These expert bra fitters share their top tips for finding the perfect fit...
Are you wearing a 36C or 34B? Chances are, you’re wrong, according to the Daily Mail, who revealed that these are the two sizes women most often think they fall into. And with recent research from Triumph showing that 76% of people are wearing the wrong sized bra, it’s vital to make sure yours fits perfectly – not just for support for your bust, but for all-round health. Constant headaches, a stiff neck and upper back pain could all be caused by bras that are too tight, too loose or simply the wrong shape for you. Get it right today, and you could be surprised at just how much better you’ll feel.
I worked as a bra fitter for five years so it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about how to measure bra size. During that time I fitted women of all different sizes and learnt that for every shape, there IS a bra. No matter how much you may have struggled to find the right bra size, a little time and a great fitter can work wonders. It may be that you suit a balcony or a plunge shape, or that you need padded rather than non-padded. All it takes is a little time in the fitting room to create a smoother, slimmer silhouette.
It’s important to remember that no two women are the same, and your bra size is never set in stone, so make sure you’re having regular fittings – twice a year is best. A measurement and a professional fitting are two very different things. One of the most common misconceptions I came across was that it’s fine to get measured, buy a bra in that size and leave the shop as quickly as possible. Realistically, the only way to ensure that your bra is giving you the correct support is by putting some time aside for a fitting with a professional whose trained eye will know exactly what style suits you best.
Taking your top off in front of a complete stranger may seem like a daunting process, but let me assure you: there is absolutely no reason for it to be scary. Lingerie retailers and department stores across the country have fabulous trained bra fitters who will spend time understanding your needs and making you feel comfortable. Put your trust in them, and I promise the result will be a fabulous silhouette that you’ll be happy to show off.
Click through now for tips from me, plus more lingerie advice on finding your perfect bra, thanks to Chantelle and Rigby & Peller…
- Measure the underband (where the wire of your bra usually sits) straight around, as tight as possible. If the measurement is an even number, add four (i.e. 32 + 4 + 36) and if it's odd, add 5 (i.e. 33 + 5 = 38). This gives you your back size.
- To get your cup size, start by measuring around the fullest part of your bust. Take your back measurement and count upwards from there. So if your back came out at a 36 and the fullest part of your bust measures 36 also, your cup size is an A. 37 = B, 38 = C, 39 = D, 40 = DD and so on.
- Moulded bras make you look bigger than non-padded ones. This simply isn't true. They will, however, give you a more rounded shape. Try one, you could be surprised!
- The back should be loose. Sadly ladies, it should be as tight - although not so much that it hurts. However, bear in mind that when you first try a bra it's at its tightest, and the underband will give over time with washing and wearing. This is vital to give you the correct support. Don't be tempted to go up a back size for comfort - if your bras all fasten on the tightest hook and/or ride up your back, you certainly need to try a size smaller.
- Strapless bras don't work on fuller-busted ladies. Many brands now do a fabulous selection of comfortable and supportive strapless bras that will give you confidence whatever you're wearing. Wonderbra is a great example, and their Ultimate Strapless Bra is fabulous.
- Only non-wired bras are comfortable. For women that have spent their lives wearing non-wired, it's understandable to be wary of uncomfortable metal wires. However, brands are now working specifically on making their wired bras as comfortable as possible, and they'll stay in place all day.
- All bras fit the same. Sadly not! They vary hugely depending on brand, style and material, so you should always try them on before buying. Your size can be different depending on the brand, so don't worry about having a drawer full of different sizes, as long as they all fit correctly.