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Does Your Bra Fit? Project #BraHappy

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Does Your Bra Fit? Project #BraHappy

You've probably heard the statistics before: how the majority of women are wearing the wrong size bra.

Now, at some point in my younger years, I was small and perky enough that I didn't have to wear a bra when it came to things like halter tops or sundresses.

And then I got a little older and wanted to be sure I was wearing the right size bra. So I went to a lingerie store and was measured by some bored 19 year-old who couldn't possibly care less if she measured me correctly as long as I gave her name at the register so that she got credit for the sale.

But, she agreed with the size that I had always worn(34B- oh yeah, I'll share that with you). So, that is what I bought and continued to buy. Until pregnancy.

All of a sudden, I was a lot bigger. Hubs wondered if I could keep that size after the baby was born. I went through a few different sizes during my pregnancy- trying on different bras until I would find one that wouldn't drive me crazy... at least for that week.

Then I was dealing with finding nursing bras and fluctuating breast size then, too.

Finally, I was done with having babies and nursing them. I thought I'd celebrate by tossing all my ugly nursing bras in the trash and replacing the bras that had been sitting idle in my underwear draw from my pre-kids days.

So once again, I headed off to be measured, explaining to the girl with the tape measure that I've been through three pregnancies and nursing and my breasts felt different. That I used to be a 34B but wanted to be sure I was getting the right size. She quickly measured me and agreed with my assessment.

But, I recently measured myself with the help of 123underwear. They sent me a soft tape measure and a sizing guide. I also had a chance to speak to someone about fit.

And I found out that I was one of those women wearing the wrong size bra. I was NOT a size 34B, but a 32C.

Check out this how-to guide for finding your bra size from 123underwear. It is not what I had heard before.

As I was talking to the consultant, she was asking me how my bras usually fit. I told her that I thought they fit, but that I was always wearing them on the tightest setting. She explained that a bra should fit on the loosest setting. And then as time goes on, and your bra stretches a little, you can then tighten it to the next setting. If you start out on the tightest setting and your bra stretches at all, you are pretty much out of luck. Makes a lot of sense to me.

Here are some more tips about bra fit from Beverly Russina from 123underwear:

Front of your bra:
  • Underwire must lie flat against your rib cage. Breast tissue should not be billowing out from below the underwire. Basically, underwire should not be resting on breast tissue but on bone.
  • Your breast tissue should sit comfortably within your bra cups – with no excess material. Breast tissue should not be billowing out the top or sides of your cups.
  • The bridge of the bra must be flat between your breasts
Back of your bra:
  • Your bra band lies straight across your back. It should not squeeze, dig or leave marks. It should stay in place and not ride up or down.
  • Bra straps must stay in place. No rolling down or digging into your shoulders.
And this great tip: Ladies – always remember that your breasts should be perched upright in your cups. For truly proper support your breasts should be sitting – halfway - between shoulder and elbow.

Do you think your bra fits or do you need some help being happy with your bra? I'll be blogging again about Project #BraHappy over the next two weeks to share more tips with you- and of course, have a giveaway for you coming up, too.

This is a sponsored campaign on behalf of 123underwear. While I was provided with tips about bra fit, all other thoughts and opinions are my own.



Blogger Oka said...

I knew these things, yet I can not find a single bra to fit all those criteria.

September 15, 2011 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Great tips..I had never heard about the back adjustment before. Going to check out the site now!

September 15, 2011 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

I need new bras!

September 15, 2011 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thanks for sharing this! I just received a coupon in the mail for $10 off a bra at Victoria's Secret too! I think the bra gods are calling me! Haha!

September 15, 2011 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

I always have a hard time finding a bra to fit me. I recently found some that I really like, but they are more full-coverage than the demi bras I'm used to wearing. I definitely feel like a mom.

September 15, 2011 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger VandyJ said...

I've been measured, but the size they put me in always rides up. So I go for a smaller band size with a larger cup. Those fit fine.
I might have to try doing the sizing thing suggested above. Just to see what I come up with.

September 15, 2011 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Alison@Mama Wants This said...

Because of pregnancy and breastfeeding, I have bras in 5 different sizes, it's insane! But yes, fit is so, so important. Most people tend to mix up cup size with chest size. It makes such a difference, wearing the right one!

September 15, 2011 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Such great advice. I remember the first time I got sized by someone who actually knew what she was doing. It was amazing to finally wear a bra that fit after so many years of fiddling with bras that didn't!

September 15, 2011 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Di said...

Whenever I get done breastfeeding I am totally coming back to this and getting the right fit!

September 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger The Random Blogette said...

Uh yeah. I am always wearing the wrong size bra. I was fitted several years ago and they worked then but apparently mine have grown again. I wish that when I lost weight I would lose my chest, but even after losing almost 30 lbs they are still there!

September 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger JamieAnne of A Dash of Domestic said...

This is great advice.

I'm fairly sure I am not wearing the right size right now.

September 15, 2011 at 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what I can contribute to this discussion other than to say 1) Yes, I've worn a bra before, 2) Yes, there was a reason for it, bu most importantly 3) I'd like the ladies (as in female of the species; this is not me anthropomorphizing breast) to be as comfortable as possible, so on this subject, I approve this message (not that you needed my approval, but there it is). Also, I think I need to cut back on the caffeine today.

September 15, 2011 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger SoMo Mom said...

Alright, I'm hooked! I had a little help "reinflating" after nursing 2 kids but I still have bra issues! I'm heading over to the site now. ;)

September 15, 2011 at 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Cinnamon said...

If you think it's hard to get fitted for a bra after having kids and nursing...and it is, try all that and then having breast augmentation. It's been ten years almost and I still keep trying to wear the wrong size. I got fitted after surgery and all the advice that that site gives is correct. For me, my favorite bra maker is Olga. Never have a problem with straps and the underwire sits perfectly. Good advice here Shell...Thanks

September 15, 2011 at 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Mandi @ My Perfect Mess said...

Totally excited about this opportunity of yours because I KNOW my bra doesn't fit! But I have big'ens so I also know that I'll probably NOT find my size at the mall. :(
I'll definitely be staying tuned into this one!

September 15, 2011 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Kristy said...

Thanks for the tips!

September 15, 2011 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

I went several months ago for a bra fitting and it was quite an eye-opening experience. Turns out, I was way off. The woman in the store also said that 34B is the size that most women agree on for whatever reason (was also the size I had been wearing) and we tried on a few others and turns out, I'm a 32D. (yup, just added my cup size for all to see). The point is, I was TOTALLY wrong and my new fit is SOO MUCH BETTER. Only thing is now all my other bras are the old size and it would be rather expensive to switch them all over, ya know?

September 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger MiMi said...

That's great, because I'm way too embarrassed to go to the store to get measured!

September 15, 2011 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger An Imperfect Momma said...

Yeah...I am definitely one of the ones wearing the wrong size. Thanks for the tips and sharing the site. Hate the idea of going to the store and getting sized.

September 15, 2011 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

I have always hated shopping for bras. I hate the ones I have and it's so hard to find one I like since I usually have to oder them on line. I used to be a 38G/H then I had a reduction and got down to a DD. Then I had kids and I think I'm almost back to a G now. I hate these things!

September 15, 2011 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Keri said...

I find bra shopping stressful because I can try a bra from Brand A and it will not fit me at all like the same size in Brand B. According to your calculator I wear a size 30AA (which you won't find anywhere) but I have 34A's in my dresser that I overflow out the top of!

September 15, 2011 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Helene said...

Oh gosh, I can't even remember the last time I was properly fitted for a bra so I know I'm probably not wearing the right size. I'm waiting to lose these last few pounds and then I'll probably go bra shopping...and I'll definitely take my measurements according to this site you mentioned before I go!!!

September 15, 2011 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I used to have - and I'm going to boast for a minute here - a hell of a rack. Seriously, I had awesome boobs. 36C and they were perky. Now I have droopy 34B's. I wore the wrong bra for a long time and then I got fitted by one of those eastern European women who chastised me severely "YOU ARE VEARING ZE VRONG SIZE BRA!"

September 15, 2011 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Eschelle said...

I gave up finding the right fit for bra I hate them all, stupid things... i've resorted to Bra/tank top things... kinda a nicer version of a sports bra... I really want that genie bra thign though!

September 15, 2011 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

Yep, I could have said the same thing as Nicole- though I haven't gotten remeasured yet as I am sure my nice C's are no longer and don't want to admit it. Why do they shrink smaller than they started after nursing, so not fair!

September 15, 2011 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger From Tracie said...

I need help. Fit is an issue...but mostly because of my size. It is very hard to find bras that fit well, and it is hard to find my size in general (hello 34DDD - no joke, I was measured about a year ago, and that was my size) AND when I do find one in my size, it is usually not cheap. ugh.

I have bra issues.

September 15, 2011 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Wow, Shell! This is a wealth of knowledge here! I'm going to go get measuring. Mama's going to do some shopping! :)

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

September 15, 2011 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Just Jennifer said...

This is all great info to be sure. BUT, what if your breasts aren't exactly the same size? What if one is a little smaller than the other? I will be looking forward to more info, Shell!

September 15, 2011 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I'm pretty sure I'm wearing the wrong size (hopefully my true size is bigger, ahem) but I'm still nursing so I have no idea what the aftermath will be like.

September 15, 2011 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

I'm pretty sure that after nursing two babes my size is now smaller than it used to be *sob*, but this is a great reminder that I should really be going through and only keeping what fits. And using the empty drawer afterward as an excuse to go shopping!

September 15, 2011 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger HopefulLeigh said...

I was properly sized a few years ago and it made a huge difference! The only tricky part is finding stores that carry my size, as Target and Kohl's do not.

September 15, 2011 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

I'm totally a wrong size wearer. And they are darn uncomfortable!

Thanks for the reminder to get sized again!

September 15, 2011 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Tonya W. said...

A well-fitting bra changes everything!!

And I need to get a new professional sizing done soon. Thanks for the reminder.

September 15, 2011 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Joann Mannix said...

A few years back, we had a certified bra trainer come to Nordstroms to fit people. My sister insisted that we go, since this was the same woman, Oprah had had on her show a few years back. I was shocked on how off I was on my size. And how much better I felt and looked in the right bra. At the present time, I'm a 34 D and that fluctuates, so I make certain I go every year.

It's easier now for me, since my daughter is a certified bra fitter for Victoria's Secret. She actually had to take a course on how to fit people. But, great information. It's amazing what a good fitting bra will do.

September 15, 2011 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

Can I say that I love you right now??? I need to measure myself and my daughters. They are growing and well....I don't think I have the right size still. *sigh* My cup runneth over so to speak. Def checking this out. Thanks!

September 15, 2011 at 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Not a Perfect Mom said...

I always get a professional measurement, especially after nursing...these babies aren't what they used to be!
We had a bra fitter from Nordstroms come to a MOPS meeting last year and more than 1/2 our moms were wearing the wrong size...

September 15, 2011 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger jen@its all about me said...

Just got a new bathing suit with the top sized (bra size) and a bit of under-wire for good measure for a vacay and it helps to know your exact size for that!

I'm into the large cup sizes and usually get my bra's at a lingerie shop the lady there is a bit of a freak lady; she just looks a my girls and knows what size without the tape measure! What a boob....expert!

September 15, 2011 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger mama marchand said...

I REALLY need a professional bra fitting ... since having & nursing N, my girls have gone wonky and I need some wrangling assistance! *sigh*

September 15, 2011 at 9:49 PM  
Anonymous The Drama Mama said...

Pssstt...I just stopped in to tell you how much I love that you try to comment back to everyone who comments on your blog. It's such an awesome commitment and testament to the wonderful person you are.

September 16, 2011 at 12:06 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

The bra I have on is good to go I think... but as for the rest of my bras, well, I can't say as much... I probably need to go bigger... which will put me at a 40 DD >.<

September 16, 2011 at 5:25 AM  
Blogger Lady Jennie said...

This is timely. I do so need some new bras- digging into shoulders, drooping way more than I would like. I may be nearly 42 but it doesn't mean that everything needs to go south.

September 16, 2011 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger Hines-Sight said...

Great tip. I need to buy some new ones. I have ONE that I like.

September 16, 2011 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I am totally a bra failure. And always have been. Looking forward to more tips.

September 16, 2011 at 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

I learned a great tip when I went for a fitting at a high end bra store a couple months ago. When wearing the bra raise your hand over your head, all the way. If the underwire comes away from your body, it does NOT fit.

September 16, 2011 at 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Denelle @CaitsConcepts said...

Not since VS got rid of their satin sculpted demi bras have I had any luck finding something that fits correctly. And measuring? Forget it. I was overflowing from a C cup and drowning in a D, but the measuring tape told me I was a 34AA. Righty-O then...

So, I am going to try this new way, because the old way always said to measure while wearing a bra and to add 4 or 5, not 2 or 3!! Quite a difference! Thanks for posting this!!

September 16, 2011 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger John said...

I don't have a whole lot to add, what with my moobs & all . . . but if any of your readers needed help holding the tape measure, I could be made available ;-)

Honestly, it's always super odd to me to hear how many women wear the wrong size bra. I mean, I've seen a sports bra "fail" during a race because it was too small (fortunately for the runner, she was wearing a shirt over the bra). I think about trying to "stuff" a package into too small a box and, um, yeah, it's just not comfortable to think about.

September 16, 2011 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I need to go bra shopping! After this last child I have shrunk down to maybe a -A. Do they have that? So sad. I guess I should be grateful I'm a few pounds lighter. :)

September 16, 2011 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger Katie Hurley, LCSW said...

I think I have the right size...but I can never find the perfect style for me. I don't know what it is...I just I could find the perfect bra and then buy it in 1000 colors :)

September 17, 2011 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

I don't understand how I managed to miss this post before, but I did. SO jealous of "your girls." I am, and will always be, an "A" cup. LOL

September 21, 2011 at 12:10 PM  

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