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Growing up with small breast, I didn’t think knowing my proper bra size was important. Unlike my younger sister, who was blessed with a larger chest, I picked my bras based on style and not the amount of coverage; huge misconception. After my freshman year of college, I discovered I had been wearing the wrong size bra for years.
There are so many women wearing the wrong size bra and they don’t even know it. For reasons like lack of money or lack of knowledge, women tend to choose their bra based on style and color, but usually don’t consider the amount of support or coverage the bra will have. Not only can the wrong bra cause major pain and discomfort , it can also make a trendy outfit look low grade.
Simple Advice For Wearing The Right Bra
1. Bra Straps
If your bust are small, bra straps may not be as important to you. However, for a woman with larger breast, bra straps are extremely vital. Think of the straps of your bra as hooks. If you were hanging a very heavy object on a poor quality hook the object will fall.
The straps on a bra should be able to hold up your breast and support your back. Bra straps that are constantly falling or leaving embedded marks on your shoulders need to be adjusted and/or it isn’t the best strap for your size breast.
Women whose shoulders tend to slope downward should try crossing the straps in the back for better support. If your bra doesn’t allow you to cross the straps, you can purchase a bra accessory that will allow you to gather the straps together and improve posture.
Thinner straps may fit better for women with smaller breast. Full support bras provide wider straps for busty women. If you have larger breast, try using shoulder cushions (link) to minimize discomfort.
2. Bra Cups
Are your breast spilling over the top, bottom or sides of your bra? Does your bra cup lie flat against your breast?
The right bra doesn’t just provide the best support but it also gives you the best coverage.
Women wearing the wrong size bra usually experience breast spillage and bunching. A bra that cuts into your breast and gives off the overlap boob effect is NOT cute or comfortable. And a bra with gaps doesn’t allow your outer clothing to fit nicely.
If your breast are spilling out, try going up one cup size, or a full coverage bra. Extra room or gaping in your bra may suggest to go down one cup size or to purchase a bra with less coverage. Additionally, underwire that stabs you may also be an indication that your bra cups are too small.
3. Center Panel (Bridge)
The center panel is located in between the cups of the bra; also known as the bra bridge. This is a huge factor in choosing the proper bra. If you’ve ever experienced your breast accidentally falling out (aka the peek-a-boob), more than likely, your bridge doesn’t provide you with enough support. A well supported bra will have a center panel at or above the height of your horizontal nipple line. Additionally, the bridge should sit flat up against your chest. Any gaping may suggest a larger bra.
Try Me: Using your hand, take a moment and horizontally measure where your nipple line is. Afterward, check to see if your center panel is below your nipple line. If so, you are at high risk for “peek-a-boob”.
Note: Most minimizers and bras with the clasp in the front do not have a center panel.
4. Bra Band
The band of your bra is responsible for majority of your bra’s support. It was designed to carry the weight of your breasts. Once you’ve hooked your bra, it should fit snug against your torso.
If the band of your bra starts to ride up your back, it may either be too big or the elastic may have worn out. When purchasing a new bra, hook your band onto the first hook and adjust your straps accordingly; as your bra gets older and loosens move to the the second or third hook. To think that the more hooks you have the better the support is a misconception. The hooks of the bra are strictly made for closure. If your bra has a number of rows with 4 to 5 hooks the bra band is probably wider, which provides the best support.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are the bras I have purchased in the past for support, coverage, and comfort.
My Top 5 Recommended Affordable Bras & Accessories
Bras can be very expensive but the right support now, can save you big dollars later. Listed below are my top five most recommended affordable bras.
Bali Women Comfort Revolution Convertible Wirefree Bra affordable
Warner’s Women’s This is Not a Bra Full Coverage Underwire Bra
Calvin Klein Women’s Perfectly Fit Lightly Lined Memory Touch T-shirt Bra
Vanity Fair Women’s Beauty Back Full Figure Wirefree Bra
Leonisa Women’s Posture Corrector Wireless Back Support Bra
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