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How to: Get the Right Bra Fit
Why is it so important to get the right fit? Not only does it help your clothes fit better, alleviate back and neck pains and prevent premature sagging, but it can immediately make you look like you’ve lost weight, and balances your body proportions out (and who doesn’t want that?). Whether your cup runneth over or it’s only half full, here are a few suggestions to help you become breast friends with your bra.
Ask a Professional
The easy solution is to go to a department store and get help from an underwear expert. You might feel apprehensive about standing topless in front of a stranger, with your assets on display, but this is their job and you should walk out with a well-fitted bra that lifts and supports you. If you’re particularly uncomfortable, however, these professionals (especially those situation in teams at department stores) can often just as easily size you whilst you’re wearing the bra you came in with.
Sizing Up the Situation
If the idea of baring your breasts makes you break out into a cold sweat, or you simply like to be prepared as possible, you can of start by ‘going it alone’. The most useful place to start is with your own measurements. This is the time to be completely honest about the numbers, because only you can see your bra size, whereas everyone else can see how it fits.
The two features you’ll need to measure are the band and the cup size. To be accurate, you must remove your shirt AND bra and, if possible, let someone else take the measurements.
- Band size – Flatten the tape measure against your ribcage, directly below your breasts and parallel to the floor and let it be snug but not tight. If it’s an even number (in inches) that’s your size, while an odd number is rounded up.
- Cup size – Keep your arms at your sides and measure around your torso over the fullest part of your bust (usually along the horizontal line where your nipple sits). Subtract the band size from the cup measurement and the difference gives you the cup size. If your band is 34 and your cup is 35 the difference is one inch and so your cup size is A. Two inches is a B, three inches is a C, four inches is a D, five inches is a DD (or E), etc.
Get the Right Fit
Bras are like shoes - they all feel a little different, even with the same brand or style. It sounds pretty obvious but the more bras you try on the easier it is to recognise when something fits you properly and flatters your body shape.
- Band - This provides 90% of the support so it must be firm, but comfortable, and you should be able to slide two fingers between the band and your skin. It also needs to lie flat against your back, in a straight line, below your shoulder blades.
- Cup – You want your breasts inside, and not spilling over the top, underneath or around your underarms. The point at which your cup meets your bust should be a smooth transition, not put you in mind of a chest’s equivalent of severe muffin-top.
- Straps - These will level the bra, so loosen or tighten them to make the bra fit without leaving strap marks.
- Centre Panel – This portion of the band is between the cups and it should be flat against your chest between your breasts.
- Underwire – These are comfortably positioned underneath your breasts, not digging into your chest or underarms.
How to Wear a Bra
You’ve been wearing a bra for years and you know how to put it on, right? Wrong. Put your arms through the straps and lean forward, letting your breasts fall into the cups and then fasten the bra. For each side, slip your hand into the cup and scoop your breast towards the centre so that it’s securely and comfortably in the bra. Breast tissue goes all the way to the underarm so this trick of the trade ensures everything is where it ought to be. Once you’ve found the right bra, it’s just as important to wear it properly.
If you know your size but you’re having no luck finding lingerie, there’s a cheat sheet known as ‘sister sizing’. Because the cup size is relative to the band size, both your cup and band size will slide along the sizing scale together. If, for example, you’re normally a 34 B, in theory you should fit into a 32C or a 36 A. When adjusting your size, don’t let you vanity get the better of you! The perfect bra is about the fit – not the numbers.
What further complicates the already complicated world of bras is that you wear different types depending on the occasion. T-shirt bras are used every day, convertible bras are for strapless tops, cleavage bras come out to play when you wear your special occasion outfit and a bridal bra is for your wedding dress. As underwear provides the foundation for your silhouette, to look your best you need to have a variety of different styles in your underwear drawer.
Top Tittilating Tips
- Go bra shopping when you have time – this is one item you should not be rushing (unlike gym shorts).
- Many materials will stretch, so try your bra on using the medium to loosest clasp.
- Women gain and lose weight frequently, so they need to be measured regularly- every 6 months is recommended.
- Try on a variety of styles as they shape your breasts differently.
- The dreaded back fat means your bra is actually too big.
- Generally speaking, if you’re aware of your bra, you’re wearing the wrong size.
Bras may seem like simple constructions, but they are in actuality, remarkable feats of engineering- usually, the more sophisticated the design, the higher the price tag. Every woman should, however, have a few high-quality bras that fit perfectly, boost her confidence and show off her shape to its full potential. Take care of your breasts by supporting them properly and they (along with the rest of your body) will thank you for it . Bra- va, ladies!