close

Retro Rack | category: bra shopping

home

Retro Rack

Vintage Style In A Modern World

retrorack.blogspot.com

Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)


One of the questions I get a lot is where to find and buy a new bra (with modern measurements) but that will give the conical pointed shape of the 1950s.

Well darling fashionable reader, I am here for you.

Getting a Vintage Shape With a Modern Bra


First there is a vintage bra re-creation company out there called What Katie Did. Their bullet bras run small (I've never managed to fit one so gave up) and have little to no stretch to them. But they even have a circle stitch one for $64. Their return policy is draconian. Try at your own risk.

Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)


Second, one of my personal favorites is the Freya Dotty Nursing Bra ($72 30D-40G). Yes I know, it's a nursing bra, but the design means that it's a good shape for vintage. However, the band is a little narrow and unsupportive, so it can cut in at the ribs. But this is the single biggest range bra for those of use with tiny rib cages and want a retro shape.

Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)


However, if you are going to buy one vintage style bra for multiple purposes it should probubly be a neutral color. Plus $72 is pretty steep for a show bra.

So I went on a tear recently looking for a good one and here are a few options I found and tried out. (Keep in mind I run at about a 32DDD - 34DD these days) which means large boobs and small ribs...

Exquisite Form Fully Women's Original Full Support Bra #5100532 


Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)



This puppy is only $15 (in my size) and honestly it is the most like an actual vintage bra that I have found made modern from material to design. For $15 it's obviously not very well made but it will certainly do the trick for light use. For me it ran a whole size too big in both band and cup, and unfortunately it doesn't come in a 32. I now have the 34 D to wear on the tightest band setting and that's OK. But still sizing is kind of a pain with this one.

The vintage shape once you get the fit though? That is spot on.

$9-28 Comes in white, black, and light beige. 34B - 48DD Cup sizes only go up to DDD. But like a said, runs large.

Playtex Women's 18 Hour Original Comfort Strap Bra #4693

Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)

Great support and good shape but the lace edging is HELLA sharp. Seam line is rather prominent, but really hard to beat this kind of support PLUS a good vintage shape. Also a silky material is nice, things don't cling to it. I ended up keeping it as a fall back, despite the lace. Mostly because in my size it was only $18. Oh yeah it ran true to size. 

 $11-95 Comes in multiple colors. 34D - 54DDD Cup sizes up to G. 

Carnival Women's Full Figure Longline Camisole Strap Soft Cup Wire Free Bra (no lace)


Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)
This one is VERY vintage but the cup sizes run larger. I found it more comfortable than the lace version (see next) and so I returned this one for the smaller size cup. Because it is a long line it is a bit warm. The support is great though. This is the first bra I've owned in a long time that really doesn't rely on straps AT ALL. In fact, this could easily be a strapless on me.

$25-112 (I paid $42) Comes in white, black, and champagne. 34B - 48DDD Cup sizes only go up to DDD.

Carnival Women's Full Figure Longline Padded-Strap Soft-Cup Wire-Free Bra (Lace)


Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)

Oddly enough, this one, while the same company and size as the previous long line, ran exactly true to size on me. I like it and it looks lovely on, BUT the lace is a bit sharp. Also the support isn't awesome, so if you need a lot of help, this bra isn't for you. Finally I had to wear the straps on the very shortest setting, rare for me. So if your boobs are high, this may not have short enough straps for you. Although the shoulder padding is nice.

I gotta say this bra does one thing REALLY well, it gives GREAT sweater.

Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)


So if "sweater girl" is the look you are after, hard to do worse than this. Very little over-boob seam line showing on my lightest weight knit top.

$25-112 (I paid $41) Comes in white, black, and blush. 34B - 48DDD Cup sizes only go up to DDD.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Breast Reduction Surgery Preparation Check List from Gail Carriger

By Request from various friends about to go through what I did, here's my...

Breast Reduction Surgery Preparation Check List *

This DOES NOT include the instructions and products recommended by my doctor, this list is only for the things I wasn't told about ahead of time, and wish I had been.


MONTH BEFORE


Preview list of necessities below and order online if things not available locally, such as:

* 4 Vinyl Gel Smaller Ice Packs (I like ColPac)
* Gauze Pads
* Paper Medical Tape (NOT Latex or Fabric)
* Clean tea towels/washcloths to wrap around ice packs
* Button front shirts (washed and clean)
* Shea butter
* Aloe gel
* Antibacterial soap
* 3-5 small silk scarves to use under the bra to prevent discomfort (you'll be washing these and they'll die, so it doesn't mater what they look like juts how cheep they are)
* Neck pillow (rec. memory foam)
* Extra pillows like bolster for knees if unused to sleeping upright on back
* Bendy straws
* Barf bags (if you react badly to general anesthetic or pain killers)
* Post surgery bra that fastens in the front (the one the hospital gave me hurt a lot, sharp stitching), here are three I found that worked for me:
  1. Hook Front
  2. Snap Front
  3. Zipper Front
Make sure they are comfortable around your ribs before surgery. That's the only way to check. If you buy within the return window if they don't work after, you can still return them.

DAY BEFORE CHECKLIST



[ ]  Fresh fruit and vegetables, soups, other healthy comfort food
[ ]  Plain yoghurt
[ ] Apple juice, other juice, smart water, smoothies whatever gets fluids into you
[ ] Bagels/whole grain toast for meds & nausea
[ ] Banana & plain crackers for 6am pain snack
[ ] Straws ready
[ ] Ice/ice packs (4 smaller ones worked best) into freezer
[ ] Disinfectant soap open and ready
[ ] Gauze pads and tape (paper tape NOT cloth): packages open and ready
[ ] Clean washcloths & tea towels to wrap around ice packs
[ ] Over the counter stool softener (in case they give you Oxy)
[ ] Loose, comfortable shirts, front closure, various weights (washed & clean)
[ ] Topical: Organic Shea butter & aloe vera gel for area around incisions after surgery (skin gets quite dry) can also use later for after scaring forms to help soften scars
[ ] Have TV remotes, devices, phone, notebook, computer, reading material on a tray easily accessible
[ ] Set up bed as needed: you'll be sleeping on back upright for first month to 2 months: for me bolster for knees, plus a travel neck pillow proved very helpful
[ ] Invest in your own post surgery bra (the ones they provided SUCK)
[ ] Small silk scarves to line under the bras esp if you have sensitive skin

DAY OF



[ ] Bring neck pillow along with a regular pillow to protect boobs from seat-belt on ride home. Leve in car.
[ ] Wear a loose open jacket with secure (snap/zipper) pockets for important stuff like medical card and ID, leave purse at home.
[ ] Bring a small notebook & pen to keep track of meds & dr instructions. Write down how often to take them, and what time of day.
[ ] Take time in recovery at the hospital. Tell them to please not rush you if you are not quite ready to leave.
[ ] Stash barf bag in car. Be aware and warn people of you have a bad reaction to general anesthetic.
[ ] Have friend open prescription pill bottles and set them aside, soreness may prevent easy opening.


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

* I am not a medical doctor. This list is intended to be helpful. 
I am not medically suggesting these as cures or anything else related to breast surgery or any other surgery. 
Follow these recommendations AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Gail Carriger Talks Bra Shopping ~ Reducing the Rack & Fudging the Results


So, Fashionable Reader, recently I did a blog post about ordering for the new Rack. Sadly, it's the usual rigmarole of nothing fits and trying to find what does.

A reminder, measurements.

Old measurements:
Ribs: 28"
Rack: 41"
What did I wear in bras? Panache 28J, Freya, Fantasie & Cleo 30H, Royce & Anita 32H

New measurements:
Ribs: 30
Rack: 38"
I used tape measurements and this bra size calculator.

What did I order to try? Freya 30FF, Royce 30FF (then 32F)

What do I still want to try? Fantasie & Cleo 30FF, Anita 30H

DETAILS...

 

1. Bra that Gives Good Vintage Shape

What I used to wear: Freya Dotty Nursing Bra 32H

Gail Carriger Talks Bra Shopping ~ Reducing the Rack & Fudging the Results
 Freya Dotty Nursing Bra

What I ordered: Freya Dotty Nursing Bra 30FF

Results: Band was exactly right, but cup was about a size too big. Returned and reordered in 30F.

Cost of having a Rack: $11 return shipping/hassle because larger bra sizes rarely offer free returns (and counting), $46 for the bra

 2. Sports Bra


What I used to wear: Royce Women's Impact Free Cotton Sports Bra 32H

Gail Carriger Talks Bra Shopping ~ Reducing the Rack & Fudging the Results
Royce Women's Impact Free Cotton Sports Bra

What I ordered:  Royce Women's Impact Free Cotton Sports Bra 30FF

Results: Band was far too tight, and cup was about right. Returned and reordered in 32F (up a band = down at least one cup). I'm thinking Royce runs on the old style of band measurement = add 2 inches to the actual measurement.

Cost of having a Rack: $52.54 (this one has free returns) but I'll still need at least two other sports bras.

Results: Band fit perfectly on the 32F, cup also fit perfectly but if I order a second one, I might go down to 32E for more support of higher impact exercise. This one will do for hiking and biking, not running.

If you have a really small rib cage this is the sports bra for you!


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.

Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited

So, a while ago I did a post on my forever hunt for a good bra. Since then I have continued my endeavors, and I have this rather epic post on the subject for you.
Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited

I should remind you that my hunt is specifically for the following:
  • Small ribs: 30"
  • Big rack: H cup
  • No under wire
  • Cute
  • Vintage shape
  • Comfortable
  • Seams that do not show
Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited

Here we go . . .


Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited
freya 32G AA4234CHL
Deco Plunge T-Shirt Underwire Bra
A foam T-shirt bra, supposedly seamless, underwire, deep neckline.

I like: the fit and the fact that it was a t-shirt bra and hides any headlight action. The thickness of the straps, the plunge, the thinness of the back band, the lock and load position, the little button detail.
I dislike: The place the straps attached at the side of the boob near the under arm, it rubbed me raw. The inside stitching and narrowness of the rib band at the front was also too rough with the weight of my chest and rubbed. Because of thickness of the foam there was a ridge at the neck line which showed under tight higher necked shirts. After several tries I found I just was avoiding wearing this bra, for an ugly beast that was meant to be comfortable it wasn't comfortable enough. I ended up getting rid of it.

Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited
Freya 30GG 2034 (possibly 32G, I can't remember and I cut out the blasted tag)
Dotty Nursing Bra

About the only bra a small ribbed large Rack girl can get that isn't underwire is a nursing bra. So I have a few of them. This is one of my favorites because it is cute as well as comfortable, and gives the vintage shape. If Amazon's return policy were better I'd try buying more even at the obscene price of $72, but since I can't remember what size I am in this bra I'm not buying. I have a sinking suspicion mine is a 30GG or 30H which isn't available. The fit is OK, a little small, and the seems show under t-shits so it isn't perfect.

Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited
Wacoal 32DDD 85121
Feather Embroidery Full Figure Underwire Bra
I like
: the fabric and the vintage shape. Small band. Placement of lace panel high enough up so seam doesn’t cut across nipple and rarely shows with tighter/fitted clothing.
I dislike: the size, not big enough cup, I spill a bit at the top but it keeps me in firm and tight. Straps are a little small and grove the shoulders somewhat because the rib band is not big enough to take the weight.
I have this bra in both black and nude.

Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited
Wacoal 34G 85122
Elegance Hidden Wire Minimizer Bra with Embroidery
I like: the fabric and the vintage shape. This fits me more comfortably and better than the above bra, but the band is a bit loose, I have to wear on the tightest setting. Thickness and smoothness of the strap is nice.
I dislike: Placement of lace panel directly cuting across nipple always shows with tighter/fitted clothing.
I have this bra in both black and nude.

Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited
Lunaire 34DDD Grey & Teal 153_14011
Sevilla Scroll Embroidered Demi Underwire Bra
I like: The look, this is a beautiful bra.
I dislike: the color, the fit, and the fact that it's lace which makes it itchy, scratchy, abrasive, painful at the underwire (aren't they all?). Also it shows under most clothes. Really I only bother for occasions.

Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited
Freya AA4791CAE 34G 4791
Lacey Underwire Plunge Bra

Fit is almost exactly the same as my Fantasie FL2302MOM 32FF, so much so I thought they were the same bra.
I like this bra, it's offered in my actual size (30H) so I might try it in that, but there is that $70 issue with Amazon and returns (see below on my thoughts of other vendors). So . . .
I like: the fit, the look
I dislike: the size, the color, the seems which show

Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited
Anita 32H #5051
Maternity Women's Softcup Nursing Bra
I like: A recent purchase that's a tentative success. It has now become my main working white bra.
I dislike: It's a little small for me at 32H (eep!) but comfortable enough to keep. It has the usual seam's show under a t-shirt issue but it's very comfortable. Also, it's ugly as sin.

Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited
Elila 32H
Cotton Wire Free Nursing Bra
I like: An even more recent purchase that's a tentative success. It has now become my main working black bra. Soft cotton cups and a nice wide band. 32 fits nice even for a 30 like me. Nice thick soft straps. Less ugly than the above white one.
I dislike: The band is rough and the seams are sharp, to the point of scratching during the twist. Seam's show under a t-shirt, very high neck line. Non vintage shape, and not all that flattering of a shape either, very saggy. Major grooves in the shoulders.

Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited
This is not a style, this bra is too small for her.


Shops & Sources

By Gum By Golly just did a fantastic post on bras and recreating the proper silhouette to go under one's vintage clothes. Highly recommended read, and an all around great blogger (bloggess?) besides.

The professional bra makers of Canada association members page: http://www.professionalbramakers.ca/
www.brasbylucy.com/
www.bramakerinorlando.com/
http://www.made4mescrubs.com/Made4Me/Bra/Home.asp
http://www.upliftcustombras.com/custom-bras
http://jacquelinesown.com/1.html
In Bakersfield http://www.snaresofvenus.com/Contact/aboutus.htm

Bravissimo is based in England, which means they are used to the big boobs small ribs but are expensive. They are uncommunicative about how to get the right sizing for a British made bra because they want you to "come in and get fitted" and so don't tell you on their website how to measure the fit yourself.

Breakout Bras seems to have the same issues as Bravissimo. I haven't tried them yet but a quick check of the site shows me that mostly I get one or two bra options in each category in my size, often lace, always underwired and seemed.

Figleaves is the retailer responsible for making me cry, but they do have the biggest selection. I ordered three sports bras form them, none of which fit right. Their return policy in Machiavellian and they don't always state on their website when a bra is British (and shipping from the UK and thus practically un-returnable) or American and running under a different size. Thus you have to try to determine which size you might be in which bra. (A word of caution, Shock Absorber seem to run one or two sizes smaller in general. I think I'd need a 30 J from them, which naturally they don't make.) I returned one set successfully for a new size (shipping at my own expense) but when I returned a second set it seemed to get lost. I never received the new sizes nor a refund. I will not buy from them again.

Gail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited

Some reader recommendations:

mageraine:
Nordstrom: I'm lucky enough to have one within driving distance, and their employees are incredibly nice and helpful.
I too have bought from them. Technically they only carry one bra in my real size (with the 30 band) but I've gotten a few OK fitting 32 Gs from them, and most of the above came from Nordstrom Rack until I started ordering online. They carry Freya, Wacoal, Fantasie, Felina, and Elle Macphearson in large cups and small bands last I checked.

Jessica:
Macy's stocks the Lunaire brand.
In LA: Creative Woman - The Wizard of Bras  http://www.wizardofbras.com/. The selection is good, with lots of bras that come in the small bands (starting at 28!) They also offer an online fitting/measuring service.


avaglass adds:
Also in SoCal, Jenette Bras - the alphabet starts at 'D.'
Yeah, but where does the counting start? Oh, let me guess, 32?

sevenlies:
Works at a bra fitting salon in the UK. A good bra fitting salon will have a range of sizes for all people. Store carries from a 28 to a 48 band, and from an A to a K cup (UK sizing).
Sadly, we don't have such things in the US.
Amended: The store I mentioned that I work at is actually in Mandeville, Louisiana, right here in the US! It's called Bra Genie. (I won't link to it just in case this may be flagged as spam, but you can definitely Google it.) As stated above, we carry band sizes 28-48, cup sizes AA-K.

Just wanted to clear that up. :) Thanks!

Oliva:
There is also a handy site with a much more comprehensive bra size calculator that doesn't make you want to cry and they have international bra size conversions too!

elzebrook:
In Northern California there's an amazing shop in Fort Bragg called Understuff. Also, better luck at HerRoom and Bare Necessities rather than Figleaves. HR and BN actually have customer service and are also US based.

Joyce adds:
Her Room understands ordering 3 of the same bra in various cup/band combos and returning 2.

C.A. Sizemore:
Phoenix, AZ has CC's, the man is like a cross between a 20's tailer and a 90's Russian Mobster can size you at a glance.
I would be you very good money he can't do that to me.

dorkavecunespork:
Dublin, Ireland has lingerie shop that creates custom delicates.

Amy:
Plano, TX store specializes in carrying bras for the bustier ladies. They will fit you and they know how the sizes of the bras they carry tend to run.

Kay:
Incredibly good luck in Richmond, Virginia with Blythe

Decent Exposures does ugly as sin custom sports and cotton bras at a reasonable price. Despite what their website says, they do 28 bands. I'd be a 28J for the lined lycra or lined dri-release. Customer service is very responsive, although I haven’t yet tested them out with an actual order. If you'd like to order online, and you are not one of their sizes, you can order whatever is closest and in the "special instructions" box that will come up during check out mention the band size you actually want. Or, you can call them at 1-800-524-4949.
There website is lamentably bad, operate via the drop down to the right side.

"As antidotes to the heat, one can only suggest that the summer travelling gown should be made of the thinnest possible material which is consistent with the necessary stability of texture; that as few under-garments should be worn as possible; that a fan and eau-de-Cologne should be carried; and that all such heat-provoking cause as hurry, anxiety, and fretting should be religiously avoided."
~ Lillias Campbell Davidson, 1889

A Brief History of the Bra YouTube

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.
Getting a Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra by Gail Carriger (Blog Post By Request)Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions ~ Staples, Bras and T-shirtsGail Carriger's New Bras ~ Felina & EkouaerGail Carriger Talks Bra Shopping ~ Reducing the Rack & Fudging the ResultsGail Carriger Discusses New Rack Vrs. Old Rack Bras & Calculations (Breast reduction Surgery) Gail Carriger eShakti Retruns & Final Thoughts on Customizing for the RackGail Carriger Talks Bra Shopping ~ Panche, Curvy Kate, Ewa MichalakGail Carriger's French Outfits: Black JacketGail Carriger's Epic Bra Hunt Revisited

Report "Retro Rack"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×