Getting correctly fitting bras is another huge confidence boost when it comes to boob positivity. It can be extremely uncomfortable and frustrating when your bras don't give you the best support and shape you need.
It good to know the signs when your bras are not fitting correctly and when you change shape or size. We very rarely stay the same size throughout life as there are so many factors that can change, including pregnancy, breast feeding and weight loss, so whenever you are uncertain on your bra size, we recommend to get it checked.
When getting fitted for a bra, the tape measurement is just an estimate, as for some women especially fuller busts women, it just doesn't work. The best way to fit yourself for a bra is to first get an estimate by using a tape measure and then look how your bra fits on you and recognise the faults and adjust them. Or go into a local lingerie shop for a bra fitting.
What you MUST remember when bra fitting is that the cup size is relative to the back size. So if you go down in the back size, you need to go up in the cup size and vice versa. If you were to put a 32D, 34D, 36D and 38D bra together, you would notice that the cup sizes are all different and graduate depending on the back size.
How to measure you Bra Size at Home
Signs that your bra does not fit correctly:
- You have creasing in the bra cups.
- Your boobs are bulging out of your bra cups.
- The underband is riding up your back.
- You immediately put your bra on the tightest hook (for a new bra)
Signs to check your bra fits correctly:
- The underband sits in a straight line across your back.
- The underband is firm but comfortable on the loosest hook (for a new bra).
- The straps do not dig on your shoulders or too tight.
- The underwires fit flat on your chest bone and don't dig into your body anywhere.
- There is no creasing or bulging in the bra cups.
When bra fitting, you also need to be aware that different bra styles may suit your boobs better than others. As there are over 5 different bra styles, it's worth knowing the difference. Every bra can be used for different occasions depending on the shape you want.
Full Cup Bras - Designed with a high centre front and full coverage.
Balcony Bras - Lower across the bust than a full cup bra creating a horizontal neckline.
Half Cup Bras - Cuts across the bust, just above the nipples, with sheer fabric offering minimal support.
Plunge Bras - Features a very low centre front creating a V-shape. Can be padded or un-padded.
Push Up Bras - Includes extra padding in the cups for maximum cleavage.
T-shirt Bras - Features no seams on the cups for a smooth line under clothes. Could be moulded or padded.
Soft Cup Bras - Do not have any underwires for great comfort.
Strapless/ Multiway Bras - Has removable straps to wear without, cross-back, halter-neck or one-strap.
Putting on a Bra
When putting on your bra, your may need to re-adjust the fit slightly, so it sits and encases your boobs correctly. We call it the "swoop and scoop". This simply means to swoop your boobs from the bottom of the cups and scoop them into the bra.
If you find your bra difficult to fasten up from the back, we suggest fastening the bra up at the front and twisting it round, but go careful with the underwires and straps because you don't want to damage the underwires or stretch the elastic.
A good technique is to bend forward when pulling the bra over your boobs, this allows your breasts to fall naturally in the cups.
Don't forget 80% of the support will come from the under-band or back of the bra and only 20% from the straps. That's why the under-band needs to be firm but comfortable along your back. Your bra straps will loosen with wear and wash over time, so its worth checking them every time you put your bra on. As a guide, we say to leave a 2cm gap between the shoulder and bra strap, so they are not too loose or too tight.
How to Put on a Bra
Common Fitting Problems
There are quite a few bra fitting problems that women suffer from the most, so it's worth understanding the solutions that can help you get a great fitting bra.
- My boobs are different sizes.
It's natural for some women to have slightly different sizes boobs, although some are more noticeable than others. It's best to fit the large boob to get the best support. You can always add in a chicken fillet or bra pad to even out the smaller boob. You can also get bras with removable padding, where you can remove the pad from one cup and leave it in the other cup.
- The bra straps are digging into my shoulders.
This generally means that your straps are too tight on your shoulders or it can also mean that your bra straps are too narrow to support your boobs. Start by loosening the straps slightly to see if that works, otherwise you straps might be compensating for your under-band being too loose. You can buy Bra Strap Cushions to use on the straps or look for bras that have wider straps to give you more support.
- The underband is riding up my back.
This means that the back size you are wearing is too big. You need to try on a smaller back size until the underband sits flat across your back and is parallel to the front of the bra. You may need to go down more than one back size to get the right fit. But remember if you go down a back size, you need to go up the cup size.
- The underband is lifting up at the centre front.
This means that the cup size is too small and the bra is not filling the cup size properly. The boobs are pushing the bra away from the ribcage. You need to try a bigger cup size until the underwires sits flat against the chest bone and encases all of the boobs.
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