Your clothing only looks as good as the intimates worn underneath. Lingerie has the ability to not only improve the aesthetics of your body, but also to lift your mood, and in certain cases keep you healthy.
We all know how distracting and disheartening it can be when your chest bulges over your bra cups, when an underwire pokes uncomfortably, when straps slide off your shoulders, or when a strapless bra slips a bit too low. These moments are annoying, awkward, and frustrating.
But the good news is that we’re here to help prevent these instances from ever happening again.
We’ve complied information from all the experts on how to find the best fitting bras possible, regardless of brand.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR BRA DOESN’T FIT
Most women don’t even know that they’re wearing the wrong bra size. Here are some quick things to look for in the bras you currently own:
- Does the band stay in place in the center of your back (right below the shoulder-blades)? If your bra rides up your back your band size is either too large or needs to be tightened. Bands stretch over time so be sure that the band fits properly on the loosest hook when you first purchase your bra.
- Do the cups cover your entire breast? If your breasts spill over or under the cups then you need to increase your cups size. The underwire should lay flat underneath your breast tissue, circling the entire width of the breast. The top part of the cup should lay flat against the tissue.
- Do you have extra space in the cups? If the cups pucker or gap, or if there’s a gap between your breast and where the cup meets the strap your cup is too big. Try going down a size until the fabric of the bra sits properly.
- Do your straps stay in place? If your straps keep falling off it’s likely time for you to buy a new bra. If you’re shoulders are sloped so that even new bras slip, then try a racerback or convertible straps.
- Is the wire uncomfortable? If you feel the wire poking into your breast tissue then the cup size is too small.
Finding the right fit
You’ll know the bra you have on fits just right if it meets the following criteria:
- Cups lay smoothly
- Center section between the cups lies flat against your ribcage
- The band sits low and even without sliding up as you move
- The straps don’t fall off as you move (try reaching for things and walking)
how to measure your band size
The final piece in the puzzle is to be sure you’re wearing the proper band size. Realize that every brand is different, so check their guidelines before ordering. Here’s a basic guide so that you get it right:
- Put on an unpadded bra that fits well. This will lift your breasts enough so that you can get the proper measurment.
- Wrap a measuring tape snugly around your ribcage, just under your bust. Check to be sure it’s wrapped evenly around – no drooping or riding up in back – and parallel to the floor.
- Exhale to get the smallest measurement possible. You want to be sure your bra will fit regardless of your breathing.
- Round your measurement to the nearest whole number.
Based on your measurement, select your band size from the following sizes:
- 30: below 27″
- 32: 27-29″
- 34: 29-32″
- 36: 33-34″
- 38: 35-38″
- 40: 39-41″
- 42: 42″
- 44: 43-45″
- 46: 46-47″
- 48: 48-49″
- 50: 50-51″
- 52: 52″
choosing the right shape
Now that you know your size, it is equally important that you choose the right shape for your figure. Here’s a quick overview of what each has to offer:
- Pushup: These are great for creating cleavage, but be careful not to go too extreme.
- Convertible: Also known as multi-way bras these bras allow you to adjust the shape of their straps to match your outfit.
- Adhesive: These bras are great for wearing with open backed outfits or plunging necklines. They consist of cups that stick directly to the breast – some brands even offer ones with sticky tabs that wrap partially around your back, these are great for those of us with larger cup sizes.
- Backless: Some bras have specially designed low back bands so that you don’t have to resort to adhesive bras when wearing a backless dress. These are particularly great if you’re more comfortable with having straps on your bra.
- Bralettes: Bralettes, or bandeaus, have no underwire, padding, or molding. They provide minimal support but maximum comfort. If you have a small cup size and want something comfortable, these are for you. Always check the sizing guide though, as often these don’t run in traditional band/cup sizes.
- Demi: Also known as a balcony bra or balconette, these bras typically have wide set straps and cups that are relatively straight across the top. They cover only about half of your breast, and aren’t ideal for larger cup sizes. They almost form a shelf for your breasts and display a natural cleavage without compromising support.
- Front Closure: Closes between your breast instead of behind your back.
- Raceback: Often seen in sports bras, this line is great for those with sloped shoulders.
- Full Coverage: A bra with a higher neckline that covers all of your breast tissue. These are great options for eliminating bulging or spillage.
- Longline: These bras extend below the bust to the waist or hips. Their primary purpose is to create a smooth line underneath a gown. These are also great for strapless outfits because of the added support.
- Minimzer: If you’re self conscious about a large bust, these are for you. The cups of these bras are designed to redistribute breast tissue in order to reduce the projection of your breasts. They’re not comfortable, but help large chested women look great in more streamlined looks.
- Molded: These bras feature seamless cups and a light lining that keeps its shape when you take it off. They hide nipples (great in the winter) and create a smooth look under clothing.
- Plunge: These bras are cut very low in the center in order to be worn with a deep V neckline.
- Soft Cup: These bras don’t have underwires and are extra comfortable.
- T-Shirt: created specifically to be worn under a cotton shirt, these most often feature a solid fabric that won’t catch or show under tight tees. *We suggest you purchase these in nude colors so they can be worn under white tees!*
- Sports: Absolutely necessary for exercise. They prevent the droop that would result by exercising without a bra.
- Sleep: These bras are recommended for larger busted women (D-cup or above) to wear to bed. Sleeping without a bra can result in unattractive sagging due to the weight of larger breasts. Most sleep bras don’t have an underwire and are quite comfortable.
Do you have any more questions about bras? Post them in the comments and we’ll be sure to answer them ASAP!