How to Find a Bra that Fits
Like most women, you might be wondering how your bra should fit. You’ve probably heard the statistics by now: the majority of women are wearing the wrong bra size. In fact, a 2008 study found that 80% — eighty percent! — of women were wearing the wrong size bra. Ladies, we have an epidemic on our hands.
Read on to find out whether your bra actually fits you properly — or if you’re part of this statistic.
How Should Your Bra Fit?
So, how should a bra fit? A bra that fits is comfortable and supportive. There should be no gaps in the cups, no digging in of the band, and the straps should not fall off or be too tight. Sounds pretty simple right? Well, there’s a bit more too finding a bra that fits perfectly than that. Read on as we cover how each of these sections of a bra should fit and how you can find your perfect size.
How the Cups Should Fit
Take a look at where the tops of your cups and your body meet. The cups should form to the curve of your breasts without gaping or causing them to spill over.
- If your cups gape: Room between the cup and the top of your breast can mess with a sleek silhouette. First, try tightening the straps. If that doesn’t clear it up, you may need a smaller cup size. Our half-cup sizes can often do the trick.
- If you have cup overflow: If your cups runneth over, it’s time for a larger cup size. That way, you’ll stay supported without being squeezed. Our full coverage styles can also help, as its cups rise higher on your breast, reducing “spillage.”
- If you have side overflow: Similar to cup overflow, the culprit here is often too-small cups. Go up a full or half-cup size — that should do the trick. If not, try a smaller band.
How the Straps Should Fit
Your straps should sit snugly on your shoulders without digging in or leaving indentations on your skin.
- If your straps slip: If you find yourself constantly hoisting your straps back up onto your shoulders, it’s probably time to tighten them. The elastic can stretch out as you wear your bra and it’s easy to forget to adjust them as you go. If slipping persists, it could be time for a new style. Try one with narrower-set straps, like t-shirt bras or full coverage bras to help to keep them on your shoulders.
- If your straps dig in: If your shoulders are bearing the weight of your breasts, your bra isn’t fitting correctly. Try a smaller band size since your band (not your straps!) is what should be supporting you. (We’ve even designed some of our bras, like our Perfect Coverage, to have additional padding on the straps to help keep them in place comfortably.)
How the Band Should Fit
When wearing a new bra, be sure to start on the loosest hook. That way, you can tighten it as the band naturally stretches over time. The band should feel comfortably snug around your body without constricting, and it should definitely not feel as though your band is digging in.
- If the underwire sits on your breasts: Also known as slipping out the bottom, this fit issue is one of the more annoying ones. Try a smaller band size so it fits more snugly. Be sure to test the new band on the loosest hook: it should fit snugly and you can tighten it over time.
- If your band rides up: If your band is sitting high on your back, it means it’s too loose. Go down a band size or adjust your hook and eye to a tighter closure. However, if you’re experiencing this issue with a new bra, it may be because you’re wearing a band size too big.
How to Measure for a Bra that Fits
Now that you know how to check that your bra fits, you might be wondering how to measure for your perfect size. Your bra size is based on your band size (number) and cup (letter), and this is typically calculated based on your measurements around your rib cage and your bust. One factor that’s often overlooked is your breast shape, as it plays a large factor in your size and what type of bra will support you the best. To learn more about how to calculate your bra size at home with a tape measure, explore our guide to measuring your bra size. Don’t have a tape measure at home or want some help? Take our online Fitting Room Quiz to find your perfect size and fit in just a few minutes!
How to Shop for a Bra that Fits
When it comes to shopping for bras, you can either shop in person or online. Purchasing bras in person comes with the benefit that you can try on the bra and make sure that it fits before buying it. Unfortunately, most retail stores don’t carry as wide of a variety of styles and sizes as their online counterparts, so you might not have as many options. On the other hand, online stores will typically offer an extensive range of bra styles, shapes, and sizes, so you can find one in a silhouette and size that suits you perfectly. Most online stores do come with the huge downside that because you can’t try the item on in person, it’s more difficult to size yourself and you could potentially end up with an ill fitting bra. Because you can’t try the item on when online shopping, we recommend that you read through a lot of reviews to better understand sizing and support.
Thankfully, ThirdLove offers a wide range of sizes and styles both in our retail stores and online. In stores, our helpful bra experts can help you find the perfect fit and place orders for any bras for you if they don’t have it in store. Online, we have a streamlined Fitting Room Quiz that will help you find your perfect size easily, and if you need more help, our online bra experts are just one click away. If you receive your bra and aren’t happy with the fit, we offer a generous 60 day return so that you can be sure that you find your perfect bra fit!
Half the reason we get out of bed in the morning is to troubleshoot fit issues, so check out our full guide to fit issues, and if you still need help, feel free to chat with our experts for help!