9 Things you Need to Know When Buying a Bra
I have to admit – I’m probably the worst when it comes to being a proper lady. For starters, I hate wearing a bra and the reason for that is because I’ve always hated going through the process of purchasing one. But I feel like no matter who you are – big or small chested, everyone has this problem. It’s not exclusive to just one kind of human.
For such a small item of clothing, bras can be the hardest to buy. With that in mind, I decided to chat with Heather Hansel from Eveden Canada (responsible for bra lines such as Freya and Elomi) about some tips, tricks, and advice that women should keep in mind for future bra fitting trips.
Image via @FreyaLingerie
Do measurements tell the whole story when you’re going for a bra fitting?
Heather: Measurements can be skewed by an improperly fitted bra. We use the measurements as a guide only.
Why is it that so many women end up wearing the wrong bra size?
Heather: Many women haven’t taken the time to have a proper bra fitting and they may feel overwhelmed by all of the options in the market.
Okay then, so if women might be feeling overwhelmed what are some general rules or knowledge to know before going in ahead of time?
Heather: There are no “rules” when you go into getting a bra fitting and/or looking for the perfect fitting bra but here are three easy steps to help with a near perfect fitting:
(1) Your band should be snug and anchored low in the back—parallel to the floor
(2) Underwires should rest behind all of your breast tissue and should be placed close to or beneath the underarm
(3) The center front should rest against the chest wall, providing separation.
With that being said, there are some good features of a good fitting bra including:
Underband firmly anchored around the body. Level at the front and back.
Breast fully contained with the underwire.
No puckering or overspill in the cup.
Underwires sit flat against the chest wall.
Breast well supported giving the best support.
Comfortable and supportive.
Image via @ElomiLingerie
What is the most common mistake women make when selecting their bra size?
Heather: Most women are more likely to buy a bigger band size than cup size when many of the issues they’re having could be solved with a bigger cup size.
What is the difference between fit and size?
Heather: It’s best to remember not to obsess about the size on the tag. If the bra fits well and makes you feel great, that’s what matters. No one else needs to know what size you’re really wearing.
Will different cuts and shapes fit differently on your body and will this affect your sizing?
Heather: Moulded cups and seamed bras provided different lift and shape. It’s best to have a mix of styles in your bra wardrobe.
Image via @FreyaLingerie
After all of that, how can you tell if you have really found the right bra after all?
Heather: Please refer to the 3 easy steps to a perfect fit and it should feel good when you’re standing or sitting. A new bra size may feel a little uncomfortable at first while you get used to it but the benefits to the way you look and the support you feel will far outweigh this. Your bra should not move throughout the day. The band should be firm enough to sit in place throughout the day. If it’s too big on the band, your bra will move and this causes rubbing on the skin, which can cause irritation.
Everyone always talks about it, but does quality really make a difference?
Heather: Quality can make a difference in whether the wires can rest against the chest wall.
Once you’ve made your purchase how often should you wash/clean and then finally purchase a new bra.
Heather: It is best to hand wash your bra after one to two wearings. Go for a bra fitting regularly, at least every 6 months, just to double-check that you haven’t changed.
I don’t think I’m being dramatic when I say having a bra that fits and putting it on correctly can be game changing. So head on out to your local bra shop (some recommended shops are Secrets from Your Sisters, Tryst Lingerie and Change Lingerie) and try one on for size!
Amanda (Ama) Scriver is a passionate storyteller, community builder and a loud and proud feminist and body image activist. She freelances for several publications including Foodism, Paste Magazine, and BizBash. In her off time, she lives for coffee, trashy reality television, hip hop and all things drag. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram via @amascriver on at her website AmaScriver.com