With a huge majority of women wearing the wrong size bra, have you ever considered that you might be one of them?
Finding the perfect bra size becomes difficult when we are told that we should fit into one of the limited sizes offered at many large scale retailers. So what should you look for when buying a new bra? How do you know if the bra you’re currently wearing is the wrong size? Here are a few telltale signs to look for when wearing a bra that doesn’t fit.
1. The band is on the tightest hook
The band is actually what supports your breasts, not the straps. If your band is on the tightest hook and still has room to move around, your bra is likely too large. When trying on a new bra, it should only feel comfortable when fastened on the last (loosest) hook. The reason there are multiple hooks is to allow for adjusting as the bra stretches with wear. If you are able to fasten a bra to the tightest hook during your first wears, that is a telltale sign that your band size needs to be smaller.
2. Your straps dig into your shoulders
If your straps constantly dig into your skin or need to be tightened, it is an indication that your straps are compensating for too much of your breast weight. The straps aren’t what should be holding your breasts up, the band is.
3. The band isn’t parallel to the floor
The band should sit straight across your back, parallel to the floor without riding up. If the band is riding up at all, you definitely need a smaller size. Your bra should fit firmly against your body without riding up.
4. You have unnecessary bulge
Back bulge is caused by the band being too tight. Additionally, if you appear to be “spilling” out of your bra or have bulge at the top of your cups, your bra size is too small. Some styles of bras, like push-up bras, include more padding which can cause additional bulge at the top of your breasts. You may need to go up a cup size to avoid this, or try a different style of bra for your breast shape.
5. You have “underboob” when lifting your arms
If you can lift your arms up and the underwire slips causing your boobs to spill under the wire, it means that your cup is too small and the band is much too loose. The band should not be able to move away from your sternum at all and the “gore” (the piece between the two cups) should always lie flat in place. If you have larger breasts, view my guide to bra fitting for larger breasts.
6. There are gaps where there shouldn’t be
Any sign of gaps in the cups, whether it be at the top of the cup or the sides, means your sizing may need to be adjusted or you may need a different style of bra for your breast shape.
7. You’ve gained or lost weight
We buy new clothes when our weight fluctuates, but often we forget about our bras! Whenever your body changes shape or size, a proper fitting bra is a must. Here is a guide which will explain how often you should get fitted for a bra.
How your bra should fit
A properly fitted bra should lie flat and secure against your sternum without riding up, even when you raise your arms.
The band should not be able to be stretched more than 2 inches away from your body (one inch would be more ideal).
The straps should not be too tight or too loose (remember: the band is what should be holding you up, not the straps!).
There should be no gaps in your cups at any angle and if there are, look into a different style of bra (i.e. demi vs. full coverage).
Remember, bras are not a one-size-fits-all product. Every woman has a different breast shape and size and they cannot always fit into the “norm” of bra sizes.
To find your perfect bra size from the comfort of your own home, use our custom designed Bra Size Calculator and head to your nearest lingerie shop to try on different sizes and styles for the most optimal fit.
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