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How many fitting, in-rotation bras do you think a grown woman should have? Do you?


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I have 6 - 1 black and 1 beige that fit perfectly and are relatively new, 3 older ones that don't fit as well, and 1 sports bra.  I finally broke down and bought the 2 newer ones this year, even though I felt a little silly spending $65 on nursing bras when my last baby was almost two years old.  I really do like having ones that fit well and are supportive though.

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I don't really know how many bras I have in the current rotation. I'd guess five or six. All are decent quality sports bras. I have zero interest in frilly, lacy bras that always scratch and itch me in delicate places no matter how spendy they are. Pre-menopause I had fibrocystic breasts and learned what a huge difference in comfort and pain reduction a good, supportive, soft sports bra made. And I've stayed with them. I have at least three sleep bras (again, comfort and support) but those are cheapie Fruit of the Looms from Walmart.

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I've probably had 3 or 4 at once all my life (and I generally keep them for years at a time!):  one of them black and the others beige or white.  But finally -- as in just this year, I realized what I really need.  I need one regular beige or white bra, one halter style beige or white bra, one regular black bra, and one halter style black bra.  For some reason it feels like such a relief to finally have this figured out!  :D  

ETA:  I go for comfort, not for looks!

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Probably 5 that are generally suitable, but 2 or 3 that I prefer right now.  In sports bras, another 2-3 plus randoms.  My current problem is that I hang onto "just in case" bras, and they take up WAY too much space for me to be doing that.  I'm sure it comes from going through many periods when I've only had 1 or 2 decent ones and found myself in a jam on bra laundering day!

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I have a lot of bras and I need to cut down.  But I have to have a number of strapless- for when my shoulder or neck are having worse muscle spasms than normally or shooting nerve pain down my arms or my RA there is acting up.  Then I have regular bras.  I got rid of some but I really need to get rid of more.  And the dumb thing is nowadays I usually do not wear one in the house and I spend more of my time in my house or in my yard.

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I wonder if we should transition this conversation to where to buy bras that don't cost $80.

I have a large cup and relatively small band size, $80 it quite typical price for me, but I bought my last two (non-underwire) bras on Amazon for less than $25.  I also bought some terrible "Ah-bra" type things there that don't support at all and hurt my back, but I think they were something like 5 for $30 and in gorgeous colors, if that type work well for you.

Aerie (American Eagle's underwear line) has reduced their size range in the past few years, but I've bought decent and pretty bras from them too.

Victoria's Secret bras break within 2 hours of putting them on, so I stopped buying them years ago.

Torrid did have very good bras, in larger cup sizes and smaller band sizes than their plus size clothing would indicate, but they seem to be reducing larger cup size inventory in the past couple years.  My favorite bra ever came from them and with coupons and a sale was less than $35. 

My second favorite was a department store Freya, and I think it cost almost $100.

I have occasionally found a bra I loved at Walmart.  Not every store carries smaller bands and larger cup sizes, but when you find one it's like hitting gold.  They also sell cheap cami bras  (kind of like sports bras, but lined cotton jersey and cut the way a shelf bra in a camisole is) that are my favorite thing to wear on a day I don't plan on leaving the house - supportive enough to run up & down one flight of stairs without pain, t-straps to prevent shoulder slide, and so comfortable I sometimes forget I'm wearing them and sleep in them.  They also carry those old fashioned non underwire bras that give you the 1950's pointy-boob look.  I've found with those I can go down in cup size, up in band size, and still get similar support.  They are UGLY though.

For small cup sizes I've heard surprisingly good things about bras from Forever 21.

Several friends subscribe to Adore Me, but I haven't tried it myself.

I've heard many women have great luck in places like Dillards Clearance Center stores, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory, or TJ Maxx, but I've never found any bras to fit there, at least not since I had my last growth spurt.  If I was a more standard size I'd probably start looking at stores like that.

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I've had better luck spending the money for really good bras, and taking care of them like they were irreplaceable.

Since I started going to the specialty shop, that's been easier as she only carries brands that last.  I don't put them in the dryer ever.  The couple nursing bras I have I bought elsewhere, and man, they were ruined in a few months.

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I have three for out of the house/going out in public & 4 around the house bras. I think it’s a good ratio. 

1 hour ago, Katy said:

I wonder if we should transition this conversation to where to buy bras that don't cost $80.

I have a large cup and relatively small band size, $80 it quite typical price for me, but I bought my last two (non-underwire) bras on Amazon for less than $25.  I also bought some terrible "Ah-bra" type things there that don't support at all and hurt my back, but I think they were something like 5 for $30 and in gorgeous colors, if that type work well for you.

Aerie (American Eagle's underwear line) has reduced their size range in the past few years, but I've bought decent and pretty bras from them too.

Victoria's Secret bras break within 2 hours of putting them on, so I stopped buying them years ago.

Torrid did have very good bras, in larger cup sizes and smaller band sizes than their plus size clothing would indicate, but they seem to be reducing larger cup size inventory in the past couple years.  My favorite bra ever came from them and with coupons and a sale was less than $35. 

My second favorite was a department store Freya, and I think it cost almost $100.

I have occasionally found a bra I loved at Walmart.  Not every store carries smaller bands and larger cup sizes, but when you find one it's like hitting gold.  They also sell cheap cami bras  (kind of like sports bras, but lined cotton jersey and cut the way a shelf bra in a camisole is) that are my favorite thing to wear on a day I don't plan on leaving the house - supportive enough to run up & down one flight of stairs without pain, t-straps to prevent shoulder slide, and so comfortable I sometimes forget I'm wearing them and sleep in them.  They also carry those old fashioned non underwire bras that give you the 1950's pointy-boob look.  I've found with those I can go down in cup size, up in band size, and still get similar support.  They are UGLY though.

For small cup sizes I've heard surprisingly good things about bras from Forever 21.

Several friends subscribe to Adore Me, but I haven't tried it myself.

I've heard many women have great luck in places like Dillards Clearance Center stores, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory, or TJ Maxx, but I've never found any bras to fit there, at least not since I had my last growth spurt.  If I was a more standard size I'd probably start looking at stores like that.

The expensive “going out” bras I purchased at Dillard’s on clearance. I found a style I really like and then wait to buy them until they make it to the clearance rack. 

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I feel positively luxurious as I have 9 that I consider to be fitting and in rotation - 3 white, 3 black, 3 peach.  They are all identical in style.  I love them so much.  The problem is that I bought them all around the same time (6-8 years ago) and Patagonia no longer makes that version and I hate the new style that uses the same name.  So when these wear out, which will likely happen all at the same, but hopefully not for another 3-4 years, I'm going to be desperately searching for a replacement.

I also have quite a few sports bras, although I did just toss two of them that are probably 15 years old as the elastic was more crunchy than elasticky.  So probably about 6 left, although since I'm at the gym or playing volleyball usually 5-6 times a week and only do laundry once a week, that is kind of necessary.

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1 hour ago, Raifta said:

I feel positively luxurious as I have 9 that I consider to be fitting and in rotation - 3 white, 3 black, 3 peach.  They are all identical in style.  I love them so much.  The problem is that I bought them all around the same time (6-8 years ago) and Patagonia no longer makes that version and I hate the new style that uses the same name.  So when these wear out, which will likely happen all at the same, but hopefully not for another 3-4 years, I'm going to be desperately searching for a replacement.

I also have quite a few sports bras, although I did just toss two of them that are probably 15 years old as the elastic was more crunchy than elasticky.  So probably about 6 left, although since I'm at the gym or playing volleyball usually 5-6 times a week and only do laundry once a week, that is kind of necessary.

 

Wow. My bras don't last 10 years! I feel lucky if I get a full year out of them before I have to replace due to them not supporting me right anymore.

 

I generall prefer the feel of a good non-underwire bra (though the last time I went I didn't like the only non-underwire they had in stock in my size) but I find my underwire bras stay supportive MUCH longer (so better bang for the buck) so I go back and forth.

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I currently have one. I've been putting off buying anything until the mess with our rental house was ironed out, and now I'm just stalling because my size has changed and I need to drive to the next town over to go to a "nice" store to try on bras and then try to find something similar on Amazon so I don't spend $80. That's a lot of work for a bra. 

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14 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

If they don't cost $50 a piece, I'd say ideally 4, give or take. I just bought some bras out of desperation when I was visiting family. I only had like 2 in my luggage and they were both sports bras. I desperately need(ed) some good ones. The ones I got weren't great, but they were so cheap I figured it would be worthwhile given the climate/washing required. This is also when I came the realization that I don't think my size exists in most stores so I just settled for the closest thing... which happened to be in the young girls' dept. It was a 3 pack. No, it wasn't the smallest size they make but they didn't have anything in that size in the women's dept. I think I need a 40 bandwidth. I have been fitted in the past but even with fittings they have slim to nothing to offer me in stores. Like, VS sold me a strapless bra at the time and honestly it was never even a great fit, just good enough. And then of course there's the issue of shape. Many bras are too big in the front but maybe don't offer enough coverage on the sides. Ugh, bra shopping is the worst. 

My final answer is, "as many as you think you need." Lol. 

 

I wear a 40 or 42 in band and get my bras at Lane Bryant.

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2 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

I've had better luck spending the money for really good bras, and taking care of them like they were irreplaceable.

Since I started going to the specialty shop, that's been easier as she only carries brands that last.  I don't put them in the dryer ever.  The couple nursing bras I have I bought elsewhere, and man, they were ruined in a few months.

 

...Hrms. The dryer is what causes them to wear out so fast? I'm willing to start trying to hang dry bras to have them last longer.

 

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44 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

Wow. My bras don't last 10 years! I feel lucky if I get a full year out of them before I have to replace due to them not supporting me right anymore.

 

I generall prefer the feel of a good non-underwire bra (though the last time I went I didn't like the only non-underwire they had in stock in my size) but I find my underwire bras stay supportive MUCH longer (so better bang for the buck) so I go back and forth.

 

These are all non-underwire and very lightweight.  This is the new version of it.  I'm lucky to not need a lot of support, so this works well for me - perhaps that's why they've lasted so well.

6 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

...Hrms. The dryer is what causes them to wear out so fast? I'm willing to start trying to hang dry bras to have them last longer.

 

 

FWIW, I dry all my clothes - all of it, everything, and so far, no ill effects.  On the rare occasion that I've shrunk something I take that as a sign that I was not meant to own that piece of clothing.  But for bras and sports bras and other workout clothing, it all seems to just keep lasting.  Although I don't have underwire bras, so that might be one difference.

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Four sports bras that I've had for years and prefer. Three regular bras that need replacing. I've always done underwire, but I just bought one of those Evolution bras from Knixwear today actually. If it fits well and I like it I'll get more with no guilt whatsoever. If I could go braless I gladly would but with my size it can't happen. I've never found a bra that fits for under $50. 

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When y'all say larger cup sizes, what exactly do you mean? I've never found a bra above a triple D in most stores and that's not all that big. My 13yo is in the DD range and needs a 32-34 band size depending on the bra. SMH. I maintain that most women need MUUUUUCH larger cups they just don't know it because they're so poorly served/fitted in major department stores (Nordstrom and the rare Dillards being an exception).

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I have 6 sports bras that I wear when exercising which is 5-6 times a week.  Otherwise I have 3 regular bras that fit comfortable and I like to wear.  I have about 3 others that I put into rotation.  I like them more for summer because they are lighter materials, but they aren't as supportive as my 3 regular bras.

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2 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

When y'all say larger cup sizes, what exactly do you mean? I've never found a bra above a triple D in most stores and that's not all that big. My 13yo is in the DD range and needs a 32-34 band size depending on the bra. SMH. I maintain that most women need MUUUUUCH larger cups they just don't know it because they're so poorly served/fitted in major department stores (Nordstrom and the rare Dillards being an exception).

 

I'm currently in a snug G cup.

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3 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

 

...Hrms. The dryer is what causes them to wear out so fast? I'm willing to start trying to hang dry bras to have them last longer.

 

I have never put a bra in the dryer except by accident.  I am pretty sure the washing instructions say hang to dry?  But I am not sure and I can't check because mine are so old the labels are unreadable.  I'm sure my mother taught me not to put them in the dryer.  I find they do not take long to dry. 

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54 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

I'm currently in a snug G cup.

I'm in a snug FF or a comfy G depending on the bra and have never found anything at Wal-Mart or Target or what have you. That's why I asked. They don't seem to carry anything with 34:8 or 34:9 ratio. My current faves are on figleaves for 12-15 bucks a pop so I know they can be found inexpensively. Not in stores tho.

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4 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

 

...Hrms. The dryer is what causes them to wear out so fast? I'm willing to start trying to hang dry bras to have them last longer.

 

I did read this several years ago and I do hang mine to dry always. Sweat is probably the other largest factor in breaking down bras. 

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3 minutes ago, StellaM said:

E or EE. 

It's not so much the cup size for me, as it is the cup size married to a smaller measurement across the back. Finding a 22 EE - no problem. Finding a 10 EE or 10F ? Impossible.

 

10?? Good Lord, I think that's my neck measurement!

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

10?? Good Lord, I think that's my neck measurement!

She must be in another country with different sizing?  No adult human is ten inches in circumference around the trunk... or even 22.  10cm and 22cm would be even smaller, so now  I'm wondering where those sizes are from and what the numbers actually refer to if they're not measurements of anything?

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4 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

 

...Hrms. The dryer is what causes them to wear out so fast? I'm willing to start trying to hang dry bras to have them last longer.

 

 

Yeah, it can really degrade the elastic.  Most dry really fast anyway, so it's just a matter of remembering to take them out of the wash separately.

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I don't wear mine more than once unless it was just an hour or so for church.  I take mine off as soon as I get home, and don't bother putting one on if I'm just running out to the store or really doing anything except teaching my classes or Sunday School.  I do wear bras then.  Unless I can wear a thick flannel shirt or sweatshirt.   Of course, I'm almost a B cup so I don't need the support to be comfortable.  It also means I can walk into Target or Walmart and buy bras.

So given the above, I actually have quite a few but most of them I've had since I was working full time, cause that was another place I kind of felt obligated to wear one.

I have four that I wear regularly - basic t-shirt bras in white, beige and black.  I have 4 or 5 others that are nice, lacy, extremely well padded but also tight that I don't wear as often.  Only if I don't have any others clean or I'm dressing up (maybe).   I have 4 or 5 sports bras that I only wear when I'm doing kick-boxing or under tank tops in the summer.

 

Quote

 

 

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Just learned that I apparently have an undergarment hoarding problem. Even if I subtract all of my workout specific garments, I still far exceed the norm here. 

Not going to feel bad. I like choices.

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Soma carries up to 44G. I used to wear an F cup, but I am down to DD/E. They run a 2/$59 Embraceable sale pretty often. If you sale shop and use their occasional coupon, you can easily get $30 bras.

I have owned higher end German bras, and I think Soma does a decent job in a few styles, fwiw.

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9 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

When y'all say larger cup sizes, what exactly do you mean? I've never found a bra above a triple D in most stores and that's not all that big. My 13yo is in the DD range and needs a 32-34 band size depending on the bra. SMH. I maintain that most women need MUUUUUCH larger cups they just don't know it because they're so poorly served/fitted in major department stores (Nordstrom and the rare Dillards being an exception).

That’s why I shop online! I haven’t been able to buy a bra at a BnM place since I was 20 and moved away from a boutique bra shop that had extended sizes.  I have to order DD’s online too because she’s a DD but a 27.

ETA I usually find something at Her Room or Bare Necessities 

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14 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

She must be in another country with different sizing?  No adult human is ten inches in circumference around the trunk... or even 22.  10cm and 22cm would be even smaller, so now  I'm wondering where those sizes are from and what the numbers actually refer to if they're not measurements of anything?

Yep.  Here sizes are 8, 10, 12, 14 etc with 12-14 being a fairly average woman.

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