So… this is it: the blog post I have been threatening you all with for the past few weeks… the one about smalls.

Just to be clear I do mean underwear (… or lingerie if you’re posh!)

At this point I must apologise… I’d drafted an ‘outline’ for this post a couple of weeks ago, but having not looked at it since, I’ve scrapped it and started from scratch… there was far too much waffle and I was all over the place.

But I shan’t drone on about that, as I know you’re all desperate to read about pants and bras, so here we go…

Check your Bra Size!


Though preferably someone a little more qualified that a Kenneth Williams type.

It’s been said a thousand times and more in fashion mags and blogs and on TV Fashion items…. so if you haven’t been measured for a while – go book an appointment now!

I’d recommend, in this order:

  • Rigby & Peller on Regent Street if you are in London – it’s where the Queen gets her smalls from. So if it’s good enough for Queenie and all that.  They measure by eye and are spot on.  You don’t have to buy from them, and they are well aware that a lot of customers want to get an accurate measurement only.
  • If you have a Bravissimo nearby, then they are next best; again, they size you up by eye.  Bravissimo tend to specialise in D+ cup sizes… but DO NOT be put off by that because you will get an accurate measurement, which will be on a par with Rigby and Peller.
  • Failing that, I’d say your next best bet would be John Lewis…

I would never chose to be measured at Marks and Spencer, whom I find to be the most inaccurate.

And here’s why:

Many, many years ago, I was measured at M&S as a 32C… and I wore that size for years.   I did go back a couple of times over the next 10 years or so and always the same thing, a 32C.

However, about 15/16 years ago, in our early 30s my friends and I decided to get measure at the Queen’s favoured undies shop, Rigby and Peller (or just RP from here on in…) and let me tell you I was in for a shock!

The bra fitters there never use tape measures… they just know their sh!t and make pretty excellent judgments just by eye.

So how did my fitting go?

Well, my bra fitter looked concerned when she saw the back of my 32C bra… it was done up on the tightest hook, and yet, it wasn’t super tight or the best fit, but as far as I was concerned it was the best I could get for teensy me.

Anyway, my bra fitter did that back-strap-flip, where she put one finger under the back-stap, pulled it a little and wrapped around a second finger (not the best explanation, but it’s all I’ve got!); she then also used her other hand to pull on one of the shoulder straps.

I instantly felt better.

More secure, supported and… er… lifted.

She smiled sweetly and declared I was a size 28DD.


I’d never heard of a 28 sized back bra size and I was never a DD cup: was I?

But apparently there are brands which do 28 back bras, and I was a DD cup.


She went on to explain that I could get away with wearing a 30D because there are very few brands which make 28, but that with a 30 back bra, I’d probably need to do the bra up on the middle hook.

And finally, there are some brands which come up small, and so a 32C would be okay in those brands, but again, I would need to do the bra up on the middle, or last hook from the off which would mean the bra wouldn’t last me as long.

In theory, you should be able to wear your brand new bra’s on the loosest, outer hook; over time, the more you wash your bra, the more the elasticity starts to go and so you move on to the middle and eventually tightest hook.

A friend of mine who was measured at the same time had been in a 34 back bra for years… after being measured, turns out she was only a 30 back!

RP didn’t have anything in my size, although they offered to alter a bra for me which would have brought the cost of it up to £120+ odd… eek!

They suggested I popped across the road to Harrods where there were some great brands for smaller backed bras

Best Bra’s for small backs?

Freya: stocked at Bravissimo, Freya make generally rather structured bras (underwired) and the shoulder straps are wide – too wide for my petite shoulders, but given they make Bras in a 28 and 30 back, I wore this brand for many years:


Bravissimo do good sales and you can often pick up this brand for bargain prices at Figleaves as well as The Bra Stop, however there might be limited availability in your chosen style /size in the sales sections.

My only gripe about Freya Bras, and indeed all of the brands which are inclusive enough to make bras in smaller back sizes… is that whilst they make good, supportive ‘sturdy’ bras for ladies with larger (back & cup) sizes… there just isn’t the same need to have a 2cm wide (or more) shoulder strap when you are a teensy tiny 28 back.

Pre-pregnancies, I didn’t mind these structured bras.

But after two rounds of breast feeding, I do find the rigid structure of these bravissimo stocked brands – even in their t-shirt bras, a bit too much nowadays.

A couple of regular bra ranges which are good for anyone with a small back as they do tend to come up smaller (as in tighter across the back) than most are:

both are sold at most department stores and figleaves.

I got measured up last week in London and whilst there was no change in size, there’s something which has definitely changed in my rib-cage shape and I won’t talk about actual post baby boobs – but needless to say, things have never been the same.

I didn’t go for terribly structured bras, I just find them mega uncomfortable nowadays – got a couple from Elle Macpherson range at House of Fraser & now going to see if I can get any bargains in the sales.

A final word on smaller back sized bras: you can get some 30 back bras in John Lewis which are OK, and then Debenhams as well… though the Debenhams ones tend not to wash well and lose their shape very quickly in my experience.



I like big pants and I cannot lie.

Not quite the enormous granny pants Bridget Jones is holding up here… but I like full coverage.

I never, ever got used to anything ‘less’:

Thongs, boy-cut… anything which will basically ride up into…erm, let’s start again: anything which is flossing or gives the feeling of a wedgie is a big, fat NO from me.

I don’t care about VPL!

If I have made an error of judgement and am wearing white cotton trousers which are thin and a little see-through, then I’d rather have VPL with my back side covered in white pants showing, rather than my actual butt cheeks being flossed on display.

I can’t help it.

Just how I am!

I used to  be ‘a pack-of-five M&S Cotton size Minis’ girl.

But that was 20 odd years ago, and M&S sizing appears to be more generous these days… so much so, that even their size 6 knickers (should they have any) are some what loose on me.

So, my favourite brand of pants is an Australian brand called Bonds (available at House of Fraser & John Lewis) with the Bikini Brief being my favourite cut:


Though sadly, they cost a bit more than a tenner for a pack of 5.

In fact, they seem to go for £10 – £16 a pop.


For a great many years I didn’t pay UK prices for my Bonds knickers.

First up, the husband, long before he was my husband… was travelling and in Australia.  Just before he came home I put in a request for some Bonds knickers.

He dutifully obliged and the knickers were just 5AUD a pop… he called me from the till as the lady serving him advised that there was a 2-for-1 offer on, and asked me whether I wanted 10 pairs (paying for just 5) or should he still buy 10, getting 20 because of the offer.

I was at work when his call came through… #embarrassing

Anyway, being a greedy girl – I went for the option of 20 bargain knickers!

A couple of years down the line, my parents had an Australian family move in next door and every Christmas, when they went to visit family in Oz, my mum would put in a knicker request for me.

Yup – even my parents neighbours knew my pants size & preference! Embarrassing I know… but I never really saw them, so… I got over it.

Now though, I am sadly at a point where I *do* have to pay UK prices… and although Bonds seem expensive for just cotton pants – they wash brilliantly, last ages without loss of colour and elasticity… plus, there is full backside coverage – just as I like:


There is a sale on in House of Fraser at the mo – so its a good time to stock up.  And advance warning – they only sell the Bonds knickers online, *not* in-store.

And that’s it!

That is my two pence worth on undies… can’t believe it took this long to publish this post!

Would love to hear your thoughts on pants?  Wow that sounds wrong on so many levels… but I just mean, am I the only one who loves full coverage?!

And if you have any recommendation for small back bras, I’m all ears: leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading


PS: If you haven’t been for a bra fitting for years, or indeed *ever*, then please, go get measured!  As many as a third of UK women wear the wrong bra size which is ultimately not providing the right support and can lead to back problems and the like.  You bra size may be one or two back sizes too big, in which case it’s highly likely that you are wearing a cup size that is one or two sizes too small!