A comfortable, well-fitting bra is a game changer. Not sure if your bra works for you? Follow this guide for a fit check!
First, make sure you put the bra on correctly. After you get into the bra, do the scoop and swoop: bend forward a little, and scoop all your breast tissue into the cups. Scoop from your armpits, your back, and from under the bra band. Make sure the underwire is sitting on your breast roots, and not on top of your breasts. After that, adjust the shoulder straps. Do these two things every time you put a bra on.
Now, look into the mirror and check the following:
1. Your bra band should be parallel to the floor. It should stay put without being suffocatingly tight. If the band is riding up in the back, it means it’s too loose – go for a smaller band size. If the band is the right length but doesn’t do enough to support, go for a bra with a wider, stronger band.
2. Bend a little to the side – your shoulder straps should stay put. They shouldn’t fall off your shoulders, cut into your armpit, or dig in to your shoulders.
If the shoulder straps are falling off, look for a bra with closer-set straps. (Leotard or “U” back bras, as well as racerback or “Y” back bras have anti-slip straps).
If the straps feel too tight no matter how much you loosen them, it’s because the straps are doing most of the work for the bra – this shouldn’t be the case!
Most of the support should come from the band. Try a bra with a more supportive band (wider band, or smaller band size).
3. Your breasts should be contained in the cups. There shouldn’t be overflow or gapping. This doesn’t just apply to the top of the cups – your breast tissue shouldn’t be escaping from the sides, from under the band, or from the center. Similarly, there shouldn’t be empty space anywhere in the cups.
4. The underwire should be contouring and supporting your breast tissue, not sitting on top of it and damaging it. It shouldn’t cut in, irritate, or poke you anywhere – not at the center gore, not under your breasts, not on the sides under your armpit.
If there’s a space between the underwire and your breast roots, the wire can’t support your breasts properly (can’t support something without making contact). This is most likely because the wire is too narrow for you. Try a bra with a wider, more open underwire.
5. The center gore should lightly touch your sternum and separate your breasts, but not poke it or cause any irritation. Exceptions:
- you have very center-full breasts that are painful to separate when supported
- you have an inverted sternum
- wireless bras.