File this one under Everyone's Body Is Different — but its near impossible for me to find a bra that fits.
A few years ago on a visit to see my my oldest sister, I was lamenting how every bra I owned would inevitably ride up over the course of a day. She introduced me to A Bra That Fits as well as the proper way to tell if a bra fits.
Like basically everyone, I thought bras came in a 32 band width and that was that, tough shit if it rides up. But it turns out I'm not a freak and smaller rib cages ARE a thing and there are in fact companies that made size 30 bands and even smaller.
I immediately went out and bought myself a handful of beautiful, expensive size 30C and D bras.
In the intervening years I've started to seek out more sustainable and ethical brands while also choosing to be more comfortable. I don't really wear those nice bras anymore because I realized I always looked forward to getting home and immediately ditching the underwire prison.
The initial change was switching to a bralette. I searched high and low for something minimal and non lacy that I could just pull over my head and call it a day. It also needed to have some kind of lining so I could wear it to work without living in nip city. I found one on Amazon that fit the bill and have bought three of them over the last year and a half. The problem is they are like $10 and almost certainly made in a sweatshop. Not good. They also eventually stretch out like any other bra and need to be replaced.
This fall I tried a bralette from White Rabbit NYC and was disappointed to find weird sizing and also no lining to speak of. When I sent it back, they asked for feedback and boy did I give it. I recited the list of qualities I was looking for and mentioned how hard it is to find a bralette to check all those boxes.
Sometime in November, White Rabbit reached out and offered to send me a trial bralette in exchange for feedback. They had implemented a number of changes to the style and wanted to see if I'd give it a shot. I was excited to try it out and accepted.
The new and improved Ann bralette was indeed improved. Most of all, it has removable padding. They sent me a size M but the band was enormous — something I was assured would be fixed before they went into final production. It was encouraging that someone was working on a more ethical alternative to other basic bralettes and that they'd actually listened to user feedback.
When the Ann 2.0 went on sale, I bought one in size small. The size medium I had kept and taken in the band considerably to make it wearable. I was disappointed to find the size small still had a ginormous band. So after wearing it a few times and having it ride up, I decided to take in this band as well.
A note about the lacy band — there's a thin strip of elastic above and below the stretch lace, but during the day the lace gets scrunched up between because it has no heft of its own. This I consider a design flaw. Besides the fact I'm just not into lace like this, I feel like the thin elastic is flimsy. I am planning to make a bralette from scratch at some point, and I will for sure be using heavy, thick elastic for the band.
The Ann isn't perfect by any means, and it's annoying that the band starts out so big, but it's a solid bralette. I wouldn't go as far as to whole-heartedly recommend it, but if you have something similar you need to take in, maybe my experience will encourage you to do so if it means getting some more milage out of what you have.
So without further ado, here's some step by step photos of how I salvaged both the bralettes so that they are now tight enough for me to wear all day and not have ride up.