Did you know that 90% of women are wearing a bra that doesn’t fit correctly? Actually, you probably do, as most underwear companies and departments tend to throw this statistic around a lot. But what most of them don’t tell you is how to know if your bra fits properly, and how to diagnose the problem so that you can buy the right size.
Your Underwire Is Sitting Away From Your Chest
Most women today prefer an underwired bra for the extra support and shape it gives – but this makes finding the right size bra quite tricky. When you put on your bra, look at where your underwire is sitting. Is it fitting into the natural crease of your breast underneath the cups? Is it flat against your chest at the central gorge (the section where the wires of both cups meet in the centre of your chest)? If it isn’t, your cups may be too small. Your underwire should fit firmly against your chest without any gaping. If you can lift your arms above your head without any gaping or the underwire rising up, you know you have the right fit.
Underwire Is Stabbing You
Many of us know the pain of an underwire escaping from the fabric and stabbing you – it’s the sign that your bra has run out of life. But If you are wearing your bra normally and there are no escaping wires, you should not feel any discomfort. If the underwire by your armpits is poking into your breast or catches your arm as it moves forward, you need a larger cup size. But if the underwire is poking into your armpit, you need a smaller cup size or a bra with shorter wires.
Your Experience ‘Boob Spillage’
When you put on your bra there should be no bulging or ‘spillage’ in any area. The cup should hold your entire breast without squeezing it out anywhere else or creating the dreaded ‘quadra-boob’. We suggest bringing a T-shirt with you when you try on bras, as this will show you if your bra is really giving you that perfect fit and shape. If you find that you are experiencing bulging from the top, sides or bottom of the cup, you should probably go up a cup size.
Your Straps Are Digging In
The support given by a bra isn’t just done by the band – the straps need to do their bit too. If your straps are digging into your shoulders, it’s a sign that they are doing too much of the work. You need to go down a band size so that it can take some of the weight and reduce the risk of shoulder and back problems from improper support.
Your Breasts Are Going Sideways Instead Of Forward
If you prefer seamless T-shirt bras but are finding that your breasts are falling to the sides instead of going straight forwards, it’s time to ditch the T-shirt bra for something more structured. Seams are usually unnoticeable under clothing, and for larger busts it is important for support as well as shape. For best results look for a bra with a 4-part cup – one that has an additional seam on the side to guide your breasts forwards.
Your Back Band Is Riding Up
The band of your bra should always sit perfectly horizontally around your chest. If it is riding up or bowing down, this is a sign that your band is too large. Switch to a bigger band size and make sure it is sitting firmly and straight across your back. If you’re not sure of the fit, try and put a hand under the band – if it stretches too much you may need a different size.
Gaping Or Wrinkling Cups
Gaping or wrinkling cups is a sure fire sign that you are wearing a bra with cups at least a size too large. Go down a cup size or two and find a comfortable fit that isn’t too tight or too lose. If you find that one breast fits perfectly and the other gapes, consider adding padding to even them out and create a symmetrical look.
Remember, having a bra that fits correctly isn’t just about it looking good. It’s about giving your shoulders and back the structure they need to support the weight of your breasts. Women who wear the wrong size bra often come across back problems, particularly in their shoulder blades where their bra band should be helping ease the strain. Having a problem with your bra that you don’t see here? Get in touch with our bra experts for their advice.