How to choose the right bra

Every woman knows that buying a new bra can be one of the most confusing and frustrating shopping experiences ever! The bewildering sizing methods along with the seemingly endless choice of styles available can mean it’s practically impossible to find a well-fitting, comfortable bra that looks good and makes you feel fabulous too.

Luckily Let’s Talk Breasts is here with a guide to finding the perfect bra for you.

Get fitted

It’s said that up to 80% of women are wearing the wrong size – and lots of ladies only get fitted once in their lifetime, back when they buy their very first bra! But, as our bodies are constantly changing, it’s worth getting professionally fitted on a regular basis. Wearing a well-fitting bra can completely change the way you look, as it can make you appear slimmer, help with better posture and your clothes will hang properly.

Most department stores and lingerie boutiques will offer a free-of-charge bra fitting service to customers. More traditional stores will probably measure you using a tape measure. Here, the fitter will take two measurements: one around your body (under your bust) and one around the fullest part of your bust. Other fitters will fit you ‘by eye’: estimating your bra size just by looking at you. Either way, you won’t be required to strip off – you can keep your bra (or even t-shirt) on throughout the fitting if you wish.

How to measure yourself

If you would prefer not to visit a store to be fitted, you can size yourself at home by taking the two measurements we mentioned earlier. Here’s how:

  1. Wearing a bra, measure around your body, under the bust. Be sure to pull the tape measure firmly (but not restrictively tight).
  2. Take a note of this measurement. If the number is even, add four. If it is odd, add five. We will call this your back size.
  3. Then, measure around your body at the fullest part of your bust (normally where your nipples are). Make a note of this measurement too. We will call this your bust size.
  4. Once you have the two numbers, you need to work out the difference between them to determine your cup size.

Please note that this measurement is a starting point only and you may need to try on lots of bras to find the perfect one for you.

What to look out for

Chances are you’d never buy a new pair of shoes without trying them on first, would you? The same should be said for a bra. Each brand and each bra style varies in terms of size and shape, so it’s important to make sure you try a bra on before you buy it, even if you think it’s the same as one you’ve worn before. When it comes to trying on a bra, there are a number of warning signs to look out for:

Further tips and tricks

It’s so important to keep an open mind when trying on a bra. You might have a preconceived idea that there is no way you could possibly be larger than a D cup, but the reality of squeezing yourself into a bra that is way too small will result in unsightly rolls of back fat and unflattering side spillage. Likewise a bra that is too big for you will allow your breasts to hang forlornly rather than stand to attention, with surplus fabric causing ugly bulges under your clothes.

You should also be open to trying new styles – you might think that sexy uplift bra in the window is for younger women only, but once you try it on and see the extra va-va-voom it lends your figure, there may be no going back! One of the best pieces of advice we can offer is to try on your clothes over the bra – this is an absolutely foolproof method of seeing whether the bra is working for you or not. You’re aiming for a streamlined silhouette, with a lifted shape that inspires good posture.

Providing you have chosen a reputable store, trust the fitter; she helps hundreds of women every week and has been properly trained in her craft. There’s nothing unique about your bust that she hasn’t seen before, so drop the embarrassment and benefit from her knowledge.

Ladies lose and gain weight all the time, and the average woman will change bra size no less than six times during her lifetime. If you go down a band size due to weight loss, it’ll be highly likely that you’ll need to go up a size in the cup, similarly if you’ve packed on the pounds and go up a band size, you might need to go down a size in the cup … unless you’ve gained enough weight to inspire a fuller bust altogether.

Quick Fixes

Help! The underband is rubbing, chafing or digging into me.
Fix: Your underband is too tight – go up a size, for example from a 34 to a 36.

Help! The underband is riding up my back.
Fix: This usually means that the underband is too big. Try going down a back size, for example from a 36 to a 34.

Help! The underwire isn’t sitting against my chest.
Fix: The cup is too small – try going up a cup size, for example from a C to a D.

Help! My breasts are spilling over the cups, or out of the side of the bra.
Fix: The cup size is too small – try going up a size, for example from a C to a D.

Help! The bra cups are all wrinkly or it is gaping under my arms.
Fix: The cup is too big – try going down a cup size, for example from a D to a C.

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