3 MAIN TIPS ON BUYING A BRA
Tip #1: What is the best way to find my size? Never
let someone measure you over your clothes. When
you reach up, your bra should stay in place. If you slip your straps
off your shoulders, your bra should stay in place. If not, the band
is probably too big.
If you can't fit two fingers underneath your bra band comfortably,
it's probably too tight. The apex of the breast must be in
the center of the cup. If your cup is too big, it won't stay there.
bra will stretch. Make sure it fastens comfortably on the first (loosest)
or second hook, because if you're already on the last (tightest) hook
when you buy it, there's nowhere to go when it stretches out. Even if
you're a full-figured woman, that doesn't necessarily mean you're a
full-busted one. Consider how much breast tissue you have when shopping
in the full-cup side of the lingerie department. As
you age, your breasts tend to spread out as well as down. Look for bras
with vertical seaming to put fullness at the front, not the sides.
Tip # 2: How often should I shop for a Bra? And what types should
I own? Ideally, you should purchase a new bra every six months,
but with proper care, every year. Ideally, hand-launder bras. But that's
not always practical, so for machine washing, hook the bra together
first, place it in a lingerie bag and wash on the gentle cycle. Never,
ever put a bra in the dryer.
The three basic bra types that you can count on for everything are:
Strapless or Convertible Bra: A necesarry piece for your wardrobe. Great
for gowns and tops.
Seamless Bra: Consider investing in a bra wardrobe: Under Lycra, fitted
T's and lighter-weight knits, look for lightly lined or seamless bras
for a smoother look. Under suits, jackets, bulky sweaters, you need
more shape. Get a seamed bra. The more seams, the more shape.
Sport Bra: Active bras are not just for sports. Yard work, tasks around
the house, etc. You need the maximum supply of support, a bra with very
little stretch for most activities.
Tip # 3: Bras usually only have an effective life of around
5/6 months. They will actually lose some elasticity each time
they are washed. You will probably need to alter the straps and the
hook position over that time to compensate for this as well as shopping
every six months.
Don't wear the same bra every day. Most bras are made with a lot of
Lycra, which, because of body heat, tends to stretch out during the
day and takes a full 24 hours to return to its shape. Our body oils
cause Lycra to soften, too. Try not to wear the same one two days in
YOU WEARING THE RIGHT SIZE BRA?
How many times have you heard that more than 80% of women are wearing
the wrong size bra? How can this be true and how important this really
is? Well, it’s true and very important, read on.
A bra is one of the most important things a woman puts on and
it probably gets the smallest amount of attention. Younger
women can get away with not wearing a bra, or wearing one that doesn’t
support them properly or fully, as their young muscles and tendons keep
things in place. But this doesn’t go on forever, and as we age.
Our bra size changes with weight, age, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, etc.
So it is a good idea to look for a new bra as soon as you realize that
the bra is too tight or too loose.
You need to pay special attention if you have a curvy figure.
Besides being uncomfortable, ill-fitting bras can contribute
to chronic headaches, back pain, tingling in the arms, restricted breathing,
abrasions, rashes and breast pain, especially during exercise. They
can also affect your self-esteem. The best way to ensure a perfect fit
is to go to a specialty bra shop or get someone else to measure you.
You may well find the bras you buy in the future will completely change
how you carry yourself, bringing your shoulders back and boosting your
Although too many women are wearing bras that do not fit them correctly,
there really is an over reliance on consistently buying the same size.
However, there are far too many variables now in bra manufacture
to be able to rely on that ‘size’ as a constant.
Here are just a few:
1. The type of materials used
2. How the fabric is cut
3. The level of support/elasticity offered by the fabric
4. The design of the bra
5. The style of the bra (full cup, balconette, demi-bra, strapless,
bustier etc )
6. Variations in sizing between brands
7. Variations in sizing conventions in different countries
8. Variables in the production process
9. Fashion sizing (i.e. putting smaller sizes on the label than the
garment actually is)
And all this before you even start to consider how your own body alters
over the course of the day, the month, the year, or events such as pregnancy,
measurable weight loss/gain or surgery.
are not the only one. It is hard to find the right bra and
when you finally find one you really like - if you can find it, you
buy a whole bunch because you never know when you're going to find it
again in your size.
"I would say out of all my bras, I have one that I absolutely love.
One. And, I can't even wear it with everything and it's not in the color
I really wanted. The rest are OK, some better than others." Sound
familiar? Give yourself this little quiz:
1) Do your bra straps dig into your shoulders or slide off your shoulders?
2) Do you feel a poke from the underwire in your bra?
3) Do you constantly have to readjust your bra?
4) Do you feel saggy?
5) Do you have spillage, where some of your breast tissue is not contained
in the bra cups?
6) Does your bra remind you that it's there, either by scratching, pulling,
pinching or binding?
7) Do you have grooves on your shoulders or other marks on your breasts
from your bra?
There are many guides to buying the correct size –
some rely entirely on the tape measure, but many more are now moving
towards the advice of trying on until the fit is right. Undergarment
fit experts said the problem is two-fold: Most women, they said, never
have been properly fitted and most don't get refitted as often as they
Some undergarment experts recommend being refitted as often as every
six months. Others suggest being fitted at least once a year or whenever
there is a change to the body such as pregnancy, breast-feeding or a
weight gain or loss of 10 pounds or more.
"We forget how much our bodies change. I think a lot of women were
wearing the right bra size at one time, but maybe that was 10 years
ago. They've worn the same size for years out of habit and haven't bothered
to get refitted because they think it will be a hassle or they think
it will take too much time," said Catherine Lippincott, director
of public relations for Charming Shoppes, the parent company of Catherine's,
Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug.
"Women don't realize how much the shape of their breast can change.
Even a few pounds can make a difference in how our bras fit. We get
our period, we go through menopause, our hormones fluctuate. All of
those things can affect how the bra fits," she said.
Paquette-Druze said she doesn't know of anyone who gets fitted as often
as the experts recommend.
"Well, first, who does fittings? Most stores don't
really have someone who can do that. You're lucky if you get help finding
what you think your size is. And who has the time? I think some women
find it embarrassing, too," she said. Another frustrating part
of the process, said Paquette-Druze, is that she's discovered variations
in fit — even among bras that were supposed to be the same style
If the bra is right for you, it will:
1. Feel comfortable – there will be no red marks or wheals
2. The back band will be parallel with the front band
3. If it is underwired, the underwires will sit comfortably at the back
of the breast without digging in. The front of the underwires will sit
comfortably between your breasts and rest against your breast bone.
4. The cups will be full – not overflowing, and not sagging
5. The straps will not cut in, and they won’t slip down.
You may find that you have 3 different sizes in your wardrobe and this
will depend on the the brand of the bra. Same brands tend to be the
same size, there will be different cup sizes in European and American
makes and you may need different cup and back sizes to cope with changes
in your body shape each month.
So, when you have bought the right bra for you, follow the care instructions
to keep it doing its job as long as possible. Believe it or
not, Bras usually only have an effective life of around 5/6 months!
They will actually lose some elasticity each time they are
washed. You will probably need to alter the straps and the hook position
over that time to compensate for this as well as shopping a little more
Strap width and cushioning are other common problem areas:
The general rule is the bigger the breast, the thicker the straps. The
key word is support. A little skinny strap is going to distribute the
weight of the breast to the wrong places.
But that's not to say that women with larger breasts have to settle
for unfashionable-looking bras. There's a multitude of styles to choose
from, and the difference in how you feel and how your clothes fit when
you're wearing the right bra makes it worth the time it takes to find
the right style and size for your body.
OPRAH WINFREY'S BETTER-FITTING TIPS
YORK, Nov. 18 -- Oprah Winfrey has started a bra revolution sure to
send women everywhere out shopping for better-fitting bras this weekend!
Here's what every woman needs to know to get the right fit.
Oprah revealed, 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra. To
find out if you are one of them, answer the following questions. If
you answer "yes" to one or more of these questions, you're
wearing the wrong bra!
1. Do your bra straps dig into or slip off your shoulders?
2. Does your underwire poke into your breast tissue?
3. Does your bra ride up in the back?
4. Do your breasts sag under your clothing?
5. Do you feel like taking off your bra before the day is over?
6. Do the buttons on your blouse gap at the bustline?
7. Do your breasts spill out of your bra's cups?
8. Have you recently gained or lost more than 10 lbs?
How to Find the Right Size Bra
Pattie Ficorilli, Maidenform's top bra fitting expert, says, "A
bra that fits properly should be so comfortable, you shouldn't even
feel like you have one on." She offers these simple steps to ensure
the perfect fit for maximum
comfort throughout the day.
1. Band Measurement - Most women measure their ribcage under their breasts
to get their band measurement. To double check the measurement, wrap
a tape measure snugly around your back, under your arms and across the
top of your chest. "This is another technique to assess your band
size," says Ficorilli. "Keep in mind your ribcage expands
and contracts when you breathe so by taking both measurements you'll
get the best indication of your band size for a more comfortable fit."
2. Cup Measurement - With your bra on, wrap a measuring tape around
your back and across the fullest part of your bust and take a gentle
measurement. To get your cup size, subtract your band measurement from
this measurement. If the difference is
1 inch = A cup 4 inches = D cup
2 inches = B cup 5 inches = DD cup
3 inches = C cup 6 inches = DDD cup
Example: Cup measurement = 39
Band measurement = 36
3 inch difference = size 36C
TINY HISTORY OF THE BRA
BRAS (Forms of the brassiere) a French word that means
“upper arm,” have been around since the 14th century. According
to the Dictionary of Costumes, early forms were fur-lined night garments
worn in the winter by both sexes. But signs of a more sophisticated,
gender-specific sling began to take shape in the early 1900s.
Poiret has been credited by some as the designer of the modern brassiere,
although others point to Mary Phelps Jacob, in 1913, as the first to
patent the undergarment that lifts and separates the breasts. Russian
immigrant Ida Rosenthal who founded Maidenform, some say is responsible
for grouping women into bust-size (or cup) categories.