Nov 30, 2008

Bra-fitting - now even simpler!

I wrote some time ago about an online tool that calculates the bra size that should be good for you. If you find digging into Polish website difficult, here goes something simpler for you.

Bra sizes table – with two tabs, one for calculating the size used by British producers, one for the so called “EUR size”.

The measurement rules are the same:

  1. Measure yourself below the bust, very tightly, without the air in your lungs. Find your size in the top row.
  2. Measure yourself rather loosely in the bust in the widest place – without a bra or with a soft (not padded) – and take the bigger number. Find your size in the left-most column.
  3. You’ll find your size in the intersection of “your” column and “your” row.
  4. Cross rule (+):
    1. If the band seems too loose, but the cups are ok: try left cell size.
    2. If the bra is too tight, try the right cell (or bigger cup – lower cell. Sometimes we think the band is too tight, but actually it's cups that are too small).
    3. If the band is ok, but cups are too small – try lower cell.
    4. If the band is ok, but cups are too big – try the upper cell (be sure to check if you put all the breast into the cups).


Let’s say your size below bust is 72cm, and in bust 86cm. Here is the cell with your size:

And here are the cells where you can look for alternative sizes, if the one you are trying is not good (or if you know that the bra you are interested in is especially tight or loose):

Nov 19, 2008

Heidi goes shopping: La Senza in MANOR

Eventually some (quite) good news for women that need 65 band (but have not too big bust).

Summary: (what does this mean?)

Bands: ***
Cups: *
Prices: $$

La Senza is a British company that is famous for having rather tight bands in their bras. They have a corner in a MANOR lingerie department in Zurich (Banhofstrasse), the place that will definitely go to the blacklist– a list of places that you should never go for the sake of your sanity if you know anything about bra sizes. However, they happen to have some shelves with La Senza bras. Strange, very strange. My personal guess is that it’s only because La Senza uses UK sizes, so MANORA simply did not realize, that 32 means actually 70 (the band that is hard or even impossible to find on any other shelves on the whole floor). And probably they think, that DD means “big D”, even if it is simply something like european E.

They sell bras with bands starting with 70 (32) – but actually those 32 bands are very tight. They are really produced for people with 70 cm under bust, so if all other bras in Zurich were too loose for you (and you are not willing to go for online shopping yet) – try La Senza. But before you get too excited: the cups go only up to DD (european E) and most of the bras are padded (although I’ve seen some soft ones). The producer have a rather good reputation among slim girls with really small bust.

And maybe, maybe, if more and more clients start asking about 30D/30DD they will order it one day, still not aware that it’s something that does not fit their “conservative” image... 

P.S. La Senza has their "corners" in MANOR shopping centers in many Swiss cities - check the list on their web page. But please, if you visit their page, close your eyes and quickly skip the intro. The girls on the first page is, well, a perfect example of a terribly too small bra. I have a feeling that it desires a speciall entry in this blog... Coming soon.

Nov 17, 2008

Heidi goes shopping: Triumph

Triumph is probably the most famous lingerie company (and they say its repute is mostly exaggerated). Anyway, if you want to buy any underwear from this producer, I recommend going to any of their own shops (full list on their web pages) instead of simply visiting a lingerie department in a shopping center like Manor, Globus or Jelmoli, as they tend to treat D as a biggest cup (and even sometimes 75 as a smallest band).

Summary: (what does this mean?)

Bands: *
Cups: **
Prices: $$

It may come as a surprise, but Triumph recently started producing some of its collections up to G cups (the bands still start with 70). The choice of D+ cuts is not impressive, but you may be able to find something for you. All the “bigger cups” bras are rather simple, aimed for everyday use. They usually are “fuller” and less tempting in those sizes.

What surprises me is that all bras offered in bigger sizes have different style/cut. I was able to find only one model that looked good on me. On one hand it probably means, that everyone lucky enough to fit into Triumph’s sizes table will find something for her. On the other hand – that may be the only fitting bra for you.

Heidi goes shopping: Aubade

Zürich, Strehlgasse 1 See on map

Aubade ( is a French lingerie company producing luxurious underwear. Apparently it was bought by Calida some time ago, but we must hope that the style of the company will be preserved

Summary: (what does this mean?)

Bands: **
Cups: *
Prices: $$$

If you look at the scores above it may not be impressive (even if it is very good for Switzerland), but the visit to this shop was such a good experience, that I believe it is worth a note.

Aubade has a nice, small boutique in the Zurich Old Town. They sell there all the sizes produced by the company – this means that if you wear a size produced by them (70 and up bands, cups up to E or F – depending on the model) you will definitely have a lot of models to try.

The other reason why this shop is worth mentioning is that this lingerie is amazingly beautiful. Plenty of colorful patterns, effective embroidery, they are really sweet. Most of the models have horizontal seam in the cups that gives a very good effect on some small/medium bust.

Heidi goes shopping: Introduction

I’d like to write a series of articles about lingerie shops in Switzerland. If you agree or disagree with my opinion or if you have your own experience with the brand: please leave a comment below the article.

I check the choice of non-padded, underwired bras. As a principle, I’m not interested in padded bras: they might be useful for some special occasions, but for everyday non-padded ones are much more preferred.

To make it easier for you, I’ll try to classify shops in these categories:


* some choice of 70 (32) bands (with cups at least up to E)

** good choice of 70 (32) bands (with cups at least up to E)

*** some 65 (30) and/or 60 (28) bands


* up to E/F (DD/E) cup

** up to G (F) cup

*** more than G (F)


$ less than 50 CHF

$$ up to 100 CHF

$$$ 100-150 CHF

$$$$ more than 150 CHF

Nov 6, 2008

If not in Switzerland...

I’m far from saying that you cannot buy bras with 60 or 65 band in Zurich. But I havn’t seen them so far. If you know any shop that has them on stock, please let me know. 

Buying underwear online is quite popular. All shops accept returns as long as all the tags are untouched and the bra was not used. However, if ordering from Switzerland you may have to pay the customs, that may make an unsuccessful try more expensive.

Below there is a list of some shops in UK that sell lingerie in a wide range of sizes: Sales shop with last season offers.

Bravissimo Has traditional shops in: Aberdeen, Brighton, Cambridge, Chester, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford and Solihul.

Curves & Lace Has traditonal shop in Glasgow.



UnderCoverExperience Sales shop with last season offers.

Remember, that if you are looking for underwear in UK shops, you need to use UK sizes (30DD etc.)


What is pushup for?

One could think, that the pushup is supposed to make your bust bigger. Well, it will work this way only, if this is the pushup in the right size. If it’s not... Take a look.


In the first (left) picture we can see our model in an 80B pushup with 2cm thick “silicone” pads. Believe me, I’ve chosen the best of all the photos. In the second one (right) – our model is wearing a mist thin half-cup (Chantelle Africa), 70E, no padding at all. One thing is sure – the pushup is not visually enlarging breasts. Even, if it is 2cm thicker than the other bra.

 (The idea of comparing the look in different size bras was taken from Stanikomania).

Nov 3, 2008

Poor girl from HB

Have you seen the huge ad of Calida underwear on the Zurich HB?

Take a closer look at it, when walking by next time. Below is an example of another Calida ad. I’ve chosen Calida on purpose – it’s quite popular in Switzerland, and is proud of selling only 75-95 A-D bras. We already know that it is a very poor choice.

What’s wrong with this girl? – you may ask.  There is nothing wrong with the girl, but there is a lot of “wrongness” with her bra. 

  1. The underwire. When in the bathroom, take a look at yourself in the mirror. Check where your breast “starts” on the side. For most women this line will be more or less below the armpit. That’s where the underwire should go. It does not start so far to the middle as the model has it – actually she is cutting a part of her breast with the underwire.
  2. The band. Can you see, that it goes upward on the back?
  3. The band again: can you really imagine, that it is supporting something? Would it be difficult to put a hand below it?
  4. The cups. Now just imagine that the model takes a breast in a hand and tries to place it into the cup (instead of just covering it below the cup). What would happen? Wouldn’t half of the breast go out and the other half be squeezed? It seems so.

Now take a look at another bra, this time the right size on the model with similar shapes. This one is made by Freya, a company famous for producing underwear in proper sizes. The bra presented below is "Millie" and is produced starting with 65 band and (starting, not finishing!) C cup.

Which of them do you think is more comfortable?

But 80B is just good for me!

Of course it can be, that it is good for you. We have very different shapes, different body structure. For example a girl who trains a lot (professional swimmer) will definitely need different bra than a girl who sits in front of the computer all her day – even if the measurement shows the same size.

The point is, in my experience the A/B/C sizes are rare (still, if it’s really what you need, there is nothing wrong about it). Very rare. I’m aware, that if you say  80% of woman is wearing the wrong size, all of them will be convinced, that they are in this lucky 20%. I know, because I was :)

You may say: “But my current 80B is not too loose! How can it be wrong?”

Let's imagine a person with 75/92 below/in size. 80B is (more or less, I'm simplifying it) for a person with 85/92. It will not fall down, because it is supported by your bust (it is actually squeezing the soft tissue of your bust).

75B is for a person with 70/87. Of course it will be too tight. You won't be able to wear it! Even 75C will be more too small.

But try 70F. It's made for a person ~75/92. It should be just ok (because it will stretch). You won't feel it, the same way you don't feel your panties. The band will support the bra (and it was not at all in 80B). This way you will even feel less load on the strips.

You don’t believe, that the band so tight will be comfortable for you? Do an experiment! Try it: here are the instructions.

My advice is: measure yourself. When you are in the shop try the size recommended by the calculator. If they don’t have your band/cup, you may try another one, but follow the rule: if you take the band 5cm bigger, you have to take the cup two letters smaller. If the band is 5cm smaller – the cup goes up by 2. E.g.: if you are recommended 65G and you don’t see any 65-band bras, try 70E.

Important: try only soft bra. Not pushups and not the ones with the 5mm layer of sponge – even if they are so cute. Those kind of bras simply cover your breast and give it their shape. What the bra should do is to support your bust and just slightly shape it.

The size is not a cure for everything. The perfect bra must have the shape of cups and the shape of underwire that fit. There are no parameters on the lingerie tag, that will tell you anything about it. You must try it.

And I eventually found a nice website with explanation, what does a “good bra” mean. 

Nov 2, 2008

What bra size should I wear?

If you speak Polish simply visit

To know what bra size is good for you, you must first know, what the bra is for. Your breast is build inside of connective tissue and fat, covered with the skin. It has no muscle inside (although there are some muscles around, that support it in a way). The skin is stretchy, the heavier the content is, the more pressure is put onto the skin and so it gets misshaped. On the other hand, then it is squeezed, the content gets misplaced: it goes to the back and under your arms, creating weird shapes. The first problem is more visible when you have bigger bust, the second one, when you have it smaller.

The main task of a bra is to support your bust and keep it in its place.

Have you ever hiked with your rucksack? Have you ever used the hip band? Do you remember how your arms hurt when you did not use it? It shows you a universal rule: it is better to put the load on band and strap. The same rule can be applied to bras. Actually, the bra band should support 90% of the weight, the straps getting only 10% of it. How to achieve it? Well, the band has to be tight enough and the cups should be large enough.

What does a bra size mean? The first number (band) is the length of the band when it is laying on the table, i.e. not stretched. The letter (cup) means the difference between the band and the size in bust (yes, the size of a bra and the size of a person). Some (13) cm difference means A and then any additional 2cm make a cup one letter bigger. (There is a lot of confusion about the bra sizes. The one I’m using in my blog is so called “EU size” – it’s the one you have to use when buying bras in Swiss shops. Other popular metric is “UK size”, which is calculated in inches and sometimes uses two letters – I will explain it later).

You don’t have to calculate the size by hand. Visit this page: Scroll down to the very bottom. You’ll find the bra-size calculator there. Put into the first field the girth (your size) below the bust, measured very tightly, without the air in your lungs (breathing out). Put into the second field your girth in the bust, measured loosely without a bra (or in a soft bra – and take the bigger result). Press “Przelicz” (Calculate). You’ll get some results: the first is the UK size (very useful for online shopping), the second and third results are the alternative ones, to be used if a particular model is too loose/too tight. The last one is EU size – the one you may try to use in Swiss stationary shops.

My Story

My acquaintance with the group promoting bra-fitting started two years ago. When browsing Polish forums I found one about why is the good bra size so important. I read it carefully and even told to my husband: “You know, many women with bigger breasts have problems that can be solved by simply choosing a good bra. Fortunately, they organize themselves to help each other, they exchange experiences, wow, that is really impressive. Good luck that girls with no bust at all, wearing 80B don’t have to worry about such things”. In other words, I completely missed the point.

Quite a long time later my online friends started a discussion about clothes and one of them mentioned her experience with searching a good bra. She admitted that she was wearing 75B all her live but now, fortunately, has found a good size. What? What can be wrong with 75B? I read again the website she pointed to and I eventually measured myself. I was looking at the new size with disbelieve, but the next day I decided to give it a try. I went to a shop. It wasn’t too good of a shop, because when I tried the smallest available band with the biggest available cups (“UP to BIG CUPS”) I could see that the band is too loose and the cup is not fitting properly.

 Some days later I found a better shop with better choice. I bought two beautiful bras, one white, one dark. I threw my old lingerie to the drawer with unused clothes. I started reading “specialists” blogs. I was greeting all of my girlfriends with news “do you know what I found out recently?!”

 I live in Switzerland and soon I became jealous, that in Poland you can so easily exchange experience and here there is no one that shares my hobby. That’s why this blog is created – so that I can share the good news with my CH friends. I will focus on the problems you may have living here.

 If you speak Polish, you’ll find all the information you need and additionally a lot of support and help on those forums: or – take a look also at the blogs recommended on those pages.