Successful bra shopping you say, is there such a thing? Ask any woman, most of us love “shopping”, but we hate bra and swimwear shopping!
We are told again and again that 80% of us are wearing the wrong sized bra, and these stats never seem to change!
Why are we getting it so wrong? Are we too busy, do we not allocate enough time for a fitting, are we getting fitted, are we bothered or do we just rush in and purchase the same old bra and size as we normally do, or are we embarrassed?
Our breasts constantly change throughout our lives and if you think about it even from month to month. Starting with puberty, then pregnancy, lactation, weight gain and weight loss, certain medications, menstruation, menopause and age. Knowing how often our breasts can change, replacing the old faithful time and time again will never be successful. Let’s add into the equation, that “no two women have the same size, shape and spaced breasts”. So two women, who measure up to be a size 14C in the same style of bra, will not fit it the same way, and it may not fit them at all. Why? They were measured!
The size the tape measure says you are, is only a base line or starting point, and not your actual size. Let’s look at the humble bra. It’s an engineering marvel, its purpose is to support, lift, shape and space our breasts, and each style will change all these factors, in their own way. When you think about it, they come in so many styles and sizes, no wonder we’re confused and getting it so wrong. There are strapless, moulded, soft cup, underwired, seamed, balcony, demi, sports, maternity, just to name a few.
Now we know we need to get a professional bra fitting (every 6 months), and that the measurement is only our base line towards our correct size. We need to make the time to do this. All the different bra styles are going to alter our support, lift, shape and spacing!
Let’s go back to the fact “No two women have the same shaped breasts”! Do you know what shape your breasts are? If you answered no, that’s where you’re going wrong. You have to know what shape you are. To do that, I want you to stand in front of the mirror, naked of course, and have a good look at yourself, front and side on. You already know if you’re large or small breasted and perky or pendulous, but are your breasts high set, low set, wide set or close set? Do you carry most of your breast fullness evenly all around or mostly have upper fullness or mostly lower fullness? You may even have a combination of these eg low, wide set, pendulous, with lower fullness breasts. You’re looking for the best possible bra cup for your shape!
Figure 1: Close set breasts, a one finger space between the breasts, or breasts that are joined in the centre.
Figure 2: Wide set breasts, have a spacing of 2-3 fingers between the breasts and can end half way under the armpit.
Examples of breast shapes and bra styles that don’t work.
Close set, full breasts don’t suit a plunge bra, because if worn all day, they will make their way towards the centre, spilling over giving you a quad breast look!
Wide set breasts, with lower fullness, won’t suit a full cupped bra. Not having the fullness in the upper portion of the breast, the cups with be empty, causing puckering! A great bra would be a demi (or half cup bra) or a Balconette or Balcony bra, (deep cups in the lower half of the cup and less in the upper section of the cups).
The secret to successful bra shopping, is to know your breast shape, not just your size. Sizes will differ with every manufacturer.
It’s all about the fit not the size.
We don’t force our feet into shoes and purchase them because they’re our size, we go by the fit!
Happy successful bra shopping!
Julie was a Registered Nurse and is now a Bra Coach with solutions to all your underwear dilemmas. Her business Abracadabra offers solutions to all of your underwear dilemmas, through educational workshops (Groups) and or personal shopping. Learn once and for all, how to successfully choose and fit your own bra, by sight and feel.