Janna’s African Nuptial

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I was very excited when Janna asked me to make an atypical dress for her wedding day….at an elephant camp! Check it out….Janna1

She wanted a super soft modal
knit, long sleeves and no back.
This is how it turned out.

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Personally, I think it looks way better on Janna.

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“Lannette, you went above and beyond in every aspect. I cannot praise you enough! I looked high and low for over a year and couldn’t find a dress that felt like “the one,” but you were able to create it, and for a beyond reasonable price. You were so patient and friendly through the whole process, and the dress is simply AMAZING. The quality is superb, down to the “Design by Lannette” tag sewn into it. You had a better vision of what I wanted than even I did. I asked for a knit ivory dress that would conceal any flaws, impossible? No, you built spanks into it! I don’t know how you made it fit like a glove, but you really have great talent. I will be sure to post pictures soon. Give yourself a pat on the back, and to anyone considering having Lannette make a dress, do not hesitate. She will not stop until you are happy. Sweet, sweet lady you are! A million thanks, pictures to come soon!!!” ~ Janna 

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Lawanda’s Blush Bolero

There is a huge trend right now of wedding gowns with unfinished organza ruffles or layers. Like so….
This one happens to be from Vera Wang’s White Collection at David’s Bridal.

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   In the meantime, Lawanda asked that I make a fascinator and veil as well. So I started on those first.

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I wanted the bolero to have many of the same qualities that the gown did without it looking like some strange bird. This is what I settled on. 

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 “I got my bolero, veil and fascinator today…I am in love…I cried when I saw it..I can’t believe you took so much time and made it just like my dress..everything is so awesome!!! Thank you so much for everything! I will send you pictures of the big day!!!” ~ Lawonda

A few days Later I got this – “Just so you know…I went to Davids bridal on yesterday for final dress fitting and everybody was floored by your bolero…they loved it…they were like OMG she made this…all the seamstress’ admired your work and took their hats off to you! They studied the detailing of the work and commented about how you sewed this part by hand and this part on the bias and so on and so forth.. You are truly gifted and talented. May God continue to bless you…I am still singing your praises.”

Yes….I blushed when I read it.

Lawanda’s Big Day


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This design is now available in my shop.

Necklines

The right neckline can make or break a gown. It will sharpen or soften your facial features, elongate your upper body or shorten it, change the look of your neck and shoulders, and emphasize or subdue your bust. Choosing the right neckline means taking all these things into consideration. These rules are not correct 100% of the time, and a style that – by definition – shouldn’t look good on you, could end up being absolutely fabulous! They do  come in  handy when it comes to narrowing down the choices, though.

Basic Necklines:
Scoop Neck~Scoop: A U-shaped neckline, is the most versatile and kindest of necklines. It works well with every face shape and size, and looks good with busts of all sizes. The key is the scoop depth and width. A deep scoop will lengthen your neckline, balance wide shoulders, and flatters wide faces. Go for a shallower scoop neck if you are skinny, have a small bust, a narrow face, or a long neck.
Recommended for: Just about anyone

Square Neck~Square:  The Square neckline, or Straight,  has a straight horizontal bodice that meets with linear side edges which go straight up over the shoulder in a 90 degree angle. Whether it is a deep square or a shallow one, they all form a box around the neck. The crisp clean lines of the square neck works well with most figures, is flattering on most face shapes, and is great for anyone who wants to wear a normal bra with their gown. Depth and width is the key with a square neckline. A deep square will really flatter a round face, especially if you have a short neck and a large bust. It is an easy way for larger chested women to show off their curves without being vulgar. At the same time, a shallow square works better with a long thin neck. This neckline is not really flattering on the very small busted, the horizontal line across the chest will make appear flatter.
Recommended for: Large Busts
Not Recommended for: Very Small Busts

V Neck~V-Neck: The name says it all, this neckline dips down in the shape of a V-shape. The V-neck is versatile and will flatter most faces and figures. It is especially appropriate for those with round or square faces, as it will elongate the face and give it a narrower appearance. Like the scoop and square necklines, width is just as important as depth. It is also perfect for most cup sizes. If you have a smaller bust, a plunging V-neck can create the illusion of a larger bust, while a shallower V will look beautiful with larger busts, giving support as well as accentuating your curves. As with the scoop and square necklines, if you have small shoulders, choose a wider V-neck instead of a deep V-neck; the opposite is true for those with wide shoulders. This neckline does not work well with bony upper chests, or super long necks, it will elongate the neck further.
Recommended for: Any size Bust
Not Recommended for: Bony Upper Chests, Super Long Necks

Plunge Neck~Plunge/Decollete: A Décolleté neckline is a very deep plunging V-neck or a really low scoop.  Décolleté is most commonly applied to a neckline that reveals or emphasizes the cleavage. As with scoop or V-necklines, adjust the width at the shoulder area to account for wide or narrow shoulders. With a Plunging neckline, long necks will look longer, sharp features or narrow faces will look thinner and the upper body will elongate.
Recommended for: Nice Cleavage
Not Recommended for: Narrow Faces, Long Necks, Long Upper Torsos, Décolleté Impaired

Assymmetrical Neck~Asymmetrical: A neckline that is uneven or differs from side to side, either in styles or a simple one shouldered design. This neckline has been in style since the Greeks first wrapped fabric around beautiful women to emulate the Goddesses of old. It is a timeless design that flatters almost every woman’s shape.The numerous possible neckline combinations make this the most adaptable neckline to work with, allowing you to “have your cake and eat it too”.  With the right combinations, asymmetric necklines can break the shoulder line, making wide shoulders look narrower or give narrow shoulders a wider looking effect.
Recommended For: Everyone

Sweetheat Neck~Sweetheart: Follows similar lines to a square neckline, instead of a horizontal line, it is actually shaped like the top half of a heart. It’s great with most neck types, but should be a deeper sweetheart for short or wide necks. It is a wonderful option for fuller-chested women because it accentuates the cleavage, although it’s easy to go overboard if you are really busty. If you’re not well endowed, sweetheart necklines are great at creating the illusion of a bigger bust. It’s usually really good for women with an hourglass figure.
Recommended for: Everyone

Jewel Neck~Jewel: This neckline rest just at the base of the neck. This high, round neckline that will flatter a person with a regular or long neck and any of the following face shapes: oval, oblong, diamond or inverted triangle. However, a jewel will make a round face look rounder and a square face look wider. Wide or short necks should avoid this neckline as well. On the positive side, it’s great for small breasts, making them appear more ample. Larger breasts should avoid this neckline and go for more of a scoop neckline.
Recommended for: Small Busts, Pear Shaped Figure, Long Necks, Oval Face, Oblong Face, Diamond Face, or an Inverted Triangle Figure
Not Recommended for: Large Busts, Short Necks, Wide Shoulders, Round Face, Square Face

Bateau Neck~Bateau: Also called a Boat neck or Sabrina. This shape gently follows the curve of the collarbone, and can either reveal the shoulders or not. It will sometimes dip slightly in the center, but not always. A bateau is great if you have a long neck, narrow face, small chest or rounded shoulders. It will draw the eye out to the edge of your shoulders and create a more balanced and proportioned look for narrow shoulders, providing a nice counterpoint for pear shaped figures.
Recommended for: Small Busts, Long Necks, Narrow Faces, Pear Shaped Figures, Narrow or Rounded Shoulders
Not Recommended for: Large Busts, Short Necks, Wide Shoulders, or Round Faces

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 Now for the more complex necklines. These styles usually have a distinct look, mixed with variations of the Scoop, Square, V-neck, Sweetheart, or Jewel necklines. These variations allow you to pick a shape that best compliments your features. Follow the guidelines laid out for the basic – Square, Scoop, V-neck, Sweetheart, or Jewel necklines when making your choice.

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~Portrait: Just like the name implies, this neckline sits below the shoulders to showcase the collar bones and shoulders. While this style is Super-flattering to medium- or full-breasted women, an off-the-shoulder neckline will look good on almost all figures. It’s really great for pear shaped figures in balancing out their lower half, but not so good for inverted triangles. Unlike the bateau neckline, the portrait’s wider neckline works for short and wide necks. If you have both a short and wide neck, go for a lower neckline in this style. This is also a good choice for small busted women, but if you have a long thin neck you may want to wear a nice sized necklace or your hair down to avoid looking too lean.
Recommended for: Pear-shaped Figures, Narrow Shoulders
Not Recommended for: Broad Shoulders, Wide Backs, or Full Arms
~Straight
Portrait Neck~Scoop
Portrait Scoop Neck
~V-neck
Portrait V Neck
~Sweetheart
Portrait Sweetheart Neck

~Halter: The halter features straps that wrap around the back of the neck, or a high neck with deep armholes. This neckline also creates a beautiful open back. Although such necklines reveal a lot of shoulder, their converging lines make the shoulders seem smaller, so it looks great on wide shoulders. Well-toned shoulders and arms are great for this look. It is not so good for short or wide necks. This style is not the best for really big-breasted women either, it offers little support and – it will make you look huge! At the same time, not all halter necklines are kind to smaller busted women. The halter neckline has multiple subcategories that would further influence the face, bust and neck appearance. Follow the guidelines for Jewel, Scoop, Square, Sweetheart, and V-necks when choosing the shape of a halter neckline.
~Jewel
Halter Jewel Neck
~Scoop
Halter Scoop Neck
~Wide Scoop
Halter WideScoop Neck
~Straight
HalterStraight Neck
~Sweetheart
Halter Sweetheat Neck
~V-Neck
Halter V Neck
~Wide V-Neck
Halter Wide V Neck

 

 

 

Queen Anne Sweetheat NeckQueen Anne: Higher on the sides and back of neck, widening to the bra strap area, and traditionally…ending in a sweetheart shape. This wedding gown neckline is suitable for most body types. The almost diamond-shape of the Queen Anne draws the eye up to the neck and collar bone area and looks nice with both broad and narrow shoulders. Modern fashion has created multiple variations to this style that would further influence the face, bust and neck appearance. Follow the guidelines for Scoop, Square, Sweetheart, and V-necks when choosing the shape of a Queen Anne neckline.
Not Recommended for: Short Necks
More modern versions on this neckline include:
~Scoop
Queen Anne Scoop Neck
~Straight
Queen Anne Straight Neck
~Deep Sweetheart
Queen Anne Low Sweetheat Neck
~V-Neck
Queen Anne V Neck

 

 

 

Queen ElizabethShallow V NeckQueen Elizabeth: Very similar to a Queen Anne, but with a high portrait collar that stands up in the back and traditionally…closes in a V in front. Modern fashion has created multiple variations to this style that would further influence the face, bust and neck appearance. Follow the guidelines for Scoop, Square, Sweetheart, and V-necks when choosing the shape of a Queen Elizabeth neckline.
Not Recommended for: Short Necks
More modern versions on this neckline include:
~Scoop
Queen Elizabeth Scoop Neck
~Straight
Queen Elizabeth Straight Neck
~Sweetheart
Queen Elizabeth Sweetheat Neck
~Deep V-Neck
Queen Elizabeth V Neck

 

Strapless: The strapless neckline is a popular choice with lots of brides due to its classic and sophisticated look. It works for just about every neck, although, long thin necks should wear it higher on the bust to avoid looking too stretched out. This is a great neckline for petite women as it will make the torso appear longer. As the name implies, this neckline doesn’t have any straps, and has multiple variations that would further influence the face, bust and shoulder appearance:

Strapless Straight Neck~Straight:This is the most common strapless neckline, it is a straight horizontal line above the bust. It provides a great balance for narrow or sloped shoulders as it will widen and make them appear square.
Recommended for:  Narrow Shoulders, Rounded or Sloped Shoulders
Not Recommended for: Very Small Busts, Large Busts

 
Strapless Sweetheart Neck~Sweetheart: It’s great with most neck types, but should be a deeper sweetheart for short or wide necks. It is a wonderful option for fuller-chested women because it accentuates the cleavage, although it’s easy to go overboard if you are really busty. If you’re not well endowed, sweetheart necklines are great at creating the illusion of a bigger bust.
Recommended for: Most Everyone
Not Recommended for: Sloped Shoulders
Strapless Peaked Neck~Peaked: The neckline forms peaks over the bust area with either a scoop or a V in the middle. This neckline will draw the eye to the chest area and accentuate everything. The plunging lines will make long necks, and upper torsos appear longer. Thin faces and sharp features will be more pronounced as well.
Recommended for: Square Faces, Round Faces, Serious Décolletage
Not Recommended for: Narrow Faces, Long Necks, Long Upper Torsos, Décolleté Impaired

Strapless ScoopUp Neck~ Slight Curve: The neckline slightly curves up giving a bit more coverage for small or bony chests. The extra coverage will add to an already large bust. The higher line will have a minimizing effect on longer necks as well.
Recommended for: Small Busts, Bony Chests, Narrow Shoulders, Long Necks
Not Recommended for: Large Busts, Short Necks, Rounded or Sloped Shoulders

Strapless ScoopDown Neck~Modified Sweetheart: The neckline takes a gentle dip in the center,  creating a softer, more subtle version of the prominent curves seen in the sweetheart neckline, as well as a shallower plunge at the décolletage. This will showcase your cleavage in a very classy way. If you have a special necklace you want to show-off, this is a good neckline for that.
Recommended for: Large Busts, and girls with fun necklaces

Tea Party in the Meadow

This is a photo shoot a small group of wedding professionals helped me arrange in Yuma, AZ. We set everything up while the girls were getting their hair and make-up done. When they finally arrived, this is what awaited them….

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To say the least, they were VERY excited!

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All the flower arrangements were made by FORTUNA FLORAL.

floralsThe beautiful cake and cupcakes by Yuma Couture Cakes.

cakeBab’s Giddygappers made all the cute labels, straws, and ribbon wands.

Bab'sThe dresses were by me.

dressesThe beautiful Kanzashi barrette and sash were made by Empress Barrettes.

kanzashiNic’s Button Buds made the cutest button wand.

NicsAll and all it was a great day!

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To see more pictures from this shoot, click here, or here.

Thanks to:

 Events by Chelsea for the setup.

Jayson Simmons of No Box Photography

Laurie Brown Photography

and Courtney Fisher Sellers (Photographer and model mom) for the great pictures.

 

Waistlines

Waistlines have a great impact on the appearance of your torso, waist, hips, and height. While choosing a waistline, these body features should be kept in mind.

AssymitricalAsymmetrical: This waistline starts on one side as a Raised or Empire Waistline, or a Natural Waistline and falls to a Natural Waistline, or a Dropped Waistline. It has a wonderful slimming effect for full-figured or thick-waisted women. Those who are short should avoid this waistline; the long waist makes the legs appear shorter.
Recommended for: Full Figured, Thick Waists
Not Recommended for: Short legs

 

BasqueBasque: The sides start at the Natural Waistline and drops down to a “V” in the front about two to three inches below the Natural Waistline. The Basque Waistline is usually very fitted and sometimes corseted. This is the most flattering of all Waistlines on most figures. It gives the impression of height and slenderness by reducing the width of the waist and hips and elongating the torso. Much like the ball gown silhouette, the basque waist plays down the hips.
Recommended for: Everyone
Not Recommended for: Virtually no one

DroppedDropped: This waistline falls three to five inches below the Natural Waistline, stopping at the hips. This waistline is good for full-figured, short-waisted, or wide-hipped women. Dropping the waist down pulls in the hips and elongates the waist. Because it creates the illusion of an hour-glass figure, it also works very well for a very slim figure. Those who are long-waisted may want to avoid this waistline. It has a tendency to elongate the waist even more, making the body appear disproportionately longer than the legs.
Recommended for: Full Figured, Short Waists, Wide Hips, Slim Figured
Not Recommended for: Long Waists

EmpireEmpire: An Empire waist is a raised waistline usually located anywhere from just under the bust to three to five inches above the waist. This waistline works well for full figures, wide hips, thick waist, and even pregnancy by allowing the skirt to cover over lower body issues. It gives the illusion of added height, so it looks great on anyone who is short. It also helps those who are small busted appear fuller since it draws attention to the neckline. On the flip side, those who have a large chest may want to avoid this waistline because of its natural tendency to draw the eyes up to the bust. Like the A-line, the empire style is very versatile and can accommodate a wide range of formality.
Recommended for: Petite, Thick Waists, Wide Hips, Small Busts
Not recommended for: Hourglass, Curvy Figures, Large Chested or Wide Shoulders

NaturalNatural: The narrowest part of the body between the ribs and the hips is where the natural waist hits. A Natural Waistline creates balance. This waistline is great for those who have a natural hourglass figure. Those who are apple-shaped (the waist is wider than the hips) should avoid this waistline; it will only serve to accent the thickness of the waist.
Recommended for: Hourglass Figures
Not Recommended for: Thick Waists
While every dress will have a silhouette, length, and neckline, it may not have a waistline. The absence of a waistline is best worn by those with an hourglass or petite figures.

Amanda’s French Ball Gown

My client found a dress that she really liked, but it needed a few adjustments……..

Amanda

This is the dress at the time it was purchased.

Amanda really wanted it to have more bustles and a fuller skirt, like a French Ball Gown. So she sent it for  alterations.  It did not go well…..This is what it looked like by the time I got it. Yeah, it needs some work….

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47 roses, 14 yards of silk and 3 revisions later….

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“Lannette took what a previous seamstress had ruined (previously purchased dress that I wanted to make changes to) and made it more than I had ever hoped for. She was able to see my vision when I couldn’t even fully describe or fully understand what I wanted. The end result was incredible and something drooled over by many brides. I am so thankful to Lannette for her willingness to go above and beyond and all at a reasonable price. And she was so patient with me to boot! I cannot say enough good things about her work and her professionalism. I look forward to finding an excuse to have her make another dress for me, this time from beginning to end .” ~ Amanda

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In the end the finished dress(with petticoat) weighed 20 lbs!

Big THANKS!!! to Sison Photography for the use of their beautiful images.

Silhouettes

The “silhouette” refers to the basic outline or overall shape of the gown. This is a good place to start when deciding on a gown because it will take into consideration your body shape and height.

A-line

A-line:  The a-line or princess first came into fashion in the 1950s, when film star Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco. An A-line dress features a shape that is fitted around the bodice and flows out to the ground, resembling the outline of an uppercase A. Due to its classic and simple style, the A-line dress is appropriate for any occasion, from a quiet backyard gathering to a traditional church ceremony.
It is recommended for petite figures because it can make a shorter bride appear taller and for full figured brides drawing attention away from their hips. The A-line, however, is not recommended for brides with a thick waist as the shape will draw attention there.

Recommended for: Petite, Full-Figured, Short Waist
Not recommended for: Thick Waist, Hourglass

Ball GownBall Gown: The full-skirted bridal gown swept into fashion with Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840 and remains the favorite romantic silhouette. When girls dream of being a princess at their weddings this is the silhouette they see in their dreams. It’s elegant look is composed of a form fitting bodice, that leads down to a very full, floor length skirt. While the necklines and sleeves may vary, the silhouette remains classic. Like the A-line, the Ball gown flatters most figures. It is especially good at hiding large hips or no hips.
This shape is not recommended for petite brides as the full skirt can overwhelm or take away from the appearance of the bride.
Recommended for: Thin figure, Full Figure, Med – Tall Heights, Pear Shaped Figure
Not recommended for: Petite Figure

MermaidMermaid: Curvaceous and VERY form fitting, this wedding dress style is typically for the very confident bride. Mermaid gowns hug the body rather tightly all the way down to your knees, where the dress flares out. It screams sophistication and elegance, yet can be chosen for a barefoot beach wedding or formal ball room affair. It has a distinctive diagonal cut on the skirt. For a bride wanting to accentuate her curvaceous figure, this dress is ideal.

Recommended for: Hourglass Figure
Not recommended for: Full Figure

TrumpetTrumpet: Similar to the Mermaid in shape. Flares out higher on the leg. This silhouette is much easier to move in. Also called a Fit n Flare.
Recommended for: Hourglass Figure
Not recommended for: Full Figure

 

 

 

SheathSheath: Simple, sleek and elegant, a Sheath Style wedding gown can fall nearly straight down (sometimes referred to as “Column”) from the neckline to the hem, or it can hug your curves, accentuating your torso, waist and hips. This is the most popular wedding dress style for beach weddings, as well as other destination weddings. Highly recommended for those brides with a tall, well proportioned (thin) figure.

Recommended for: Thin Figure, Petite Figure
Not recommended for: Pear Shaped Figure, Full Figure

My First Photo Shoot

I friend of mine in Australia is doing a Rockabilly/Pinup photo shoot and I’ve whipped up a lemony yellow version of my Roxy design for the occasion!

IrisI made it with white organza and a lemony yellow cotton. It has a SUPER full skirt, complete with a built-in petticoat of organza and a big satin bow.

The gals dressed it up with additional colorful petticoats from Spunkerella Pettiskirts…..

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and gorgeous necklaces from Addicted to Buttons…….

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I built the dress on a corset base to help with that annoying slipping feeling that is so common in strapless dresses.

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Big Thanks! to Andrew Sharp Photography

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and to Nic’s Button Bud’s for inviting me to join in.

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For the rest of the shoot click here.

Victorian Taffeta

 

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 “Lannette was a joy to work with and made me a fantastic dress. The “Abigail” dress on her website is mine! She was upfront and direct with me, very very communicative and listened to everything I wanted. 

I cobbled together the idea of a dress from 5 different pictures and had specific wants for feel of fabric/dress shape/and an absolute HATE of satin/sparkles/beading. She sent me samples of fabrics and mocked up a great design outline before I even signed the contract, which made me feel secure that she was the correct seamstress to hire. 

Even though I didn’t meet her until the day I picked up my dress, she kept me updated every step of the way. I never felt out of control or not listened to. She was so fast, too! Conventional wisdom says I need to order a dress from a store at least 6 months in advance, if not more. She had my dress done in under 4 months. She even added in some gorgeous details, like using the lace I chose to add freshwater pearl accents and creating a detachable adorable hanger. She also made a last minute matching bolero to accent my dress! It was perfect and made me look AMAZING. 
I whole-heartedly recommend Lannette as a seamstress. If you want professional, high quality work with reasonable prices, look no further. I tell everyone to get their dresses made by a seamstress like her if they want a unique style and family heirloom for years. No one else has my dress because it was uniquely mine.” ~ Lorraine

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Proper Bra Fit

Bras. This is a sore subject for a lot of women. Bra shopping, bra sizes, good fit, proper support, are topics just wrought with stress. I myself, have had nothing but trouble in this area. The fit calculators tell you one thing and the bra you’re wearing tells you something completely different, usually something unflattering. Don’t even get me started on what the ladies at the lingerie stores suggest.

Many of my clients need bras built into their gowns. For this reason, I’ve had to get to understand cups, cup shapes, cup sizes, etc. Did you know that when I purchase cups, it’s not listed as 36D, for example? That cup is listed by a depth of 4.0″. This SAME cup will fit a 32E, 36D, 40C and a 42B. I have to use my clients measurements to determine what size cup will give them the support they’ll need. (Another BIG reason accurate measurements are important!)

The distance around your rib cage (NOT your high bust measurement) is what determines your band size and ultimately, your cup size. If either your band size is wrong or your cup size, there will be issues for you and your bra. After years of poor bra fit you will begin to notice dips on top of your shoulders, mysterious under arm fat, back rolls and so forth. I’ve done fittings with brides who sheepishly hang their heads in shame and proclaim themselves fat when I’ve tried to point out that their biggest issue with these rolls is that they are likely wearing the wrong size bras. As women, our breast tissue wraps around to the under arm area, the bigger the breast, the more breast tissue is evident there. The squishier the breast, the higher it’s fat content, but it’s still breast, not under arm fat.  That’s why when you go get a mammogram, they take pictures around the under arm. After wearing a bra that fits properly, these marks will begin to fade away. The ‘under arm fat’ will be assimilated back into the breast where it belongs in the first place.

I recently came across a blogger named Brittany. She has a site called Thin and Curvy and she has the BEST bra advise. The following info is directly from her blog. I copy/pasted it because, I can’t put it any better terms than she did.

Thin&Curvy

 You cannot tell if your bra fits right if you do not put on your bra correctly. One of reasons so many women wear the wrong size is that your bra can seem okay when you first put it on. (incorrectly.) However, when you wear too small cups and a too large band, you are smashing your poor breasts’ tissue to the sides and top and into your armpits, even. This is terrible for your breasts! Here’s how to do it right.

  1. Put on the band and hook it. It doesn’t really matter whether you prefer the put-it-on-straight method or the put-it-on-in-front-and-twist-it-around method.

  2. The straps should not be too tight at this point. If they are, loosen them up. Once you are used to this bra you can keep them on the length you like.

  3. Lean forward and put the straps on your shoulders and fit your breasts into your cups.

  4. This is the most important part! Neglect this step at your peril! Reach into the cups, to the side, under the wire in your armpit. Pull the flesh forward and up. If you have “armpit fat,” pull this in too. Trust me. This step is really important because….a) too-small cups will seem fine until you pull all of your tissue into them and b) That underarm breast tissue needs to be pulled back under the underwire and into the cups, so that it can “rejoin” the rest of your breast tissue. So make sure when you put your bra on, you scoop as much of that underarm ‘fat’ as possible into the cups.

  5. At this point, if you have bulging or “four boobs” above the top of the cups, it means you are wearing the wrong size! 

  6. Now you can tighten the straps. Don’t tighten them so that they are pulling on your shoulders, just tight enough so that there isn’t any slack and there is a slight bit of tension.

 Please note that, if you are wearing the correct size, the cups will probably seem a little bit “empty” and too big until you scoop the flesh into them. But as long as the top of the cups sits smoothly on your breasts after you scoop in, the cups should be a good size.

You know your bra doesn’t fit when…

    • The straps are digging into your shoulders

    • The straps keep falling off your shoulders even when you tighten them

    • The center part in between the cups does not lie flush with your rib cage

    • Your ‘breasts’ are causing you shoulder or back pain

    • the underwires dig in or hurt anywhere

    • you get rashes or soreness where your bra was

    • your breasts hurt after you take your bra off at night (If not PMS related)

    • The line of your nipples sits below halfway between your elbow and shoulder

    • your underwires frequently pop out and stab you

    • You have scarring along where the underwires go, or on your shoulders from your straps.

    • You can’t run or jog without pain and a lot of bouncing

    • You have “armpit fat”

    • You have “back fat” around your band

    • You have to go readjust your bra during the day

    • Your underwires are sitting on top of breast tissue

    • Your bra’s band rides up in back or is not level

    • You had to start at the tightest hook

    • Your bra or breasts are causing you pain or discomfort in any way

If you have any of these, your bra doesn’t fit and you need to go down in the band and up in the cups. Period! 

  1. Put on your best fitting bra. It shouldn’t be padded but a bit of molding is probably fine.

  2. Measure around your rib cage, right under your breasts. Keep the tape as straight and parallel to the floor as possible. Measure this tight! You don’t need to be straining to pull it tight as a corset, or leaving marks on your skin, or anything like that. But you should measure this much snugger than you would normally measure another part of your body. Write down your rib measurement.

  3. Measure around your breasts. Measure loosely this time. It might help to lean forward, especially if the bra you are wearing isn’t particularly supportive. Write down this measurement.

  4. The rib measurement you wrote down is your band size. If it’s a fraction, just round to the nearest whole number. If it’s an odd number, say 31, you should try both band sizes around this (A 30 and a 32.) Remember, the band is what is giving you all of the support! If you can get it closed, it probably fits. Consider buying one, and trying it for a few weeks. Or if you really can’t stand it, try one band size up from that only and try getting used to it for a few weeks to a month, and then see how you feel. If it’s still uncomfortable then, it doesn’t fit. But even if it feels “too tight,” It might actually be too loose, with too small cups (which would make it feel “too tight.” bras can be weird that way, trust me on this one.)

  5. Now take the breast measurement you came up with. Subtract your band size from this number. (For example if you measured 29.5 and you were going to start with a 30 band and you measured 36 inches around your bust line, then the result would be 6.)

  6. Each number is a cup size. It generally goes: A,B,C,D,DD,E,F,FF,G,GG, H,HH,J,JJ,K,KK… But, brands can be slightly inconsistent. Some brands might skip some of those, or substitute DDD for E, or something, so double check to make sure that you are buying the size you think you are! In addition, some brands or styles may run large or small and you may have to adjust accordingly.

  7. If you thought you were a 36DD, and you come up with something like 30H, don’t freak out! You aren’t weird, I promise. So many people are wearing the wrong size that we have a really distorted idea of what a “normal” size is. Just give it a try. It’s only a number!

A couple of details that Brittany mentions elsewhere in her blog, that you might find helpful are: 

~ Bony girls without much meat on their ribs, tend to find that the tighter band is not comfortable. Increase the band size a little, but make sure that the cups fit the breast. 

~ When a bra is new, the very last hook is the one that you use. As your elastic ages and loses it’s fight, move up a hook.

~ Uneven breasts….The general advice for uneven breasts (which is extremely common!) is to wear a bra that fits the bigger breast(give it the support it needs!), and then add a small pad to the other side to fill in the extra space. Available at any fabric store or bra store.

Why is Brittany’s measuring system so different from what you find at Victoria’s Secrets or other online bra calculators? Simple. The common knowledge information about bra fit is outdated. (Guidelines were set back before stretchy fabrics and wonderful elastics were invented) Updating it would be frustrating to many, we’re talking generations of women. After all, they’ve been wearing that size their entire lives. Many women staunchly refuse to believe that they could have breasts that possibly have a larger letter value than the one they have been wearing. Others have far too much to think about than to figure out a new size.  In the end the cost to the industry would be enormous. Think of the size range available now, to increase those options with smaller band sizes and bigger cups would be pricey. Now the stores, to accommodate all those new sizes in a wide variety of colors, fabrics, and styles, need more floor space. More floor space means higher operating costs, and they’s still sell the same number of bras, possibly less. After all, how many of you have bought bra after bra in search of the right fit? And how many were returned because they didn’t.

A proper fitting bra is good for your breast health, posture, and your clothes will look and fit better.

Classify Your Breasts – Know your breasts and you’ll know your perfect bra style.