Our bodies are constantly changing; therefore, it is important that we pay attention to what our bodies need so that we can quickly adapt when needed. Up to 80% of women are wearing the wrong-sized bra. Wearing a badly fitted bra can actually make you physically ill! Both headache and neck pain can be caused by the wrong sized bra. Did you know that breasts have no muscles? If not supported correctly, the weight pulls downward, causing major strain on your throat and facial tissue. The reason why ample support is needed is to assist the surrounding muscles in your body to create good posture, and good blood circulation.
In addition to the health problems that a badly fitted bra can cause, it can also alter the way you look as a whole. Badly fitting bras make your bust look bulky and strange, while adversely affecting your posture. On the other hand, a well fitted, supportive bra can make you look slimmer while allowing clothes to look and feel better on you, as well as improve your breathing and energy levels.
A common issue is that many women wear bras with too large a band size and too small a cup size. In such cases, the breasts are supported by the shoulder straps, which will cause a lot of unnecessary pressure on the shoulders. With a correctly fitted bra, the breasts are supported from underneath and not from the shoulder straps. This way it will be almost no pressure on the shoulders.
In order to provide you with additional insight into the importance of wearing the correct size bra and how to go about ensuring this, we have answered some frequently asked questions, as well as equipped you with some knowledgeable tips and tricks on how to find your true bra size, below.
What does bra fitting involve?
Getting professionally measured is usually a quick and simple process. You’ll be asked to take off any layers so that you’re just in your current bra or a vest. The fitting specialist will then measure your rib cage with a tape measure. She will then suggest and bring you some bras to try on, adjusting the straps as she goes, until, like Cinderella, you find the right fit!
Why is it important to get professionally measured?
A bra fitting is about getting the best shape of bra for your body type. A bra fitting expert will assist you with finding your true bra size, which sometimes can mean that you will end up wearing a different size cup to what you are used to. You should know that there are no standard universal sizes for bras. For example a 34C bra manufactured in Japan is not the same size as a 34C bra manufactured in Germany. You need to try on each and every bra before you make your purchase.
What difference does finding the right bra make to your appearance?
A good fitting bra will help your posture, give you confidence in your outerwear, and even make you look slimmer and discover your waist again. If you have a special occasion bring your outfit to your bra fit appointment and we can fit your bra with your outfit.
How often should you get measured?
It is recommended to come in for a bra fitting every six to twelve months, as your size will change depending on weight loss or gain, as well as age. It’s a free service so it is always worth taking the time to be fitted.
How can you tell at a glance if you’re wearing the wrong size?
Often bras will be seen travelling up the back if the band is too big, and this offers no support to the breasts. The most important area of any bra fit is getting the band right first, with only enough space to get two fingers underneath.
If the bra is too small it will be obvious in the cup, where spillage can be seen at the cleavage area, under the arms, and across the back. Because the breast is mainly made up of fat (75%) and 25% glandular tissue, the cup area is the first area in which you would see this. Cups should fully encase the breasts, sit fully back at the center front, and have no wires digging into any of the breast tissue.
The best way to check if your bra is fitting correctly is lift up your arms twist your body and the bra should remain perfectly in place.
What are the most common misconceptions about bra sizes?
The most common issue that ladies tend to have is that they get their under band size wrong (which is normally too large). The second most common mistake is wearing a cup size that is too small.
There are a few factors that need to be taken into consideration when finding the right bra:
- Under band – should be parallel to the floor and secure enough so that only two fingers can fit under the elastic.
- Centre front – should sit completely flat against the sternum.
- Side wire – this should be flat against the ribcage and never digging into the breast tissue
- Cup capacity – breasts should sit fully into the cup without any spillage
- Straps – these should be adjusted to allow just two fingers to fit tightly on top of one another under each strap, this will give the right pressure for your shoulder.
- Know your body type – finding which bra shape suits you is just as important as getting the size correct.
- Be open minded – try new sizes if recommended by your bra fit expert. Getting used to a new size can feel quite strange to begin with, especially if you have been wearing the wrong size over a long period of time, but it is 100% worth it.
- Have an idea in your head as to what kind of bra you’re after – whether that’s a day-to-day bra, strapless, sports bra or a style for special occasions.
Another common misconception is that women tend to assume that because they have been measured with a certain back and cup size, that this then applies to all bras. Each manufacturer and style of Bra has slightly different variations, which then means each person will not have just one bra size. That is why we, at Barclay & Clegg, fit the Bra to our customers and do not simply rely on a simple measurement.
Do you need a different size when it comes to sports bras?
Inferior sports bras simply compress your bust against your chest by squashing your bust to hold it in place. A good sports bra will provide under–bust support just like any good quality supportive bra will. This will help protect your breast tissue when you take part in physical activity. The bra should be comfortable and supportive and ultimately reduce the breast movement. It is also extremely important to choose a bra that best suits the impact level of the activity being performed. There are three levels of support, medium, for yoga or Pilates, high for racquet sports, and maximum for high impact sports such as performance running or horse riding.
How does the fitting process differ for mastectomy bras?
The fitting takes longer for post-surgery bras, as the scar tissue needs to be considered with comfort being of the utmost importance. Every woman is different and each operation varies. Take your time and get advice to best suit your personal needs.
Wearing the right size bra is a beneficial practice for the female body as a whole. Looking good, and feeling good goes hand in hand, and it is extremely important that as women we invest in ourselves, so that we can perform at our best and ultimately live life to the fullest. Ensure that you invest in a well-fitting, good quality bra, and visit a Barclay & Clegg store for your essential professional bra fitting – Fittings are free for our customers.