Life hack

How to buy a well fitting bra

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

I have not been fitted for a bra in a laughably long time. My cup size? I don’t know her. And obviously, not knowing my cup size makes buying a real bra online pretty risky. Not risky like, buying an already ripe avocado risky, but more in the sense that I’ll arbitrarily guess a size and when it comes it won’t really fit. My two options are then to try and make it work, or pack it back up and promise myself that I’m going to return it tomorrow, but then tomorrow stretches into infinity and it just sits there in the corner of my room forever. Neither option is good for my boobs. So I just end up stocking up on bralettes, which are easier to guess my size in, even though I’m in need of a new “real” bra.

So to spare my boobs from a lifetime of uncomfy fits (and my apartment from a corner filling with boxes of unreturned bras) I turned to a few experts to get their tips on what to look for when buying a bra, whether you’re shopping online or in a store.

Just get a bra fitting, already

The most common mistake Danielle Iserlis, Journelle‘s Associate Marketing Manager, sees is women wearing bras with too-small cups and too-large bands. Taking the time to actually get a bra fitting would help with that. “The first step we recommend to people is to get a fitting,” Iserlis says. This way you know what your actual bra size is, versus haphazardly guessing and hoping for the best. She recommends getting one every six months. That sounds very frequent (I have a hard time making it to the dentist that often), but there are many things that can cause your bra size to change, like weight fluctuation.

If you don’t want to go get fitted in a store, brands like Harper Wilde will let you try on three different bras at home for free (they also have a handy fit quiz that can help you narrow down your size). Soma also has an app/bra combo that will size you at home. I’m just saying, there are options if you don’t want to leave your house (me).

Find what works for your boobs

Okay, so you’ve got fit figured out, but there are also so many different styles (demi! push up! contour!) to choose from. “It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the choices in brands and styles,” Felkamp says. “It’s important to remember that breast shapes and sizes are different for everyone so what works for one person might not work for someone else.” Once you find a style you like, shopping will become so much easier.

“The biggest piece of advice we say is that it’s important to recognize that size matters, but shape matters more,” Iserlis says. “Not all bras are created equal and no two women are alike. It isn’t about squeezing yourself into a size or shape that someone told you was ‘sexy’, it’s about finding what works for your body.”

Get a little handsy

Now, you’re ready to try on a few different sizes and styles of bras. “When trying on a bra, it’s important to get handsy,” Iserlis says. “After putting on your bra, use your hands to position each boob individually in the cup.” Here’s how you can tell if the cups are fitting correctly: “the edges of the cups should lie flat against your body, and your breasts should face forward and be positioned mid-way between your shoulders and elbows,” Cathy Devine, Soma’s Vice President of Innovation, says.

There are some tell-tale signs that your cup isn’t fitting correctly. If your cup gapes, it’s too big, Elizabeth Felkamp, TellTale‘s Director of Design and Sourcing, says (It could also be because your straps aren’t tight enough, which we’ll get into in a moment).”Cups should not cause a double bubble either—where your cup neckline is too tight and cutting into your tissue, that means you need to size up a cup,” she adds.

The support should come from the band, not the straps

Your bra straps should not be digging into your shoulders; your bra is not a tote bag for your boobs. Jane Fisher, Co-Founder of Harper Wilde, says that 90 percent of the support should come from the backband of the bra. “It’s more intuitive to think the bra is lifting you up from the straps, but that would cause the straps to dig into your shoulders. Instead, you should be wearing a band that fits snuggly against your body (not pinching it too tightly though!) to ensure the majority of support comes from underneath,” she says. Fact: every expert I spoke to for this piece mentioned that the support should come from the band, so this is very important intel.

Also, the three hooks on your bra are not three different sizes, contrary to the belief I have held for most of my life. “You should always start on the loosest hook on the backband of your bra—the three hooks are not three different sizes, but instead, are meant to be used as the elastic stretches over time so you can move to the tighter hooks and the bra can then last longer,” Fisher explains, explaining that all elastic stretches over time, aka the more you wear it.

“Your straps should be comfortable and stay in place,” Devine adds. “You should be able to slip a finger between your shoulder and strap and should readjust your straps with every wearing.”

Buy more than one bra

“We recommend you avoid wearing the same bra two days in a row, as perspiration can cause a bra’s elastic to deteriorate,” Devine says. “We suggest having at least three bras in your wardrobe: one to wear, one to wash, and one to rest for a day.” By putting your bras on rotation, you’ll help them last longer. Also, she recommends taking into consideration the types of bras you need in your wardrobe, like a t-shirt bra, multiway bra, and a fun bra. Don’t need to tell me twice; I’ve already added multiple to my cart. (How many fun bras is too many?)

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

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How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Jessica Padykula

If you’ve ever gone bra shopping and come home with one that doesn’t fit right, you know how frustrating the experience can be. For such a small item of clothing, bras can be the hardest to buy. With that in mind, we wanted to share some bra fitting tips for making your next bra shopping trip your best yet.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

To get some expert advice, we turned to Jené Luciani, bestselling author of The Bra Book (BenBella Books, 2009). She shares her top 10 tips for buying a bra that fits perfectly.

Go to the right place

Choose a store that has a wide selection of bras and trained bra fitters on hand. Measure yourself first as a guideline so you know where to start looking once you get there.

Make a list

Go to the store armed with a list of what bras you need and plan to buy. This will vary from person to person but two nude bras, two black bras, one strapless, one sports bra and one bra without underwire for comfort is a good starting point.

Know your body type

Be aware of your body type so you know what bras to look for. For example, if you are more of a top-heavy “apple” shape, you will likely be looking for fuller coverage bras, not demi-cups. If you’re not sure what type you are, a full guide by body type can be found in Luciani’s guide to all things bras, The Bra Book.

Check transparency

Wear or bring a thin T-shirt to the store so you can see what each bra looks like under the sheerest of circumstances. You don’t want any surprises the first time you wear it!

Be open-minded
about your size

If you’re surprised (or disappointed), remember that the bra size is just a number (and a letter). The proper fit of the bra is the most important part.

Be flexible

If you’re in a bind and there’s a bra that you really love but they don’t have your size, it’s usually OK to go up a band size and down a cup size – or vice versa.

Have a discerning eye

Don’t be afraid to put the bra on and face yourself in the mirror with a critical eye. If you see any gaps, spillage, digging in or other signs of poor fit, it’s not the right bra. Turn around and look at the back as well. The back band can be very telling too when it comes to proper fit. There should be no gaping, riding up or bulges.

Get accessories

Don’t forget to pick up some bra accessories, too, so you avoid any faux pas depending on what you’ll be wearing. Breast petals and double-sided tape are always good to have on hand.

Don’t get stuck in a size rut

Write down the date of your visit and be sure to plan another one six months to a year later (bra sizes fluctuate due to weight gain, hormonal changes, aging and other life changes, so it’s important to get fitted at least once a year). Bras also need to be replaced every six months to a year due to wear and tear.

Take good care of your bras

Once you make your purchase, it’s up to you to take good care of your bra. It’s best to hand wash, but if you need to put it in the washing machine, make sure the bra is encased in a protective garment bag. Always air dry – never put your bras in the dryer.

Watch: How to measure your bra size

Almost 80 percent of women wear the wrong size bra, so follow these tips to make sure you pick the right size every time.

We’re living in the age of virtual fittings.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Many shops are now open, but with strict social-distancing measures in place, most bra fitting services are still off-limits. Luckily, department stores and lingerie boutiques have got creative during lockdown, producing online tools (M&S) and video explainers (John Lewis) to help their customers find bras that fit properly.

For M&S’s bra size calculator, you’ll need your best-fitting bra, a tape measure and a mirror. It asks you various questions, like a digital flow-chart, starting with ‘What bra fit best suits your needs?’. You provide your underband measurement, your cup size and your preferred brand from its range, before choosing the bra’s shape and whether or not it’s underwired. Then it moves onto fit, asking whether the back straps, cups, underwires, sidewires, shoulder straps are all sitting comfortably. Next you describe your shoulders and cleavage, enter your age and – voila! – it’ll tell you your bra size and give you the option to shop the styles available in yours.

Georgia Larssen’s lingerie brand, Dora Larssen, is known for its bold colour palette and beautiful lace detailing. To help customers unfamiliar with her range, she has size, bra fitting and style guides on her website. As well as explaining how your cups and straps should sit, they helpfully go through each range to point out what styles work with what sizes. When it comes to avoiding common pitfalls, Larssen says it’s imperative to check each brand’s size guide.

‘Some brands size the bands smaller than others,’ she explains. ‘We, for example, often get customers asking us to produce a 30 back. But our 32 back is sized similarly to a 30 back compared to other brands.’ She also says that, while it might feel counterintuitive, you have to play around with band sizes and cup sizes. ‘If you try on a bra and it’s too loose or too tight, don’t make the assumption to just go up a band size and keep the same cup size (for example, you try on a 34B and it feels tight, so instead exchange it for a 36B). You’d be right to go up to the next band size (34 to 36), but to make sure the cup size stays the same, you need to then go down a cup size (so go for a 36A, as opposed to a 36B). Just remember – if you go up a band size, you need to go down a cup size, and if you go down a band size, you need to go up a cup size.’

If you’re already digging out your tape measure, great. If, however, you don’t feel confident about figuring out your bra size from home, The Pantry Underwear has a solution. The lingerie boutique has launched the FaceTime Fitting, a free-to-use virtual service where an experienced fitter will call a customer, review them wearing their own bras, looking at particular ‘fit points’, and then suggest styles in the shop’s collection that will suit. Beija London, the lingerie brand that carries AA-H cups, is also offering 20-minute video sessions with its expert bra fitter, and flagship store manager, Julie.

Do the right thing, and book now. Your boobs will thank you.

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How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

For most women, bras are a fact of daily life. So we were downright shocked to find out that eight out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size! With so many shapes, sizes and styles (think: everything from a sexy mesh balconette to finding bras for tricky necklines), it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Not to mention that each of us has different needs when it comes to finding “the one.” Some ladies are narrow but busty, while other may be broader but less ample up top. With the help of lingerie whisperers Journelle CEO Lyn Lewis and Teddies for Bettys founder Ashley Kelsch, we’re sharing common bra shopping mistakes and misconceptions, as well as the best advice and top tips and tricks to help you find the perfect fitting bra (yes, even strapless!).

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

1. A well-fitting bra can and will make you feel good: “Bras that fit correctly truly improve your day. It’s not that wearing a quality bra in your right size will feel good, per se — because really you won’t notice it… and that’s the point,” explains Lewis. (Photo via Getty)

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

2. Signs that you need a new bra: 1) Spillage out of the top and or sides. 2) A bubble or air pocket at the top of the cup. 3) You’re on the tightest hook eye closure and your band keeps riding up your back. 4) You find yourself pulling it down constantly. (Photo via Cosabella)

It’s worth it to get measured

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

4. Your uncomfortable bra is a capitalist invention: “One of the reasons so many women are wearing uncomfortable bras (in the wrong size) has to do with the cost structure of producing lingerie,” explains Lewis. “It’s way cheaper for big factories and big lingerie companies to make just a few sizes (32-36, A-DD), than it is to produce a given style in a wide size range. As a result, vendors produce only the most popular ‘average’ sizes, and try to fit all potential customers who come through their doors into those items.” Interesting fact: At Journelle, only half the customers fit into mass-market sizes. “It’s not that we target or even attract women who are looking for non-standard sizes — it’s just that we talk women though fit, so they find their true size.”

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

5. Not all breasts or bra styles fit the same mold: Kelsch recommends spending some time trying on different bra styles and silhouettes. There are TONS to choose from and can be deceiving on a hanger or mannequin. “Depending on the shape of your breast and where your tissue lays you will find that a certain style (e.g., demi or sweetheart) may or may not fit you well. A common misunderstanding is that, insert any bra size, will fit the same. This could not be further from the truth. For example, some brands are made for full cups and would swallow a woman who doesn’t have a lot of breast tissue on top or on the sides.”

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

6. There is no such thing as being a “C-cup” or any other cup size: The cup size only has meaning when paired with a band size (#mindblown). “The breast-tissue-mass of a woman wearing a 32D is equivalent to the breast-tissue-mass of a woman wearing a 34C and a woman wearing a 36B,” explains Lewis. Don’t believe us? According to Lewis, the plastic underwires in these different sized bras are exactly the same piece of material!

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

7. When it comes to underwire, remember to “scoop and swoop”: “The underwire or mold should hit just below your underarm and all your breast tissue should be pulled forward (This method is often referred to as the ‘scoop and swoop’),” says Kelsch. If you notice your breasts are pouring out the front or the sides of your bra cup, you need to go up a size. (Photo via Nude for All)

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

8. Straps shouldn’t slide: Make sure your straps are adjusted properly and the center gore lays flat. Pro tip: When a bra fits, the straps won’t slip down, require any yanking or re-positioning or leave you with red marks. (Photo via Stella McCartney)

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Chances are, unless you’ve been fitted for one in the past year or two, you’re wearing the wrong bra.

Trust me on this: gravity is not your friend. Think about your favorite bra, the one you wear most frequently. Do you ever have to hitch up the straps? Does the underwire poke you? Your bra size is one of those numbers you file away and keep re-using, regardless of age and weight fluctuations. But it shouldn’t be this way.

How a Bra Should Fit

  • It should be snug across the band. It shouldn’t ride up or be that easy to put on (unless you have a front closure).
  • The front center of the bra should lie flat on your chest and not gape open or press into your skin uncomfortably.
  • The cups should be full but not spilling over—you know exactly what I mean.
  • The band should not create unsightly bulges above or below along the back.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

How to Find the Perfect Bra

Sure, you can guess your own size pretty easily at home, but the best way to get the ideal foundation garments for your frame is to get a professional fitting. If you head to your local high-end department store—I went to Nordstrom—the staff in the lingerie section should be trained on how to get your measurements.

I recently went with a couple of friends to get this done, and the process was positively painless. You enter the dressing room with your fitter and disrobe on top to just your bra. I don’t know why, but I wore a sports bra, thinking it would be less embarassing. You will then be measured at the top of your rib cage with a tape measure for your proper band size, and cup size will be estimated by sight. That’s it!

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Long story short, my band size was the same, but my cup size most certainly was not. In my defense, I think women get attached to their bra sizes. You were a 36C in college, you’re going to squeeze into a 36C as if your life depends on it. You’re not doing your figure or your back any favors with this mindset, however.

How to Buy the Perfect Bra

Okay, back to the high-end department store. Yes, it will be expensive, but you should buy at least one of the bras they find for you, to act as your best-fitting bra to use as a standard. When you get home, search for cheaper options in your proper size and try them on when you can. Target and more accessible department stores like Macy’s have pretty good selections of affordable foundation garments. Get one for the gym/exercising in a breathable fabric and another one for casual wear when you don’t need as much support.

Take care of your new purchases by washing your bras by hand in warm water and lay them flat to dry. Store them flat too, and don’t fold them cup-into-cup because it can ruin the shape.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Courtesy of Parfait Lingerie

**All of the photos in this article are courtesy of Unsplash unless credited otherwise.

Take these tips, and go out and find your perfect bra. Everyone needs a good support system!

When was the last time you had a bra fitting? Do you have any tips on how to make expensive foundation garments last longer? Let us know in the comments!

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Chances are, unless you’ve been fitted for one in the past year or two, you’re wearing the wrong bra.

Trust me on this: gravity is not your friend. Think about your favorite bra, the one you wear most frequently. Do you ever have to hitch up the straps? Does the underwire poke you? Your bra size is one of those numbers you file away and keep re-using, regardless of age and weight fluctuations. But it shouldn’t be this way.

How a Bra Should Fit

  • It should be snug across the band. It shouldn’t ride up or be that easy to put on (unless you have a front closure).
  • The front center of the bra should lie flat on your chest and not gape open or press into your skin uncomfortably.
  • The cups should be full but not spilling over—you know exactly what I mean.
  • The band should not create unsightly bulges above or below along the back.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

How to Find the Perfect Bra

Sure, you can guess your own size pretty easily at home, but the best way to get the ideal foundation garments for your frame is to get a professional fitting. If you head to your local high-end department store—I went to Nordstrom—the staff in the lingerie section should be trained on how to get your measurements.

I recently went with a couple of friends to get this done, and the process was positively painless. You enter the dressing room with your fitter and disrobe on top to just your bra. I don’t know why, but I wore a sports bra, thinking it would be less embarassing. You will then be measured at the top of your rib cage with a tape measure for your proper band size, and cup size will be estimated by sight. That’s it!

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Long story short, my band size was the same, but my cup size most certainly was not. In my defense, I think women get attached to their bra sizes. You were a 36C in college, you’re going to squeeze into a 36C as if your life depends on it. You’re not doing your figure or your back any favors with this mindset, however.

How to Buy the Perfect Bra

Okay, back to the high-end department store. Yes, it will be expensive, but you should buy at least one of the bras they find for you, to act as your best-fitting bra to use as a standard. When you get home, search for cheaper options in your proper size and try them on when you can. Target and more accessible department stores like Macy’s have pretty good selections of affordable foundation garments. Get one for the gym/exercising in a breathable fabric and another one for casual wear when you don’t need as much support.

Take care of your new purchases by washing your bras by hand in warm water and lay them flat to dry. Store them flat too, and don’t fold them cup-into-cup because it can ruin the shape.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Courtesy of Parfait Lingerie

**All of the photos in this article are courtesy of Unsplash unless credited otherwise.

Take these tips, and go out and find your perfect bra. Everyone needs a good support system!

When was the last time you had a bra fitting? Do you have any tips on how to make expensive foundation garments last longer? Let us know in the comments!

For starters, I’m 15.

When my mom and I are at the mall we go into a lot of stores including La Senza and Victoria Secret. I ask if I can get a few bras, and I try some on but my mom seems to think I am a 34 B, when I’m actually a 36 C(I measured). When they are too small I tell her and she says “Okay then why don’t we come back another time.”

The thing is, we never go back to those stores. We always end up going to Wal Mart and getting bras that are 34 B and really cheap (by cheap I mean inexpensive, made poorly(I’ve found the straps break continuously) and after a few weeks they are really rough and itchy). How can I convince my mom to buy me a bra that fits me and that I like?

Please help. No inappropriate answers please.

5 Answers

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

just tell her you need a bigger bra. or here is what i do when i want something my mom wont buy:

bring your own money

then pick out good fitting bras

just go to the section and grab them

then, if your mom refuses, then say you are buying them yourself with your own money

how can she argue with that?

well she could, but cross your fingers! good luck and im sorry!

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

in victorias secret have one of the ladies measure you. i had the same problem with my mom, and if she sees that you are a 34 C when they measure you then tell her to buy you a bra. Personally i love victorias secrets bras but they get too expensive. another good place for them is kohls. Im 15 too. I really do recommend a VS bra if you have the money because they woRK WONDERS! But sadly i had to stop shopping there because im on the taller and heavier side so i needed a bigger size :(( hope you have good luck :)) i can personally recommend the biofit bras from VS too!

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Tell her that you don’t think your bras are fitting well and would like to go to VS. Then have someone there measure you. That way it’s not between you and your mom and you may find that it is a different size than either of you thought.

Is there any way you can save up your own money? That might help too, if you offer to buy it yourself. Or even just part of it.

If it’s too expensive to go to a place like VS you can go to Ross, TJ Maxx or Marshalls, they have well made bras that are cheaper than other places.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

when you’re there next, you should get measured by one of the staff, it doesn’t take long and most of the time its free. Once you know what size you are you should tell your mum that its better to get a good quality, well fitting one as it will last longer and be cheaper in the long run as she wont have to buy them more often. you could also try going when there is a sale on (there’s a sale on now at my local la senza) so that they are cheaper than usual so she may be more likely to buy you one.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

On Friday I did what most women need to do… yearly. I went for a professional bra fitting. Things are shifting on my body these days so I knew it was time. I’ve recently lost a few pounds and my bras weren’t doing their job because they didn’t fit properly.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

I met with an expert fitter who was discreet and very knowledgable. She listened to my likes, dislikes, and goals for a bra. Then we went into a changing room and she took out her tape measure.

Bras you’ll find available at Soma:How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Sensuous Sides

A minimizer bra that reduces your measurements by 1 or 3 inches. It has a side smoothing technology that ensures no lumps or bumps. Designed with smoothing wings and a ballet back shape that keeps straps in place.

Vanishing Back

Provides a sleek look all around the sides and back. The back-smoothing technology prevents all lumps and bumps. I have loose skin on my back, (keeping it real here ladies) which this renders invisible! It’s so soft and leaves no indentation!

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

No lines and bumps…even under the arm where my skin is very soft.


This bra is engineered for ultimate softness. Even the underwire versions are incredibly comfortable with a soft microfiber fabric next to your skin.

Stunning Support

Designed for a firm hold and ultimate support. These have 3 zone support with a stabilizing center front, wider-set straps and hook, and eye closure. Ideal for the large busted woman looking for comfort and support.

Enticing Lift Bra

Beautiful flat lace that is undetectable under your clothes and lifts without adding bulk.

Sensuous Lace

Just beautiful. These offer fabulous comfort and exquisite fit in stunning embroidered lace.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Isn’t this lace beautiful?

All Soma bras undergo a 70-point test to ensure great quality, fit and comfort. Each style is available padded or unpadded, with or without underwire or lace…your options are endless.

If you haven’t gone in for a professional bra fitting in a year or more, do yourself a favor and get one. It makes all the difference in how your clothes fit and can make you look slimmer also! Try different styles until you find the bra that doesn’t gap, offers support, is comfortable and looks smooth under your clothes.

Soma also offers fantastic panties with no-slip technology that are invisible under clothes and stay put. They carry soft, cool sleepwear, casual sundresses, and lounging clothes. I was very impressed and will be back…there is a set of lace nightie and robe with my name all over it:)

Out of curiosity, I asked my bra fitter if women cared about buying matching bras and panties these days. She reported not many women were…but the ones who did care… were adamant about it.

Is it important for your bras to have matching panties?

Thank you to Soma for partnering on this post and introducing me to the Vanishing Back Bra.

  1. How to Find the Correct Bra Size
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  5. How to Measure Bra Size for Calvin Klein Bras

Are you uncertain whether your bra fits properly? Before purchasing a bra, you should measure yourself to ensure a proper fit. Use this guide to help you.

How to Fit a Bra Properly

Measure the band size wearing an un-padded bra. Using the measuring tape and measure under your bustline. Be sure that the tape is parallel to the ground. Make sure you exhale all of the air out of your lungs before you take the final measurement. You will want the smallest measurement possible.

Write the number down, rounding to the nearest whole number. If the measurement is even, add 4 inches. If the measurement is odd, add 5 inches.

Stand straight with your arms at your side and measure your bust at its fullest part. to measure your cup size. Make sure the measuring tape is parallel with the ground. Round to the nearest whole number and write this number down along with the band size number.

Subtract your band measurement from the bust measurement to calculate bra size. The outcome is used with the following guideline: 0 inches to 1/2 inch is an AA cup 1/2 inch to 1 inch is an A cup 2 inches is a B cup 3 inches is a C cup 4 inches is a D cup 5 inches is a DD or E cup 6 inches is a DDD or F cup

Cup overspill, lumps and bumps. Bras can be tricky to get right. Luckily, we’ve got blogger Josephine from Chic At Any Age on hand to give us the low down on fitting and buying the best bra for you.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

A well-fitting bra can help you to look younger and slimmer. How easy it is to spend our money on a great jacket, pretty dress or gorgeous silk top, while somehow it often seems difficult to spend money on a well-fitting everyday bra that is unlikely to see the light of day.

Yet it is one of the most important purchases we can make. Not only will a well-fitting bra support our breasts and contribute to breast health but will also act as an excellent framework allowing our clothes to drape correctly.

How to find your perfect fit

How to Buy a Well Fitting BraIt may be that you suit a balcony or a plunge shape, or that you need padded rather than non-padded. But no matter what suits you, every woman can create a smoother, slimmer silhouette simply by investing in the right bra in the right size.

You’ll instantly smooth over any lumps and bumps that can be created by ill-fitting underwear, but most importantly your posture will improve, making you appear taller and slimmer.

How to measure

If you go shopping with a rough idea of your size, you’ll know where to start before you head into the changing rooms. It’s always worth checking with an assistant, but knowing your basics can speed up the process.

How to Buy a Well Fitting BraMeasuring is by no means a scientific process, as it doesn’t take into account your personal shape so my best advice is don’t measure yourself, go to a good measuring service and get it done properly. There is no obligation to buy their bras, and you will end up with a far better fit than basing it on your own mathematical equasions!

If you really, really want to try to measure yourself, John Lewis offer a good video to get you started.

A rush and grab in the nearest department store is not the ideal way to buy a bra, even if we have taken our measurements beforehand. Personally I find that self measurements are only a guideline and that the ideal way to ensure that your bra fits perfectly is to schedule some time and have a proper fitting. A professional fitter will have a trained eye and will know what styles will suit you best.

How to Buy a Well Fitting BraMost lingerie retailers and department stores across the country have trained bra fitters who will spend time understanding your needs and choosing the perfect bra for you. Put your trust in them and I promise the result will be a fabulous silhouette that you’ll be happy to show off. Rigby & Peller have some fabulous bras and, in my opinion, offer the best fitting service.

Be open minded when choosing a new bra – you may be surprised that a style you had previously ignored is perfect for you.

Some misconceptions

Moulded bras make you look bigger than non-padded ones. This simply isn’t true. They will, however, give you a more rounded shape. Try one – you could be very pleased with the result!

The back should be comfortable. Sadly ladies, it should be as tight as possible! Especially when you first try a bra, as it will give over time with washing and wearing. This is vital to give you the correct support. Don’t be tempted to go up a back size for comfort – if your bras all fasten on the tightest hook and ride up your back, you certainly need to try a size smaller.

Strapless bras don’t work on fuller-busted ladies. Many brands now do a fabulous selection of comfortable and supportive strapless bras that will give you confidence whatever you’re wearing.

How to Buy a Well Fitting BraAll bras fit the same. Sadly not! They vary hugely depending on brand, style and material, so you should always try them on before buying. Your size can be different depending on the brand, so don’t worry about having a drawer full of different sizes, as long as they all fit correctly.

Only non-wired bras are comfortable. For women that have spent their lives wearing non-wired it’s understandable to be wary. However, brands are now working specifically on making their wired bras as comfortable as possible, and they’ll stay in place all day.

Your bra wardrobe

It’s very easy to get stuck in an underwear rut. If one style feels comfy, that’s great – stick with it. But variety is the space of life, don’t forget, and there will be other styles out there that are comfy too.

  • How to Buy a Well Fitting BraInvest in a good quality nude-colour bra to wear under your white t-shirts (white bras actually show up more than a nude bra under white tops).
  • An ‘invisible bra’ made of satin or microfibre will work well under tight-fitting or fine fabric tops. They often have lazer-cut seams to aid invisibility. Bra technology has come a long way, eh?!
  • The neckline you will be wearing will determine the bra shape you choose. If you have an abundance of certain kinds of necklines in your wardrobe, make sure you’ve got plenty of bras that are suitable.
  • I find it is nice to have a couple of coloured or lacy numbers. They always make me feel chic and well dressed even if nobody but me knows I am wearing them. Matching knickers go a long way in this respect too.

First impressions are everything since you only get the one chance to make them. For women, making a great first impression means dressing appropriately for the event they are attending and the people are going to be meeting. One factor that does not change regardless of people or occasion is having the “girls” where they belong. This means purchasing the best bra for the outfit to be worn and the one that affords you with adequate coverage and plenty of support.

Choosing a well-fitting bra means far more than just picking one that you think is the right size. Getting the right bra means having your measurements taken to ensure that you get the right size bra that is ideal for your particular body shape and cup size. Women blessed with large breasts do not necessarily need extra padding, but they do need a bra that will support them and not leave them with overhang. It can be highly embarrassing to wear a bra that is too small, as it provides more chances for accidental spillage. Here are the key steps women can take to get the best fitting bra.

Get Your Measurements
One of the key factors to getting a bra that fits is getting the proper measurements. To do this yourself get a tape measure start measuring. The first measurement that you want to take will be the band size. Wrap the tape around your chest by going under the armpits and above the bust. You want to pull the tape tightly to help you get an accurate measurement. If you get a number that is not in exact inches, round up. This will be your band size.

The next step is to measure the bust. This time you will wrap the tap around your chest over the fullest part of your bust, over the nipples. Pull the tape nice and taut, just not too tight. If necessary, round up if you do not get an exact inch measurement. Once you have your bust size and your band size you need to determine your cup size. To determine this subtract the measurement of the band from the bust size, for every inch difference between the two you go up a cup size. If you have a one inch difference you are an A cup, two inch difference, you are a B cup, etc.

Find Your Bra Style
Now that you know what size bra you wear, you need to try some on. Go to the store; find the type bra style you want, for example, the t-shirt bra from ThirdLove, and select your size based on your measurements. When trying the bra on want to hook it at your waist then lift it up as high as it will go, remembering not to go completely over your breasts. Lean forward and let your breasts fall into the cups. Once you stand, push all the soft tissue from under your armpits into the cup.

With your breasts securely in your bra, ensure the clasp is not too tight or too loose. It is ideal to be able to place two fingers comfortably between your back and the bra strap. One last step involved in making sure you picked the right bra is to move your arms around like you would throughout the day, this means up, forward, and down. If the bra feels comfortable, you have found yourself a bra that not only fits properly but also is the style you desire.

Finding the perfect bra is about taking the time, going to a place that knows what they’re doing, being relaxed and trying on plenty.
– Jackie Hill

Choosing the right bra is going to basically perfect the outfit you have on. It is really important that you choose correctly and that you focus on what could work really well based on various different factors. Keep in mind that most women out there make mistakes when they buy their bras. They will often choose cups that are too small or bands that are too large. Think about the different options available and consider the tips that will be written below. They will help you choose all bra types from the sporty yoga bras to the really sexy night bras.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Your bad mood could be due to that bad bra. Get fitted!

Shallow Breasts

Around ten percent of women have them. In some cases the breasts are going to develop like this because of breast feeding but some women are born with them. You want to choose bras that are offering a complete fullness. The push-ups need to have crescent-shaped padding so that lower breast tissue can be pushed up, making the breasts appear as if they are together.

Semi-Supported Breasts

Around 30% of women have such breasts. The fullness of a younger girl is not there but the appearance is definitely nice for most people. The great thing about these breasts is that you can choose any bra. They will all be stunning on you.

Self-Supported Breasts

There are around 16% of the women that have them. In many cases the word used to describe the breasts is implants. If augmentation surgery happened or an implant was put in, you have such breasts. The breasts are simply supported without or with the bra. In this case you can choose any bra type since its purpose would only to make the breast shape look more natural.

Uneven Breasts

A little over 40% of the women have such breasts. One of your breasts is simply larger. Uneven breasts normally appear since people have one side that is naturally stronger and more used. If you are right-handed, as an example, the right side breast is going to be smaller as you have larger arm muscles. You want to basically choose a bra that will fit the breast that is larger. Contour-cupped is a very good idea. The bra cup that has a really thin foam layer will be great filler that can mold the small breast’s disadvantage.

Settled Breasts

Statistics show that 27% of women have such breasts. The breasts are basically hanging or deflated. Support is needed in this case. When you age, the breasts will not remain as firm. They will be malleable. The good news in this case is that you can choose the desired shape through the bra. You just have to choose one that is well-structured and multi-part. The cup needs seams since this offers the nice shape and a great structure.

Hopefully, the advice offered here is going to help you out a lot at the end of the day. Choose your bras based on the breasts you have, not the breasts you want to have! This is, most likely, the best advice you will ever get.

April 23, 2018 By // by Jo 26 Comments This post may contain affiliate links, and links to Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Crikey I hate buying bras. So often I’ll get them home and find they’re actually too tight or too saggy, because I never pay any attention to the sales ladies who ask me, “Now are you quite sure you know how to fit your bra correctly? “Yes, I reply. Because I want to get in and out of the shop as fast as possible.

How to fit you Bra Correctly

  • Use a traditional tape measure
  • Measure under the bust
  • Measure around the fullest part of the bust
  • The difference in inches between the two measurements gives the cup size, so A cup for 1 inch, B cup for 2 inches etc.
  • The measurement around the full part of the bust will give you the bra size.
  • Bend over when you put the bra on so that your boobs fit nicely into the cups.
  • When secured, the bra hooks should be on the first catch to give room for any stretching as it gets worn.
  • Underwires should not dig in.
  • You shouldn’t bulge out all over the place when the bra is on – not around the back, or shoulders or over the cups.
  • Straps shouldn’t be too flimsy.
  • The bra should sit flush with the skin at the front and not gape.

Just as I think I’ve got my size taped, and dash back 6 months later for a new bra, I’ll decide to buy a different make of bra – or as I and my juvenile friends once used to call it – the-over-shoulder-boulder-holder, and Hello! Surprise! It doesn’t fit.

So I then end up in the changing room (with a sales assistant prodding me and tweaking straps – there’s just no dignity in being a woman, is there?) and 10 bras later I’ve found ‘The One’.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Then when The One is exhausted from too much being thrown in the washing machine (I know I know, they should be washed by hand, but seriously who has time for that?) I traipse back to the store and find that brand is no longer available and my bra size in another make just happens to be completely different.

So I spend a long time looking at All The Pretty Bras, even fantasising about the dainty little things I might have worn as a 20 year old, and end up in the changing room with some sensible strong looking bras which my husband will look at, sigh and say, “Gosh there’s just so much Bra!” but which in reality are perfect for everyday life, walking and exercise.

There will be a couple of more gorgeous lacy things which I will probably purchase, and I know will only ever be worn for Going Out.

And it takes me much longer than is strictly necessary to find a good fitting bra.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

6 Things I hate about buying a bra.

  1. I love pretty coloured bras with patterns. However I’m not always organised when I throw my clothes on in the morning. I have ended up pink faced and pink braa’d as the polka dot pattern shines through a white T-shirt in sunlight, which I’ve thought nothing about in the cold light of morning at home.
  2. I hate the hangers. Five bras and those itsy-distsy hangers in a changing room and I’m gnashing. Perhaps I have poor small motor skills, but honestly they put me on edge.
  3. I do not like the way that my boobs seem to be edging out to my underarm region. So these days I hate trying on and really really dislike that podgy bit of flesh between bra and underarm which bras seem to successfully squidge out above and to one side.
  4. Different makes of bra always seem to be different when it comes to sizing. I’ve been a B cup and a D cup all in one try-on.
  5. They might be great feats of engineering, but hell, they are so expensive.
  6. I like push-up bras for evenings, but my decolletage has begun to look crinkly – Help! So now I’m no longer a wonder bra type of girl and I’m in search of a make that can iron out the orange peel look.
  7. I hate the time it takes me to buy a bra.

Have you got any tips for buying bras? What’s your favourite make? What’s your favourite style? Sports bra, underwire bra, front close bra, no wire bra?

Need ideas?

Live in Australia? Need a great sports bra? Check out this brand … (Medium, Black (Black/White)) – Nike Lady Pro Victory Support Sports Bra

Live in America? Do you prefer a front close bra? Check out this brand …Playtex 18 Hour Front Close Posture Bra

Anyone who wears lingerie knows the struggles of finding the perfect bra – that one specimen that gives the best support and coverage. Honestly, there’s no hard and fast rule to selecting the perfect bra – everybody is shaped differently, but there are ways by which you can figure out what size of bra fits you the best. Once you get that right, it’s a smooth ride.

Here are the top 10 benefits of wearing a correctly fitted bra:

1. It Improves Your Posture

When you wear the right kind of bra, your posture improves. Your shoulders are no longer slouched and your back is straight due to the support that your chest receives. It also does not cinch or add extra layers to areas that don’t need them.

2. It Boosts Confidence

Once you’re assured that your lingerie fits you great, you’re no longer distracted by it. You can devote all your attention to being fabulous!

3. It Improves Your Health

A good bra that supports your breasts perfectly can reduce back pain, skin irritation, and chest pain. This is especially applicable to women with heavier breasts. A good ladies bra can work wonders for your health.

4. It Makes It Easier for You to Be Active

Whether it’s a good sports bra for the gym or a good T-Shirt bra to the office, you will notice difference in your productivity when you wear the right bra. This is also because your bra and lingerie doesn’t distract you or make you uncomfortable, making it easier for you to focus on your work.

5. It Lasts Longer

Don’t crib about spending a few extra bucks on good lingerie. It will last for a longer time and will be super comfortable to wear.

6. It Improves Your Outfit

They say no outfit is complete without the right bra and it’s certainly true. When you wear the perfect lingerie, it enhances the appearance of your outfit by a huge extent.

7. It Improves the Shape of Your Breasts

Wearing the right bra during your formative years is extremely important because it plays a key role in shaping your breasts.

8. It Reduces Back Pain

If you’ve been facing back pain, it can be the result of you wearing an incorrect bra size. Rectify that and you’ll find yourself relieved by a large margin.

9. It Feels Like Second Skin

When you find that perfect bra, it should fit you so comfortably and snugly that it shouldn’t feel like you’re wearing anything inside at all.

10.It Looks Amazing

The right bra can have a fun and quirky design, making it not only comfortable to wear but also fun to see!

Like it can be seen above, there are plenty of benefits of wearing a good-sized bra. If you’re not sure about your size, get out your measuring tape and consult a bra size chart for help!

Don’t just blindly guess your bra size—here’s how to wind up with bras that last and love you back.

Not to be dramatic, but a life spent wearing ill-fitting, uncomfortable bras is simply no life at all—and if you’ve already found the bra of your dreams you know exactly how life-changing this staple undergarment can be. Because let’s be honest, the wrong bra can not only make or break an outfit, but your entire day.

Shopping for bras isn’t always a cake walk, though, and worthwhile bras can be an investment. Besides weird lighting and cramped dressing rooms—or straight-up not being able to try things on if you’re bra shopping online—it’s hard to know exactly what you need (especially if you haven’t treated yourself to a new bra since, oh, college). Never again let yourself suffer in a so-so bra, thanks to these essential bra shopping commandments.

1. Get Measured by a Professional

Ideally, all ladies should try to get sized about once a year, or after going through any bodily changes. It’s always smart to know how to measure your own bra size, but if you’re getting measured for the first time in a while, leave this task up to a pro.

2. Have at Least Five Everyday Bras You Love

Yes, five! It might seem like a lot, but having a solid lineup of bras will give each one a longer shelf life. Wearing the same bra everyday—or even for more than one day at a time—is one the biggest bra mistakes women tend to make. Over-wear will stretch out the spandex, so don’t discount the importance of a good bra rotation for long-lasting bras.

3. Go for Quality Over Looks

It’s always fun to have some cute, cheap bras for special occasions, but don’t rely on looks alone to get the job done day in and day out. Even though stronger, quality materials often carry a higher price tag, it’ll always be a worthwhile investment—especially if you’re anything larger than a C cup.

4. Focus on the Feel of the Band—Not Just Cup Size

You might not realize it, but most of your bra’s support should come from a snug band. To gauge sufficient snugness: When worn on the loosest hook, the band should allow only one of your fingers to slide underneath. As the band naturally loses elasticity over time, adjust by using the tighter hooks. The band should also be completely level all the way around your rib cage. If it’s too loose, your bra will start riding up your back, which is not only uncomfortable, but causes soft flesh to bulge (making you think you have back fat to lose—when you don’t!).

5. Avoid Minimizer Bras

Not everyone is after a bigger chest—but if you’re looking for ways to make your breasts appear smaller, minimizer bras aren’t the best route. A minimizer bra will compress breast tissue and actually increase the surface area of your breasts (exactly what you don’t want), but a high-quality bra with enough lift and side support will help tame your chest area more than you realize.

6. Know Where Underwire Discomfort Comes From

Where and how the underwire hits you has to do with a few factors. Is the underwire digging into your breasts? You might actually need to try a larger cup size. But if the underwire is cutting into the skin below your breasts, try going down a band size.

7. Know Your Proportions

Where exactly should your breasts be in relation to the rest of your body? There are no “rules” here (and everyones’ figure is completely different), but here are some helpful guidelines: If you turn sideways and look in the mirror, a well-fitting bra should hold your breasts comfortably in place midway between your shoulder and elbow crease; looking in the mirror straight-on, a good bra will keep your breasts within the frame of your torso—neither super pushed together nor smushed out toward your arms.

Read on to find the best bras for big boobs, plus more tips for finding your bra size from bra enthusiasts.

Im a 34 d – dd, and im sick of wearing badly fitting bras. i usually buy them from asda, primark, new look, etc. I want something that looks nice, that fits well and doesnt cost loads. any suggestions? thanks 🙂

8 Answers

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

I buy from Bravissimo, they specialise in lingerie for ladies with more curves. The most important thing is to get a bra fitted so that you are wearing the correct size. Another place that offers a fitting service is M&S

I wouldn’t recommend shops such as Primark, Asda and New Look for bras since they’re more focused on fashion than fit.

Before you buy a bra then you should go for a bra fit. I went to Bravissimo for one since they don’t use tape measures and instead get you to try different sizes and styles and through this find the best fit and most comfortable bra they can. This is useful since tape measures don’t always get it right.

However, if you cannot get to a Bravissimo then definitely get fitted else where; Debenhams, La Senza and Marks and Spencer’s are all known for their good quality fits and quite often you’ll find a bra for only £1-£2 more than at Asda or New Look.

I was wearing a 32A-32B bra for many years and went to Bravissimo for a fit and found that my size was in fact 28D, and so bought one expensive bra from there then went to Marks and Spencer’s and found multiple bras for around £7.50 each!!

I hope I’ve helped

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

I share your problem,

In newlook im a 34C as in PRIMARK im a 34D?

Well i went to an actual underwear store, especially for underwear only. All you have to do is ask for a ‘free bra fitting’ If you’ve never been before its completle confidential you go into a changing room and they measure your bust (you keep your bra on) and she will pass you bras then they will tell you your correct size and offer you bras to see what you feel more comfortable in, theres full cup, half cup etc. They may be a bit pricey if you chose to purchase from that actual store but believe me its worth it.

Then theres always finding nicely padded bras, when you go shopping dont just pick up anything what looks pretty, feel the texture of the padding, and the underwire. You can try bras on in stores too i believe, makesure you they’re not too tight aswell.

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Posted under Health Guides. Updated 29 January 2020.
+Related Content

  • Breasts come in all shapes and sizes.
  • Although most lumps or changes in your breast are normal when you’re a teen, check with your HCP if you have a new lump.
  • A well-fitting bra helps prevent breast discomfort, back pain, and shoulder pain.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

If you’re ready to buy your first bra or if your breast size has changed, you may be wondering what size bra to buy. Figuring out the correct size can be tricky unless you do your homework first. This guide will help you measure yourself correctly to determine the size you will need (chest size and cup size). This will be important when buying a bra as well as other clothing that uses bra or cup measurements, such as bathing suits. Of course, trying on bras is always important, since different brands and styles fit differently.

If you are about to buy your first bra, it’s best to go to a department store that has a special section that sells bras and underwear, usually called the “lingerie department”. Ask to be fitted by a “lingerie specialist” (a professional who has special training in fitting bras). This service is free, and having the measurements done by a professional will make sure that your bra fits correctly. By doing this, you’ll find the bra that feels the best and also looks the best under your clothes.

If you decide you would feel more comfortable figuring out your bra size at home, the following information will guide you through the steps of measuring yourself.

Chest size:

Place a cloth measuring tape under your breasts, on your ribs. Wrap the tape around your chest so the tape measure meets the beginning part of the tape. When you have the measurement number, add 5 inches.

For example: if the measurement around your chest is: 27″.

This means that your chest size is 32.

If your measurement ends up to be an ODD number, you will need to go up to the next EVEN number to figure out your size.

For example: your measurement around your chest is: 28″.

This means that your chest size is 34.

Cup size: Next, you will measure around your chest at the largest or fullest part of your breasts, called your “bust line.” You need to measure with your arms straight down, so ask someone you feel comfortable with to help you (like your mom, sister, or friend).

Your bust line measurement will be higher than your chest (“under the breast”) measurement. Your cup size is the difference between your chest size and your bust line measurement.

For example: Your bust line measurement at the fullest part of your bust is 34″ and your chest size is 32″. 34″ – 32″ = 2″. The difference is 2″, which means your cup size is a B cup.

Bra cup size:

Cup Size: Difference:
AA Cup ½ inch
A Cup 1 inch
B Cup 2 inch
C Cup 3 inch
D Cup 4 inch

What should I know before I buy a bra?

A bra supports your breasts. While some girls don’t wear one, others like to wear them, especially when they play sports. All bras are shaped to fit around both your chest and your breasts.

Some bras are sized small, medium, or large. Bras sized this way, such as sports bras, fit snugly but comfortably. A well-fitting sports bra can prevent breast pain during sports or running.

Fitted bras have both a breast cup size and chest size. The cup sizes range from AA (smallest) to H (largest), and the chest sizes range from about 30 inches to 40 inches (this is the number of inches around your chest at the fullest part of your bust). Not all stores will carry very small or very large sizes, so you may have to check out a few stores or shop online to find the size that fits you the best.

You or a clerk at the store can measure you for the right size bra. You should try on many bras to find the most comfortable size and style. Finding a well-fitting bra is important to prevent breast discomfort, back pain, and shoulder pain.

Demi cup, full cup, T-shirt style, molded contour, seamless, minimiser, full-figured, strapless, training, three-part support, balconette, one-shoulder, maternity, nursing, underwire, non-underwire, racerback, sports, front-closure, full coverage, convertible, plunge, push-up, longline, halter.

Whew. So many bra styles and so many that don’t fit.

Perfect fit . bras should lie flat against the body giving a smooth shape. Model wears Simone Perele’s Avanti bra.

Ladies, do you suffer from dreaded “back fat”, slipping straps, cup spills or collapsed cups? It’s not your fault. Your support system is all wrong.

Queen Elizabeth II’s longtime bra maker and bra fitter says that most women – 85 per cent – aren’t wearing the right size. “It’s because they’ve gone to a shop that doesn’t know how to fit them properly,” June Kenton told a London newspaper after her retirement last year.

Collapsed cups . sign that a bra is too big. Model wears Madonna-inspired conical bra.

Kenton recalled dreading her first royal visit in 1960. “Can you imagine what it was like? Most people first meet the queen when she’s wearing an evening dress, but not me.”

The queen may have been nervous, too.

“When you take off your blouse in front of a woman, it’s a little intimidating,” said Yvonne Alicea, who owns Yve’s Fine Lingerie in Roseville, California. “I tell women, ‘I look at boobs all day, you don’t have anything I haven’t seen’.

“It’s not about pretty bras, although I have some gorgeous collections, it’s about the fit,” Alicea said.

“Women (with large breasts) come in with indentations an inch deep in their shoulders and in pain and don’t know how to resolve the problem. They get migraines from the pressure. I’ve had women cry because they finally find some relief.”

Leave it to Oprah Winfrey to tell the world something is amiss beneath our blouses.

Determined to get us out of our ill-fitting underpinnings, she hosted a “bra intervention” show in 2005, bringing in 8000 bras and 35 professional fitters from Nordstrom to work with 240 female audience members.

The fitters discovered mothers still in unnecessary nursing bras, women who safety-pinned their raggedy bras together and a man who shopped on eBay for his wife’s bras.

After the show aired, bra sales at Nordstrom skyrocketed 189 per cent over the same period in 2004, according media reports at the time.

A properly fitting bra, the experts say, is neither too tight nor too loose, has straps that don’t dig into the shoulders (the band, not the straps, should be the main means of support) and doesn’t allow breast tissue to spill out of the cups. The right bra will lie smoothly and comfortably against the body.

Bras cost as much as $US250 ($248) – or $US2 million ($1.99 million) if you’re in the market for Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Fantasy Bra introduced last Christmas. It was a sparkly little thing designed by an Italian jeweller and festooned with 3000 diamonds, sapphires and topazes.

Winfrey’s favourite bra is Le Mystere’s Dream Tisha, a little more modestly priced at around $US70 ($69.50).

Expensive bras are made with higher-quality materials, are more comfortable and will last longer than cheap ones. “It’s like a Hyundai versus a Mercedes,” Alicea said. “With the Mercedes, you get better airbags, better power steering and better leather. It’s the same with bras.”

A wealthy corset-wearing New Yorker named Mary Phelps Jacob fashioned the first modern bra in 1913, six years after Vogue magazine introduced the term “brassiere” (French for “upper arm”) in its pages.

She and her maid stitched together two silk handkerchiefs and pink ribbon for an undergarment that, unlike her bulky corset, wasn’t visible beneath her delicate evening gown.

Jacob patented her “backless brassiere” and later sold the invention to Warner Brothers Corset Co for $US1500 ($1,489).

US bra sales (excluding sport bras) last year exceeded $US4.5 billion ($4.47 billion), according to NPD Group Inc, a market-research company in Port Washington, New York. Sport bra sales totalled nearly $US449 million ($445 million).

The bra – that supportive, sometimes sexy undergarment – made news in the early 1940s when Howard Hughes designed a cantilevered version for his movie The Outlaw, to show off the ample cleavage of movie star Jane Russell, who died recently. And in 1990, everyone was talking about the pointy-cone bra Madonna wore on her Blond Ambition tour.

Bra-burning has long been associated with the feminist movement, but some women couldn’t bring themselves to do it. A group of women’s libbers, protesting the 1968 Miss America Pageant as a symbol of male chauvinism, threw their bras and other things into a rubbish bin but didn’t light it. Cops were watching and they didn’t have a burn permit.

But maybe it wasn’t about equal rights at all.

Maybe they were dumping bras that didn’t fit.


1. Never wear a black bra under a white top, ever. Well, maybe if you’re Madonna or Lady Gaga.

2. The right amount of cleavage is sexy. What’s not is when breast tissue billows out, making it seem like you’re wearing a bra three sizes too small.

3. Slippery straps are a fashion no-no. They make you look sloppy and unkempt.

4. Wearing a bra is not just a matter of appropriateness, it’s a necessity. After babies, weight gain and general ageing, your breasts simply aren’t what they used to be.

5. If there is a build-up of tissue around the underarms or below the bra band, your body is screaming for a proper fitting. You’re also probably seriously uncomfortable.

6. Nude is the colour to wear under just about everything. You shouldn’t see the outline of your bra through your top unless you’re wearing something sheer.

7. When wearing low necklines or tank tops, how do you hide the top of your bra? Try layering or using double-sided fashion tape. Or go for a bandeau, balconette or demi bra.

8. If you’re wearing a halter top or an evening dress with off-the-shoulder sleeves, you’ll need a corresponding bra so that the only focus is your ensemble.

9. You have only two breasts. If someone is seeing four, that’s a major concern. Generally it means your bra is too tight and pushing your breast tissue upward.

10. Stay smooth by embracing the new lace. T-shirt and contouring bras are smooth but may lack sexiness. Many of the new three-part cup and cut-and-sew bras provide optimal coverage with flirty appeal. A bonus: The extra seam helps to control and centre breast tissue.


Follow Life&Style on Twitter @Life_Style_News

Jennifer O’Donnell holds a BA in English and has training in specific areas regarding tweens, covering parenting for over 8 years.

Adah Chung is a fact checker, writer, researcher, and occupational therapist.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

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  • Growth & Development
  • Behavior & Emotions
  • Tween Life

For tween girls, bras can either be regarded as confusing contraptions or something that they can’t wait to wear. If your tween is getting ready to enter puberty, or already has, she needs to know about the different types of bras available to her. Below are styles of bras that are popular with the tween and teen market.

Popular Bra Styles for Teens and Tweens

Be sure you know how to help your daughter find her proper size before shopping for any bra, to ensure a comfortable fit and proper protection.

Training Bras

Training bras don’t actually train the breasts, as some girls might think. Instead, they are very basic bras that help girls become familiar with wearing a bra. Training bras are generally worn when breast buds first appear and offer minimal coverage and support because at that point a lot of support just isn’t needed.

Because training bras don’t offer padding or support they should be replaced with other bras when a girl’s breasts really begin to develop. Today’s training bras come in a variety of colors and patterns, which can make them fun for your daughter to wear.

Sports Bras

Sports bras are a must for girls who are active or play sports. Many of these bras wick perspiration away from the skin, and a good sports bra will also offer extra protection against chafing of the nipples.

Many tween and teen girls prefer sports bras to other styles of bras because many don’t have adjustable straps or the plastic adjusters that sometimes dig into the skin. Sports bras restrict the movement of the breasts by compression against the skin. In other words, they are a very snug fitting bra, but many girls also find them to be comfortable.

Soft Cup Bras

Soft cup bras are a good choice for girls with small to medium-sized breasts. These bras do not have an underwire for support, but they do offer a soft foam cup to give smaller breasts a bit of padding and support. Girls with larger breasts may prefer to opt for an underwire bra.

Underwire Bras

Underwire bras come with a flexible wire that helps lift the breast from the underside and the side. The underwire also offers jiggle support for girls and women with large breasts. Girls may suspect that underwire bras will be uncomfortable to wear, but a well-made underwire bra can be as comfortable as any other option.

Just be sure you help your daughter find her proper size. Underwire bras come in either a full or partial cup (demi) options.

Cotton or T-Shirt Bras

Cotton or T-shirt bras are a fun option for tween and teen girls as they come in a variety of colors and designs. They may be slightly padded, but their appeal is that they are comfortable, and because they are made with a cotton jersey fabric, they are a cool fabric to wear in the warmer months.

Strapless Bras

These bras are usually worn on special occasions, such as school dances, proms or weddings, underneath a strapless gown, or a gown with very thin spaghetti straps.

Strapless bras are kept in place by hugging the body with a very strong elastic fabric. You can find strapless bras that also offer an underwire option or additional padding.

An Additional Note

For today’s girls, bras have to be not only comfortable but stylish. The good news is bras come in such a variety of colors and designs that it’s easy to find bras that are fun to wear as they are comfortable. And you can find them not just at posh lingerie stores, but at big-box discounts retailer stores such as Target, Kmart, and Wal-Mart, so finding the right bra shouldn’t be too difficult.

Ever wondered why it is so difficult to find a well-fitting bra? Most Indian women are too shy to spend time at the shop trying bras on. They end up wearing ill-fitting ones which are not only bad for

How to Buy a Well Fitting BraEver wondered why it is so difficult to find a well-fitting bra? Most Indian women are too shy to spend time at the shop trying bras on. They end up wearing ill-fitting ones which are not only bad for their aesthetics but also their health. Also Read – Your breasts will thank you if you give them a bra-break during the quarantine

You need to know that ill-fitting bras can damage your breast tissue. And if it doesn’t support properly, you can get back problems, especially for women with large breasts. They get huge indentations in their shoulders, and the constant pressure can cause migraines. They can also rip your ligaments inside the breast stretching them. (Read: How to choose the right bra) Also Read – Are you wearing a bra while exercising?

It isn’t just about the size and cup. Breasts are of different shapes too. While some of them point downwards or at odd angles, some women are soft through their sides, and with the wrong bra their breasts tend to fall outward. ‘A bra that pulls that breast tissue from the sides round to the front will be life changing for them,’ said Anya Merryfield, Rose and Thorne’s lingerie brand manager.

Here are some tips that can help you find your right fit:

1. The right bra should fit snugly, but just like with a good fit of collar on a pet dog, you should be able to get two fingers under the band comfortably. If the back of the bra is riding up or you’re pulling up the shoulder straps throughout the day, then the band size is too big. Remember you can always adjust the hooks and eyes in the back, but if this still doesn’t do the trick then you’ll need to go a size down.

2. If your bra cup is moulded, your breasts should fill it completely; you shouldn’t have extra room in the cup. Nor do you want to be spilling out of your cup, if this is the case you’ll need to go up a size.

3. Flap your arms about and wave them around. If the band rides up and your breasts start to fall out the bottom then it’s too big. If this happens, try adjusting the shoulder straps, or make the band smaller. If it’s still leaping about then go down a size.

4. If you’re getting ‘back fat’ when wearing your bra, then your bra is actually too big. Oversized bras ride up and pull your back fat up with it. Choose a smaller bra size that sits in the centre of your back where it’s supposed to be and you’ll no longer get the back fat.

5. If you’re petite in frame and you can’t find a bra that fits, try a Demi bra. A Demi has a shorter wire so you won’t be spiked in the armpits.

6. When wearing an underwire, the wire should lay flat against your breastbone. It it’s popping up, morphing or riding up, you’ve got the wrong size.

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A whopping 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra, according to Ali Cudby, author of “Busted! The Fab Foundation’s Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter, and Feel Fantastic.” Her tips on how to finally find a bra that fits—so your twins can get

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

A whopping 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra, according to Ali Cudby, author of Busted! The Fab Foundation’s Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter, and Feel Fantastic. Her tips on how to finally find a bra that fits—so your twins can get the love they deserve.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Every lingerie brand fits a bit differently—just because you wear a 34B at Victoria’s Secret doesn’t mean you’re a 34B across the board. Plus, a woman’s bra size changes at least six times over the course of her life (not including pregnancy and weight gain). So always try on a few sizes from a new company to find the right fit—or ask someone in the store to measure you.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

The most common error women make when buying bras is getting a too-big band. If the band is loose, it rides up in the back, causing the front of your bra to drag down. Saggy cleavage = not hot. An oversized band also creates faux back fat—it moves around rather than lying flat, creating bumps and bulges.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

The band carries 85 percent of the weight of your breasts, so it should be firm, anchored, and horizontal across your frame. Slide a couple of fingers under the band and pull it away from your body—it should move no more than an inch or two. And when you look in the mirror, you want the bottom of the band in the back to be parallel to the underside of your breasts in the front.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Band size and cup size are interrelated, so if you go down a band size, you usually need to go up a cup to get the same volume. (For example, a 34B has the same amount of cuppage as a 32C.) Push against the underwire on the side of your bra, right under your armpit. You want it to press into your ribs, not delicate breast tissue—increase your cup if that’s the case. Also, the center of the bra between the two cups should be flush against your sternum. If it’s popping out, that’s another sign you need a bigger cup.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

You want a smooth line from the bottom of your breasts to the top. If you notice any wrinkling, that means the cups are too big. If your boobs are spilling over the top, bottom, or sides, you need to go up a cup size.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Many women carry way too much of the weight of their breasts in their shoulders. But straps aren’t intended to bear weight; they should be just long enough to keep your bra in place without slipping off—so lengthen those straps. Your band should be what’s supporting the load.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Aim to buy your bra on the loosest hook. Since the fabric naturally gives over time, as the bra stretches you can move up a hook.

How to Buy a Well Fitting Bra

Give your girls a boost by bending forward 90 degrees at the waist when putting on your bra so that all of your breast tissue falls naturally into the cups. Or reach a hand into the cup and scoop up your boob in to make sure it’s fully in there.