Buying a new bra is complicated, because there are so many factors that you need to consider.
- What style of bra do you want?
- Do you want padding, under wires, or adjustable strap length?
- What level of support do you need?
- Does your cup size change over time?
- What should you do if your breasts are not exactly the same cup size?
- Do you need plus size bras?
Because choosing a bra is so complicated, and because an improperly sized bra can lead to extreme discomfort, many women opt to get a professional bra fitting to make sure that they are buying the correct size of bra. However, some women would also like to get bra fitting tips for their own at-home use.
In this article we will discuss and attempt to provide solutions to some of the most common issues or questions related to bra fitting.
How Do You Tell if You’re Wearing the Wrong Bra Size?
Many women who are wearing the incorrect bra size for their body don’t even realize it! Because of this, it can be helpful to know some warning signs of an improperly fitting bra.
Discomfort is the keyword here. Some common discomforts related to bras, in particular plus size bras, are:
- Scratchy hook-and-eye closures
- Bra wires that dig into your breasts or your ribs
- Straps that regularly slip out of place during daily use
- Bras that just don’t feel like they’re providing enough support, especially when you’re active and moving around.
Are There Any Quick Tips for Bra Fitting?
One of the best bra fitting tips is called the “T-shirt test” and can be used to rapidly figure out if your bra fits correctly or not. In order to do this test on yourself, put on a tight-fitting white t-shirt, and examine your chest in the mirror.
If you can clearly see the outline of your bra – this could be bulging straps, gaps in the cup edges, etc – this is a good indication that you should be wearing a different size of bra.
What Type of Bra is Best for Your Breast Shape?
Another of our bra fit tips has to do with basic knowledge of women and their differing breast shapes. According to one article from Cosmopolitan, there are seven major breast shapes. These are:
- bell shape
- slender shape
- round shapes
- asymmetric shape
- teardrop shape
- wide, side set shape
- outward pointing shape.
Breast shape is more related to your ideal bra type than you might think. For example, if you have breasts that are widely set apart or point outwards vs inwards, you might find that a standard full underwire bra is more prone to digging uncomfortably into your breasts and sides. Instead, you will probably be much happier with a wire-free bra instead of one with underwires.
Help! My Underwire is Stabbing Me!
Underwire issues are something that almost every woman who wears bras has faced at one point or another in her life. A poking underwire can be caused by several underlying bra fit issues, so it can be good to look a little deeper at your bra fit.
Are your breasts spilling out over the sides of your bra along with having a poking underwire? If so, you probably need to go up a bra size.
Conversely, if the wires are coming up too far towards your armpits and are irritating this part of your body, it’s probably a sign that you need to go down a bra size.
If adjusting your bra size still results in a poking underwire, you should probably look into bras that have soft cups with no wires.
How Do I Fix my Bra Strap Problems?
Besides underwire issues, one of the most common bra related issues that women have are straps slipping down and not staying in place. This happens particularly often if you have narrow or downward sloping shoulders.
If you commonly find yourself hiking up your bra straps throughout the day, one good bra fit tip is that you might want to look into a racerback bra or a plunge bra.
These bra types tend to have straps that are less likely to shift around as you move. Also, be sure to buy bras that have adjustable straps. This can also include straps that are partially non-stretch. All bras tend to get looser as they get older and are frequently washed, so almost all women will need to adjust and tighten the straps throughout the life of the bra.
Do You Have Any Tips for Small-Breasted Women?
Women who are an A cup size or smaller face particular challenges when it comes to bra fitting and bra shopping. One type of bra that is great for smaller breasted women is the bandeau bra. Because women with smaller breasts don’t need as much support, bandeau bras provide a very cute, full-coverage, and comfortable option.
It is particularly important for women with small breasts to evaluate their bra fit every few months or every few years. Even more than women with large breasts, women with small breasts tend to see more significant changes in breast size when faced with weight loss or weight gain.
It’s always important to stay on top of your bra size and accommodate any changes in order to ensure that you’re always feeling comfortable and properly supported.
Some Final Thoughts
A final tip for all bra-wearing women is to not think too much about a size. Yes, it’s good to know generally your bra cup size and band size. However, cup size and band size vary slightly between different lingerie brands, and different styles of brands will feel very different in fit even if they are technically the same cup and band size.
That’s why trying on bras in person is almost always preferable to purchasing online. This allows you to personally evaluate the fit, support level, material, and comfort of the specific bra.
If you are buying bras through an online website, be sure to do your research about the brand and check out any sizing or self-measurement charts and bra fit tips that they might have. This can reduce the risk of having to return your carefully selected bra!
And finally, if you’re torn between two bra sizes, or two different styles, purchasing from a company with a liberal return policy can eliminate some of the worry. You can try both in the comfort of your own home, keep the one that makes you look terrific, and return the other!
Let Us Know In The Comments Below!
As always, we love hearing from you. You can share your comments, questions, or concerns below. If you have a favorite bra fitting tip that isn’t mentioned here, please consider posting that too!