Bra shopping can be such a chore especially when you have to go to the market and not a proper lingerie store to buy some. Most times, there are no private stalls to test the bras before buying and in more cases one ends up with the wrong size.
Wearing the wrong bra could be dangerous to the health as ill-fitting bras can damage the breast tissues. If the bras worn do not support properly, one can suffer from back ache (especially the ladies with bigger bust sizes) and the constant pressure from adjusting the straps too tight can cause migraines as well as indentations in the shoulders.
Now that being said, let’s move on to how one can buy the right bra. The first thing is to know your correct band and bust measurement. You can easily achieve this with the use of a measuring tape.
- Measurement: Using the inches side, place the tape around and underneath the fullest part of your bust, take down the measurement and tag it your band measurement. Now, lift the tape up a little bit to the fullest part of your bust again, take down the reading and tag that your cup measurement. To determine your actual cup size, subtract your band measurement from the cup measurement. The number you get is your cup number eg 32, 34, 36. To determine if you are an A, B, C or D cup, the difference in inches you got after subtracting will tell you that. If the difference is less than one inch, the cup size would be a double A i.e. AA, if it’s one inch difference it would be an A, if it’s two inch difference, it would be a B, if it’s three inch it would be a C and if it’s four inch, it would be a D. So if you are a 34 and the difference when you subtracted the band from the cup was two, you would be a 34B. Got it? Good. Let’s move on then…
- Body Shape: Remember in my post here where I talked about choosing the right clothes for your body shape? well same applies when choosing a bra. Body shapes too have a role to play. If you are pear or rectangle shaped, your upper region is smaller than your lower region and the plan is to add a little more volume and enhance that region. Demi / Push up bras are ideal for these body shapes. The demi bra has an under wire, a push up effect on the inner side of the cup and it covers less of the breasts causing the bust to look fuller. The demi bras are ideal for v neck outfits as well.
- For the inverted triangle, apple and hour glass shape, bras with a full coverage and a light under wire are recommended. Avoid push ups and demi bras as this will make your cleavage look too full and your bust will seem to spill out.
Now, how to tell if your bra fits correctly.
- If you raise your arms up (do this a few times), the bra should stay against your body, not lifting up or off. If this happens try a few things;
- If the bra is a soft cup bra, you shouldn’t have any extra fabric. If the bra is a moulded cup you shouldn’t have any extra room in the cup. Your breast should completely fill the cup. If there is space and the band feels fine, then go down in the cup size.
- If you are wearing an under wire bra, the wire that comes up between the breasts should lay flat (or as close as possible) to your breast bone. If you are wearing a bra with no under wire, you should have two separate breasts, not just a “one big boob”.
- Your bra should fit comfortably around you. You should be able to fit at least two fingers under the band of your bra comfortably. If you have to keep pulling down the back straps of your bra or adjusting the shoulder straps, then the band is not your size.
- adjust the shoulder straps by loosing them
- Pay attention to the band. Is it too tight? Or too loose? Or just right?
- If the band is just right, and adjusting the shoulder straps didn’t work, then go up a cup size.
- Try on the bras: Latch them on the last row of hooks; when you purchase a new bra, it’s best to wear it that way, so when the bra naturally stretches out, you can adjust it to fit better.
- If you have a small frame or are petite, and you find a bra that fits the band, and you don’t quite fill the cup and you have already tried the next cup size down and it’s still not quite right – OR if the you have the “right” size, the band fits and you fill the cup, but the wire is poking your underarms, then try a Demi bra. A Demi style bra is different from a full coverage bra. The Demi has less wire, by about an inch or more.
- Try on different styles of bras. Every style fits and fills different and can “shape” your breast differently.
- If your bra fits correctly, it should NOT be painful or uncomfortable to wear.