Do you know that as many as 85 percent of women are wearing the wrong size or type of bra for their body? According to recent studies, about 8 in 10 women are experiencing problems with finding the right bra type and size, from complaints of sagging and overstretched straps to breasts literally busting over the seams of the fabric.
Having a good quality bra is more than just for looks; it can also impact your overall health over time. An ill-fitting bra could in return make you ill, cause back pain, poor posture and even migraines that could increase with time.
Many women would be surprised at how much bigger (or smaller) their breasts really are and what types of bras that are not as effective for their body type. If you have been wearing the same size bra since your training bra days ended, it might be time to re-evaluate and re-up in the lingerie department (sounds like another reason to go shopping!).
The Right Size and Fit
One of the most important, if not the most important, aspect of knowing whether you have a good bra is whether it’s the right size for you. Size refers to two very significant details, your cup size and band width. When measured correctly, these two figures tell you what size bra would be more comfortable for your body. Many women’s wear and lingerie stores like Victoria’s Secret or Maidenform offer free measurement services to figure out your size before you decide to purchase. For a quick and more personal alternative, you can find out your correct size at home using these easy steps from Good Housekeeping:
1. Stand straight and relax. Don’t inhale and expand your rib cage as if you’re about to blow out candles.
2. Using a soft tape measure, measure all the way around your body, placing the tape measure right beneath your breasts (example: 30 1/2). Add five to that number, rounding up if necessary to the next even number (36). Congratulations: That’s your band size.
3. Next step: The cup. While wearing a bra, measure completely around the fullest part of your bust (across the Areola) without pulling tight. Make sure the tape measure goes around your entire back (38).
4. Subtract the number from your band size (38-36=2). The result will indicate your appropriate cup size, based on the following guide:
The Right Type of Bra
The correct type of bra is the type of bra that is tailored to your body as well as your lifestyle. Bras come in many different styles with many different features, from the sports bra to underwire to racerback, it just all depends on your needs and body type. These bras have different functions for everyday wear, so choose multiple styles to go along with what your body needs at the time. If you are an avid gym-goer, you should wear a sports bra that provides support for your breasts while doing strenuous and flexible activity. If you are looking for more of an enhancement, try a push-up bra to give you that added life and definition. Be a kid at a candy store for a day, and spend some time finding the right type or types of bras that best suit your everyday life.
The Right Fabric Material
Another important aspect of a bra, or any type of clothing for that matter, is how it feels on you. The right fabric could determine your overall feeling about the bra, which in turn leaves you uncomfortable for the rest of the day. When evaluating your bras or before shopping for a new one, really get a sense of how the fabric feels on you or what is your favorite kind. Is it too constraining? Is it too flimsy? Itchy? If so, find the right fit and fabric for you (with so many different choices, styles and stores who specialize in lingerie clothing, you are sure to find your match!). Also, keep in mind certain fabrics and how they fit after washing as well!
Remembering A Bra’s Timeline
Just like any other piece of clothing, bras also have a life span to take heed of. Many women forget that after a lot of wear, tear and washing, bras can get outstretched, outdated and overused. Make sure you have enough bras that you are able to interchange over the course of a week. If you find yourself going back to the same single bra almost every day, it is time to purchase more that are just as comfortable and fitting. Also with washing (hand washing and air drying his highly recommended) and wearing, bras can become ill-fitting. Remember to always evaluate the feel of it on your body. If it starts to become too tight or too loose or any of the below qualities, it might be time to throw it out and purchase a brand new one:
- When you have to wear your bra on the tightest link to feel secure
- When the elastic is stretched out beyond repair
- When your body has changed over time and you have changed a size
- When wires poke through the cup or break
- When the hooks are broken or ripped out
- When your breasts are sagging and not being supported properly
Reflecting Your Personal Style
The benefits of having a great quality bra is not only fitting well on your body, but reflecting your own personal style and taste. Bras are very versatile and interchangeable, like clothing, shoes and hairstyles, so treat it as such. From leopard print to bandeau, a bra can be just as adaptable and flexible as your lifestyle, and reflect who you are from the inside out.
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