The Perfect Fitting Bra

This is long, but it’s important. A well-fitting bra can make a huge impact on your confidence and appearance. It certainly did for me — I had lost quite a bit of weight and was wearing a 38C when I got fitted about seven years ago. I was amazed to learn that I was a 34F; in my mind, any cup size over D was comically huge and I was just a Normal Boob Size.

But when I tried on a bra in the new size, I couldn’t believe the difference. I was supported! I had a waist! I felt so comfortable! No boob spillage over the top or sides! The underwire sat flat against my chest! I didn’t even know that was possible, and now I am a Bra Fitting Evangelist.

It’s challenging to find a well-fitted bra. Victoria’s Secret, WalMart, Aerie and other big box stores carry limited size ranges, and they try to put you into one of their B-C-D-range cups to make a sale even when you don’t fit in those sizes. If that’s where you shop for bras, you’re likely wearing the wrong size.

How can you tell if your bra doesn’t fit?

  • The back of the bra rides up in an upside down U shape;
  • The band of your bra is loose enough that you can snap it;
  • The straps dig into your shoulders;
  • The underwire pokes you in the side;
  • Your breast is spilling out of the tops, creating that quad-boob look;
  • The bridge between the cups doesn’t sit flat against your chest;
  • You are constantly readjusting your bra cup or straps during the day;
  • You have shoulder/back pain from the heaviness of your breasts.

These are signs of a too-loose band and too-small cups and unhappy breasts. The band should be tight enough to support your breasts without the straps, and the cups should be large enough to fully encircle all of your breast tissue, and for most women, that means it should finish underneath your armpit.

The Bra Database has a gallery that shows what a well-fitting bra looks like in many different sizes on many different people. Here is the page for a size 36C: bands are straight and parallel to the ground, the straps aren’t digging into shoulders, and the underwire sits flat against the sternum and under the armpits. If your bra doesn’t look like this, then you are not a 36C.

Chantelle C Essential T-Shirt Bra, ultra nude, 32C-40G $43-58
Chantelle Basic Invisible T-Shirt Bra, toffee, 32B-40G, $51-69

The best way to determine what size you should really be wearing is to try on a ton of bras. And I mean a lot of bras; all of the bras. The best place in Alaska to do this is at Nordstrom: ask an associate for a bra fitting.

What to expect from a bra fitting

A bra fitting is a no-nonsense activity. The associates at Nordstrom are professionals, have a lot of knowledge about bras, and will help put you at ease during the process.

An associate will check the size of your current bra, do an initial measurement with a tape measurer, and bring you a few Fit Bras. Because everyone’s breast shape is different, you can’t always depend on a tape measure for your perfect fit.

The fit bras will not be your style, in fact they will probably be ugly, but they are not the ones you will take home. You will try on the fit bras to help determine your size, chat with the associate about what kind of bra you are looking for (lacy? foam molded? full coverage? pushup? tshirt?), and she will bring you every bra in the store that meets your criteria and is in your size.

It will be a lot of bras. All of the bras.

Don’t be overwhelmed! Try them on one at a time, and put your shirt back on over every single one of them. If your new size is a smaller band and larger cups, you will notice that the new bras are a lot tighter than your old bras. This is a good thing, because it means the band is supporting the weight of your breasts, which will eliminate shoulder and back pain.

With your shirt on over the new bra, check yourself out in the mirror. You will look perkier and skinnier than you expected. Does the shape look good? Is the cut ok? Sizes vary in lingerie just like they do in other clothes; not all 34D bras will fit the same, and that’s ok – you have more to try on. Your associate will check back with you periodically, so ask her questions if you’re having problems with or questions about a bra fit.

Once you find a bra or two (or four) with an excellent fit, congratulations! Your bra world has just been changed forever!

You can either buy the bras on the spot, or make note of the brand, style and size to purchase online later. Nordstrom does not require you buy anything because you had a fitting, so do not feel pressured to buy a bra then and there.

Once you’ve got a size in a particular brand, you can reasonably confidently keep buying that same size in that brand from then on. You might get a little variety, especially between styles, but it’s a perfect starting point.

Consider getting re-fitted about once a year, or when your breast size or shape changes – this can be due to weight gain or loss, pregnancy, starting or stopping birth control, or any time you notice your breast tissue is not fully covered by your current bras.

Freya Deco Plunge T-Shirt Bra, nude, 28C-38GG, $60
Fantasie Smoothing Balcony T-Shirt Bra, nude, 30C-40H, $60

If you can’t get to Nordstrom

You can do a similar fitting yourself in the privacy of your own home with the power of the internet.

If you currently wear a 36C and noticed that your band is too large and your cups are too small, order a variety of full cup bras in a few different sizes: 32DD, 32D, 34D, 34DD. I recommend the brands Freya, Wacoal, Chantelle and Fantasie for a reliable fit, great quality and good value. Then try on all of those bras until you get excellent support from your band, a nice flat bridge in the center, and cups that fit all of your breast tissue.

A good quality bra should last you around 6-8 months, even a year if you have a good rotation. No more back pain, shoulder dents, quad-boob, poking underwires, or falling out the bottom.

Your comfort, posture, and overall breast health is worth it.

VB Alexandra-6


Alexandra’s husband is currently serving overseas with the military, and she booked a boudoir session with me so she could tease him long distance with a photo here and a photo there. She and a friend chatted while she was pampered with hair and makeup styling, and we all exclaimed over the amazing selection of outfits she brought – the blush rose lace garter slip below left can be found at Victoria’s Secret.

At her viewing, Alexandra told me that she was amazed at how much she loved her images. “The ones I wasn’t sure that I would like, I ended up loving the most! Thank you!”

VB Alexandra-3-5

VB Alexandra-2

Lingerie that’s Changing Women’s Lives

Naja is a lingerie company that has partnered with the Golondrinas Foundation to start an Underwear for Hope program.

“Naja trains and employs single mothers to sew, then we employ them to sew our lingerie wash bags. All of our panties are made in a factory solely owned by women who employ single mothers/female heads-of-household. So, with every Naja purchase you make, you’re contributing to giving a single mother a job.”

On top of having an amazing impact on educating and empowering women, their lingerie is made of fun, playful fabrics with thoughtful designs.

Cotton panties made from hand-harvested Peruvian Pima cotton, the finest pima in the world. Lace made from nylon instead of polyester, because it’s gentler on the skin. And memory foam cups that won’t break or crack and that mold to your body.

VB-Naja-lingerieTalavera Olivia bra, $56 and Martina Lo-Rise cheeky brief, $20
Kyoto After Dark brief, $16
Andalusia Adriana Bralette, $38 and Victoria Lace mid-rise brief,  $20

Naja is currently running a Kickstarter to expand their team, their collection, and continue to change women’s lives. The Kickstarter closes Friday, July 28, so take advantage of the special pricing while you can!

VB Shannon 1-2


Shannon is getting married in August, and she booked a boudoir session as a surprise for her groom. She spent about two hours getting primped by the hair and makeup stylist, sipping chardonnay and sharing some girl talk before slipping into her bridal lingerie for some sultry images.

VB Shannon-7

VB Shannon 3-4

Memorial Day Lingerie Sales

Oleander lace body suit from Fleur du Mal, $100
Scoop neck lace chemise with bow back from Hips and Curves, $15
Juliet ivory silk ribbon gown from Dollhouse Bettie, $124

There are some amazing lingerie sales happening online this weekend, and I recommend taking full advantage of them:



Delores and I had a really fun time during her session in a downtown Anchorage hotel suite. After hair and makeup styling, she was a little hesitant about the session so we eased into it with some bed jumping. I love her bright and expressive eyes, and she had such a vibrant personality!


Sheer Tops for Spring

It’s spring! The sun is starting to feel warm, the snow is melting away, and the trees are starting to show a little bit of green again. It’s got me in the mood to update my closet and inject some new life into my wardrobe with a bit of summer color – including my lingerie collection!


Sheer tops are fantastic pieces for boudoir: they’re sexy, they come in many different styles, and it’s easy to find one to match your own personality. I’m currently in love with this electric racer back babydoll. It’s more like an oversized, loose tank than a traditional babydoll, and features an exposed, sporty racer back for a bit of extra skin. The bright and bold color is just what I need coming out of a long, dreary winter. It’s a great piece for spending part of your session lounging on an arm chair, letting the sheer fabric drape all over your curves.


There are many styles of sheer top so you’re sure to find one that works for you. If you want to take it back to basics and go super simple, this loose summer silk sheer tank is a perfect fit. If a more sophisticated, classy look is what you’re after during your session, then you can’t miss with this sheer austere blouse with organza collar. And you can always go for a purely sultry style with this aurora sheer black silk chiffon blouse. Complete your look by pairing a sheer top with a simple pair of panties in black, white or nude. Whether you match or contrast colors, this simple combination will let your curves do the work they were born to do.

Panties recommendations: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4



I am privileged to have a wonderful session with Jen from Fairbanks. She has done a bit of dancing and brought some amazing silk veils like this one in gold. The veils transformed into sensual magic against her skin!



Shopping for Curves

I’ve had some great opportunities recently to work with some amazing ladies, but that hasn’t kept me from my other love: internet window shopping! This month I discovered the fantastic Simply Be, an online store full of fashionable clothes and gorgeous lingerie for curvier ladies.


This Anna Scholz lace basque caught my eye immediately. Its three panel style, with sheer sides and bold center, will highlight all of your best curves. The light boning is great for contouring your figure and boosting your confidence. Just imagine how that rich green will pop during your session when you are stretched out over fresh white linens.


Another great piece is this sassy slip by Gok Wan. It also comes in slate, black and white, but I’m particular to this blush. Don’t underestimate how sexy and flattering a simple design like this can be. A pair of nude stockings and pearls to transform this simple foundation piece into sexy, sexy powerhouse.

Nude stockings: 1 | 2 | 3
Pearl strands: 1 | 2 | 3


Valentine’s Day Gift Cards

With Valentine’s Day this Friday, it’s not too late to surprise your sweetie with a boudoir session. Call me at 907-350-9772 to arrange for a session gift card before your plans Friday night (you have made plans, yes?). The anticipation of the session is just as fun as your final images are amazing.

(Psst, make some plans.)