Wearing The Right Size Bra Can Be Life Changing
Eighty percent of women, according to studies, wear the wrong bra size. Let my co-worker tell it, apparently, I was one of them. I’d been wearing the same bra size for at least the last 20 years and didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until my oh-so discreet co-worker walked right up on me, poked me in my left breast and told me my bra was too small. Word? I had no idea, but after I went into the restroom to check for myself it did appear that my breasts were bubbling up out the top of my cups like a piece of fried bologna. Not a good look!I had a professional bra fitting done a few days after that and learned that she was right – my bra was too small. A woman’s bra size changes an average of six times during her life. “A woman’s body goes through so many changes over the years: adolescence, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, illness, weight gain/loss. All of these factors contribute to changes in our bra size,” Jennifer O’Connell, a Lingerie Styling Expert at Rigby & Peller (formerly Intimacy) told BlackDoctor.org.
In a recent study done by Rigby & Peller, 96% of women said they felt more confident in a properly fitted bra. O’Connell explained, “Perfectly fitted lingerie makes women feel more comfortable and more beautiful. Women walk out of our fitting rooms with their shoulders back and their heads held high.”
Speaking of shoulders, a common point of pain with ill-fitting bras, it’s all in the straps when it comes to finding a bra with the right support. Only 10 percent of breast support should come from the shoulder straps. The other 90 percent of support should come from the bra band. Lift comes from underneath, according to O’Connell, so it’s important for the bra band to fit snug against the skin.
For the straps, she explained, “You should leave about two fingers worth of space in your shoulder straps. This will give you the correct level of comfort and support. If you feel like you need to tighten your straps, you should re-evaluate the size of the band.”
Wearing a bra that fits properly can help to alleviate shoulder and back pain, smooth out your look and even help you look up to 10 pounds thinner! O’Connell knows this from experience. “When your bra fits correctly, your bust will be lifted and centered which will elongate your torso. Women also tend to stand up straighter and put their shoulders back when they are properly fit.” She calls it the ‘Wow!’ moment when women see themselves in the right-sized bra for the first time.
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Feel your shoulders. Are you due for a ‘Wow!’ moment? If you can’t get into a shop for a professional fitting, you can measure yourself at home with a tape measure. Here’s how:
Step 1: Take your tape measure and place it around your ribcage beneath your bust. This will give you your band size, which should be an even number. If the number is odd or comes up as a half size, round up to the next even number.
Step 2:Measure around the fullest part of the breasts, around the nipple to get your bust size.
Step 3: Take both numbers and input them into an online calculator here. Your cup size can be calculated from the difference of the bust size and the band size.