How to Find the Perfect Bra for You

If you wear bras, you know they can be a bit of a drag. And bra shopping is even more of a chore, as you quickly learn that there are endless factors that go into choosing a bra. But I, a certified bra fitter in retail, am here to outline them for you.

I’m sure you've heard a statistic saying that most womxn are wearing the wrong bra size; however, just because your undies drawer might reveal an assortment of bras in different sizes doesn't necessarily mean that you're wearing the wrong size. Different brands size differently, so bra shopping should ideally be a very involved task, and that often means trying them on in the store - unless, of course, you need to buy them online. Still, I recommend getting sized by a specialist or taking the task upon yourself if you have body measuring tape lying around. Here's a helpful guide, and remember to take your size as a ballpark figure.

How to tell if your bra is the wrong size

If your bra straps are falling off your shoulders, that means either (a) you need to readjust your straps or (b) the band size is too big. If your straps keep slipping after you’ve adjusted them, you need a more supportive bra. In that case, go down a band size.

Ideally, your bra should fit comfortably on the middle hooks. The extra hooks are there just in case your bra stretches over time or you've outgrown it. Once you're on your last hooks, that means you need a new bra and that you need to go up a band size. Conversely, if your bra has become too loose on the first hooks, consider trying on a smaller band size.

If your band rides up on your back, your bra might be too big for you. In that case, go down a band size and adjust your straps so that the band sits horizontally across your back.

If the center of your bra "floats" above your chest,  your cup size is probably too small. Go up a cup size (i.e., a letter) but make sure that when you move, your underwire doesn't budge above your boobs and that it sits underneath them.

In all cases, if you're experiencing neck and back pain, it is best to consult a certified bra fitter and address these concerns in person.

Types of bras

There are different kinds of bras that can serve you in a variety of ways depending on what you value when it comes to support and appearance.

Convertible bras are most useful in terms of styling. If you don't want your straps to show, you can either remove the straps or cross them in the back. If you prefer more of a lift, crossing the straps can help you achieve that.

Minimizer bras are great for full-busted and full figured womxn who want to feel more comfortable and contained in their clothes.

Balconette bras provide lift and push-up support and are also relatively low-cut if you like to show cleavage or wear open neckline tops. Demi bras are similarly low-cut but typically less padded.

In terms of comfort, there are t-shirt bras, which are not padded and are made with softer material for a lighter feel. And there are also bralettes, which are wirefree, light, and often made with lace or mesh fabrics.

This list is by no means exhaustive, so here are more bra types.

Lastly, remember that it is healthy to not wear a bra every once in while and that it's ultimately your choice whether you wear one regularly or not.

None of the images used belong to the author or Her Campus UC Davis.

Thumbnail source: Pixabay