Did you know that most women are wearing a bra that doesn’t fit them properly? Around 90% in fact! It could be the wrong cup size, the wrong band size or both, and the result is a lot of discomfort, back pain and clothes not looking as stunning as they should. Now you might think that the bra you’re wearing right now is totally fine, and it fits you perfectly. After all, it’s not painfully tight and barely does up, right? But unless you’re in that magical 10%, you’re probably wrong. So take 5 minutes and ask yourself these few questions to see if you could do with a bra upgrade.
Are You Being Stabbed By Underwire?
Being stabbed by underwire is never a fun experience, and it’s the main way your bra tells you that it doesn’t really fit. If you wear underwired bras, they will poke into the centre of your chest and at the sides, eventually snapping. But until they do snap, you will experience stabbing and scraping sensations in your armpits and cleavage almost daily, with sharp underwire catching in your arms as you move and generally causing a lot of irritation. This can happen if the cup size is too small, or if the cup size is fine but the band size is too small.
Does Your Underwire Sit Flush On Your Chest?
It should! A good fitting bra will have the underwire or lower material sitting flush to your chest, fitting into the natural crease of your breast and feeling almost like you aren’t wearing anything. Where the wires meet (in a section called ‘the gorge’ which is the centre of your cleavage), it should also be flat against your skin, but not digging in, if your underwire is lifting away from your skin in any way, including when you move around, then you’re wearing the wrong size.
Do Your Straps Dig In?
A golden rule with bras is that if it fits well, it should never leave any marks on your skin. So if you take off your bra at the end of the day and you’ve got red marks or dents, something is amiss. It’s most common in the straps, which are often overtightened to keep them on the shoulders (when they are only falling down because the bra doesn’t fit to begin with). If your bra straps are digging in, it’s because they’re doing too much work where the rest of your bra should be picking up the slack. This usually means you need to go down a band size, which will take some of the weight off your shoulders and reduce that shoulder, back and neck pain.
Is Your Band Sitting Central?
In an ideal world, the back of your bra band should be sitting in the middle of your shoulder blades, sitting as a perfect, uninterrupted circle around your chest. If it bows up or down, then you have the wrong size. Riding up means the bra is too small, and sagging down means it’s too big. If this is the case you need to experiment with different band sizes until you find one that stays out across your back in that central, horizontal line.
Are You Spilling Out?
There’s no nice way to say this, but if your breasts are spilling out of the cups of your bra, it’s definitely the wrong size. Many women actually aim for this, thinking it gives them more cleavage, but in actual fact it just highlights that their bra doesn’t fit and can actually cause the muscles in your chest to lose definition faster, leading to premature sagging. So if you look at your bra and you can see your breast tissue spilling out of the top, or over the sizes under your arms, you need to swap it out for a bigger bra.
Do Your Cups Look Smooth?
The cups of a well-fitting bra should be smooth and in a defined shape, showcasing whatever pattern or material you’ve chosen perfectly. If the fabric is gaping, sagging or wrinkling, then the cups are at least one size too big – though most women with this problem find it’s more like two. The goal is to have your cups fit comfortably within your bra without altering its shape to fit, with no gaping at the sides or top, no wrinkled fabric and no sagging either. If you get any of these, then it’s time to change your size.
If you recognise any of these things, then it’s probably time to rethink your bra size. Whether your bra is too big or too small, an ill-fitting bra can cause you a lot of problems. Backaches, skin irritation, permanent marks, clothes not fitting or sitting properly and daily pain are all common symptoms. To make sure you get the right size next time, try either getting measured in person (which most lingerie stores will offer), or you can use websites that will tell you exactly what to measure and give you your perfect size and sister sizes. A Bra That Fits is our current favourite, especially for women with bigger chests who often struggle to get the right sizes. And once you know your real size, why not browse our collections and pick out your next favourite bra?