Weight Loss & Bra Buying

Hello Everyone,

As little as a five pound weight loss or gain can completely change your bra size, and I am often asked by women in transitional weights how to navigate bra buying.  Because bras are expensive, no woman wants to invest money in an item she can only wear a short time, so today I want to discuss ways of maximizing your lingerie budget while on a weight loss journey.

MemeAlmost every week, a customer will ask if there is a way to determine how weight loss will impact her bra size, and I wish I had a firm answer.  Depending on your body type, your bra size may not change, or you may experience fluctuations in the cup, band, or both.  Since the weight loss process is so variable, there is no definitive way of knowing how your bra size will be impacted. Nevertheless, in general, most women lose weight in keeping with their body shape.  Breasts are composed of both glandular tissue and fatty tissue, and losing weight tends to impact the fatty tissue the most.  Consequently, if you gained weight and gained cup sizes, losing weight could mean a drop in breast size, but if you were always on the busty side, losing weight may not drastically reduce your breast size.  For example, I have always been between a GG and a H cup at every weight.  When I was at my heaviest, I was around a 36GG, and at my lowest weight, I was a 28H. 

In addition to impacting the size, weight loss can also change the shape of your breasts.  Women who have lost significant weight often report a loss of firmness, especially at the top of the bust.  Because of the shape change, it’s entirely possible for you to lose weight and wear the same bra size as before but not be able to wear the same styles.  Typically, the loss of firmness creates fit challenges with molded cup tee shirt bras as well as unpadded styles which are cut open toward the top (such as the Cleo Marcie).

With this in mind, I want to start with your budget.  Women with higher discretionary incomes can certainly replace bras as frequently as needed, but to maximize a tight budget, you will have to space out purchases further.  Remember clothing needs to be replaced too, and I highly recommend planning a comprehensive budget for how much you can spend on new clothes and undergarments.  Even though the weight loss rate will vary, I find it helpful to trim the budgetary fat and skip extraneous purchases to save money for clothes and bras.  Eating out was the first thing to go for me, which only helped the weight loss.

For women planning to lose 20 pounds or less, I recommend purchasing one everyday bra you can wear under everything.  Healthy weight loss plans allow for two pounds per week, which gives you time to wear and enjoy the bra before it no longer fits.  If the weight loss slows, add another into rotation.  If you are looking to lose between 20 and 60 pounds, I recommend purchasing two bras to start as the loss will be more progressive.  Make those last as long as possible before buying new ones.  Finally, if you have quite a bit of weight to lose, I recommend relaxing some of the pressure on yourself and purchasing two to three to start and then add new ones into rotation as necessary.  It took me about 15 months to lose 65 pounds, and it can be quite a mood boost to have a couple of bras to wear.  However, if you are losing weight via a gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery, you may want to purchase one bra at a time.  My bypass customers experience drastic weight loss within the first several months, often dropping a size every few weeks, and in this case, it’s better to purchase a single bra as needed until the loss stabilizes.

Other Bra Buying Tips:

Finally, weight loss is never easy and rarely fast, so be kind to yourself and recognize the small victories without agonizing over the scale.  If the process takes longer than expected, don’t hesitate to treat yourself to something new, and take a few minutes each day to look in the mirror and find something positive you love about yourself right now.  The scale does not define you and can never represent how wonderful you are.

Erica

Weight Loss & Bra Buying
Erica
Erica is a lover all things lingerie and is passionate about helping people find the bra which fits and flatters. Side passions include reading, writing, hiking, dairy-free food, walking her Jack Russell terrorists, and dying her hair everything from black to red.

20 thoughts on “Weight Loss & Bra Buying

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm
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    I think part of the reason I like the Jasmine so much is the stretchy lace at the top accommodates my changes in weight/breast size fairly well. I can gain a whole cup size at certain times of the month, and some recent changes in medication have also had my weight fluctuating. Fortunately my current batch of bras seem to be adjusting pretty well!

    Thanks for posting the links on alterations! I have a couple of older bras that could be wearable again if I move the straps over.

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm
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      Stretch lace on the upper cup is an amazing design feature for just this reason. I recommend it frequently for women in weight transitions because of how accommodating it can be. Not to mention, if you’re like me and binge on salt, it’s good to have a bra that forgives you . . . even if your pants don’t.

      Reply
  • October 9, 2013 at 8:12 pm
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    I’ve been having so many fluctuations recently it’s crazy.In fact,my bust shrunk down over two inches within a few days,then puffed back up an inch and half within 12 hours. O.o
    I think I may give the Andorra another try for that reason,this time in the plunge version so I don’t have an issue with the high gore.
    And if the S style from Ewa Michalak works for me,I think that is a nice basic bra that has removable pads so you can take them in and out with size changes.You can do that with almost any of their bras and they have pads you can buy separately.
    Also it may be good to buy a bra that’s a little snugger on the band then you need,and use an extender so you can wear without extender as one loses weight.My ribcage is pretty much the first place I lose weight.
    Extenders are good too if one gains weight or for during their period.

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    • Erica
      October 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm
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      I’ve heard great things about the Andorra plunge, but I wish they would offer it in basic colors. It’s such a shame to be reliant on the fashion offerings, and while Idina uses stretch lace fabric too, I think the Andorra is a little better fit-wise. Also, extenders are great utility pieces to have in case you do gain weight or have a day where you need a slightly loser band.

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  • October 10, 2013 at 2:23 am
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    Erica!! I have been reading your blog for at least a year now, and its been a joy. You are a master at details and never leave out what we’re needing the most in bra fit. Though I believe you’ve recently reached a new level by connecting the bra facts with other issues that all women deal with. Your business takes part in Body Positivity and self love, and you should know that you make a difference to these women!

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm
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      Thank you for such a lovely comment! My goal is to provide content people find useful, helpful, and/or inspiring, and it’s wonderful to hear that people read and enjoy. Thanks again! 🙂

      Reply
  • October 12, 2013 at 11:41 am
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    Thought I’d chime in with my own experience. I down about 40 pounds and I lost it in the band but lost little volume. I went from 36g/38f to 34h/32hh. I still have more to go but with this trend I’ll be around 30jj at goal. Each 10 pounds makes shopping harder.

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    • Erica
      October 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm
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      Hi Jaded! Most likely, you’re one of those women with more glandular breast tissue which is why your volume hasn’t changed. Shopping does get tougher in that cup size range, but the options are expanding. Plus, BiuBIu and Urkye are fantastic for clothes!

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  • October 14, 2013 at 8:17 pm
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    I noticed a few days ago my sports bra felt EXTREMELY tight. I blew it off at first, but then today stepped on the scale and whammo..I gained 10 pounds without even knowing it. Grr! On a positive note, you and your store always know my size, and offer quick help so I never need to worry or panic. Thank goodness for this shop! Great blog post by the way 🙂

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm
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      Hi Stacy! I am glad to help and happy to hear you enjoyed the blog! Fluctuations in weight can wreak havoc on a bra size for sure, but I’m sure we can find something that works for your new size.

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  • February 21, 2014 at 8:07 pm
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    Hiya Erica,
    Awesome blog, btw. I can’t tear myself away from it – I need to go to bed!! I read your weight loss story and have questions for you: where is all your EXCESS SKIN??!! How come your boobs aren’t down to your knees?!! You look amazing. I’m in the process of my own weight loss journey, and I can only hope that it is as successful as yours 🙂
    xx

    Reply
  • May 30, 2015 at 2:56 am
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    I have been reading your blog for quite sometime now, Almost every day i visit your blog and scan what’s new there. Thanks for providing quality information

    Reply
  • November 14, 2015 at 1:37 am
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    This is an old post but I need help! I’ve lost 45 lbs. in the last 4 months from dieting. I went from filling out a 38D to having to cinch up my 36DD as tight as it will go so there wont be a lot of empty space or give at the top of my bra. I fill like I went from having jugs to champagne flutes lol. I feel great about my weight loss but my breasts are so small and saggy now. Victoria’s Secret has been super patient with me while fitting me but nothing feels or looks right. Its like all their bras were designed with breasts installed in them. I have to keep exchanging and getting resized. They keep recommending no padding and no underwire but I want both without having my bra be super tight. How do I win at losing weight, keeping my breasts and having comfortable bras that fit and flatter? Help!

    Reply
    • Erica
      November 14, 2015 at 1:48 pm
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      I’m happy to help! It sounds like you probably need to go down a 34 band to start, especially if the 36 is too large and require the tightest hook. You may also need a different cup size. I’m not familiar with VS products, but I would recommend looking for bras with less heavily padded or molded cups. Stick with underwire, but if you’ve lost tissue firmness, a heavily molded cup can create issue because your breasts will sink to the bottom or spill over the center without fully filling the top of the cup shape. Bras with flexible fabric or a seamed-cup construction can usually fit better and provide more lift too.

      Reply
  • April 11, 2016 at 6:03 am
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    this is very use full information,…and very nice articles..thanks for sharing…

    Reply
  • July 9, 2016 at 8:11 pm
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    I know band size is related to bra sizing/fitting but is band size directly correlated with breast size? For example, will women with large breast volume naturally have larger band sizes or is the band size more directly related to the woman’s overall body weight?

    Reply
    • Erica
      July 12, 2016 at 8:48 pm
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      Hi Jessie! People are built with all different shapes and sizes both for breast tissue and with the size of the ribcage. Many manufacturers/brands often make the mistake of thinking that a person with a larger band also need larger cups, which leads to bra desserts for certain sizes (like 38+ bands AA-C cups or 26-30 bands HH+ cups). Band size itself comes down more to personal preference than anything else. I have some clients who measure a 30 band who prefer a 34 for comfort. Likewise, I have others which measure a 40 but prefer 38s. There are a lot of factors going into finding the right band size for you, ranging from materials to tissue type on the ribs to general preference for tightness. Weight itself doesn’t come into play very much. I have seen a size 12 person and a size 6 person leave wearing the same band size before because of their individual preferences. My recommendation is to figure out which band size generally fits and feels the best for you and don’t worry about anything else. 🙂 I hope this helps!

      Reply
  • July 25, 2018 at 8:53 pm
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    Question: What tips do you have for someone who is experiencing temporary weight loss? I have lost 5-10 lbs over, well, it’s hard to say, but somewhere within the past 2 years. The temporary weight loss is due to decreased appetite, and the decreased appetite is due to health issues. Some of the weight loss has happened very recently, making it so that there is a gap between my bra cups and my breasts. Once my musculoskeletal issues are healed in the next several months, my appetite will be back to normal and I’ll gain the 5-10 lbs back. Also, I only have one bra right now (size 36D), as all my other bras have lost their shape. I’d like to have at least two other bras. I was professionally measured yesterday and found out 36D is not my actual size (as I suspected). I’m a UK 28F (which matches up with your bra calculator). I purchased a 30E bra. After a few hours of wearing the bra today, however, I was experiencing really bad muscle spasms. Here’s the problem: one of my musculoskeletal issues is my shoulders/shoulder blades curve inwards and are hunched up. Also, my spine curves over the left, making my right shoulder higher than my left shoulder. I’ve discovered that when I wear a properly fitting bra on a body that is already tense and is especially messed up structurally in the areas where a bra sits, I become even more tense and in pain because my skin is so sensitive to anything being snug. I’d like to buy two new bras, but not when they probably won’t fit any longer in the next 6 months because my musculoskeletal issues will be gone. Also, I’d like to buy bras that aren’t as loose and fit better than the 36D, but won’t cause any more pain. And just a reminder: in 6 months, I’ll also gain the 5-10 lbs back because my appetite will be back. Tomorrow, I’m going to the store I got professionally fitted at to talk to them and figure out a solution, but I’m also curious as to what you have to say.

    Reply
    • Erica
      August 4, 2018 at 5:54 pm
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      Hi Sophia! Sorry for the response, and I’d love to hear how the store was able to help. My initial thought would be to consider trying the 32DD instead and picking up two bras and wearing those consistently for six months until you start to regain weight and then revisit the issue. I wouldn’t try to find something which will fit now AND fit in six months because you don’t know what the next six months will hold or how your shape could change. It’s better to fit yourself now into something which fits better and then address the situation later. If your 30E is just a little too snug, you can also consider putting an extender on it until the band breaks into your body more. With health issues in the works sometimes it can take loosening up the band more in order to be comfortable. I hope this helps!

      Reply

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