Got big boobs? Been bra shopping in Newmarket, Auckland at Avocado? It’s a game changer.
Such a game changer, one of my dear friends from my Rotorua neighbourhood posse waved a finger at my girls and asked “What’s up with those girls?” My girls, FYI, were proudly on display (if I do say so myself) underneath a particularly clingy t-shirt. Of course, I whipped up my t-shirt, flashed her and said “I’ve got a new bra and it’s ah-mazing”. I’m that kind of friend. No holds barred. No shame. I’ll show you my boobs.
But first, the background. Despite being a shopaholic, the notion of tog, jeans and bra shopping fill me with dread. Togs, nuff said. Jeans,well, as a 5”1 curvy lass, finding something that fits my smallish waist, yet snugs my large ass whilst allowing me to sit down, and finish at the ankle sans hem amendment, was next to impossible (until JeansWest rescued me with their curve embracer range).
Bra shopping though, that’s next level soul-destroying. You seen I have big DD boobs, a small under-carriage, and I’m on an endless quest for bras with straps that aren’t ‘nana wide’ i.e. that don’t dig in and cause dented shoulders. Also, as someone who had a boob reduction, I have an overhanging bit of, erm, flab, under my arms. This, clearly, needs containing. Then there’s the bra trying on process: To be blunt, witnessing, first-hand my flabby tummy in full flight, knowing I should have gone for more early evening summer walks and turned down that second BBQ sausage… Yeah it’s not fun. Most of the time I’m content with my #inbetweenie* size, eyeballing my jiggly tummy at close range though: Not fun.
Anyhoo, on a recent jaunt to Auckland, the morning after the Adele concert, my buddy Max and I, headed to Newmarket so Max could go bra shopping at Avokado. Now, Max a fellow member of The Boobalicious Club, has been waxing lyrical about Avokado for years: It is the only place she trusts to buy bras and, as it turns out, I have several other friends who are also Avokado Ambassadors. Me? I was an Avokado bra virgin. AlbeitI’d bought a halter neck bikini top from them online two summers ago (it’s still going strong: Good buy). I was keen to tag along with Max as I needed a new bra anyway. Also, I was terrified at the prospect of being left to my own devices with MAC and Mecca Cosmetica around the corner #nowillpower.
Wow – what variety, with bras that are totes my cup of tea EVERYWHERE. No Nana bras in sight: There was simply an array of colour in the form of big boobie holders. Whilst Avokado do specialise in bras with a larger cup, they offer small bands too, i.e. size 6 and 8, right through to a size 26 band. That’s over 100 sizes of bra heaven (I asked how many sizes they stock, it seems I’m a bra nerd).
Desperate to try on, I bailed up Michelle, Avokado Bra Fitting Ninja. I told her I was after “something sexy” (hubby’s strict orders). I added I might need an everyday bra, something shaped nicely to wear under a t-shirt. To kick things off, Michelle asked me what bra size I usually wore. Right after that, something really interesting happened:
- Michelle trotted off and fetched a bra in my regular size 14DD. I headed to the changing rooms (which are lux and sexy).
- Michelle then got me in a 14DD bra, eyeballed me, talked me through what she was looking at and gently announced “You aren’t a 14DD”… This was confirmed by trying on a series of bras in my correct size and literally, eyeballing the difference after trial and error. Now I know why I was always adjusting (pulling down) the band on my bra at the back. It was too bloody big.
- Long story short – I’m a 12E and I’ve been wearing the wrong size bra for, seemingly ages.
Firstly, it was a bit of a shock to go from a DD to an E, especially as someone who has been a bit, well, screwed in the head as a result of having mammoth breasts, ultimately resulting in a breast reduction. With this in mind, you can kind of understand when I had a heart plummeting ‘WTF moment’ when I learnt my boobs were bigger than I thought (I have no desire to end back up at G cup). Michelle, what a darling, calmed me down and put things back into perspective: I learned that a 14DD is exact same cup volume as a 12E, as a 10F as an 8FF… Well that’s a relief. As an aside, I hope this bra trivia will come in handy at a Quiz Night in the future.
Here’s the good thing anyway, once my bra size sorted, I proceeded to try on a whole heap of bras (Michelle says “Size first, styles second”.
By the way, when I say I tried on a whole heap of bras, I’m being quite literal. Below was half of what I tried on (I got excited and tried on All The Bras).
By the time I’d tried all of these on, I knew I was screwed with leaving with just one bra. Whilst Michelle was off scouting for more styles, I sent a series of sneaky texts to hubby with selfies of some samples. He text back with unheard of enthusiasm for an introvert (he’s usually very economical with his texts). Yup, my instruction was to “go hard” (LOL).
Be Your Own Bra Shopping Expert
Look, apart from being a total delight, the whole experience at Avokado was educational and I’m now my own bra shopping expert. By knowing what is wrong with bra fitting, I know how to identify getting it right! Things Michelle taught me to look out for, FYI:
- Boobs spilling out over the bra cup (means the cup is too small). To test this, Michelle taught me the ‘wriggle and shake’ test. Literally get the bra on, bend at the waist, do the shimmy shimmy shake, and get the girls into the cup. From there:
- The cup isn’t filled out? This means the cup is too big.
- Band riding up at the back? This means the band size is too big.
- If your boobs stay in your cup, and the band stays snug? Bingo, this means you’ve got the right size.
Top tip from Michelle: Size doesn’t matter, the fit is the most important thing. She’s so wise.
Here’s some too big examples. I was disappointed about the Flamingo number… Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
Bra shopping, it seems, all comes down to a quality shimmy shimmy shake. Gosh, who knew?
What was my bra investment?
I purchased three bras, one being a matching bra and undie set (I was under instruction). Now, I’ve used the word investment here, on purpose, as to cut to the chase, you aren’t going to walk out of Avokado with a $30 bra. Not even a $40 bra. Nope, you are paying a premium for quality. You are also paying for durability.
Look, I bought these bras 10 weeks ago, I have only worn these three bras on rotation, followed the washing instructions (read: Wash them in a lingerie bag) and they all look as good as new. Yes, I spent $242.80 for three bras, which required a deep breath, but my girls look effing awesome. Also, because I’m wearing good bras, that are the right size (who knew…) I legit look like I’ve had a boob job. At the age of 41, where every year my girls inch closer to ‘needing a wheelbarrow one day”, this is a gamechanger. Drumroll: I have lifted boobs, without having had (another) boob job.
NO MORE BACK PAIN
This brings me to the best bit of all. As someone who has big girls (and mine are significantly smaller than what they were pre boob reduction!) I have been a frequent sufferer of backache. I have Nurofen next to my bed. I’m a frequenter of a hot wheatsack around my neck to ease my neckpain. All of this was as a result of back strain from big girls. I’ve noticed an absolute reduction in backpain since I’ve hooked myself up with Avokado’s bras: I’m standing straighter, taller (snort, I’m 5”1, it all helps), and there is not so much pressure on my neck and back… Because I’m wearing a nice firm band around the back. $242.80 in bras? It was totally worth it. Besides, I’ve saved a fortune in Nurofen and Voltaren and taking these long-term is not ideal.
Oh, hubby is also happy. He likes red. He likes lace. I got this. He wants me to go back and get something sexier next time. Well, OK then. No worries.
Going back to my friend who commented on “what’s up with those girls”, she wasn’t the only person to comment. “Boobs look good in that top”, from my usually unobservant husband, are words I have heard frequently. I’ve also been asked a few times if I’ve lost weight. My stock standard reply is “nah, I’ve contoured today, and I’m wearing a cracking bra from Avokado”.
Fit wise, here’s a pic of me in my favourite t-shirt (from Max) with new t-shirt on. Alas, I don’t have a before photo, but trust me, my boobs are higher and have a whole heap more shape than the bra I had on before (Bendon, which was a good fit, according to Michelle, but not a patch in terms of wear and style on my new Freya number from Avo).
How to buy
If you want a piece of Avokado action, you’ve got three options. Make a bee-line to their Newmarket store. Shop online. Or, get in touch and hook yourself up with a Skype fitting. Yes, you read that right, Skype. Here’s more details on how this works. I’d totally give this a go knowing what I know now, their sales assistance are bra fitting ninjas.
For me, for future Avokado bra shopping, because there will be, will be done over the phone. I’ll eyeball their website, then I’ll just ring ’em up, tell ’em what I want, they’ll look at what I bought last time and make recommendations based on what I liked online. Having had the ah-mazing experience I had back in March, despite being a sceptical shopper, Avokado have my full boobie trust. Since I did my shopping, another friend (a convert) told me she rings up once a year, orders 5-6 bras over the phone. Gets ’em, tries ’em on, returns the bras that aren’t for her and gets a full refund for the returns. How cool is that?
To say I’m delighted with how my girls look now, would be a vast understatement. Am I an Avokado convert? You bettcha, and, judging by the feedback from people who contacted me after a Facebook and Instagram post where I waxed lyrical, I’m not alone. One Facebook follower who is a H cup Facebooked me and said I’d changed her life. Alas, I can’t take the credit, I’m just a mouthpiece, and when I’m a fan, I shout from the Internet (and put pictures of myself on there wearing a bra, hells bells, how far I’ve come).
Avokado. Get in. Oh, they have a cracking array of togs too. I personally recommend the Freya black and white spot halter neck bikini top. Here’s me on my 40th birthday wearing it. So young. Sigh.
*inbetweenie: It’s a thing. Curvy women, like me, that, at a size 14 are at the upper end of mainstream retail stores, but not quite in plus size clothing. Don’t believe me? Go to Instagram and look up #inbetweenie or #inbetweenietribe. It’s a thing.