With all the different styles of bras available, shopping for the right one can be challenging. The most important factor when investing in a bra is that it fits properly. A poor fitting bra can lead to many problems including back pains, breast tissue injuries, and bad posture. What's more, you won't feel as attractive or confident, as you should. Use the following guidelines when shopping for a bra.
The first step to successful bra shopping is to determine your bra size. Many retail stores like Victoria's Secret and department store lingerie sections have trained associates who can perform the measurements for you. If you're not comfortable with that, you can ask a friend or take the measurements on your own at home.
To find out your band size, put on an unpadded bra and adjust the straps so that the crests of your breasts are halfway between your shoulder and elbow. This is the appropriate placement for your breasts. Breathe out deeply and wrap a measuring tape around your torso underneath your bust. This measurement is your band size, which determines how loosely or tightly the bra fits on your body. Once you determine the measurement, round it to the nearest whole inch. That is, if the number is 30 and ¾-inches, round it to 31. When the number is odd, add 5 inches. In this case, the final band size would be 36. If the number is even, add 4 inches to get the final band size.
Getting the right band size is important since an improper one can lead to the bra cutting into your torso or riding up too high on your back.
To determine the cup size, put on a bra and wrap the measuring tape around your breasts so that it skims your bust. Take the measurement and round it to the nearest whole inch. For example, if the number is 36 and ¾-inches, round it to 37. Next, subtract the band size from the cup size. 37 inches minus 36 inches equals 1 inch. Consult the chart to find the correct cup size. In this case, 1-inch difference equates to cup size A.
0" - 1/2" = cup size AA
1/2" - 1" = cup size A
2" = cup size B
3" = cup size C
4" = cup size D
5" = cup size DD
6" = cup size DDD
7" = cup size G
8" = cup size H
9" = cup size I
10" = cup size J
Experiment with different styles of bras including underwire, halter, front closure, and padded. Some bras have smooth seams that can't be seen under a t-shirt. Others offer more support or padding. Still others come with adjustable straps that can be removed or made into a halter.
When selecting a bra, purchase one with multiple band closures. When the bra is new, use the outer closures to fasten the bra. Over time, the band will stretch and you can adjust to the tighter closures in order to maintain the proper fit.