Fitting Guides and Advice
There are several ways to put on a bra. How you put on your bra is mainly a matter of personal preference and comfort. What is most important is how the breasts are placed and positioned into the bra cup. This is where many women go wrong by neglecting to pull any soft tissue from under the arm and place it into the bra cup in front of the underwire.
How you adjust your breasts into your bra is just as important as wearing the correct bra size and style. Please take a look at these brief videos from our partner Curvy Kate describing the tips and techniques for achieve the proper bra fit:
Here is a checklist of what to look for:
- Breast tissue should not be spilling over, under or out the sides of your bra.
Your bra should give good coverage to your breasts without having spillage. There are several different bra styles to suit each person’s preference – full coverage, balcony, push up, etc. You can choose the style that suits the amount of coverage and fit you desire. There is however, a difference between cleavage and spillage. A proper fit would ensure that your breasts are not spilling out of your bra.
- Smooth fitting cups
If you don’t fill out the cups, you need a smaller size. If you are “overflowing” the cups, try a larger cup size or a style with a fuller cup design. The edges of the cups should also lie flat against your breast. If there is a gap (especially with padded bras), you should go down a cup size.
- Center panel lays flat against your breastbone.
If it does not, this could be a sign that your cup size is too small, or the center panel is not high enough to accommodate the separation between your breasts.
- The bottom of the bra in the front and back is parallel to the floor or slightly lower in the back.
The lower edge of the band should fit below the shoulder blades. The lower the back fits, the better the support.
- Straps stay put and don’t dig into your shoulders.
Consider a different bra style with straps closer together if your straps keep falling. A smaller, firmer band size will reduce the strap’s strain on your shoulders.
- Cup fabric should be firm and stable
The fabric should give support as well as a good breast shape.
- The underwire should encircle your breast.
It shouldn’t poke, protrude, pinch or rest on any part of the breast tissue.
- Good breast uplift
The apex of your breasts should be mid-way between your shoulders and your elbows. Uplifted breasts look more youthful and give a slimming appearance.
- Breasts face the front and do not sag or fall to the sides.
This breast position allows you to freely swing your arms.
- A finger can be run under the band.
When buying bras, your bra should fit firmly on the slackest hook of your bra. As your bra stretches with use, this would allow you to use the remaining hooks to tighten your band, giving you more use out of your bra. Your bra band should fit snug, but not too tight. If it’s too tight, you need a larger band size or a looser hook placement. If you purchased a bra and subsequently gained weight, a bra extender can be purchased and added to your existing bra to give a looser band for more comfort.
- Feels comfortable when sitting.
Our ribcages tend to expand when we are seated. If you’re not sure your band is big enough, this quick test of sitting down will answer your concern.
BRA SIZE BASICS
There are two aspects to bra sizes:
1. The band size, which is an even number that can range from 28 to 58. This refers to the measurement around your body by your ribcage, under your bust.
2. The cup size, which can range from AA to O or more and refers to the depth and volume of your bra cup or how full your breast are.
The two aspects – band (number) and cup size (letter), work together to determine the amount of breast tissue your bra cup can hold and how tight or loose your bra will fit around your body.
Cup measurement is a letter, band measurement is a number.
For example, 34G and 42G are both G cup bras but 34G holds less breast tissue than 42G and there is a big difference in size/fit around the body from 34 to 42. Size 34G would be worn by someone smaller in body size with less bust. 42G which would fit someone full figured in body size with larger bust. So although the cup is the same, when combined with the band size this determines how wide the bra is and how much breast tissue the bra can hold.
So what does this mean for you?
The number refers to your band size, around your body. If your bra feels too tight around your body then you need to go up in the number, e.g. from a 34 to 36 band. If it feels too slack around your body, or breast tissue is falling out under your bra, then decrease the band size, e.g. from 40 to 38 band.
If there is breast tissue popping out of your bra cups then you need to increase your cup size, e.g. from DD to DDD. If your bra cup seems too large and has space then you can double check that you have put on your bra correctly by leaning forward and pulling all the breast tissue in front of the wire into the bra cup. If it still seems to have space in the cup then decrease the cup size, e.g. from H to G cup or D to C cup.
Do you or a friend need help figuring out your correct bra size? Visit us for a FREE bra fitting, no purchase required.
Most women can use at least two bra sizes – a main bra size and a sister size that fits almost identical to their main bra size. The chart below shows the sister sizing system. Locate your bra size and use the diagonal colour coded lines to go one size up or down to find out your two sister sizes.
As an example, if your bra size is a 36F (or 36DDD in US sizing), your two sister sizes would be 34G and 38E (or 38DD in US sizing). It is normally best to use the smaller band sister size option. In this case 34G would be the better choice.
*European E cup = DD cup in US sizing, F cup = DDD cup
A good quality bra will last you at least 18 to 24 months (2 years) once you care you bra properly. Particular for underwire bras, machine washing is not recommended, even when using a bra safety wash bag. Top loading machines in particular can be very unforgiving and can wring the underwire out of your bra or deform the shape of your underwire resulting in poking and discomfort from your underwire bra. Hand wash your underwire bras with delicate detergent and drip dry if you want the most use from your bra.
Other delicate undergarments can be either hand washed or placed in a lingerie wash bag and washed on the gentle cycle in your washer. The video below provides information on the various wash bags we offer.
Every woman should have a one to two week supply of everyday panties. They can be any style as long as they are comfortable. Once the elastic is damaged, the fabric looks dingy, or they become stretched out and no longer stay in place, they should be replaced.
Determining your proper panty fit requires that you know two components: waist measurement and hip measurement. Use the size chart below to determine your correct panty size.
A panty crotch should fit naturally against your body. There should be no excessive fabric in the front or back. Crotch seams should not be visible or slip backwards.
Panty legs should not be so tight that they cause grooves along your thighs. If you are still having trouble with binding legs, try a panty with a high cut leg style.
It’s easy to keep panties for years without getting rid of them. After all, most of the time it’s covered up by our clothes and no one else sees them. Take a look at your current panty wardrobe. If the leg or waistbands are stretched out, the back consistently rides up, the seams or the body are frayed, it’s probably time to get rid of them.
Most shapewear come with a size chart that you should follow when purchasing. As a general guide, if a size chart is not provided you can refer to the chart below:
If your shapewear doesn’t fit correctly, you could be in for a day discomfort. Make sure your shapewear fits comfortably. Move around in your shapewear after you put it on. Sit down, bend over, raise your arms. If your shapewear does not stay in place, you need another size.
Sit down, cross your legs, and see if the edge of your shapewear binds or cuts into your leg. If so, you may want to consider a shaper with a longer leg length.
There should be no bulges or wrinkles visible on your shaper. If there are, you may need a shorter length or smaller size shapewear.
If the shapewear is not laying completely smooth in any size, consider a change in size or style or custom alterations.