Well, my boobs have finally rebelled. When I was heavier, it wasn't apparent. I had aches and pains in the majority of my body. My neck and back aches were often attributed to the extra weight I'm carrying around the tummy and shoulders on my small frame. When I lost 140 pounds, the pain became excruciating and much more pronounced. After a considerable amount of research I've finally found out why. I am wearing the wrong size bra (insert light bulb moment here). It turns out that I needed a much smaller band and much larger cup size. I am most definitely not a 36DD. Instead, I am a proud 30G. Take that Sears, ha!
See, what most women don't know is a) the lady at Sears is TOTALLY wrong, b) that formula they stole from NASA doesn't actually work on well endowed chests, and c) women do not have to "put up with the pain" because they have big bouncy boobs. This whole business of adding 4 inches stops working once you hit the D cup. Oh and did you know that cup sizes go all the way to K, and I've heard that there will be a size N soon! Amazing isn't it?
In our current miserable bra market, local stores would have you believe that a big woman has big boobs and a small woman has small boobs. How many department stores do you know of that carry a size 32J or a 44B? In those stores, the smaller the number, the smaller the cup, and vice versa. It's like saying big women have long hair and small women have short hair. Doesn't that sound utterly ridiculous and nonsensical? The fact of the matter is, women come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Breasts also come in different shapes and sizes. A big woman can have small breasts and a small woman can most definitely have large breasts.
Okay, so what's large and what's small? How do you know? I see a woman claiming that she is a 32J yet the person beside her looks at her with absolute horror, because she looks smaller than the 36C over there. But, it's all about proportion. For example, a DD cup does not mean anything at all unless you attach a number to it. That DD may actually have the same size breast as an E or even F. The ratio between the band size (which is essentially your underbust or ribcage measurement) and the cup is what determines the true size. Need more clarification? Check out this fantastic blog that explains it detail.
In my search for the perfect bra, I've come across many web sites but I fell in love with one: Butterfly Collection. From the moment I spoke to the owner, Claire Dumican, I could tell that this will be the beginning of a very beautiful relationship. First of all, she did not make me feel like a number. Her customer service is exemplary and I mean impeccable. Moreover, she is extremely skilled at figuring out sizing even over the phone! She doesn't need the thick glasses or the measuring tape around her neck, though I do love her accent. (Okay, I confess, I love everything British, but that's besides the point.) Claire treated me like a person. The best part - she was not trying to make a sale. Unlike department stores who encourage you to buy the same bra in many colours before you even try it, Claire suggested that I buy just one bra to make sure the size is right before proceeding to buy more.
So I've told you why I'm in love with Claire (mainly because she made my pain go away and because she is generally awesome) but let me tell you why I love the web site. For starters, Butterfly Collection has one of the most accurate bra size calculators I've seen. Give it a shot, if only for the sake of curiosity. The bras they offer are not dull. I am tired of wearing beige, white and black. The small band big cup bras come in a variety of bright and beautiful colours. It is truly lingerie. The bras are not only functional but also quite pretty and the detailing is exquisite. Butterfly Collection is Canadian and prices are in Canadian dollars. Shipping is also FREE in Canada & USA, no minimum order. Should I keep going? Okay...
The other thing I like about Butterfly Collection is that they do Skype fittings. Yes, you read that right - Skype fittings. If you're not camera shy, they can help you determine your proper fit on Skype. You obviously don't undress in front of the camera (there is modesty involved you know) but they could easily tell you what fits and what doesn't, what the problems are with your current fit and how well the bra you bought fits. I bought the Cleo Lucy Bra after speaking to Claire and based on her size recommendation. It's perfect and I love it! I never used the Skype service, though I did take pictures of myself in the bra and sent them to Claire to help determine if the bra fits properly. I know, it sounds quite creepy when I say it out loud. I sent semi nude pictures of myself to a person I've never met before. This is how comfortable Claire made me feel. She instantly recognized my problem and recommended the right size in the bra I liked.
The bra fits snugly around my rib cage and cups the breasts beautifully. It has a very delicate and attractive look to it. I really like that the bra is not padded. For some reason, fully padded bras never worked for my shape. The Lucy Bra is also very supportive. The band carries the majority of the weight as opposed to the shoulders. I love the lace details on the edges; it looks very pretty (i.e. sexy). Initially the wires seem tight but they still lie flat against the chest. As I wore it, the bra started to stretch yet still hugged my chest quite snug. I have to say, so far, it looks like this is the best bra I have ever owned. I really love this bra and will be buying it in other colours.
Something else that sets Butterfly Collection apart from other online retailers is their description of the bra fit as well as their models. When you click on the link to a bra, it includes a detailed section outlining the fit of the bra and whether it runs true to size or smaller/bigger in the band or cup. Not only that, but also they make it easier by figuring it all out for you, so that all you have to do is actually input your usual size and they will determine what size in that bra will fit. They don't keep you in the dark either; they declare the fit of the bra in bold red on the details page so you're not alarmed when you purchase the bra and discover that the label does not match the size you ordered. Something else that is unique to them which I don't see very often are the images of real models. I mean real people who are not airbrushed and homogenized like you see on Victoria's Secret. I'm not sure exactly what Victoria's secret is but I sure as hell don't want to know it. Butterfly Collection does not airbrush what makes those women real. The models to not have concave tummies and flat butts. And they most certainly do not have quadraboobs. If I want quadraboobs I can go to Victoria's Secret, thank you very much.
Last but not least, is the pricing issue. You know I'm all about frugal this and that. However, in this case, you truly get what you pay for. In general, many of the bras sold by Butterfly Collection are found in only two local boutiques here in Nova Scotia. However, Butterfly Collection offers those bras at a wider range of sizes and at a fraction of the price compared to the local boutiques. And yes, that includes that ridiculous boutique downtown (not naming any names here) that sells one bra for $300. I realize that the health of my boobs is important but if I can't pay my mortgage or put food on the table, my boobs will be the least of my worries. The average bra price on Butterfly Collection is between $50 to $70. You can get a better deal on sale days too. Even at regular price, it is still quite reasonable compared to the insane prices we are asked to pay here in the city for the non-generic sizes.
I'm in the process of ordering more bras from Butterfly Collection. I think they are my favourite bra store now. I will post more about the other bras once I've had a chance to try them. All in all, I'd say that Butterfly Collection is one of the best bra stores in Canada. They are a perfect package deal that offers beauty, variety, and excellent customer service coupled with honest and accurate information about sizing regardless of it's impact on their making a sale. For small women with well endowed chests, Butterfly Collection is heaven.