These Bra Fitting Tips Make All The Difference
A few years back, and after decades of discomfort on my part, I made the very big decision to have breast reduction surgery. And while I feel much more comfortable and confident because of it, it also put me back at square one in terms of how to get a good bra fit!
But even if you’re not adjusting to new proportions, it can be hard to learn how to know if a bra fits properly. In this post, I’ll share the 6 bra fitting tips that I found most informative, so that you can use them to find your best fitting bra too!
6 Common Bra Fit Problems & How To Avoid Them
In order to know if a bra fits properly, it helps to first understand how your bra shouldn’t fit. Read on to learn about common problems women experience with their bras below, and get bra fitting tips that will help you find the perfect fit!
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.
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!)
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 — they’re relative 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!?)
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, and that may mean it ends up sitting a lot lower than you’re used to. (That was definitely the case for me.) But bra fitters liken 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!)
5. The Underwire Hurts
I disagree with the notion that “beauty is pain” for many reasons, especially when it comes to bras! If the underwire of your bra stabs, pokes, or pinches your skin, you probably need a bigger cup size.
According to Courtney, who runs one of the premiere bra stores in Utah, underwire placement is the single most common problem women experience with their current bra. The underwire should surround and contain all of your breast tissue, so you may need a bigger cup size than you’re used to.
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!)
Bonus Bra Tip: Get Fitted By An Expert!
I had a great experience during my fitting with Courtney, the expert behind Bra Fittings by Court, a blog-turned-business based here in Utah. As a Certified Bra Fit Specialist, she has personally fitted over 1,000 women, so I figured I was in the best possible hands with her.
(For those who live too far away for an in-person fitting, Courtney also has a website called Bosom Besties with a useful bra fit calculator tool and an online shop that offers the same bras she recommends to her in-person customers.)
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! Finding your best fitting bra may take a bit of work, but it’s well worth the effort!
You might also like these brilliant bra hacks:
- 9 Useful Bra Hacks You’ll Want To Know About Immediately
- 9 (More) Clever Bra Hacks You’ll Want To Know About Immediately
Have you found your best fitting bra, or are you still searching?