More than 8 out of 10 women currently wear an incorrect bra size, and this fact may not come as a surprise when you consider that 50% of them haven't taken the time to undergo a professional bra fitting in many years. Moreover, given the current circumstances, it's unlikely that you'll be able to schedule one anytime soon.
Wearing an improperly fitting bra isn't just uncomfortable; it can also have a detrimental impact on your overall well-being. From discomfort in the breasts and back to premature sagging, poor posture, and skin irritation, an ill-fitting bra can lead to a variety of health issues. So, how can you determine whether your lingerie is the wrong size when you're unable to visit a fitting specialist?
Wires Not Sitting Correctly Under the Breast
This issue can be attributed to bras that are either too large or too small. When the cups are too large, the underwires tend to be too wide for your torso, causing the wire to protrude and become uncomfortable, as it has no other place to go.
Conversely, if your cup size is too small, the underwire cannot lie flat against your chest. Instead, it ends up resting on your breast tissue, which can be quite painful. To determine whether your cup size is too big or too small, look for signs such as an additional bulge of breast tissue at the top or sides of the cups, or wrinkles and excess space within the cup.
Your body type also plays a role in how well the underwire fits; in some cases, achieving a perfectly flat fit may be challenging. For instance, women with a fuller bust often prefer full-coverage cups or balconette styles, and they may find that most underwires do not provide enough support for the cups to lie flat.
The term 'double boobing' refers to a situation where the bra cup is too small. When your breasts spill over the top, sides, or bottom of the bra cups, it's a clear sign that you're wearing a size that's too small. This could occur due to various factors, including lifestyle changes such as fluctuations in weight or hormonal shifts like menopause.
Ideally, the cup should comfortably encompass your entire breast without causing a 'quad-boob' appearance. To prevent the issue of double boobing, you often simply need to go up one cup size to ensure a proper fit.
Fasten on the Tightest Hook and Eye
When purchasing a bra, it's important that the back band provides a snug fit - you should only be able to comfortably slide two fingers underneath it. Ideally, the loosest setting should feel the most comfortable when you first wear the bra.
If you find that you can easily fasten the tighter hooks on your initial wear, it's a sign that you should consider going down a back size. The two looser settings come in handy as the bra naturally stretches over time with washing and regular wear. These settings allow you to tighten the back band, ensuring you maintain the same level of support you experienced when the bra was brand new.
Your Underband Too Loose
The chest band should maintain an even level both in the front and back. It should be comfortably snug, offering firm support. A helpful guideline for ensuring the underband fits properly is the ability to slide two fingers between the underband and your skin. If there's more space than that, it indicates that the band is too large and may lead to friction or discomfort.
One of the most evident indicators of an ill-fitting bra is any form of bulging, whether it's at the front or on the sides. This is a clear indication that the fit isn't appropriate. The bra should consistently lie smoothly against the body.
Additionally, after removing your bra, check for any marks on your skin, particularly on the shoulders. In an ideally fitting bra, most of the support should come from the underband, so marks on the shoulders suggest that the underband fit is incorrect, and the straps are shouldering too much of the load.
One of the most prevalent mistakes when it comes to bra fitting is selecting a band size that's too large. Approximately 80% of the bra's support should be provided by the underband, and if it's too loose, you forfeit a significant portion of that support.
Consequently, your straps end up shouldering the burden of supporting your bust, often resulting in discomfort, shoulder pain, and back pain. To ensure your bra fits correctly, make sure the underband sits snugly and remains parallel across your back. If it tends to ride up, it's a clear sign that you should consider going down a band size.
It's crucial to wear a well-fitting bra because it can provide the necessary support for your bust. When your bra doesn't fit properly, it compromises the support it should be offering.
Your breasts contain Cooper's Ligaments, which are connective tissues that help maintain their shape and support. Wearing an unsupported bra for extended periods can stretch these ligaments, potentially causing your breasts to lose their shape and lift over time.