Earlier this year I made the very big decision to have breast reduction surgery after decades of discomfort, and I have been thrilled with the overall results. I feel much more comfortable and confident these days, but I have also felt a bit bewildered at the prospect of finding a bra that fits my new shape!
Even if you aren’t dealing with new body proportions, finding a bra that fits correctly can be a difficult process! So in today’s post, I wanted to tell you all about my recent journey to find the right fit, in hopes that it will help you find your best fitting bra too!
Since I was starting at square one in terms of figuring out my bra size, I figured I could use some professional help. I immediately thought about a wonderful lady I met at a blog conference several years ago who teaches women how to find the right fitting bra! So I booked an appointment and ended up being so happy I did!
How To Find Your Best Fitting Bra
Tip #1: Get Some Expert Advice
Courtney is the expert and mastermind behind Bra Fittings by Court, a blog-turned-business based right here in Utah. She’s a Certified Bra Fit Specialist and has personally fitted over 1000 women, so I figured if anyone could help me find my best fitting bra, she could!
For those who live too far away for an in-person fitting, Courtney also runs a wonderful website called Bosom Besties. It has a useful bra fit calculator tool that I highly recommend trying, plus an online shop filled with the same bras Courtney recommends to her in-person fitting customers!
I learned so much during my fitting with Courtney, especially about the various problems women experience with the fit of their current bra. (And that includes myself, who entered my fitting wearing a 38C and left with a 34E!)
Tip #2: Avoid The 6 Most Common Bra Problems
Understanding how your bra shouldn’t fit can help you find the best fitting bra for your unique body! Read about the most common bra problems women experience below, and learn what they can tell you about finding a better fit!
Problem #1: The Center Panel Doesn’t Rest Against Your Skin
If the center panel of your bra (AKA the “gore”) hovers over your skin, that suggests you need a larger cup size. To get the best fit, the center panel of your bra should rest comfortably against your skin.
Problem #2: The Straps Dig Into Your Shoulders
If your bra straps are always digging into your shoulders, you probably need a smaller band size. The band should be doing the lion’s share of the lifting and supporting, not the straps! This was a revelation to me!
Another revelation to me? When you buy a new bra, make sure the band fits snugly on its loosest set of hooks. Then as the elastic stretches out over time, you’ll be able to keep the band fitting snugly by moving to the tighter hooks. (Once you’ve reached the tightest hook, that’s your cue to start shopping for a replacement!)
Problem #3: You’ve Lost/Gained Weight
Regardless of how you feel about a recent weight change, having to shop for new bras can make it feel like a punishment! So here’s a couple of guidelines that will give you a place to start:
- If your band size has gone down, go up a cup size
- If your band size has gone up, go down a cup size
As strange as it may seem, cup sizes aren’t universal—it actually refers to the difference between your band size and the measurement around the fullest part of your breasts. (That means sizes 32DD and 34D actually have the same cup size. Mind-blowing, right!?)
Problem #4: The Band Crawls Up Your Back
Does the band of your bra end up somewhere near your shoulder blades by the end of the day? If so, you probably need a smaller band size.
The band should sit snugly in the middle of your back, that may mean it ends up sitting a lot lower than you’re used to. (That was definitely the case for me.) But Courtney likens bras to a see-saw, because the lower the back is, the higher the front will be (and that means properly supported and perky breasts!)
Problem #5: The Underwire Hurts
I strongly disagree with the notion that “beauty is pain” for many reasons, but it definitely shouldn’t apply to your bra! If the underwire of your bra stabs, pokes, or pinches your skin, you probably need a bigger cup size.
According to Courtney, underwire placement/size is the single most common problem women have with their current bra. The underwire should surround and contain all of your breast tissue, making it likely that you need a bigger cup size than you may be used to.
Problem #6: Your Breasts Don’t Fill The Cups (Or Your Cups Runneth Over)
Gaping cups and breast spillage often come down to the same thing: your cup size just isn’t right! The cups of your bra should perfectly accommodate the size of your breasts.
Think “Goldilocks and the Three Bears;” not too small and not too big, but just right! :-) (Keep in mind that cup shape differs between brands and styles, so it may just take some fine tuning to find the right one for you!)
Tip #3: Keep An Open Mind!
If you’re like me and number among the 80% of women who are wearing the wrong bra size, keep in mind that your best fitting bra may feel a lot different than what you’re used to. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
When I put on the bra that Courtney picked out for me, I felt the difference immediately. The band sat lower and felt tighter than I thought it would (though not uncomfortably so), and it had a brace-like effect that made me want to stand up straighter!
All in all, my new bras feel so supportive and I feel more confident while wearing them. So while finding your best fitting bra may take a bit of work on your part, I can confidently tell you that it’s worth the effort! :-)
Have you found your best fitting bra, or are you still searching?