Following on to my post on how bra sizes work, I come to the next topic which is – how can you check that your bra fits?
Many women have never been fitted correctly or have worn a correctly fitting bra so it can be difficult to know wether their bra does fit properly or not.
So what are the different things that can cause a bra to fit incorrectly?
The cup, the band and the straps are the things that can often cause problems with fitting.
Fit can be difficult to assess as the cup and the band influence each other, therefore, there is some crossover and connection when it comes to checking fit of these things.
Today I want to talk about the sorts of things that might indicate that your bra doesn’t fit you properly. While I would love to have pictures, I simply don’t know where to find any and don’t own enough bras in varying sizes to illustrate all my points.
You can then use this information to aid you in choosing a new bra.
As always, when putting on your bra, remember to ‘scoop‘ your breast tissue up into the cup. Bring your opposite hand into your bra towards your armpit and ‘scoop’ under and forward to bring all of your breast tissue into the cup. This can make a huge difference! I taught my sister this trick and she discovered that her bras were actually two cup sizes too small because a good proportion of her breast tissue was actually outside the cup.
When I buy a new bra, the first thing I look for is band fit and comfort.
Tightness – the band should be firmly fitting around your underbust area. It shouldn’t be so tight that it causes a ‘bra muffin’ where it causes flesh to ‘ooze’ over or under the band. I tend to find that I should be able to comfortably slip 2-3 fingers under the band.
For fuller figured ladies, I would recommend bras with a wider band as thin banded bras will tend to cause lumps and bumps. I find that bras that have 4-5 hooks at the back are more comfortable and provide a smoother line than those with only 1-2 hooks.
An important note is that your band will stretch over time. When buying a new bra, I usually buy the size that fits snugly on the largest hook as it allows me to use the smaller hooks once it starts to stretch.
The shape and size of the cup are the most influential factors when regarding fit.
Shape is very important. Because all boobs come if different shapes and sizes, not all bra styles or brands will fit different women of the same size.
Many, if not most, women have asymmetrical breasts. I always choose bras that fit my larger breast. Why? Because you can always pad the smaller side out but if the cup is too small for your larger side, there isn’t anything you can do to fix it.
Gel or cream filled inserts are a fantastic way to ‘pad out’ your smaller breast. The best inserts that I have found are the Playboy Cream Push-up Inserts. They are very comfortable and discreet despite what the name suggests.
I tend to find that tucking them at the base of the breast in the bottom of the cup offers the best results.
Spacing between the cups is important. Those with very close-set breasts may need to make sure that they choose bras with close-set cups. I have fairly wide-set breasts (I can fit three fingers on my sternum between my breasts) so some bras that are very close-set can dig into the outer sides of my breasts. I have also seen bras that are too wide-set and no matter how large small a cup I tried, it still gaped at the side.
So gaping is not always a size issue, it can be a shape issue as well. If you find that you are spilling out on one side of the cup and gaping at the other, it is likely that the shape/style of cup or bra is not suited to you.
Too big or too small?
If a bra cup is too big but the band fits, you will probably experience gaping at the top edge of your bra and/or on the armpit edge. It is usually fairly obvious if the bra is too big however, remember to ‘scoop’. If you do not you may find that correctly fitting bra gapes as some of your breast tissue is outside of the cup.
If the cup is too small you may experience flesh ‘overspill’ from the cup either at the front or side. A well fitting cup should have a smooth line from skin to the edge of the cup. The ‘quad-boob’ is what I call the effect of having a lot of flesh spill out the top/front of a bra or corset and the top edge cuts in, making it look like you have an extra set of boobs.
I also like to make sure that there isn’t any chance of a ‘nipple slip’ in lower cut bras. For some it may not be a problem for others it can cause chafing on the nipple or simply just embarrassment.
When trying on a bra, try moving around and raising your arms a few times to make sure everything stays secure.
Classically there are a fair few different styles of bra; from your push-up bra to your t-shirt bra, your demi-cup or full cup. These style options unfortunately, do not suit everyone although, there are often variations in fit depending on the brand as well as style.
If you have relatively ‘bottom heavy’ breasts, you may find that push-up styles tend to cause overspill. If you have ‘top heavy’ breasts, you might find that balconette style bras do not fit you as well as a full-cupped bra. These are just examples and you might find that the reality is different.
The point is that you should try different styles, brands and sizes as there is a lot of variance between these things. If you are a 12D in an Elle McPherson balconette you might be a 14C in a Bonds T-shirt bra. It all depends on the above factors.
Make sure your straps are tensioned correctly. If they are too tight they may drag the band upwards and cut into your shoulders. Too loose and they will fall off.
Don’t be afraid to try adjusting the straps when trying bras on in the store as the tightness of the straps will affect the fit of the cup.
Try different styles and sizes, don’t be afraid to try different bras until you find one that fits. It is not a precise science and remember, it’s not your fault if you struggle to wear a well fitting bra as we all come in a variety of shapes and sizes.