The statistic circling the lingerie industry is that 8/10 women wear the wrong bra size. Of that 80% of women in the wrong bra, 70% wear a bra too small and 10% wear one too big. This is a huge problem and lots of women resent wearing bras because of the discomfort that comes with wearing the wrong size.
So how do you know if you’re wearing the wrong size?
Going to a specialist lingerie retailer and getting refit is the easiest way to know if you’re wearing the wrong size. I remember when I turned 16 I went for a fitting in Boux Avenue as the store just opened up in Bath and a lady measured me in at 3 cups larger and a band size down from what I was currently wearing. I thought “My boobs can’t really be that size”. I let her know about my concerns and she went through and explained the way in which a bra should sit on your body. So after that I ran into loads of other shops that sold bras and tried on a fair few in my new size testing to see if they fit me. They did!
It is recommended that you get your size refit every six months but here are the things to look for if you think you should be resized:
- If the band at the back is riding up, you’re wearing the wrong bra size. It should be horizontal around your entire body. This usually means your band size is too big and often your cup size is too small.
- If the band is loose it means either your bra is old and the elastic has gone, or you need a tighter fitting band. Remember that it must be tight but also comfortable.
- If the band is too tight and is rubbing and digging, you need a bigger band size. “.
- Wires digging or rubbing into your rib or under your arm indicates a cup size too small.
- If your breast is overflowing from the cup and bulging out, your cup is too small.
- If your bra cup is gaping, leaving a gap between your breast and the cup itself, this generally means you are wearing a cup too big. Try sitting down when trying on a bra as this will let you see if your cup will gape.
- The material in between your cups should sit flat against your chest between your breasts. If it doesn’t, that indicates that your cup size is too small and your band size might change with your cup size.
- Shoulder straps digging into you means that either the band or the cup are too small for you.
- Painful back and neck issues are normally found in larger bust women. This tends to be because they are in the wrong bra size and are therefore not getting the support that their large bust needs.
Remember, scooping your breasts into your cups ensures that your bra is supporting your breasts in the way they need to be supported. Always scoop when trying on and wearing a bra!
A lot of people talk about sister sizing bras. This is when you buy a bra that gives you the next “best” support. So if you were a 32E but someone didn’t have that size, you could try a 34DD which should effectively give you the same result as the cup volume is the same as the band size increases. Here’s a chart that will explain:
Sister sizing isn’t something I would choose to do myself, especially when you are forking out a lot for a bra. I was in Victoria’s Secret with a friend and the sales assistant tried to get her into a 34 band when she is a 30. That back size would have been far too large even if it evened out the cups. If you are going to spend £50 on a bra, don’t settle for sister sizes. I have only ever brought a sister size bra once when a bra was £10 in a sale. I really regret this because I had this bra in 3 other colours and it was not half as comfortable as my previous purchases.
NEVER buy a bra in a smaller size because you want good cleavage. I have known girls to intentionally buy bras in smaller sizes because it makes their boobs look “better” (i.e. bigger). If you want cleavage just buy a push up bra. It will be far more comfortable and all of the components of your bra will fit as they should around the rest of your body.
So basically, do not compensate on bra sizes. Stop buying bras in the wrong size and get fit properly, you will only be paying for something that could be doing your body harm. When forking out lots of money for bras, make sure they are the right size, they will last longer meaning you will get your moneys worth. If you feel in pain a lot around your neck, back, shoulders and even torso, see if the problem stems from your bra.