Finding the Right Fit: A Primer to Bra Shopping

Quick…what is the average bra size for women today? Some say that the average bra size is a 36C while others say that the average bra size for women has increased over the years to be a 36D. Whatever the correct answer may be, we all know what an ill-fitting bra looks like: bras where one’s cup runneth over, quadruple boobage above or below your bra cup…and the list goes on. It is possible that we’ve seen these bra crimes committed in broad daylight and (shocker) we may have been guilty of committing these bra crimes in society ourselves. Professional bra fitters have said that over 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size! I would personally like to admit that I am one of the 80% and I am turning myself in for my past bra crimes.

The first step to finding the right bra is admitting that you wear an ill-fitting one. Accordingly, I refuse to be a victim any longer and after reading this article, I hope to equip you with the tools to finding a decent bra.     I was tired of trekking the mall for the perfect bra. I tried Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, and several other stores, but the bra sizes that they offered just did not fit me. So I did the next best thing. I picked out a bra that strapped the girls in tight but did not subject them to being surrounded by colors like white and beige—death to these colors!!! While it may seem like a happy ending to some, it was apparent that my bra was not the right size. My shirts were the telltale sign: my bra often poked out the front of my shirt or I had some additional boobage at the top of my cups that would make my shirt look extra lumpy. I would do the secret tuck in throughout the day but my breasts always escaped my too small cups.

A few weeks ago, I decided to accompany some friends to a professional bra fitting at Zoe and Company (I definitely encourage a professional bra-fitting from them). These ladies worked hard to find me the perfect-fitting bra! It took way more than a strip of measuring tape and after 30 minutes of trying on different bras, I was able to locate the perfect fit for me. There is definitely a noticeable difference from wearing an ill-fitting bra and an appropriate-fitting bra. Here are some tips I picked up from the ladies at Zoe and Company and also some additional tips I found online (I hope they are helpful for you too!):

  • Start with measuring your cup size and band size so you have a sense of where to begin when finding the perfect bra.
  • Once you have a sense of where to begin, you want the center of your bra to lie flat against your sternum (not poking out through your shirts!).
  • After passing this test, you also want to lift your breasts to ensure that they completely fill your bra cup and that no breast tissue is spilling over. (The ladies at Zoe and Co. mentioned that Lady Gaga had her own breast lifters! That is a little too close for comfort for me, but hey what do I know?)
  • The base of your bra should be right under your breasts and supporting a majority of your breast weight to relieve pressure from your shoulders and reduce strap indentation. You also want to make sure that one finger can fit comfortably under your bra strap. This is a sign that your bra is not too tight.
  • You also want to be sure to pull your bra down over some of those lumps in the back so your bra is parallel in the back and front.
  • Finally, your bra should be comfortable on the second hook.

These are just some of the tips that my professional bra fitting revealed and now I know what to look for when bra shopping in the future. Let me know if these tips prove beneficial to you too!

Happy bra shopping :-)

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