Frustrations with online shopping

I currently have about 1.5 bras that fit (mostly). For a total of 3.5, I have 2 more that don’t fit but are somewhat wearable. But, for the most part, I have a pile of bras that really, really don’t fit. Admittedly, I do keep a handful of sizes around, because my size does fluctuate. And of course, I’ve grown out of some of them… but I also have a bunch bras that I have never worn and never intend to wear sitting around and gathering dust. Why? Because I have to buy online.

When I buy online, I take a huge risk. Even if it’s a style I’ve tried before, a different colour dye or batch of elastic could cause it to fit quite differently. And what if the brand suddenly decided to change the construction or materials? And for styles and brands I’ve never tried before, it’s almost a complete shot in the dark. Often, if I hear tell that a bra runs large and order the smaller size, it ends up being too small… and vice versa. Bratabase is helpful, but only to an extent. I just can’t know how something will fit until I actually try it on.

But I can’t try things on… and so I justify each online (often non-returnable) purchase with something along the lines of “oh, if it doesn’t work, I can just resell it”. But it’s never that simple. In the past 3 years, I’ve swapped or resold about 15 of my ill-fitting bras… which is maybe half of the bras I’ve purchased that didn’t work out. I tend to buy my bras rather cheaply (average ~$30), but 30 “cheap” bras really adds up. Oh, and when bras are that far below retail price, they aren’t usually returnable. So I have a nice pile of unworn (but beautiful) bras. They aren’t fun to lug around each time I move, but I do so in hopes that I’ll eventually sell them or swap them for something that will fit me.

Often, I think I’d love it if brick-and-mortar shops would carry things in my size (if somewhere in MA starts stocking Comexim, I will be ecstatic). But, realistically, I can’t bring myself to pay full in-store prices, and things are much cheaper online. And that certainly doesn’t encourage store owners to stock things in my size. As much as I’d love to support my local businesses and encourage retailers to stock more sizes, I simply can’t afford to do so. And if you wear a one of the ten or so sizes commonly carried in stores, you can totally get away with trying things on and then bargain-hunting online, so it’s a little (okay a lot) frustrating that wearing a less common size means that you have to either shell out a lot of money for a bra or pray that your online order works out.

The moral of the story: If you can afford to buy DD+ bras in store, please do! If you can’t… well, join me in feeling frustrated and somewhat guilty.

7 thoughts on “Frustrations with online shopping

  1. Perhaps you could justify the cost of a full-price bra at a local store where you can try it on by considering the cost of all the extra bras you will no longer have to keep. For 15 bras priced at $30, you could probably by 3 full-priced bras that you have tried on in person and confirmed to fit. Admittedly, this requires a much larger up-front expense and won’t work if Comexin is the only brand that fits you. I keep trying to put a moratorium on buying sale, non-returnable bras so that I can save up for a full-priced local bra.

    1. I totally see your reasoning, and have thought about it… but nothing available in stores fits me quite well enough to justify spending $50+ on it. I recently did buy a bra directly from Comexim, and that’s definitely a brand I’ll buy from again (once I have enough saved for it). And if stores here started stocking it, I’d be overjoyed. But since Comexim is fairly consistent in sizing, I’d totally jump a half-priced one if I saw it listed.

  2. I’m in the same situation here. Recently had a growth spurt (or something?) also put on some weight so none of my bras are fitting :( and there’s always “something” with a bra, isn’t there? I’m loathed to buy in-store because of lack of selection and prices… Basically I can’t get a bra in my size for under $75. I buy on Ebay mostly, purchasing bras for around $30 – $40. At the moment I have around 7 bras that don’t fit waiting to be resold.

  3. You’re in MA? Check out the Eveden Factory Store in Dedham, they carry past season bras from wacoal, Freya, and everything else under the Evenden umbrella for deep discounts since they’re discontinued colors/styles. I go there regularly and just recently went and got 2 amazing bikinis for around $20 each. Bras range from $20-$45 typically. Email me before you go so I can tell you my full name and we both get 10% off our orders :)

      1. Of course! They have a ton of variety there so I’m usually able to find something that works. Also if you’re close to Boston there are a couple high end lingerie shops in Boston and Cambridge, including Intimacy and Forty Winks you can try on some bras there and then buy them online! I’ve done that a couple times haha

  4. Many of us are in the same situation! If I buy in a local store I have to pay double and there is a very little selection. If I buy online I have to pay for the return if it doesn’t work and it’s difficult to know if a size up/down would work better.

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