Let’s talk about bras!
At a point in their life, most women have dealt with wearing bras that don’t fit. And that is because many women don’t know how to choose a bra.
What most people do is to walk into the store and get a bra. Just like that! We go for any bra as long as we think it will be fitting. I was guilty of this until recently.
Until I got tired of uncomfortable bras and did extensive research about how to choose a bra. Are you in this category? Looking for a detailed guide about choosing the right bra?
Not to worry! This piece will cover everything you need to know about choosing bras and more.
Why is Choosing the Right Bra Important?
Before I get into how to choose a bra, let’s talk about why choosing the right bra is essential.
Have you ever gone through the day wearing an uncomfortable bra?
Oh boy! All you can think of is how to get that bra off. In fact, you might try to get it off if you can. And if you can’t, you may lose concentration. Partly because your bra straps/hooks are digging uncomfortably into your skin. And partly because all you can think of is how to get it off.
Don’t even get me started on loosely-fitted bras. The embarrassment of someone telling you politely that your bra straps are hanging out!
Besides, a fitting bra can work wonders for your figure. It can change the fitting of a dress or top from ordinary to stunning!
And some dresses require you wear certain types of bras. Instead of trying to hide your bra straps or tempted to not wear one, think about getting a bra that fits!
Types of Bras
Nursing bras are just as their name suggests. A bra to wear for mothers who are breastfeeding their infants. While you could wear a regular bra, the nursing bra features make it much easier to feed your baby. A nursing bra has drop-down cups, so you don’t have to take off your top. They come in many different styles and sizes.
Strapless bras are perfect for wearing with those strapless dresses and tops. They are available in different sizes and offer the support you need to an extent.
Push up bras replace the old fashioned padded bra. These bras are meant for women who want to create great-looking cleavage.
Sexy bras are precisely what it says. They are the bras that you usually wear for your man! It may be sheer or see-through. So, it needs to be as feminine as possible.
Sports bras are designed for active women. They are usually made with microfiber materials that help keep moisture away from your skin. Furthermore, this type of bra will dry very quickly after your workout. And sports bras come in lots of different styles and with a choice of front or back closures.
There are several other bra types based on their construction, their style, and purpose. This guide here talks about the different bra types available.
How to Choose the Right Bra
So, what are the things to consider when you decide to go bra shopping?
Know Your Breast Shape and Which Bra Type Works Best For You
Before we talk about bra size, you have to consider the best bra types for you. Some bra types will work better for your breast shape.
Take some time to determine your breast. This exercise will take only a few minutes.
Determine your breast’s fullness.
Your breast can evenly full, fuller on top, or fuller on the bottom. An excellent way of determining your breast fullness is to bend forward without a bra on.
- If your nipples are pointing straight towards the ground, you have an even fullness.
- If your nipples are sitting on the front part of your breast, then your breast is fuller on the bottom.
- On the other hand, if your nipples stay on the bottom part, then your breast is fuller on the top.
Your breast fullness distributions play a part in how well your breast will fit. Although, women with even fullness have little to no worry about their bra type.
However, if your breasts are fuller at the top or bottom, you have to be specific about your bra type.
For example, women with bottom fullness may run into bras issues that are cropped on top like a balconette bra. While women with top fullness will find out that bras with full coverage work well for them.
Shallow or Projected Breast?
To determine if you have shallow or projected breast is relatively easy; all you need to do is take a look.
Projected breasts point away from the body. They are “projected” and pop out of the body. Shallow breasts, on the other hand, don’t project away from the body. The breast tissue is spread out all over the chest.
Women with projected breasts will have little or no problem when choosing a bra. However, selecting the perfect bra for shallow bras can be a bit trickier because the breast tissue may not fill out the cup.
Although shallow breasts are usually of smaller cup sizes (A cup size through C cups to E cups), women with larger cup sizes also get shallow breasts.
Determine Your Breast Shape
All breasts are unique in their own way. They come in different sizes and shapes. To be sure of the bra style suited to you, you must know your breast shape.
Breasts are categorized into several categories. The most common breast shapes types are:
- Side Breast
You can learn more about your breast and nipple type here. This article recommends the best bra style for different breast shapes.
Measure Your Bra Size Accurately
Do you know your correct bra size?
Most women don’t! And that’s why they buy mostly uncomfortable bras. Before you go bra shopping, you should determine your right size. This is essential, most especially if you are planning to do online shopping.
How do you determine your bra size?
When it comes to determining your size, two things matter; the band size/width and cup size. Bra sizes usually contain two elements; a number and an alphabet(s). Most women don’t know what these numbers and alphabets represent.
The number represents band sizes; it is the width of your under-breast. While the alphabet(s) express your cup size, the size of your breast moulds.
This exercise below can help you determine your band size effectively. For this exercise, you will need a tape measure or a string to take your measurement.
- Try to go entirely topless for this exercise. If you can’t do that, then wear a non-padded bra that is lightly lined. You want to be as close as natural as you can for the exercise.
- Now, measure your bust width. Wrap the measuring tape just below your breasts, around your rib cage, where your band should be. Note the number you get; that is your brand size.
- Next, move the measuring tape around the fullest part of your breasts and measure your full bust. Make sure the measuring is wrapped around the full bust properly. Note the number you get. Subtract this number from your band size. What you get will help you determine your cup size.
Compare the number you get for your cup size. Cup sizes are measured with alphabets. The difference is usually an inch.
So, 1 inch is A,
2 inches is B,
3 inches is C,
4 inches is D,
5 inches is DD and so on.
For example, if you measure 32 inches for your band size, and 36 inches for your full bust. Your cup size will be 4 inches, that is a D cup size. So, your prefect bra size is 32 D.
Know Your Bra’s Sister sizes
Your bra sister sizes are the sizes that are very close to your actual bra size. Sister sizes are useful when you can find your exact bra size on the market.
If you are struggling to find your actual size, then consider going for the sister sizes. Your sister sizes are a band size below and a band size above; the same goes for cup size.
The rule of thumb is that if you move a band size below, you go a cup size above. And if you move a band size above, you have to reduce the cup size.
Let’s say your actual bra size is 34 D, your sister sizes are 32E and 36C.
How do You Know You are Wearing the Right Bra?
When wearing a well-fitted bra, nothing should hurt or poke you. Sure, it might take a few days to break in your new bra. But during the bra fitting, the band should fit snuggly and not too tight.
Your breast should not spill out of the cup or by the sides of the cup. That indicates that the cup size is too small for you. The cup should not be too big for your breast as well, that indicates you are using a larger cup. Instead, the cup should mould perfectly to your breast.
A well-fitting bra will always remain in place regardless of the activity. Your bra should not shift when you bend over or do other things.
Other Bra Considerations
If you have trouble fastening your bra, you may want to opt for a front closing bra. These are easier to get on. And older women often choose this type of bra. They come in different styles and have bra straps that stay in place.
A minimizer bra is one that can help reduce your breasts’ appearance up to two inches. If you wear a large bra but want to fit into something tighter, this will be an excellent choice. It won’t give you the appearance of buttons about to pop. Consider this type of bra if your cup size is larger than a D.
As we mentioned earlier, the padded bra was often used by women wanting to achieve more cleavage. This has now been replaced with the push-up bra. Today a padded bra has more padding in it to help increase breast size. Many women wear this type of bra to enlarge the look of their breasts.
A convertible bra is one where the straps can be removed or adjusted to change the bra’s look and function. You may also want to wear it with no straps, or you may want to create a racerback or backless bra. This is a very versatile bra. It is an excellent choice if you wear tops and dresses in a variety of styles.
Bras are your friends! So, Choose Wisely!
Selecting the right bra for your lifestyle and health is essential. Thus, feel free to take your time. Take a look at your wardrobe to see what types of bras you should be using! There are different bra styles and colors available. You will definitely get bra styles that will work for you.
Disregard the myth that you must have black, white, or neutral colors in your closets. Make sure you experiment with different colors, and go for the ones you are more comfortable with.
Remember to find the perfect bra, you must be prepared to go all out!