Everyone loves new lingerie, but most of us have these pesky little things called budgets to deal with. If you’re in the large cup bra consumer category, you’re also in a slightly worse position to start with. I love being full busted but it does mean that even basic bras are more expensive and that they wear out much sooner, even when you take care of them properly.
As much as we love pretty shiny fashion blogs, the truth is that most women want to look nice, wear a bra that fits and also want money to pay rent/their mortgage/not eat out of boxes/health insurance. Fashion is great, but financial responsibility is also fun. Not even bloggers are immune when it comes to this issue — check out Ash’s piece here on finances and the fashion blogger for a great read on how this effects those of us in the industry.
Luckily, there are some great ways to pick up bras that are pretty, fit you perfectly and are also pretty cheap. Here are five of my favorites:
1. Make a list and wait.
Everyone knows about the end of season sales that department stores have, but not everyone thinks to check out the online retailers around the same time. This is even easier if you’ve kept a list of the things you want so you can get to the sale early. Figleaves is my favorite for sales, but places like HerRoom and Bare Necessities have them too. If you’re in the HH+ range, you’ll need check the inventory out as early as possible to grab your sizes. If you’re below that, you’ll have a huge range of choices including some of the great house brands that Figleaves produces. They go on sale for dirt cheap prices and the quality is fantastic. Making a list also ensures that you won’t go on a shopping spree that you can’t afford!
2. Mail order from Poland.
This option sadly isn’t as cheap as it used to be, especially if you’re a fan of Ewa Michalak. They’ve added a Paypal fee recently that makes things more expensive, but they’re still one of the best brands out there for great bras on a budget. The average bra costs $40 or so and sale bras can go as low as $25. Again, pick a time and order several to make the shipping cost and Paypal fee worth it.
3. Shop in the UK.
It’s a sad fact that just by crossing the pond a bra can double in price! Frequently, buying from UK retailers and paying international shipping is cheaper than shopping from US sources. Brastop is great, if a little hit or miss in the larger cup sizes. My personal favorite is Bravissimo, for their styles, size ranges and awesome sales.
I haven’t tried this myself, but all of the women I know with the best bra collections have unreservedly embraced Ebay. The UK ebay is generally better than the US one in terms of prices and selection, so check for sellers who ship internationally. Lots of the bras are new with tags as well. This can also be a great way to find bras from previous seasons that you want to try or have fallen in love with and want to replace (ahem, the Panache Confetti line…).
5. Facebook communities.
Lots of retailers have specific swap/sell communities on Facebook but now many curvy women are forming swap/sell groups of their own. These are a little riskier than Ebay — the members do their best to police things but there isn’t a way to dispute a purchase if it doesn’t appear or turns up in a different state than advertised. That said, most people have really good experiences through these communities and lots of the bras still have tags on them. Start by requesting to join the Clothes For Boobs Buy/Sell/Chat/Share Page on Facebook!
What’s the least you’ve ever paid for a great bra? Where do you shop for affordable lingerie?