Oprah says that most women are not wearing the right sized bra. While I don’t agree with everything Oprah says, I do agree with this. So how do you know and how do you go about finding the right bra? Here are a few tips from personal experience and some research to get you on the right track.
1. Get measured. When was the last time you allowed a professional to measure you? If you want the right size, this is the first step. You may be surprised at what you find out. And don’t try and do it yourself. The ladies at the department stores are trained to size you right.
2. Think about what you’re looking for and how well “endowed” you are. For example, if you have a smaller cup size, you may not NEED an underwire or maybe you want a little cushion to…ahem…perk them up. If you’re a larger cup size, you may be on the hunt for something with full coverage and a little lift. Whatever your preferences, be ready to communicate them to a sales associate.
Does it Work/Fit?
You’re in the dressing room standing in front of the mirror and asking yourself that very question. Keep these things in mind.
1. How does it FEEL? I know, it’s so hard to tell, especially if this is your 25th run to the dressing room. Notice if the straps feel ok on your shoulders. Is it slipping or is it too tight around? Is the underwire sitting right? Is it poking you in the armpits? The “feel” of the bra is the first thing to consider. If it feels good, then it passes the first inspection.
2. Muffins – this is a term of endearment for when you are spilling over the top of your cups. While I agree that the best part of the muffin is the top, this does NOT apply to the female form. Stand sideways in front of the mirror. If you see ANY bulge, it doesn’t fit. If you aren’t sure, put a shirt on. If you’re double-boobing, toss it and get a bigger cup size.
3. Underwire – My belief is that if you have C-cups or larger, you should be wearing an underwire bra. Large “twins” need the extra boost and the higher up your “ladies” sit, the longer your torso looks, which in turn, makes you look thinner! The underwire on the bra that you are trying on should sit FLAT against you with NO GAP between the bra and your skin. If it doesn’t sit flat, it’s too small.
4. Straps – Make sure the straps get tight enough/loose enough to fit your body. If the straps barely get tight enough, toss it because it WILL stretch some and then you’ll be sad and saggin’ later. This has actually happened to me several times.
5. Around the torso – rule of thumb: you should be able to fasten it on the smallest or second smallest clasp. If you can’t, it isn’t a good fit. Also, if it squeezes you so dang tight you look like you’re inflating beneath your bra and around your back, try something else. I’ve seen even very thin women wearing a bra that is too tight around and it is NOT pretty. Make sure it grips but doesn’t squeeze.
Bras wear out! Just because yours hasn’t ripped or run away from you doesn’t mean you don’t need a new one. If you have one or two that you wear daily, it’s safe to say that every 6 months, it’s probably time for a new one.
If you feel like you’re between sizes, try a smaller cup size that is one size bigger around or a larger cup size that is one size smaller around. These are called “sister cups” and though they’ll fit a little differently, it might be the little adjustment you need to get the perfect fit.
Places like Victoria’s Secret have excellent bras but you don’t have to shop big to get something decent. Playtex, Lilly of the Valley and Bally all make quality products as well. To boot, you don’t have to hit the mall to find them. Target, Walmart and Kohl’s all carry these brands so you can take a peek when you stop at Walmart to get your bologna and kitty litter.
Don’t be afraid of your size! I had done this for so long and was trying to cram myself into bras that didn’t fit. The right bra does a lot more than just make you look better. It can take pressure off your back and shoulders which automatically improves your posture. So, is it time for a new one? Are you wearing the wrong size? Maybe it’s time to venture out and find a bra that is REALLY right for you!