If you hate to shop for bras, you have something in common with most women. Most women also have a hard time finding the right fit and the right style for their body type because there are also many types of bras. Studies show that approximately 80% of women wear the wrong bra size. Below are some hints and tips to make the task easier when shopping for a bra and to ensure you go home with a bra that fits and feels comfortable.
Measure yourself at home before going to purchase a bra. Using a tape measure; measure around your chest, under your breasts, around to your back. It’s easier if someone else helps you to hold the tape in place, make sure it lays flat and to make sure the tape isn’t stretched tightly. This measurement is the size of the band for your bra. Now measure the fullest part of your breasts and around your back. The difference between the two measurements relates to your cup size. If the two measurements are the same, you will wear an AA or an AAA cup. If the difference is one inch, you will wear an A cup; two inches, a B cup; three inches, a C cup; four inches, a D cup; five inches a DD or an E cup; six inches, a DDD or and F cup; seven inches, a DDDD or a G cup.
If all bras were made to the same specifications, the above measurements would give you an exact size for your bra. But since most makes and styles are sized differently, it will only give you a place to start. At least you will know what size to start with. Once you try one on that you like, you can see where it fits and where it doesn’t and go from there.
A bra should never feel uncomfortable. If the bra is not comfortable, it doesn’t fit right. A bra should fit snug but not tight. You should be able to put a finger under the band. The bank should fit flat across the back and shouldn’t ride up. You should be able to bend over and raise your arms without the bra rising up or falling off. Straps should stay in place on your shoulder and not fall off. They should also be comfortable and not dig into your shoulders. If a bra has underwire, the underwire should lay flat and not dig into your skin. There shouldn’t be gapping fabric in the cups and if the cups are molded, there shouldn’t be any extra room in the cup. If there is extra room, you need a smaller cup size.
In addition to finding the correct size, you are also faced with many styles to pick from. Every style fits differently and shapes you differently. Bras can be padded or not padded. They can have a front hook style or a back hook style. Front closures don’t adjust a few sizes like the back closures do, so it’s important to make sure you have the correct size when choosing a front hook bra.
A Training bra is for those who are just starting out – usually chosen as a “first bra.” mainly for teens.
Soft cup bras are for when you want the barely there feeling. These sometimes have seams that show through heavier clothing. They are nice to wear under heavy sweaters.
Push up bras make your breasts look larger by “pushing” them up. These are usually padded and often include additional inserts to let you adjust how much padding you have.
Underwire bras lift breasts up. Surprise that special someone by slipping a lacy underwire bra on under a heavy sweater. You’ll feel sexier all day!
Demi-style bras barely cover the breasts and leave more breast showing above the bra line. These also look nice with garter belts and stockings and area usually patterned with lace.
Full-figured bras are designed to give more support and comfort. Bras with comfort straps (wide straps or softly padded straps) alleviate back and shoulder pain and don’t dig into the shoulders.
Minimizing bras minimize the look of your breasts.
Nursing bras have cups that unhook and pull down to allow easy access for breast feeding without removing the bra.
Bustiers can be strapless or strappy. These make the waist look thinner and provide an hourglass shape. Thin boning in metal or plastic is built into the piece for support.
Convertible or halter bras can often be worn several ways – T back, regular or strapless. T back styles are often worn for more support during sports and running.
Strapless bras are made with rubber grips at the top that hold the bra in place. Bandeau bras, another type of strapless bra, is more like a short, tube top that is all one piece. An alternative to a strapless bra is a self-adhesive bra. Self-adhesive bras are similar to band aids that cover the nipples and can be worn under strapless and backless fashions.
You may have to try on several bras before finding the right fit for you – but the right bra is out there. Don’t give up! Once you find the right fit, wear it a few days, and then if it’s the one for you – go back to the store and purchase a second bra in the same style and size. That way your bra will last longer if you change it out every few days. Happy shopping!
Here is also my guide on buying a Valentine’s Day lingerie for your loved one.