You guys gave so many interesting/funny/insightful comments on our question about bras, that we decided it was worth doing a little series on the subject. Not just one post but a couple, mainly because there’s just so much to cover – literally (or, not so literally for you smaller busted ladies out there). Turns out it’s not just me that finds it hard to get my hands on a comfortable, supportive and great looking bra – it appears that so many of you are in the same boat. Hopefully this series will help – how to measure yourself, what you wear with what and… the dreaded strapless! First up? The foundation of it all, finding the right fit.
An ill fitting bra is the absolute bain of my existence (and, I now know, yours too!). And while the idea of burning our bras gets more and more tempting with every pinch, bulge and ride up, here at the studio we put together a few tips (with the help of my mum’s friend who’s been fitting bras for 20 years) to help find the best fit for the ‘girls’. Read on to see how! Ps. Annie has once again killed it with the illustrations.
Whilst they might be the most looked at part of our bodies, it seems that we ourselves often overlook them completely when it comes to finding the perfect fit. I’m totally raising my hand on this one, as someone who’s worn the same size since high school and never ever been fitted/measured. Until now!
Obviously, therefore, the most important part to finding the perfect bra is measuring yourself to get your starting point bra size. Then once you’ve found a bra that you are comfortable in, there are a couple of signs to look out for that will help you tell if you have really found ‘the one’. We’ll be sharing those below.
- Measuring tape
- No bra (to get the most accurate measurements, it’s best to let the girls free.)
1. Measure your bust (the widest point around your breasts), making sure that you don’t pull the measuring tape too tight or squash down any breast tissues (aka those puppies).
2. Measure your underbust, this time pulling the measuring tape firmly around your body. Once you’ve got your measurement in inches, round down to the nearest whole number. This will be your US or UK band size (you can convert the final US/UK bra size to Australian or Asian bra sizes here). Then subtract your under bust measurement from your bust measurement from Step 1. The difference in inches between the two will indicate your cup size (refer to the table below).
NB: When I did this I found out that instead of being a 34c I’m a 32D… whaaaat? No wonder I’ve been known to take off my bras in restaurants when I think no one is watching.
3. If your breasts are spilling over the bra cup or nipple is peeking out i.e. muffin topping then you need to go up a cup size. On the other hand, if there is gaping then the bra cup is usually too large, although this may also depend on the bra mould used by the manufacturer so it could also be a good idea to try another brand in that size if everything else fits well. Also, the outside “U” of the underwire should not sit on breast tissue, if it does then you need to go up a cup size.
4. If the shoulder straps are digging into your shoulders try loosening the straps otherwise you may be compensating for the lack of support from the band. This may indicate the bra is too old, a bad cut or the wrong size. On the other hand, if the straps are constantly slipping off, try tightening the straps. If this doesn’t help, it could mean the straps are set too wide apart for your shoulders, a good idea would be to try a different style bra such as a convertible bra where the straps cross over. Another thing to note is that the gore between the two cups should sit flat on the chest, if it floats it means that the band size is too small.
5. The band sits straight across the back parallel to the floor. You should do up the band at the last hook on the end to accommodate the band stretching over time. The bra band provides 80% of the support so it is important that this part of the bra sits firmly against your body. If you can fit more than three fingers between the band and your body then it is too large and you should go down a band size.
For the most part, when it comes to bras, you get what you pay for so it’s worth forking out the extra cash for a well fitted bra that you don’t want to burn by midday (we’ll be sharing some of our faves soon, once they’ve survived the bounce test). It’s also good to remember that every manufacturer makes their sizes slightly differently and different style bras will also affect the fit.
Ps thank you to all of your lovely and wise people to gave us so much help in terms of learning how to properly measure ourselves, the best!
Illustrations by Annie Huang