How do you know your bra’s right for you?

BRA’S…You either love ‘em or hate ‘em! But your bra is an essential garment that most women spend over 8 hours a day in, so comfort and support are key!

I’ve always loved the ‘idea’ of lingerie; delicate lace, soft silk, the ultimate femininity for a woman’s curves, but the reality is my bra comes off as soon as I walk in the door. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of an uncomfortable bra; wire digging into your ribs, straps slipping off, and bands riding up. So what’s going wrong?

I talked to Laura, expert bra fitter and owner of Madison Lane Lingerie and Sleepwear boutique in Ballarat to find out more….

Laura, How do I know if I’m wearing the right bra for me?

I believe that it is best that when you are due to purchase new bras that you get a fitting each time. The reason for this is that since your last purchase your bra size may have changed and it is worth the money you spend on a bra to make sure you have the right fit.

It is worthwhile to be fitted as you have an expert who can help you not only find the right size, but also the right style for your bust. It also means you have someone with you who can run around and get the bras you need/want rather than you having to come in and out of a fitting room.

How do you know the bra size is right?

  • The under-band should be firm but not tight, it should sit in a straight line across your back and not ride up. If it is riding it means that the under-band is too big. If this is the case but the cup looks right, go the next size down in the under-band and one cup bigger for example from a 12C to a 10D.
  • People don’t realise that if you change your under-band size that the cup does the opposite, if you are a 16D and need to go to a 14, it would actually be 14DD or if you need an 18 instead, the size would be 18C.
  • If the under-band is very tight and straining, then the back is too small.
  • If the cups are wrinkling and there is space at the top and sides of the cup, go down to a smaller a cup size.
  • If the bust is bulging over the cups or the underarm then a larger cup size is needed.
  • If the wires stand away from the body at the centre front then a larger cup is needed or a smaller back. The wire should sit close to the chest and not pull away.
  • The breasts should be totally encased within the wire and the wire should not sit on the breast tissue.
  • If you lift your arms up, the bra should stay in place, if it does not then either a smaller back or a larger cup is needed.
  • The straps should be firm but not tight.

I was a brave girl and got my kit off to demonstrate here for you!

What’s the added importance of a well fitting bra?

You should have well-fitting bras for many reasons…

  • Comfort comes first – it is something that we wear every day for hours at a time, the last thing you want is to be in discomfort. And there is nothing more unattractive then seeing ladies picking at their bras or nickers all day long.
  • The right style and fitting of a bra can support your bust, which increases your level of comfort also.
  • A well-fitting bra can not only make your day, but also make your outfit. Having the right bra on can straighten your posture and make your shape and outfit look even better.
  • The last thing you want to see under your clothes outline is the bra straps or under-band digging in, the breasts bulging out or even a muffin top created from your nickers.
  • The right bra will lift your breasts to where they should be so your clothes sit better and look better.
  • Having a well-fitting bra can make you feel great about yourself.

What I don’t understand is that our lingerie is something that we wear every single day and yet most people would rather buy cheaper quality items and just have one or two to choose from each day.

It is worthwhile getting fitted, getting the right lingerie for your body and spending a bit more on a few extra garments for the wardrobe because the more bras you have the more you can rotate the bras and the longer they last. This means overtime you are spending less money, with better quality and more variety!

There are so many styles of bras out there; will ‘my size’ in any style suit me?

What people don’t realise is that just because you are a certain bra size does not mean that every brand or style in that size will suit your bust. You may be the same bra size as your friend but her bras look terrible on you or don’t fit. Every single women is different in some way, the shape of the bust, the age of the bust and the breast tissue is different i.e. some people have a shallow bust, some have a full bust, etc. This alone means that different styles will suit different people.

So in this case, I again suggest to get fitted for bras, the fitter should know what style suits your bust size and shape best. It is also good to ask the fitter to bring in different styles so you can try and see what does and does not look good before you make any decisions.

Laura what does ‘lingerie’ mean to you?

Lingerie to me means something that we can feel good in. For some reason people are still shy when it comes to their lingerie; in society it is still a taboo subject.

How I see it is that we need to feel good on the inside and what is underneath our clothes can help with this. Wearing a beautiful lingerie set can make you feel beautiful, no one needs to know or see what you are wearing but you know and you can feel great about it. It is no different to wearing your favourite outfit that makes you feel beautiful.

So have you always been a lover of lingerie?

No, not at all! I always had my standard two bras, white and black, always bought off the shelf, never tried on and only had the same contour balconette styles.

When I bought Madison Lane Lingerie I had my first ever fitting and was given all different styles to try and I fell in love with lingerie for the first time. I felt great in my new lingerie, it made me feel better about myself every day and it cheers my mornings up when getting ready for work.

Now I live and breathe lingerie and I love it!

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What would you say is your favourite lingerie piece?

This is really hard to choose because it could change daily depending on the outfit that I am in.

But I truly love the Simone Perele’s ‘Delice’ or ‘Wish’ half cups; beautiful, feminine bras. It makes me feel great, it is extremely comfortable and yet supportive also. I love bras that are feminine and delicate – that’s what I feel best in.

What bra/lingerie piece should every girl have in her wardrobe?

A few years ago I would have said a skin colour t-shirt bra. I would have said this because there are clothes that need a neutral colour and smooth cup for under tops. A must have in summer no doubt.

But now with more knowledge of lingerie and when I see ladies that I fit who end up feeling great about themselves, my answer would be to have at least one beautiful and sexy bra that you can put on that cheers you up immediately. A bra that you put on and love the look of and you don’t care about what your body looks like in it. No one needs to see this bra, but it is the bra that you can smile at when walking down the street because you know what you are wearing underneath.

What’s the best way to care for our lingerie?

Always read the label of your lingerie for care instructions. Most lingerie is fine in a washing machine, in a good lingerie bag on a gentle cycle, but make sure you close the hooks so they don’t catch on the machine. However, there are some brands that specifically state to hand wash only – they do mean ‘by hand’ not the hand wash cycle in the machine!

Make sure you follow the instructions because if something happens to your bra after a wash, the company may not accept it as a fault if it was not washed as per the instructions.

Don’t forget that when you dry your bras, hang them out on the line or clotheshorse and straighten up the straps again so the shape does not get distorted. Never tumble dry!!

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After having booked a proper fitting with Laura, and trying some different styles that suited my breast shape and size, I’ve refreshed my lingerie draw and are finally feeling ‘comfortable and supported’ in my lingerie again! It really does make the world of difference to how I feel as a woman, and comfortable in my own skin!

If, like I was, you are feeling uncomfortable and can’t wait to rip it off, maybe its time to seek an expert fitter and update your own lingerie!

Stephanie xx

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