How to Choose the Right Size Bra
A leading study conducted by UK Consumer Watchdog, Which, revealed that 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra.
Wrong Size – Does it Really Matter?
It matters a huge deal if you are not wearing the correct bra size. Not only does a poor-fitting bra cause bad posture, it can also lead to back and neck problems. Conversely, a bra that fits you properly will not only feel more comfortable, it will give you a more attractive silhouette, better waistline and slimmer tummy.
Why do Women Buy the Wrong Size Bra?
- Reason 1 – “It says 36C on the label I’m a 36C”: In my experience, the reason why many women go wrong when choosing their bra size is that they think they are a certain size (e.g. 36C) and they continue to buy this same size without further thought. Now, ponder on this for a moment; when you go shopping for clothes do you always buy the same size in every brand? The answer is most likely “no”. Because there is no such thing as standardized sizing, sizes vary (sometimes dramatically) from brand to brand. Similarly, there is no such thing as standardized sizing when it comes to bras; so, one brand’s C cup is another’s D cup, and so forth.
- Reason 2 – “I was measured before and I was a 36C”: Women’s body shapes change over time. Indeed an online survey by LaSenza.com showed that the average woman’s breast size changes up to 6 times over the course of her lifetime. Factors such as age, weight, pregnancy, hormones, medications, surgeries etc. all affect our breast size; hence, I strongly recommend that you get measured by a professional bra fitter for every bra that you purchase. However, if that’s a little much for you, then consider at least getting measured every 6-12 months.
- Reason 3 – “I’m nervous of getting measured”: There’s no need to feel apprehensive when getting fitted for a new bra. True, you may feel a little self-conscious; however, rest assured that professional bra fitters are trained and experienced in this area and you can expect sound advice, minimal fuss and maximum discretion.
- Reason 4 – “I didn’t need to try it on because it looked like a good fit”: Resist temptation to buy a bra without first trying it on. Not only must you consider the style, you must also ensure that the shape and size are suitable. No matter how good your eye-sight and imagination are, it’s impossible to know whether the bra is right for you without having tried it on.
A Bra that Fits You Properly Will…
- Have suitable straps: Your bra should do the work, not the straps. Your straps should be comfortable and secure. They definitely shouldn’t dig in to your shoulders or fall down. If you have a large bust, choose straps that are a little bit thicker for extra support.
- Have cups that fit: The cups should enclose your breasts perfectly; that means no gaps, gapes or spillage!
- Sit on the breastbone: The part of the bra that separates the breasts should sit flush against your breastbone. It shouldn’t dig in or stick out.
- Have a correct band-size: The bands which wrap around and fasten at the back must be perfectly level. If the bra-straps are pulling the bands upward, then the band size (e.g. 32, 34, 36) is too large. Elsewhere, the band should be thick enough to support you – if you have spillage above or below the band, opt for a thicker band instead.
- Fasten on the outer-most clasp: A new bra should fasten on the outer-most clasp (the reason being that the bra will stretch over time and you will need to use the inner clasps then). If you have to use the inner clasps on the first go, then the band-size is too big.
- Feel comfortable: Most importantly of all, you should feel comfortable and secure wearing the bra.
Caroline’s Top Tips…
- Professional measure: A trained, professional bra fitter (available in every specialist lingerie store and most department stores) will help you select a bra that offers the best comfort and fit for you. Get measured every 6-12 months.
- Matching: I suggest that you purchase a couple of sets of matching knickers to go with each bra that you buy. It’s lovely to wear a matching set!
- Washing: Never wash your bras in a washing machine – hand wash only. Follow the temperature and drying instructions on the care label.
- Straps: Tighten up the straps before every wear.
- Exercise: When exercising, always wear a proper fitted sports-bra.
- Discard: Once your bras start to lose their shape, discard them immediately. They’ll owe you nothing by that stage!
Finally, most women wear a band-size too large and a cup-size too small. Remember, if you go down a band size, you go up a cup size. Get measured the next time you buy a bra and see does it make a difference.