I've been unhappy with my underwear for a very long time. I used the "measurements=size" charts, and what I bought seemed to sort of fit. But my underpants cut in at my waist and rear, leaving lumps above and below (I don't mind a "panty line", but I do mind the lumps), and my bras didn't come up high enough under my arms, leaving spillage, and often made bulges over the front edges.
They were flat out too small to look good.
Maybe those size charts work for younger women with firm flesh, but I suspect that after menopause, and especially after losing a lot of weight, an older woman's tissue is just too soft for those charts.
I had bought most of my underwear from local department stores. Names like Vassarette and Warner's, and I'd even looked at things in Victoria's Secret, who had nothing in my size. Another problem is that I could find white and the occasional tan, but in black I had to settle for almost-fits, and there were no other color possibilities.
I've experimented this past month. I bought all manner of bras and panties in a variety of sizes from various websites, and especially eBay. On eBay, unless I already knew I like that particular item, I stuck with "new with tags", figuring that even though I can't return them if they don't fit, I can resell them.
- Even though the charts say I wear a 36D bra, I not only fill a 38DD completely, the sides of the cup go back far enough and high enough to contain the spillage, and I don't get squished together in the front.
- The unlined Victoria's Secret with the "infinity edge" is wonderful, and online I can get them in a wide variety of colors (and from eBay, at less than half price).
- Lunaire makes the most beautiful bras imaginable in exciting colors, especially style 14011, and although they retail for about $36, because I wear a less popular size I can get them on eBay for less than $10.
- Going up one size from the charts in panties fits better. Going up TWO sizes is perfect. The elastic around the waist and legs/bottom is downright loose, but that means no cutting in, and they don't fall down because they still cling to my hips. (I prefer panties that go all the way up to my natural waist, because anything lower will roll or fold down under my tummy pad when I sit, and these days high panties are hard to find.)
So I spent a portion of today sorting and throwing out the old stuff and setting aside the not quite right, for resale. (Not all 38DD bras fit. Some of them point WNW and ENE when I'm facing north. Weird.)
I set up a small plastic container for the panties, with vertical dividers, and the panties rolled and standing, so I can see the color without having to lift stacks. In the sections on the right are the everyday cotton grannies, then the pretties, then the sexy ones, and on the far left are the "to be worn in the boudoir only, if you need to call 911 for me, get these off me and hide them before the EMTs arrive."
In all these years, there were a few things I didn't know about bras, things that would have prevented a lot of grief.
For example, bras come in different cuts, the most common three being full coverage (comes up high on the breast, at an angle), balconette (fairly high on the breast, and more straight across) and demi (cut low on the breast). Most of what's available in local department stores seems to be demi.
Surprise! I can't wear demi.
Full coverage with straps far to the sides work on me. Balconette works best because the straps tend to be more to the side, and the underneath support is good.
The beautiful Lunaire 14011, a modified balconette:
They come in various contrasting combinations of colors of net, lace, and embroidery. 940angelica is an eBay seller, from whom I bought these two bras.