You would think shopping for bra is an easy task. We wear it underneath our clothing, therefore we don’t consider it as important as our clothing. Actually, a bra can make or break your outfit. A good fitting bra will definitely flatter you and can enhance your outfit. On the other hand, an ill fitting bra can ruin a perfectly good outfit. Therefore, shopping for a bra is not as easy as we would like it to be.
I found some great sites that can help us understand more about bra. They tell you basic information about bra, how to measure your bra size, and how a bra should fit.
Here are some basic information about bra from figleaves.com
The bra deconstructed
Have you ever wondered what bra manufacturers mean when they talk about ‘wings’, ‘slings’ or ‘centre gores’? Here is our jargon-busting guide to all the pieces that make up a bra – this can range from 10 pieces for a very basic style to 48 for the most complicated.
The apex is the part of the bra where the strap joins the cup.
The strap keeps the cup in place but should not take the main weight of the breast.
The adjuster is used to tighten or loosen the strap accordingly. Its position on the strap can vary and depends on the design of the bra.
You can usually fasten a bra on the first, second or third hook and eye. We recommend that when you buy a new bra, it fits snugly when fastened on the loosest hook and eye. This is because your bra will stretch over time and you will need to use the middle and tightest hooks to keep it firm later on.
The cup is the part of the bra that supports the breast. The bottom part of the cup is often lined for extra support.
The centre front or centre gore is the piece of the bra that fits flat against the chest in between the breasts. It is sometimes part of a cradle.
A cradle helps position the wires and cups securely against the chest. Many women therefore find bras with cradles more comfortable to wear.
Some bras incorporate a sling into the inner cup to provide additional support to the side of the breast to stop it from spreading out to the side. It is popular to use a sling in cups for larger breasts or for any size when the outer fabric is too delicate to provide enough support on its own.
The wings, when fastened at the back, not only secure the bra to the body but also pull the wires into position to sit around the breast.
The underband or bottom band runs along the bottom of the bra and anchors the bra to the body. It should fit snugly against the body, providing the majority of the support for the breasts.
Here are some information on how a bra should fit, also from figleaves.com
What a correct fitting bra looks like
|CORRECT-FITTING BRA (FRONT)
1. Centre front sits flat against the body
|CORRECT-FITTING BRA (BACK)
6. Straps are parallel or slightly v shaped
Here are some additional information from brasizeinfo.com on how to check a bra fit.
Try on your bra and, before you judge its level of comfort and ability to restrict vertical movement, check the fit…
- The cup of the bra should fully encase each breast.
- There should not be any spillage out of the top or the sides of the cup. There should not be any wrinkling on the cup. The cup should support each breast.
- The band should fit very snugly and be straight all the way around the rib cage.
- The band should not move if you were to do trunk twists for example. The band should not ride up your back or make it difficult to breathe.
If you don’t have the proper fit, you are probably not wearing the right size or style for you.
Bra Fit FAQ’s
by Dyna DuMore
Question: What does it mean if the band of the bra rides up my back?
Answer: It usually means you are wearing too large a band size.
Question: The band of my bra digs in. What should I do?
Answer: You might want to try a larger band size or a bra style with a wider band.
Question: What should I do if there is bulging or spillage out of the sides of the cup?
Answer: You might want to try a larger band size in the style or a different style with more coverage in the front.
Question: What should I do if there is bulging or spillage out of the top of the cup?
Answer: Try a larger cup size in that style.
Question: My bustline sags or bounces. How do I get lift and hold?
Answer: Try a style with separating cups and/or an underwire. Opt for a style with adjustable back and straps. Or, try a smaller band size. You may just need a new bra as sagging and bouncing are also signs of a “dead bra” (A bra will not last forever. Signs of a dead bra or a bra that might need to be replaced are fabric pillage and breast bouncing or sagging. Avoiding the dryer should lengthen the life of your bra.)
There are several ways to measure your bra size. And, every body is different. So, one method may work for you while another method may not.
Here we present the three best ways we’ve found for you to get accurate results. No matter what method you use, take the measurements while wearing a regular everyday bra.
Keep in mind, bra band sizes come in whole even numbers. Bra cup sizes come in letters. And, you may be in between sizes.
Here are some checkpoints for a proper bra fit:
- Top of the bra cup should completely contain the breast. If bulging exists, the cup is too small. If wrinkling, the cup is too big.
- Bra brand should fit very snugly around the rib cage.
- Back of the bra should stay down on the body. If the back rides up the band may be too large.
Step 1. Band Size
While standing straight and wearing a regular bra, wrap the tape measure around your chest, above the bust. Make sure the tape is straight all the way around you. Pull the tape until it is taut but not restrictive or pinching.
Now, round the measurement to the nearest even number. That’s your band size or rib cage measurement.
Band size: 33 ½ = 34 band
Step 2. Cup Size
While still standing and wearing a regular bra, wrap the tape measure around the fullest part of your bust. Again, pull the tape until it is taut but not pinching or digging into your bust.
Make sure the tape is straight and around the fullest part of your bust. If you are in between whole numbers for this measurement, round to the nearest whole number. If you’re directly in between two whole numbers, round to the next largest whole number.
38 ½ = 39
Now, subtract your even-numbered band size (step #1) from the whole-numbered measurement in step #2 and convert the difference to your cup size according to the chart below.
Difference Up to 1″ Up to 2″ Up to 3″ Up to 4″ Up to 5″ Up to 6″ Up to 7″ Up to 8″ Up to 9″ Cup size A B C D DD DDD/E F FF G
Cup Size: 34 – 39 = 5 which results in a DD cup
Final Result: 34 DD
Alternative Method #1
Step 1. Band Size
Measure around your ribcage, right under your chest (where the breastcrease is). Add 5 inches to an odd number and 4 inches to an even number. This is your band size.
Band Size: 33 ½ + 5 = 38 ½ (between a 38 and 40 band size)
Step 2. Cup Size
Now measure one breast from one end to the other (from the front outer edge of one breast to the other’s front outer edge (left to right, not around). Do not measure completely around both breasts. This is your cup size.
Cup Size: 9.5″ (between a C and a D cup size)
Difference Up to 7″ Up to 8″ Up to 9″ Up to 10″ Up to 11″ Up to 12″ Up to 13″ Up to 14″ Up to 15″ Cup size A B C D DD DDD/E F FF G
Final Result: 38/40 C/D
Alternative Method #2
Step 1. Band Size
Measure around your ribcage, right under the bustline. Add 5 inches to an odd number and 4 inches to an even number.
a) Measure is 29″; 29 + 5 = 34; Band = 34
b) Measure is 34″; 34 + 4 = 38; Band = 38
Step 2. Cup Size
Measure over the fullest part of the bust line.
a) Measure is 36″; 36-34=2 Cup Size is B
b) Measure is 41″; 41-38=3 Cup Size is C
1″ more than the band size A cup 2″ more than the band size B cup 3″ more than the band size C cup 4″ more than the band size D cup 5″ more than the band size DD cup 6″ more than the band size DDD/E cup 7″ more than the band size F cup 8″ more than the band size FF cup 9″ more than the band size G cup