Selecting the right bra can be a complicated, stressful affair. From getting measured to understanding the type of bra you need, let alone finding the perfect fit, there’s plenty of room for error. If you choose the wrong style, fit or size, you could suffer from the following:
- Straps that slip down your arms
- A band that’s too tight and uncomfortable
- Cups that are too small, causing spillage and a ‘double boob’
- A band that’s too loose, meaning little to no support
- Straps that cut into your shoulders
A badly fitted bra can at best be an annoyance (if your straps are constantly falling down your arms) and at worst downright uncomfortable (if it’s too tight). However, if you know the type of bra you need for your frame and build, you can avoid discomfort and the expense of buying a bra you know you’ll never wear again.
Here are our tips for selecting the right bra for your frame:
1. Get measured
We really can’t stress this enough. Most lingerie and department stores offer a fitting service. They will measure you and guide you to the right style of bra for your shape and size. If you want to shop online, then you can measure yourself at home, using a soft, tailor’s tape. If you don’t have a tape, you can even use a piece of string, checking the measurements against a ruler. For the most accurate measurements, you need to be undressed. Measure below your bust, for the band size, and over the fullest part of your bust, for the cup size. Make sure you measure in inches. For the band size, round it up to the nearest even number. Your cup size is determined by the difference between the two measurements. For example, 0=AA, 1=A, 2=B, C=3, D=4, DD=5 and so on. So if you measure 36 inches as your band size and 40 inches over your bustline, then you’d be a 36D.
2. Check your fit
Always make sure the bra fits you on the loosest band setting, this is to allow for stretching over time (and the need to fasten at a tighter hook). The straps should be fitted and close to your skin, but not digging in. Put on a fitted top and check your shaping from the front and sides.
3. Select for your size
Different styles of bras will suit different sized busts. Those with a fuller bust should opt for plunge, full cup or balconette styles. These come with thicker straps and wider bands, allowing for more support. You might also benefit from smoothing, shaping bras that come with extra panels to smooth around the cups and above the back strap. Those with a larger bust will definitely benefit from an underwire, as it gives maximum support (although for breast health it’s a good idea to switch between underwired and non wired bras). Those with a petite frame tend to suit t-shirt bras, these give comfort, support and natural shaping. Bralettes also work particularly well on a smaller frame, and they can really compliment an outfit, particularly under low back and off the shoulder tops.
4. Think about your body shape
Here are a few of our expert tips, when it comes to body shape. If you have narrow or rounded shoulders, you might suffer from the straps falling down your arms even if the bra is the right size. In this case, choose a racer style or crossover back. If you have broad shoulders and a wide chest, then a balconette bra is the style for you. Those with a narrow frame will suit a plunge style bra.
5. Problem solving
Straps falling down your shoulders is a real annoyance. Try tightening the straps and check your cup size. If the bridge (the centre piece connecting the cups) isn’t sitting flat to your skin, then you’ll need to go up a cup size or down a band size. Likewise, if you’re suffering from gaping cups, this can also be a sizing issue. Try tightening the straps. If that fails you’ll need to go down a cup size. Conversely, boob spillage means you’ll need to go up a cup size. Another common problem is the band riding up. Again, try tightening the band, or you may need to go up a cup size. If the band is arching up at the back, then it’s time to go down a band size, or it could be a sign that you need to replace your bra.
So as you can see, understanding your size and shape can help guide you to the perfect fit. With these tricks of the trade you can find the perfect bra for you, and spot which ones just won’t give you the support and shaping you need. For more help and advice get in touch with us today, we have a fantastic range of bras and shapewear for the fuller busted figure and we’ll definitely have something that’s right for you!