Let’s start with the all important question, why is it so important to wear the right bra?
1. Here comes the science bit… Joking aside, it’s important for your health. Bras which are the wrong size will have the wrong sized or shaped wire which will be in the wrong place and can harm the breast. An ill fitting bra can also put pressure on your neck and back and is a frequent cause of visits to the doctor with neck pain, back pain and even headaches. What’s more, without sufficient support, over time your breasts are more likely to droop.
2. You’ll look good. A poorly fitted bra can spoil the look of that gorgeous dress; leaving lumps and bumps in the wrong places. On the other hand, a well fitted bra can make you look slimmer and will put the finishing touches to your oh-so-lovely outfit.
3. You’ll feel great. If you need another reason, chances are you’ll feel great. Just wearing the right bra can change how you feel about yourself; not only will you feel more comfortable but also more confident, beautiful and sexy!
Bra fitting is as much art as science and can’t be done properly with a tape measure so if you can, you should visit a boutique for a professional bra fitting. The most common mistake is customers wearing a back size far too big and a cup size far too small – so don’t be surprised if the size you need is quite different.
If you’re buying online, don’t worry, you can fit yourself using the handy guide below. There really are only 2 things you need to check: the back size and the cup size.
So, grab a mirror – or a really good friend – and take a look at your best fitting bra.
1. Let’s look at the back first.
Does the bra sit in a straight line on your body from front to back?
If it does then then you should stick with the back size you are already wearing and move on to looking at the cup size. If not, for example if the back is riding up and the front is drooping, then as a first step, if you are wearing the bra on the loosest hook or if it is an old bra, reduce your back size by one size e.g. from 36 to 34. If you are already wearing the bra on a tighter hook and the bra is not too old then you probably need to go down in the back by two sizes e.g. from 36 to 32. Remember the back size you’ve worked out so far, we’ll move on to look at the cup size now and we might want to tweak the back size again if we change the cup size.
2. Now, the cup size.
a. Do your boobs come over the top and sides of the cup?
b. Does the centre of the bra stick out from your chest rather than sitting flat between your breasts?
c. Are the wires at the side soft and squidgy and able to be pressed in when you touch them?
If the answer to any of these three questions is yes then your cup size is too small. If the problem is not large then increase the cup size by one e.g. from C to D, but if the problem is very pronounced then increase the cup size by two e.g. from C to DD.
Finally, if you already worked out in stage 1 that the back size needed to be smaller then you now need to further increase the cup size – this is because cup sizes are automatically smaller on smaller backed bras, so for every size you drop in the back in stage one, you now need to further increase the cup by that many sizes too.
So, if you were wearing a 36C and you reduced the back size to a 32. Now at 32C.
You’ve increased the cup size by 2 as a result of looking at the cup itself, so you’re now looking at a 32DD. Because you had reduced the back size 2 sizes, you should now increase the cup by a further 2 sizes. You should in fact by wearing a 32F.
It will also help to understand the how to put on a bra and what a well fitting bra should look like. When putting your bra on, start on the loosest hook as your bra will stretch over time, allowing you to tighten the back band as it stretches – meaning your bras last longer! The back band should be sitting firmly and horizontally across your back. The straps should sit firmly on your shoulder without leaving angry looking marks. You should be able to place two fingers underneath the strap without the straps falling off. Once the back and straps look good, you should check your breasts are positioned well in the cup. Lean forward and make sure all of the breast tissue from under your arms is supported by the cup. The wires should feel firm and not dig into the breast tissue and your breast should not be spilling out.
Our bodies are forever changing; through pregnancy, illness, weight gain or weight loss as well as normal monthly hormonal changes. Our bras also change over time too; through wearing and washing! So a bra fitting is recommended at least every 6-12 months.