What I Wore: Bras, Pregnancy Edition, and How to Save Money
In the last few posts, I’ve talked about how my breasts have changed over the course of my pregnancy, bra fitting and bra recommendations, and pregnancy bra fitting advice that REALLY didn’t work for me and why. But undergoing all this change hasn’t been cheap! No one’s ever going to have the same type of breast change in pregnancy, but I thought it might be helpful to see exactly how I got by with bras during my pregnancy and share some tips for saving money while your chest is in flux. So, without further ado…
WHAT I WORE IN BRAS, beginning of pregnancy through 36 weeks:
- First trimester: Fantasie 4520, 30G, while waiting for new bras from Skype fitting (note: I most likely was a size 28H or so at this time, so the cups on the bra were a bit small for me — I probably needed a 30GG, the sister size. But, like I mentioned here, the cups are quite stretchy so it got me through til I had better fitting options.)
- Second trimester: Started with the Ewa Michalak PL Black, 65/30H worn on tightest hook. Sized up to Panache Cleo Chloe, 28J, worn on loosest hook; Ewa Michalak CH Toffik, 65/30HH, worn on tightest hook; Ewa Michalak PL Onyx, 65/30J, worn on second tightest hook
- Third trimester: Weeks 28-33, Panache Cleo Eleanor, 30HH worn on tightest or middle hook and EM PL Onyx 65/30J; weeks 33-present, Panache Cleo Alexa, 30J worn on tightest hook and Bravissimo Lucine in 30J worn on tightest or middle hook
Total new bras needed over 10 months: 7
(Note: these are the bras I wore the most during pregnancy, although I did purchase and rotate in several other Ewa Michalaks during part of the second and third trimesters in order to write this review of them, here.)
While the Ewa Michalak and Bravissimo bras are reasonably priced at $28-$45 or so apiece, the rest are squarely in the $45-$60 range. I spent roughly $300 or so on bras during my pregnancy–not cheap! So I wondered what I could have done to save more money.
The options I mentioned for stretching your bras between sizes in pregnancy are a good way to keep you in a bra for longer and hold you over from size to size until you can get a couple of bras in your new size, but when you DO need a new bra, here are a few other ways you could save some cash. These all work best if you already know the size and style of the bra you’re hoping to score for less, whether that’s from trying on bras in stores or sussing out your size with a good bra calculator and/or your current fit.
Ebay it. What I’ve done is just put in the brand, style, and size of the bra I’m looking for (e.g. “Panache Cleo Alexa 30J”) and see what pops up. Usually I can find what I’m looking for brand new from an actual vendor versus an individual (also great because they may be eligible for return), for around $20. For example, I get two hits for the Alexa 30J search, both brand new from a vendor, and both about $20/$25. Sometimes you can find what’s currently in stores and sometimes you can find an old discontinued style or colorway. You can also just put in the brand and size of the bra to get more results, e.g. “Panache Cleo 30J”. That search gives me 9 hits.
Check out UK lingerie site Brastop for great discounts. Here a 30J search gives me 25 bras in my size on sale, most nearly half off. Shipping to the US is about $11, pretty hefty, but if you know what you’re looking for and don’t have to pay to return anything, it will still work out to be a significant savings over new at retail. Everything in my size selection was between $20 and $34.
Bratabase’s resell page. This recently launched and includes bras for resell from Bratabase users that are new, new without tags, slightly used, or used. The prices are a range but you can find some for $10/$15, bras up for swap, or straight up giveaways. The bras should have measurements listed to help you determine if it will work for you. Here’s a sample listing of a sports bra currently for sale:
If you don’t know much about Bratabase, head over and check it out. You can enter your measurements and how the bras you currently own fit you and look up other bras you’re considering purchasing to see how they fit women with similar measurements, so you can hopefully figure out if it runs true-to-size, small, large, etc, to help when you’re ordering online.
Finally, Nordstrom Rack often carries Freya styles specifically ordered for their store, something I learned at my Nordstrom fitting. From what I was told, the prices are around $30.
So, how do you save money on bras? Any other tips or hints for scoring them for less?