It seems ridiculous, but statistics say that 80% of us are wearing the wrong size bra - though we've got a sneaking suspicion it could even be more.
Considering that this is an essential, day-to-day item, it seems pretty important to us that you know how to tell if your bra fits properly or not. For a start, it will make you feel more comfortable, as well as more confident, and you'll look better in all your clothes.
Inspired by some of our own bra-related troubles (including wearing the wrong size bra since school), we've decided to investigate further into the ins-and-outs of bra-sizing and bring you the expert tips from none other than Curvy Kate. Read on to find out how to tell if your bra's working for you or if you need to invest in some brand new undies. (Any excuse for a shopping spree).
Get the back band right
The first thing to remember is getting the back band right; it needs to fit on the loosest hook and should sit horizontally. Over time you can tighten it, but if you start off with it on the tightest hook, it's already too big for you. As the underwear gurus at Curvy Kate advise, "It needs to sit firm to give our boobs some oomph, so if you can pull it out more than 2 inches, it's far too big! If from the back the band creates an upturned 'U' you need to go down a back size. Check your side profile in a mirror with your arm up high. If the band is horizontal from back to front then you've got it right! It should be firm and fitted against your skin but still comfortable to move in."
Tighten those bra straps
Most of the support from your bra should be coming from the back band - not the straps. If you're left with red marks where the straps are digging in you're putting too much strain on your poor shoulders!
The wires shouldn't stick out
The wires of your bra should sit flat, without poking you in the middle. This means that your boobs won't spill out from the sides or top, escaping from the cups. If you do find this is the case, then your fit is wrong, and you need to get your cup size checked to avoid any embarrassing unwanted appearances from your nipples.
Finally, give them a jiggle...
The bend and snap isn't a move reserved for fans of Legally Blonde. According to Curvy Kate, you need to make sure your boobs fit into your bra by moving them about a bit. "Lean forward and give your boobs a jiggle, then scoop them in and up! Move your breast tissue away from the underwires so nothing is caught. You'll be able to get a better idea of where things are going wrong this way."
Know your size in different shops
It's helpful to know what size you are in different shops - so get fitted before you buy a bra, don't just assume you're the same size everywhere. Just like in clothing, you will find that your size changes depending on where you shop. The bra companies that catered for bigger breasted ladies all fitted differently to the high street - for example, a 30F at Panache or Curvy Kate translated into a 32DD at Marks & Spencer. It's worth checking what size you are in their wares before making that purchase!
And there are health benefits too! Not only will wearing the right bra size improve your posture and comfort, it'll also take inches off your silhouette. Now that's one very good reason to get measured and get into the right sized bra!
Are you currently wearing bras that don't fit? Tell us your bra related stories below...
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