Before discovering these techniques ourselves, we, like most women, were unaware of the proper way to put on a bra for optimal support and comfort. This bra fitting guide will enable you to easily and correctly put on your bra, and then check the fit and determine if your current size is working for your shape or not.
First, there are two ways to hook the clasps, and your choice is based on personal preference. Many women choose to hook the closure in the front, and spin the bra around your body, flip the cups up, and pull the straps onto your shoulders because it is the easiest. It can potentially cause additional wear and tear on your bra overtime. The other popular method is to put your arms through the straps first, and then hook the closure at your back. This second alternative may be difficult for those who have tight shoulders and limited flexibility, although it is the best option to preserve the life of your bra.
This is it, right? We’re done? Not yet! There are three VERY important steps after this to ensure that all of your breast tissue is inside the cup and fully supported:
1) After the bra is in place, lean forward at the waist about 90°, take your opposite hand, reach under your bra, and pull all the breast tissue from the side and up into the cup and securely over the underwire. Repeat on the other side.
2) Next, stand up straight and take two fingers and smooth out the tissue at the top of the cup from the center gore towards the strap placement.
3) Grab the top of the cups, where the straps attach, and lightly pull up to set your breasts in place.
4) Finally check that the band is flat across your back and not riding up.
Check out this video to see these steps in action:
Once you have gone through the steps, you can now adequately assess your bra to see if you are wearing the right size.
Here is a checklist for a perfectly fitting bra:
- All breast tissue is inside the cup with no overflow at the sides, the top, the bottom, or the center.
- Bra band fits snugly and lays straight across the back, without feeling too constricting.
- Straps stay on shoulders and do not dig into skin.
- Center gore or ‘bridge’ lays flat against chest.
If you can say yes to ALL of these points, your bra is fitting you correctly!
Now lets check out some of the most common bra fit problems:
Problem: Your breast tissue pops out of the cup at the top, sides, bottom, and/or center.
Size up in the cup, and possibly down in the band. In a new bra, the band should fit snugly on the loosest set of hooks, so it can be tightened over time as the material begins to loose its stretch.
Problem: The straps dig into your skin, leaving indentation marks.
Loosen the straps and check your band. If your band is not tight enough it will not carry the support of your breasts. 80% of this support should come from the band, NOT the straps.
Problem: The band is loose and rides up the back.
Again, size down in the band until you find a size that fits snugly around your ribcage on the loosest set of hooks. and don’t forget, as you size down in the band, you MUST size up in the cup (assuming the cup is containing all of your breast tissue nicely). So a 36C becomes a 34D. Click here to learn how to accurately measure yourself for your true bra size, finally!
Problem: The underwire digs into your skin at the sides, or at the center.
Size up in the cup and be mindful of the bra style. Some bras have a longer underwire that may not work for your individual shape. Look for a shorter underwire; one that does not ride up for high at the center or the sides.
Now go grab your bras, properly put them on, assess the damage, and be open to a new size for your ladies!