No one should devalue the benefits of a properly fitted bra. A good fit leads to better posture and comfort and perhaps a renewed sense of self esteem. Stop yanking up your bra straps to keep them slipping off your shoulders and in attempt at breast support. Ill fitting bras will always be just that. Try a bra that fits and instantly you’ll notice the difference.
How then should your bra fit?
80% of breast support provided by your bra should come from the band and/or underwire and not the straps. The straps merely pull the top of the cup back against your chest wall and engage the underwire to fit snugly, encapsulating your breast tissue. If you find yourself wanting to pull the underwire below your breast it may well be that the wire shape is not the right one for you.
The underband should fit against the middle of your back, parallel to the floor and below your shoulder blades. It should not ride up. Although the underband/wire should be snug enough to provide the maximum amount of support, you should still be able to get two fingers between your bra and your skin so that it lies flat against your body rather than squeezing you and causing bulges. (Note on bulges - as we age, skin loses elasticity and does not hold cellulite as firmly as it once might have - this is in no way the fault of a good fitting bra - rather, it may well be a result of migrating/freezing fat from wearing ill-fitting bras.)
When you first buy a bra, it should fit perfectly on the loosest clasp, or in the case of us odd, rather than even sized girls, the middle clasp. As the bra is washed and worn it will begin to stretch and you may need to move up a clasp or two and this will extend the life of the bra. (Note on black bras - Black dye causes shrinkage of fabrics and washing relaxes that. Black bras will feel tighter when tried on vs. any other colour and black bras relax faster than any other colour. WASH BLACK BRAS SEPARATELY) Straps should not fall off or cut in; look for extendable straps for more options for adjusting fit.
The cups of your bra should lie flat against your skin. If they are gaping or wrinkling, contrary to what you believe or have been told, you may need to go up a cup size and reduce your band size. One of the most common errors women make is believing that wrinkling and gaping is from a cup too big. NO! Most of the time this is as a result of too small wires resting on breast tissue and that one dimensional U-Shaped wire isn’t getting enough stretch to wrap around under your arm and 3 dimensional breast to rest on ribs rather than breast tissue. Seriously, get a bigger cup and a smaller band size. This is the most common error women make. The opposite problem, where your breasts are spilling out of the top of the cups, means you need to go up a cup size or more. If you are struggling to determine whether the cups of your bra fit properly, pull on a form-fitting t-shirt and check that your bra creates a smooth line under the fabric.
If you are still in doubt, take your bra to be checked out by a Fit Specialist at a reputable store. There shouldn’t be a charge for this and sometimes a little tweaking is all it takes to be more comfortable!
Photo Credit: Panache Lingerie