Wearing a bra isn’t for everyone, but for many of us, it’s a must. Without one, you can feel uncomfortable, especially if you’re more active or if you have a larger bust. At the same time, bras can make you really uncomfortable, particularly if you’re wearing the wrong size or style. So many women wear the wrong bra size without realizing but even those who have a good idea of what size they should wear can still struggle to find one that fits them well. If you spend all day pulling and tugging, and just can’t wait to get your bra off at the end of the day, you need to try a few things to find bras that fit you comfortably.
Understand Bra Sizes and Get the Right One
Before you can do anything else, you need to understand bra sizes and find one that’s right for you. A lot of people have had bad advice on fitting bras and end up wearing the wrong size. And many also don’t understand how bra sizes work. The one thing to remember is that cup sizes don’t stay the same because they’re relevant to the band size. The cup size is the difference between the band measurement (underbust) and the bust measurement. Roughly, each inch difference is another cup size. For example, a 32B bra has the same cup size as a 34A or a 30C. If you go up a band size, you go down a cup size to get the same cup volume, and if you go down a band size, you go up a cup size.
Additionally, when you measure under your bust for your band size, that’s the size you should start with. A lot of lingerie stores are guilty of adding on two inches or more so that they can fit more women into their limited size range. However, there is still often room to go up or down, especially as sizes aren’t necessarily consistent across different brands. Another thing to keep in mind is that different countries have slightly different sizing systems.
Get a Professional Fitting
This can all be a bit confusing and it’s difficult to know where to start. If you need help, one of the best things you can do is get a professional fitting. This is available in-store at a number of places. A bra fitter can measure you, as well as recommend different bras and sizes, and help you to check if a bra fits you. Going to the right place for a fitting can make all the difference. You want the fitters to be trained and knowledgeable. You can also find online fitting advice, especially from some of the stores that specialize in larger sizes.
Measure Yourself and Use a Bra Calculator
If you don’t have access to professional fitting or don’t feel comfortable having a fitting, another option is to measure yourself. There are even calculators such as A Bra That Fits that will help you to find the right size based on a number of measurements. You can use a tape measure to measure yourself in the comfort of your home, including your underbust measurement with the tape at different levels of tightness and your breasts when you’re in different positions, such as standing up, leaning over, and lying down. You will then get a suggestion for a bra size to start with so that you have an idea of where to begin.
Consider a More Permanent Solution
For some women with a larger chest, there might be another solution to consider. Having surgery isn’t something to be taken lightly but it could be right for you if your breasts cause you pain or you’re just not happy with them. If you’re thinking about it, read a guide to breast reduction so you know what it entails first. Having smaller breasts can make it easier and even cheaper to find the right bra size. It might also make it more comfortable for you to go without a bra or wear a bra without an underwire because you won’t need as much support.
Find Brands That Work for You
One of the most important things for you to do if you’re looking for the right bras is to find brands that work for you. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a lot of consistency across different brands when it comes to sizing. Even a single brand might not keep its sizes consistent across different styles. But that does mean you can often find a brand that you’re happy with. You just have to experiment. It might help you to try on a few options if possible, either by visiting a store or by ordering a few bras from different brands and returning the ones you don’t want.
Try Out Different Styles
Another option that can affect the fit of a bra is the style. There are various different styles, from full cup and balconette to plunge bras, non-wired bras, strapless bras, and nursing bras. Sometimes there are styles that just don’t work for you because they’re not suited to the size or shape of your breasts. If a bra isn’t fitting you correctly, it might not be that it’s the wrong size but instead that the style isn’t right for you. When you find a style that works for you, it makes it a lot easier to buy bras.
Get Bras Custom-Fitted
Finally, consider whether you might be able to get some bras custom-made for you. This is a much pricier option most of the time, but it can also be the best one. When a bra is made just for you, it can be designed to fit your shape and size exactly. You don’t have to fit into set cup sizes or worry about one boob being bigger than the other. It could be worth it if you’re looking for really comfortable bras.
When you find bras that fit you well, make sure you take care of them. Wash them delicately to keep them in good condition and prevent stretching.