Three Step Bra Fitting Guide
Your bra size is only a piece of the bra fit puzzle. When finding your perfect bra, there are a few other factors to consider: the band, the cup and the style. Bits of Lace will break it down for you.
Step 1. THE BAND
When it comes to the bra band, there's one very simple "DO":
DO wear the right band size! This is where most women veer off course completely.
Correct Band Fitting
A perfect fitting band positions the breasts with the center bridge level with the back of the bra, snug but not too tight.
Band is Level With Cups
A good-fitting band maintains a 90 degree angle on the body. The correct band size is a crucial part of the bra fitting experience.
A Level Band Provides Support
The band should support the weight of the breasts and relieve pressure from the shoulders and straps.
Some very simple DON'Ts
More often than not, women choose a band size that is 1-2 sizes too small or too large.
Band is too Large/Loose
Bands that are too loose can ride up on your back and increase the weight of the breasts on the shoulders.
Cup Sags/No Support
This will create a droopy or saggy appearance, not giving proper support and lift. If this is your experience, move down one band size at a time to find the correct fit.
Excesively Loose Band
When the band can be stretched more than 2 inches from the body the bra is not able to provide any support or lift. The breast's weight will be on the shoulders and cause discomfort.
Band is Too Tight
Bands that are too tight will squeeze or pinch the soft tissue on the sides and back of the women. This can be uncomfortable and leave indentations on the skin and may even constrict breathing. If this is your experience, move up one band size at a time to find the correct fit.
DON'T immediately dismiss the bra because it feels snug. The right band size will feel snug, even “too tight” for its first few wears. With continued wear, the band will gradually loosen and fit like a glove. When your bra is new, Bits of Lace suggests you fasten the bra on its first hook and move towards the last hook as the bra ages.
A good band fit quick guide:
- The back panel of the bra should sit level with the front bridge of the bra. If your back band is riding up,the band is too big.
- The band of the bra should rest where the breast fall away from the chest when leaning over.
- The bridge of the bra which is the center of the bra between the cups should make contact so that the weight of the breast is well supported.
- Most of the weight of the breast should be taken up in the back band and the bridge on the band not the straps.
- When bras are constructed with too much elastic in the bands they tend to dig in. Bits of Lace recommends fabrics that have minimal stretch such as, satin simplex fabric especially if back fat is a concern.
- Another marker of a good fitting band is the ability to slip one finger between the bra band and your back by approximately one inch.
Many women think back fat is caused by a tight bra band, but the opposite is actually true. The culprit behind back fat is when the bra rides up on the soft tissue area because the band is too large allowing the bra band to ride up. The smallest part of your back is where the rib cage narrows and that is where the band should rest. The right band size will help to smooth out back fat not accentuate it. If you prefer extra coverage, try a bra with wide side and back panels. A slimming camisole can also help.
Refer to the Bits of Lace Bra Size Guide and double check your current size against the Bits of Lace size chart. Consult a Bits of Lace Bra Fit Specialist for help selecting your new bra.
The right band size will give you incredible lift and support changing your experience of bras forever. You’ll look thinner with a better lift.
Step 2. THE CUP
Everyone has a favorite everyday wear bra! Whether you perfer fuller cup coverage to a bit less.
Perfect fitting cups sit comfortably in the space provided, making a seamless transition from breast to cup. The bridge for the bra is located in the front between the cups and should make direct contact with the breast bone.
Cup Too Large
Cups that are too large will not properly support and lift your breasts. The cups will gap, wrinkle or sag, creating an unappealing appearance. This puckering will show under clothing.If this is your experience, move down one cup size at a time to find the correct fit.
Cup Too Small
Cups that are too small may pinch or squeeze your breasts, causing them to spill from the top of the cup or beneath the underwire. This buldge will show under clothing. If this is your experience, move up one cup size at a time to find the correct fit.
The below bra fitting tips will help quide you to that perfect fit! First, how do your cups measure up? Here’s a quick check:
- Are your breasts bulging at the top of the cup or seeping out beneath the underwire? Your bra is trying to tell you something. You need to move up at least one cup size. Depending on how extreme the bulging is, you may need to move up two cup sizes.
- Are your cups wrinkling, sagging or slipping? This means there is too much cup, not enough breasts for the bra. Move down a cup size.
- Are your straps constantly falling off your shoulders? While there are a handful of possible causes, the most common is that your cups are too big.
- Your breasts should sit at a 90 degree angle.
The cups of your bra can either make you feel unappealing or phenomenal. Even mini fitting faux pas can affect the way your cups look, feel and fit.
Find a bra that creates a and smooth transition from the bottom of the cup up and over your breasts tissue. The cups should comfortably contain the entire breast. When there is a seam in the cup line your nipples up with the seam to hold the nipple back giving a nice presentation.
When placing the bra on avoid reaching into the cup pulling the breast up. This moves the tissue away from the support of the underwire creating a space above the underwire or soft band of the bra. Adjust the breast into the cup by taking hold of the top of the cup shaking them into place.
DON’T be afraid of your cup size. Many women cringe at the idea of wearing anything close to a D-cup. Don’t get hung up on the size. You’ll forget all about it when you see how amazing your breasts look in the right size.
Step 3. THE STYLE
The perfect fitting bra and choosing the correct style for your body type can make all the difference in how you feel and look. Whether you feel sexy that day, or need a basic bra for the workplace, choosing a shape the delivers support and the right presentation is what bra styling is all about.
Full Cup Bra
Demi Cup Bra
There is a style to fit your mood, your occasion, your body type and your breast shape. No two bras that will fit the same. Start with the size you were and adjust the band first then cup for fit NOT size. Try on a variety of styles to choose the style that will become your everyday bra.
Certain clothing styles work best on certain body shapes. The same philosophy goes for bras. Bra manufacturers smartened up years ago and began designing a variety of bra styles to match the many body types, activities and special occasions in a woman’s world.
Own a variety of bras and find your signature, go-to bra style. When bra shopping, the ability to identify your go-to style and identify a special occasion style is so important.
You need to consider that most women need at least three basic everyday bras, one black and one nude plunge, one black and nude strapless, and at least two fashion styles to round out you wardrobe.
Overwhelmed by bra style options? Here’s an outline of the most common. Read our bra style guide for a more advanced explanation.
- Simply stated, every modern woman needs a Seamless T-shirt Bra. T-shirt bras serve multiple functions, but above all else, they are super comfortable and versatile. They’ll give you a smooth, rounded shape under close fitting outfits and keep your nipples concealed.
- Summertime and special events: as hard as you try, neither is avoidable. Both occasions call for a strapless bra. We’ve all had a good night turned sour from constantly tugging and adjusting a strapless bra. It doesn't have to be this way! Try on a few brands before you commit to one. Pay attention to the shape of the cup and how much breast tissue it contains. Move around in it. Does it move with you or does it stay put? Patience in the fitting room is key!
- Every woman deserves to feel sexy and you can achieve instant sex appeal by slipping on a sexy bra. Treat yourself to a plunge or demi/balconette bra. Aside from being beautiful and elegant, these styles support, shape and can truly be an everyday selection.
- If you’re tired of cleavage and just want your breasts tucked away, try a full cup or comfort cup bra. These styles completely contain your breast tissue and make your curves look fabulous. If you want to make your breasts look smaller: try a minimizer bra- they really work.