It’s a question I’ve pondered for years, more specifically since I had my daughter and my wonky left rib made me move from a 32D to a 34C for the (perceived) purpose of improved comfort. But am I wearing the correct bra size?
I didn’t realise until fairly recently that the three different hooks you have on the back of a bra strap are not there for you to necessarily faff and adjust as you please. But that the loosest is the one you should use (and be the perfect fit) only moving along to the next hook as the elastic becomes less tight with frequent wear/washing etc.
I decided it was high time I got my arse (and potentially ill fitting brassiere) over to the Queen’s choice of luxury lingerie store, Rigby & Peller. If you want to get fitted properly, then this is the place to go.
I thought I may as well be honest and turn up to my appointment in my usual bra of choice, a floral T-shirt number from H&M. Yes I was fairly embarrassed, what with the abundance of luxe Italian lace and French fancy on every rail but my allocated fitting assistant, Kelly, simply told me the print was very pretty and that if it was comfortable, that was half the battle won.
My boobs sit fairly high on my chest (I’m not boasting neither have I had cosmetic enhancement – it’s just genetics….thanks Mum) and I don’t like a lot of padding or OTT push up action, it doesn’t suit my small frame. I explained all of this to Kelly, who would then essentially choose a selection of brands and shapes based on my requirements. The fit was the most surprising aspect for me, I am actually a 32D (Kelly advised realistically a 30D/E in some brands) and it isn’t that there is a style of bra that I can’t wear (I have NEVER found a balconette that doesn’t dig in at the sides or pinch at the front) but that I just have to find the right balconette bra. Kelly found me two that fitted beautifully, who knew?
There are five key aspects of the perfect fit which you will see in more detail in the pinnable graphic associated with this feature:
1. The central part of the bra – this should sit flat on your skin and be neither too loose nor poke your bits and pieces.
2. The wire – this should be very comfortable, if it sits directly on your breast tissue or stands away from your bust the cup is too small, try going up a size. Similarly if the wire is too loose, try going down a cup size.
3. The cups – There should be a smooth, unwrinkled silhouette. Assessing cup fit is always best done with a non padded design.
4. The band – fasten on the middle hook. The band shouldn’t ride up at the back but you should comfortably fit two fingers under the band. More than this then the band is too loose, if two fingers are uncomfortable then the band is too tight. Please note, if you go down in the back, you will need to go up in the cup size to compensate.
5. The straps – Adjust them so they sit firmly on your shoulders without leaving dents or indentations. Straps help to balance the weight of your breasts with the main support coming from the band.
The set I left the store with was an Ocean blue hued non-padded plunge satin bra with matching knickers by Marie Jo, the colour really suited my skin tone (nope, I’ve never really considered this before when shopping for underwear) and everything from this brand gave me the best shape and support whilst working with the majority of my wardrobe in terms of the type of necklines I favour. I was VERY tempted to invest in my first balconette but thought I would save that treat for when I have overhauled my closet and know what colours and styles I actually need.
Are you wearing the right size bra? do you make investments in pricier garments or tend to buy whatever as and when you need to replace existing pieces? Any other chest related chat please do feel free to discuss in the comments box below.