Katherine Salt is the co-owner of Plums Lingerie
Wearing an uncomfortable bra is an unfortunate daily reality for a lot of women. Google bra meme and you will be deluged with hundreds of different memes on the relief of taking your bra off at the end of the day. The idea that bras are destined to cause discomfort is so ingrained into our culture that bra-wearing is endured rather than enjoyed.
This doesn’t have to be the case, getting a well-fitting bra can make a huge difference not only to how you look but how you feel. Here are my 5 tips for getting the perfect fit for you.
The back brand literally does the heavy lifting when it comes to the support you get from your bra. The band should be secure but not so tight that it causes discomfort. If the band is too loose you aren’t getting the support from under the bust leading to the weight of your boobs being suspended off your shoulders pulling up the back of the bra. This can lead to back and shoulder pain. A loose band can also cause discomfort because it moves around and rubs the skin.
The sweet spot is having a band that is snug enough so it moves with you but doesn’t make you feel as if you are caught in a vice. When trying on the bra, place the underwires in the crease between the bottom of your boobs and your ribs. The band should then be parallel to the floor.
We recommend using the loosest fastening so that when the back strap stretches as it is washed and worn you have two fastenings to use to keep it tight enough.
To check if the band is tight enough put your arms in the air and wave them, if your bra rides up then the band is too loose.
An easy mistake is to have an underwire that digs in under the arm because the cup size isn’t right. When you are trying on the bra the underwire needs to sit under the boob so the cup encapsulates all of the breast tissue. If the cup size isn’t large enough the wire can dig in.
If you press on the underwire and it bounces back rather than staying in place then the cups are probably too small.
Ideally, the bit of the bra between the cup should sit flat against the chest in between your boobs. This isn’t always possible if you have a larger size or your breasts sit closely together. If the gore isn’t sitting flat try a larger cup size or a different bra style. If you are petite the full cup bras can sometimes sit too high in the center so look for a balcony bra or a plunge bra.
No matter what style of bra you choose, whether it is a full cup bra, plunge bra or balcony bra, the majority of your breast should be inside the cup. If you feel like your boobs are bursting out then try a larger cup size or a fuller style.
Check the side view to ensure there isn’t any bubbling at the top of the cup and then check for any spillage under the arms. If the cup is puckering at the top try a small cup or a less full bra style such as a balcony bra.
Bra cups are either soft with no foam lining or padding or have a foam cup that may or may not have integrated padding or removable pads to make it a push-up bra. What you choose is down to personal preference and what suits you best.
Many women think that a foam cup will add volume and make their boobs look larger. This isn’t the case, the foam is only a couple of millimetres deep but as the bra retains its shape when not worn it can look daunting big in comparison to a soft cup bra.
The straps on your bra are not designed to hold the weight of your breast. Only about 10% off the support your bra offers comes from the straps. The straps shouldn’t dig in or pinch, there should be two fingers of space between the strap and the shoulder.
If you find that straps tend to slip off your shoulder however tight they are try a bra that can be worn as a racerback or cross-back or use a separate strap to join them in the centre like the Aubade Flexi Straps.
The most important aspect of finding the perfect fit is how it feels when you try on the bra. It’s not only about finding the right size but also the right style that suits you and that makes you feel fantastic.