Do you dread that moment when it’s time to finally get a new bra? Don’t get us wrong, it’s not that we don’t LOVE landing that perfect, cute, sexy, comfy bra in the hottest new colour, but it’s the actual search for that perfect fit, that in all honesty, can be really annoying and time consuming.
And this endless search for the perfect bra often results in, although a nice looking bra, the WRONG bra, that fits okay, but that you avoid wearing because it’s not as comfortable as your old one, that is hanging on by a thread, and you really shouldn’t be wearing anymore, but you’re like, “hey, my day is too long to be uncomfortable.” WE GET IT! And apparently, studies show that you are not alone.
A recent piece in The New York Times revealed that 8 out of 10 women are actually wearing the wrong bra. In all seriousness…. 8 out of 10?! So basically ALL of us are wearing the wrong bra. But it’s sort of true isn’t it?
How many times a day do you pull up that bra strap or try to discreetly tug at that band on your back that’s just that little bit too tight, or scratch under that chest plate between the breasts that’s actually probably not resting where it should be. Well guess what: the stat may be true, but it’s not actually your fault that you can’t find a bra that fits properly.
The bra retail industry has not made it easy for women to find a bra that fits as it should. Currently, and this may come as a surprise, there is actually no standardization when it comes to bra sizing. You might be one size in a Victoria’s Secret bra, and a completely different size in a bra from Calvin Klein.
So the first trap most of us step into when bra shopping is that we think the size that we are currently wearing is the size we should be looking for. But in fact, what we should be doing is ignoring sizing (I know, seems totally counterintuitive) and really just understanding how to look for the right fit.
This sounds tedious and, well, quite frankly frustrating, because it kind of means that if you find your perfect FIT today, that might not necessarily be your perfect fit the next time you go shopping for a bra. The upside is that if you know what to look for this search may eventually, hopefully, become seamless and even fun again.
So here are some tips on what to look for when choosing a bra:
The band is one of the most important things to pay attention to as this is what gives you the support that you need. You really don’t want it to be too loose or too snug. You should be able to put no more than about half an inch of your finger or so between your back and the band, and if you lift your arms up and the band is riding up, chances are the bra you chose is too big.
The straps should also be pretty fitted. You don’t want them constantly falling off, but you also want to be able to comfortably move your shoulders without having them dig into your skin.
Wires! This is a big one. There is nothing more uncomfortable than an ill-fitting underwire bra. General rule of thumb is that all wires should lie flat on the body. Most of us have no doubt tried on that wire bra that ever so slightly hovers in mid air, but the rest kind of works, so we’ve gotten it anyway. Don’t do it! Wires should not dig into your sides, or hover, or rest on your breasts. If they’re doing any of this you may need a larger cup size.
As for cup size; your breasts should fit pretty nicely into those cups, meaning you don’t want overflow, but you also don’t want a lot of space between your breast and the cup. And if you have uneven breasts (which most of us do) best to size your bra to whichever breast is larger.
Also, have fun with it. Best way to find the perfect bra is to give yourself time and try on a bunch of different brands. There are a ton of new brands that are trying to make bra shopping a little less harrowing and more inclusive of breast shapes and sizes with a larger range of cup sizes and even half-cup sizes.
Also keep in mind that breasts change over time, so even the fit you had a year ago might be slightly different from whatever it might be now. This is especially true for the moms out there. Pregnancy breasts are different from pre-pregnancy breasts, but also very different in the transition from pregnancy to nursing, and from nursing to non.
There’s a lot to think about, but comfort can’t be underestimated, and hey let’s reverse those stats and show those retailers that we know our boobs better than anyone.