Friday, 23 April 2010

A Girl's Best Friend

Diamonds? No
Chocolate? No
A bra that fits perfectly? INDEED!!

A bit of a random post I know but I think it is something that seriously needs to be addressed... So many women wear the wrong size and the reality is - if your bra does not fit right & doesn't support you properly, you're boobs WILL sag.  Scary thought??

Hopefully I can help you - I was trained in a House of Fraser lingerie department and learnt so much about underwear that I thought I should pass on....  I know we all love reading fashion blogs etc but the reality is, good clothing needs a proper foundation!  So here goes....

When trying on a bra, bend over slightly, ensure your breasts are fully in the cups then slowly stand up while fastening the hook on the LOOSEST hook (explanation later...)

Then there are basically THREE things to look out for to make sure the bra fits...

This is the band that runs horizontally around your rip cage and fastens with the hooks.  This is the most important part of the bra.  It is where you get all your support from and therefore prevents sagging (evil word I know).
This band should be TIGHT.  By that I mean you should only be able to pull it out 1 inch or so, when on the LOOSEST hook.  Any more and it is TOO BIG.
Obviously, as you wear the bra, it will loosen over time and that is when you move to the next hook. When you are on the tightest hook and can pull it out more than an inch or two ... you need a new bra. If you wear a bra day in, day out, expect it to have a 6 month life span.

It may seem strange at first with it so tight but you will get used to it, I promise!

Your breasts should be fully encased in the cups with the centre piece flat against your breast bone. This is common sense but how many times have you seen a woman walking down the street with the 'four boob effect'?!  If you boobs spill over or the centre piece is coming away from your body, go up a cup size.

(Horrible bra but best example I could find)

Also, check the bra wire is not cutting into your breast tissue at the side - this is another sign that the cup size is too small.  

Many women believe that this is where you get your support from.  As I said though, it is the band that gives you the support - hence why a correctly fitted strapless bra can be as supportive as one with straps.
Primarily, on the loosest setting of the straps, you should only be able to stretch them up 1 or so inches - as with the back band.  Then tighten them as you wear the bra in.

If your straps always fall down or you always need to tighten them it means the weight of your breasts are not getting support from elsewhere.  You therefore probably need to go down a back size, up a cup size or both.

I think the biggest factor is the back band.  For me, before my training, I believed I was a 36DD.  I now know, that for my frame (size 12) a 36 back is far too big.  I was actually a 32F.  Did it feel weird and tight at first? Very.  But now I have got used to it I realise how baggy my bras were before. Now my t-shirts fit better, I stand straighter and my back does not hurt anymore.  All because I am getting the correct support from the back band.

Just try now - reach around and pull the band of your bra out.... How far can you stretch it?? More than an inch or so??!  Go get yourself measured girl!!

The rule of thumb is, if you need to go down a back size, go up a cup size and vice versa.
That is ...
36DD = 34E
34E = 32F

This does not always work but it is a good starting point.

There is so much more information I could tell you but I don't want to overload you!

The most important thing I can say is - get measured by a professional.  Even if you are sure of your size, it won't harm to check... All bras are also made differently - I can vary from a 30G to a 34E.

So what are you waiting for girls?!  Go get measured!  You don't need to take your bra off at all - many of my friends were worried about this! advice?!  Steer clear of M&S and La Senza - their bras are wrongly sized and my experience of being fitted has always been bad.  Your fitter should ALWAYS pull out the back band first to see if it is tight enough - if they just look at the bra? Not good enough.

My recommendations are department stores with old fashioned lingerie departments or a specialist shop such as Bravissimo.

Our breasts are our best feature!  Look after them!  And what better way to treat yourself than with some gorgeous, well-fitting lingerie?!

Any questions?? Please ask!!!


ps - I am using UK sizes - not to be confused with EU/US.

pps. NEVER  put your bra in a washing machine or tumble dryer - the heat is what makes the wire pop out of the bra.  Always hand wash and air dry bras and you will extend their life span!


  1. This was so interesting! Thanks for posting x

  2. Great tips! Thanks for this post!

  3. great tips! i agree, there is nothing worse than an ill-fitting bra.


  4. Thanks for the information :D I'm going to bookmark this page as you've gave some great tips that I will certainly be using from now on. I'm scared to get measured but I think I'll take the plunge!

  5. Thanks for the info... I'm going to get measured soon, because since having my baby, none of mine fit properly anymore! xx

  6. I'm glad you all liked this post - I wasn't too sure how well it would go down but glad you found it interesting! xx

  7. Ohh thanks for this. I know I really need to go and checked but I just don't have the money for bras. I got measured at M&S who told me I was the size I was already wearing, but even now I'm pulling at the back band on the tightest fitting and it's too big. I will get measured now, promise. x

  8. @Claire - Yes I don't rate M&S at all and it's such a shame because so many people take their word as gospel! xx

  9. Great post! I actually went to school with the girl in the picture on the post, with the dark hair!haa! She's a former Miss Scotland.