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Fitting Guides Fitting Guides

Bra Fitting Tips

What's the first thing you do when you get home? If you find yourself taking off your bra before kicking off your shoes, then it's time to look for something more comfortable. Your bra size is very likely to vary over time. It’s obvious enough when you’re pregnant or nursing, but did you know that gaining or losing a few pounds can also affect your bra size?

There's no great mystery to finding a great-fitting bra, but you might have to try on a fair number before you strike gold. Don't get hung up on what the tape measure says: remember that sizes vary from brand to brand (you might, for example, need a 32C in one brand but a 34B in another) and be guided instead by whether or not a bra fits you comfortably. How will you know if you've found the perfect fit? Check out our top ten tips below.

Top ten bra fitting tips

1. Fill your cups ...

Baggy cups are not a good look. Try going down a cup size. If your cups are creasing around the nipple, however, that's a different matter. Try going down a back size to pull the fabric taut.

2. ... but don't overflow

Spilling out over the tops or sides of your cups won't make your breasts look bigger (there are padded and gel-filled push-up bras to do that). It just means that you're wearing too small a cup size: try the next one up.

3. Don't let the straps take the strain

A bra's main support comes from the band, not the straps. So make sure that you're wearing the correct band size: too big, and your straps will end up taking the weight, which will cause them to dig in.

4. Think horizontal
Look in the mirror side-on. Is your bra band at the same level all the way round? If it's riding up at the back, you probably need a smaller band size.

5. Finger rules

Never mind a rule of thumb; here's what you need to know about fingers. Your bra band should feel tight and firm, but with enough space to insert two fingers under the back band, and one under the centre front.

6. Fasten a new bra on the loosest hook

Fascinating bra fact: a bra can grow up to 4" due to wash and wear. So when you buy a new bra, make sure that it fits properly on the loosest hook; you might need to tighten it with wear.

7. Underwiring should lie flat at the front

The centre front of your bra should lie flat against the breastbone. If it doesn't, it's telling you to go up a cup size.

8. Underwiring sits on the bone

And while we're talking about underwiring, check the wire at the side of the bra. It should sit on the ribcage, without digging into any of the breast.

9. Bring a t-shirt

The best way to see what shape a new bra will give you is to try it on under a tight fitting t-shirt. Look at yourself from all angles and make sure that you get a smooth line with no unwanted bulges.

10. Get moving!

You wouldn't buy a pair of shoes without walking around in them. So why should buying a bra be any different? Don't just stand there: stretch out and flap your arms to make sure it feels comfortable when you move.

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