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Fitter's Favorites

Ladies, I hate the end of August. I really do. It's not summer, but it's not fall. Everyone's sick of the heat, but the leaves haven't changed yet. It's a danky hang nail of a season. So, in an effort to cheer myself and fill up the time before all the new autumn collections are released, I thought I'd write about the best bras for fitters. Since everyone has a different definition of "the best", I broke this down into four simple categories.

The Little Black Dress


No one can go wrong with a little black dress. Similarly, there are bras that fit everyone. Not all bras are created equal; some can be truly wonky fits. They require firm breast tissue, they're a half cup too small, they're two bands too big, etc. However, there is a class of bras that just work. They go on the body and they fall right where they should. Sometimes, I'll be in a fitting and, for whatever reason, it's a hard process to find a good match for the client. It's in those moments (when I'm internally panicking!) that I'll turn to one of these bras. Nine times out of ten, they fit like they're painted on! And that's when I let out a huge sigh of relief and let out a little prayer, thanking God, Zeus, and Buddha for creating a bra that magically fits everyone in it's size profile.
The Pop Songs


When I wrote this, the Wacoal Embrace Lace Underwire popped into my head. It's a bra we carry at the store which everyone seems drawn to. Young women love it, older women love it. Men love it! Like any catchy pop song, it's a universally appealing product. In the full bust world, you can see which bras are hits. For instance, the Cleo Ellie and the Ewa Michalak Lato were reviewed enthusiastically on several lingerie blogs this summer. Unlike materials that can remain controversial like leopard print or pastel yellow, these designs really spoke to people. If a piece of lingerie can appeal to someone who's 14 and someone who's 84 simultaneously, it's a keeper.
The Miracles


If I were bedridden for the rest of my life or a Victorian hypochondriac (see: the whiny kid in The Secret Garden), I'd want to wear the Freya Deco. I'm not quite sure how they've engineered it, but that bra is the comfiest flying/road tripping/sitting-like-a-slug bra. The crazy cleavage it gives is secondary, in my heart, to the fact that it's the only bra I can travel comfortably in. While your magically unique "it-does-something-no-other-bra-has-ever-done" bra isn't the Deco, I'm sure you can think of a bra that stands alone in it's achievements.
The Problem Solvers


Le sigh. Whether they know it or not, everyone has some sort of fit issue. It could be a feature or a preference that can make searching for bras a more complicated process than a simple number-letter combination. If your breast tissue is softer, your shoulders are narrow, or you have an extended tummy, you know what I'm talking about. These features can make even a enthusiastic lingerie customer run for the hills. Mine is all in the middle; my breasts are close set and full which means that, even when a bra fits correctly, the center gore might not lay flush or can dig in. Usually, these issues can be resolved by finding a product that resolves the issue. Sloping shoulders? Look for racerback or leotard back bras. Soft breast tissue? Balconnets look fantastic! My not-quite-separated boobs are happiest in plunges, like the Panache Tango.

Ok, lingerie store owners/fitters/bra nerds, it's time to weigh in! Am I way off base? Do you have a bra that no other bra has been able to compete with? Have you noticed a bra that seems to fit everyone and their mother? Let's talk about the "best" bras in the comments.

7 Comments

  1. Panache Tango Plunge is my problem solver and I'm wearing it now, in fact! I have close set boobs so struggle a lot with finding large cup bras that fit me well, and this bra is my favourite; it doesn't nip me in the middle and it fits nicely.

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  2. Which bras do you consider LBDs?

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  3. I'd also love to know what bras you consider to be LBDs? But I think you're on to something with the EM Lato, I'm STILL mad that I didn't get my hands on one. ;)

    I also find that there are some bras that can really determinate between breasts shapes. As in the Masquerade Rhea work swell for full-on-top breasts and the Bravissimo Alana works well on bottom heavy breasts but switch them and it can be a complete disaster!

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  4. Hey Becky, I agree. When I saw the Tango Plunge on me, I was floored. I'd never been particularly attracted to the leaf pattern and the balconnet version has a terrible reputation with bloggers as a style that looks quite "pointy". However, the Tango Plunge was a perfect fit and surprisingly, looked very sexy in the black. Ideal for us close set gals!

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  5. Hey June (and Faustineli!). Not all the bras I think of as LBDs are full bust styles so I was a little more hesitant to include them. Definitely, non-full bust: Chantelle C. Chic Demi and the Wacoal Awareness. If you have the right size, they'll work on almost everyone. The LBDs are also bras that fit so well, they can sometimes even work in a slightly "off" size. I consider the Panache Andorra and the Elomi Hermoine to be universal fits too. In the Andorra, I'm good-to-go in my sister size, 30G, whereas wearing my sister size in another style could be an epic failure.

    Aw, don't get me started on the Lato. I missed that too and that bra, along with the Freya Loretta, are my biggest "misses". They haunt me!

    I think the Bravissimo Alanna and Masquerade Rhea are kind of like problem solvers. They really fill a particular fitting "need" that someone might run into and not every bra will click with a specific feature in such a successful way.

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  6. The Masquerade Rhea is interesting in that I thought of myself as soft-tissued and bottom heavy but the bra works well for me- perhaps I am wrong in my assessment of myself, since I seem to have a lot of 'don't fill the apex of the cup but the top seam cuts in' issues.

    The Deco is indeed magic for me and has been for almost every full-busted lady I talk to- I've heard it doesn't work for some people but I haven't met them yet!

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  7. What a great way of thinking about bras!! I'll play:

    The LBDs: The Elomi Hermoine is hands-down the easiest bra to fit because the spacer fabric of the cup contours well to different shapes. I've seen women from 18 to 88 leave with this bra which tells you something about how well it's constructed. For us, this bra is our best-selling bra even though the price is higher ($69). I'd also nominate this for all the other categories too! Furthermore, I want to nominate the Natori Cool Contour for women in the US G cup and under size range because it's a fabulous and comfortable basic bra that gets women used to wearing the correct size.

    The Pop Songs: The Freya Nieve longline from last year drew a lot of attention from women of all ages, shapes, and sizes. The flattering colors, cute print, and unique design spoke to people and was our most popular fashion style. The Natori Sheer Luxe, especially in black, is another bra that transcends differences. The design is very lightweight, and it blends well under clothes so it loosens women up to wearing seams while the sheerness and embroidery keep it pretty.

    Miracles: Freya Deco does give amazing cleavage (so does the Parfait Casey), and I've had women buy that one for the sheer reason that they love how their boobs look in it. Wacoal's Embrace Lace is impressive too because it fits many different women (even those with softer breast tissue) but stays pretty. Finally, the Panache Sports bra deserves a mention for the great fit, hold, and shaping—it's so great women buy it as an everyday bra!

    Problem Solvers: Any of the ones I listed above tend to solve problems for women too, so any of them would work here.

    Honorable Mention: The Fantasie Rebecca offers the great fit of the Hermoine for women in the 30-34 band sizes, so I think that will be a powerhouse as well.

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