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.