The importance of a well fitted bra

I can’t emphasize enough, how important it is to wear a well fitted bra for our comfort, looks and well being. Did you know that very low percentage of women actually wear the right sized bra? Somewhere between 5 and 10% I believe; it changes all the time.

Most common bra problems

The most common problem is a cup that’s too small and band that’s too loose. There are many reasons for this, usually it’s the lack of knowledge of the lingerie store personnel (most of us has this particular experience where a salesperson tried to squeeze us in a bra that’s too small or shamed us for having a size that “didn’t exist” – what a nonsense). Also lack of D+ products on the market, or rather not knowing where to get them, because believe me – they are there.

But my bra is fine!

You will say “but I’ve worn this particular size of bra all my life and it seems fine, and my boobs aren’t D+ for sure!”. Really? Then tell me this:

  • Does your bra ride up during the day? Or maybe five minutes after you’ve put it on? – then your bra is a wrong size.
  • Do the wires dig into your breast and back tissue? – then your bra is a wrong size.
  • Do your breasts show under the cups when you lift your arms?  – then your bra is a wrong size.
  • Do your breasts bulge over the cups?  – then your bra is a wrong size.
  • Do you feel that your bra is pulling your breasts down instead of lifting them?   – then your bra is a wrong size.

Here’s Margot in her old 38D bra. Can you see how it gives almost no support and the boobs spill over the cups?

Margot in her favourite 34G bra. The cups encase the whole breast tissue, and there’s no spillage. Her old bra was three cup sizes too small and two band sizes too wide! [Margot’s measurements are: 91cm (36″) under the bust and 116cm (45.75″) in the bust.]

38D

34G

How do I find my size, then?

How to find out what the right size is, you will ask? Well, to make things more difficult, the size varies between brands, models and even within the same model but different colour sometimes, so it’s best to get professionally fitted.  The easiest way would be to go to a lingerie store that offers bra fitting, but they’re relatively hard to find (and after all how are you supposed to know if they’re really know what they’re doing, right?).

Here’s where uncle Internet comes to help. There are many websites, films and articles, that tell you how to tell a well fitted and an ill fitted bra apart and how to put on a bra properly. Basically the most important things are that:

  • the wires encase all of your breast tissue, including some of the back fat (yes, your boobs can migrate to the back – it’s fixable though!)
  • the band is comfortable enough – you should be able to fasten the new bra on the loosest hook comfortably (and tighter over time as the fabric stretches).
  • the band is tight enough to not ride up when you move and should be horizontal to the floor while you’re standing.
  • the breast tissue isn’t spilling over the cups, under the cups and under your armpits – all of it should be inside the cup.
  • the wires should sit flat against the ribcage between your breasts but not too tight – if it hurts, it’s wrong.
  • the shoulder straps shouldn’t be too loose, but they also shouldn’t be digging into your shoulders (if your breasts are heavy, choose bras with wider straps rather than thin).

Even with the clothes on you can see how badly the old bra fits. Notice the bulging on the top of the breasts.

No bulging underneath the clothes in the 34G bra, the boobs are lifted and supported, the whole silhouette looks more harmonious

 

How will it help?

There are many benefits of having a proper sized bra. Some of these are:

  • reduced back, neck and shoulder pain – if your breasts are heavy and you slouch a lot, a well fitted bra might help to take some of their weight off your back and therefore reduce the pain; now ponder the meaning of the word “support” for ten seconds.
  • smoother and seemingly slimmer silhouette
  • better support – you will stop thinking about spillage and discomfort because there won’t be any, and you’ll be able to focus on important stuff like work, relaxing and other activities
  • you’ll look better with your clothes off – after you’ve worn a certain bra for a few months your breasts will start to change shape. If it’s a right size bra, they will move slightly forward and upward, causing a permanent uplift. Cool!
  • you’ll even look better with your clothes on – seriously; bra is not just something that should be ignored because other people don’t see it anyway. Well, they do, just by proxy.

 

I’m not saying there’s such a thing as a perfect bra (still looking for one myself), or that it’s cheap to get one (it’s better to have two good bras than ten bad ones, in my opinion though). But if you’re experiencing issues that I mentioned, there’s a good chance that you can find a better size and model of a bra for yourself, than the one you’re currently wearing. Also, if you know your approximate size you can find real bargains online which is what I usually do (if they don’t fit you can always ship them back).

Remember that it’s important that you feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing and think about if you feel just that in your bra. If you’re getting fitted and a bra is causing you discomfort, let your bra fitter know about it. You don’t want to buy an expensive bra to make them happy and then ditch it and wear the old one anyway because the new one is causing you pain.

Here’s an informative Curvy Kate video on bra fitting:

For more articles on bra fitting, check out those by Georgina Horne from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust.

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