Bra Shopping Summary

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Several weeks ago a few friends and I planned a trip to Royal Oak, Michigan (about 2 hours away) with three targets in mind: Haberman Fabrics, Ewe-Nique Knits, and most importantly, Bra-vo Intimates. Of course I did not take any notes or bring my camera. Growl.

1. Haberman Fabrics. Holy Mother of God. If all you have is a big box chain fabric store in your town, a trip to a Big Fancy Fabric Store is highly, highly recommended. It was truly overwhelming to step inside the door. They have an entire 15-foot long table full of rolled up silks. One friend bought some gauze for about $5.50 a yard to make some peasant blouses. The other friend bought some beautiful fabrics to make some skirts. I bought one of the fabrics that she did. I would like to go back with more specific projects in mind.

2. Ewe-Nique Knits. I had been here once before. This is a sweet little shop with lots of Rowan, mohair, and patterns. They also sell fleece, but I am not a spinner. The prices seemed comparable to other shops. The owner is pleasant and willing to chat and share information. Shop staff didn’t hover, but someone was available to answer questions. I would go again.

3. Bra-vo Intimates. I have to admit, this was a letdown. I first wrote a long and honest post about this, but then felt like I was being too negative so I deleted it. I think I had high expectations of learning more about what size is best for me, what style is best for me, and WHY these are the best for me. I really didn’t get any of that information. I did end up buying two things, one of which is the perfect bra, so I guess I can’t complain too much.

The perfect bra is the Freya Pixie.  Image below is from Freya Lingerie.

Pixie  Padded Half Cup Bra

I ended up in a 34″ band, though I have it on the tightest setting and it rides just the tiniest bit. I think a 32″ would probably hurt. The cup has two vertical seams, which gives a great fit and silhouette, in my opinion. I am very glad to know this fits me, so I can look on discount websites for similar Freya styles. I know the other styles I tried do not work for me, and I had pretty much given up on Freya, so I am pleased.

I also got a Panache plunge molded cup bra. Jury is still out on that one in terms of fit, but it’s better than what I had. This is also a 34″ band. The fitter told me both Freya and Panache bands fit tighter than other companies, and so far that is my experience. Other bras I own in 34″ ride up my back all day long and drive me crazy. Not so with these.

Overall, I am very glad to have made the drive to a real shop where I could try things on instead of continuing to order online and pay to ship back returns. I highly recommend finding a specialty lingerie shop and making a day of it. Find some friends, research what else there is to do in town, split the gas, and go to it!

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4 responses »

  1. If it’s on the tightest hook and it’s still riding up, the back is too big. it will stretch very quickly (I own a lot of Freyas, I know) and you’ll sacrifice lift and support as a result. I’d go back and get the 32 (just make sure you increase the cup size by one if you drop the band size from a 34 to a 32.

    • Thank you for this advice! I will not be buying anything new until at least one month from now so I can assess the fit of my new things. It rides up only about 1/2″ now, so I might live with it. I own a 30″ Freya sports bra and it is so tight it leaves welts. With a 2″ extender it is painful by the time I get off the exercise bike. I really want it tight for a sports bra though, so I am waiting for it to stretch a little. (Gasps for air.) I have another bra post written for tomorrow, so please be sure to read and weigh in!

      • The sports bra is in a class of its own. None of their other bands have the fiber composition or construction to be as tight at any given size. I’m kind of a hard ass about bra-band sizing (I’ve written about this a few times on my blog) – but do consider that the 1/2 inch that the band rides up on your back is 1/2 inch that your breasts are falling at the front. At a certain size, that’s really notable. I’d say if you’re at an E or larger, you’re going to be able to note that sag – and as the band stretches further (which it will do after about 10-15 wearings) – that’s only going to get worse. Sorry to be so strident about this – I just don’t want you to be stuck with something really suboptimal in a few weeks.

      • I don’t think you are strident at all (wait until you see my charts!), but the ship has sailed. I only had 15 days to make my return, and that is long past. I will probably resort to just cutting the bra apart and restitching the closure to make it tighter.

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