An awful lot of women are wearing the wrong sized bra. Choosing the right bra is really important, because an ill-fitting bra can have all kinds of dreadful consequences. It can cause back, neck and shoulder pain, pinched nerves, slouched posture and breast sag, as well as being really uncomfortable and annoying.
You need to get fitted every time you buy a new bra. This will ensure that every bra in your wardrobe fits well and looks great. The best way to do this is to go into a store like Bras and Things, where there are trained fitting staff to help you out.
If the idea of getting somebody else to help you fit your bra is just mortifying, here are a few tips for making sure that your bra fits.
In bra sizing, the letter refers to the cup size and the number refers to the back size. So, for example, a 14C bra is a size 14 across the back strap and has a cup size of C. Generally speaking, the back size you need often corresponds to the size clothes you wear. Remember though that sizes vary across brands, so it’s all the more important to try the bra on before you buy it.
When trying your bra on, look carefully to see how it appears. You know you have selected the correct size if it is comfortable, the straps don’t dig into your shoulders, the back of the bra sits evenly just under your shoulder blades and your breasts sit comfortably in the cups. You should try a new bra on with the hooks done up on the loosest setting, because your bra will stretch with washing and wearing, and a bra that fits initially on the loosest hook will give you room to tighten it as the material stretches.
Here are a few common bra problems:
– If your breasts are spilling over the tops of the cup, or if you feel like the under-wire is digging into your armpits, you need to go up a cup size.
– If there is a huge gaping space in the cups, you need to go down a cup size.
– If, when wearing the bra, you have what I commonly refer to as “back boobs” (where the back of the bra is so tight that it gathers a roll of fat around your back, that looks like a second pair of breasts growing out of your back), you need to go up a back size.
– If you feel as though the breath is being squeezed out of you, you need to go up a back size.
When you try the bra on, remember to move about while you are wearing it. Bend over, stretch up, reach above your head and twist around. This will give you an idea of how the bra will stand up to everyday motion. If it shifts about or digs in anywhere, give it a miss.
Pay attention to the straps as well. Adjust them so that they don’t dig into your shoulders. Also make sure that they don’t slip off your shoulders, as this is an indication that the straps are too loose and your breasts aren’t getting the proper support.
Don’t forget to go through your bra collection regularly, and throw away any bras that are sagging, losing their elasticity, or don’t fit comfortably.