I have hesitated about this blog post for a few days now. I guess I still care more than I’d like to admit about what people may think of me or what I put online. No one has actually said anything negative about the idea of my doing this Bra themed haul, it’s only the cautious voices in my head telling me that I’ll be judged for doing so.
But I think I’ve finally found some resolve, realising I can’t continue to preach some of the things I do regarding body confidence without backing it up with my content.
Sure, I’m praying that my brother, Dad and pretty much any member of my family won’t see this piece. This hope also applies to my postman, IRL friends, my neighbours….and anyone I’ve ever interacted with in my lifetime. But for those that read my blog, who like me may have limited funds, tend to not look after themseles as much as they should, or have weirdly fluctuating breasts – this is for you.
Until recently when I bought some bandeau style fabric bras for my holiday ( I tend to be a bit more relaxed about boob support on holiday) I had been wearing two ripped and ill fitting black Marks and Spencer Bras for at least 5 years. I have been alternating between the two, the one that gets to be worn decided solely on which one I locate on the floor of my bedroom. When my boobs were in a big phase they’d spill out of the cups like a generous portion of angel delights spilling clumsily out of it’s bowl. They’d also create that four boob effect and ruin any sleep silhouettes I tried to create with my outfit choices. On deflated days I’d create that ski jump aesthetic and there would be room for at least two new potatoes in each bra. In fact I think I’ve used them for storage numerous times.
To try and improve the situation, whether it be trying to squash the four boob appearance to it’s original two boob format, or trying to flatten the bra down against my boobs so you couldn’t tell how baggy and unfilled it was, I’d often wear a tight top over the bras. I also avoided wearing some beautiful and slinky dresses because I just didn’t have the necessary equipment for my personal pillows.
Why didn’t you just get some new bras?? Valid question.
Well let’s start with the whole weirdly fluctuating boob thing. Ive found other people that experience this too but they are slightly more financially fortunate so have a host of bra’s to accommodate them whether they are in one of their big or small phases. When I’m at my absolute plumpest I’m an E when I’m at my smallest I’m probably a D, but one that isn’t entirely full – one of my boobs would probably benefit from a C. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence but I always seem to have bigger and heavier boobs in the summer months. I don’t believe there’s any evidence to suggest sunshine causes any sort of growth spurt, but maybe my behaviour and habits throughout the warmer months lead to some weight gain or hormonal change – who knows!?
Anyway, like clockwork I’m at my smallest again. I could almost see them deplete as I stepped off the plane at Heathrow after our US holiday. They’re still more than a handful but because they spend at least half the year larger, there is an element of streched elastic skin and a look of emptyness – the firmness goes to soft squidge and the strech mark texture more evident.
I have also been put off from spending my money on bras because whenever I get fitted I’m told I am a different size, so I guess I’ve lost so confidence when it comes to making a decision about what I choose to purchase. The bra’s you can buy at places with bra mesauring people, aren’t cheap either and I worry that I’ll get them home, my boobs will change the next day and they’re be as useless as the ropey black ones I’ve been dedicate my boots to for the last 5 years. This last year alone I’ve been told I’m 30f and 32 E, which always feel so ridiculous because my boobs never look that big to me, but who bloody knows what the truth is!?
Last year I went to an inspiring Lingerie event hosted by my boobaliscious friend Becky, who in my mind is the undisputed queen of all things breasts and underwear (she’s just badass in general tbh). After that day I wanted to make more effort when it came to underwear, for me first of all – if someone else enjoyed the view it created, well that was a bonus. I wanted to have both sexy/comfort underpinning every outfit. What’s the point in putting thought into your style if it’s ruined by its foundations, or lack of. I also wanted to finally celebrate the body I’ve been given, , scars, curves, bruises, strechmarks, thread veins and all, and showcase it as effectively as possible. I also wanted to look after my back (which is becoming incressingly sore and achey with every year) and make underwear decisions that could lead to an improved posture. I remember promising the girls I’d treat myself and start posting my new purchases on Instagram for them and my followers to see. I also said I’d do confidence shoots and try to encourage my readers to be comfortable in their skin and embrace their bodies. I meant it, I truly intended to do all this, but without the encouraging words of the lingerie bloggers I quickly went back to my old ways, and prioritising other purchases above finding a well fitting bra. I guess in part because I knew it was more complicated than many other fashion related shopping trips, and also because I still didn’t prioritise me, or making myself feel good.
This saturday I had an unscheduled trip in to town. One of the invoices I’ve been chasing for months eventually got paid by cheque because the brand couldn’t get their accounts team to play ball and gave up chasing them. Lacking in funds due to the extreme delay in getting paid by this company and numerous others, I had to get it into my account asap, so I decided to embark on the 1 hour round trip and put it in the Nationwide. To make the trip feel less of an annoying way to spend my Saturday I thought I’d see Si on his market stall, and visit the small selection of shops we have in The Heart in Walton on Thames. On the second floor of New Look, after a methodical circuit of the second floor I came to the underwear display and couldnd’t believe how many beautiful but affordable bras they had hanging on rails – even better they had my size(s). It’s not often I have time on my hands, and without the pressure of a shopping body to make me feel a bit rushed, so I thought I’d grab a few and see what they were like. Fast forward and I now have 5 new bras (of all types and colours) and my gapeing/bulging/ripped black ones have finally been retired. Poor things…it’s been like the underwear equivalents of putting a 90 year to work on a building site.
So here is a simple review post about the bras I bought (complete with completely un-airbrushed pictures) – how they fit and how they feel (and more importantly how I feel in them) . I’d never have thought to buy bras from New Look, so hopefully it will make you think about giving different shops a try when it comes to underwear shopping., but more importantly it’ll make you think about doing whatever you need to do to make yourself feel good and comfortable.
I don’t know why but whenever I buy bralettes I never try them on and I always end up buying the wrong size. Then I always forget to take them back to the store before the return before date. What I’m saying is I’ve wasted money on a lot ill fitting bra-lettes that are now crumpled and festering at the back of my underwear drawer. Yup, more clutter I could do without. Don’t worry too much though I only shop at affordable shops so it’s never a huge expense, but it’s still slightly aggrevating and a Wagamamas dinner that could have been paid for.
For some reason I made up a rule that if you buy a bra without underwire you can get one in a much smaller size and that you’ll be alright without the faff of checking to see if it fits. But guys, I’m learning. I not only tried this one on in store I went for the 32D/DD straight off the back. The spilling out of the sides era is over at long last.
At first I didn’t like the look of it. There was a lot of looseness to the satin part of the cup and it didn’t seem to do my perky-challenged boobs any favours. But with a quick tightening of the straps, my boobs and the appearance of the bralette was transformed – it fitted perfectly. I think when you think of size DD boobs you often associate it with boobs that are very large, full, and projecting out of the chest, but in reality a lot of people with DD boobs just have a boob that is spread quite widely across their chest, so you need that cup size to reign it all in and keep it contained.
The combination of the satin and lace is foxy, but because of the lack of underwire the overall effect doesn’t feel too in your face – it still has a gamine cuteness about it. I adore the feature ring racerback too – this bra is perfect to incoporate into an outfit if you have a dress that works well with underwear worn as outwerwear, or with a revealing top that you don’t feel comfortable wearing without some of your modesty restored. You could even wear this under a sheer top or tux blazer . At under a tenner I think this is a complete bargain. Just for some standard oversharing – when I wear this one and I’m out of sight of other humans I can’t help but stroke my boobs, the satin just feels so nice.
I won’t choose this one to wear under tight tops because it doesn’t create a nice clean and rounded mould for your boobs to fill, but it will get a lot of wear under baggy jumpers and as a feature of slinky evening wear.
Main Body: 92% Polyester, 8% Elastane
Lace: 92% Nylon, 8% Elastane
Cup Lining: 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane
Black Satin Lace Bra-lette £9.99
I’ve always loved blush colours. They’re so dreamy and romantic. You can’t help but think of flowers, ballerinas, dreamy pinterest bedrooms and Charlotte Tilbury nudes.
During my US road trip I largely took a break from the ‘dreaded’ underwired BRA. I say dreaded because for the last few years I associate that with rib pain and chafing underneath the armpit. But it doesn’t have to be like this people!!
If you get a bra with underwire that sits on the correct part of your body, and one that isn’t too tightly bound round you it doesn’t cause any aggressive side effects. Instead you feel supported, lifted and comfortable.
The intricate layered two tone lace makes this look like a very expensive bra, so it’s 15 quid price tag is very impressive. I think the longline look is very flattering and pretty too, and I believe makes it even feel even nicer to wear. And when something feels good, you feel good. I’m pretty sure I project a more sultry but powerful version of myself when I wear this one. It does gape slightly on my smaller boob, but when you have uneven boobs there’s always going to be a compromise somewhere unless you get some fancy bespoke one made.
Upper Cup Shell/Bottom Lace: 91% Nylon, 9% Elastane.
Lower Cup Shell/Upper Cup Frame Shell: 87% Nylon, 13% Elastane.
Cup Frame Lining/Cup Lining: 100% Polyester.
Wing: 64% Nylon, 36% Elastane.
Deep Pink Layered Lace Longline Push Up Bra £14.99
Pure and Simple
This is the one I will be wearing around the house, which means it’ll be getting a hell of lot of wear. There’s no need for my boobs to be pushed up and together when I’m lazing at home in bed watching Netflix, snacking or doing bloggywork on my laptop, even if it’s quite nice to look down at them looking all marvel action hero. It feels nice to let the natural sag happen and let them sit pretty much where they’d like to reside, albeet it with a lil bit of support from elasticated fabric.
The white colour and underwirelessness of it all makes it feel a bit sporty too. I can’t help but feel like if I was a character in the movie wearing this bralette I’d be someone that sweated it out on the tennis courts – think fresh faced Kirsten Dunst in Wimbledon. This is quite novel for me considering I haven’t done sport out of choice for a very long time.
I know this isn’t the overtly sexy choice perhaps but there’s something classic and pure about it which I like. It feels fresh and understated. Ultimately though I love it because right now comfort is paramount for me. I have enough pains, aches and unexplained bruises going on it’s nice to feel nurtured and soothed up top by 93% cotton.
Much like the black bralette. This doesn’t really change the natural hang or shape of your boob, which may mean you won’t be comfortable about having this as a base for a tight tee, but for covered up slouchy tops this will always be my go-to. You almost forget your wearing a bra, which is glorious and freeing.
The Nitty Gritty
Cup Shell: 85% Nylon, 15% Elastane.
Cup Lining: 93% Cotton, 7% Elastane.
White Lace Bra-lette £6.99
The future is Green
I instantly loved the muted khaki tone of this bra. It’s just such a me colour. I also think it’s quite a classy and elegant choice while being still unexpcted and cool. Overall though, it is fairly classic looking in design with it’s lace trim and soft satin padded cups. While it is push up, it’s a very gently push up, just a little boost without them looking squished and hoisted. This means that the unevenness of breasts is more obvious, but I don’t worry about that sort of thing anymore – I’m happy to embrace the natural look and all that comes with that.
I think the back view is particuarly beautiful with it’s delicate crossover strappy ring back with it’s hook and eye fastening. This mean you have to put your arms through before fastening, but it’s not complicated and there’s no real risk of getting tangled and confused in the process. Nothing worse than starting your day getting trapped in an item of clothing, particularly when your pre-breakfast hangry.
There is a beautiful luxe feeling about this particular bra, which I loved so much I forked out for the matching briefs. I’m not someone that ever matches their underwear (socks included) so see this move as a rather big move. It’s not that I’ve completely let myself go, in a way I’m pleased I’m putting less emphasis on my looks, but for me I’d like to feel I’m being a bit kinder to my body and treating it a bit nicer, with some new, well fitting and supportive structures. Sometimes it’s just nice to feel pretty isn’t it. I spend so much time at home looking pretty slobbish, it’s nice to put something on that feels special, even if it’s worn underneath another strained t-shirt or a favourite hoodie.
Cup and Lace Shell: 92% Polyester, 8% Elastane
Cup Lining: 100% Polyester
Wing Lining 1: 100% Nylon.
Wing Lining 2: 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane.
Khaki Satin Lace Trim Push Up Bra £12.99
Misteltoe and Wine
Come Autumn/Winter I find myself wearing a lot of foliage inspired colours. I can’t help but feel like that this bra (which has matching knickers if you so wish to have a set) would be perfect for Christmas outfit foundations…or festive fondles if you are buying underwear for the purpose of other people’s enjoyment too.
This is probably the bra that made my boobs look the most jubbly. It pushes them up just enough to make them look plump, but also even in size and fullness. Even though the cups are decorative with lace and pretty trim details, the adjustable shoulders straps are left simple and plain, meaning it’s still suitable to wear with strappy tops.
Wine, Maroon and claret are very flattering shades against a lot of skin tones. It looks great on redheads and pale skins, but looks similarly fantastic on all the other combinations too. It’s just a bit less harsh than black, but still dark enough to wear with black ensembles.
I feel instantly a bit sexier when I wear this wine coloured one. Well I mean I just feel a bit sexy. I generally don’t feel like that at all, because most of my time is spent in stinky sleep-wear that is covered in remnants of my dinner which is pungnent even before it’s had time to linger and crust on to fabric. I also think because my boobs finally feel supported, and elevated to their happy place that it makes me feel confident to walk around with a prouder posture, rather than concaved and apologetic.
Even though it has the lace overlay it’s not too bumpy a texture , so it’s still a great option for an every day under black t-shirt bra .
Although I couldn’t find this size in store, it is available in sizes up to F online (which is great for my big booby pals), and there are matching briefs available too. The hook and eye back fastening isn’t too difficult to do on your own either which is useful to know if like me you often find yourself without a partner to lend a hand.
The nitty gritty :
Wing Lining: 93% Nylon, 7% Elastane. Cup Lining: 100% Polyester. Machine washable.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief review…. get it? Breif (sorry). Let me know your favourite places to buy affordable bras.
Video try on, coming soon…..