Beauty and Style

How the right bra can make your day

May 10, 2016

This is a post about my boobs – and how I managed to find some bras that make even my post-breastfeeding pair look decent, while at the same time being comfortable – and (just as important in my book) pretty. Bear in mind that Oscar is two and a half now, so this has been a long, long time coming…

A few weeks ago, perhaps as a continuation of my decision to grow up a bit and upgrade my crappiest possessions, I finally, finally got round to making time to buy some bras that actually fit me (a small miracle).

The bras I bought after I stopped breast-feeding Oscar were hopelessly mis-sized – my poor, deflated boobs just slouched at the bottom of the cups which, unaided by actual flesh, gave me a rigid, unnatural silhouette in the manner of a Barbie doll. Plus, the underwire dug into the front of my ribs so much that I would whip off the offending bra as soon as I got home in favour of good old PJs – I’m sure you’re all familiar with the bliss of that bra-release moment.

When my boobs were in their prime, I wore full-cupped 32F bras with low-cut tops and figure-hugging dresses. Since weaning Oscar, I’ve stuck to the same bra size, worn with round necked jumpers, T-shirts and shirts. However, I was finding life with an underwired bra so uncomfortable that I hatched a plan: admit defeat in the world of lingerie, buy some non-wired bras, and try to own the 1970s effect it would have on my figure. Off I went to Oxford Street with the intention of raiding M&S and the like to find a non-wired bra in my size that wasn’t utterly repulsive.

As it happened, fate intervened. I had organised a family-free shopping trip on a Sunday – and obviously, since I have a toddler, I was up and out of the starting blocks bright and early. When I got to Oxford Street, the shops hadn’t yet opened – in fact, the only store showing signs of life was Selfridges, so I decided to kill some time in there. Their lingerie would be stupidly expensive, I reckoned, but there was no harm in looking.

Turns out I had stumbled upon Selfridges’ all new Body Studio in its opening week, when not many people knew about it (those who did were either at the gym or nursing hangovers). Two hours and double-digit costume changes later, I left the shop with a Kimmy Schmidt-wattage smile, a bag containing £200 worth of lingerie, and no regrets – despite the fact that everything I bought was underwired…

Here’s how it went down. I had a good browse of the non-wired selection (everything in there is beautiful, but it took me a good while to find something without wire that wasn’t designed solely for reclining semi-naked around the house in the manner of a sexy lingerie ad). Then I jammily bagged the first fitting slot of the day as a walk-in and was led to a soundproof booth. After measuring me and believing my story of being a 32F, not just one but two lovely assistants relayed piles of bras back and forth to try to find one that fit me comfortably. First they brought in non-wired options (which we eventually ditched after the assistants advised me they would offer no support). Then I tried a host of differently structured underwired styles. My problem now, since my boobs have been decimated by motherhood, is that technically I am still a large cup size, but in reality my actual breast tissue doesn’t fill that size of cup. These gals had me trying out full cups, demi cups, balcony bras, and a variety of brands (whose fits all differ) until they hit on a winning formula. During the process, they downgraded my bra size quite considerably after discovering that if I stick to a certain bra brand, I can squeeze my boobs into a 32D/DD. (This was, incidentally, music to my ears, as there are so many more pretty styles available in smaller sizes.) What’s more, this brand has much higher quality underwire, made from softer, more pliable material, so the bras felt much comfier.

The girls who served me were completely honest and straight with me during each fitting, but still managed to reassure me that my boobs aren’t the horror-show items I had imagined (as they told me, they see dozens of boobs a day). Two hours later, I left the store on a complete emotional high with these three bras in my yellow bag:

The best way to tackle post-pregnancy boobs |

Chantelle Opera push-up bra

The best way to tackle post-pregnancy boobs |

Chantelle Merci T-shirt bra (I bought the nude version)


The best way to tackle post-pregnancy boobs |

Passionata Beautify T-shirt bra

I am so psyched about my new lingerie that I even considered illustrating this post with some semi-naked bra-and-pants selfies. But I’m not sure the blogging world is quite ready for that revelation yet (plus, the pics I attempted were super blurry, ha ha).

How did you feel about your boobs after pregnancy? And have you tried The Body Studio yet?

P.S. How I felt about the rest of my post-pregnancy body, Rachel’s tips on buying bikinis for bigger boobs, and things we forget about being pregnant.

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    Reply Sabrina May 18, 2016 at 10:23 am

    yesss! I did this last year, fed up of still wearing my maternity bras months after having quit breastfeeding, I walked into a department store and stepped out £180 quid lighter but with bras I actually like wearing. Zero regrets. I’ve never been a lingerie person but it makes you feel so much better when you don’t hate your underwear!

    • Reply Nicky May 23, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      Yes – and when you kind of actually want other people to see it! Even if it’s just people in a swimming pool changing room… or, you know, your husband 😉 x

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