Some people say it’s better nutrition, some says it’s due to the hormones in chicken, some say it’s just due to mother nature’s generous nature, and some admit it’s artificial intervention, but the average bust size in the United States continues to grow to the continued delight of some, and the inability to find a comfy bra, to others!
NO matter what size you are, Eveden, a UK-based company of lingerie & swimwear, is soothing tired shoulders and backs, and eliminating the pinching and tugging of full-figured women. In addition, while there have been few options for women with large bras sizes petite to plus sized, these new bras are not only well made and fit well, they are represented by Eveden’s five distinct lines of lingerie.
The least expensive is Fantasie, with average prices comparable to budget brands in chain stores, moving up in price to Freya and then Fauve(the beige bra is “Emanuelle,” the red “Nicolle” from the Winter collection). All of the bras but especially Goddess, and Elomi, are engineered to provide a perfect fit up to a European K cup. The Elomi brand offers lingerie for the fullest figures with bra band sizes up to 52 and a H cup. There are also bras to suit nursing and new moms along with some good sports bras.
There’s really something for everyone and at every price point when it comes to the Eveden lines. Although Fauve is the most expensive, perhaps the kind of lingerie the average woman purchases for a wedding or special occasion, the other brands are reasonably comparable to the other brands in the budget and medium brands out there. But viewing the collections up close, I can’t say that I really liked one collection more than another. All have a suite of items: bras, matching panties, in some cases a garter belt or corset. And all come in either relatively plain styles, or all-out sexy ones with lace, color and even bows. And there’s the swimsuit lines, too. The main difference is the price point and perhaps, the quality of the fabric and lace. If you’re on a beer and peanuts budget, even the less costly Fantasie collection will allow you to fulfill your lingerie longings without making you brown-bag lunch for months. All will allow you to buy a nice-fitting bra that gives you a better shape under clothes, no matter how large you are by nature or surgical intervention!
…speaking of which, when I went to see the Eveden collections, I was offered a fitting with Eveden’s expert fitters. My own bra was lifting at the back, digging in at the sides, and puckering at the front. I knew it didn’t fit. After submitting to a measuring tape, I discovered that my bra size wasn’t remotely what I thought it should be. Then the fitter brought in a variety of Eveden bras for me to try on and I learned by experience that not all bras are equal and the fit has less to do with cost, than with getting the right sizes and styles.
The first thing I learned is that while you can DIY, the best way to get a bra that fits and is flattering, and that is worth the money you’ll be forking over for it, is to get fitted by a pro. Barring that (although I highly recommend it, and most good lingerie shops and department stores offer this service), here is a basic primer on bras:
ize: Bra sizes are made up of two components. The first is an even number that represents the back size (32, 34, 36, etc.) determined by the size of your torso (use a tape measure or better yet, go to a bra fitter). The second component is a letter that indicates the cup size (A, B, C, etc.) determined by the size of the breast itself. If you find that you are in-between sizes or you are having difficulty finding the correct fit, then if you go up in cup size come down in band size or if you go up in band size come down in cup size. In addition, the placement of the straps matters. Many bras place the straps closer to your armpits but if you’re slope shouldered, you want to look for a bra where the straps are a bit closer in towards the middle. Cup size is the same between U.S. and Europe/France. “A” cups (U.S.) = “A” cup in Europe/France, for example, and a B=B, C=C, etc (with some exceptions for “DD” and “DDD” cups. many European brands use the lettering “E” for a DD cup size and “F” for a DDD cup size).
The Band Test: Try this test with your bra hooked on the middle setting: ask someone to put two fingers between your back and the back of your bra, then to turn their hand 90 degrees. The fingers should now be very firmly wedged and the person should not be able to pull the bra further away from your back. A new bra should be able to pass this test with the clasp on the middle fitting – this allows you to tighten the bra as it stretches with wear and washing. New bras should fit on the loosest or the middle hook, never the last one. Ditch bras that no longer fit properly or wear out because they won’t provide adequate support or enhance your shape under clothing.
STYLES: Once you know your general size (although like shoes, that can change depending on the brand and the style) it’s time to figure out what style of bra you want or need. Generally, the style will be dictated by the type of clothing you are wearing. You definitely need bras in several styles and in basic colors such as nude, white and black. Here are some of the most popular types of styles:
Demi: ‘barely there’ coverage offering less coverage than a full cup and more than a balconette.
Balconette: little to no coverage, but balconettes create dramatic uplift and cleavage.
Bralette: an unlined, soft cup bra, which resembles a crop top but without much support.
Contour: these have shaped cups, which are always padded or lined. They often have an underwire.
Convertible: basically describes any bra with straps that detach and can be worn in a variety of ways including – criss-cross, halter, strapless or one shouldered. Convertible bras can be worn with a variety of tops, including boat neck, halter and asymmetrical necklines.
Foam Lined: these have a thinner lining than a padded bra which doesn’t add size, but provides additional shaping as well as more modesty.
Full Cup: these bras completely cover most of the breast, offering both more coverage and more support than a demi cup bra.
Minimizer: A minimizer bra reduces the appearance of the bust by up to one cup size.
Molded: these bras have machine molded cups that mirror the natural shape of a woman. They are generally unlined, either soft cup or underwire.
Padded: these have some type of padding lining the cups that is thicker at the base of the cups. This creates a natural looking silhouette as well as the appearance of increased cleavage.
Plunge: these create the appearance of increased cleavage thanks to a deep front, angled cups, and thin center gore.
Push-Up: these create the appearance of increased cleavage using angled cups that are usually with underwires and may have different types of padding including graduated and cookies, and demi cups.
Racerback: for a no-show fit under tank tops.
Soft Cup: these may be padded or lined, but never have underwires.
Sports Bra: designed to offer the appropriate amount of support during moderate to intense physical activity.
T-Shirt Bra: seamless, contoured, and generally made of microfiber to create an ultra smooth look under knits, sweaters or clingy tops.
Underwire: a bra with a thin, flexible wire, which offers added support to the cups of bras, bustiers and shapewear .
It’s true, the amount of styles is a bit dizzying, but there are even more styles I didn’t even mention here! The key thing is that finding the right bras, even from a company like Eveden with many different sizes, is to try them on. No two styles will ever fit the same way, even within the same company’s line. You must try them on. If you don’t you’ll end up with a drawer full of uncomfortable lingerie you never wear. Resist any bra that looks pinches in the store. no matter how adorable. Like shoes, if the bra bothers you in the store, just wait until you have to be tortured by it all day or evening long! This takes time, but in today’s economy, finding items that perform well in a price range that suits your budget, is key to comfort as well as to your bank account.
And here are some other things to check out about fit while you’re in the dressing room: