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Help Finding Clothing

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Popcanman

Help Finding Clothing
« on: August 08, 2019, 12:21:09 AM »
I was recently diagnosed with gynecomastia after having a CT scan but really suspected it for years. 

At any rate, I'm trying to make some lifestyle changes to finally exercise and get down to my goal weight and lose the belly. 

Trouble is my condition has gotten "worse" which makes exercise and an active lifestyle more difficult and complicated. 

My wife first suggested getting sport bras for exercise a couple months ago. I was very reluctant at first but after finding two X4 size ones on Amazon I've been able to increase my exercise time because. The support really decreases my chaffing and reduces the bouncing around. I'm finally able to lose weight and am recently down 25 lbs. with probably 50 or more lbs. to go. Surprisingly my chest has not went down and if anything may have increased relatively speaking. 

I currently have a 46.5 inch rib measurement with a 50.5 inch chest. I don't know for sure what official size that makes me. I suspect if I reach my weight goal I might slim down 2-3 inches under bust and who knows about my bust?! 

Anyways, because of other health considerations, finances, and personal preference my wife and I have very recently  decided together not to pursue gynecomastia surgery. I am settled in this. I'm not looking for surgeon suggestions or pros/cons of procedures here. 

Initially, I was concerned about going under the knife and the slightest possibility of loosing sensation or getting a bad outcome. Honestly, I'm oddly relieved about decision and I feel funny for saying that. Ultimately, I like my chest the way it is but dislike the difficulty it brings in exercise and wardrobe choices. 

Today my wife encouraged me to start wearing a sports bra at home/work and not just while exercising. She also suggested that I was making too big of a deal about wearing it secretly only during workout time and encouraged me just to wear my sports bras in day to day stuff. She also suggested that I try to find tank tops with built in bras. After some thought, I am onboard. I'm not trying to hide or bind my chest but rather to support it. 

I'm still just not ready to go shopping for this kind of thing with my wife, as fun as that might be. So I set out on my own today. After many hours of searching by myself online I've come away a bit frustrated and have decided to come to the community for help. This is my first post and the first time I've told anyone other than my wife. 

With regards to clothes shopping, the problem is that I am oddly shaped. I'm 6 foot 4 inches with a 50 plus inch bust with a pant inseam in the 28 to 30 inch range. Doing the math: my can, torso, and head make up the rest of the 46-48 inches. I definitely have proportionally short legs and a looooooong torso. 

So far today, I have found zero options in the guys side (obviously). And venturing into the gals section (still weird for me) I cannot find anything that matches my criteria...

1- tall/long shirt (32 inches or longer), 

2- 3X/4X/5X (big enough for 51 inch bust), 

3- wide straps (no spaghetti straps for work please), 

4- plain colors (white or grey and maybe blue preferred so I can wear it underneath other clothes and around the house), and 

5- Not shirred or laced.



Are there any options out there short of having a personal tailor?

Please help. I'm a bit frustrated and new at this. 








Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/smf/index.php?topic=35402.0

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 07:42:50 AM »
Welcome popcanman! Everything you mentioned, those of us who have accepted our breasts have thought or gone through. I developed in puberty due to hormonal imbalance. After being picked on and bullied, like kids do, i fell into a depression about my body. I began overeating with the thought that I could "hide" my chest with fat. All it did was put my health at risk and I ultimately had to lose 100 lbs, which I later found out, fat creates more estrogen and so after losing the weight, I had actually gotten larger. I am now wearing a 36DDD/38DD bra, depending on the bra. I too looked at surgery and decided that it was not something I wanted to go through with the remote possibility my gynecomastia could return after surgery. I prefer underwire bras due to the support and containment they provide. I have been wearing bras everyday for several years now. There are others here who have been wearing bras a lot longer than I have. We all have our own distinct stories.

If you want to find out what might be your true size is, you will want to get six measurements and then there is a bra calculator called, A Bra That Fits. Plug those six measurements in and you can get a good starting point. The six measurements you will need are loose underbust, snug underbust, tight underbust, standing bust, leaning bust and then lying bust. Here is the URL for the calculator, https://www.abrathatfits.org/calculator.php Don't be surprised with the number and letter(s) that come back. Cup size is a ratio of band size and to get the correct fit and to be comfortable (yes, bras can be comfortable to wear!) style of bra plays into it as well. I always thought I was a large B or small C. I could never comfortablely wear those cup sizes. They were too small, even though many "bra calculators" said that was my cup size. Imagine my surprise when a DD cup fit me perfectly! Problem was those calculators were basing it on two measurements, underbust and bust and that is one of the many reasons 80% of women wear the wrong size bra. It is usually the band is too large and the cups are too small and the band is riding up the back and the shoulders are taking the load of support, which is not how bras are designed. Reverse that (yes the cups letters get bigger) and support and comfort increase. Remember, the band is designed to take 80 to 90% of the support, not the straps so the band needs to be tight enough to anchor on the rib cage being horizontally to the floor when standing without moving around under normal movement of the body like raising the arms or twisting the torso. The straps are to give upward structure appearance and to keep the bra from moving down the body under normal wear and not support the breasts, particularly true with large breasts that can put a strain on the shoulders.

Many men who have gynecomastia usually have shallow breasts (meaning that most of the tissue is at and below the nipple, think in a tear drop shape) and wide set (meaning that you can put at least 3 fingers between the breasts when placed at the sternum) think with not much cleavage. This shape actually works in favor for men who wear bras since women are usually full or round in their breasts and their breasts sit closely together creating cleavage.

Clothing can be tricky. Until you find your size and what style bras work for you, not all will and that is true for women as well, it may be difficult to find something that works to start with. I personally have found wearing a women's layering tank under my shirts help smooth out the lumps and bumps and outlines a bra can give. Also, the women's layering tank has less bulk, is made for layering and is considerably cooler than a man's cotton tee shirt. Non-fitted button downs can work since they give some room in the chest, you just have to be careful that the waist doesn't get swallowed up. Also some non-fitted polo shirts will work. You may also want to consider non-fitted men's look women's button down tops. These will give room in the chest, but you will want to not get the ones with fitted waists. The buttons will button on the wrong side, but no one ever seems to notice! Pattern designs help confuse the eye as well. Stay away from horizontal lines. That will draw eyes to the chest since the lines will run along your shape and will define it in a way that is not flattering to men with breasts. Vertical lines should be avoided as well for the same reasons.

Clothing is something that is a trial and error kind of thing. It is never easy so take your time and while being critical with you look is important, don't be so critical that you miss options that would work. Most of us have found that people are too busy worried about their own lives to even notice you have breasts. For me, after I started wearing a bra and found what worked for me, i stopped trying to "hide" my chest and started to "camouflage" my chest, the number of "wondering" and "wandering" eyes dropped. That was a big surprise to me because in my mind I was "so sure" that everyone knew I was wearing a bra and could "see" my breasts. Truth was, I was the only one who knew and no one else cared.

Please know that this is a journey and it will take some time to completely get your mind around the fact that you are now wearing and depending on an article of clothing that society deems "inappropriate" for you to wear because you do not have the "correct plumbing" between your legs. It is really stupid. I have never considered myself trans anything. I am just a guy with unwanted boobs, and nothing more. Would I rather NOT have breasts? Yes. But the truth is I do have breasts and I also have "male plumbing". I think like a male. I act like a male (just ask my wife). I AM a male. But as another member of the community says, bras are for breasts not just for women. And this true. But I am also of the opinion, that if I have breasts, I want the same options women have when it comes for support, containment and comfort. Why should my genitals determine what level of comfort I get to enjoy? Just how I feel.

Good luck and welcome! We are here to help if we can, even if it is just a platform to bitch about our "assets".

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hammer

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 09:33:52 AM »
It sounds like you have a very supportive wife and that is very helpful!

Johndoe1 said about all that needs to be said so I'll just add a, welcome to the forum! And as he said I believe we are here to help one another, and I'll tell you that you are not alone with this issue! I have been here on the forum since 2011 and have seen many come and go, but we have a very good group of men here that are very helpful and supportive!

You will hear this again but let me say it first! If you are going to go to wearing a regular bra, get a professional fitting right away! You will never regret it!

Once a again, welcome to the forum, and good luck!

Bob

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Popcanman

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 12:39:22 PM »
Thanks for the warm reception and advice. 

I will check out that more in depth bra size calculator when I can find my measuring tape and some privacy. 

I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that the sports bras I wear are comfortable to me. I look forward to wearing them but would never admit that to anyone in person. I guess I just didn't realize the weight of my own chest even in an office sit down setting. I wish I had these bras a long time ago instead of ignoring the "problem". I had swollen breasts in middle school even though I was skinny which was a very confusing time for me. It seems that it's coming back with a vengeance. The only thing that makes this ok is my wife who is awesome. If it wasn't for her I'd still be suffering more. It is odd for me that my wife whose band size is at least 4 inches smaller can wear my bras. I never imagined the day that she could put on my bra by accident.

Anyways the sports bras make it so exercise is tolerable but they still bunch up and don't quite do the job. I wish that sports bras did better to stop the side to side rubbing and movement. I guess this is where a professional fitting comes in. 

To your point Hammer, I would wear a regular bra if it didn't show thin straps and metal/plastic adjustments. While I'll let my wife snap my straps, I really don't want anyone else to have the opportunity.

I was really hoping to find a light support with a built in bra tank top with wide straps but none I find are long enough for my torso. The ones I find that would work are tunic style and flare out a bit to much.

My problem is that I prefer to shop online but this is a hard way to shop for such intimate and personal items that really need to be tried on. If I were a woman I could walk into a store, be helped, and try on bras till the cows come home. As it is now I'd just look like a creep.

I've already reached out to a running clothing store and a plus size intimate apparel shop, explained my situation, and asked for help but have been ignored. This does not make me feel very confident.

Bra shopping would be much easier if I was born a woman instead of being a person with a broad chest and freakishly long torso. 

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 01:28:17 PM »
There are many bras with wide straps and wide bands. With a layering piece and a non-form fitting top, the bra or anything on it will not show through. Plus it will give you a more natural look. I too wore sports bras when I first started wearing but soon I found that the pullovers didn't support well and the bra sized sports bras were too tight for all day everyday wear. When exercising you do want a tight fitting bra to hold everything in place. But outside of that, overtime it becomes uncomfortable. You will find that those of us who have much of a chest prefer regular bras over sports bras for everyday wear due to comfort. And our bras don't show because we too don't want to be seen as something we are not.

And yes, a professional fitting is a must. I tell people to find a small locally owned store and call first. Ask to speak to the manager or owner, who will be a woman, and ask if they fit men. 9 times out of 10 the answer will be yes. Then tell her you have gynecomastia and you would like to be fitted and can she set up a private appointment. Trust me, you will NOT be the first to ask. She will guide you from that point on. If she is worth her salt, she will do everything she can to make your experience as pleasant and painless as possible. She will know you are uncertain and uneasy and she will understand you are not some pervert unless you do something to make her think that. If your wife wants to go, take her too. It might be fun!

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Popcanman

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2019, 12:39:45 AM »
So I went to abrathatfits.org, measured carefully, and entered the stats. 

I am completely shocked. 46D to 46DD.

I assumed I was a B or C at most. 

Dang this really snuck up on me. 

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2019, 07:13:42 AM »
Same thing happened to me! I too thought I was a large B or small C and it turns out I am a DD! Just because you don't have a lot of projection doesn't mean you don't have a lot of breast tissue. That is why there are so many styles of bras. There are so many different shapes of breasts! You might also want to try both ways, a male at birth and a female at birth. For me, the female at birth size was closer to my real size than the male at birth. They do admit that the male setting isn't as accurate as the female and I guess that makes sense since that database isn't as large as the female database. I think if you are not muscular, the female size might be closer. Just remember, that is a starting point and breast shape and manufacturer will determine you final size. There seems to be no standard in sizing bras. Each manufacturer seems to have their own system.

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hammer

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2019, 07:28:53 AM »
Been there done that and it's a surprise!

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2019, 07:59:30 AM »
Popcanman, I'm also one who's been wearing a bra for quite some time. I started wearing a bra fulltime when I was 16. That's when I was first fitted and that was 30 years ago. I was a 34C. I'm a 38G or H now depending on the bra. I usually get professionally fitted for my bras. The only exception is if I order a replacement for the same bra I already have or in the past with a growth spurt,  I needed to go up a cup size.

I can echo everything that Johndoe said. The ladies at almost every place that sells bras are happy to help us. 

Underwire bras will offer the best shape and support and can be the most comfortable as long as they are properly fitted for you. Don't be afraid of lace. Nobody is going to see it anyway. Lace cups are great for warmer weather. You have to keep in mind that no matter how frilly it is and no matter what the cup size is, the fit is what really matters. After wearing your bra for 18 hours you want to be able to forget that you are wearing it. It's no fun tugging at your bra or fixing the straps all day. 
Bras aren't for women, they're for breasts.

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2019, 08:26:59 AM »
I would also like to.add a note about outer wear. 

Wearing a bra will present some other challenges to accommodate the girls. I typically will wear loose clothing like a t shirt with a fitted ladies tank. If I wear a button down, it comes from a women's clothing store or department.  I need a men's shirt that is 3 or 4 sizes too big just to fit my chest.  Lane Bryant and Torrid have some great options and have always been treated well while shopping there.

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2019, 11:03:35 AM »
I also need to have an actual fitting, but for the time being Amazon prime wardrobe has been very handy. 

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2019, 11:37:22 AM »
I haven't used prime wardrobe yet. I have thought about ordering a few bras to.give it a try. 

Most of the time, when I get fitted, I usually end up wearing my new bra out of the store. Sometimes the bra that I'm wearing is either worn out or is I'll fitting and they donate the bras to.a women's shelter if I don't want to keep it. 

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2019, 12:42:12 PM »
I like prime wardrobe but I also find it frustrating. I've become accustomed to things I order from Amazon to be here within 2 days and wardrobe takes about a week to get to your door. Having said that you can order a bunch of things and they don't charge you until you complete the order by telling them what you're keeping and what you're sending back. It's a good option for those who either haven't or cannot otherwise get a fitting. I suppose the shipping speed outweighs the possible necessity of ordering $500 worth of bras to try on and then having to wait for a refund for the ones that don't fit. 

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hammer

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2019, 09:00:30 PM »
I like prime wardrobe but I also find it frustrating. I've become accustomed to things I order from Amazon to be here within 2 days and wardrobe takes about a week to get to your door. Having said that you can order a bunch of things and they don't charge you until you complete the order by telling them what you're keeping and what you're sending back. It's a good option for those who either haven't or cannot otherwise get a fitting. I suppose the shipping speed outweighs the possible necessity of ordering $500 worth of bras to try on and then having to wait for a refund for the ones that don't fit.
The type and size of bras that ABWG'S and I wear and buy at our fittings it doesn't take long to spend that $500.00, does it ABWG'S?  That's the reason I've been holding off buying new bras or even going for a new fitting until I stop losing weight, and I'm praying that won't be for another 50 pounds! 😁 my weight going into the Navy at age 20 was 195, and I would love to see that again!

Re: Help Finding Clothing
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2019, 09:37:35 AM »
Absolutely correct Hammer. Because of my cup size being what it is, I cant usually find a bra that will work for me in most stores. Most places will only carry up to a DDD in a 36 or 38 band. I can only wish that I could lose enough weight to see a DDD cup.size again. 

I get most of my bras from a couple of local boutiques that specialize in bras. They are both excellent. They know me by name.and always welcome me. They keep track of my measurements .They also have very nice bras in my size. The great service and selection comes at a price. I will usually spend around $100.00 a piece on my bras. However, my bras will also last 2-3 years. 


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