Learn the secrets of how to choose a bra that is both comfortable and attractive. Our bra fitting guide shows how.
Let’s face it girls, finding a bra that is both comfortable and makes those feminine assets look their best can be a real pain in the neck. Or at least in the chest.
The guide below will help you choose a bra that fits properly and won’t make you feel like you’re wrapped in a straightjacket.
How to Tell if You’re Wearing the Wrong Bra
One of the best places to start when trying to determine which bra is right for you is to know what the wrong bra looks and feels like. Below are some common problems to look out for.
- The bra hurts – an obvious indication that the bra is the wrong size. Often caused by cups that are too small.
- Your bust appears to sag – not a look any of us wants. Usually caused by a back strap that is too large. Generally, your bust will be supported at the correct height if the fullest part of it sits midway between your shoulder and your elbow.
- You have to constantly readjust your bra. Once on, you should be able to forget your bra – if you can’t, it’s the wrong size.
- Wires poke out in the middle of your breasts or do not sit flush against the sides of your chest – nearly always caused by a cup size that is too small.
- Breasts bulge over the top of the bra – cup size is too small. You can best check this by standing side-on to a mirror and looking for the tell-tale double-breast effect.
So How do I Choose the Right Bra?
The most basic piece of information that you need when choosing a bra is your bra size. Bra sizes are composed of a number and a letter. The number denotes the size of the back strap and the letter denotes the cup size. For example “34B” indicates that the bra has a size 34 back strap and a B cup.
The best way to find your bra size is by trying on a range of bras in different styles and sizes. That way you can be assured you’ll end up with a bra that is comfortable and provides the right measure of support.
Having some idea of your measurements, though, will speed the process by giving you a better idea of where to start.
Back Strap Measurement: have someone measure you around your chest just underneath the bottom of your breasts. Make sure the tape measure lies flat against your body and makes a straight line across your back.
Cup Measurement: Have someone measure you around your chest, this time over the fullest part of your bust. Again, the tape measure must be straight across your back. Once you have the back strap and cup measurements you can use the difference between them to get a rough idea of your cup size.
|Difference in inches||Cup size|
DD – E
DDD – F
A Note on Cup Sizes
One thing to remember about cup sizes is that the volume of a particular cup will change depending on the size of the back strap. The cup on a 34B, for instance, will be smaller than the cup on a 36B. So, if you find, say a 36C bra which has a cup that fits you perfectly, but is too loose in the back strap, you may need to go down one back strap size but up a cup size – in this example, to a 34D.
Fitting Your Bra
Follow the general tips below to make sure your bra fits correctly.
- Don’t choose your bra by measurement alone – always try it on.
- Try a range of different makes and styles – there are always variations between bras, some will suit you better than others.
- Try your bra on in front of a mirror to check for pinching and bulging, and for any wrinkling of the bra cup material – a sure sign that the cup is too large.
- When putting on a bra, lean forward and allow your breasts to fall into the cups.
- Be aware that bras will wear and stretch over time. Don’t buy a bra that you have to put on the tightest setting, it’ll end up being too loose in a couple of months.
- Allow plenty of time to choose your bra – don’t expect to rush into the shop and get it over with in 10 minutes.
The back strap supports most of the weight of your bust. It should be firm yet comfortable and run in a straight, horizontal line around your body. You should be able to do the shoulder straps up quite firmly without pulling it upwards. A back strap that rides up is too loose. Test the size of the back strap by putting on the bra and doing up the shoulder straps. Then, slip the shoulder straps down over your shoulders – if everything heads towards the ground the back strap is too loose and isn’t playing its role as main bust supporter.
Cups should hold the breasts completely without any overflow, either over the top or underneath the arms. Wires should be comfortable, and lie flat against the body, they should not rub, poke out anywhere or pinch the underside of your breasts.
Shoulder straps are not your main bust supporters. Tighten them so that they are firm but don’t dig into you. They should sit comfortably and not slip over your shoulders.
Happy Bra Hunting
The guide above will help you find a bra that fits perfectly so that, rather than it being something you just can’t wait to get out of, your bra will be a delight to wear all day.
To learn more about finding a bra that fits check out this video.