Wednesday, November 18, 2009

frustration with my country

Maidenform has announced it's new line of D to G cup bras. There's only one problem - they're all in the UK.

That's right, Maidenform has finally started making bras for those larger than a DD, but they aren't selling them in the US. You can order them on websites (i.e. but their US website doesn't even mention them.

I have filled out the contact form on the US website asking when they will be available in the US. I will update when/if I hear back from them.

This is just the problem with the US. We are stuck in the land of Ds. It's so rare to find more than a DD in the states. Our society also seems to think that a DD is ginormous.

Um, hello? I'm a DDDD, and I don't look fake or disproportionate.

Blah. That's all I got tonight.

If we ever get our overseas post in Europe (like I'm dreaming of) I will be in bra heaven.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Been a while...

I'm not keeping my promise to keep up my blog. I'm a slacker. But at least I'm a slacker with a nice set of kittens.

I have fitted quite a few women since my last post. I have met 1 who was wearing the right size. Another had a bra that fit, but we both agreed it was sized oddly.

I will make this a short post today. My head is full and clouded.

Anyone who says they don't like underwires, do me a favor and try one, just one, in the correct size. See if wearing the right size of underwire makes a difference. There are women out there who simply cannot wear them, like my mom, but most women can. If you have a very short torso, like mom, underwires can cause a problem. But even my mom was willing to try on a couple underwire bras in her size.

Just try. Just one. Please? The right size makes a world of difference.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bra Size Calculators

I decided to spend some time entering my measurements into online Bra Size Calculators. I went through 5 pages of my google search and found 3 sites I liked enough to link on this blog.

What I entered:
Band measurement - 31 inches
Bust measurement - 43 inches

The vast majority of calculators said I should wear a 36G, which works if you follow that "add 5 inches" rule. It makes me laugh, because I wore that size 20 pounds ago. Most of the site also said they had no products to offer me.

The worst measurement was on Vassarette's website, which wouldn't even give me a bra size. I got an error message telling me "Cup size too large!" Wow. At least the Playtex site put it nicer, "We're sorry, we could not calculate your size. Please try again."

Of course, I had to see if Vicky's Secret had a calculator. They don't have a calculator, but they do show "how to measure" and - get this - they don't even measure your ribcage! They get the band measurement from measuring the top of your bust! So according to them, I should be in a 38DD, which is what I wore before getting fitted years ago. Have you read my story about getting fitted? Yeah, 38DD is not comfortable on me.

Ok, now here are the 3 sites I picked to share with you. The first 2 gave me the size I currently wear and the 3rd just had 1 cup size bigger, which I do need in some brands/styles.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First Fitting!

Ok, so I gave my first professional fitting today. Sure it was a woman that I am related to, but she let me fit her and ordered some bras.

Her bra (that she was wearing) is a 38B. She is really a 34C. I had her exact size in my sizing kit, in a soft cup style, which she prefers. It was the ideal situation. She got to see how the correct size makes a difference. She even mentioned that nothing moved when she bent over!

So, even those with an average bra size can be wearing the wrong size, and can benefit from a fitting.

If you don't go to me, go somewhere! (somewhere other than vicki's secret, please!) Get fitted!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I know, I know

I've been a bad bra crusader and haven't been keeping up the blog!

BUT... I have been trained and am now a professional bra fitter! I work for a great company called The Uplifting Makeover, LLC. Check them out at

What does this mean for you? This means I have even more bra knowledge, and will be learning more as I progress in my new career.

For example, I learned that bras will actually last a little longer if you wash them after every wear, instead of every other.

I learned that you should have at least 3 bras (I may have said that before) but here's why - 1 to wash, 1 to wear, and 1 waiting in the drawer.

I learned that pushup bras are sized differently.

I learned that fake boobs are not always the size the doctor says he's making you. For example, the doc says he's making you a D cup, but he's going by the size of implant, not the rib and chest measurements. So you might really be a 34F when he's done.

I learned more about fitting, like the strap should be tightened so you can fit 1 or 2 fingers under it (lift it just slightly off your shoulder). You should not be able to lift it more than an inch or two off your shoulder. Also, the strap should fit flat against your chest. (no one had told me that before.)

I am uber excited to start selling bras. It's hard for me because I am pretty quiet and introverted, and now I have to sell myself. But I'm going to work hard at this. It will be a little slow at first, while I build a customer base. It will be hard whenever I move, especially if we get the post we want in another country, but I will keep working on it.

I think it might be easier for me since my husband is so supportive about schedules and I don't have kids, like most of our consultants.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Taking the Next Step

I have decided to truly become a Bra Crusader. I am going to train as a bra fitter/consultant and try to make a living out of it!

I will be able to host parties, do personal one-on-one fittings, and consult with spas, gyms, offices, doctors, etc. I will not only preach the joys of a well fit bra, but I will help women to find their true size and purchase a well-made bra.

I know I haven't been posting much, but I am sure that will change once I start working. I will keep this blog as a site for stories and helpful information on my journey as the Bra Crusader.

I should get that copyrighted or something.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


If you have been following my blog (all 3 of you), you may notice that I am a little passionate/obsessed with bras.

You may have also heard, like I have, that the best job is to find a way to make money from something you are passionate about.

I think I have found just that! I found a company that trains and employs bra consultants. So I would be a professional bra fitter. I could do personal house parties, ya know, like Mary Kay or Tupperware. I could also, and this is the big seller for me, work as a consultant with other businesses, like gyms, spas, chiropractors, doctor's offices, etc, anyone that wants to help women find bras! Check them out, The Uplifting Makeover.

So, this company I found is cool, with a wide range of sizes. They use a few different brands and are constantly looking for more options with more sizes. They are laid back and don't push sales the way other consultant jobs do. They care only about helping women.

Now this is something very different from me, and as my mother pointed out, it would push me out of my "comfort zone". As I started feeling serious about it, I started getting nervous.

See, I'm not a people person. But if you get me talking about something I'm passionate about, I can talk forever without any shyness or reservation. I am obviously passionate about properly fitting women into good bras.

So if anyone reads this, give me a vote. Should I give it a shot? It's a minimum investment that can be reimbursed if I work hard. So should I?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bra Care

Time for me to get on to the tips part of this blog. I'm currently washing my bras, so why don't I give you some tips on bra care in a nice, orderly list.

- Wear - Don't wear your bra 2 days in a row. This is why we have multiple bras, so we don't have to wear the same one over and over again! Our body oils naturally soak into the bra materials. This is fine for one day, but if you don't give the bras some time to air and dry out, the minerals and such in our bodies will start to break down the elasticity of the bra materials. Basically, our sweat and oils will stretch out the elastic faster. So you rotate - this bra today, that bra tomorrow, then this bra can be worn again the day after that. I even have 2 sports bras so I don't have to wear one 2 days in a row.

- Store - Molded cup bras shouldn't be smooshed if you can avoid it. This means having plenty of drawer space, or hanging them up. In my new house, we have a huge closet and I have less drawer space, so I took a couple hangers with the strappy holders (you know, the notches), and hung 2 bras to a hanger. For my soft-cup bras, I did 3 to a hanger (especially since there's only 3 of them).

-Wash - Pretty much everyone recommends washing your bras by hand. I admit that I cheat on this. I use a large, mesh lingerie bag and put them in my washing machine on the "handwash" cycle. Also, the detergent you use for all your other clothes could be speeding up the decay of your bras. I use a special detergent called Forever New. I believe Dillards started selling a different kind of special bra detergent, that is pretty much the same thing. I just don't remember the name. One bottle of this stuff lasts a long time. The point is, this detergent is even gentler than Woolite, less harsh chemicals, and rinses clean so there is no residue left to wear out the elastic of your bras. Forever New leaves a nice, fresh scent, too.

- Dry - You should never put your bras in the dryer, especially underwires. Think about it, the dryer gets really hot and heats up the metal wires in an underwire bra. When metal gets hot, it's more pliable, bends easily. This is how underwires get all bent out of shape. We have a simple drying rack that I hang my bras on to dry. I let mine sit overnight and they are always dry by morning.

Of course, even with the best care, bras will wear out. Especially our favorite ones that we wear the most. Eventually, they must be replaced. There's also the possibility that you will lose weight (like I am trying to do) and your bras will get too big, or put on weight and they will get too small. If they are too big, or even just stretched out, you might be able to find a seamstress or alterations store that can take them in for you. The best way is to actually remove the little pieces that hold the hooks and eyes, trim off some of the back fabric, and sew those pieces back on.

I have seen women try to do tucks in the sides, but this is tricky to get just right, and can rub against your skin. Of course, some bras just reach the point of no return, and you have to give up and replace them.

The only part of bra care that I haven't figured out yet is travel. How in the world do you pack a molded cup bra without smooshing it? If you know, please share!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

To Bra or Not To Bra...

Check out that link. It's decidedly anti-bra, but does give some good points for not wearing a bra. I like how they disprove the famous myth that bras prevent sagging. Bras give support, but genetics determine the size, shape and sagginess of them.

I personally love my bras, but I have gone out in public without one. I'll usually put on a wife beater (or men's A shirt if you're PC) under whatever shirt I'm wearing. I also use wife beaters for regular layering. When I'm sitting around my house and know I'm not going out again, I love being bra-free. I don't sleep in bras, either, unless I fall asleep during the day.

I know some women feel more comfortable wearing a bra most of the time. Some women by "leisure" or "sleeping" bras to wear at night. These are less supportive than everyday bras, but still offer some support and comfort.

Of course, we know there are women who never wear bras. This is usually paired with "hippies", but is seen in all genres of women. A lot of people refer to a study that was done (referenced in the above link) that seems to conclude that bras cause breast cancer. Ha!

First, the study was done for women who wear bras 24/7. I've never met anyone that wears a bra for 24 hours. Did they just not count showers and sex?

Second, there is no mention at all of a proper fit. The study reports that bras compress the breast area, and this causes much higher breast cancer risk. Another reason I do like the above link is that they point out that a properly fitted bra might not cause this pressure and compression.

So that's it? That's all they got? The same site, different page, told of a British study on breast pain. They took 100 women with breast pain and told them not to wear a bra for 3 months. The pain went away. Upon wearing bras again, the pain returned. Again, absolutely no mention of whether or not the bras were properly fitted. If you read my first post, I experienced breast pain whenever I removed my bra, and general discomfort while wearing it. However, that pain and discomfort went away when I started wearing bras that actually fit me.

So, am I for or against wearing bras? Neither. I am more comfortable wearing a bra in public, but I admit that it is mostly to do with society and how others view me. I know that my larger breasts get pretty sweaty when it's hot, and wearing a bra prevents chafing on my sweaty boobs. I know that wearing a sports bra is the only way I will ever exercise, because bouncing around hurts them. My husband will attest that I hold them in place if I have to run or walk fast when not wearing a bra. But, some women are OK with the bounce factor.

Basically, it's all up to you in the end. If you choose not to wear a bra because bras hurt you, you should try getting fitted before ruling them out completely. If you think bras will prevent your boobs from getting saggy, you are delusional - time and genetics will win.

One final thought in the decision of whether or not to wear a bra: Fashion. If you like fashion, remember that quite a bit of today's fashion is designed around the societal ideal of a perky breast. I have clothes that would never look right on me without a bra. Some wouldn't really fit without a bra holding the girls in a "perkier" place. It's just a thought.

And yes, I'm a fence sitter on many other issues as well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

my love affair with Molded Cup Bras

This is more because I'm bored and don't feel like doing any research :)

I used to swear against molded cup bras for anything other than strapless needs. I thought they would just make my boobs look bigger, and before I learned to love the twins, that was the last thing I wanted.

Even my first few shopping trips after getting fitted, I avoided molded cups. The first one I bought was a strapless, the kind with removable straps, from Fantasie (I love it). But then, on a trip to Intimate Designs, I was looking for something to give me more show-off cleavage. I tried on a molded cup bra from Fantasie (see a theme?) and was surprised and what it did for the twins. They looked amazing! Super perky, perfect separation, and less nippleage in the cold! Suddenly, my relationship with molded cups went from hate to love.

I now own the matching panties and thong for that molded cup bra, as well as the same thing in another color. I ended up with 2 more molded cup bras from that store before all was said and done, and one that I bought online.

So now, I know molded cups are a wonder for my twins, but that's because of the shape of the girls. I am pretty comfortable in underwires, for one thing, and have rather full breasts. But the key is to always try on your bras before buying, and don't be afraid to try on something new, something you didn't think you would like.

Different styles of bra will fit different styles of boobs. Great example is the Dream Tisha whatever from Le Mystere. I tried it on, and hated it instantly. Not for the molded cups, but because those cups came up high on the sides and cut into my armpits. I know I have a very short torso, but that was a little ridiculous. When I finally got fitted at Dillards, the girl helping me said she hadn't seen anyone look good in the bras I was buying, until me. We theorized that maybe those bras, made by Chantelle, were structured to fit a smaller torso, while the Dream bra fit a longer torso.

So bra shopping takes a lot of trial and error. Try it on and see. Or if you do order online, make sure they have a decent return policy. I've seen it recommended, many times, that you should order a couple sizes of the same bra, if you can, when ordering online. Just return the ones that don't fit. Of course, this doesn't work with all of our budgets, so I only order online if I already have the same bra and can check the size.

Wow. So this post ended up a little longer than I expected, and took a bit of a different twist. That's OK.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The History of the Bra

I have done a tiny bit of research on the history of the bra today. Turns out that women have noticed a need to support their breasts, especially during work or sports, since the ancient Greeks or earlier. Some sites say the bra can be traced back as early as 2000BC.

Of course, we all know bras have been seen in many forms over the years. Apparently the Minoan women of ancient Greece wore bikini-like clothing when participating in sports. Some societies emphasized the breasts and exposed them, while others kept them covered with loose cloth.

The bra as we know it started more as a replacement for uncomfortable corsets. Many of the sites I checked out credit France for the first bras, as well as the name which is short for brassiere, meaning support. While you always hear that men designed the first bras, the oldest US patents for bras, or breast supporters, were given to women. Men were more likely to be the designers of corsets, with their heavy steel construction, but women made the bras. In fact, ever wear a Warner brand bra? Their original bra patent was purchased from Mary Phelps Jacobs and consisted of silk handkerchiefs and ribbon. Warner is also credited with introducing the alphabet system of cup sizing.

Another bra pioneer who introduced cup sizing was
Ida Rosenthal, creator of Maidenform. She believed in getting girls while they were young (training bras) to keep their loyalty as they aged.

Considering how much we complain about bras, a look at bra history really shows how far we've come. At least we aren't expected to wear corsets (although some people still choose to). We aren't expected to hide them, or completely expose them, depending on the fashion whims. We get to choose how much or how little they are exposed.

We also are lucky enough to be around for the expanding cup size revolution. Before Ida and Warner, bras were made in small, medium and large. Then came A, B, C and D, and eventually AA and DD. Now look at us! We have Gs and even Ms if you look hard enough. We have large cups with small bands and small cups with larger bands. We have so much choice in our bras, from utilitarian nylon and cotton to barely useful lace.

Before I close, I will post some links of the sites I checked out on bra history. I found them in a simple Google search using the term "bra history".

Saturday, March 21, 2009

new profile pic

I would just like to take a moment to credit my lovely profile pic. It was taken by one Lawrie Brown. You can view more of her work here: Check out the laundry series.

Welcome to my Crusade

Pronunciation: \krü-ˈsād\
Function: noun
Etymology: blend of Middle French croisade & Spanish cruzada; both ultimately from Latin cruc-, crux cross
Date: circa 1708
1.capitalized : any of the military expeditions undertaken by Christian powers in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries to win the Holy Land from the Muslims
2: a remedial enterprise undertaken with zeal and enthusiasm

I've always been inspired by real bloggers. Not just people who use their blog as a journal, like I have before now, but people who actually use their blog to send information to the people. The only problem I've had is finding some theme I could passionately blog about without getting bored.

So I've decided to try a blog about one of my obsessions - bras. Yes, bras, over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders, brassieres, boob pockets, whatever you want to call them. Bras.

Now don't expect me to just post about bra fashion and vicky's secret and all that crap (her secret is silicone by the way). My passion is for properly fitted bras and bras in a wider range of sizes than most American department stores would dream of carrying.

Let's start with how I got into this obsession...

I have my mother's chest, which equals big. About 2 or 3 years ago, hard to remember now, I was getting rather fed up with the 38DDs I was wearing. I couldn't wait to get my bra off when I got home from work each day. My twins actually hurt when taking the bras off. So I started doing some online research.

I figured out that I wasn't wearing the right size of bra, but how could I find anything bigger than a DD? The answer was Dillards and Nordstroms, at first. I checked a bunch of sites and asked around in my LiveJournal community for big chested women, and figured out about what my size should be. Then I went to Dillards and started trying on bras. I let the girl there help me, but I had pretty much found my size - a 36G.

I left Dillards with 4 new bras, all the same style but different colors. My life changed that day. No, really, it did. Even my husband noticed that the twins didn't hurt when I took my bras off.

Then I found my favorite bra store, Intimate Designs in Independence, MO ( My friend Laura referred me, and I am forever grateful. Not only do they have the most amazing selection of bras in my size, but you get a personal fitting each time you go in, and they will alter bras to fit you perfectly! This is ideal for women who have a more noticeable size difference between boobs, or any other body issues which make finding a good bra difficult. They even carry swimsuits and some sexy lingerie.

From there, the obsession began. I have always been a people watcher, but now I will critique how a woman's bra fits. I've even convinced some of my friends to get fitted, and a few were surprised at the size they ended up buying.

Since my initial fitting, I have lost some weight and now where around a 34G to H, depending on the style of bra.

At this point, you're probably wondering what the point of this blog would be. Well, I want other women to learn to love their boobs the way I have learned to love mine, and a huge part of loving my boobs came with finding pretty bras that make my boobs look good. My plan is to fill this blog with info on bras, how to fit bras, and even what I have learned on altering bras. I will try to do bra reviews and bra store reviews, and maybe just some funny bra stories. I will share all I know and learn on caring for your bras and your boobs.

I also want women to not be afraid of their breasts, and help stomp down the myth that big breasted women are stupid. Yes, the stereotype does exist.

But we will save that for later posts. I think I've said enough for today.

the Bra Crusader