Bras are an essential part of a woman’s attire. Women, across all ages, wear bras and they know that a well-fitted bra goes a long way in making them look and feel attractive. Wearing the right bra can make your clothes look good on you and, most importantly, it can make your bust-line look firm. An ill-fitted bra can cause a variety of problems. If the bra is too tight, it can make you feel extremely uncomfortable. If the bra is loose, it can easily ride up your back and make your breasts look saggy. An extremely tight or loose bra can also create a variety of health problems for you. Bras come in different shapes and sizes and the one that fits your friend need not necessarily be the right one for you. To know the kind of bra that fits you well, you have to take several factors, like the band size, cup size, type of strap, fabric etc, into consideration and, above all, measure your bust line to find out the size that fits you best. You can buy a bra out of necessity or for sheer pleasure; whatever be the reason, you can never go wrong if you keep the following tips in mind.
Buying A Bra
Measure For The Right Fit
Always remember that your shape and size can and will change over the years. It does not make sense buying the same style and same size as you did when you were a teenager. To buy a bra that fits you right, you have to find the correct band size and cup size. For this you have to measure your bust line.
How To Determine Band Size
Using an inch tape, measure the dimensions around your rib cage right under your breast. The tape should circle your rib cage at the same level, both in the front and at the back. Any changes in the level might give you the wrong measurement. Once you have noted the measurement, add five inches to it. This is your band size or, to put it simply, the bra size. For example, if your rib cage measures 27 inches, 32 would be your bra size. To find your band size without having to do the math, you can measure the top of your breast, right under your armpits. This will give you the right band size.
You know you have the right band size when:
- The center of the bra, between the cups, lies flat on your chest.
- When the strap against your back does not ride up and/or make you feel uncomfortable and strangulated. Try on the bra before buying it. While wearing it, lift your arms up and down a few times. If your bra rides up you should go for a smaller size.
- Go for a bigger band size if your current size makes your back bulge. The bulge happens when the bra is too tight and pushes the muscles out.
- While trying on a bra, adults should choose a bra that fits well on the tightest hook as the bra is going to stretch over time, while teenagers should buy one that fits well on the loosest hook, as their body is going to grow.
How To Determine Cup Size
Now that you know your band size, let’s find out how to get the correct cup size. Take the inch tape and measure your bust at its fullest point. The measurement has to be just right – not too tight or too loose. Now, subtract the measurement obtained with the band size and that would be your cup size. Every inch greater than the band size relates to the cup size. Cup sizes vary with different brands and style. The normal sizes based on the difference between band size and bust measurements are as under:
- Less than an inch – cup size AA
- Exactly an inch – cup size A
- Exactly two inches – cup size B
- Exactly three inches – cup size C
- Exactly four inches – cup size D
- Exactly five inches – cup size DD or Cup size E
- Exactly six inches – cup size DDD or Cup size F.
Keep in mind the following pointers while looking for the right cup size:
- If your band size is comfortable but the cup portion is too tight on the breasts, you should opt for the same bra size but with a larger cup size.
- If your bra is loose around the cup but the band fits snugly then you need a smaller cup in the same band size.
- If you have a condition wherein the breasts are dissimilar in size, then buy a bra that fits the larger breast. As for the other one, you can use padding to fit the breast into the cup.
Having the right strap also matters a lot in the correct fit of your bra. While wearing the bra, the straps should lay straight down your back. They should be tight but comfortable enough to accommodate a finger through them. If your straps keep sliding off your shoulders even after tightening, it means that your bra is too big for you. As for a situation when the straps dig into your shoulders, buy a well-fitting bra with larger straps.
By trying on different styles, you can zero in on the perfect bra that suits your body. Common bra styles range from full coverage bras that provide complete support, to padded bras and even sports bras. Finding the right bra is not difficult at all. You know you have the right fit when the bra you wear is comfortable and speaks volumes about your personality and style.