When it comes to the bust, finding a bra that fits is one of the most important tasks in ladies fashion. It’s estimated that between 70% to 80% percent of women wear the incorrect bra size. A poorly-fitting bra can lead to bad posture and can even cause back pain and soreness around the breast area. Some studies even suggest that ill-fitting bras cause breathing problems and exacerbate irritable bowel syndrome. Visually, it looks terrible. Too small a bra and it will create unsightly lumps and bumps, even if it’s well hidden under layers. Too big and the breasts can look saggy and undefined. With this much at stake, no woman can afford to ignore these handy tips for buying the right bra.
How to spot if you are wearing the wrong size bra
It’s important to listen to your body, so if the bra feels too tight or too loose, put it in a bag for recycling and head for the shops. However, it’s not always easy to spot an ill-fitting bra if you are not experiencing any discomfort. Stand in front of a full length mirror with your top off. The strap should be firm against the skin, but not dig into the skin. If the skin is lined with red marks when you take it off, then the bra is definitely a bad fit. The strap where the bra fastens should be straight across the back and any wires at the front should sit comfortably against the skin. All of the breast should fit inside the cup and there shouldn’t be lines or ridges showing when you put on a blouse or t-shirt.
How to get a properly fitted bra
Many underwear departments and lingerie shops provide a free bra fitting service, with experts on hand to take the correct measurements. The trained eye will be able to tell immediately if you’re wearing the wrong size, and without a moments wait you’ll likely be whisked away to a cubicle by a sensible-looking lady wielding a measuring tape. She will take your measurements and return with a selection of bras to try on. Different manufacturers adhere to slightly different size charts, so it’s important to always try on a few in your size to check for comfort and fit.
How to measure your bra size at home
Wrap the tape around you torso at the ribcage under your bust. Hold firmly but not too tightly. This is your back or band size. If the measurement is an odd number, try on bra sizes on either side: for example, if you’re a 35, try a 34 and a 36 to judge which is more comfortable.
To measure your cup size, wrap the tape around the fullest part of the breast, which tends to be at the nipples. Cup size is calculated by the difference in inches between this and band size. See the size chart below:
• A Cup = 1 inch
• B Cup = 2 inches
• C Cup = 3 inches
• D Cup = 4 inches
• DD Cup = 5 inches
• E Cup = 6 inches
• F Cup = 7 inches
• G Cup = 8 inches
Remember, bra size can change frequently, particularly when you lose or gain weight. It’s a good idea to have yourself fitted for a new bra every two years at the very least.
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