The vast majority of people I meet for an initial fitting
are not wearing a correctly fitting bra. To help you decide if a bra really
fits, here are some tips I use when doing a fitting.
You need to get this right first.
About 80% of the support you get from your bra should come from the band. Most
people I fit are wearing bands that are too big. The band should fit firmly around your torso and not
move during the day – you shouldn't have to constantly adjust your bra.
if your band fits properly check that:
The bottom of the band sits in a horizontal
line, parallel to the floor – if you look in the mirror, it shouldn’t angle up
or down at the sides or back.
If you pull on the back of the band, it should
only pull out an inch or so easily.
When you move your arms up and down (stretch
them above your head a few times) or jump around, the band should stay in
Of course, you do need to be able
to breath and move, so don’t go to the opposite extreme of wearing a ridiculously
tight band. A firm band may leave a slight imprint on your skin, but it shouldn’t
dig or cut in and definitely shouldn’t be leaving bruises.
If you are concerned about the
dreaded “back fat” or “wings” under your arms, try opting for a wider band.
The thinner the band the more it will appear to dig in.
Once you have your band size, you
can start looking at cup size. This can be a little trickier than the band
because the shape of the cup influences how it fits. The bra cup should enclose all of the breast
tissue under the arms without digging in or gaping at the top of the cup.
It’s really important when trying
on a bra to ensure you scoop all of the breast tissue into the bra. Once you
have the bra on, lean forward and place your hand into the cup. Gently lift the
breast tissue up towards the centre of your body. Then stand up and let the
breast tissue settle into the cups.
Many women end up wearing a cup
size that is too small for them because they reduce the cup size in an attempt to
prevent gaping at the top of the cup. Often a better solution is a different
Another issue for most of us is
that one breast is larger than the other. Always fit the larger breast and, if
need be, consider adding extra padding to the smaller side to even things up.
You don’t want to be cutting into the breast tissue of the larger breast by
wearing underwires that are too small.
To tell if the cups of your bra
fit properly check that:
All of the breast tissue is enclosed within the
cup/wire. If you feel along the outside of the wire, your flesh should feel the
same all the way along. If there are softer bits under the arms, this is probably
breast tissue which means the cups are too small. If there are softer bits under the centre front of the breast the band may be too large, allowing it to move up over your breast.
The underwire should not dig into the flesh
under your arm. If this is happening, the cups are either too small, and some
of your breast tissue is not sitting inside them, or too large, and the wire is
coming around too high under your arm.
The top of the cup should ideally sit nicely
along the skin of the breast. (Let’s face it, you don’t want it digging in,
putting pressure on the breast tissue and giving a strange “quadra-boob” appearance
through your clothes. Equally, a gaping bra that everyone can see down when you
bend over isn’t much use.)
If the underwire is sitting flush against your
body and enclosing all of your breast tissue, but the top is digging in or
gaping, consider a different style of bra rather than reducing or increasing the
cup size. Check our style guide for ideas on which styles may suit you
If gaping is a problem, look for bras that have
a soft, lace trim along the top. This will often sit into the breast better
than a hard-edged cup.
The Gore (centre front)
The gore of your bra is the
central panel at the front that sits between the cups. This section of the bra
should sit flat against your ribcage. (Note that with non-wired bras this will
often not be the case.) For some of us, who are slightly concave it can be a
challenge to find a bra that will sit properly here, but I promise you (from
personal experience) it can be done!
If the gore doesn’t sit flat it
may be because:
The gore is too wide - try a style with the cups
situated more closely together in the centre.
Your band may be too tight which will pull the
gore away from the body.
Wire-free bras tend to sit out from the body
Your bra straps should only be
contributing between 10-20% of the support from your bra. Always check the
adjustment of your straps when you put your bra on in the morning, as they may
have moved when you last wore or washed the bra.
Things to check are:
· You should be able to just run a finger between
the straps and your shoulder. If they pull away from the shoulder more than
this they are too loose. Any tighter and you could be putting unnecessary strain
on your neck and shoulders (a great way to cause headaches!)
· Your straps shouldn’t be digging into your
shoulders. If they are, you’ve either over-tightened them (see above) or your
band may be too loose. If the band is too loose it’s not giving as much support
as it should and the straps are taking up the slack.
If your straps are constantly falling off your
shoulders they may simply be too loose. Otherwise, it may be that your band is too
large. This could lead to it riding up at the back which in turn loosens the
Still need some help? Contact us,
we’re more than happy to give you any advice we can, xx