Basically, this is a no-frills post about where you can go to buy bras. As a 30E – a size that isn’t particularly interesting/unique in itself, just that it isn’t in the “matrix” of bra sizing – I am either incredibly lucky online or not so much. In websites where bra-fitting fellows also make purchases, a 30E is a quick sell and I find myself scouring google for the scraps. Thus, through my google searching and struggles, you will benefit!
I’ll be breaking this into 2 basic sections: websites and apps for your smart phone (however, there are two that you can use on your computer to make purchases – you just need the phone to create your own listings). My goal is to point out the less obvious websites. Most people know about amazon, eBay, bare necessities, etc. So I’ll move on to other ones as well as give you my 2 cents as a bargain shopper. Plus, if you know any “unusuals”, let me know so I can add them!
Amazon and eBay are probably the most popular routes. Amazon is good if you just want to try something and return it via the mail (if you have prime) – as far as pricing goes, it isn’t really the best from my experience. Even so, I can thank Amazon for aiding me early on in my bra journey, as it was the quickest way for me to get my hands on the shape testers (Lucy and Lily – my first Marcie was found in a local Nordstrom Rack, surprisingly!). Thus I recommend Amazon for when you aren’t too sure how something will work on you. Once you have that down, I suggest we graduate to…
EBAY! Honestly, I love eBay. I recommend it for finding discontinued bras (like Lily, sob, sob) as well as non-matrix sizes. The matrix ones, from what I’ve seen, get snatched real quick. For instance, in my recent hunt for Agent Provocateur/L’Agent, the 32 band section (the smallest available in those lines) offered more than 34, 36, and 38 – this leads me to believe that the retailers who wind up with those stray 32’s think they won’t sell well, as they’ve been priced pretty favorably in my opinion.
Protips for eBay: There a brand you like? Search it and follow the search. That way, you’ll get emails for everything added to it daily. This will give you a good chance of buying a rare find before someone else might. Additionally, take note of the seller rating before you do anything – pretty much, I’m comfortable purchasing when the seller’s rating is 99.5 or upwards (otherwise, I’ll have to check their reviews to decide what I want to do).
Moving on to the “less” well-known…
Poinsettia Lingerie – formerly Dahlia’s. This is a UK based site and has been my favorite spot to find Panache/Cleo by Panache. They have basically 24/7 sales! I have no recollection how I discovered them, but can only assume I was googling desperately for a Cleo Lily and managed my way onto their website. I have made a couple of purchases to date from them and was pleased each time (just remember, fellow Americans, to convert the prices into USD so you more realistically understand what’s in your cart).
Gilt. Gilt seems like it’s best used for those higher priced brands that you want to try but cannot normally afford – meaning that they get chopped down to, say, $55 instead of $300 (okay, I won’t lie, basically I found them because I was looking for L’Agent and they do have L’Agent at great prices). As I am currently still poor, I can’t buy from them, but..I will in the future, as I know no boundaries as far as lingerie goes, apparently. Take note, they use US sizing and start off at 30 bands. Their A cup offerings start at a 32 band. It seems like this is almost normal matrix sizing, to be honest, but slightly expanded. The highest cup size I see offered is a G.
Bra swap. Bra swap is a reddit where people trade their NWT, NWOT, and used bras (not just trade – you can buy and sell, and all purchases I’ve made on bra swap have gone well). It isn’t the MOST active of all websites, but it’s worth the time. I’ve found Comexims, Cleos, Avocados, and so on from there.
Bratabase. This is my absolute favorite website for buying/selling/trading bras. This is where I go first to find not only bras being listed, but information on fit. You can see how wide cups are, how deep, how tall/short gores are, etc. For a person like me, all this fit information is very valuable, as I never want to risk a bra totally failing unless its aesthetic is so pleasing (or the price is so low) that failing won’t factor into my overall feelings about it. This is probably my favorite community, as people share their experiences with brands, celebrate body image, work through self-esteem conundrums, and so on. They are so supportive. I love ’em.
LET’S MOVE ON TO APPS.
Poshmark. Okay, I was really surprised by how much I was able to find on Poshmark, especially in non-matrix sizes. There is a ton of Victoria’s Secret and a plethora of second-hand matrix sized bras, but there ARE NON-MATRIX ONES TOO! If you’re only looking to buy, I recommend going through the actual website (so the pictures are bigger, etc) – but if you’re going to sell, you need to use the app on a smart phone.
Mercari. Basically, this is going to be the same as Poshmark.
Letgo. As it stands, this website is (in my opinion) sort of difficult to navigate. You can go into “fashion & accessories” but it doesn’t split into subcategories. From searching random non-matrix sizes, I was able to find a few things. I would only recommend it if you’re willing to be patient and sift through a lot!
Vinted. I am pretty surprised by this site, honestly, because of how active its social sphere appears to be. This is one of my favorite in terms of readability and layout – it just looks real friendly. It’s a bit stilted as far as its sizing goes, but I’m pretty impressed with what it DOES include outside of matrix sizes.
As it stands right now, ThredUp does not offer a lingerie section. I talked to their customer service and suggested they should add it in the future, but it currently isn’t where to go to find normal bras (they do have sports bras and swimsuits, but not just..standard bras).
Was anything helpful for you? What are your favorite little-known vendors?