True (?) & Co (a True&Co review)

A friend sent me a link to an article about a company that supposedly developed an algorithm for finding a perfectly fitting bra. I’m skeptical about anything that sounds too good to be true, but I decided to give it a shot. True&Co claims to help you find your perfect bra, with the help of an online quiz and a few bras mailed to you to try on (for a $45 deposit). It’s a pretty neat idea, since plenty of people can’t get to a store to try on D+ bras. The homepage beckoned me to “get started” and “find [my] perfect bra”… so I clicked the link and started the “quiz“.

The first question was about breast shape, which, though a legitimate question, is hard to judge on one’s own. What concerned me was the next question: “what is the size of your best fitting bra?”. I wanted to answer 30G… but the site only allows for A-F (UK) cups! Also, the only options for band size are 30-38. I selected a 34F, as it was the closest. There were a few more questions about how the bra fits… but all the questions about band were to decide whether the band is too small. There was also space for me to mention that I was spilling out of the cups on all sides, and I did… to see what it would suggest.

I expected at LEAST a suggestion of going up a cup size… but instead I got this puzzling result:

 You told us you currently wear a 34F Fantasie balconet
bra style, but based on your quiz results:

You could be a different size.

Your Size and Style

  • Do go for higher cut bras so you won’t bust out.
  • Do try a full coverage cut. You will fill out the cup.
  • Do fit your bra to your bigger breast.
  • Don’t bust out at the underarms. Try a bra cut high on the sides.

Huh? I need higher cut, full coverage bras so I don’t “bust out”? Doesn’t “busting out” mean that the cup is too small? And it’s absolute bull that full breasts need full coverage bras- all that matters is that the bra fits. Such misguided advice! (I also tried the same thing with a 34E… they didn’t suggest a larger cup that time either!)

I continued on to the page where I am supposed to select 3 bras (their “experts” select 2 more bras and send them as well). There were 5 bras for me to choose from… ranging from 32F to 36E. If I’m already “busting out” of a 34F (as I claimed), how on earth would a 32F be better?! And a 36E wouldn’t help with anything, since I indicated no reason to go up in band size! Oh, and you can only “order” the bras in the sizes that they recommend for you. Needless to say, I didn’t give it a shot.

Overall: It’s a neat idea, but they have a lot to work on. I would really like to see this done right! And they can… but they need to be able to evaluate whether a band is too big and they need to provide more options for band and cup size. If it’s too good to be true… it probably is.

Cooking in College?

I am always shocked to find that my friends in college have no idea how to cook! I’m off the meal plan, but it is abnormal to be off the meal plan here, so I guess people just don’t cook unless they need to. Did you know how to cook in college (or before you turned 23)?


More Trash-Picked Clothing… and Stuff

So I’ve been really busy this past week… and haven’t posted. Sorry.

I wore some more trash-picked clothing today! Camisole: trash; skirt: Anthropologie, found while cleaning a dorm; sweatshirt: Gap Body ($25?); bra: Freya Deco, eBay ($21); flip flops: Old Navy ($2).

I also painted my nails lilac/lavender. They are this pretty purpleish blueish greyish colour that works well with my yellow-white skin. Photobooth makes my skin look blue/pink, but in normal light, my skin is almost the exact colour of a manilla folder. The nails:

(In case anyone is curious, the polish is Revlon Top Speed in Lily.)

Bra band update: wearing my bras on the tightest hook has definitely helped them stay up. So far, the Deco has worked the best. Huh. I guess it’s because it has the most heavy-duty band.

Other People’s Trash…

… is now my treasure. I mentioned that I went “trash”-picking. Here are some of the awesome things that I found:

Mustard yellow sweater-jacket with many zippers (silence + noise):

Pale pink shrug (silence + noise):

Floral jersey dress with waistband (Kimchi Blue):

Black dress (Jack BB Dakota):

Pink Dress (Velvet):

Embroidered blouse:

Burgundy camisole:

Floral skirt that I found last year while cleaning (Anthropologie):

They don’t look that great on a bed, but they look nice on me. Here’s what I wore last night:

Dress (trash-picked), shrug (trash-picked), Sasha Cleo bra (Nordstrom/$25), purse (Target/$15), flip flops (Old JNavy/$2)

I’ll be sure to take pictures when I actually wear the rest!

I’m considering 30 bands…

I’ve been pondering what I learned yesterday.

My breasts sit high on my chest and the fitter recommended a firm band to keep the bra in place, so it doesn’t slide down. She recommended a 32 band… but my 32 bands already slide down. I end up with underwire marks 1-2 inches below my breast tissue. I thought that was because my bands were tight and, thus, migrating to my stomach. But I just played around with my bras a bit, and realized that a tighter band (a 30) does a much better job of keeping my bras up under my breast tissue.

(FYI: Pulling the underwire up involves pulling the bra up at the front until the underwire sits just under the breast tissue… and tightening the straps accordingly. It’s also perfectly compatible with “scooping”… just make sure you drag the wires up to meet the base of the tissue while scooping.)

I tried on my Masquerade Tiffany (32G) on its tightest hook, and pulled the underwires up. Interestingly, the cups seemed to fit better (the bra is normally a bit too big). A 32FF would probably be better, though.

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My Freya Deco (32FF) also worked better on the tightest hook… the cups stay up. I’ve only worn the bra like… twice, so the band is totally unstretched. For some reason, the cups also felt more filled. Strange?

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My Sasha Cleo (32FF, but fits like a 30FF) worked pretty well on the middle hook. This bra has alway fit right under my tissue, so I didn’t need to pull the wires up. (I think the balconette style helps.) The cups are still a bit too small (you can tell by the weird shape it gives me). If I could get another size right now, I’d probably go for a 32G, since it runs small in cup and band.

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(For the record, the red mark is from a bra with a larger band… but almost totally non-stretchy.)

The only problem is that it squeezes my fat above the band and looks odd… but it’s supporting me a lot better. Hmm. Thoughts?

Intimacy: From Bad to WTF?

While I was back in Boston for the day, I decided to pay a visit to Intimacy, since one of my friends had been fitted there and recommended them to me. She should be in a 28 band and they put her in a 32, so I was already skeptical. Also, they have a quasi-calculator on their site that asks for your current bra size and your blouse size… since my waist and bust don’t fit the same size, I had no idea what to say. At first, I put in the blouse size that would fit my bust (along with my correct bra size) into the calculator and it told me that I was a 36E. If I put the blouse size that fits my waist, my size does not change. Oh, and you also need to be in a cup of the correct volume… it can’t correct for that. It appears that the calculator is only really good for determining band size for women who wear blouses that fit their waists properly. Their calculator is not so useful. But since so many people swear by Intimacy for their in-store fitting services, I decided to give it a shot. (Sadly, I didn’t think to take a camera.)

When I walked into the fitting room, I could tell that the store thought pretty highly of itself. There were posters about how a bra should fit… but the posters were really about how everyone else is WRONG and only Intimacy is right. Eek. I guess their confidence convinces people that they are right. So… was the confidence misplaced?

I showed up in my ill-fitting 34DDD Rive Gauche push-up (I put the removable cookies back in to make the cups even tighter). I had it on the tightest hook and it was still too loose… and I was also bulging out of the cups quite a bit. There were no measuring tapes, which made me worry that they just guessed (last time a fitter “fit by eye”, they guessed 34D). But it was fine, since the fitter (who shall remain nameless) based her “guesses” on asking questions and looking at how the bra I was wearing fit. She said I needed a 32 band. I was excited, since fitters usually get the band wrong and I took this to be a sign of good things to come. I was wrong.

She quickly returned with 32DDDs. Huh? She explained that my breasts sit very high on my chest and that the problem was the band. She had me pull the underwires up, which makes sense and works in a smaller band… but then she shoved the overflow back in (I started coming out the sides)… I also kept getting this weird flattened/smooshed square shape. It looked “good”. Oof. (I really wish I’d brought a camera!) When I did ask about the overflow/smooshing that I got in almost every bra, she blamed it on the style and stitching of the bra, rather than the size and never suggested a size up, even when I was clearly coming out of the top. Curiously, she never did find a bra style that didn’t have that problem. :P

She also seemed to think that a 32F (UK 32E) in Chantelle was the same thing as a 32F in Masquerade. I asked if the bras were all the same sizing and she said they were. When I asked for a larger cup in the Masquerade Persia, she returned with a 32FF. How she didn’t notice the difference between the 32E and the 32FF really blows my mind. (She also pulled a few 34Fs, not seeming to notice that the cups were bigger.)

(Masquerade Persia)

I was also handed a Panache Paige bikini top in a 34E… which is also not equivalent to a 32DDD, like she said I was. While I agree that a larger band is preferable for a swim suite, I was nowhere near in the cup. Even after pulling the underwires all the way up, the cup was still at least a size too small. I needed a 34F or 32FF. I don’t recall her actually seeing this on me, but later she said that it looked good. Hmm. X-Ray vision?

(Panache Paige Bikini)

To my pleasant surprise, however, I found that I can wear about 1 cup down in all of my bras… if I can find a way to get the underwire to stay up. The reason for the gaping at the bottom (and top overflow) is that my breasts actually are unusually high up on my body… which also explains why straps are always too long and why my bust measurement is so absurdly large (my ribcage gets larger at that point, too). But while I can go a bit smaller, I can’t go anywhere near as small as the bras she kept putting me in. A 32FF should be pretty solid (except for the Sasha Cleo, that runs super small in the cup). She didn’t suggest a style, but both reason and experience tells me that balconettes and longlines are probably the best styles for “high breasted” shapes.

The good:

  • friendly fitter
  • fitter got my band right
  • fitter asked how the tighter band felt
  • fitter explained the peculiarities of my shape and how to work around it
  • store offers free alterations for life of the bra

The bad:

  • fitter never asked how I thought the cups felt
  • fitter suggested bras were 1-2 cup sizes too small (even with underwires pulled up)
  • (said of a Simon Perle bra in a 34DDD) “this is the most low-cut T-shirt bra you will find in this size… you’ll have to have it altered though” (has she ever heard of the Freya Deco???)
  • fitter was confused about sizing in different brands
  • really, really expensive bras

So I really have no idea what to say! How can someone be so right and so wrong at the same time? I learned a LOT about my shape and how to fit my “high-sitting” breasts… but she also shoved me into bras that were way too small, even with the underwires pulled up! They’re clearly trained well with respect to how the band should fit… perhaps Intimacy should spend a little more time telling their fitters how to fit a cup?

The truth is, a fitting experience in a D+ store usually depends on the specific fitter more than the store… but what irked me about Intimacy was not the fitter, but rather the overall aura of “we are right and everyone else is wrong damnit!” I’ve had both excellent and horrific experiences at Nordstrom, but at least Nordstrom doesn’t think it’s the god of bra fitting.

Moral of the story: Never totally trust a fitter. They can be helpful, but if you think something is wrong, it probably is.

Trash-picking Spoiler

I’m back home (off-campus) today for a thyroid appointment (it went well!). But since I’m off campus, I can’t post the treasures that I found in the “trash” (actually just bags of clothing that people were getting rid of… not in the trash-trash) until tomorrow…

But here’s a trash-picking spoiler! This is a nice zippery, yellow sweater-jacket that I found:

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I love yellow. The jacket is a rich, mustardy colour with silverish zippers. Lots and lots of zippers. It’s semi-double breasted… there is a snap at the bottom right and then it folds over to the left to zip. I can zip it over my boobs, but it looks silly. I like it half-zipped anyway. Also, the stomach is a bit loose, but it’s good at a jacket and looks good with leggings. The brand is “silence and noise” (carried by Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie). Oh, and it was free.

I’ll post the rest of my finds once I’m back on campus. :)

-Q