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Bra Fit Checklist

How to know when you've found a perfect fit?
You will feel great. You'll look great in a shirt (always try a shirt on over a new bra to check that you like the silhouette). A bra that fits properly will support you comfortably without pinching or discomfort.

If you haven't found the right fit yet, don't settle! Sometimes you will have to experiment with your cup or band size to get it just right. Many women make the mistake of going up a band size when it's the cups that don't fit correctly. If you're spilling out over the top or sides, your cup size is too small. And fits will vary among brands. Don't let it concern you. Finding the perfect bra takes time and patience, but the way you will look (and feel) once you have found it will be worth all of the effort.

First, Place yourself in your bra
Take the opposite hand from the side you are adjusting and gently lift the breast from the back to the front to place correctly in the bra. This movement will help you settle your breasts correctly into the cups.

1. Straps shouldn't do all the work.
The support comes from the band, not the straps. If your band size is too big, you'll end up tightening your straps to compensate, which will result in too much pressure on your shoulders. If your band size is too small, your straps may be slipping off your shoulders.

2. Check the coverage.
There shouldn't be excess spillage out of the cups. If you're falling out or seeing a bumpy shape under your clothes, your cup size is probably too small. Try sizing up for a flattering, more natural looking fit. If the bra isn't fitting smoothly against you, and there's a gap between you and the bra, try sizing down a cup size.

3. Don't settle for wrinkles
If you see extra fabric or wrinkly, baggy cups, the cup size is too big. Try sizing down.

4. Look for gaps
Your bra should lie flat against your chest between the cups. It should not lie on top of any breast tissue. If there's a large gap, you may need to go up a cup size.

5. Underwires shouldn't dig
Underwires should lie flat against you. If you feel your underwire digging into any breast tissue or poking you under the arm, you may be in the wrong cup size (or the wrong style for you). Use the troubleshooting tips above to determine whether you should size up or down- poking can result from either a too big or too small cup size.

Check your back:
Look in the mirror from the side. Your band should be at the same level all the way around. If it is riding up in back, it's probably too big. Try sizing down a band size or tightening your band.

Your band should feel firm and secure, but you should also be able to slip two fingers beneath the band in back, and one in the center in front. If you can't, you may need to loosen your band a bit, or go up a band size.

Reminder: Check back in 6 months.
Check your fit again in six months or so. You should re-evaluate your bras regularly to be sure they are fitting you the way they should, because a woman's body does change over time, and bras stretch and lose shape with repeated wear and washing. There are so many reasons your size can change over time- and so so it's important to check your fit often. It may be time to stock-up again, soon!