Bra Shopping in Istanbul

D’you know Turkish bra manufacturers think every lady is a B cup? True story. Considering some of the majestic, prow-like bosoms I’ve seen on matrons ’round here you’d think someone would’ve cottoned onto the fact that that is not the case, but no. You, whoever you are, be ye nipple-on-rib or bent-double-from-the-weight, are a B. End of story.

I happen to be an actual B cup, but believe it or not that does not make bra shopping any easier. Knowledge is power, though, and here’s what I’ve learned in three years.

1. Most important. Avoid Loya. Loyas are everywhere, and they have some cute nighties, but their bras are a nightmare. D’you know those medieval pictures of lions that were clearly drawn by someone who’d never seen a lion? Pretty sure that’s what goes on in the design team behind their bras. I picked up a handful of cheap ones for every day wear last year, cause they were nine lira each and I figured why not. Cheap, disposable bras to boob-sweat into for the summer and then discard. The shape… they do something very, very odd to your chest, ladies. Very odd. In their upscale collection, 20 TL and up, there appears to be nothing between the thickly padded, bra-comes-with-boobs-why-are-you-even-here model and the wisp of cheap polyester lace that’s designed for a cheap bedroom floor rug. AVOID. Unless you want a cute cotton nightie on the cheap.

2. Places that I know for sure have actual different sizes include Oysho, (the one on Bahariye is lovely and is having a sale right now. I dropped 200 there on my lunch break just now) Marks and Spencers, Penti, and Carrefour. Oysho I’ll vouch for for now but we’ll see how they wash. My 200 TL bought me, on sale, 5 everyday bras that are really rather pretty, one wisp of rather more expensive nylon lace that I certainly hope winds up on my second hand but still very nice bedroom floor rug, and several pairs of matching undies. But expect, even with a sale, to drop 30 TL per. Marks and Spencers I haven’t been to cause I avoid malls, but I’ve heard they’ve got a range of all kinds of difficult to find sizes, 40 TL mark and above. Carrefour has great bras and frequent sales. You can get em as cheap as 10 TL if you’re there on the right day. However, my experience is that even with my cute little mesh lingerie laundry bag, they fall apart after six washings. I went to Penti last week, and because I cannot for the life of me learn to think in metric, and therefore cannot for the life of me ever remember anything in centimeters, (I seriously think centimeters are the stupidest measurement ever. Why would you say you’re 180 centimeters or whatever when you can just say 5’4″?) and cannot, or perhaps refuse to, remember that 34=80, got measured. The girl insisted, but insisted, I was an A cup. In her defense I was at the time wearing a cheap Loya bra which was doing something very odd to my chest. I finally gave in and just bought the damn bra in the size she insisted I was,without trying it on. If you see Agent L walking around with her bosom resting just under her chin, you know it’s laundry day, heretoforth known as Penti-bra day. So they have lots of different sizes, and a gal I know who’s 32 D gets all her bathing suits there, but stand firm to your size, ladies, and don’t let the chick with the measuring tape push you around.

If anyone else knows of any good finds please let us all know in the comments.



This entry was posted in Ex-pat, Istanbul, Kadikoy, Turkey, Yabancı life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Bra Shopping in Istanbul

  1. Alan says:

    . . there’s a problem here – you’re only writing for half of you audience! No bloke is going to comment on this for fear of being forever branded. That said, I know a thing or two about Marks & Spencer incl their bras having fingered a few in my time! As you gathered I am also well past my ‘shame’ sell-by date. ( not past Sloggi thongs though)

  2. agentlabroad says:

    Hahahaha! Ever insightful and funny, Mr. Archer. Think about how many blokes who’ll read this will look all sensitive and heroey when they can tell their ever-whinging-about-the-Turkish-bra-situation lady friends where to go, eh?

  3. My favorite line is “prow-like bosoms”. That’s awesome.

  4. Maria Terzi says:

    why don’t you try the usual Intimissimi and La Senza.. also there is a nice underwear section in Debenhams ) but you are right about ‘in Turkey every girl is a B cup’:) it was shocking for me when I first came here as I am A.. sometimes even AA:):)

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