Before and After: 4 Awesome Tips to Buying Bras When Losing Weight

 

Before and After: When you have an extreme weight loss like my good friend Diana from Livy Loves to Run where she lost 100 pounds, yes that's what I said, 100 POUNDS!  You see a lot of changes in your body.  Most of those changes are very much welcomed, but sometimes one part of the body you didn't expect to change so much is your boobs.  Most women when they lose weight they tend to lose it in their boobs (boobs are made from fatty tissue, go figure).  I contacted Diana and asked her if I could fit her because she hadn't been fitted for a bra before her weight loss!  This is tragedy in my eyes.  I was so excited when she enthusiastically accepted for this makeover and shopping trip.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Diana last year at SNAP!  I can still remember the first time I met her, we were both in line for dinner (I was starving) and I saw this girl who I recognized, I started to follow her on Instagram and loved her printables, her cute kids, and started to stalk her, literally.  I found myself going straight up to her and introduced myself. We spent the rest of night sitting by each other, eating, laughing, having a great time, and the rest is history.  I'm serious when I say I had an instant connection with her, I truly feel like she's my kindred spirit and that I've known her for years.  

If you don't know Diana or heard of her life changing journey, you will leave truly inspired by learning more about her.  On her blog Livy Love to Run, Diana shares how she was always overweight while growing up and the feelings of embarrassment and sadness became a part of her life.  She attempted to lose weight many times in her life but didn't even know where to start.  Life continued for her where she fell in love, got married, and had two adorable kids.  After all of this she found herself tipping the scale at almost 300 lbs.  Diana knew that if she continued to live the way she was she wouldn't be able to have more kids, she wouldn't be able to get down on the ground and play with her children, that living a happy and fulfilling life wasn't going to happen, and the possibility that she might not be able to see her children grow up became a reality. 

On February 21st 2013, was the day she decided to change her life.  She put her two kids in their stroller and walked 2-3 miles everyday, watched what she ate and counted her calories.  That first month, she lost 10 lbs!  She thought to herself that she must have been doing something right, so she kept on going.  In August of 2013 was when she ran her first 5K and in October she ran her first half marathon.  A year later she's lost 100 lbs!!!!!!  Diana lost weight the healthy and best way by eating right and exercising.  

I'm so proud of my dear friend Diana.  If any of you have lost weight or have attempted, it's seriously one of the hardest things to do.  It takes a lot of mental toughness, practice, self control, and an extreme amount of support from loved ones.  I'm so happy for her new life and her story proves to everyone that if you have a dream, you can make it happen. No matter your circumstances, abilities, means, or where you come from.  

I want to show you what the before and after pictures look like first.  You can see a huge difference.  This is amazing, in the before picture below, she's wearing a 38D.  But you can tell from the picture the cup is dented in and she looks somewhat saggy.  Now look at the after picture, those boobs are where they should be!  Her boobs look smaller, more perky, and she looks thinner!  After measuring her and trying on bras to find her cup size she's a 36G.  That is one hot mama!  

Diana purchased the Natori Bare Support Underwire Bra,because this bra is a soft cup bra and she was afraid of nipples poking through the bra, I had her put on a pair of these Wacoal No Peeks inserts, where they camouflage her nipples and give the appearance of a molded cup bra but in a soft cup bra!  It's a miracle. Diana also really liked the Natori Power Yogi Bra, one of my most favorite sports bras!  

I am often asked by many women how to navigate bra buying when they're losing weight.  Bras can be very expensive, so no woman wants to invest in a bra and only wear it for a short period of time.  So what does a girl do?  Well, I have some tips to getting the most out of your bras while you're on your weight loss journey.   

 Weight loss may or may not affect your bra size. 

Every woman is so different, and so when women lose weight some women first lose it in their boobs, some lose it in their hips, butt, face, arms, stomach, and then their boobs; and some don't lose any weight in their boobs.  I would thank or blame it on genes, age, and your body type.  Another thing to know is that weight loss can drastically affect the shape of your breasts.  

You're probably asking why did Diana go up several cup sizes instead of going down cup sizes when she lost 100lbs?!  She's the perfect example of someone who lost a lot of weight but not so much in her cup, but the shape of her breast changed a lot.  She told me that she always wore a molded cup bra before her weight loss.  Because of losing weight she lost a lot of the fatty tissue in her breasts and replaced it with muscle, so therefore changed the shape of her breasts.  

It's quite normal for women to lose a lot of weight and wear the same cup size but no longer wear the same cup style.  In the before picture Diana is wearing a molded cup bra, after trying those on in her 36G size, they didn't fit her correctly. Molded cup bras gaped at the top of the bust because she lost a lot of that volume at the top of her breasts, so we went with a soft cup with an underwire and those fit her so much better.  The other thing to remember is when you get fitted correctly, most times, you need to go down one or even two band sizes, and for every band size you go down, you have to go up in a cup size.  SO the 38D that she was wearing in the before picture didn't even fit her, if the D cup fit her, and I put her in a 36 band, she would be be wearing a 36DD.

The other thing about Diana was that when I told her 36G size, she gasped and was totally blown away, she told me how could she be a 36G when she didn't look that big.  I explained to her that women two women can have the same bra size, but because of the difference in their breast shapes, that is why.  Diana has a lot wider breasts, to make sure she was completely covered on the sides, we had to up a couple cup sizes.  She's not a full G cup, instead she tends to carry her volume in the bottom and sides.  Some women who are a 36G are very full and their boobs project a lot and this is why she was getting confused with her size.

Start with your budget

If we lived in a perfect world everyone would have enough money to buy as many bras as their heart desires, but like most women that's not the reality.  Like many of you, Diana is on a budget, so buying a new bra every month when her bra size changes isn't an option.  The first thing I recommend every woman to do is is figure out what your budget is, if you have a higher discretionary income you can replace your bras as often as you start to feel they don't fit anymore.  To maximize a smaller budget, you'll have to space out bra buying further apart.

If money isn't an issue I'd recommend you to get three everyday bras, and at least three sports bra.  When you're working out almost everyday, you live in your activewear and sports bra.  If you have a tight budget start with one everyday bra and one sports bra, you'll need to wash them more frequently, which can make them not last as long, but if you're constant with your weight loss, that will work out because by the time they need to be retired, they won't fit you anymore.  Diana purchased one everyday bra, the

Natori Bare Support Underwire Bra and in a couple weeks is planning on buying this Natori Power Yogi Bra

If you need help finding a sports bra, go to this post here.

Check out my favorite sports bras picks for large and small busted women here.

Here's some great advice I found on this website called

Sophisticated Pair

 where aunt and niece duo Erica and Debbie break it down on how to transition into different sizes depending on how weight you're planning to lose:

"For women planning to lose 20 pound or less, I recommend purchasing one everyday bra you 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 bra into your rotation.  if you're looking to lose between 20 to 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."

The signs of when you need to buy a new bra or when it's too small.  

I kid you not when I say that bras have minds of their own and when they're not fitting or need to be retired, they'll let you know why the following: 

  • You've tightened it to the tightest set of hooks in the back and it doesn't feel snug anymore.  
  • The band starts to ride up high in the back.
  • You find yourself adjusting your bra a lot when you wear it. 
  • The bra has completely changed colors, for an example if you bought a white bra and now it's brown, yikes.
  • The underwire(s) has popped out.
  • The cup feels like it's gaping at the top of the cup, parts of the cup has creases or dents.
  • It's been six months since the last time you bought a bra, bras should only last anywhere from 6-12 months, this completely depends on how many you have to rotate, how often you wear them, wash them, the quality of the bra, and how you take care of them.  A good quality bra will last you longer than a cheaper bra. 

Go to this post here to see pictures of the signs your bra isn't fitting correctly.

Ways to maximize your bra.

  • Shop at places where you can find good deals on quality bras.  It's worth the money to invest in your bras, don't settle by going to places like Walmart, Kmart, Target, and places like this. Their bras aren't good quality and will only last you a very short amount of time, they don't come in a variety of sizes, and they tend to be less comfortable.  Shop the sales, use coupons, and all major department stores have big sales every year, these are great times to stock up.  My two other favorite places to purchase a bra is Nordstrom Rack and Amazon.
  • Pick bra styles that will work under the majority of your clothes.  Don't buy a cheetah print bra if you wear a lot of light colored clothing.  If you wear a lot of black, then get a black bra.  I'd recommend a nude color bra because they look amazing under white and darker colored clothing. 
  • Try to stick bras that have a more forgiving cup, ones that have a flexible fabric like in a soft cup bra, Diana's bra has this characteristic, are perfect because they tend to contour to the changes in your breast shape and size better.  I don't recommend molded cup bras when losing weight, once they no longer fit you, they will gap, crease, and you can see this underneath your clothing.
  • Get out the sewing machine or find a seamstress you trust to alter your bras to make them work with you when you're in between sizes.  Thanks to the ladies from Sophisticated Pear, I found these great bra alteration tutorials:

Thanks so much Diana for being my bosom friend and for letting me tell your story and for using you as a great example for this post.  I hope giving you all these pointers will help you feel more comfortable and confident as you transition into different bra sizes as on your weight loss journey.  And thanks to Dillard's for letting us crash your dressing room and department.  If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me at cfrysauceandgrits@gmail.com.