Knowing the Right Fit
No two bras fit alike, even if they're the same style. Every bra manufacturer makes a slightly different product, so a Warner's demi cup is going to fit differently from a Le Mystere demi cup. A Hanes full-coverage won't feel just like a Calvin Klein full coverage.
By all means, if you've found a brand that works with your shape, stick with it. Otherwise, you've got work to do. But at least you know your size. You're in better shape than most.
In the dressing room, you're looking for the following fit:
- Cup: Smooth and taut, with no "denting" or oozing anywhere; if there's an underwire, it should fully contain the bottom of the breast and neither poke in nor stick out.
- Band: Snug, with no gaping, but you should be able to get one finger in between it and your skin. It should be level all the way around. If it's causing the "back fat" thing, it's probably not sitting level.
- Center panel: The part of the bra in between the cups should lay flat against the sternum. With wireless or minimizer bras, that may not be possible; but with an underwire, you want it nice and snug against your chest.
- Straps: They should stay put, but not dig in. The straps aren't where you should be getting support: They should only bear about 10 percent of the weight of your bust [source: Intimacy]. The band does the rest. If they're falling off your shoulders, try a bra with the straps positioned closer together, or check out a racerback style.
If it's truly a great-fitting bra, it should smooth, lift and round out your shape, and it should do it without causing pain.
If it doesn't, head back to the racks. You can also check online, where you'll probably find a wider selection.
Or, visit a good seamstress. Yes, you can have a bra altered so it fits perfectly. There's really no reason not to -- the right bra is out there, but it may be a custom job.
For more information on bra fitting and related topics, look over the links below.
- The Bra Revolution. Oprah Magazine.http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/The-Bra-Revolution
- Bra Talk: Myths and Facts. Intimacy.http://www.myintimacy.com/myths.html
- Everything You Need to Know About Bra Fitting. Her Room.http://www.herroom.com/bra-fitting-advice,901,30.html