Wacoal Style #65547

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Nov 29, 2006 at 2:45 pm / Fit and Sizing, Product Reviews / Trackback

Last April I’d written A question of thoracic shaping in which I said:

This will be of interest to women who have always had problems finding well fitting bras. Well, not all women since bra fitting is a common problem but women who have a particular thoracic structure. If you have a problem of your bra cups being too far apart (the bust points splaying apart), bra straps digging into the front crease of your chest and arm, and not having enough bra in the front of the cups (and excess room at the sides of cups), this topic is for you. You may also have a related problem of having shirts riding up into your neck and having to pull them down constantly. If you have the kind of problems I’m describing, I’d like to know about it. Not that it’d be any kind of scientific study, I’m just curious to know how many women have this problem. I don’t believe the problem is very rare, rather I think the problem hasn’t been well defined or described before which would explain why I couldn’t find out anything about it.

If this interests or applies to you, go back and read that, will you? And don’t skip the comments; others have described this fitting problem in still greater detail. Then you’ll have a better appreciation for this review that I’m doing of Wacoal Style #65547.


I went bra shopping when I was in Albuquerque. The sales lady at Dillard’s gave me this one to try on. Thank goodness she did because I normally wouldn’t bother trying on this style of bra because stretch cups don’t fit any better than other bras and they wear out faster. Anyway, the design of this style is totally different. I should give you a photo before I go any farther. I also have a photo on a body that I borrowed (with permission) from Her Room but I’ll include it later because the model isn’t egg shaped and it skews the benefits of the design of the bra that I am describing.

The particular design features that make this style a winner for egg-shaped chests -as compared to other bras- is:

  • The straps are relatively close together.

  • The fullest part of the cups are as close to center front as they can get. Normally, the fullest portion of the bra is dead center of the cup. Push up bras tend to fit eggs better because more fullness is directed toward center front but then they lack support and coverage there too. This bra has coverage there so you’re not falling out of it. See this visual comparison of what a “normal” bra looks like on an egg body (from the first thoracic shaping entry); the fullest part of the cups are splayed off to either side.
  • The greatest structural integrity of the front strapping is as close to the greater front fullness of the cups as is possible.
  • Because the straps are relatively forward in the chest area, the straps are not cutting into the crease of your arms. You don’t feel the need to try to pull the straps closer together across your chest (as tho you could).
  • The width of the bridge (or span) is tiny; in my size, it is the width of two underwires. If you have this problem, you know that the span between the cups of regular bras is too far apart. I wish someone would invent an underwire that only had one wire at center front; the whole thing being a one piece unit rather than two separate “U”s. I know they make one piece units for some swimwear but they also build in a bridge which renders the effect useless for egg shaped women.
  • The height of the bridge is longer than usual. In normal bras, it is usually too short. The bridge in my size is 2″. I don’t know if the bridge has been graded for length in the other sizes but I can only hope so.
  • The last fitting issue worth mentioning is the racer back. If you have this problem, you know that where the back straps attach the back band can be too far apart -that is assuming you can get the front straps as close together as they need to be. If the placement of back strapping to the back band is too far apart, it can contribute to the front straps splaying apart in front. Here’s a photo of the back:

Other features of the bra that I like that are not related to this specific fitting discussion are:

  • The back strap adjustment uptake is long enough to adjust for any size. It irritates me to no end when the uptake on bra straps is so poorly designed you can’t shorten the straps as much as you need to. You won’t have that problem with this style.

  • The back band has three sets of three hooks. I tell you, there is little that irritates me more than a bra designed for full busted women that only has one or two hooks on an itty bitty tiny band. It always makes me want to write the company to ask them just what they could have been thinking. Either that or march down to corporate headquarters and slap the man who must have designed it :).
  • The straps are inelastic woven.
  • If you’re familiar with the Wacoal brand, you probably already know that their products have a certain level of quality so you won’t find anything you’d be unhappy with quality-wise. Wacoal is a Japanese company. Times have really changed. When I was a kid Made in Japan was said derisively, an insult. Now it means the best quality.

Lastly, the style is competitively priced. Her Room has it for $44. I think I paid a little more than that at Dillard’s but not much more. It comes in three colors, ivory, cafe colored and black. Dillard’s only had two in my size so I bought both. As I said, I typically don’t like knit lace bras like this for support reasons but the design is all there. I will be getting more online.

In closing, two questions:

  1. Do any of you know of any other styles we should know about that seemed to be designed to fit egg shaped chests?

  2. Do any of you have a contact at Wacoal? Boy, these guys are hard to reach. I’m not getting anywhere. I’d like to talk to somebody in product development about this style and whether they plan to do any similar styles. I think this market is untouched; it could be a profitable niche for somebody. if you know anything.

Above is a photo from Her Room. I don’t think it does the style justice from a fit perspective but this is what it looks like if that matters to you more. I’d venture to guess that most women with this fitting problem really wouldn’t care what it looked like as long as it fit well. It has matching panties too (I couldn’t find those on their site; they were at Dillards) but they were very boring, something I imagine my mother wearing.

22 Responses to “Wacoal Style #65547”

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Kathleen
November 30th, 2006
4:49 AM

I looked for this style on Wacoal’s website and couldn’t find it. Since their site has the most recent product offerings, I can only wonder if this style has been dropped for next season. In other words, they may not be running anymore of this style so if you thought you might be interested in this product, I’d look into shopping for some sooner rather than later. Her Room is already out of certain colors in given sizes.

[I swear I’m not getting a commission on these]

Joanna
November 30th, 2006
10:23 AM

I just found it on the Wacoal site:
http://www.wacoal-america.com/viewdetail.html?table=bras&key=215

Thanks for the interesting post.

Tatterdemalion
November 30th, 2006
10:52 AM

I did a google search on the style is marketed as a “full-figured” bra. I think I have the egg shape chest, but I am not “full-figured”, so this wouldn’t be for me. :(

La BellaDonna
November 30th, 2006
11:07 AM

Hi, Kathleen! I’m up for any assistance I can render in encouraging Wacoal to first, help identify this figure type, and second, to develop, or continue to develop, products that are geared towards it. I think the comments section to your first posting shows that it’s a very wide-spread (sorry!) problem, and more of us have it than ever suspected. There’s not much out there that addresses it, either.

I really, really, really like the fact that it has stable, adjust-it-yourself straps which will not fall down. I’m a little dubious about the cup – I like a bra cup which doesn’t stretch. Actually, I like a really firm bra cup. My personal preference is also for a lower bridge, but it must be a million years since I’ve bought a “full coverage” bra, so maybe that’s normal. I have had [partial; not yet field-tested!] success with a bra with a 3-piece nonstretch cup from Frederick’s; the straps are adjust-yourself, the bra is underwired, and I think it’s a 3-hook back. I know it lifts and contains my East-West bust comfortably and atractively. I don’t know if it’s an actual “full coverage” bra, but I don’t fall out of it, which I consider a Good Thing – but it’s not so high it throttles me.
This is one of the two Frederick’s bras I bought, and there’s virtually no difference to the cut, although the style numbers are different (one was lace, the other was embroidered). It’s listed, I think, as “padded;” what it has is a really negligible insert that can be removed and ignored, if so desired. I don’t think it has the narrow set to the straps in back that the Wacoal bra has, more’s the pity. As far as I’m concerned, it should be the default design of all bras – everything else should be a departure from this feature. There are an awful lot of women who may not be egg-shaped, thoracically, but who have narrow shoulders, and get tired of having their straps fall down. It really is supposed to be functional underwear, not just fantasy giftwrapping for guys. However, the rest of the cut of the bra seems to be supportive, flattering, and comfortable, AND the center lies flat against my chest – but as I said, I’ll field-test it and report further.

Offhand, as I recall, this design is available from a 34F to, I think, a 44F.

Kath in TX
November 30th, 2006
11:22 AM

Dang. Not in my size, 34F or thereabouts. I have a different Wacoal bra in a 34DDD that a salesperson once talked me into–a poor fit–but I’ve never seen a Wacoal bra above a DDD cup.

Julianne
November 30th, 2006
12:07 PM

This is very timely for me as I recently spent 6 hours and much money at Nordstrom’s trying to find a full busted bra that would work for me! I kept being unhappy that my boobs were pointing off to the sides and the straps kept digging into my arms! The bridges are all too big. Why do they think that a 32 G cup needs a 1 inch bridge???? How do they think that someone with a small frame and large breasts got that way? I had thoughts of trying to find a push up bra with cups big enough and then alter the band to make it smaller… but I will try this Wacoal one if I can find it in a larger cup size. I have been buying 36DDD and 38DDD and making the bands smaller with their other style The Bodysuede Seamless. It also has stretch cups and they do wear out, but it has these side wings inside the cup to bring the breast tissue more to the front, which I like.

Malissa
November 30th, 2006
12:14 PM

I’ve had several friends who are “egg shape” who have taken classes from Anne St. Clair, owner of Needle Nook Fabrics and bra guru. They loved the bras they learned to make from her. I looked for a web site for her but didn’t find one. All I found is where she’s doing American Sewing Guild siminars.

Diane
November 30th, 2006
12:40 PM

I guess I’m a good egg as well. This bra looks very much like my Playtex Secrets #4438. I couldn’t find it on the Playtex website but the #4434 looks similar except it doesn’t have underwires like the 4438. Google search brought up some ebay listings so it may be discontinued. I bought mine in black, white and nude at Ross for a whopping $6 each. Very comfy straps, underwires, and fits smooth across the front.

Teresa
November 30th, 2006
5:53 PM

Kathleen, I was so happy to get your e-mail today! You pretty much hit my bra problems right on the head: the bridge is always too big and I feel like the straps are pretty much sitting on the very edge of my shoulder. I’m not full-figured, so it may not work for me, but I’m going to look for it anyhow.
I’ve had really good luck with Frederick’s of Hollywood bras in the past. I gained a bunch of weight, had to go up a size (or something – the measuring instructions never work on me because of my funnel chest), their store near me closed, and haven’t been able to get to the closest one that’s still open across the town.
I definitely cannot recommend Maidenform bras. I bought 3 of them at Kohl’s and they seemed fine. Got them home and wore them more and it’s a mess!

oliviacw
November 30th, 2006
7:30 PM

Looks lovely, but it’s a “full-figured” bra that doesn’t even come in a DDD.

Mardel
December 1st, 2006
5:15 AM

I too am happy for the update. Bra-shopping is a mine-field of dissapointment. I am pretty sure I have an egg-shaped chest and want to try this bra. Since your original post so many problems that I have had with fitting have begun to make sense.

Dana
January 5th, 2007
3:46 PM

This article, like the other that explained the problem to me, is wonderful. I am working on altering a bra pattern to fit me, and any info gives me a better understanding of what I need.

The wide bridge is definitely a serious issue for me. When I was a 2 band sizes and 2 cup sizes smaller, I rarely had any problem with the bridge being too wide. Now, I have found that buying a bra with a full band (especially a wide one) helps a bit. I’m not sure why. It doesn’t make the bridge any smaller, but it holds everything towards the front better.

emma
March 10th, 2007
2:46 AM

yup i’m egg shaped too. i gave up wearing bras a few years ago cause they were just too damm painful. working on making my own but it’s a slow process not sure the wacol (who are wacol? don;t have them in the uk) would work for me (too much coverage and i like elastic straps and i’m a 38H) but i’ll keep hunting.

Karen Anderson
May 27th, 2007
8:11 AM

This post was very helpful, and I’ve just ordered one of these bras. I have the figure shape you describe, in a 34DD, and the only bra that has worked for me is the Wacoal 65567 (the Awareness bra, underwire) which is very similar. I had not tried this one because I was afraid the fabric would be too lacy and would make lightweight tops snag rather than drape. We’ll see…

My problem has always been cups too far apart! I used to wear Warner’s bras, but they don’t make a 34DD.

Thanks for the info!
–Karen

Marla
September 22nd, 2007
11:23 AM

I too have hated bra shopping due to cups being too far apart, straps falling down, straps being too long, difficulty finding a bra that comes in 32DD… I have not tried the Wacoal bra you suggest. I do have the Playtex Secrets #4438 and Wacoal #65124 which both fit well. I will get the Wacoal Style #65547 ordered. Thanks for the tip. -Marla 9/22/07

Teresa
December 5th, 2007
2:06 PM

I tried Wacoal recently, but had problems with their bras. I noticed the strap length on their bras is fairly short; I’m 6’0″ and one of their bras I couldn’t even get on due to the straps being so short. I also noticed that some of their full-figured (full-figured seems to mean 38C and bigger and not a woman’s general figure) have narrow straps; narrow straps generally seem to dig in on me.

Alas and alack, I thought Wacoal would be a solution for me. :(

Anne Casey
June 21st, 2009
10:00 PM

I’ve had luck recently with several Simone Perele designs – the straps are still a little far apart, but the bridge actually sits on my chest, and they are a tiny bit padded, which I need in colder weather under knitwear. I go to an outlet store, which helps. I’ve also had a lot of luck with Bendon bras, although the Elle McPherson ones (also made by Bendon) don’t fit at all.

Kathleen Sews
May 19th, 2010
4:33 PM

Anne St. Clair doesn’t have a web site, she sells out of a blog. Well, it seems to work for her. Her company is Needle Nook Fabrics.

http://ndlnookfab.blogspot.com/

I took a class from her. She has bras made up in all her sizes to try on. I am a 36 FFF (or I). I found, rather surprisingly, that Fredericks of Hollywood bras, 36 DDD, fit me pretty well. Not as good as those I make from Anne’s patterns, but close. Fredericks clothes are made of cheap fabrics and questionable workmanship, but their bras and panties are really nice.

Rhonda
March 3rd, 2011
10:50 AM

I cannot believe there are people out there with the same problem. Thought I was the only one. I actually bought a strap from Target that pulls the cups closer together. Problem with that is my “egg shaped” chest protrudes and that makes the strap uncomfortable as it pulls across my ribs! Can’t win for losing.

tika
May 11th, 2011
1:48 PM

unlike a lot of the women on here i am very small, only an a, but i still have many of the same problems…. i did find that pushups definately fit the best as well regardless, but i do still have problems with the straps digging into the shoulders, and, since my “egg” shape has a very defined point, many bras dig in very painfully in the center. it would be wonderful if they made bras specifically for women like us, but im not sure the best way to tackle all the problems…

Kathleen
July 5th, 2011
3:30 PM

I don’t think I have an egg-shaped chest. But I still have this problem. My breasts pop out of my bra in front, while the cups are practically in my armpits. No painful digging in the center or strap problems – just cups that are too far apart, although the cups would fit – IF they were in the right place. The bands of my bras fit my rib cage fine too. It isn’t any one brand, either. They’re all made that way, it seems.

Miri
March 16th, 2013
8:26 PM

Wow, thanks for this post, I am going to have to look for this bra. I also don’t think I have an egg-shaped chest, but have the same problem that apparantly the bra manufacurers think my breasts are primarily located in my armpits instead of on the front of my chest. This has become a bigger problem for me since gaining weight & being more “full-figured.” Recently I found a bra that I bought in a smaller band size than usual (it had enough sets of hooks that this still worked for me) and went with a bigger size cup that usual and while it’s better than most I’ve tried recently, it still has the same problems. The thing you were talking about regarding the “bridge width” definitely applies to me, too! Regarding straps – mine don’t exactly “dig” in like you describe, but they always fall at the edges of my shoulders & are constantly falling down.

I have just discovered your website this weekend and have been reading it extensively. I really don’t have the time to sew, but i’ve been thinking about sewing my own stuff because nothing seems proportioned right for me – your excellent posts really explain the roots of this problem. I’ve previously “bookmarked” some books (geared to home sewists) on pattern drafting that I was meaning to look into getting. After reading your blog I’m so glad I haven’t bought any of them yet, as I can see how they will lead me astray…

I really appreciated the one post where you talked about fuller figured clothing is being made like shapeless bags (I’m not sure that’s quite how you put it), ie – while there may technically be enough fabric there to cover body parts it looks sloppy. That is exactly right! You also said understandably people don’t want to pay very much for this clothing since it all looks bad anyway. (Also correct!)

I was curious – your posts (or people in their comments) often mention “your book.” Are they talking about the one for sewn products for entrepreneurs? (I thought there was one place I saw mention of some sort of “fitting guide” type book of yours (this may just have been in someone’s comments to you), but never found any links to it – just wanted to make sure if I go looking for your book I will buy the right thing…

Thanks for this AWESOME website!

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