Whether you’re on an outing to the lingerie boutique or navigating the virtual world of buying bras, many of us have had more than a few frustrating bra sizing experiences. From big breast to small breasts, bell-shaped to asymmetrical—whatever shape or size your bosom may be, statistics present an uncomfortable overview: close to 80% of women shop for or own bras that are not their true size, and we often continue purchasing the same ill-fitting sizes even when we experience weight fluctuations.
We’re in bras for most of the day, and ultimately, any type of comfort makes life feel that much more like a cushy pillow. It doesn’t matter if you’re bearing wired bras, wireless bras, or wearing a soft sports bra—making sure you’re narrowing down your perfect personal bra size is good for both your health and your overall well-being.
Just follow these 4 steps to find your well-fitting bra.
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Get Your Bust Measured Correctly
Getting measured professionally for your bra size as well as continuing to get measured every so often in case of weight changes (everyone’s weight is distributed differently—if you gain a few pounds, more might go to your bust then another’s) is the best way to find an impeccable bra that feels like it was made especially for your pair. If you can’t spare the time to get professionally measured (do it—your girls will thank you for it), follow carefully along with Haute Flair’s step-by-step guide on how to precisely measure your bust with soft measuring tape, and review the bra size conversions to determine your appropriate size in foreign measurements.
Note on band and cup sizes—many women make the mistake of buying band sizes too big and cup sizes too small. Pay attention to the feel and look of your bra’s band and cups, and read on to check if your lingerie is exhibiting naughty behaviors of ill-fitting intimates.
Common Bra Fitting Issues
A perfect fitting bra shouldn’t create discomfort. From the band to the straps, there should be a snug, supportive, but not-too-tight feeling that doesn’t generate any day-after-day stress on our delicate bodies. The following should be considered when testing out new bras, or reviewing how your old bras are performing.
1. Bands should not be too tight. They should lie flat against your back, with the second clasp being your go-to for comfort upon purchase—this ensures a smooth transition for any breast size changes during more sensitive times of the month. An ill-fitting band will ride up your back or will be uncomfortably tight, signaling that it’s too large or small, respectively.
2. Straps should never dig into the shoulders, or fall off to the side. If they’re digging in, your band is likely too large, so you’re overcompensating by tightening the straps too much. If they’re falling off to the side, this also can mean your band is too large.
3. The gore (the center of the bra) should lie against your chest, not protruding outward or digging into your skin, leaving marks. If the gore is not touching your sternum, the cups may be small, or your breasts may be too close together for that particular bra.
4. Cups should be filled but never overflowing. If your cups are overflowing, the shape of the bra is improper for your frame, or your chosen cup size is simply too small.
Review Bra Reviews
Getting below the surface and digging into customer reviews is an infallible way to get to the nitty-gritty of bra sizing. Pay attention to what customers say about the fit—not all bras are made true to size, and it could take a few purchases (and returns) to find one that works for you.
If the majority of gals remark that a specific bra is way too big, try a size lower. If the first few don’t work out, don’t give up! Keep on your quest for comfort, and don’t settle for anything less than your idea of bra perfection.
Shape is Everything
Your personal shape is the most critical factor in choosing a suitable bra. Think of how many breast shapes exist—even the most precise measurements may not cover a particular aspect of your breasts. It’s essential to find a bra that you genuinely connect with; one your breasts are eager to hang out in. Measurements and specifics will get you close, but make sure to try on lots of different sizes, read about and pay attention to common bra sizing misconceptions like the ones above, try a few wireless options (they solve many of these issues), and make sure that you simply feel great in the bra you’re in!