bra shopping frustrations

I’m a size 30B. They do not carry 30B in stores, as most women have larger ribcage sizes. Bras that are 30B are only available online. So on top of having to settle for bras that aren’t truly my size in order to avoid shopping online, I have to accept the fact that pretty bras aren’t made in smaller sizes.
I feel awful, because isn’t that so materialistic? Great, Nahida, of all the problems in the world, you’re bitching about how you can’t find pretty bras.
But hey, I retain the right to be human. (After all, that may also be my saving grace.)
I am by no means complaining about being thin: fat women have it much, much harder. Fatphobia, often excused under the guise of health concern, is a huge problem. Bitch magazine had an article about a woman who was aiming for the world record in most weight, and she was met with concern about her health–and, at the same time, hateful expressions of “I hope she just dies.” So yeah, I recognize my privilege.

But dammit, can’t we just make pretty lingerie for all body types?

Besides that, this isn’t really about being thin either. To claim it is would be a whole other issue. Fat women can have small cup sizes. Thin women can have large cup sizes. We aren’t cookie cutter proportionate. The ideal shouldn’t be cookie cutter “proportionate” especially when ideal proportions aren’t realistic. No, this is more about never getting it right. Smaller sizes–anything below C, I guess–are infantilized and have some weird virginal social stigma that associates them with little girls despite the fact that they belong to grown women. Larger sizes–D and above, supposedly–well, those women are just “asking for it.”
The root of my issue is that my bra size (the sister size to 30B is 32A in stores [up a number=down a letter]) doesn’t matter enough to make pretty bras for and that kind of makes me suspicious of what the reasoning behind this is… I can’t help but wonder if it might be because of what men care to see on women and not what women want to wear themselves. Women cupped above size A deserve pretty bras because they actually have something to show for them. And us? What do we want them for?

19 thoughts on “bra shopping frustrations

  1. Yes, but they're the only ones I know of who do. I try to avoid shopping at VS; I haven't kept myself updated on whether or not they still use cheap labor, but I find their bras are shoddily made.Their panties are okay though. They have my size. Funny how despite not having 30B bras most places have no problem carrying XS panties.

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  2. Oh my, you just touched at one of my hot topics. I'm a 32A and sometimes a 32AA. In other words, a flat-chest. I hate shopping for bras because I have the same problem as you, nothing fits, and if there is a nice bra that does fit, it has padding inside. This makes me depressed big time, why should I have to fake to have more, why isn't "more accepted" that girls like me exist and that we don't all want to lie about our chest size? I used to avoid completely lingerie and swimsuit stores and wear the same kid's department bra over and over for years. I still feel stigmatized for not being "normal" to female standards. It's truly a shame. Thank you so much for this article, really. <3

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  3. Exactly! I don't want any other size than my own either.It's also frustrating when I say that I'm looking for 32A and the assistant says, "Really? You don't look like an A. You look bigger. There are two inches there," and I have to explain that I don't look like an A because I'm a B–but the store doesn't carry 30B, so I have to settle for the closest size. It stresses me out, because each time I explain this I'm so hopeful that she'll correct me and say, "Oh but we do carry that!"But of course it never happens.And you're right about the padding. I actually like the extra support of padding on top of underwire but I know that's not really why it's there…

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  4. Yeah, there is. The idea of sister sizes is that band sizes don't stay the same to corresponding cup sizes. So the actual cup in 30B is smaller than in 32B, even though they're both B–it's not just the band that's different.Enter the sister size. 32A has a smaller cup than 32B, but to compensate the band size is larger. A 32 band doesn't lay flat and rides up in the back because the straps are pulling up the extra band. So even if it is the sister size, I have to tug and pull and adjust. If I wear a 30B, my true size, I can feel the difference.

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  5. Why did you have to show photos of bras? Yeah, I know that was the topic you were discussing but given the subject matter was the visuals really appropriate?I am kind of on the line regarding whether the topic is appropriate in such a public medium, but regardless why do you have to make it worse by having the photos?

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  6. Because they're pretty? And… I was complaining about how they don't come in my size? (The pretty lace ones.) o.O Steve, you seemed to have nothing against the virginity entry I posted where I was actually talking about straight-up sex and not just lingerie. If it makes you uncomfortable, skip over it. I never said I was writing for PG audiences.

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  7. It's not inappropriate to us, it's the stuff we put on in the morning every day. Don't be such a prude Steve. Besides, it's her place to do whatever she feels comfortable with. They're just bras, not women wearing bras.

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  8. Mina, he's not a prude. I will not have prude-shaming any more than I will have slut-shaming. He may actually feel uncomfortable. Everyone's discomfort is of equal worth.But seriously, Steve, just avoid the area.

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  9. I understand the discussion, but the photos?And as for the virginity entry you didn't have photos of people having sex. And you were basicly saying that while virginity should be strived for things happen at times and it shouldn't be an unredemable sin.I understand what you meant in the context you meant, and also about how a woman's virginity shouldn't be so prized as to superseed every other aspect of her. This goes on in 3rd world countries and even here to a small degree. Virginity is nice but it shouldn't be as valued as is it, especially when it is taken away by force. Women are much, much more than their virginity or their lack of it. They are human beings and by judging them by whether they are Virgins or not just dehumanizes them as to being just sex objects.Would I marry a non-virgin? I wouldn't even ask. It wouldn't even seem important to me as hopefully I am marrying her for more enlightened reasons.But again that isn't saying that one shouldn't try to be a virgin. But it shouldn't be the end of the world if because of a mistake in judgement and will one loses their virginity and especially if one is a victim of rape.

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  10. In some surprising ways I am not a prude. But that said I see nothing wrong with being a prude.I guess I have to take Nahida's advice and skip over this. Lingerie does make me uncomfortable.

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  11. Steve, I don't think you and I see the photos the same way. I'm really used to seeing pictures of bras. In catalogs and online. And real bras, in real life. They're just normal for me.

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  12. I guess I would see her virginity as a "special gift" that she is giving me and I would appreciate her for that, but marrying someone shouldn't be about mere sex and if she didn't have this "gift" for me I wouldn't love her any less. Her virginity or lack of one wouldn't be consideration in her worth.

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  13. I see something totally and dangerously wrong with the "gift" mentality in practice. (Men aren't expected to give "gifts" and from a religious perspective it should be for no one but God.) But we're getting off topic on this post now…

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  14. Nahida, if you know your size it should be really easy to shop for bras online. But then of course, since you care about what it looks like, it probably won't be the same in real life. And then you have to return it if it isn't, and check to make sure they've refunded you and… yeah it's a pain.Since the pretty lace starts at B sizes, though, and you're a 30B it shouldn't be too hard. (I haven't checked personally.) Of course, in order to even get 30B you'd have to go high end, like Nordstroms, since places like Target don't carry 30s and start at 32s instead. And I don't know your income in scholarships, Nahida, but shipping on top of $65 per piece isn't fun on ANY student budget.Yeah, don't know much you can do. =/

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  15. When is Steve going to get the hang of posting here without starting something that's been discussed to death? Most "differences" aren't really INTRINSIC sex differences. They just emerge in huge generalities because one sex is more likely to encounter specific conditions that the other is not.In other words women are perfectly capable of finding lingerie sexually stimulating, just not by itself because we see it all the time (for most of us here). It has to be in sexual context.

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