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How to Find the Right Bra for Your Shape and Size

 

Though not always visible, a bra is an essential aspect of keeping you comfortable and making your clothes fit properly.

Sadly, many women still end up buying ill-fitting bras that feel uncomfortable, do not properly support the breasts, and look lumpy and bulgy. Do you struggle to find bras that look and feel great? This guide will tell you everything you need to know in order to find the perfect bra for you.

Signs That Your Bra Doesn’t Fit

You might think you do not need any help because a sales assistant measured you and gave you a bra size years ago, but the reality is that almost anyone can be wearing the incorrect bra size. Here are a few signs that you need to rethink bra sizing:

  • Your straps slide off your shoulders.
  • The center panel in the bra is not flat against your skin.
  • Your breasts spill out of the edges of the cups.
  • You have welts along your shoulders when you take the bra off.
  • There is a big gap between your breasts and your bra cups.
  • The band of the bra rises up in the back when you wear it.
Photo by Pablo Heimplatz

How To Find Your Bra Size

Many women end up with a band that is too large and a cup size that is too small because they misunderstand how sizing really works.

To find your true bra size, use a tape measure to measure the distance around your rib cage right under your breasts and the distance around your torso at the fullest part of your bust. The measurement around your rib cage is your true band size.

You do not need to add any inches to this measurement to get the band; that was an old rule for bras back when they were not elastic. Your next step is subtracting the bust measurement from the band measurement to get your cup size. A difference of one inch is an A cup, a difference of 2 inches is a B cup, and so on.

Discovering The Right Bra For Your Breast Shape

Something often overlooked when discussing bra size is the actual shape of the breast. Not all breasts are perfectly smooth orbs situated exactly in the middle of the chest.

The same bra can fit two women with the same measurements entirely differently just because of breast shape. Being able to identify your breast shape will help you pick out bra styles that work for you.

Round Breasts

This is the style of the breast that has almost the same amount of tissue along the top and the bottom, with minimal drooping and nipples that point straight out. Women with this type of breast can wear almost all bra types. A good choice is the balconette bra that nicely lifts and separates the breasts.

Photo by Lauren Bow

Wide Set Breasts

Also called separated breasts, women with this breast type have a large amount of space between their breasts. Avoid balconette style bras that can dig into the edges of the breasts, and instead look for plunge and t-shirt style bras with minimal underwire. This helps to bring the breasts closer together while accommodating the wider shape.

Teardrop Breasts

Teardrop breasts are much fuller at the bottom than the top Some women are born with this type of breast, and it is also common in those who have recently nursed or lost a lot of weight. A classic full bra is a good choice because it gives plenty of support to the breasts.

Photo by David Samaniego

East-West Breasts

This style of the breast has nipples that point outwards to either side. Like wide set breasts, a standard t-shirt bra shape is a favorite option for bringing the breasts towards the front. Another good style to consider is front closure bras that help to gather breast tissue inwards instead of simply pulling it upwards.

Asymmetric Breasts

Almost no one has breasts that are the exact same size. However, some women end up with one breast that is a whole cup size or more larger than the other.

The best thing to do in this case is usually picking a size that fits the bigger breast because trying to squeeze it into a tiny size will just be uncomfortable. Look for bras with removable padding, so you can pad one cup to hold the smaller breast more comfortably.

Tubular Breasts

Women with this type of breasts have a very narrow width, and women may describe their shape as being cone or torpedo-like. This type of breast is well suited to demi bras because tubular breasts tend to have most of their weight along the bottom of the breast. Another option for women who prefer a more traditional appearance is a push-up bra.

Once you’ve determined your correct bra size, you breast shape and the style of bras that appeal to you most – it’s now time to find that bra. It’s important to look away from the majority of big box stores as they often neglect women’s specific needs. If you have larger breasts, plus size retailers are a great way to find larger cup sizes while smaller boutiques are great if you’re looking for a tailor-made bra, specifically for you.

 

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