We all know the meme (or is it a mantra?): hair up, sweatpants on, bra off. But what if it didn’t have to be this way? What if your bra fit so well that taking it off wasn’t a fast track to rancho relaxo?
Given that the average bra amounts to little more than a few strips of fabric and elastic, nailing the right fit can prove surprisingly tricky.
We spoke to Ashley Griffiths, a bra-fitting expert at Myer’s Bourke St, Melbourne, store about the signs your bra is probably the wrong size.
1. You’re not thinking holistically
There are three separate factors that contribute to a bra’s fit – the band, the cups and the straps – and they should all work together to keep you supported.
2. You forget why you’re wearing it
“Most people think a bra should fit like a tee and be loose and comfy instead of a support garment, which should be tight,” says Griffiths. “A new bra should hook on the tightest option, giving you two more to work back on when the bra begins to stretch.”
3. Your cup runneth over
Too-small cups are one of the most common issues that Griffiths and her team see when fitting women. “Women think a D-cup is massive, but we carry cup sizes up to G.” The lesson: don’t be afraid to go up a size.
4. The straps fall down
Constantly slipping bra straps aren’t just annoying, they could be a sign that they sit too far apart for your body’s frame, says Griffiths. “Smaller shouldered women should look for bras with straps that are closer together, such as those with a crossover back.”
5. It gapes at the top
“If the cup is too big, the top or sides will gape,” says Griffiths. But don’t discard it too quickly: “Bras also gape when they haven’t been put on correctly.” Try bending forward and scooping your breasts into the cup for a more secure fit.
6. The band rides up
It all seems to be going well, when you first fasten the bra, it fits like a dream… but then it proceeds to head north throughout the day. “Bras ride up when the band is too big. This is a sign the customer needs to go down a band size or that it’s time to invest in a new bra as the band has stretched.”
7. Digging underwire
Underwire bras can have a bad rep. If it’s uncomfortable, you can blame the size or shape and not the wire itself. “Wires are supposed to be snug against your rib cage. If they dig under the bust the back is too small. If they’re digging into the armpit area then it’s because the cup is too small.”
8. Your strapless is sagging
According to Griffiths, the most important quality in a strapless bra is that the back is firm – even firmer than your everyday bra. “As long as the bra is firm on your back you should be able to party the night away without it budging.”
9. You fasten it incorrectly
We’ve all been guilty of fastening at the front and yanking the band around our body. This bad habit can cause it to stretch out and become too big before its time. “Tugging, pulling and tension does take its toll on your bra,” Griffiths notes.
10. You’re storing it the wrong way
Similarly, shoving it haphazardly into a drawer at the end of the day can also cause stretching. “Keeping your bras flat with the cups facing up, or hanging them if you can, will prevent the cups from becoming loose.”