Bra fit is the key element that we’re looking at this week, and we’ve spent a lot of time talking about how to tell if a bra doesn’t fit. On the flip side of the coin, how can you tell that it does fit? How do you know, when you find that magical perfect bra, that the fit is correct and that your new bra will keep you looking and feeling great all day long? To test your bra for correct fit, look for these key elements:
From the Front
Your underwire should lie flat against your rib cage, under your breast tissue. The sides of your underwire should curve up along the bone on either side, behind the breast tissue, under the arms. If any part of the underwire is resting on your breast tissue, the cup may not be big enough. Try the “scoop and swoop” fit technique to make sure the breasts are positioned properly in the cup and then re-evaluate the underwire. If the underwire is resting flush against your body, not on breast tissue or pulling away, the cup and band sizing may be correct.
The bridge of your bra should lie flat against your chest, between your breasts. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable, nor should it be pulling away from your body.
The breast tissue should fill the cups completely, but not overflow it, creating the “double boob” issue. If the bra cups are full, with no bulging or gaping, the cup size is probably correct.
From the Back
The band should lie flat against the body, straight across the back. The band shouldn’t ride up or dig into the flesh. If the band lies flat and straight in the back, and the bra fits correctly in the front, the band size is right.
In a properly-fitted bra, the straps should lie in place, neither digging into the skin nor slipping off the shoulder. You may need to adjust the strap length to reduce digging in or prevent the straps from sliding off the shoulder.
Make sure the bra feels comfortable when you sit down. Try moving your arms up, over your head and sideways. Some bras fit great when standing but feel weird when sitting, and other bras may not be comfortable in your full range of motion. Practice moving around to ensure you’re comfortable in every position your day normally entails.
If your bra conforms to these magical elements of fit: congratulations! You’ve got a properly fitted bra! Now you’ve got a starting point for bra size, fit and style that works best for you, and it’ll be easier to shop for bras in the future.
When you’re trying on bras, it’s best to wear a t-shirt. When you put on a t-shirt over the bra, you can see what the bra is (or isn’t) doing for you. T-shirts show lace, boning, underwire and seams, and you can also easily see back and side bulges and other unflattering fit points.