Why I’m Not a Bra Fit Blogger (And Why That’s Okay)

The Lingerie Addict is not a bra fit blog.

Last year, I spent a lot of time and e-mails explaining why I wasn’t a full bust blogger and why my blog doesn’t focus on my bra fit. At some point over the past couple of years, the default assumption became that all lingerie bloggers should be both full busted and bra fit enthusiasts. Because I’m neither, I’m sometimes made to feel a little awkward. I get e-mails from people who think my lack of bra fit advice makes me a “bad” lingerie blogger, or who are convinced that I’m in the wrong bra size (and therefore “spreading false information” about fit) simply because I have a different body type, different priorities, and different preferences than they do.

Though this kind of commentary bothers me, in a way, I understand. The vast majority of lingerie bloggers today concentrate on bra fit, making the handful of us who don’t seem a bit odd. And just to be clear, I have absolutely nothing against the subject of bra fit. It’s an interesting topic. It’s a worthwhile topic. And it should be talked about more. But every blogger doesn’t have to dedicate themselves to that subject. So this year, for the first time ever, I felt like it was time to talk about why I’m not a bra fit blogger.

I’m not a bra fit blogger because that wasn’t what made me interested in lingerie. I didn’t become a lingerie blogger because I was unhappy with my bra. Even now, bra fit isn’t my primary concern when it comes to lingerie. My interest in intimates was first piqued during a relationship, and then later, after that was over, I stayed interested in lingerie because it was a new way of expressing my fashion sense and personal style and even aspects of my identity. To me, the world of lingerie is much bigger than bras. I love girdles and slips and stockings and peignoirs and chemises and lounge sets and robes and corsets and so much more. Bras are just a small part of my lingerie landscape.

I’m not a bra fit blogger because I believe personal preference is at least as important (if not more so) than rules and formulas. Some women prefer looser bands. Some women prefer tighter bands. Some women prefer wearing no bra at all. Bra fit depends on so many variables – age, body type, disability, breast shape, breast width, rib cage shape, muscle vs. fat ratio, etc. etc., that any “one true fit” formula will, by its very nature, only apply to a fraction of women. On the rare occasions I do talk about bra fit here on the blog, I prefer to focus the conversation on how a bra should fit, rather than teaching any one hard and fast rule like +4, +0, +2, -2, -1, or otherwise. When a reader has a bra fit question, I direct them to where they can find good answers, and that frequently isn’t this blog.

I’m not a bra fit blog because I’m passionate about making the conversation on lingerie bigger than just a conversation on fit. Bra fit is talked about everywhere, not just among lingerie bloggers and fitting communities, but also in the mainstream media. I come across bra fit advice, tips, and that 80% statistic multiple times per day. Bra fit is a very popular lens for viewing lingerie, and it’s an important one, but it’s not the only one. Fit is not the center of every woman’s experience, nor is it the starting point for every woman’s relationship with her lingerie. Some women don’t even consider fit to be relevant! There are many, many perspectives for discussing lingerie, and they’re all valid…even when they’re not about fit.

Please don’t interpret this article as an attack on bra fit blogs or bra fit communities. That’s not what this is about. I’m glad there are more lingerie bloggers now. I’m glad there are more bra fit forums and communities now. I’m glad people are talking about their bras on Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and their own websites. An open, public conversation on the issues surrounding fit and sizing was long overdue, and I’m so excited that lingerie consumers are leading the way.

However, in some ways, the conversation on lingerie feels smaller now than it ever has before. Even more distressingly (and frustratingly), the way some people talk about fit actually contributes to making other women feel marginalized. An environment prioritizing bra fit above any other perspective (like ethnicity or sexuality or disability) is what motivated me to write several articles explicitly touching on these subjects in the past year (which you can find here, here, and here). It is completely unacceptable that I’ve been told, on more than one occasion, that issues which affect me and matter to me are unimportant because they’re not about fit.

It also bothers me when fit advice is couched in body snark or when it’s used as a weapon to imply a blogger cares less about women. I’ve frequently been put in the awkward position of strangers expecting me to explain my body to them, because it’s “impossible” (for some reason) for me to wear the size I actually wear. That kind of uninvited, dogmatic commentary is not only aggressive, it’s arrogant and it’s alienating. My body isn’t weird or strange or wrong because it’s different from yours. I shouldn’t have to “prove” my measurements or weight or dress size to legitimize the bra size I say I am. And it certainly shouldn’t be implied that I don’t really care about women because I’ve chosen to focus on something other than bra fit. It is an incredibly ironic thing when women who’ve felt ostracized for their body type begin to do the same to other women. If I’m okay with how my bra fits and feels, why in the world should anyone else have a problem with it?

Caro, founder of The Lingerie Lesbian and herself a frequent recipient of this kind of commentary, shares her thoughts on the subject via e-mail:

What troubles me is when people say to me that a greater focus of my blog ought to be bra fit, usually accompanied by the insistence that I may be wearing the wrong bra size. To have had to be in the position of defending the fact that I wear the right size is both absurd and upsetting. It’s immensely hurtful for someone to tell you that you must be lying to yourself about your own body. Someone also told me that they found my blog ‘depressing’ because I said I wore a 34B bra and they felt sure that was wrong and that I could be making a huge difference if I championed bra fit more because I have a big audience. While no one is forced to like my blog (I’m sure many people don’t!) it is astounding to me that all of the other topics I cover lack importance to this individual because I am not wearing the bra size she thought I should be.

I think a major problem with deciding to weigh in on someone else’s bra size (or any size) is that you’re saying that you don’t trust them to know their own comfort. When someone seeks or asks for help, they should be responded to– but when you don’t believe someone who is telling you that they are happy and comfortable, one wonders what the point of your whole mission is. The more time I spend learning about bras and bra fitting, the more I see how taste and preference plays such a large part.

If you’re a woman who was in the wrong bra size for a long time, I understand that bra fit changed your life, and I’m happy for you. Every woman deserves to wear lingerie she loves, that she feels comfortable and confident in. Fit is a major part of that. However, it’s misguided to insist that everyone else’s lingerie conversation begin and end with fit too. For me, breast support and fit isn’t the first thing on my mind when it comes to my lingerie and bras. My personal passion for intimates tends to fall along the lines of fashion and social commentary, and both of those perspectives are just as valid.

As I’m sure is obvious to everyone reading this, women are not some monolithic group with the same identical concerns, priorities, and necessities. We can and should have a variety of experiences and ways of relating to lingerie. There’s nothing wrong with making the focus of what you talk about bra fit, but there is something wrong with implying (or stating outright) that other people are doing lingerie “wrong” because they’ve chosen to put their energies elsewhere. Bra fit wasn’t how I started my lingerie journey, but that doesn’t make my interest in lingerie any less authentic than anyone else’s. It just makes it different. And there’s enough room for all of us.

Cora

Cora

Founder and Chief Editor of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, my little site has become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and it's been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every woman deserves gorgeous underpinnings that help her feel comfortable and confident. Body snark free zone since 2012.

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53 Comments

  1. Ann
    30/05/13 at 3:57

    Thank you for this! I feel like I can really relate to feeling a bit of body snark over bra fitting. I am a woman who stands at 6’2″ and have had people (friends and store employees alike) question me when I’d give measurements. Perhaps my height tends to skew the perception of my chest? I always felt the need to defend myself, “yes I really do usually wear a D cup, I’m sorry my breasts don’t appear that large to you.” I also tend to be wary of bra fit after being measured multiple times at the same and different stores and always coming up with a different letter/number combo. I’ve pretty much given up trying to define my chest by petty, seemingly inconsistent quantities and just trying on whatever looks like it might fit and leaving with whichever ones feel and look the best in my own personal opinion. I am happy that you are turning this bra fit trend into an interesting conversation.

    • 02/06/13 at 23:36

      I’m sorry you’ve had issues with body snark, Ann. :-(

      I think some of it has to do with people defaulting to their body type/shape/height/size/etc. as the most “normal” one, and so when they interact with someone who’s outside that model in their head, they’re not sure what to make of them, so to speak.

      I’ve also had the similar experience of getting different letters and numbers whenever I’m fitted, which is why I’m a big believer in learning the qualities of a well-fitting bra as opposed to a particular formula (especially since sizing can still be so inconsistent between brands, styles, and so on).

  2. 30/05/13 at 5:04

    I think that’s an interesting point of view. My perspective is quite different as our blog is mostly concerned with bra fitting, feminist commentary, body image and sometimes clothes. I have struggled over the last months with the fact that I am really not into lingerie that much (anymore). I still like to look at corsets, girdles, stockings etc., but it’s not high on my priority list.
    I believe what frustrates many bigger-busted ladies is that while there are now much more options out there when it comes to bras, that is not the case when it comes to lingerie more broadly defined. I have spend years looking for sexy nightwear that fits, but never found it, without going the expensive custom-made route. Even in bras once you enter the fringes of size ranges (below a 30, above 38 band, above a G cup), things start to look rather dull.
    And yes, fit is the most important criteria. Not because I CHOSE it to be, but because my 32FF boobs can’t just swing around in some ill-fitted bra all day. It HURTS. I really envy those women who can choose to wear something just because it’s pretty.
    And lastly as someone who knows a lot of fitters, it is indeed very often, not always, the case that when someone who is wearing a 34 band and a size 2 comes into a fitting she does wear the wrong size and insists on it being the right size. However, uninvited comments are intrusive and disrespectful and people should assume that an experienced lingerie blogger knows what works for her.

    • 02/06/13 at 23:42

      Thanks for commenting, Mia. As I mentioned in the article, this blog post isn’t about telling other people how they should think about their lingerie. If fit is the most important criteria for you, that’s great. I have no interest in telling anyone else what they should think is the most important thing about their lingerie; I just want people to extend the same courtesy to me.

      Finally, I’m not sure if that size 2 comment is meant to be an allusion to my dress size, but I’m not a size 2. I’m a size 10.

      • 04/06/13 at 5:19

        No, it’s not an allusion to your dress size. Like I said, I also don’t like uninvited comments, especially if they venture into hidden bodysnark territory. It’s just an observation that most slim built women tend to be most comfortable in a small band and that many tend to wear bands that are too big before getting fit. This is a generalized observation and by no means applies to all women, including you. However, sometimes when customers decide to buy a bra that might not be an optimal fit they claim it’s because it’s pretty while in reality they do want to acknowledge that they are outside the conventional A-DD cup range. In that case their criterion is a socially constructed fear of being outside the norm. What we judge as beautiful is not objective but socially constructed. If most models and people in the public eye wear bras that are rather small in the cup, have loose bends and narrow straps than that’s what some people think is normal and beautiful.
        I am perfectly fine with your blog, and would not want to change it. I love to read about new designers and look at exquisite lingerie. It’s none of my business what you write about. Given that you are the largest and most well-known lingerie blog, there is a market for that. If your primary focus is on aesthetics and that’s your main criteria that is perfectly fine.
        However, what I tried to say that being able to do so is a privilege. Being bigger-busted and having soft breasts, I feel really uncomfortable walking around all day in bras/tops that give little support (which unfitted garments do). Many of the designers you discuss here have a rather limited size range. A women falling within that size range can have an excellent fit AND enjoy the aesthetics of that undergarment, a women who is outside that size range can still enjoy the aesthetics but would probably only wear it inside or for a shorter periods because it does not fit well. That can be a frustrating experience and might be an explanation why some people lash out at times at times, though that is of course wrong.

        • 04/06/13 at 12:35

          Thanks for the follow-up comment, MiaRose. I do understand what you’re saying. And as a woman who exists outside the social norms in other ways, I completely agree that what we think of as beautiful is socially constructed. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts here.

  3. 30/05/13 at 6:54

    I cannot agree with this more! It’s so ridiculous when people go around policing on other peoples photos saying “oh that centre isn’t lying flat” “those cups are too big” blah blah blah. I find it so annoying, especially considering that most of these comments are on models who have most likely been given a sample size so it’s hardly their fault it doesn’t fit! The whole thing makes me feel guilty as a lingerie/fashion blogger if I buy the wrong size, but I shouldn’t have to feel that way. And a “true” fit is a rather sweeping notion anyhow, since people can be different sizes in different brands, or types of bra. I always love your articles Treacle! Some have been such eye-openers and some just have me swooning or like this one I’m thinking “YES! THIS!!” x

    • 02/06/13 at 23:52

      That’s a good point about models often having to “make do” with sample sizes, and I appreciate what you had to say about the guilt you’ve experienced over buying the wrong size. I know plenty of women who’ve bought the wrong size because they really, really liked a particular bra and were okay with a less than perfect fit if it meant owning it. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. 30/05/13 at 8:43

    And thank goodness you don’t!

    Imagine my world without all of the new designers you showcase (because let’s face it, quite a few lingerie lines are more about fashion than about “fit”)? I shudder at the thought!

    You are that quiet reaffirming voice in the back of my mind when I see something pretty, know its really just for fun, and start to pass….you make me take a second look and sometimes I buy it!

    • 02/06/13 at 23:57

      I’m so glad!!! :-D

      Yes, it’s totally okay, MORE than okay even, to buy something just for fun. This comment has made my day. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. 30/05/13 at 8:47

    I could not agree more that fit is a personal preference. Having worked with individual clients drove that point home to me like nothing else. I always set out to create the perfect bra that fit as it “should” however, frequently the client wants something else. They want a band that is narrower looser than standard advice for their size and straps that are narrower than recommended for their size/figure. Personal preference indeed!

    • 02/06/13 at 23:59

      Hi Norma! I’m glad you shared your perspective as a custom lingerie designer. That’s a really great point, so thanks for stopping by.

  6. 30/05/13 at 9:32

    I know that this article is about you not writing on bra fitting but I love how you pointed out that bra fit depends on so many variables. So many don’t realize that aspect. This post really has so many good points! I love your blog because you speak of all topics, not just fitting. How else could you reach out to so many people if you only spoke on bra fitting. The fact that you help so many people discover all types of lingerie is amazing. Just in this post alone you make a good point about lingerie being more than just a bra for some and that can be so true. Thank you for another great post!

    • 03/06/13 at 1:17

      Thank you for getting what this post is about! It’s nice to know that other people who work with boobs and breasts and bras everyday understand what I’m saying.

  7. Molly
    30/05/13 at 10:45

    Amen to wearing what looks and feels good, sizes be damned! Sizing on all women’s clothing is inconsistent and crazy. A bra size that fits me most of the time may not in other styles, even within the same brand. Sizes may be useful at getting us within the ballpark of what might fit, but I’ll try on anything that looks like it might fit, regardless of what tags say. The clothing that I put on my body comes in a range of sizes, and what’s marked on those tags is nobody’s business but my own. I am sure that discussing bra fit on blogs is useful to many women, but it’s not the only kind of lingerie blog that the world needs. To each, her own. Thanks for the great blog, as always.

    • 03/06/13 at 1:18

      Yes!!! Exactly. I’m loving this comment.

  8. 30/05/13 at 13:51

    I’m genuinely baffled by the current focus on bra fit to the almost complete exclusion of other garments. It’s as if in outerwear we all became utterly transfixed by finding the perfect tailored jacket and thought that we should all be able to buy them anywhere we wanted in
    exactly the style we wanted and always the same size, and moreover, that fit can be determined objectively. It’s worse than the obession with the perfect jeans, because at least no-one claims everyone should wear jeans or that all jeans should fit/suit you or that they know better than you how they should look.
    And there’s nothing to back it up! I’m absolutely certain that a really great bra can make someone very happy. But in astonishing news there is nothing in the entire ouvre of the psychology of happiness or mental health or indeed, medical health, that in any way demonstrates a serious impact of the availability of well fitting bras in a persons size and
    styles preference to most peoples health and wellbeing.

    • 03/06/13 at 1:22

      It’s an interesting shift, definitely. What are designers and brands making of it?

  9. Nikki
    30/05/13 at 13:55

    I’m sorry you’ve gotten so many rude comments. I care a lot about having the right fit, so I read a lot of blogs about bra fit, however this doesn’t mean every lingerie blog has to be dedicated to it. I love that your blog brings up different discussions and even just pretty pieces to look at even if I know they won’t come in my size. I just wish people would forget any notion of what they think a bra size looks like, weather they’re stuck in the mind set of ‘DD must be huge’ or ‘you have to be a smaller band size and larger cup’ since fit is so individual and you can’t put yourself in someone else’s bra. At the end of the day, it’s about what makes you feel best. I feel like the stereotypes about size either push people into the wrong bra, or make other people think it’s okay to make comments about other women.

    • 03/06/13 at 1:29

      Yes! As I mentioned in another comment, the more I blog about lingerie, the more I realize that bra fit is important to many women. And going further, I also realize just how individual it is.

      It’s interesting that you pointed out there are almost two sets of stereotypes going on right now. There’s the one we’re all familiar with (D cups are huge, which is obviously wrong), and another which is a good deal more insidious and seems to be that no woman is *really* an A, B, or C cup, especially if they’re also in the 30-36 band range. That’s a really great insight.

  10. 30/05/13 at 18:21

    I totally get that bra fitting is important (as a person who still struggles with the fit of my bras and finding ones for the shape of my breasts) but I am 100% behind there being more to lingerie that bras. I personally have a huge love affair with body suits.
    And if we are going to talk about fit… come on! Lets talk about underwear fit! Underwear that turn into thongs during the day. Underwear that either fit your waist OR fit your hips but don’t fit both. Underwear that has too much fabric on the front v but not enough on the back. Underwear that has too much fabric between the legs and thus tends to bunch up. Underwear that doesn’t have large enough leg holes so they cut in. And underwear that seem to forget that some girls are well equip in the rear end. I demand better fitting underwear! :D

    • 03/06/13 at 1:31

      Uncomfortable underwear is a well-publicized pet peeve of mine! I have no use for drawers that bind, dig, droop, sag, or otherwise draw unwarranted attention to themselves. Never underestimate the importance of a good fitting panty! ;-)

  11. Trep
    30/05/13 at 18:42

    This is great Cora! It actually was bra fit that first made me interested in lingerie. I became a bit obsessed with it and now I am becoming a bit unobsessed. Reading this makes me hopefull. Finding that most assume if you’re an independent lingerie boutique you’re a fit boutique. I do fittings -I guess who’s to say anyone can really do fittings- but I don’t particularly want to market my shop as a bra fit boutique. I’m happy just being a lingerie boutique. I definitely agree it is an important element within the conversation of intimates but I’m questioning it more and more. I mean it’s a little bit strange that we need someone else to tell us if our bra fits. The advice I give customers may not be the same at the next shop or the next blog or the next book. I’m all about listening to concerns and offering up the most comfortable suggestion I can. Better to have happy customers that will truly enjoy and wear their pretty pieces. I have found that the European fit system is a good starting point when doing buying as you do get a good range and dare I say a good fit but I think if it is a good quality product then who cares really. Anyways, such an interesting and engaging conversation, thanks for writing about it!

    • 31/05/13 at 12:54

      Thanks for stopping by, Trep! I really like the points you’ve made here. You’re right…so many people (myself included!) automatically equate lingerie boutique with bra fit boutique, but they don’t necessarily have to go together – especially since there’s so much variance when it comes to fit between brands. I’m glad you liked the post. :-)

  12. Karen
    30/05/13 at 23:58

    It’s saddening that you have to defend yourself in this way. I love your blog just the way it is, and I hope any further *assertions* about improvements are constructive and polite.

    • 31/05/13 at 12:33

      Thanks, Karen! On the one hand, I’m glad that people feel comfortable telling me about ways they think the site can improve, and I do take it all under advisement. But we’re never going to be just a just a bra fit blog. That’s simply not what The Lingerie Addict is about. I’m glad you like what we’re doing. :-)

  13. 31/05/13 at 1:53

    Thank you for writing such a great post. It’s so important to have a range of different views and blogs around. It saddens me when women attack and judge rather than support and celebrate each other. For me, lingerie is such a personal thing – we should all have different preferences and priorities because we are all different!

    • 31/05/13 at 12:30

      Exactly! Lingerie is so personal. I know TLA will never cover the subject in a way that matters to everyone (we talk about a lot of things, but there’s so much out there!), but why the need to devalue one way of looking at lingerie simply because it’s not your way? And why attack other women’s bodies simply because they’re not your body? Thanks for commenting!

  14. Sophia
    31/05/13 at 3:42

    I completely understand where you’re coming from, and it wouldn’t even cross my mind to email someone and suggest they were wearing the wrong size (provided they did not seem unhappy or uncomfortable). However, I think being a huge part of the lingerie community means you need to be very aware of bra fit issues, as it is such a huge part of women wearing and feeling comfortable in lingerie. That’s not to say it should be your focus at all, or that you need to be an expert and dedicate lots of time to an area that doesn’t interest you, but, I do think it is of the utmost importance that anyone running a lingerie orientated blog that either talks about their own size, posts pictures of themselves in bras (or both), is either wearing the correct size for them, or at least knows their correct size and mentions that in passing to their readers (if indeed you have at some point talked about your own size on the blog). It’s not just fuller-bust women that end up in the wrong size, smaller busts do too, and what happens is these women will get an impression from lingerie blogs about not only their size, but how a bra is supposed to fit. For this reason I really do think every lingerie blogger (bra orientated or not) needs to fully acknowledge the fit of a good bra, if only to try and help bring that 80% statistic down. This response is purely based on this article above, so I cannot comment as to whether this is something you do or do not already aspire to do, but these are my thoughts on the topic. I think ignoring the topic of bra fitting completely can really affect all the hard work bra bloggers put in to try and help women understand how bra sizing and fitting really works – the lingerie addict has a huge following, so there will be many women who take every single word you say as gospel.

    • 31/05/13 at 12:21

      Hi Sophia,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your thoughtful comment. I have mentioned my body type, bra fit, and size in several articles on the blog, and I agree that it’s a good idea for a lingerie blogger to be familiar with bra fit and know their size (or, if they choose to buy something poorly fitting or in the wrong size) to be aware of that as well.

      But this blog post definitely isn’t about undermining anyone else’s work. As I mentioned in the blog post, I’m glad there are blogs and forums dedicated to bra fit; they’re doing amazing things. I just firmly believe that bra is not the only way of relating to lingerie. Personally, I wish more bra bloggers discussed issues related to ethnicity, sexuality, age, disability and other social topics because those issues affect a LOT of women, but I certainly wouldn’t presume to tell them they’re doing lingerie blogging wrong or that they don’t really care about women because they’ve chosen to focus on fit.

      Bra fit is a topic that is very, very well covered. There is no shortage of articles on the subject, and I doubt there ever will be again. So it’s a good thing that the lingerie industry is big enough to generate a lot of topics for discussion. And since most other lingerie bloggers have decided to focus their energies on bra fit, I think it’s okay for a handful of us to tackle the “hard work” that’s still left to do in other subjects.

    • 02/06/13 at 16:35

      I would love to a referance for that 80% statistic that used a decent sample size and wasn’t done by someone who had an investment in shilling more bras.

  15. 31/05/13 at 5:54

    I’m a full-bust blogger (first time I use this term though!) and I certainly didn’t take this post as an attack, since I pretty much agree with everything here. My focus is on the challenges of wearing a very large cup size and those includes bra fit, but also lots of other things. As a reader, I like nerdy blog posts about fit issues and bra construction… and beautiful posts with pictures of gorgeous lingerie… and thought-provoking posts about society and body image… I like it all!

    • 31/05/13 at 12:11

      Thanks for commenting! When it comes to reading lingerie and bra blogs, I like it all too! I’m especially a fan of the blogs that examine construction details. Since I don’t have a sewing background, it’s not something I can really talk about intelligently at all, and I’m glad other people can.

  16. 31/05/13 at 10:35

    People who think bra-fitting blogs are the only way are completely overlooking an important element of lingerie, namely the aesthetic component. It’s almost as if these people are ignoring the fact that lingerie is another branch of fashion (albiet a more intimate kind). The reason I enjoy blogs like this one, as well as the Lingerie Lesbian, is because they discuss the design and quality – which are just as important. I feel sexy in lingerie because what I know what I’m wearing is beautiful, body enhancing, and striking. If I focused on what best fit my bust, I would only be aware of how it feels and perhaps what I’d look like with clothing on. This would kill a large part of the reason why lingerie is enjoyable to begin with.

    • 31/05/13 at 12:09

      I share your perspective that lingerie is another aspect of fashion and can be treated and talked about just like mainstream fashion. The practical aspects of lingerie (like bra-fitting) are important – I’m not denying that -, but it’s not the only way to discuss the subject.

      It’d be like if a shoe blog only talked about shoe fit. Yeah, shoe fit is important, but there’s also room to talk about the new shoe styles, coordinating shoes with your outfit, the social construction of shoes (like high heels vs. flats), and the issues with calling beige shoes “nude.” None of those topics involve shoe fit, but they’re all related to shoes and some people may think they’re just as important as a conversation on fit. Thanks for stopping by!

      There’s so many ways of enjoying lingerie, and it’s okay if the value one person gets out of it isn’t the same as the value another person gets out of it.

  17. Emily
    31/05/13 at 22:09

    I think fit has another aspect to it: When I first got fitted for a bra and started buying pieces I loved, I spent some money and I wanted them to last a long time – which is to say, in order to buy bras that fit, whether your are big or small, you must not only accept your body how it is now, but love it enough to be comfortable with being that size well into the future. Which is to say, when I put on my Implicite bra, I look in the mirror and feel like a beautiful sexual being. I put my work clothes on over it, and no one is the wiser. That’s why I love bras.

    • 02/06/13 at 23:08

      What a beautiful comment, Emily! Thanks for sharing.

  18. Zuzana
    01/06/13 at 6:39

    Thank you for writing this post, the sheer variety of response shows it is a very lively topic. I do have to agree with you that if all lingerie blogs concentrated on fuller busted market many new designs and brands would escape our attention which would be a shame. At the same time I do think it is important (without trying to attack your size and preferences) to keep in mind that unfortunately some lingerie does not come in all sizes and therefore is not available to everyone. Similarly to shoes if you are a bigger/smaller size than standard, wearing e.g. smaller (no matter how beautiful) shoes hurts at least a bit while wearing and long term will cause serious damage to bone structure. So while I wholeheartedly agree that blogging sphere concentrating purely on bigger bust would be a very sad picture indeed, not to mention representing a very small proportion of women, it is (I believe) important to keep in mind (and in blogs) that wearing badly fitted lingerie is like wearing badly fitted shoes – painful and dangerous. Of course this applies mostly to bigger bust that needs more support yet I have encountered a lady who had a band so small it cinched her back nerves and she spend a few weeks not being able to move. The unfortunate thing is that many women are quite comfortable in their size because they haven’t encountered anything better and are afraid of size meaning “fat/huge/too small” etc. So fit matters but that does not mean there should be blogs showing lingerie of only certain size area. Just that every woman should keep her body needs in mind and it is nice when this notion is spread and reaffirmed on lingerie blogs. From my personal experience (despite being 30H), well fitting lingerie usually looks way way better (at least on me) and it definitely does not make me settle for beige and boring, but makes me comfortable and beautiful, daring and sexy as hell.

    • 02/06/13 at 23:05

      It’s sad that you met someone who was literally hurting yourself from wearing the wrong size. People being miserable in their lingerie is never what we’re about. :-(

      I’m glad you’ve found a size that works for you and that helps you feel comfortable and confident and sexy in your lingerie. I also very much empathize with your shoe example, as I’m a hard to find size (11 narrow); most shoes don’t fit me. I do agree that bra fit is important, and women need to keep what feels good on them in mind first and foremost, which is why this article isn’t about saying that people should talk less about bras or bra fit (people should always talk about what they want to talk about anyway). I just firmly believe that there’s more to lingerie than bras and that there’s more to the lingerie conversation than bra fit, and that’s all this blog post is about.

  19. momo
    02/06/13 at 16:40

    Treacle, I usually love your blog, but this is nonsensical. If a bra doesn’t fit properly, or feel good you aren’t going to wear it and you aren’t going to feel sexy. That’s why there’s so many ‘fatshion’ and whatnot blogs, it’s pointless to talk about fashion if you literally cannot wear any of the clothes being discussed. It’s pointless to talk about how beautiful lingerie is and/or other social aspects of lingerie if you can’t wear them or they look/feel bad. It’s one thing to say bra fit is not your focus, and your blog should definitely be about what you want it to be about, but saying “bra fit is not how every woman relates to lingerie, and the notion that bra fit is the most important thing bothers me” is dumb. No shoe blogger (to use your above example) would ever say that fit is not the most important thing because most people don’t buy shoes that are more than a 1/2 size off for fashion because they wouldn’t be able to walk.

    • 02/06/13 at 16:44

      I’m sorry you think the idea that every woman doesn’t believe bra fit is the most important thing about her lingerie is dumb. However, thank you for leaving a comment that illustrates exactly why I wrote this article.

      • momo
        02/06/13 at 21:14

        I assumed you wrote this article because people were hassling you asking why you weren’t talking about bra fit. As I mentioned before, I think you are totally in the right to focus on what you want to focus on and no one should make you feel different. I think your blog is great just the way it is. If people want to read about bra fit they should go to a bra fit blog. I will continue to enjoy your posts on your chosen topics.

        But you put your opinions on the importance of fit out there and I happen to think they are utterly moronic. Your blog is like a fashion magazine. Fit is not an important topic for that, it’s inspiration. But when you get to the store to buy what you saw in the magazine? You need to know your size. You need to try it on to make sure you don’t look like an idiot. The models in the magazine need to be a certain size so the sample sizes will look right, will fall correctly. Fashion designers are endlessly measuring. And for a piece of clothing that is actually functional and not just to cover ourselves, fit is an even more essential component of the garment. I guess not all of us have the luxury of throwing on any old bra in any old size, but when you say shit like that, it’s going to alienate many of your readers.

        • 02/06/13 at 22:40

          As I mentioned several times in the blog post above, if bra fit is the most important aspect of lingerie for you, and is how you relate to your undergarments, then I’m glad. This article is not a prescription for how every woman all over the world should think about their lingerie, and it’s certainly not a piece on devaluing the importance of bra fit. While I am sorry you found this particular blog post alienating, I’m not sorry for daring to bring up that there’s more to lingerie than bras and bra fit.

          I understand what you’re saying, but for some women, bra fit is secondary to other concerns, and these concerns are no less valid because they happen to be different from yours. Of course, you’re still welcome to think that’s “dumb” or whatever else you like, but those comments simply reinforce why it was time to write this particular post.

          When it comes to the vast world of lingerie, it is not “moronic” to choose to focus your energies in an area other than fit or to personally prioritize something else over bras. Women are not a homogenous group with the same identical concerns. We all have different things affecting us in different degrees (or “luxuries,” as you called them). And if that concept is “shit” to you, I’m sorry to hear that, but so be it.

          • momo
            02/06/13 at 23:02

            Ok, I guess being dogmatic on this issue is your bugaboo, as demonstrated here: http://www.thelingerieaddict.com/2012/01/bra-fitting-formulas-is-the-war-on-plus-four-the-answer.html

            No one is saying that there aren’t other important aspects of lingerie, but frankly, the other things would not even exist without fit. You are the same person who brought up the shoe analogy, but I haven’t seen you argue that the size of a shoe is immaterial. I saw that you defended that utterly ignorant article on NYmag.com. It’s really disappointing because you seemed like a generally together person, but for some reason discussing the actual engineering of bras (aka the most complicated and technical piece of clothing that is made these days) and fit seems to discomfit you. Your dismissal is strange for someone who is so passionate about the products.

          • 02/06/13 at 23:17

            That’s because my argument is not that bra fit is immaterial, and if that was your takeaway, I can understand why you’re upset.

            Rather, my argument is that, in the same way shoe fit is not the only way to discuss shoes, bra fit is not the only way to discuss bras (or lingerie in general, for that matter). Nor does it follow that every other lingerie issue is dependent upon fit (For example, the limited selection of “nude” lingerie for darker skintones has nothing to do with fit. Nor does something like the stereotypical portrayal of lesbians in lingerie advertising.) It’s also worth remembering that lingerie is not equivalent to bras; a conversation on stockings and garter belts, for example, has nothing to do with bra fit.

            Discussing bras, bra fit, bra sizing, and bra engineering doesn’t discomfit me. What discomfits me is when people insist there’s only one way to talk about lingerie, and all other ways are deficient. Saying, “Hey, there are other lenses here through which to view this topic,” or even “Hey, not every woman has the same body type (and so won’t require the same bra fit advice),” doesn’t seem dogmatic to me. But to each their own.

    • 03/06/13 at 4:58

      Following your shoe analogy; actually people in fashion wear shoes that are the wrong size all the time, especially models in photoshoots. And its far worse than bras, since wearing the wrong size or even the wrong sort of shoe on a catwalk can be immediately dangerous, and because there is long term damage from the wrong size or fit of shoe (there’s no consistent evidence for this happening with bras). Think of all the women with twisted toes from pointy toed shoes!

  20. Kayla Jayne
    07/06/13 at 5:28

    People need to get over the bra fit, its so boring… I don’t normally wear a bra but when I want my boobs to looked pushed up I wear one cup size smaller always have and I really think we should move on to talking about the fun on lingerie not the fit!

  21. 22/06/13 at 1:19

    Offering bra tips is just one aspect of lingerie as you rightly pointed out. Although we often provide tips on our blog, we tend to agree with your quote “Bra fit depends on so many variables – age, body type, disability, breast shape, breast width, rib cage shape, muscle vs. fat ratio, etc. etc., that any “one true fit” formula will, by its very nature, only apply to a fraction of women.”

    We have been investigating all the fades & fitting products to find what is best, but the simple answer always comes dowm to the person. What works for one woman might not work for another, but if you are comfortable in the bra your wear, regardless of how it looks than by all means go with it.

  22. AcheKah
    24/08/13 at 1:52

    The issue – in my world – is proper bra fit and structure IS vital on why we need diversity. Because if all the bra models are a perky, lovely 34FF, but are photographed wearing a 38C – then it doesn’t matter if the gorgeous model is white, black, tan, purple, disabled, hourglass, pear shaped, heavily muscled, 71 years old or anything else – to have the shown look, you wear a bra that is potentially painful and damaging so you don’t want to wear any lingerie. If it’s just going to hurt, I’m buying the cheap, ugly bras and start feeling like I am too ugly to have pretty lingerie, so I don’t look. Plus, in my mind, it discourages the growth of indie lines. So many flat ignore anything past DD. Yet, if women wear the true best fitting bra in a larger size, a small company either designs for non Walmart standard sizes or will do custom bras – women will buy a well made bra as many are tired of a limited selection. Curvy Kate shows diverse models – that line took off fast. Ewa M. has diverse models AND custom sizes if requested – I see that line mentioned all the time and women happily pay for the custom work. KMD blogged why their bras don’t go larger. I bought two. One in a sister cup size, one in my band size. I frankensteined them into one bra – small band, large cups. If I’m willing to buy two – which I learned from others – to make a bra, why does any vendor (not just KMD) think I won’t pay for a custom bra. Heck, charge the same as two bras, since I’m not having to finish the bra, I’ll still buy. It’s how I fit a Deco also, and I do contact the companies to expand their sizes – but, I don’t expect the custom work from the corporate grouped lines. But, a mid level – one already does so successfully, so I don’t agree with reasons why not and do feel the lines are saying past DD is ugly/bad/freaky.

    • 24/08/13 at 15:24

      The thing is, every other lingerie blogger, with the exception of 3 or 4, is talking about bra fit and, specifically, the issues surrounding full busts. I understand that bra fit is the most important issue to you, and I hope you understand there is no shortage of conversations happening on that exact topic. They’re just not happening on this blog.

      Moving on, the reason a brand like KMD can’t just make you a custom bra is because it would be economically unfeasible for them, by which I mean prohibitively expensive. Brands that produce their lines in factories (as opposed to making each item by hand) are able to save on money (savings which are passed on to the consumer via cheaper goods) because of things like economy of scale. However, the flip side of that is these brands must produce certain minimums in order to even use the factory. Again, Kiss Me Deadly has been very transparent about the minimums her factory requires; she’s also revealed that when she extended her range into DD cup bras and A cup bras, the A cups far outsold the DD’s.

      It’s important to remember that Ewa M.’s business model is not applicable to every lingerie brand; not only are they still fairly small, the costs of labor to produce something like a custom bra are significantly cheaper in Poland. You also don’t know Ewa Michalak’s profit and loss numbers. They may be losing money on all their custom garments; there’s just no way to know. Regardless, it would be unreasonable to expect every lingerie company to imitate their business model because all lingerie companies aren’t the same. Of course, you don’t have to agree, but I think it helps to be familiar with how lingerie is manufactured if you want to approach companies about doing it differently, because a stance like “just make everything custom” shows an extreme unfamiliarity with the way most lingerie companies produce.

      In the meantime, why not look into getting a retro-style bra custom made from someone who does do custom lines? Dottie’s Delights makes exquisite retro style bras, and since you seem to have a flexible budget, I’d check with her about making something especially for you.

      Finally, I think it’s important to acknowledge that most lingerie lines specialize. You mentioned Curvy Kate, another UK based label, up above. They don’t make anything below a D. Are they saying women who wear a C cup and below are ugly? I doubt it. Freya, another brand you seem to like, doesn’t make A, AA, or AAA bras (an extremely underserved market, by the way). Are they saying small busted women are ugly? No. Should Curvy Kate start making C cup bras custom because I want one? After all, they’re also mid-level and Ewa Michalak does it, so why not?

    • 24/08/13 at 16:22

      I think it’s great you customise your bras. Even as short as time ago as my mums generation, fitting all your own clothing was just what you did.
      Every business is structured differently. Curvy Kate’s marketing team is bigger than my entire company! Large cups were mostly catered for by indies when I started 7 years ago, and then the Bravissimo effect took hold and we now have a plethora of large cup brands in the UK, including indies old and new.
      I haven’t met the woman behind Ewa so I don’t know much about them, but it’s clear that they are vertically integrated – their manufacturing seems to be in house – and ours is not. That means we would have to find someone who would customise bras one at a time, in the UK where bra skills are pretty dead and most of the machinery has been scrapped, and pay them to do it. We’d also have to ask the customer to have to wait for their bra, then put a margin on it for all involved. The price would go up dramatically (the cost of skilled labour and components is much greater in the UK than in Poland, where Ewa is based, to the extent that we get economic migration from there to here). You might well be prepared to pay for it, but most people aren’t; and unlike Ewa our biggest selling lines are not bras, but shapewear. I’d make more money from extending our size range on those lines.
      It’s probably also worth noting that Ewa recently withdrew some of her custom sizes after it became clear that the price/work involved matrix didn’t work out beneficially.

      I’m all for teaching people how to alter their bras though, we’d been thinking to do some videos along those lines.

  23. Collins
    09/03/14 at 17:40

    Well, you have to keep in mind that bras are a technology and that your breasts are organs. So using bras just for aesthetic or expressive purposes can defeat their purpose as a technology and cause pain in the breasts and shoulders. Usually not big deals for women d cup or less at any bandwidth. But if I had that size, I would probably go bra less often. I do agree that smaller bras are rehearsal cute though, jealous!

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