Guest Post by Renee Mayne, Bra Queen
There are three reasons why you need to know what’s going on with your bra.
- It forces you to improve your posture… shoulders back no slouching.
- It gives you a beautiful shape, lift and the right shape bra for you even makes you look slimmer.
- It’s a small thing you can do to make you feel good.
Style is feeling good everyday so always look for bras that look great and also function like an everyday bra. How can you take that dreaded bra shop and turn into a good time. It can be done trust me. My aim for this post is to arm you with an abundance of bra knowledge so you know exactly what to for before you even leave the house to go bra shopping.
We all know the importance of wearing a good fitting bra and the most common mistake I see is women always think they are bigger in the back then what they really are. Often it works out that they are smaller in the back and bigger in the cup.
How a Bra Should Fit
• You need a bra that fits snugly around the back & sits even from front to back. Don’t worry about back fat because it’s much more slimming to have you’re girls lifted so it creates shape and gives you a shapely silhouette.
• Under wires must sit flush against your chest- its common in bigger cups for the underwires to stick and this means it’s the wrong bra for you. No matter the sales assistant says.
• Your whole breast in the Cup with NO spillage or gapping- You do not want 4 boobs but you don’t want them swimming around in there either.
• You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably under the straps. If you have indentations on your shoulders the bras you’re wearing are not strong enough and they aren’t supportive enough around the back.
How to Choose the Right Shape Bra
The shape of your bra is just as important as the fit, for years we’ve heard everyone bang on about the fit but they forget to mention anything about the shape. You know when you buy a bra and it’s your size but it’s really uncomfortable to wear? The underwires maybe digging in or you’re readjusting yourself all the time. It’s the wrong shape for your body. Let me take a minute to tell you about some bra shapes.
ALL bras anywhere are 4 basic shapes.
It’s the materials, colours and quality that vary. Companies change the names and different countries call them different things however it’s not my aim to get technical my aim is to keep it simple so you know exactly what you’re doing and what to look for in a bra.
Plunge Bra- the triangle shaped ones. A common error in these bras is that they create space in the top. These are good if you are full up the top in other words: your breasts haven’t gone south.
If they are not full on top as they don’t encase the breast tissue entirely it will create bounce and where bounce there is NO support.
A plunge bra is always good to have because they are very handy bra to have for clothes with a plunging neckline.
Balcony bras are great for smaller cups A to D it will give you lift and shape and make them look fuller. It’s also great for the women who have lower set breasts its way more flattering to your body.
Also if you have wider set breast so if you’ve said “This bra is my size but it’s tight across the back” this bra is awesome!
It’s in between the balcony and the plunge it’s kind of like your sweetheart neckline. It’s more then a balcony but less then a plunge. These are great for bigger busts whether you’re full or even if they have gone south. They give great shape, lift and will give you the support you need so you won’t want to rip them at the end of the day. I love this cut it suits the majority of women!
Full Cup Bra
We all know a full cup bra it’s like your sports bra or your t-shirt bra. Its covers your entire breast. It’s always good to have a good full cup bra and now there are heaps of pretty full cup bras available
TOP TIP- Look for a shape that brings them forward, you don’t want them under your armpits! Quality materials not only look great but ensure optimum comfort and support and a longer lasting bra. It will also give you shape and you won’t feel the need to rip your bra off the first chance you get!
I used to like balcony bras, but I got tired of pulling the straps up – sloping shoulders are a real drag.
Any tips for uneven chests? On one side I'm a B, on the other an A.
I've given up on bras almost entirely – I'm small enough that it's fine, especially in my casual world. I wear tanktops with an extra layer on the chest instead.
– tall & slim anon
My figure looks better when my breasts are shifted up and apart. My inclination was confirmed by one of Imogen’s posts on how to make an H figure look a little curvier. So many of the high end bras (I like nice lingerie) just seem to make them round and leave them in place. When I tell saleswomen that I look better in “granny bras” they get a little offended, and I don’t want the full-on “missile-tits” look, but just something with a little more oooomph. Am I asking the wrong question at the bra store?
And bras really are important even for those of us who are small-chested. Makes clothes look really different.
I think people get their bra size wrong because nearly all of the sizing instructions I've ever seen anywhere are totally off base. By most bra fitting advice, I am a 41 negative A. Thank Bare Necessities for giving up the real measuring trick so I can find out my real size (36C-D depending on brand).
Hi, Imo! This post is great, but still not complete, in my oppinion:-(. When you said about "shape" I had tought you will speak about the cup's shape, or so, from side view:-). I think this also matters a lot(see if lifts things up a bit).. in fact, I think it has something to do with "missile-tits" or "granny"look from another one's comment here:-)). I live in the EU-so don't know if it's relevant for others here what I want to say, but am a 36D and do best like pre formed T shirt bras, without any seams, and "U" back (very very important for support!). BUT not all those bras have a side view of the cup that flatters!! Some are evenly round(not flattering at all, in my opinion), but others are sofisticatedly curved from downside up, in a way, hm..I would say it's enhacing better the breasts anatomical form…sorry I cannot explain it better. despite all my efforts, to find the best bra, my common problem is, that the piece between the breast seem too big for my betweens, and set my breast appart, while I would rather like ones with smaller inbetweens parts, which set them centerred front. This would be the perfect bra in my oppinion.(and no, if I downsize the bra band, and upsize the cups, problem still there!!:-)).Any suggestions, please?—and thanks for listening:-).
Anon at 5.35 – this is my favourite bra, not just for the shape out front but the shape at the side (I know what you mean about the unflattering side view) http://www.bravissimo.com/products/lingerie/t-shirt-bras/smoothing-seamfree-bra/white/fa53wh/
We all have different shaped rib cages and where our breasts are placed which is why we all need to try on bras for ourselves.
Tall and Slim – have you been to a good lingerie store? Do they have options? I guess you buy the B cup and pad it, support is important no matter what your size.
You may find a bra that is in between a plunge and a balcony more suitable for you. Cosabella have some nice ones.
Always cater for the larger cup then you can add an insert to the smaller cup. Also molds will disguise it better.
Ha, H Shape 🙂 separation is crucial ina bra and French designers make them so well they understand the female form.
Hi LPC, totally agree often smaller chest think it's not necessary however still very important to find a shape that works it does make everything else sit nicer.
Alot of online resources are incorrect which is such a shame. IN saying that however it's not unlike stores as well I suppose it's a matter of finding one that has the knowledge you need.
I know there is so much to cover in the perfect bra isn't there 🙂 In regards to the profile of a bra that is really a personal preference for example I personally love a nice round shape however I know many people who like them pointy so the thing to remember is as long as your nipples are sitting in between your shoulder and elbow when looking side on. Maybe a plunge like the Freya Deco or Fine Lines t-shirt bra may work?
Renee – This is "Anonymous 1" with the H shape – thank you for responding to my question and the others. I will look for a French-made bra. I have learned a lot from the other questioners, too! It's nice to know that it is OK to want to look nice from all angles.
For me it was huge when I realized that I had been tied to cup size when really band size is the most important. If the band don't fit ain't nothing gonna fit since cup size is calculated from band size.
Most American manufacturers recommend measuring the ribcage in inches and adding 3" or 4" to get a round number, the band size (33" measurement becomes band size 36).
The trick is to measure the ribcage in inches, round up to the nearest even number, and use THAT instead (33" rib becomes 34 band size). The band should be much tighter than what you are probably used to, but still comfortable.
I went from being an uncomfortable 34/36B to a 32C and never have to fuss with a rotating band or slipping straps. Let the band do the heavy lifting!
Anon at 9.23am – you are SO RIGHT! I'm always telling people that 70% of the support of a bra comes from the band – if it is loose – you lose that essential support.
I have no full-cup bras. With my high set breasts, I look like I'm wearing a Kevlar vest. Even with moderately low neckline, I wear either plunge or balcony bras (because anything else would be visible). My size is 32G or 30GG in UK brands (which is not "G for giant", despite popular stereotypes) 😉