It's said that over 80% of women wear the wrong size bra.
So for every 10 women you pass on the street, it’s guaranteed eight of them are wearing their most essential undergarment incorrectly. It’s as if us women decided to wake up one day and pick out a random bra with the hope that it works.
As for me and my breasts, I’m guilty as charged. Not long ago I was the girl sporting a size 34B when I should’ve been in a size 32D. Not only was that size too big in the band, but it was way too small in the cups. Ouch!
Upon researching how a bra is supposed to fit and after measuring my bust, “the girls” could finally breathe a bit easier. It’s something I should’ve done from the start to save me from years of struggle that comes with an ill-fitting bra.
So for all you ladies out there, I urge you to follow in my footsteps! Quit stuffing your breasts into cups that are too small and stop under-supporting them in bands that are too big.
Wearing a bra that’s too big or too small can have serious health consequences. It’s no secret that neck, shoulder and back pain are results of wearing the wrong size. However, did you know skin abrasions, ruining of the posture, blockage of the lymph nodes, sagging breasts and the potential to trigger breast cancer can also occur?
If your bra is just downright painful and uncomfortable, it may be time to break out the measuring tape and find that perfect size.
First up, the band. To find your band size, start by wrapping the measuring tape around your underbust. Ensure the measuring tape is snug and level. Once you’ve found the exact measurement of your underbust, round to the nearest whole number.
Next, determine your bust measurement by pulling the tape somewhat loosely around the fullest part of your bust. When you’re finished measuring, once again round to the nearest whole number.
Now that you’ve determined your band and bust measurement, calculate your cup size. Subtract your band size from your bust measurement. The difference in inches indicates your cup size. For example, if there’s a two-inch difference, you need a B-cup, a three-inch difference a C-cup, and so on.
Did you know that there’s another place to have a muffin top? It’s true — your breasts can give that unflattering effect, too. Eww!
If your breast tissue is spilling over your bra or your nipples are peeking out to say hello to the world, then the bra’s cups are too small, and it’s time to size up! Likewise, if there’s a gap the size of Texas between your breasts and the cups, then the cups are noticeably too big.
Bra cups are supposed to support your breasts by comfortably cradling them. They should lie flat against you without puckering at the top or causing spillage. It’s also evident that the cups are the right size with the gore, the space between the bra cups. The gore should be flat against your chest. If it’s floating, the cups are too little. Your breasts are attempting to compensate for the lack of space.
If the straps are slipping and sliding off your shoulders, then take it as a clue that the straps are set too far apart for your frame. Opt for a different bra style. Straps that are snug enough to stay on your shoulders without digging into the skin are a good indicator of a suitable bra.
Despite popular belief, it’s not the straps that do all the heavy lifting when it comes to supporting your breasts; the band plays a significant role in it, too. So, if the straps of your bra are painfully digging into your shoulders, then it’s a good indication that the band is simply too big.
Fun fact: 80% of your breast’s support comes from the band. Designed to firmly sit on the ribcage, the band’s purpose is to distribute the majority of the weight. Hence why it’s crucial that the band fits snugly and lies straight across your back, parallel to the floor. If the band is riding up, it’s too large, and it’s not doing its job.
Stop The Cycle
Parents and women figures, listen up! Stop the ill-fitting bra cycle and have your teenage daughter measured regularly. It wasn’t until I had reached my early twenties when I finally decided to measure myself correctly. Don't let them suffer the same fate.
When you do finally find that perfect fit for yourself or the young women in your life, don’t just toss out the old ones. Be thoughtful by donating them to others in need. Consider handing those bras off to The Bra Recyclers or Goodwill.
After all, everyone could use a bra that fits.