Ahh the famous quote: “80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra”.
Sound familiar? Most women know that their bra is the wrong size, but don't do anything to change it. Why is this the case? I know for myself, bra shopping was a painful and confusing experience, so I just gave up and stuck to sports bras for many, many years, living with a bra that was ill-fitted and unflattering. Boy has life changed since then!
Frustratingly, there isn't one ‘right size’ bra for you, and this is due to the lack of universal sizing across brands. Ultimately the ‘right size’ is what looks and feels the best. Instead of getting frustrated by confusing and inconsistent sizing charts, let's go over the telltale signs of a well fitting bra and how it impacts your everyday life by looking at the separate components that make up a bra.
How should a bra cup fit?
The cups of your bra should lift the breasts slightly. They should provide proper support for your breast size and shape by enveloping and enhancing them instead of squishing them again your chest. The proper fitting bra should point your breasts forward. If your bra has wires, the bridge or center front of the bra should sit flat against the sternum, with the entire underwire also sitting flat against your ribcage cradling your breast root.
- If the cups are too big, there will be wrinkling of the fabric, gaping at the top, and underwire uncomfortably pressing into your sternum. It will also cause irritation under the breasts with the underwire shifting around.
- If the cups are too small, there may be spillage of breast tissue at the top, side, and bottom of the cups resulting in some quad-boob action that is unflattering to your silhouette. The underwire will dig into the breasts and might press them together painfully.
How should a bra band fit?
The bra band provides crucial support and should sit firmly against the skin just under the shoulder blades parallel to the floor around your ribcage. In fact, your bra band does most of the work in lifting your breasts, not your straps!
- If the band is too loose, it may cause irritation due to friction at the back as the band is pulled upwards, or at the front when the cups lift onto the breasts during movement.
- If the band is too tight, it will create a lumpy silhouette across your back with unflattering highlights and red marks, and sometimes bruises, on the back muscles and fat tissue protruding from above and below the band.
How should bra straps fit?
The straps are a supplementary aid for a little extra lift and keeping everything in place during movement. Straps should never replace the band as the main element of support. The great thing is that most bras will have adjustable straps that just need to be modified to sit comfortably taut over the shoulders.
- If the straps are too loose, they may slide down the shoulders and can create a gap at the top of the cup during movement.
- If the straps are too tight, they will aggravate the skin of your shoulders and may cause the back of the band to ride upwards.
You can test the fit of your bra by lifting your arms and seeing if everything stays in place or by throwing on a lightweight shirt to check for any unwanted bumps in your silhouette caused by squeezing or gaping.
Educating yourself on how your bra should fit is so important, simply because wearing a properly fitted bra not only helps your breasts look and feel good, but also allows your entire body to function as the best version of you. A proper distribution of breast weight and the source of support can improve posture and reduce aches in the back, ribs, shoulders, and neck!
We hope this checklist will help you on your search for a bra that is the best fit for your body!
Written by Ruhee Rajan, Founder of Rubies Bras. Ruhee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rubies Bras is a luxury bespoke bra company based out of Toronto, Canada. Owned and operated by women, we create bras that fit, flatter and function for the every day. All sizes & situations are welcomed. Our products abide by the strictest level of quality, customer service and satisfaction, with premium materials that are ethically made, locally sourced, and free from latex and animal products. Private fittings are by appointment or shop online, with worldwide shipping from Toronto, Canada.