Updated: Jan 20
Raise your hand if you have grown up in Pakistan and your mum has never taken you for a professional bra fitting or discussed the importance of wearing proper bra size. We would certainly be raising both our hands. But don't worry your virtual new bestie (i.e. us!) are here to answer all your bra sizing and fitting questions and provide the education our mums never did (we can't blame them they were in the same boat as us).
We know we bang on about it but 80% of women wear the wrong size of bra without even knowing it. Finding the right size and buying bras is not simple, there are different design, styles, fabrics and to make it even more difficult, the sizes differ from brand to brand (mind boggling if you ask us!). It's important to remember that the purpose of a bra is to provide the right support for your chest type and that is mostly not achievable by just looking at the size tables.
In principle, there are three areas that you need to focus on when trying a new bra, the band, the cup and the straps. Let's look at what you need to think about for each of the above elements.
Wear a bra and look at yourself in the mirror. The band around the body should be in a straight line i.e. it should not be riding up at the back. If it's riding up in the back it probably means that you have tightened the bra too much in the straps to give your chest a lift. This will end up leaving marks on your shoulders and cause discomfort in the long run.
If you feel your bust is not getting enough support you should try to tighten your bra band. If the bra still feels lose and you feel like you need to tighten the straps for the lift then it's time to go down in the band size.
The bra band should be firm but not be too tight. Girl, trust us we are used to wearing lose bras which give us no support. Test your bra by wearing it on the most lose hook and pulling it from hook at the back. If you can get more than two fingers (stacked) between your back and the band when pulling, then the bra is not the right size for you.
Your whole breast should rest perfectly within the cup. That's why it is called 'the cup'. The breast should not spill from the top, side or peek through from the bottom of the underwire. If you have double breasts you are certainly wearing the wrong bra size.
The cup should not be loose either. Bend slightly forward and look at your breast in the mirror. If you are able to see into the cup then the cup is too big for you.
The centre front of your bra should sit flat against you chest wall. There should be no gap between your body and the centre of your bra. If the centre does not sit flat you should try the next size up in the cup size.
Most importantly, check that the underwire clears the breast tissue. More often than not women find underwire uncomfortable because they are not wearing the bra correctly and the underwire is sitting on their breast tissue rather than the ribcage.
If the underwire is clear of the breast tissue it will feel hard when pressed at the end of the underwire. If the underwire is too far forward and sitting on the breast tissue it will feel squidgy.
In summary, make sure your bust if fully enclosed in the cup, the centre gore sits flat on your chest and underwire sits clear of the breast tissue.
The deadly strap! The evil that leaves groves on our shoulder and cause discomfort. Let's start by clarifying that 80% of the support and lift should come from the band of your bra rather than the strap. It's not the role of the bra strap to lift your chest. The bra strap is there to ensure that the bra cup fits snugly and hold the support between the cup and the band.
If you feel like you are not getting the right lift then try a different band size rather than tightening your bra straps.
The straps should not dig into your shoulder. You should be able to put two stacked fingers under your straps from the shoulder. If you struggle to get two fingers in it means that your strap is too tight.
Equally, your bra strap should not be falling off. If the strap keeps falling off it means that the strap is too loose for you and is not providing the correct support.
Do the two finger test if you struggle to get two fingers in or if your straps pull more than two fingers then you need to get yourself remeasured.
It goes without saying that you should never underestimate the effect that the right size of bra can have on your comfort and self-confidence. As we always beauty starts from the inside - you got this queen!
Lots of love and hugs from the jugs,
The brown bra fairy xoxo