I had my suspicions that I was not wearing the correct sized bra. The biggest clue was that from a drawerful of 34C /34D bras, only a couple were truly comfortable.
I've always thought that bras in sizes A to Care are feminine, pretty, things you'd want to wear, but that a D size, even in the same styles, could look cumbersome and functional in comparison. As for larger than D sizes, bras were positively matronly.
In my case, petite yet well endowed, the truth was that my bra did not offer the support I wanted (and quite frankly urgently needed).
Anyway, last week, in the interests of the Bras.co.uk website, I finally did what I have never had the courage to do before - I went to a department store for a professional fitting.
It's apparently recommended to go for a professional bra fitting at least once a year. I'd managed to avoid the indignity until now, but today I was going to bite the bullet and let a professional tell me what bra size I was.
I've always been a Marks & Spencer girl, so I went there. Some people take along a friend or even their mother for moral support, but for me, if it had to be done, the less witnesses the better!
The lady who did the fitting was lovely, down to earth and friendly, and she gave me the same impression that you get when you go to the doctor - she'd seen it all before.
I removed my top, and stood there in my bra. My favourite, rather elderly looking bra. That was the only part I found embarrassing as it truly was past its best and even I could see that it didn't fit well. Not only was it riding up at the back even when it was on the tightest setting, the bra did not lie against my body at the front.
She pointed all this out to me and whipped out her tape measure. She then proceeded to measure around my rib cage and then the fullest part of my bust (both with my bra on, thank goodness!).
Then off she went and came back with two bras - a 32E and a 32F! According to her measurements, I fell somewhere between the two. I had guessed that I was wearing the wrong sized bra, but even I was shocked at the difference in size.
I tried on the 32F first. It was too big. The cup was wrinkled and half empty / half full depending on your disposition.
The 32E though was PERFECT. I couldn't believe how well it fitted me and what a difference it made. My boobs looked like boobs and it felt so much more comfortable. And despite it being a larger size, ironically I looked slimmer and perter than I had done in years.
The only problem was that I didn't particularly like the bra and they had nothing I liked in that size in stock :-(
This is a common problem, with only certain shops catering for those of us who are not a 34C (or who think they are!!!!).
Still, the world is now my oyster when it comes to bras, and now that I know my bra size nothing can stop me.
The old bras have gone to the charity shop (six of them had never even been worn). My old faithful bra has been thrown out and I am now collecting new well-fitting bras.
All in the interests of the bras.co.uk website of course.