Fill Your Cups


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The in's and out's of a great fitting over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder...

This is a post I've been, I wouldn't say putting off, but certainly dilly-dallying about, as it's such a huge topic to cover.  So, without further ado, here are the most important bits and pieces of bra fitting, every lovely lady should know.

First off, after doing a little research of my own online, I was very unsurprised to notice that every retailer and brand of lingerie tell ladies to measure themselves and fit themselves in a whole host of different methods. How confusing for ladies who are looking for some informed advice. A very popular (and terribly old fashioned) way is the good (seriously bad) old tape measure plus 4.  Now, this involves, for some really bizarre reason, measuring your chest and your underband and adding 4 (inches).  Why do people come up with these nonsense rules?  This makes me so frustrated!  Adding 4 inches onto what you measure around your underband will definitely leave you with a seriously poor and ill-fitting bra.  I'll use myself as an example here.  I fit an underband of 28 inches, (depending on the bra, but more on that later).  Adding 4 inches to this would give me a bra size of 32, which inevitably will pretty much hang off my back.  Ladies, if you find a fitter uses this method on you during a fitting, please escape as quickly as you can slip that over sized bra off! There is just no point in wearing a bra if it's hanging off your back.  You should never be able to pull your underband far away from your back.  Back 'fat' is normal... everyone gets it.  I have seen every shape and size of person and boobies and I can promise you now every single person gets it if your bra fits you properly.

There are various other fiddly methods of measuring yourself with the not so trusty measuring tape, however the most important thing about your bra is the fit.  No matter how many lingerie departments or fitters insist that you measure a specific size, the fit is what you should always go by. Please don't get hung up on sizing via tape.  It doesn't know who made your bra or how stretchy the elastic is on the particular lovely garment. It also doesn't know how full your breasts are or if the cups in a particular bra are 'big/small made'.  It doesn't really take into account anything to do with your shape of body, muscle mass or rib shape. A measuring tape is not usually your booby's friend.


Now there are a number of 'points of fit', which will all draw together rather nicely to leave you with the best fitting bra for your boobies, shape & anatomy.  Of course, the points I mention here will be your starting point and each bra differs in the way the manufacturer produces our lovely booby holders.  I would also recommend going to a reputable and decent shop to get fitted.  This can be hard to find, but most lovely ladies will spread recommendations of fitters by word of mouth.  In the Glasgow area I would always recommend Debenhams Argyle Street & Frasers.  A fitter who is doing her job correctly will follow these marker points during your session:

-Introduce herself and find out a little about the issues you might be having with your current bra.  It's never nice to have a fitter burst into your room whilst you are in your smalls and feeling a bit on the vulnerable side, without talking to you.

- Tell you why your bra might not be fitting.  Now, 9 times out of 10 the issue is the back (underband) is far too large, and the cup is toaty.

- Fit you with a bra that suits your body shape, this includes how full your bust is and the shape of your boobies; the curvature of your breast bone; the shape of your back and the shape of your shoulders.  We don't just look at boobies, however many males seem to think this is the case! We need to consider all aspects of the upper half of your lovely body.  One person in a 32E could be a very different shape to another in the same size.

- Once the fitter and your lovely self have found a bra that you feel fits well, she will then run through all the ways it should be currently fitting you.  Here they are:

  • The underband should always be on the loosest hook and eye (that's the outermost) and you should be able to only run 3/4 fingers underneath your underband at the ribs and at the closure. You should definitely not be able to pull your bra away from your body, it should be snug.  The underband is what gives you support (not the straps!!!), so try and get used to it being firm, it is worth it!

  • The reason for this hook & eye loosest setting malarky, is so that when you wash your bra and wear and stretch it (hopefully with love), you can tighten it in a wee notch each time. This means your bra will always fit lovely and snug until you stretch it out on the last hook & eye. At that point you might have to say RIP to your favey bra and go and treat yourself to a new one!

  • The bridge (that's the bit of material in the middle between your cups) should always sit flush against your chest, in wired bras.  If it does not it may simply be that the shape of the bridge doesn't follow the shape of your breast bone.  Try a few different shapes of bras and bridges out.  You should really be able to slide one finger under your bridge also.  As a side note of advice, usually ladies with a deeper chest bone who's breasts are closer together suit a taller bridge that can slot in there nicely and separate your boobies out.  Those ladies with a flatter chest bone (like myself) can quite often wear most shapes of bridges, but personally I prefer a balcony style with a bit of a shorter bridge.

  • You should have no over spill and no gaping in the cups.  The material should not pucker in non padded bras, but should be lovely and taught against your breast.  A good wee trick to check your boobies aren't having a bit of a double boob affect, is to turn to the side and look in the mirror side on.  Looking down does not help!

  • The straps should be adjusted so that you can slide a wee finger underneath it (between the strap and your shoulder) and have it with a little pull against your finger.  I cannot stress enough that you should never have to tighten your straps to keep your bra up.  This is how you will get indents and problems with your shoulders.  Let the underband do the work for you!  That's what it's there for after all.

  • Your bra should form one smooth line from your chest to your back.  In other words, your bra should be in the same position at the front and at the back, not up at the back and down at the front, or vice versa.

  • The wires should be behind your breast tissue and not touching it.  Feel for where your breast tissue starts and where your wire is.  If the cup is too small your wire will most likely be sitting on soft breast tissue.  Before I started as a fitter I used to take my bra off at night and feel like I was bruised.  This was because the wires were digging into my breasts.  The wire is there to encase your breast tissue right round your breast, but should not be touching or nipping it, either at the side or at the front.

  • Put your bra on however you wish, but remember to scoop & shoogle! Make sure you scoop all your breast tissue into your cup and that you are well and firmly seated properly in your comfy wee boob house.  Bend forward and grab your underband and shake from side to side, making sure you the bra is sitting on you properly.
This lovely wee diagram rounds it up a little prettier than I can!


Finally, it's important to remember ladies, that if a bra doesn't fit you it's the bras issue, not yours!  It clearly just isn't 'the one'.  There is a bra out there for all of us, much like a soul mate, no matter what shape or size we are.  Take the time to get yourself fitted, it's just as important (if not more) than the rest of your stylish outfit and will definitely make you look and feel much more confident.  A great fitting bra does wonders for the self esteem, try it!  Remember that you should try your bras on, just like you would a pair of shoes, before buying.  Take time to try it on under your top and see how you feel in it.  Love your boobies and your body!  I would say probably 90% of ladies I've ever fitted had pretty much the same first opening sentence when I stepped behind that curtain: " Oh excuse my flab, excuse my skin, excuse this & that".  Ladies you should never feel like you have to justify yourself to anyone (and as fitters we are only interested in your wonderful boobies anyway!).

So go on lovely ladies, get yourself a new bra wardrobe started!  Remember that you are changing size all the time, whether you are losing or gaining weight, (even if you don't feel you have), your size is never the same throughout your life span.  Aim to get fitted at least twice a year, schedule it in!  Debenhams Bra Fit Event will be running from 6th-26th April, offering a free fit (& usually a £5 off voucher when you spend a certain amount on bras following a fit), so it is well worth a wee gander!

Remember to check in soon & be part of the bra revolution ladies!

Please feel free to comment or privately message me if you would like about any bra related questions! I'm not so scary & neither are bras.

Until the next post...

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness- The no makeup 'selfie'

Another Facebook fad has seemingly developed overnight- 'the no make up selfie', originally started for Breast Cancer Awareness.  Now, whilst I'm all for charity and fundraising,  I feel I can offer a little bit more than my spotty face to the world wide web.  So, after texting my donation, I offer up some advice, on checking your beloved boobies and I'll probably throw in a few of my own experiences fitting lovely ladies who have been through breast cancer.

So let's get to the important part that many ladies are still a little unsure of; checking your boobs.  There are lots of excellent little diagrams and bits and pieces of advice out there on the best way to do this, but my personal favourite is 'TLC'. Touch, Look, Check.  It's a lovely little concise way of getting into a routine of checking your boobies and makes it a little less daunting, in my opinion.

Touch your breasts, does anything feel abnormal?  You know your body best.

Look for any changes in the shape and texture of your breasts.

Check anything you may be unsure of with your GP.  That's what they're there for after all!

Try to get yourself into a wee routine of checking, a good time is in the bath or shower.  Most cases of breast cancer are picked up by you lovely ladies being aware of changes to your boobs.

Look out for these particular changes, when you are checking your breasts

Find out more on

Breakthrough have also developed a nifty wee app for iPhone and Android, with a handy wee reminder service and some very useful videos.  It also gives you some great little tips on how your lifestyle may increase your risk of breast cancer. You can download it here.

If you are one of the inspiring ladies who has experienced breast cancer and as such has had a mastectomy or lumpectomy, I can't encourage you enough to get fitted.  This is understandably a nerve-wracking concept to many ladies who have had these procedures and who may now be wearing a prosthesis.  You are not alone and you have every bit the same right as all of us to feel gorgeous, feminine and sexy in your lingerie.  You are not restricted to a life of non-wired and non supportive bras lovely ladies!  True, you are usually recommended to stay in your non-wired bras until your scar tissue is lovely and healed and not quite as tender, but you can eventually get back into wires.

Many, many women in this particular situation are very unaware of their lingerie options, but there are so many gorgeous (wired) bras out there that work perfectly with a prosthesis, (double or single).  I have fitted many ladies who have come to the point where they have given up on finding the correct sized bra with their prosthesis and have accepted that they never will.  A well trained fitter should spend time with you finding the correct size and shape of bra for your body, whilst being the style you desire.

So get yourself fitted ladies!  There are many wonderfully skilled bra fitters who are kind and knowledgeable and will put you at ease.  There is not enough information about where is good to get fitted, however I would always recommend Debenhams (Argyle Street if you are in Glasgow).

Be breast aware and be part of the bra revolution, ladies.

Leave comments or get in touch, I'd love to hear from you & your experiences.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Liebster Award, Hooray!

Now this Liebster award thingy was a bit of a head scratcher to begin with, however I think I have gotten my blonde noggin around it now.  Nominated by the lovely Oyster Girl, it's a wonderful little way of networking with like-minded bloggers and the chance to give readers a wee bit more of an insight into the writer behind 'Fill Your Cups', (because I'm sure you're all dying to know).  I have a set of well thought out questions to answer, alongside some facts about myself.  I feel like I'm under a spotlight now!

11 (insert your favourite adjective) Facts about me...

- I am 23 and currently in my second year of  BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy.

- When I was younger I lived in many countries, my dad was an army man.

- You could probably say I have a (slightly unhealthy) obsession with all things Disney & Harry Potter.

- I used to be a Veterinary Nurse.

- I am a lover of all things old, vintage and unique.

- If I am near a charity shop I need to go in, for fear of missing out on a hidden gem or bargain.

- Most of my favourite movies are either black & white, or old classics.

- I love spending time around people, especially old folk.  They have the most wonderful stories which aren't 
  listened to enough.

- I sometimes think that I could be Alice In Wonderland.

- Gin is my tipple of choice, closely followed by peppermint tea.

- I would love to pet a Giraffe.

Now my designated questions from the lovely oyster girl...

1. Why did you start your blog?
I began 'Fill Your Cups', after working for almost 5 years as a bra fitter and realising how many ladies just do not have enough information about the fit of their bra, their bodies & their boobies.  I also like to talk.

2. Morning person or night owl?

Most definitely a night owl, me.  Mornings and I usually have some heated debates and stern words going on.

3. Savoury or sweet?

I am 100% a savoury person.  I could devour cheese and biscuits and not be fussed about a box of chocolates being passed around.  Chocolate, cakes & all things sweetly are not the ones for me, sadly.

4. Favourite season in the year?
This question is tricky for such an indecisive person as me.  I like all the seasons for their own unique reasons.  If I had to choose, winter & summer are both my favourite in equal measures.

5. Whats the one item you could not live without?
I really like dry shampoo.  I feel this may be the item I couldn't live without, but I worry that's a bit... stupid/ boring.  That's my final answer. (I need to also make a shout-out to my beloved bed.)

6. What was the first job you wanted to do when you were wee?
According to family members, when I was about 3, I used to tell people that I was going to grow up to become a taxi driver.  I would seriously worry for my passenger's well-being if that were the case now.

7. Dogs or cats?
I am and always will be, a dog person.

8. In a zombie apocalypse would you board yourself in your home with plenty of supplies OR get in your car with a full tank of petrol and drive with limited supplies?
I feel this is a question I should consult my boyfriend on, as he's the one who plays all the games & would probably be of most help in such a menacing situation.  However, I think I would get in the car & drive.  Being cooped up would probably drive me insane and I'm too nosey to stay cut off from everything.

9. If you were invisible for a day what would you do?
I would probably like to play pranks on people, but then I'm not sure if that would only be funny with an accomplice. I think I would go to the Harry Potter studios as a sneaky free admission, (so wild).

10. Do you believe in fate?
I'm a great believer in 'What's for you, won't go by you', all the ladies in my family love that motto.  I suppose that fate is a bit of a similar concept, so yes, I do.

11. How long have you been blogging for?
 Just over a week.  I'm just beginning to find my feet in the maze that is the blogging world.

So now that that is done, I need to nominate some other nice blogger folk to take us on a wee trip into their world. So for this, I nominate:

And here are my 11 questions for you ladies!

1) What pushed you into beginning a blog?
2) What is your 'must-have' beauty product?
3) What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
4) What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
5) What's your favourite book and why?
6) What's your favourite thing about where you live?
7) If you could buy anything, disregarding cost, what would that item be?
8) What is something unique about yourself?
9) Where is your favourite place to shop?
10) If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
11) What is one piece of advice you would give to your readers?

Well that's a wrap folks!  Thanks again to The Oyster Girl for the award & I hope the new award winners enjoy their questions.  I think this is possibly the longest post I have done so far, so pats on the back all round, for those of you that lasted 'till the end!  

Until the next post...

Saturday, 15 March 2014

It's not so scary!

Bra fitting... It seems that most women who read this phrase will either think one of a few things:

1) I haven't had my bra fitted in years, I've just worn the same size since I was fitted when I was  18...(most women).

2) Oh my god, I could never get my bra fitted, what a scary concept!

3) Bra fitting...what does that involve?

4) Bra fitters talk nonsense, I'm a 34b and I always will be.

5) Bra fitters talk nonsense, noone can get my size right.

Fear not lovely ladies! I am here to (try to) save the day!  Whenever I have been around ladies and have mentioned the topic of me having worked as a bra fitter, it seems that the majority of women know very little about this 'phenomena', but really do want to know more.  Most ladies have had at least one experience of being fitted, but it seems that, as a whole, you lovely ladies don't have enough information about your boobies, bra types or your body shape.  So this is my new aim in life (alongside becoming a qualified occupational therapist).

So, first thing's first; how do you actually know if your bra fits or not?  Now, there is a lot of information floating around online and in department stores and lingerie boutiques that gives you ladies completely conflicting info.  Understandably, this can be frustrating and will probably put you off bra fitting entirely, leaving you to wander aimlessly around stores trying every bra size possible until one looks 'decent enough'. This won't do! Ladies, you deserve better. Here are some magic little pointers, that will question everything you thought normal about your ill-fitting bra.

- The cups gape at the top, (or alternatively gives you four boobs), or the wires sit on your breast tissue
-The under-band rides up your back, or is always on the tightest hook and eye
- The straps dig into your shoulders, giving you an indentation
- You can fit five arms up the under-band of your bra (this is clearly wrong, or you are an alien)
-You can easily pull your under-band away from your body
-Your bra moves when you lift your arms, (or with any movement)
- Your boobies spill out of your bra in every which way (under, over, side, middle)
-Your bra just feels uncomfortable, but you can't pinpoint what it is.

                                  This wonderful little guide comes from Debenhams, it allows you to compare 
                                             your own bra to the lovely, (super skinny) model.  The concepts are the same.

If you've related to any of these pointers, your bra does not fit you!!  Many ladies go for a fitting, or regular fittings, in boutiques and department stores and still find these points relate to them.  If that is the case, you are not being fitted correctly either.

Now that you've worked out that your bra, is in fact not fitting, my next wee post will focus on how to get that magical little garment fitting like a glove.  Encouraging you to feel confident, feminine and lovely.

It's not so scary ladies! We all deserve to make the most of our boobies and the first step is working out that your bra does not fit you!  Are you one of the 75% who is wearing the wrong bra size?

Get sharing & check back soon!  Be part of the bra revolution.

Monday, 10 March 2014

I'm too slow for fashion...

Jumping on the blogger 'bandwagon', after watching a few of my friends begin their own, I somehow felt I was missing out on a personal and creative way of expression.  "So, let's start a blog", I thought to myself.

I've never been a girl that's particularly in the know about beauty and make-up, usually sticking to the good old 'tried and tested' shades and brands, browns mainly.  I don't think I'm brave enough to try new and bright colours, (usually worrying I'll look like a clown), so a beauty blog from me would be a waste of everybody's time.  I could envision the end result of me being very skint with a fat make up bag of products I'm pretty clueless about and too scared to even bother using. So that was out the window.  Fashion?  Well, unless folk want to read about the bargain 50p jumper I just snapped up from the charity shop, that's not really an area I follow very much either.  I don't read fashion magazines and I'm pretty baffled about what's on trend for each season.  Fashion confuses me and I think I should give up trying to be 'fashionable'.  Each time I try to get in with the seasons latest trend, folk have already moved onto the next one.  I'm too slow for fashion, I think that's my problem.

So here I am.  Slow and clueless, (with a boring face and wearing the clothes of someone who may, or may not be dead), drifting along in my own little world, as I have often been told.  It wasn't until a few days ago when I was filling out 'my skills' in a job application that I had a bit of a lightbulby moment.  Bras!  Here was something I had a fair knowledge of.  Having worked as a trained bra fitter, for almost five years, this is something I could say I feel pretty confident in.  Boobs!  It's true, I have seen many boobs of various shapes and sizes, and often felt my job was some kind of problem solving exercise, scratching my blonde head on many occasions.  However, boobs are an area I have a decent knowledge of (if I do say so myself) and is a topic which still interests (and often irritates) me on almost a daily basis.

Almost every time that I find myself in a public area, I desperately want to yank somebody's bra tighter or pour their spilling boobs back into their cases.  It is shocking how many women have no clue about bras, when it is the basis of our daily outfits. I admitted that I'm pretty clueless to fashion, but a good fitting bra is the foundation of every great dress or top, whatever the style. It baffles me how some women can go through a good chunk of their lives wearing bra sizes sometimes 4 or 5 times too big/small.  I have fitted many women who have worn only one size, the majority of their adult life, which nine times out of ten is completely wrong.  A lot of women are being told the wrong, (often conflicting) information by various department stores and lingerie shops.

So, for this blog, I offer my knowledge of bras, lingerie and fitting, in the hope that some lovely ladies will realise their full bra and body potential; whether big, small, real, fake or reconstructed.  A good fitting bra can change your whole outfit, posture, appearance and attitude.  There needs to be a bra revolution and hopefully this little blog (and you) can promote the magical garment and wear it with confidence.

Get sharing and check back soon.  Be part of the bra revolution!