How to Choose the Right Bra
Lingerie is the most important part of a woman’s wardrobe. You may wear the most sexy and expensive clothes, style your hair nicely, do beautiful makeup, but if you are not wearing the right kind of innerwear, I’m sure you wont be satisfied with your overall look. A bra that bulges or doesn’t fit properly will spoil the look of even the most expensive dress. Whereas, A Perfect Bra gives you the required support while making you feel comfortable. It not just gives you confidence but also defines your waist and makes you look slimmer. There are even health implications of not wearing the right sized bras (but I’m not getting into this). The right Bra will make anything the woman wears over the Bra look good as well. Finding the right Bra surely takes time and patience, but the way it will make you feel and look will be worth all the effort.
We have saved best for the last, so read on. ;)
Actually the people in these general beauty stores are not trained well for it. So it’s always better to go a lingerie store for getting yourself measured correctly. They are very well trained to help you find the correct size and style for your body type. Some of these stand alone lingerie stores even let you take multiple bras with yourself in the trial room, which I feel is great, because once I visited a store and they had the policy of taking just two bras at a time in the trial room and I was so pissed since after every trial I had to wear back my clothes and come out for getting the other ones.
It’s always better to put a little extra time and effort that will make you look and feel gorgeous than just look cute while hung in the hanger. You will be stunned at the level of comfort and the stunning figure one can achieve by just wearing the right Bra.
Here are a few pointers that can tell if you are wearing the wrong bra:
- Your breast bulge out of the bra causing overspill.
- The center of the bra i.e. the fabric between the cups does not touches the chestbone.
- If the bands at the back of the bra ride up.
- If you get red marks on your shoulders at the end of the day with your bra straps.
- If your breasts look saggy or don’t look like the right shape.
- If you feel that your shoulders are being pulled forward.
- If the fabric of your cups creases.
- If the sides of your breasts bulge up.
- If your underwires pinch your skin.
- If your straps slip from the shoulders.
Even singer Rihanna couldn’t find the perfect fit with all her fitters around. Her Bra band is riding up her back.
If you feel either of these then it’s sure that you are wearing either a wrong band or cup size, or maybe both.
So here’s how you can find your PERFECT BRA
1. Measure up:
First of all, take measurement. I read this way of measuring yourself up in Cosmo once.
While wearing your best supportive bra (which you already have, obviously its not perfect hence the tryst to find one), measure just below your bustline. While measuring your self let yourself lose and don’t suck in. If the result is an even number, add 4 to get your bra band size (if you measure 34”, your band size will be 38”). If the result is an odd number, add 3 so if you measure 31”, your band size will be 34”). Now measure around the fullest part of your bust, and subtract your band size from that number (if you measure 40”, when you subtract 38 you get a result of 2). This difference corresponds to your cup size, which is 1″ per letter. So, a 1″ difference is an A cup, 2″ is a B cup, etc. So if your band size comes to 38” and your fullest part of the bust is 40” , your bra size will be 38B.
This method can be used by people living in small towns who don’t have stand alone special lingerie stores in their area. But if you have one its best to get yourself measured up at a store, since the staff there is taught the right and correct way to do it for you.
Yes it’s necessary to measure yourself up but I feel just like Jeans, you will see that different sizes of Bras fit you from different manufactures. Just like in jeans you wear one of 28 waist and the other of 30. Similarly with one manufacturer you might fit a 38B whereas in another brand you may be fine with 36D. So if it fits right that’s your perfect bra even if the measuring tape no.s don’t say so.
2. Chose your Style:
There are many types of bras available some of them being: full cup bra, demi cup bra, padded bra, sports bra, minimizer bra, maximizer bra, maternity bra, nursing bra, tshirt bra, strapless bra etc.
Chose the style keeping in mind your need and your bust type, i.e, if you are large busted or small busted. Large busted people should stay away from padded bras whereas for small busted people it’s the best figure enhancer.
Small busted women should try demi cups since this can provide you with excellent uplift, an excellent neck line and a curvy shape. Padded bras are also great for you since they add a little volume to your curves.
Large busted women should go in for bras with wider shoulder and back straps since they provide comfortable and firm support. Full cups contain the breast better and give a better appearance. Underwired bras provide better support under the bust. Smooth, plain bra styles, without too much lace, help to make your bust appear smaller.
3. Try the bra:
No when you have selected the Bra you want in your size. Try it on, fasten the bra on the loosest hooks. Extra hooks in a bra are not there so you can adjust your new bra to fit. They’re there so you can adjust your bra as it stretches over its lifetime. If you want your bra to last, it should fit you on the first hook. Similarly with the shoulder straps you need not adjust them. Before trying loosen the straps of the Bra all the way out. The exception being the convertible bras, as they need longer straps to criss-cross at the back.
Till now it was easy now comes the frustrating part. Since most of the Bras that say they are your size, wont fit. Reason, Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, so you will have to find your perfect match with a bit of effort and patience.
4. Test out your new Bra:
The band test: The band of your Bra that goes around your body should be providing you most of the support and not the shoulder straps. It should be aligned horizontally just below your shoulder blades and should not be riding up. It should be firm and snug. You should be able to put in one finger inside the back band comfortably, if not then its too tight for you and you should go in for a bigger band size.
Look down between your breasts and if you see even a little bit of light passing through between you and the band where the band crosses between your breasts, then the band size is bigger for you go for a smaller band size.
When you try on a smaller band size always remember that the cup size should increase relatively to compensate for the smaller band size, and vice versa.
The Cup test: If your bra has passed the band test, then move towards the cup test. If your breasts bulge over the top of the cups or at the sides of the bra, it means that the cup size is small for you. And if the Fabric of the cup wrinkles then it is too big for you. The cups should always create a smooth line where the top of the cups meet your breasts.
If it is an underwired bra you are buying, then put your thumbs on the sides of the bra under your arms. Feel the place where the edge of the cup touches your skin. If you can feel the breast tissue under the wire then the cup isn’t big enough for you. The outer edge of the cup needs to be sitting off the breast, on the flesh under your arms. Try a bigger cup size. The wires running underneath the bust should lie flat against your rib cage and enclose the breast rather than sit on the breast tissue. The front panel between your breasts should not dig in, rub or stick out at the front. If these wires are lifting away, this is a sign that the cup size is too small.
.The above two tests are the most important. So if a bra fails in either of these take it off and move on to the next one.
But even it has passed in these two tests, it doesn’t means its your perfect match it will have to go through some more tests to get the title.
Shoulder straps: Adjust the shoulder straps, this adjustment depend on the distance of your shoulder from your breasts. The taller you are the less likely will you need to adjust. A lot of women make the mistake of tightening the shoulder straps to make bigger cups fit. It won’t work. If you have to tighten your straps more than halfway then you haven’t picked the right bra for yourself, since the straps will start to dig in your skin.
Bulge test: The band must be sitting flat all the way around your back parallel to your shoulder. It shouldn’t be cutting in and causing bulges above and below. However, bear in mind that if you’re carrying extra weight, you’ll get some overflow even in your correct size. If that applies to you, styles with a broader band and it will improve the look.
Under clothing test: Wear a tight fitted t-shirt over your bra to see how it will look under your clothing. Check your side profile in the mirror to check if you are happy with the fit and look.
Moving test: Move your arms a bit and see if it gives you the proper support and comfort that you need.
If all these tests are cleared..!! Congratulations you have found your perfect Bra. Don’t hesitate to try different styles of Bras. Since every style fits and feels different and will shape your breast differently. I always tend to buy 2 or 3 bras in different colors when I get my perfect bra. Since you just saw it is a little time consuming job. So its always better to go for Lingerie shopping when you have couple of hours at hand and you are not in a hurry. I always take a nice fitted tshirt with me to see how it looks under fitted clothing. But when I know I will be going Bra shopping I always wear something that is comfortable to take off and wear again and again. If its winters I try wearing zip up sweats and in summer some loose t-shirt or kurti with no embellishment or sequins which can get tangled in my hair. I once wore this sleeveless kurti which had sequins and I almost scratched and scuffed my neck and arms by wearing it again and again.
I hope all this is going to help you find your Perfect Bra.
If you think I have missed out on some point, do add in your valuable knowledge below in the comment box.
P.S. Do check back in six months or so. You should re-evaluate your Bras regularly to be sure they are fitting you the way they should, because a woman’s body does change over time, and bras stretch and lose shape with repeated wear and washing. It may be time to stock-up again, soon..!!