It is widely thought that many women wear the wrong bra size. Should we really be focussing on the numbers that are printed inside the label?
Does Size Matter?
If you are anything like me then your dress size and bra size can differ greatly from brand to brand, when selecting bras, we should be led by the level of support and comfort. Lots of women will own many bras but find that they usually stick to a faithful couple that are worn over and over.
Most of the support is in the under-band
Next time you are buying a new bra these are the easy steps you should follow. Bear in mind that 80% of the support that a bra provides is from the under-band so that is a good place to start. The band should be snug but not too restrictive, you should be able to put three fingers underneath and have a small pinch of a stretch, if it stretches more than an inch it is too loose and if you cannot get your fingers under, too tight. A brand-new bra should comfortably attach on the first hook, as it ages you will need to use the tighter hooks. If you are starting on the smallest rung, again it is most likely too large for your back.
The under-band should sit horizontally across your back and not ride up of sag. If it is arching up, then it is too large, or the straps are not correctly positioned. It should not dig into skin and allow any bulging of your back over the sides, a clear sign of a too-small bra. A well-fitted bra should not be visible through your clothes. If the back size is too small, it will be evident from the ridges of fat and skin bulging out at the sides.
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A well-fitted bra can improve your posture and define your waist.
Adjusting the Straps
When dealing with the straps, you need to pay attention to your shoulders, the straps should not dig in but hold firm without leaving marks. If they slip off your shoulders, then obviously they need tightening. When looking in the mirror at your back, you want to see the under-band and strap sitting at a neat right angle. This shows that you have a good fit. You are aiming for a firm fit but it should still be comfortable.
Confusing Cup Sizing
Cup sizes should be just used as a guide. When bras were first made and sold, they did not even make the larger sizes available today, so it is no wonder that in most women's drawers you will find loads of bras with numerous different cups sizes. Also, bear in mind that as you go up in the back size the cup size also increases. So, a 32A cup will not be the same cup size as 36A, even though it is still an A?? This is exactly why we need to be led by comfort, support and fit.
All women were not created equal when it comes to boobs and it stands to reason that everyone has different shaped mammary glands. That is exactly why a one size fits all approach does not work. You need to ascertain the right cup shape for your breast. Smaller busts may opt for moulded or padded cups. Larger ladies may like a balconette shaped cup that offers more support and lift. The only way to navigate the minefield is to try on different styles and shapes and see what works best for you.
The cups should not bag at the top, wrinkle or crease, then they are too large, or allow your breast to spill over, sign it is too small. If you have a wired bra, this should run smoothly and not dig into the breast tissue at any point. The centre should lay flat across your sternum area. If the middle piece is sitting away from your chest then you need a bigger size.
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Time of the Month Changes
Hormonal changes affect your breasts dramatically and when you are about to come on, or during your menstrual cycle, you may find that you need to go up a size or opt for supported crop-top styled bras to help with the breast tenderness that some women experience. If you are pregnant it is vital that you keep a very close eye on how your bra fits as this is a time where your size will change over and over, pre and post-partum. There are many options available and opting for full cup support, un-wired was what I found the most comfortable. Pregnancy is a time where I would whole heartedly recommend seeking out a fitting appointment with a reputable retailer.
Different Bras for Different Occasions
There are literally 100's of bra styles out there to choose from and it is important that you are wearing something that is comfortable and supportive. It is good practice to have several bras for different outfits and events, such as crop-tops, for comfy days. Push-up bra, for parties and date night, Sports bra for workouts etc...
The right bra can help your posture, accentuates your waist and makes such a difference in your overall appearance. Also, when you feel comfortable and look good it boosts your confidence. It is the same as walking all day in shoes that don't fit, it is not going do anything for your mood and bras are the same.
Women need to look after their breasts and that starts with bras that fit properly, don't get hung up on size. Make sure that when wearing a bra, it feels good, no spillage, no lumps or bumps popping through your clothing. It should be seamless and hold your boobs in place firmly but also comfortably.
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