B is for Bras


Bras are a really important foundation garment as foundations can make or break how your outfit ends up looking.

Why a Well Fitting Bra Matters

Correctly fitting bras will:

  • Make your waist look smaller and longer
  • Give your breasts a better shape
  • Give your breasts support
  • Make your clothes look better
  • Not be painful – underwires that dig in, straps that fall off your shoulders, these things are indicators that the bra doesn’t fit you correctly.

B is for Bras - Imogen Lamport's A-Z of Style - How to fit a bra
So what are you waiting for?  Isn’t it time you got correctly fitted?  Be aware though – if a store doesn’t have your ideal size (they may only have cups up to a certain size) they will try and sell you a larger back size and smaller cup size – just to make the sale!  So if you have a large bust it’s worth going to a specialist store that has a great variety of sizes to choose from to ensure you get the best fit.

Now, not only can you be fitted for a bra, but you can also get a bra altered if there are just a couple of issues.

  • Underwires can be shortened if they go up too high under your arm
  • Sides can be cut down so they don’t cut into your armpit or shoulder

B is for Bras - Imogen Lamport's A-Z of Style - How to fit a bra

  1. The band should sit horizontally around your body, if it rides up at the back, you need to go down a back size, up a cup size.
  2. Your bust peak should sit halfway between shoulder and elbow
  3. The centre of the bra (usually underwires) should sit flat against your chest wall (see image below – images on the left the bra does not sit on the chest wall, on the right the wires sit on the chest wall)
  4. The breast should fit into the cup, neither spilling out any side nor should the cup be puckered


More Bra and Foundation Garment Tips

Bra Fit and Flattery

Buying a sports bra

Silicone Adhesive bras – do they work?


Style Begins Inside Out

B is for Bras - Imogen Lamport's A-Z of Style - How to fit a bra


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  • I was just complaining today that EVERY SINGLE BRA I own, the straps fall off my shoulders, no matter whether I’m fitted by a professional or shopping on my own in a department store. Some are worse than others, but they all slide off. I’m a 36F with sloping shoulders. I heard somewhere that posture may have an effect, but so far it hasn’t made a noticeable difference.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

    • You may need to get your bras altered to fit your shoulders – alternatively you could maybe find one of those adapters that turns them into a racer-back bra, so holds them together at the back and stops them sliding off your shoulders.

  • Such an important reminder, thanks! I’ve heard that most women wear bras that are a size too big in the band and a size too small in the cup. That was true for me, after a fitting I was happy to go from 34B to 32C, and more importantly a better fit. The girls are locked and loaded!

  • How do I articulate my need for a bra that “lifts and separates” to the bra store salesperson? I have an “H” shape and the only bras that I find that help give me waist definition are kind of “old school” and tend to result in “missile-tits.” And I can only get these at self-serve bra stores.
    Over the past five years I have shopped at the two good bra stores in my state but I still get a blank stare when I explain what I am trying to do, like “dream on sister.” I’m 50, in decent but not amazing shape. I’m a 34C based on my most recent pro measurement and purchase.
    The whole idea for the what the bra should do to help my “H” came from your website, and I noticed that some “granny bras” I bought for outdoor activities actually gave me better shape than my expensive bras did.
    Without flying to NH to go shopping with me what would be your suggestion?
    thank you

    • New Englander – I love Fantasie bras to lift and separate – my favourite bra is Fantasie model no FA53, which I get from Bravissimo.com

  • I’ve learned so much from your blog but possibly the best info has been about getting a good bra fit. Unfortunately, the rest of the world hasn’t caught up. I have been to nearly a dozen stores in the last two weeks bra-shopping. I even got “the look”; you know, where the sales clerk flicks her eyes over your boobs for a nano-second and thinks 34G? No way she’s 34 anything. I’ve been measured at 38B for a long time and can almost unhook a bra by reaching around my neck (the cups are around my knees). OK, slight exaggeration but only slight! I think 34G would feel perfect–if I could find one. So frustrating.

    Can find only a few online (the one I like is on back order. Anyone have a solution?

  • Robin if you are in the US order from her room or fig leaves. These sites have good return policies. Also, if you google the style number & brand you may find someone that has what you are looking for.

  • Getting a good bra fit is essential for having your clothes fit correctly. A good bra can also help support the back and show off the bust area. It should be comfortable and provide plenty of support.

  • Like a lot of women, my main problem is finding a someone to fit me properly. For example, the other day the other day I went for a fitting because none of my bras fit like they used to and the lady told me I am the exact same size even though I had quad boob in my current bra. She then suggested it may just be the brand I was wearing. I own bras from Wacoal, Figleaves, and Lunaire and none of them fit anymore.

    Any advice on finding a fitter who actually knows what they are doing or finding a bra in an F cup that cost less than $50?

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