Bra Fitting Tips
The truth is that women claiming to be a Bra Fitter may not always be providing you thorough fitting information. For starters, many of them are paid to be fitting you by a specific manufacturer. Thus, they are motivated to try to fit you in a specific brand not always the best brand for you. A Bra Fitter who works for the lingerie store has the primary goal of selling you merchandise. If she doesn’t have your size or the best brand for your figure, she may encourage you to consider something simply because she has it in stock. The goal of a Bra Fitter is to make the sale even if its not necessarily the best choice for you. Heres another example. When someone comes in needing a larger cup that the store doesn’t carry (most department stores only carry up to size D or DD cups), the sales person will keep moving a woman up in band size until the cups (sort of) fit.
You’re a smart person. Since you’ll be wearing the bras, you’re better off taking a few minutes to understand what a perfect fitting bra should look and feel like, and recognize the signs if your bra is the wrong size for you. Here is a checklist of what to look for:
- Smooth fitting cups: If you don't fill out the cups, you need a smaller size. If you are "overflowing" in the cups, try a larger cup size or a style with a fuller cup design. The edges of the cups should also lie flat against your breast. If there is a gap (especially with padded bras), you should go down a cup size.
- Center panel lays flat against your breastbone: If it does not, this could be a sign that your cup size is too small, or the panel is not large enough to accommodate the separation between your breasts.
- The bottom of the bra in the front and back is parallel to the floor or slightly lower in the back: The lower edge of the band should anchor below the shoulder blades. The lower the back fits, the better the support.
- Straps stay put and don’t dig into your shoulders. Consider a different bra style with straps closer together if straps keep falling. A smaller band size should reduce the straps strain on your shoulders.
- Cup fabric should be stable enough to give support as well as a good breast shape.
- An underwire should encircle your breast without poking, protruding or pinching.
- Good breast uplift so that the apex of your breasts is mid-way between your shoulders and your elbows. Uplifted breasts look more youthful and give a slimming appearance.
- Breasts face the front and do not sag or fall to the sides. This breast position allows you to freely swing your arms.
- A finger can be run under the front band: Your bra should be snug, but not too tight. If it's tight, you need a larger band size or a looser hook placement.
- Feels comfortable when sitting. Our ribcages tend to expand when we are seated. If you’re not sure your band is big enough, this quick test will answer your concern.
- Consider an alteration. Still not the perfect fit? We alter our clothes for a better fit, why not a bra? One woman in our office really measures to a 35 band size. She therefore buys a 36D and has a dart put in at the sides.
An important point when zeroing in on your correct bra size is when you try on a bra and go one cup size larger, you are keeping the band size the same and increasing your bust line by 1. However, when you go up a band size (keeping the cup size the same) you are increasing your band circumference by 2 AND increasing your bust line circumference by 2 as well. The point here is that changing a cup size within a band size is fine-tuning your bra size. Changing a band size is a much more significant size change.
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