Finding the best-fitting bra can be a challenge. For many, bra shopping can become disappointing and emotional after time. This means a lot of the time, many women are walking around wearing uncomfortable-fitting bras which dig into their skin, slip off their shoulders and create awkward and unappealing spillage situations.
A lot of this stems back to negative experiences at the lingerie store. Perhaps you may get embarrassed or uncomfortable getting fit, or maybe you have not come to terms with your bra size. We are here to help. Follow our guide to finding the best fit here:
- The bra band is where most of the support comes from
Yes, the bra cup holds the breasts in place, but the back band manages about 90% of the support. Many women are under the impression that it is the straps which support them, but it is in fact the band. The straps are there to keep the cup flush with your body and to shape the breast. If the cup and band fit correctly, as they should, you should notice no difference if you were to slip the bra strap off.
- Find your “sister size”
Knowing your correct true bra size is important. It is equally important to know your “sister size”. The “sister size” is a general rule of thumb*: if you go up in the band, go down in the cup and vice versa. This is a great way of finding an alternative in different stores as they may sell different brands or styles, which can tend to fit slightly differently.
*For example, a 34C could potentially fit a 30D, or a 34B. If you are a 32C, you may find bras from brands that fit better in a 36B or 32D.
Knowing this trick is particularly beneficial to those with smaller bands but larger cup sizes.
- Accept help with finding the right bra size
It is a really good idea to get professionally fitted if you can. Experts in lingerie stores and boutiques can tell you your bra size and also recommend which style of bra may suit you best. Once you have your size you are open to a world of possibilities with online lingerie stores and vendors. You can also measure yourself at home with tape if you are more comfortable with that. You can use a bra size calculator or even some lingerie stores, such as Bras and Honey, offer virtual bra fitting services and advice.
- Accept asymmetry
Having one breast larger than the other may embarrass some women but it is completely normal and very common. Despite this, we know that it may cause some difficulties whilst finding the right fitting bra. If the difference in size is significant enough that it makes bra shopping more complicated, we suggest that you find a bra which fits the larger breast. To create an even silhouette, you can add bra cutlets to fill out the size with less breast tissue.
- If your straps are slipping, it could be one of a few signs that your cups are too big.
There are a few tell-telling signs if your bra is too big for you. One is if your bra straps are slipping. Another is if the centre boning of your bra, between the cups, is not laid flat against your chest. This is a sign of an ill-fitting bra.
- The back band should be snug, not suffocating or loose.
If you have the right band size, you should be able to fit two fingers between your back and the strap with about an inch of stretch. If the band is too small, you will notice there is squeezing and digging in with the underwire. This does not mean that having it looser is better though. If your band is too loose, you will notice that it will ride up between your shoulder blades, which will not offer the support you need.
To give your bra longevity, start off by wearing the bra on the loosest hook, so that when the strap is starting to feel worn out, you can move onto the second, and then third, for more grip.
- Find the bra style and material that suits you best
As with any piece of clothing, different styles and materials serve different purposes. Your bra should be one of the key staples in your wardrobe. You will want to own one or two bras which are versatile and can be worn every day for comfort. We recommend that you have:
- At least one of two T-shirt bras – These can be worn under most day-to-day clothes and are a staple
- Strapless bra – These are great if you want to go with a bandeau top or dress, or if you are wearing tops with thin straps
- A sports bra- Depending on the exercise you do, you will want to have a supporting sports bra for high-impact sports, and low support for activities such as Pilates
- A non-wired bra/bralette – These are great for travelling, working from home, or running errands
- Replace your bras when they don’t feel like they are doing the job anymore
We are all guilty of having that one go-to bra which we have had for years, but after time, bras need to be thrown out. Depending on your size and how well you look after your bra can determine how long the bra will last. A good quality bra should last about a year.
Ensuring that you are washing your bras by hand and rotating with other pieces will help the bands from stretching out too quickly. No matter what precautions you take though, you will need to replace them at some point.
To conclude, finding the perfect fitted bra is not just about comfort; it’s about confidence and overall well-being. A well-fitting bra supports breast health, prevents discomfort, and enhances posture. It’s a crucial investment in self-care. While the search may seem daunting, it’s worth the effort to measure, try different styles, and consult with professionals if needed. The right fitted bra can transform the way you feel and look in your clothing, boosting self-esteem and body positivity. Remember, everybody is unique, and finding the ideal bra is a journey of self-discovery and self-care that pays off in terms of comfort, confidence, and overall satisfaction.