I’m one of those women who look forward to going home just so I can take my bra off. It’s such a liberating feeling— how many of you ladies would agree with me? But, then I heard that I might just be wearing the wrong-sized bra (it’s estimated that 80% of women are!), because the perfect bra should fit snug and comfy all day. That’s when I decided to add having a professional bra fitting to my bucket list—and it was super simple to achieve.
Why is it Important to Have a Bra That Fits?
Wearing the right bra is essential not only to give your outfit a good overall look but also to properly support and hold your breasts. Most women aren’t aware that they’re wearing a wrong-sized bra. They simply pick which one fits, takes note of its size, and buy whatever bra that has the same size. Unfortunately, bras have no standard sizing. One bra may fit you perfectly, while another with the same size from another brand doesn’t.
Aside from being very uncomfortable, wearing an ill-fitted bra can pose some health risks. It can cause minor skin irritations from chaffing and even a sore neck or stiff back. On the other hand, wearing a good bra that fits like a glove can make you feel empowered. You can easily move about and accomplish your day-to-day tasks. You won’t feel suffocated because you won’t be feeling any tightness around your torso. And you won’t worry about a strap slipping down your shoulders or one of your breasts slip out of the cup because you’re perfectly supported.
Where to Get a Bra Fitting
Once you get your head around the idea of getting fitted for a bra, you’ll start scouting for reliable and professional shops that can cater to your needs. Big shops that carry a line of intimates like Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Macy’s, are known to have bra fitting experts who can help you out with getting measured and picking the perfect comfy bra for you. The aforementioned department stores are great options, but you could also go to a more specialized retailer like Victoria’s Secret (that’s where I went).
If you’re looking for a more low-key place, you can always try a local lingerie shop near you. You might feel more comfortable to have your first professional bra fitting there because small shops that specialize just in lingerie may have more knowledge and take more time with your measuring.
What to Expect with a Bra Fitting
It can be intimidating to think about getting a bra fitting for the first time, but there is no need to worry—it is quick and easy. It typically takes less than 15 minutes! In most cases, here’s how it will work:
You will be led into a private dressing room. You will be asked to remove your shirt, but keep your bra on (try to not wear one with too much padding!). The salesperson will then measure your rib cage just under the breast tissue and then fullest section of your bust. The first one is to know the size of your band while the second is to determine your cup size. That’s it, easy-peasy!
Don’t be surprised when if you get a little shocked with your measurement results. Why? Because the measurement that’ll be given to you is probably a lot bigger than you’re used to, especially in the cup size. For example, if you’re used to wearing a 38D bra, after the measurement, you might just get a 34F. Don’t be alarmed!
Note: Our body changes as we age, and it’s important to get fitted every time a big change occurs, like a weight loss or gain.
The Story of My Bra Fitting Experience
I walked into Victoria’s Secret and targeted the first sales representative, which was pretty easy since they are stationed at the front door to greet the incoming shoppers. I asked her if I could get a bra fitting and she immediately got on her walkie talkie to beckon a “boobologist” to the dressing room. There was no wait! Surprising, there was no need to remove any clothing, because my shirt was thin. This was great, because some random woman seeing my naked breasts sort of freaked me out. 2 minutes later (seriously), I had the magic number…a colossal 32B….Ta Da. I was pretty close, wearing a 34B because they are easier to find. She then asked if there was any style of bra that I was currently looking for (I had been searching for a racerback) and proceeded to bring me things to try on.
I typically just buy my bras off the rack at a local discount store for about 6 bucks, but that has all changed now that I have my first VS T-Shirt demi-bra. It is the most comfortable one I have put against my body. I tried on the 32B, just like she suggested in the bra fitting, but was busting out of it. Imagine that…a B-Cup sized girl busting out of a bra, I never thought it could happen. I had to size up to a 32C, which made me feel freakin’ great for a second, but then I realized that this will probably be the only C-Cup bra that will ever fit me! I’m okay with that, B is above average in the grading system.
How to Measure Your Bra Size at Home
Guess What? You don’t even need to leave the house to get measured, you can do it yourself in the privacy of you own home. Here’s how:
- The first thing you should do is to make sure you’re not wearing a padded bra when you do the measuring. You can even go braless if you’re comfortable doing that.
- Using a soft tape measure, put it around your torso, where the band of your bra usually sits. Make sure it’s snug and level, and round off the measurement to the nearest whole number. If the number is even, add four inches, and if the number is odd, add five inches. The sum will be your band size.
- Next, measure your bust size by putting the measuring tape on the fullest part of your boob, right where the nipple usually is. Make sure it’s somewhat loose, then round the measurement off to the nearest whole number.
- Now here’s the fun part: subtract the measurement of your bust size from your band size, and you’ll get your cup size. For example: if your bust size is 37 inches and your band size is 34 inches, the difference is 3. The third letter in the alphabet is C, so your bra size is 34C. Remember that the bust and band size are proportional, so if you need to go down one size on the cup because it’s too big, go up one size on the band. You can check some charts available online to guide you, but don’t be discouraged if you get it wrong the first time. It takes a bit of trial and error to get your perfect bra size.
3 of the Most Comfy Bra Brands
- ThirdLove: ThirdLove not only offers the most comfortable bra for your shape, they also have half sizes! Check out their Classic T-Shirt Bra, it’s the most popular.
- Spanx: Spanx is more than just shapewear to hide your tummy bulge, they make comfy bras too! Their Bra-llelujah! is one of the softest bras and provides added support without compromising comfort.
- Warners: Warner’s is a leader in the bra industry and when you try on their This Is Not a Bra Underwire Bra you’ll realize why. It will give you the ultimate in comfort!
For when you just don’t want to wear a bra at all, but going completely bare shows a little too much, these silicone nipple covers will do the trick. They come with me on all my travels!
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Bra fitting should be done every once in a while especially when you feel your bra riding up whenever you make a sudden movement. It’s also a sign to make a bra change when you feel the underwire poking at your ribs, but don’t wait for it to come to that! Many body pains can be because of an ill-fitted bra, so go have yourself fitted because your back (and especially your boobs) will thank you for it.
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