GUEST POST: Amelia Gibson, Professional Hockey Player

Amelia Gibson is a goal keeper for the New Zealand International Hockey squad, hoping to compete at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio. We are pleased to have her as an ambassador for Avokado and Ruun. Here’s Amelia’s story….


If you had told me at high school that one day I would be writing a blog about boobs I would have laughed at you.  See I was that girl at school, the one with the big boobs, the one who felt insecure and couldn’t possibly talk openly about them.  There was only ever a small percentage of us girls at school and not many were interested in sports.  My school days were made up of two physical classes (I took dance and P.E as subjects in year 13) followed by hockey training after school.  I was so self conscious about stripping off in front of my peers and team mates that I wore sports bras all day every day.  There was even a time where I did not own a single bra that wasn’t a sports bra as I felt like no regular bra could give me the support I needed.

Fast forward seven years and I am now an international athlete and brand ambassador for a lingerie company!

In those seven years I changed in many ways, especially physically.  In the year after leaving school and making the New Zealand Women’s Hockey Team I lost 15kg. Basically I got fit!  One thing however did not change, and yes you guessed it, I still have big boobs.  I do however now own regular bras for everyday wear- but sports bras have become even more important to me.  I am also now wearing a very different bra size to the one I thought I was!

Last year I became a brand ambassador for Avokado and Ruun, lingerie and sports bra specialists based in Auckland. Meeting the team there was a huge eye opener.  Not only are they a dynamic group of women who share the same, shall we say “assets” as myself, but their knowledge on how to size and the understanding of their product and sizes is something I have never experienced before.  I walked into their store with the belief that I was a 14D.They only needed to take one look at me to know I was most definitely wearing the wrong size bra!  After trying on multiple bras I walked out of the shop with the most supportive sports bras I have ever owned, one even having NO underwire. My size – 10FF.  I knew I had big boobs, but FF seemed big!  However, there are two ways to look at it – either you’re a “FF” or you’re a “10FF” meaning you just went down from a 14 to a 10!  Winning!

Being in a sports team full of girls can be hard at times.  I can often feel self conscious about my size.  While others can wear pretty non underwired bras, I have never had that privilege (until now of course).  Girls train in just their bra and think nothing of it, yet if I did that I would feel like the main attraction.  As you can imagine, boob size it a topical conversation.  Most wish for more than what they have, if only they could understand how hard it is to support the “girls” when they are on the larger side of life.  This is an area where the team at Avokado and Ruun has also helped me out – wearing quality bras in the right size has made me feel more confident in this environment.  I will never be that girl who flaunts herself, but I do feel more comfortable.

As a professional athlete I train six days a week, sometimes two to three times a day.  I am faced with a variety of training including turf trainings, gym sessions, interval sessions, and yoga.  For some girls a ‘one bra fits all’ approach would not be an issue, but for me all these sessions require different levels of support, and hence different sports bras.

Being a goal keeper, turf sessions don’t include running but they are made up of explosive movements which, although you might not be able to see my boobs bouncing, you will be able to see the stretch marks if I don’t support them properly.  For this type of training I choose to wear the Panache Underwired Sports Bra as it gives me the support I need to leap and bound.  It also gives the illusion that it is a non underwired bra. As this bra comes up fairly firm in the band, I wear this in a 12F.

The award winning Panache underwired sports bra

As an alternative I also use the S015 Shock Absorber.  Although this is a non underwired bra, it still gives me the same support as an underwired bra.  As with the Panache, I also wear this one in a 12F.  Both these bras I also use for my gym sessions. I don’t have to be too worried when lifting weights but I also do plyometrics in my sessions which, like my turf sessions, require support for bounding, leaping and jumping.  I also need a bra that when I bend over does not offer an eye full to spectators.  Sometimes sharing isn’t caring….

SO15 by Shock Absorber
SO15 by Shock Absorber

When it comes to interval sessions I need the best support that I can get.  For this I rely on the Ultimate Run Bra by Shock Absorber.  With a seamless inside, chaffing is not an issue.  The clasp at the back which brings the bra into a muscle back cut means I am able to fit it well under all of my training tops.  Because of this, I also wear this bra for any international games as our uniform is a muscle back cut and we cannot have our bras showing.  I have never been able to find a bra with this cut which fits me like a glove, until now.  The only downside with the Ultimate Run bra is that the sizing is very different to other bras so I actually wear this one in a 14DD- but the fitters at Avokado and Ruun will get you sorted if you’re not sure!

Ultimate Run bra by Shock Absorber
Ultimate Run bra by Shock Absorber

For yoga classes there is no need for high support but I also can’t get away with something that doesn’t offer any.  I use the Triumph Energise 2 Pack as it is a more relaxed style and fit but still keeps me in place.  The last thing you want when doing a downward dog is to be knocked out by your boobs.  The soft fabric is easy to move in while feeling comfortable at the same time. This set is not cup sized but I wear this in a 14.

Triaction Energise 2 pack from the front
Triaction Energise 2 pack from the front
Triaction Energise 2 pack from the back
Triaction Energise 2 pack from the back












It’s pretty clear now, with the help from the team at Avokado and Runn, that I have this big boob situation down pat.  We have been on a journey together to get to here and I have learnt a lot along the way.  My biggest learning curve has been to support what our Mamma’s have given us.  Knowing your true size will give you a sense of freedom and stop you from holding yourself back.  With the right bra size you have no excuses.  Something else to always remember, most women would love to have bigger boobs than what they have, some will even pay to make it happen, so let’s look after our assets with the respect they deserve.

Amelia x

Are your boobs holding you back?

This blog post was originally posted on Good. People. Run.

If you are reading this via Good People Run then I am probably preaching to the converted. It’s highly likely that you are already a fan of the super sport that is running and have found a way to take part comfortably. However, despite an increase in how active Kiwi women are becoming, some are still being held back. Not by money, time or other commitments…but by their boobs.

Big boobs, small boobs, it doesn’t matter- there’s no escaping the fact that when we run (or take part in any form of exercise) our boobs will move and this can be extremely uncomfortable and in some cases can cause physical pain. Sadly, being the internet age, we also live in a time where “woman running with boobs” is considered sexy or funny depending what floats your boat (Thanks, You Tube). I was 14 years old when my boobs graced me with their presence. One summer at high school, we were doing athletics out on the track running 400’s in groups. As the group I was in rounded the bend to approach the final 100, I noticed the rest of the boys and girls in my class standing near the finish line watching us come in. I was so mortified at how much my boobs were bouncing as I was running that I pretended to pass out. My teacher thought I had an eating disorder and wasn’t eating enough, but sadly, I was just embarrassed by my boobs and worried about being the butt of my classmates’ jokes. It was the same for my boss, Claire. She was an excellent athlete at school and represented her region in running, but gave it all up at age 15 when the discomfort and embarrassment of having no proper bust support became unbearable for her. Fast forward 15 years and both Claire and I are now avid runners. What changed? We discovered good sports bras.

As a professional bra fitter, I am pretty well qualified to say that A LOT of women wear the wrong bra size. Wearing a size too large or too small is bad enough, but I have also met women who favour wearing regular bras for exercise instead of sports bras. Worse still, I’ve met women who have to ‘double up’ by wearing 2 or more bras to keep the ‘ladies’ strapped in during exercise. It’s unnecessary. These days, whole organisations are dedicated to the research and testing of sports bras and active wear. Infra-red imaging is being used to determine how much movement there is for different sized boobs at different activity levels. 3D motion capture sensors used in the film industry are being used to determine which direction boobs will move in during exercise. New snazzy fabrics have been developed which will wick moisture away from your body, keeping you cool and dry as your temperature rises whilst also remaining lightweight, breathable and flexible. And all of this research and wizardry is factored into the wonder garment that is the modern sports bra…it’s come a long way from its humble beginnings as two jock straps sewn together! All of this is fantastic news because wearing a good sports bra not only benefits us by removing discomfort and pain during exercise-it also helps to prevent irreversible boob sag. The inside of our boobs are made up of fatty tissue and ligaments which connect the tissue to the layer of skin that contains our pectoral muscle (contrary to popular belief, no actual muscle is located within the breast). If our boobs are not adequately supported and are bouncing around all over the place, the ligaments on the inside will stretch and the only way to tighten them is with surgery. If that’s not enough motivation to invest in a good sports bra I don’t know what is.

So, how do you get your hands on one of these magical contraptions? Get professionally fitted. Specialist stores have fully trained staff who know the bras and will offer a wide selection so you have lots to try. They will also make sure that the bra is fitting you correctly. Different bras will all fit differently so you may find you need a different size in your sports bra. I own 4 different sports bras and wear them for different activities….I have 2 for running which are both 10FF’s, one for the gym which is a 12F and one for salsa dance which is an 8G. I know they all fit perfectly because that’s my job! Have an open mind. The top selling sports bra in our store has no under-wire which often puts people off- so be open minded to trying all different types of bras to determine which will work best for you. Bounce. Once you know the bra is the correct size- bounce around in it. It’s the hands down best way to test a sports bra.

Then once you have found the sports bra for you, get out there and run or dance or cross train or walk or climb or play netball, hockey, tennis- anything you like! Running (and exercise in general) is so beneficial to us in so many ways- health, fitness, mindfulness, confidence. As women, after decades of being told what we should look like and how we should act by the mainstream media, we are now starting to appreciate that there is no ‘ideal body type’ and that if we want to go running or take part in sport, we can. So, ladies… embrace your lovely boobs; hold them firm in an awesome bra and get out there and run!

Michelle x

The Avo girls!

What lies beneath?

As ball season fast approaches, it’s time to start thinking about what outfit you are going to wear. But are you also thinking about what bra you are going to wear? We absolutely love working with our customers to find the best bra to suit their outfits but sometimes, it’s tough to make it work. We are often asked for backless, frontless or sideless bras- essentially just the cups. But just wearing cups will not give you any lift or support as all of this comes from the back band and the straps. You can buy ‘stick on’ bras from other stores, but these tend to only go up to a D cup and they never specify ‘which’ D (i.e. a 12D or a 16D) and we all know from our blog post on bra fitting that these are both different volumes!

I think the problem stems from us being bombarded with pictures of celebrities wearing gravity defying outfits which can often be misleading. What you don’t see are the lengths they go to to achieve that look…and it doesn’t involve lingerie! It involves a team of stylists, glue, tape and wizardry that is not always available to us mere mortals. Check out the make-shift bra Kim Kardashian made from GAFFER TAPE!!! Ouch!!!

So to save you the pain of removing gaffer tape from your nipples, this blog post is dedicated to helping you find the best lingerie to wear under the outfit of your dreams!

Last year the Avo Girls attended a black tie awards ceremony where we were finalists in the Excellence in Customer Service category. We were all dressed to the nines and every single one of us was wearing a bra which fit perfectly. We didn’t win the award but we were certainly winning in the lingerie stakes!

The Avo girls!

So to breakdown what we wore, let’s start with Selena.

Strapless Bras

Smiley Selena!
Smiley Selena!
Smoothing Strapless by Fantasie














Selena wore a gorgeous strapless gown and she chose the Smoothing Strapless bra by Fantasie for underneath. We have a fantastic range of strapless bras in store ranging from band sizes 6-18 and cup sizes D-GG. The Luxe Strapless bra by Curvy Kate even goes up to a J cup in some band sizes.

A lot of people feel like they will not get the same level of support in a strapless bra, but as long as it fits you well it will still hold you in place. If you feel like you would prefer the additional lift that the straps give, then a pair of Clear Bra Straps will solve the problem.


Plunge Bras

How low can you go?
How low can you go?
Deco by Freya
Deco by Freya
















I wore a super sparkly gown with an extremely plunging neckline. The bra I chose was Deco by Freya as it has very low wires at the front and also gave me a nice rounded shape. The nude colour also worked perfectly under my dress. If you prefer a non-moulded cup, the Tango Plunge by Panache is a fantastic alternative.

Plunge bras will not work for everyone, especially if your bust is not as firm as it once was, so they are always worth trying on before you choose to buy a low cut dress.

Smooth cup bras

Curvalicious Claire!
Curvalicious Claire!
Moulded T Shirt by Fantasie
Moulded T Shirt by Fantasie















Claire wore a foxy form fitting dress so chose to wear the Moulded T Shirt bra by Fantasie. Moulded cup bras or T-Shirt bras are a fantastic choice when wearing something sheer or form fitting because they give a sleek, clean line and offer great lift and support.

There are lots of misconceptions around T-Shirt bras and different T-Shirt bras will suit different shapes, so to make it all a bit easier to choose which one will be the best for you, we have put together a really handy guide on our website.

Racer-back Bras

Beautiful Breanne!
Beautiful Breanne!














Breanne wore a funky jumpsuit which plunged at the front and also came in slightly at the back, meaning that had she been wearing a regular bra, her bra straps may have shown. To solve this problem she chose to wear the Jana Moulded by Fantasie which has a ‘J hook’ on the straps which allows you to connect them together to create a ‘racer back’ look.

Not all bras come with a ‘J hook’ attached but you can create the look by using a ‘Racer Back Clip‘.

Racer Back Clip
Racer Back Clip














Forward Projection bras

Bodacious Breanne!
Bodacious Breanne!
Marcie by Cleo
Marcie by Cleo















Breanne (yes we have 2 Breanne’s at Avokado!) wore a one of a kind dress that was tailor made to fit her. When wearing tailored dresses or tops it is important that your boobs sit in the right place, otherwise the whole shape will be compromised. Breanne chose to wear Marcie by Cleo which gives incredible lift and forward projection. If ‘Marcie’ is not for you, there are plenty of bras at Avokado that will make sure the ‘ladies’ are pointing in the right direction.

When having an outfit tailor made, make sure you are wearing the bra that you will be wearing with the outfit so the tailor can get the shape just right.


Low Backed bras

Low Back bra converter in action
Low Back bra converter in action















Although we do not specifically sell any ‘low backed’ bras, we do sell a ‘Low Back Bra Converter‘ by Vixxen which can be attached onto a bra to take it a few inches lower in the back. The converter requires the bra to have straps so this technically will not work on a strapless bra- although I did once solve a backless/strapless problem by using a strapless bra with clear bra straps attached and a low back bra converter!

When wearing a low back bra converter, some of the support will be diminished as you are essentially wearing your bra undone so it is not advised for long periods of time.


No Bra

Nipple Covers
Nipple Covers














And sometimes you just need to concede defeat and appreciate that in some outfits you just cannot wear a bra! In this case, if you are worried about nipple show, we do sell ‘Nipple Covers‘ which are made of silicon and have a gentle stick which allows them to be reused.

These are just a few examples of lingerie options so hopefully this post has provided some inspiration! If you already have an outfit and need to buy the lingerie for underneath, pop in to see us and bring your outfit along so we can try some different options.

As always, our team of fitters are happy to help you out and guide you through the many different styles we offer! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or leave us a question in the comments below.

Michelle x

Global Baby – for all things beautiful and baby…and a very special treat for expectant or new parents!


Avokado has teamed up with a fabulous local business called Global Baby! They are your destination store for all things baby and this is from the team:


“Here at Global Baby we know how overwhelming it is to shop for baby gear when you’re expecting your first child, because we’ve been there ourselves. We try to help you by only selling products that we want to use with our own family- our range has been edited to only include well designed and beautiful products from the best brands. We make it our priority to know about our products inside and out, to know how to safely install your car seat in your car, to help you choose a stroller that will best suit your family and your lifestyle, that you are able to lift and fit into the boot of your car’s boot!
Come and see us at our store at 161 Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland, or shop on our website and we’ll dispatch the same day if we can, otherwise the next week day.
Look forward to seeing you soon, Anita, Michelle, Anna, Hannah and Flora.”

moccasins1 copy

As a special treat for expectant and new parents, the wonderful girls at Global Baby have given us some vouchers to give you for a free pair of moccasins.  So, with ANY purchase of Maternity/Nursing bras from the Avokado Newmarket shop, you will receive a Voucher from Global Baby for a pair of gorgeous moccasins (while vouchers last).  There is no obligation to purchase anything from them, all you need to do is pop along to their Epsom shop to redeem the voucher.  They are literally just up the road from Avokado and there is parking in the streets running adjacent to Manukau Road.

Terms & Conditions: * Avokado instore only promotion (not mail order) *Voucher valid for 1 month from date of purchase of maternity item *Voucher redeemed at Global Baby Epsom shop (not mail order) * Voucher cannot be exchanged for cash/credit * One voucher given per total purchase


Sports bras- why wear one?

For those of you who have visited our store in Newmarket, you will know that we have a sports bra section in the shop called Ruun. Ruun is our sister store which specializes in sports bras in cup sizes A-K, unlike our regular lingerie & swimwear which starts at a D cup and goes upwards from there.

Shop front

We’re very passionate about sports bras, mainly because most of the team here are quite active and enjoy exercise. But that wasn’t always the case for me- I developed my boobs when I was about 14 years old. As I went to a mixed school, we had to do mixed P.E lessons. One summer we were out on the track running 400m’s in groups. As the group I was in rounded the bend to approach the final 100m, I noticed the rest of my classmates standing near the finish line watching us come in. I was so mortified at how much my boobs were bouncing as I was running, that I actually pretended to faint because I couldn’t bear the thought of running towards them!!! I had to have an awkward conversation with my teacher who suspected I wasn’t eating properly, when in actual fact, I was just embarrassed by my boobs! Had I owned a really good sports bra, I could have excelled at sport but instead I allowed my boobs to hold me back. Nowadays, I’m all about the running and last year completely the Queenstown Marathon with my 8G boobs nicely strapped in!

N109 by SHock Absorber
Slightly emotional rocking my N109

Wearing a good sports bra isn’t all about comfort (although that is a major factor!), there is a level of science involved as well.

Image from:
Image from:

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t any muscle inside the breast, it is mainly made up of fatty tissue which is connected to the pectoral muscle by Cooper’s ligaments. During exercise there is a lot of vertical and side-to-side breast movement and if our breasts are not adequately supported, the Cooper’s ligament may stretch irreversibly causing our boobs to droop and sag. Once the ligament is stretched out there is no going back without surgery! And if that’s not enough motivation to wear a good sports bra, I don’t know what is! There are some pretty mind boggling demonstration videos on the Shock Absorber website here where you can plug in your bra size and activity level and it will show you the amount of movement with no bra, a regular bra and a sports bra. Yikes!

How are Sports bras different?

Sports bra manufacturers are hot on research! Shock Absorber even has a dedicated research facility called the Shock Absorber Institute! Sports bra designers will spend a lot of time researching how the breast moves during various levels of exercise and sports bras are designed with this in mind.

You will find that there are bras designed for high impact activities (like running, horse riding etc), medium impact activities (like weights at the gym, dance etc) and low impact activities (like yoga, Tai Chi etc).

Sports bras also tend to be made with stronger fabrics which restrict movement whilst also ‘wicking’ sweat away from the body to keep you cool and dry as you exercise.

To know what is best for you, we highly recommend having a fitting and trying a few different styles on.

Underwired versus non-underwired

bounce2 vs triumph Smooth

In a sports bra, the support is not necessarily provided by the underwire and it can be surprising how supported you can feel without one! Generally, we would suggest a non-underwired bra for long distance running as over time, the wires may rub and become uncomfortable (this is from my own personal experience-ouch!) but it will be different for everyone which is why it is always good to try them on and have a good bounce around!

How many sports bras should I have?

As with your lingerie, it is best to have a few sports bras to rotate to ensure that you get a decent life out of them. I try to workout 4 times a week and I have 3 different sports bras which I rotate and use for different activities (the N109 for running, the Ultimate Run bra for gym cardio and the Panache underwired sports bra for gym work and salsa class).

So far all of these have lasted me for around 9 months and they are still going strong, but the life of your sports bra will depend on how often it is used and how it is cared for.  At Ruun, we do suggest having at least 2 sports bras if you exercise regularly.

As always, our team of fitters are happy to help you out and guide you through the many different styles we offer! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or leave us a question in the comments below.

Happy exercising!




How long should my bra last?

At Avokado we often get asked the question “how long should my bra last?”

It’s a fact that bras will not last forever. Over time, the fabric and elastic will start to break down which will impact on the fit of the bra, as well as the support it offers.  Some manufacturers put a date on this including Gossard (a bra manufacturer based in the UK) who say “Bras have a life span of around 6 months and, as a rule of thumb, should never see a birthday”.

I definitely have bras that have celebrated a birthday so I guess our answer to the question is- it depends!

There are many things which can affect the life span of your bra;

How often you wear your bra

Which to wear today?!
Which to wear today?!

If you are like me, it is likely that you will wear your bra between 12-15 hours a day. If you only have one bra that you are wearing every day then your bra is clocking up approximately 100 hours a week!! Wearing it this often will speed up the degradation of the elastic and the process of general ‘wear and tear’ will kick in much earlier.

I read recently that your body temperature will heat up the elastic in your bra causing it to stretch. The elastic needs a good day and a half to cool down in order to return to it’s original shape, so if you want your bras to give you maximum support, make sure you are giving it a breather in between wears.

Top Tips:

Make sure you have a few bras to rotate: a minimum of 3 will ensure that you are giving your bras enough time to relax in between wears (I am a lingerie addict so have about 10 bras which is why some of them have lasted so long!)

How you wash your bra


Putting a bra in the washing machine will cause the fabrics to break down much quicker than if you washed your bras by hand. Strong detergents can wreak havoc on the elastic in your bra and the wires can get caught or jammed against other items, which will weaken them and in extreme cases snap them or force them through the fabric. If you must use a washing machine then make sure you use a lingerie bag, a mild detergent and set it to a cool wash…but beware: this will reduce the lifespan of your bra.

Top Tips:

Make sure you wash your lingerie by hand in a basin or even in the shower! Always let your bras dry naturally away from tumble dryers or heated radiators/towel rails.

How you put your bra on

Generally, the correct way of putting your bras on is to put your arms through the arm holes, lean forward, scoop your boobs into the wires, straighten up and fasten at the back. This way ensures there is no unnecessary stretching or tension placed on the fabrics. A lot of women struggle with this method as it requires a certain level of flexibility to reach your arms behind your back so another way that people put their bras on is by fastening the bra at the front and swiveling it into place at the front, before sliding up and placing arms in the holes. This is okay but will stretch the band out quicker than the first method.

There is one way that people put their bra on that is an absolute no no and that is ‘flipping’! If you do your bra up at the front with the bra upside down and swivel it round to the front and then ‘flip’ the wires up into place, this will ruin your bra very quickly by stretching out the band, bending or snapping the wires and pulling the cups out of shape. This is literally sooooo bad for your bras that we have erected signs in our fitting rooms to warn people against this! If you do this then your bras really do not have a good life expectancy!

Don’t do the flip if you want your bras to last!!!

How you store your bra


This really only applies to moulded cup or T shirt bras which have a set ‘shape’ or contour. If you are shoving these types of bras into a drawer where the cups are being squashed, over time this will cause the cups to permanently lose their shape.

Top tips:

Try hanging your bras up or pop them somewhere where they can lie flat with no items placed on top of the cups. When travelling, pop one of the cups into the other and fill the space with socks or undies to try and maintain the shape in transit.

What you use your bra for

Some bras will hold up better in some situations than others. For example, I would definitely not recommend going for a run in your nice everyday bra because this is not what it is designed to do! If you are a really active person then it is worth investing in a good sports bra, rather than relying on your everyday bras to do the job. By putting additional pressure on your bra, it will speed up the breakdown of the fabric and elastic and shorten it’s lifespan.

And just while we are talking about sports bras, it is recommended that you change your sports bras approximately every 6-9 months (about the same time you are recommended to change your trainers if you are a runner). This ensures that the fabric remains in tip top condition so it can provide you with the maximum level of support that you need.

Top tips:

To increase the life of your sports bra, treat it in the same way as your lingerie- have a few bras to rotate, hand wash and store well!

How to know when to replace your bra

If you follow all of the above tips then your bra should have a decent lifespan, but the day will come when it is time to say goodbye and move on! If the following is happening to you, then its time to pop in to see us for another fitting;

  • The bra is now hooked on the tightest set of ‘eyes’ and feels a bit loose or is rubbing/chafing when you move or you notice the back band of the bra keeps riding up your back as you move around
  • The straps cannot be tightened any further because the elastic has stretched them out too much
  • The bra is not giving you the uplift and support you are used to
  • The wires have snapped or have poked through the fabric

Hopefully this blog post has been useful- I wish your bras a long and happy life!

Michelle x


Bra fitting advice during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Congratulations on your pregnancy or the birth of your baby!

As your boobs are changing throughout your pregnancy (and after delivery), trying to find a comfortable, well fitted bra can be a challenge. We hope this blog post will offer some bra advice for you during your pregnancy and breastfeeding months.

NOTE: All of this information is from the point of view of Avokado, based on personal experience of individual staff members and feedback from customers. Please consult your Doctor or Midwife for any further
information about breast care during and after pregnancy.

Preggy changes

During Early Pregnancy

At the start of pregnancy, your breasts are likely to become tender and increase in size. As soon as your current bras start to become uncomfortable or you find that the wires start digging in, we recommend that you have your first maternity bra fitting.

Maternity band

As opposed to a regular bra fitting where we fit the hooks onto the loosest ‘eyes’ on the band, when you are in the early stages of pregnancy we actually fit you closer to the tightest ‘eyes’ so that you can loosen the bra out over time when your rib cage begins to expand as your baby grows and your body changes. We also want to leave some space in the cups so that you do not need to keep replacing your bras as your boobs get bigger! At this stage, wearing a normal underwired bra is still okay as long as it is correctly fitted- you do not want the wires to be pressing on your breast tissue so the wires need to be flat against your chest and nice and far back under your arms. Some bras such as Rebecca have a bit of stretch in the cup so are suitable during pregnancy. If possible, you want to have 2-3 bras that you can rotate so you can get the best wear out of them and ensure you are comfortable night and day.

2nd – 3rd Trimesters (4-9 months)

During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, your band size (around rib cage) may continue to increase as your baby grows, and your boobs may continue to get bigger too. It is not uncommon to go up 2-3 bra band sizes during pregnancy, and several cup sizes….on the other hand, some women may only see minimal changes. It is hard to know how much you will change as even women who have had multiple pregnancies have found that their boobs reacted differently in each one!

As you near the end of your third trimester, it is time to consider moving into non-wired or nursing bras as your boobs will start preparing for milk production. A non-wired bra will be more comfortable and you won’t risk underwires digging into your breast tissue.

1 – 3 Weeks before due date

We recommend coming for a final prenatal fitting as close to your due date as possible. At this stage, we can get a good idea of what your bra size may be after delivery of your baby.

If you choose to breastfeed, your nursing bra needs to nice and snug in the band on the loosest eyes. This is because the area around your rib cage & diaphragm will get smaller after giving birth (back to ‘normal’) and you will also want to be able to tighten the band as the fabric starts to stretch during wash & wear. There also needs to be a decent amount of space in the cups (at least a fist) to accommodate breast pads and allowing for extra expansion when your milk comes in.



After the birth of your baby, you may notice that your breasts continue to change size as they adjust to milk production and it may take a few weeks for your breasts to ‘settle’.  It’s nice to have 2-3 bras for this stage, and you may need to wear them in bed for comfort & keeping breast pads in place.

Once you have finished breastfeeding, we recommend coming in for another fitting as you may find that you have changed from your pre-pregnancy bust size.

The team at Avokado are always on hand to answer any questions you may have about the fit of your bras. As with any physical change during your life, it’s important that your bras are comfy and well-fitting so you can focus on the important things like you and your baby!

Any questions, please feel free to leave one in the comments below, otherwise give us a call or drop us an email.

Michelle x

Bra fitting- what you need to know

At Avokado, we fit thousands of women every year and it is incredible how much misunderstanding there is around how a bra is supposed to fit. I recently fit a woman who was amazed that the wires at the front of the bra sat flat against her chest- and she had no idea that it was supposed to sit like that because she had never had this before in a bra EVER! It can be quite life changing to go from wearing the incorrect size to finally finding the bra for you, so we have put together a blog post to help you through the science of bra fitting.

To Measure or not To Measure….

Some lingerie stores use tape measures for bra fitting which they use to find your over bust measurement and under bust measurement and then you have to add numbers or subtract numbers or something along those lines! We actually just use bras themselves when doing a bra fitting because seeing how a bra is fitting you incorrectly gives us the information we need to know what size will fit you correctly!

Using bras for fitting also makes sense because different brands can fit differently, and different bra styles will fit different people differently….so you could end up buying 3  bras that fit you perfectly in 3 different sizes. It would have been impossible to extract that kind of information from a tape measure.

Where is it going wrong?

Band Size

Bad band

One of the most crucial elements of a bra’s support comes from the band. If it is not sufficiently firm around your ribcage, then the weight of your boobs pulling DOWN on the shoulder straps at the front will cause the back of the band to ride UP. This will cause your boobs to droop and the shoulder straps to dig into your shoulders, causing that dreaded ‘dent’ in the shoulders.

Band fit

To correct a loose band you need to go down a band size (or 2 or 3 etc) until the band is fitting snugly around your back when hooked on the loosest ‘eyes’. Unless you are pregnant (see post on maternity fitting), there is no need to hook a new bra on any of the ‘eyes’ other than the loosest, as the bra band will only get bigger over time as the fabric starts to stretch and lose its elasticity. Starting on the loosest set of ‘eyes’ allows you to tighten the bra over time giving you much longer wear out of it.

NOTE: when you go down a band size you need to go up a cup size….more on this further down!


Small cup

Your boobs should be completely encased in the cups, with a smooth line where the fabric at the top of the cup meets your bust. If your boobs are bulging at the top or the sides of the cups, it can give you the dreaded ‘4 boob’ look under clothing. Wearing the cup too small is also pretty uncomfortable as the under wire will be digging into your flesh. If this is happening to you, you need to go up a cup size (or 2 or 3 etc) until the cup is fitting correctly. It is a common myth that you need to increase your band size to help the cup fit- if the band size is nice and snug when hooked on the loosest set of ‘eyes’ then you need to keep it as it is! Just take it up in the cup.

Big cup

If on the other hand you find that there is excess room in the cups and you are not filling them out, then you will need to go down in the cup size. Again, if the band is nice and snug when hooked on the loosest set of ‘eyes’ then keep it as it is and just go down in the cup.


Non flat wire

The wires at the bottom of the cups should sit flat against your ribs. If the wires are standing away, it could be a sign that the cup is too small for you as your boobs are pushing the underwire away from your body.  A good tip is to fill the cups with your boobs ensuring no breast tissue slips under the wire, and if there is any ‘spillage’ at the top or size of the cups, go up a size or two. If the cup seems to be fitting correctly but the wires are standing away, it is likely that the bra is too loose in the band and you will need to take it down a band size (or 2 or 3 etc). If you put your arms up in the air and your boobs fall out the bottom of your bra, then there is something wrong for sure!

What is should look like….

Good fit back

A correctly fitting bra should be nice and snug around your body when hooked on the loosest set of ‘eyes’ and in line with your boobs.

Good fit front

The wires should sit nice and flat against your ribs and chest giving your boobs a nice separation. The wires should fully encase your boobs with no breast tissue poking out over the top or sides.

Not all E’s are equal….

Now here is where we get to the bit that causes the most confusion. The letter in your bra size represents a cup volume and this differs in relation to your band size. This is also known as ‘Sister Sizing’. What it means for your bra size is that the volume (letter) changes with the band size (number).

So for example, a 14DD is the equivalent cup volume to a 12E, and a 10F, and an 8FF, and a 6G and also a 16D, 18C, 20B and 22A.

In bra fitting terms, if you are wearing a 10E and find it is good in the cup but too loose in the band, you therefore want to go down a band size and try an 8- but if you stick with an E in the cup, the 8E will be a whole cup size smaller than the 10E. The size that you would need to try would be the 8F.

Put simply: When you go down a band size you need to go up a cup size. 

Or: When you go up a band size you need to go down a cup size.

Sister size chart

In this chart, the colours show the cup sizes which are the same volume but the letters are different for the different band sizes. So to take the red column as an example. if you are a 6 in the band and wear a HH cup- your breast volume is the same as someone who wears a 24C- it is just the size of your bodies that differs and therefore the area that your boobs are spread over.

It can be quite tricky to get your head around and the media doesn’t help with its perception that “Big Boobs = DD’s” because ‘DD’ doesn’t mean anything without a number in front of it….a 24DD is the equivalent to a 6JJ but a 6DD is the equivalent to a 14A.

Clear as mud?!!! Fortunately, all of the bra fitters at Avokado are fully trained and understand all of this so you don’t have to. And if you are unable to visit us in store, we also offer fittings via Skype.

Any questions, please feel free to leave one in the comments below, otherwise give us a call or drop us an email.

Michelle x