Tomima's Bra Fitting Tip: "You're a smart person. Since you'll be wearing the bras, you're better off taking a few minutes to understand what a perfect fitting bra should look and feel like, and recognize the signs if your bra is the wrong size for you."
Sometimes it's immediately obvious that a bra you're trying on doesn't fit right. But sometimes there are less obvious signs that the bra you have on is doing little to optimize your shape. Even if a bra may "feel right," it may not be giving you proper support or enhancing your assets. Or, it’s the wrong style bra for you altogether (check out our “Know your Breasts, Know Your Bras” Survey.
It's HerRoom to the rescue with our Bra Fit Check List below. A perfect fitting bra will pass all these checks. So, take a few minutes to understand what a perfect fitting bra should look and feel like. Then, you’ll be able to easily assess whether you’re wearing the wrong size or wrong style bra.
Smooth Fitting Cups
If you don't fill out your bra cups - wrinkling, or gapping - you need a smaller cup size. If you’re "overflowing" in your cups, or the top of your bra cups are cutting into your breast tissue, try a larger cup size or a style with a fuller cup design. The edges of the cups should also lie flat against your breast. Some women complain the cups look "pointy" (when the bra design is not meant to look this way). This too can be another sign that you are not fully filling out your cups and need to go down a cup size.
Center panel lays flat against your breastbone.
If your bra’s center panel is not resting on your sternum, this could be a sign that your cup size is too small. If the underwires are pointing outward and away from your body, this too is a sign that your cup size could be too small. Also, how far apart your breasts are from each other can affect how your center panel rests on your sternum. For a more detailed discussion on this, please our “Know Your Breasts, Know Your Bras Survey.”
Please Note: Minimizers tend to not rest against the breastbone, and this is fine.
Bra band is parallel to the floor or slightly lower in the back.
The lower edge of your bra band should anchor below the shoulder blades. The lower the back fits, the better the support. Women with spine curvature can have special issues with where the back of their bra will land. Please see our Additional Considerations Section for more information about proper bra fitting for women with spine curvature.
Straps stay put and don't dig into your shoulders.
Only 10% of your bra's support should come from your bra straps. If your straps are working harder than this, you probably need a smaller band size. Women with sloping shoulders need to look for specific bra styles and features to keep their straps up and on their shoulders. Please review our Additional Considerations Section for an expanded conversation on bra fitting for Narrow and/or Sloping Shoulders.
Cup fabric is stable.
The cup fabric should give support as well as a good breast shape. Bras with cups made from stretchy fabric will be comfortable, but your shape and support will be compromised.
Underwires encircle your breasts.
Underwires shouldn't poke, protrude or pinch. If your wires
bend away from your chest in the center, this usually means
your cup size is too small. However, your unique breast placement,
shape and size can also impact how bra underwires will fit you.
Please see our Classifying your
Breast Shape Section for more information about possible
causes for underwires not fitting comfortably.
Good breast uplift.
The apex of your breasts should be mid-way between your shoulders and your elbows. Uplifted breasts look more youthful and give a slimming appearance.
Breasts point forward; do not sag or fall to your sides.
The correct bra style for you will have your breasts pointing forward so that you may freely swing your arms forward and backward without obstruction.
A finger can be run under your front band.
Your bra should be snug, but not too tight. If you find it difficult to get your finger between you and your bra band in front, you need a larger band size or a looser hook position in back.
Feels comfortable when seated.
Our ribcages tend to expand when we are seated.
If you're not sure your band is big enough, sit down while wearing your bra. This quick test will answer your concern. There are bras on the
market with an arch design at the center front to accommodate a tummy moving upwards when you sit down. If sitting makes your bra
uncomfortable, consider one of these bras with arched center
Consider an alteration.
Still not the perfect fit? We alter our clothes for a better fit, why not a bra? One woman in our office really measures to a 35 band size. She therefore buys a 36D and has a dart put in at the sides. A bra is something you wear every day, so it should fit well. Investing in its alteration, if needed, is a sound investment towards your daily comfort.
A final and very important point.
zeroing in on your correct bra size, it’s better to first find
your best band size, then adjust your cup size till you find
the one that fits best. Here’s why. Going up or down a band
size is a 2 inch circumference adjustment. Going up or down
a cup size is a 1 inch adjustment. The point here is that changing
your bra's band size is a significant size change. Changing
your cup size is more of a fine-tuning change. So, get your
band size first, and then adjust your cup size to further refine
towards your perfect bra size.