/shallow projection support group? God, it has been so hard for me to buy bras in RTW. If the cup fits so that it actually supports my boobs, the band and wires are so narrow its painful. If I could find a wire that was comfortable (spoiler alert, I can't in RTW), my boobs would just be sitting there with like an inch gap between them and the cup. I actually realized after I sewed my first bra that acutally fit that my boobs had never actually been supported by a cup. It still feels crazy to be sitting here at my desk with a cup that remains in constant contact with my skin. I started with the marlborough bra pattern, made up first in the size i measured as. The cups were huge, but for the first time ever, the wire and band weren't painfully uncomfortable. I pinched out the cups through a few iterations until they fit and bam, I now have a bra that is both comfortable and supportive. Its insane. I never thought it was possible! I feel so sorry for the non-sewers that will have to suffer with ill fitting RTW bras for the rest of their lives!

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    6. This *is* fascinating! Plus, I think we can all agree on bonus points for 'cantilever'.

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    7. I'm beginning to suspect you should be called The Boob Whisperer instead of K Line.

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  4. Looking good with that Watson!
    If you're feeling comfy, then say no more. But what surprised me was the 36 band size. My underbust is also a 33" so I sew up a 34 band. Maybe because of my larger cup size (9" difference in under and full bust measurement) I like the tighter the band? But I find the 36 band to be WAY too loose and creeping up my back.

    But, like I said, if you're comfy, then it's all good.

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    1. i was so used to my regular (standing) bust measurement coming up 36 that i didn't even blink at the band size! and i found that different fabrics gave different support, naturally :). the floral waffle knit is way more tight, but not in a bad way. no wonder we don't see more bra patterns, there are so many variables with fit!

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  5. One other thing - the differential between 34DD and 30G is 2 cup sizes. As you go up in the band size volume goes down in the cup. I think you'd agree that it seems impossible that we are a mere 2 cups sizes of volume in difference (ish, of course, we're speculating - it's not like we've gone out shopping) - but that's the crazy mystery of shape.

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    1. oh, for the day we go out shopping. i will move heaven and earth to make this happen if i find myself in your hood again. bigger band smaller cup? what trickery is this?!

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    2. You have a standing invitation! (And email if you want to talk about specifics re: bra shopping.)

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    3. i'm going to hold you to that, it's ON!

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  6. I love all of this - and can you believe I was lucky enough to get Kristin (K-Line) to take me bra shopping? Local sewist friends are the best!
    HH made me laugh 0 I remember being HORRIFIED as a kid to find my grandma wore H's... and now my sister wears HH! I"m an F (and lord that freaked me out when i was only just getting used to being a DD, not a C), and as you can tell in the pics of me and my sis that I blogged the other day, my ladies look tiny next to hers. It's all relative! And if your Watsons fit as nicely as the one you are wearing, then I think you are good to go!!!

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    1. that's like, i don't know, shooting some free throws with michael jordan. did you find your holy grail bra? the three of us need to do a fitting room post!!

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    2. Gillian, you are too sweet! And very fun to shop with! I should also say that tolerance for letter sizing seems really low in North America. In UK, everyone's an HH and you can find that size in shops. (OK, not everyone, but you get my drift.) Also, a 28HH is the same as 30H, 32GG, 34G, 36FF. So depending on the back size of the person in question, the size is entirely different. All HHs (or DDs - or any size, for that matter) are meaningless without a band size to contextualize them. In my time, I've met many gorgeous ladies who look entirely proportional (if buxom) in the H letter size. Truth is 34DD is a really moderate (almost small) size. When you think of boobish ladies, you're usually looking at a 34FF (or smaller back/larger cup). US has a hideous lingerie thing going - the offerings are generally badly designed and ugly, especially if you try to go outside bra matrix sizing (34-38 A-DD). You gotta shop Euro if you want the good stuff.

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    3. And just because I can never shut up about this topic - should also say that most women in North America (can't speak to Europe, but I don't think the problem is any where near as serious in UK, given the options they've got and the way they've changed the market) are in bras that are 2 band sizes too large and 2-3 cup sizes too small - and that's a gentle average. I've seen way worse in my time. The impact of wearing bras that fit badly is that you have no idea, at some point, how a bra should fit. All breast tissue should be encased by the cups - all over, even at the side! Shallow ladies tend to forget this because they feel they've got breasts that are smaller, volume wise, than they actually are. A deep cup swims at the centre and they assume it's too big when the issue is shape mismatch. A band that isn't snug is going to ride up and make the cups, even if they do fit, unsupportive.

      Let's say you've been wearing 34B forever but your band is 2 sizes too big. Even if the cups fit, it means you should be wearing a 30D to retain that cup volume, but to fit a back properly. Cup increases, band decreases - that's the way you retain volume in sister sizing.

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    4. that makes sense, i mean, i buy cheap workout leggings at forever 21 (i know, but at 3 bucks a pop i'm set for the gym) and i swear, it is almost impossible to find anything over a size XS on the racks. i don't think they even carry XL anymore (which is nowhere near an actual XL range), and the numbered sizes in so many stores here are just pure vanity. US brands! people look better when they wear the right size, stock it!

      i walked into victoria's secret last week, through all 4 floors of the monster herald square location, and nothing struck my fancy. i don't even think i picked up a bra. though i'm beginning to think they're maybe the (high priced) jc penny of the lingerie world?

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    5. ha we were typing at the same time! that's what i love about this bra, i feel that all my breast tissue is enclosed. i was ignoring a LOT of my actual boob, i think.

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    6. I agree with you on the vanity sizing and odd marketing concept. Forever21 online has actually a sizeable plus-size collection, and the one here in the CT suburbs even in store, including for leggins and rather decent skinny jeans (which even my 60-something, plus-sized hour-glassy mother-in-law buys when she comes to the US).

      On another note: I have wide roots and wide-set shallow boobs, in 30H. You may want to try Parfait Affinitas, ebay has very good sales offers (under $20) and the fit might work. ASOS online carries bikinis and lingerie in a large range of band sizes and up to an I cup. I am excited for your future posts on this topic, the bra you made looks great even if the fit might be improved.

      Mona (anonymous here, but a long time reader of your blog - hi?- and also Kristin's (K-Line).

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    7. I second K-Line's UK bra shopping obs. I was just in Marks and Spencer marvelling at the ever expanding range of cupsizes. It's the most mainstream possible place to shop for underwear and people who could only go to Bravissimo (which has recently been renamed Pepperberry to my great headshaking disappointment) before can now shop there. I just checked, they have 10 GG+ sizes and some up to a K. And a whole campaign about nicely-styled bigger bras too. Way to embrace the ladies. As it should be, as it should be.

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  7. hahahaha....gosh, I haven't had a chance to comment on boob post one, LOL...and here we are with the sequel. I too, was a bit amused while reading the comments. It does seem though, that Kristin knows her boobage facts very well indeed. And in RTW, I have changed my bra size quite a bit after having had a 'proper' fitting....smaller band size...bigger cup size. Of course, I'm at an age where I totally have no interest in 'bigger' boobs, {and we're talking about this why? LOL}.

    Anyhoo....your bra looks great. You look great. It's all great!

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    1. yeah that sequel came quick! kristin is for real, a bra guru, so i HAD to doublecheck. i'm super curious about my RTW sizes now-- how a 36C can be a 34DD, that's magic.

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    2. Just to clarify - 36C is the same as 34D or 32DD (or 30E) - ya get?

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    3. i so totally don't. seriously that reads like a magic spell to me. but i'm using that as my cheat sheet!

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  8. Great boob post. I used to squeeze into A cups on the off chance anybody would be fooled into thinking my boobs were bigger because they were squashed more. Then oneday I actually got fitted - the amazement. Shame, my boobs seem to have completely vanished into outer space now - evil children!!! Their departure is a relatively recent phenomenon though - since my booby-OBSESSED 3yo is slowly beginning booby-rehab. I'm in denial right now of my lost boobs - I figure if I pretend they are still filling the bra, who will know - perhaps I need a Watson intervention. I love yours.

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    1. HAHAH!!! like a corset for your boobs;) now, i thought kiddos increased boob size?

      the watson would be fantastic on you, if internet images are any indication. your shoulders and, is it bridge? would suit it perfectly, i think!

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    2. Kids increase your boobs while pregnant (sometimes, not always) and while breastfeeding (usually) but once done, they can magically vanish to sizes even smaller than before.

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  9. I can tell you that having babies pushed my rib cage out in a way I will never recover from. And that holding my arms up to do my hair pretty much eliminates the need to do any arm/upper back exercises. Ever.

    And now I'm super curious about sizing my Watson, lol

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    1. YEAH HAIR WORKOUT. in the months that i went natural and shunned all product, i lost muscle in my upper arms!

      try that tabletop full bust measurement, it's eye opening.

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  10. I don't really have anything of merit to add to this conversation, I just wanted to join the boobie party. Also, you have got me wanting a floral bra somethin' BAD now.

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    1. once you make one, it's hard not to wear floral tatas every day.

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  11. Only Oona! Almost as good as your croquis post! And your underwear is just as colorful as your outerwear. Love the Watson with the extra length, too.

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    1. ha, and i almost threw that croquis shot back up so peeps could get a visual on my ratio!

      2 inches was the sweet spot on the extra length for me-- any more and it hit the waist uncomfortably. that said i'm short waisted so depending on your deets you could go longer!

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  12. Those measurements make me a 40I.... YIKES. I think I'll go back to thinking maybe Watson won't fit me...

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    1. maybe there's a doppleganger size to try? must wrap my head around that! if you're on the fence and have the scraps, she's so quick & fun to make up, it's worth a try.

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  13. ROTFLOL! You know girlfriend that doesn't really look like a bra - just a really cute summer top - so it doesn't look like your ta-tas are on parade. Tell my boy Ruggy he's got nuthin to worry about none of those p*rn sites are going to be picking your pics up soon!

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    1. HAHAHAHAAAAA right?! when i put shots of my bathing suit online, i was all, DUDE. it's not like it's a bikini!!

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  14. Thank you for mentioning the HH. It makes me feel much better about the E-cup bra I've been having to wear lately! And I agree that the print makes it look more like a cute retro crop top than undies.

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    1. yeah, it's way less revealing than an actual bra. i think just knowing it *is* a bra is the thing!

      i really never knew cup sizes went up to H. i honestly thought the pamela andersons of the world were in D cups!

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    2. A belated ha-ha to that concept; I have a DD now.

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  15. You always make me giggle...and then I am in awe of your abilities!
    That bra is so beautiful and looks great on you.
    My boobies are constantly changing, it seems, so I have been many sizes (due to childbirth twice, breastfeeding two children, and now age). They seem to be headed south. I think they are creeping up on my belly button from above, now at 42. LOL
    From all of these comments, I think everyone likes talking about tatas:)

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    1. headed south. that ALWAYS makes me giggle!

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  16. You are the best. I don't know about the Watson, but I do know that my boobs were shaped by swim team, the French horn, and babies, in that order. So I have a broad 36 chest (I'm good at holding large amounts of air) with A cups (or even AA, when I'm at my lowest weight). I've come to learn at 45 (so I guess that's factor #4) that even A cups can droop, boo. But yay for padded bras that make me look like a B. It's magic!

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    1. ooh, that's some serious shaping, the butterfly stroke alone. i think of myself as broad shouldered, i think i have to add chested to that equation. yes, and the tale of small boobage drooping is why i bought the watson bra the day it was released! i figure my older self will thank me one day.

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  17. Your bra looks great on you and looks like it fits well. The sizing thing has me really curious for myself. According to the chart if I stand up and do the measurements I take a 32B (which is usually what I wear in RTW bras) but if I do the table top way I should make a 32E.... that sounds like a crazy amount of extra cup size. I'm planning on going into a shop and trying on a load of 32 band sized bras though just to see - and then maybe I'll think about making a Watson.

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    1. i really think the table top measurement is the one to go with-- especially with kristin's info above on RTW versus pattern sizing. but yeah, i want to do some fitting room detective work!

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  18. If it fits, who cares what's the size?

    I'm so happy the Watson exists. I always thought of myself as a 75A (I count in cm), and couldn't understand why no 75A bra fits me. Then I read The Chart realizing I'm a 75AA. Nobody sells 75AA soft bras, so it was all Hello Kitty teen's bra ALL THE TIME.

    Sometimes I wonder what life looks like for those who don't sew.

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    1. ha, yes! so much shopping in the juniors section of target! now i'm eyeing every scrap i have.

      after eight-ish years of sewing, i forget that people are limited to what they see on the rack.

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  19. Wow, too pretty to keep covered! Who knew that a bra could bring about soooo much conversation?!!! Good conversation though.

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    1. thanks rhonda! this one really is more like a top ;)

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  20. Love your watson. I am curious to see how mine will fit me. I measured the "amy"way and came tout a 38e. (I wear 90b in german bra sizing) But seeing your bra on makes me think it could indeed be true because I am also shallow, with boobs wide apart and a broad upper back... so thanks for that modeled shot.

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    1. yeah, this works beautifully with wide set boobs. i hope you try it!

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  21. That's a lot of booby info! Now, when you get to a certain age, there's the back fat/skin roll issue that plays into the whole fitting thing. So for now I'll stick to external camouflage sewing.

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    1. BACK FAT! those too-small bras always gave me back fat, i would burn them if i wasn't keeping them around to harvest for parts ;)

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  22. Ooh that bra is SO PRETTY!! And as far as these untrained eyes can see the fit looks bang on. I think this conversation pretty much sums up why I've always been less than eager to jump into lingerie sewing! I've made 3 handmade bras so far, each in a different size - my measured size (which came out to be a 32A?!? WTF???? But I figured, WHO AM I to argue with the mysterious bra size chart!?? Ha!) my RTW size (nope.) and finally my best estimation of size based on what was wrong with the other two (nope.nope.) - and they were ALL atrocious. And, really, I get a pretty good fit with my 34C RTW bras. I know there will be bra enthusiasts out there giving me all sorts of side eye at that comment, but I assure you! No back riding up, no straps digging in, the bridge sits flush against my skin, no spillage... I mean...
    So my final thoughts are this: bodies are funny. BOOBS are SUPER funny. And sizing in both the RTW world and even in the sewing pattern world is kinda arbitrary. You got a great fit, it feels good to you, so hallelujah! And I'm totally going to be giving your tabletop measuring tip a try next time I feel ballsy enough to dip my toe into lingerie sewing again! Which just might be sooner rather than later, because I want to look as pretty as you in some floral undies!!!

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    1. yes, boobs are a LAUGH RIOT compared to the rest of our fit discussions, second only to crotch curves! no wonder we make so many dresses! i so want you to try the watson avec tabletop method, with all your different sizing i'm SO intrigued to know how it fits...

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  23. I'm fascinated by the table top measuring method. I've been having trouble getting my RTW bra fit just right the past few years. No matter what size I try, the boobs always seem to end up a bit flattened. I wonder how using the tabletop method for measurements for sizing RTW would work out... I see a trip to Soma in my near future...
    I've sewn bras before, but it's just not a thing I want to invest a whole lot of effort in--yet.
    Adorable Watson! I'm envious of your petite, perky boobage and lack of cleavage. Mine is so deep it practically starts at my neck. Try finding a top that's not a mock-neck to cover that up! I gave up a while ago. If peeps are offended by my cleavage, too f-ing bad. I'm not going around with necklines up to my eyeballs just to avoid flashing the top of the Grand Canyon. I'm wearing 36 DDD at the moment. I too have an erect, flat back from years of horse-back riding, yoga, and scoliosis. I'm sure that adds to my fitting difficulties.
    Good luck with all your future bra-sewing ventures!

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    1. you know, it's a real pain i'm sure, that people view the sight of cleavage as too revealing, especially if, as yours, it starts higher up! a neckline that's totally "acceptable" on some shouldn't be "indecent" on others. it's just our bodies for god's sake!

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  24. I missed that tabletop measuring method! I'm already too endowed for the pattern, but I'm convinced that with a LOT of effort I can make it work for me. So far my bra sewing mojo has stalled halfway through the 2nd muslin. I think I need a trip to the Macy's bra department. Nothing makes me want to sew my own like a trip to retail hell.

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  25. Very cute. I am still yet to make my first bra :/

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  26. I really need to get on this bra-making bandwagon, so I can get out of the childrens 'first bra' section of the store! Your floral one looks epic. It's just finding the materials that is the obstacle for me. One day...

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  27. Your bras are beautiful Oona...Love the florals.....and now I am tempted to make my own...yes!.... in the florals. I have had the same bra size for like forever and I'll have to wait and see if it changes when I make some babies. I wear 34 A and 34 AA (depending on brand). I've initially had trouble getting RTW ones that size in Trinidad but I found London and it's shopping at the ripe age of 19. Fortunately or unfortunately I cannot wear wired bras because my sternum (center bone with the ribs attached to it) sticks forward and out; a deformity from birth.
    Anyway bra-less for me is bliss...lol and I can do it without anyone having to drop their jaws or whatever they are holding onto.

    Great posts!

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    1. i often have to wear mike packs between the gals, on my sternum (lack of cleavage = good flat plain). it's a terrible idea. it's made me never want anything on my sternum ever again!

      i think this would be great for you, if you indeed want a bra. ;)

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  28. Ah yes. In my youth I was a comfortable 34B and wanted to be bigger. Well 30 years later and careful what you wish for, I'm now a 38C! I must try making a Watson bra. They look lovely on you.

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  29. hobbies that affect fit: singing and/or playing a wind instrument. I've a good 4+ inches between my full exhale and full inhale, so a broad band with excellent stretch and good recovery is my holy grail :) Y'know, something that supports when exhaling but doesn't try to cut me to pieces when inhaling!

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  30. I just read your last post and oh wow, what great storytelling! Why am I not surprised you have done the full monty on stage! I love what you have done with this... all your pretty florals and sheer delights!

    That’s a really great fit on you, too! My two cents on the whole bra size conundrum: This is custom sewing, not RTW. I often encourage beginners not to get too hung up on their RTW bra size instead of following a particular pattern’s suggestions. Worrying about size often becomes a distraction from the work of learning to fit, especially because so much of fit depends on the fabric used.

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    1. i literally slapped myself in the head when i read kline's comment about RTW versus sewing sizing. of course they'd differ! and yes, i used three different kinds of fabric so far, and although they all fit differently, with your tabletop tip they all fit perfectly. LOVE. YOUR. PATTERN!

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  31. And oh yes, lingerie IS a deep dark rabbithole!

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  32. Thank you for showing how it looks on!!!! There are WAY too few pics like that around-- I understand it, but still it's so much better too actually see how it fits than to just imagine :)

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  33. I'm saving these all for later... when I get into bra making! There are NO casually sized bra shops here in China... I tried a H&M bra and it was awful... my cup runneth over completely.

    So yes, I stopped breastfeeding almost 12 months ago, and every month they've changed sizes since. I was just thinking today about how I think about my boobs and their comfort at least 4 times a day, and here you are posting about boobies! xoxo

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  34. I've always had difficulty getting fitted for bras. Officially I should be in a 30DD, My breasts aren't large, but they are full. I have bras in my closet ranging from 30DD to a 34B, because no 2 companies seem to be able to size things the same. I also have weirdness that my right boob is bigger than the left- probably because I'm right handed. It isn't usually noticeable until I put a bra on, in which case I either have one boob popping out or one with a gap between my boob and the cup. I think I really am going to have to start making my own bras - unless someone out there has a solution to that fitting issue.

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    1. Sorry to jump in...have you considered the now famous "chicken cutlets"? I've heard they can do wonders as far as evening things up, and as opposed to good old tissues they stay in place much better...

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    2. oooo cutlets, i used to double down on those for auditions, when i felt the part called for a more buxom breast ;)

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  35. I know I'm like 2 weeks late to comment on this, but there's no way I could add value to this priceless conversation at this point. I just wanted to ask Oona if I saw you on Elementary last night. I swear that was your gorgeous self talking to none other than Jonny Lee Miller.

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    1. Crap, I just realized I did not notice your boobs at all on the show.

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    2. HAHAHAHAA!!! and i had an especially uncomfortable RTW bra (of my own) on. if only i'd had a finished watson to wear! and that johnny lee is charming.

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  36. nothing about bobbs, but...OMG! I just saw you on Elementary! Awesome sauce for you!

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  37. Great Boobs post haha, Looks great on :)

    Rachel _x

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  38. You were on one of my favourite shows and I recognized you. It was so cool!

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  39. You were on one of my favourite shows and I recognized you. It was so cool!

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  40. In Vogue Patterns Magazine and on Elementary - you are one busy lady. Congratulations. I wish you many more adventures.
    A.

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  41. On the smaller side of things...

    EVERYTHING changes over time, no matter how good we are at keeping in shape (or not *ahem*, pardon my belly-roll), so it's a good idea to measure yourself (or get measured) when your bras start wearing out - my own personal opinion, it's probably better to do this every once a year. Weight change due to diet, fluctuations in everything during that special time of month, what good shape you're in (or not) can all have an effect (heck, my opthamologist once told me that even your eyesight can be affected by a woman's monthlies, how wonky is that??).

    While I'm on the small side as well, I think I'm overdue to measure - bras are a chore, and my faves are wearing out :( My cup size may have changed - after all, I've gained almost 20 lbs (?!) and have come far too close to the threshold of 45 to be kidding myself anymore. Gravity is a real bummer, in more ways than one! *LOL*

    A terrific post, and I look forward to taking the time to read the responses to see what more I can learn about bras and measuring. Thank you for bringing this topic to the forefront, and I hope that all ladies out there a rushing for the measuring tape and buying brassiers that finally fit properly! You'll be SO glad you did ladies!! :)

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  42. How did I miss you finishing this? These are addicting I tell ya!

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  43. This is just so stinking cute! I love the fabric and the colors! I made mine over the weekend as well coming to the blog soon :-)

    www.curvygirlsarechic.com

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  44. I have never learnt so much from the comments on a post! Amazing, I had no idea what a gore was, or that breasts had projection that wasn't related to volume... I feel I must go and examine mine in a mirror RIGHT NOW to see where I fit in the spectrum. All I know is bras are not very comfortable. I wear a sports bra to work and usually nothing the rest of the time, perhaps my sizing has just gone awry - all I know is I'm pretty asymmetric, whenever I alter clothes I make the strap on the left side longer so my necklines don't look crooked! And trust me, they don't seem to make bras with different sized cups (and no, I'm not putting a "chicken fillet" in just one side... Thinking about it, I actually once wrote a post about shopping for my sports bras! https://reflectionsandponderings.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/sports-bra-shopping/

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    1. nice post!! i've wanted to do dressing room detective work and just don't have the stamina for it ;)). i switched up the side i carry my purse on, too... it definitely affects symmetry!

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  45. Curious!! I am very tempted now myself to tabletop-measure; I was 'professionally' measured, but then again, they do not have one go into doggy-style position in the store; I'm sure that would send most customers flying out the door faster than you can say cup size haha ^__^

    Fascinating comments discussion - I have never thought about root vs. projection, but it makes SO much sense why so many ladies have trouble getting well fitting bras. I've experienced myself the UK/US difference in sizing, which I noted when I began buying my bras from a UK supplier; my North American DD's suddenly became H's - whoa mama! LOL

    I LOVE all your gorgeous Watsons, and this floral one is making me happy - I am hoping to get going on mine soon but now I feel like I need to do a whole bunch of OCD measuring and mirror investigation first LOL.

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  46. I know this is old but I want to chime in with the bra fitting issues! I am not sure of all the technical terms in regard to boob shape but mine are far apart, sort of point outward to the sides rather than straight to the front, have a wide base but don't stick out too far. I could gain 10 lbs in each boob and never have cleavage. Similar to yours I think? I finally splurged on a visit to a fancy lingerie store for a professional fitting. They measured me and then handed me the Natori feathers bra (cue angel chorus). I had been wearing 34Bs for years but the wire always cut into the outer side of my boob and I was constantly pulling my bras to the side to try to get my side boob back in the cup. The Natori was a 32D so a smaller band and larger cup but the key is in the shape. The cups are set further apart than usual so it contains the entire breast with no side boob escaping! Anyway, it was something like $70 but now I buy them on ebay for $20. Maybe they have imperfections, I don't know, but they fit beautifully! No digging wires, no adjusting, I highly recommend!

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