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Bra Fitting Home Lingerie FAQs
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Tomima Edmark - Lingerie ExpertTomima'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."

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Frequently Asked Bra Fitting Questions

What Is The Best Way To Put On a Bra?

It's one thing to simply put on a bra, and quite another to have it properly positioned so that it provides the right support and stays comfortable all day. It may take a few seconds longer, but the fit and comfort factor will be well worth the extra time. I've interviewed many women, and from those interviews have learned there are three different ways to put on a bra. Each technique achieves the proper result if done correctly. I have listed them for you in order of my preference.


1. Wrap your bra around your waist and hook the closure in front of you. Make note of the location of the bra's label (e.g. side seam, back).

2. Turn your bra clockwise until the front of your bra is centered. This ensures that the excess on the adjustment flap lays flat against your back.

3. Bring bra up so that the bra band is resting directly under the breasts.

4. Slip the shoulder straps over your shoulders.

5. Run your finger along the area where the bra's label is to make sure it is lying smooth and flat against your skin.

6. Tug downward on the back of the bra so that it rests beneath the shoulder blades. The line of the bra should be horizontal from front to back.

7. Bend over at the waist and ease your breasts into the cups. One technique is to pull the band down and shake until the breasts fall into place. Another technique is to move the breast around with your hand until it is satisfactorily in the cup. Your nipples should be centered into the fullest point of the cup, and the cup should completely contain the breast (with the exception of push-up and demi cup styles). If your bra has a center seam, make sure your nipple is on the seam - this will reduce your nipples from showing.

8. Stand upright and visually check to see that your breasts are in the proper position.

NOTE: Critics of this technique claim that rotation of the bra around the torso to move the closing fastener to the back wears down the inside of the bra. I disagree. There are also many women who don't have the dexterity to hook a bra in the back. Oh, and a little talcum powder can help the bra spin more readily around your waist.


It sounds strange, but I have an associate who swears by this method.

1. Wrap your bra around your waist inside out and upside down. Hook the closure. Make note of the location of the bra's label (e.g. side seam, back).

2. Turn your bra (in this technique it doesn't matter what direction you turn it) until the front of your bra is centered.

3. Flip the bra up so that the bra band is right side out and resting directly under the breasts.

4. Slip the shoulder straps over your shoulders.

5. Run your finger along the area where the bra's label is to make sure it is lying smooth and flat against your skin.

6. Tug downward on the back of the bra so that it rests beneath the shoulder blades. The line of the bra should be horizontal from front to back.

7. Bend over at the waist and ease your breasts into the cups. One technique is to pull the band down and shake until the breasts fall into place. Another technique is to move the breast around with your hand until it is satisfactorily in the cup. Your nipples should be centered into the fullest point of the cup, and the cup should completely contain the breast (with the exception of push-up and demi cup styles). If your bra has a center seam, make sure your nipple is on the seam - this will reduce your nipples from showing.

8. Stand upright and visually check to see that your breasts are in the proper position.

NOTE: It may take you a couple of extra seconds to figure out the starting bra position, at least until you are used to this technique.


1. Begin by slipping the straps over your shoulders. Make note of the location of the bra's label (e.g. side seam, back).

2. Bend over at the waist and ease your breasts into the cups. Your nipples should be centered into the fullest point of the cup, and the cup should completely contain the breast (with the exception of push-up and demi cup styles).

3. Hook the bra closure in back, and then stand upright.

4. Run your finger along the area where the bra's label is to make sure it is lying smooth and flat against your skin.

5. Tug downward on the back of the bra so that it rests beneath the shoulder blades. The line of the bra should be horizontal from front to back.

6. Visually check to see that your breasts are in the proper position.

NOTE: This technique can be challenging for someone who is not limber enough to put their two hands behind their back. It is also difficult to tell if the bra is on the proper closure without checking in the mirror.

What Can I Do To Have Plumper Looking Breasts?

Center your nipples above the apex point of your bra. Then, you'll have a plumper top to your breast volume.


What's The Psyche Of Your Bra Size?

One of the reasons women aren't wearing the correct bra size is psychology. Women tend to buy the bra size they want to be rather than the bra size that fits. This is understandable. After all, who likes admitting they've gained weight or that gravity has taken over? However, wearing the wrong size bra is a big mistake for many reasons. Therefore, it's important that you find out your correct size. And if you think about it, only you know what your bra size is. No one looking at you will be able to tell that you've jumped from a 36C to a 36D. So, the moral here is: wear the bra that fits your breasts rather than your brain.

I'm an "A" cup. Do I really need to wear a bra?

Yes! Please make sure you wear a bra. Often, small-breasted women will wear an undershirt and no bra, or flimsy triangle bras held together with elastic. Neither choice does anything to enhance your look. What A-cup women need most is definition. A bra with light foam padding or fiberfill will add a natural-looking shape to your breasts. A padded bra with bump pads will even create some cleavage. You also may not be interested in cleavage or enhanced shape. That's fine too. But, even A-cups need tissue and muscle support. There are bras on the market in your size with no padding, but provide support and have underwires.

What Is The Most Common Mistake Women Make About Their Bra Size?

The number one mistake is increasing the band size instead of the cup size. For example, you try on a 34C and it feels tight. The mistake is moving to a 36C instead of a 34D. Don't change band size unless you are unable to get a few fingers under the band of your bra.

How Many Hooks Do I Need On My Bra Closure?

The number of hooks on a bra is based on the actual width of the bra at the back closure. And, the width of the back of the bra is really proportionate to cup size. Small cup sizes only require 1 or 2 hooks. Bigger cup sizes can require 3, 4, or 5 hooks. Now, I've heard it before- "I don't want to wear a harness." I understand this sentiment, but how many people actually see you with just your bra on? Getting a bra with a larger back will give you a smooth and slimming silhouette in your clothes. It reduces and can eliminate back bulges, and gives you better support. So here's my suggestion, if you know that you'll be taking your clothes off in front of others, buy a bra with a smaller back. But for everyday wear, get a bra that lets you look your best.

Do Thin Bra Straps Still Provide Support?

Lately straps have been a fashion statement, but according to doctors at the University of Texas, thin bra straps can lead to headaches and serious nerve damage. Doctors at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas now warn that wearing thin bra straps too tightly can be dangerous. If the thin strap is so tight that it digs into the shoulders, it is probably putting downward pressure on the cervical nerve, which runs from the neck to the shoulders. This nerve is very important to the nervous system. Any damage to it can cause frequent neck pain, headaches or numbness. Eventually this can develop into pain that runs from your shoulder down to your hands. Solution: make sure your bra fits correctly and that your straps aren't being asked to do more than they are designed for.

How Do I Know If My Straps Are Adjusted Correctly?

Can you slip a finger under your straps? If you can't, or if the straps are digging into your shoulders, you've probably over-adjusted to compensate for a bra that's the wrong size. Usually, the band size is too large. Straps should have just enough tension to hold the bra on your shoulders; they should provide about 10% of a bra's support. So, do the strap test - Slip your straps off your shoulders so they are resting on your arms. A well-fitting bra should stay on (with some sagging) without the straps' assistance.

I Have Narrow Shoulders And My Straps Keep Falling Down. What Should I Do?

Women with narrow shoulders need to find a bra style with close-set straps. Racer-back style bras are one great solution. Demi cup and front closure bras tend to have straps set farther apart and should therefore be avoided. Check out Intimate Details for fitting suggestions on falling shoulder straps.


What Color Bras Should I Buy?

There are a lot of opinions when it comes to choosing the color of your bras. Some women only wear white because it's the traditional undergarment color, matches up with white panties, and can be bleached clean. Others swear by nude colors saying it blends in with everything. While some women (usually younger) like different colors for fun. In straight utilitarian terms, nude (or color closest to your skin color) is the best all around color, if your goal is to minimize having your bra show under clothing. White, however, has its benefit in that once it starts to look a little dingy and gray, you know it's time to buy a new one. Colors are fun - especially if you want part of it showing outside your clothes. Black is always a slimming color and usually the best choice under black.

What Color Bra Can I Wear Under a Black Top?

If your black top is sheer or a knit, your best bet is to wear a nude color. If your top has a low neckline and movement could reveal the edges of your bra, the best color is black.

What Type Of Bra Should I Wear?

Tight Sweater - A seamless, uplifting bra
Bulky Sweater - A bra with shaping
Sheer Blouse - A seamless flesh-tone bra
Tight Tee or Polo Shirt - A seamless bra
Halter, Tank, Strapless - A strapless, convertible or halter bra
Business Suit w/o Blouse - A bra designed with a low center panel or front closing.

When Can I Wear a Fancy Lace Bra?

You walk into a lingerie department and your eye immediately goes to a beautiful lacy multi-colored bra. You're excited until reality sets in... What would I wear it with? You then move on.

Well let's talk about this. You're right; these types of bras don't work under t-shirts, turtlenecks or sheer fabrics. But, they are a psychological picker upper. Any woman will tell you, if she's feeling down, there's nothing better than a pretty bra to make you feel feminine and lift your spirits. European women have been wearing them for years. No one knows what you're wearing but you, but you know it and it makes you feel better. So if you spend the day in scrubs, a traditional suit, or jogging suit, wear a pretty bra (and better yet include its matching panty) and feel more confident.

When Should I Wear A Lacy bra - When Should I Wear A Seamless?

For an open neckline, it's always fun to wear a bra with a little lace. After all, if that special someone is looking at the right angle and can see it, it's better to be revealing a little lacy edging. If you wear smooth knit sweaters, tight tops or fitted shirts, you will look your best wearing a seamless bra.

What Bra Is Best For Deep V-Necklines?

A standard bra will show under low-cut necklines. Your best bet is to buy either a front-closure bra designed to dip way down in front, or a demi-cup bra style. There are also several new deep plunging bras on the market. You might consider a little lacey trim...just in case someone might see it. A unique feature at Her Room is the ability to try on different necklines over each bra. Check out the Deep V-Neck Image in our Image Area.

What Bra Is Best To Wear With Spaghetti Straps?

The only bra that works with a spaghetti strap top is a strapless bra. However, you may want to check out our Accessories Department for alternatives such as breast petals, clear straps, or adhesive bras.

Do I Really Need An Underwire Bra?

Underwires were invented to allow a bra to have less coverage, yet be supportive. Because of underwires, we are able to have demi and push-up bras. So, do you need an underwire? No. If you don't like underwires, you don't have to wear one. The lingerie industry manufactures an enormous selection of wire-free or soft cup bras.

Are Demi Bras For Every Day or Just For Special Occasions?

Today's demi bra styles are comfortable enough to wear every day because the lining is made of fiberfill. Demi bras lift and enhance your bust to give you a great shape under clothes--for special occasions or every day wear.

What Is The Difference Between A Demi Bra And A Push-up Bra?

A demi bra lifts and enhances your bust line for a natural look that is comfortable to wear everyday. A push-up bra is made with demi cups and padding at the bottom and sides of the cup. This padding pushes the breasts up and inward to give more fullness and cleavage. Because the look is more dramatic (and revealing), a push-up bra is usually reserved for special occasions.


Why Do All My Bras Seem To Come From One Manufacturer?

Like shoes or jeans, we all have a favorite brand that fits us better. Manufacturers can't guarantee their sizing will be identical to other manufacturers. Each lingerie manufacturer will have its own model and sizing guidelines they follow throughout their product line. Therefore, if you like one manufacturer's fit, it should be the first brand you look at when wanting a different style bra. Manufacturers tend to keep the same fit throughout their line offerings.

I'm Allergic To Latex. What Can I Do?

Elastic used to be made with rubber latex. However, today there are latex-free elastics where the latex has been replaced with spandex. Also, several manufacturers have designed bras for women who are latex intolerant. They have encased the elastic so that it does not sit against your skin.

Why Do Manufacturers Discontinue Great Bra Styles?

Manufacturers discontinue a style due to sluggish sales, inability to source the same fabric and findings, a high return rate, changes and improvements on the style, and many times if a major department store stops carrying it. That's right, if a major department store chain quits carrying a style, the manufacturer is very likely to discontinue it rather than reduce production. Almost always there is not a like-for-like replacement. If an improvement is made to a style, they will create a new style number rather than improve the existing style. When your favorite style is discontinued all is not lost. Try a similar style from the same manufacturer. Manufacturers try to keep a consistent fit across their product line.

We, at HerRoom, also lump manufacturers products into collections. Items within a collection tend to match and fit almost identically. Click on our "Similar Items" tab at the bottom of the page to see other styles within the same manufacturer. We also keep tabs on discontinued styles on our site. So, find your favorite lingerie pieces, plug their style number into our search window and we will give you their status, and whether the manufacturer has a suggested replacement style.

Why Should I Pay More Than $25 For A Bra?

In lingerie, you really do get what you pay for. At first glance, most women think there's not much fabric, so it shouldn't cost very much. Well, the truth is the fabric is not the major cost; labor is. Making a bra is very labor-intensive. Less expensive bras can be made with as few as 10 pieces. More expensive bras can have over 40. The more expensive bras have craftsmanship, detail and design. Fabric and elastic choices can also drive up the price. For example, all lace is not the same. Expensive lace will have more detail and design, as well as dimension. All elastic is not the same; the more expensive elastic has a longer life. More expensive bras really do last longer. The next time you go shopping for lingerie, take a minute and look at the sewing done on the trim, how the elastic is sewn on, how the seams are finished. (photos comparing inexpensive bra with expensive bra)

"A bra that is comfortable and pretty is worth the investment and it makes you feel good. Don't be penny wise and comfort foolish - you deserve the best!" - Tomima

My bra straps dig into my shoulders and are painful. What can I do?

When the frame of your bra is not giving you adequate support, the shoulder straps are forced into providing additional support. The most common reason for digging shoulder straps is the band size being too large. Full-figured women know the bra sizing game all too well. For example, if she is a 38E and the bra she wants only goes as high as a "D" cup, she will go up a band size and down a cup size and think it fits (40D). However, she has done a disservice to herself because going up a band size means her straps are going to have to make up for the support lost in the increased band size. To relieve shoulder strap pain, measure yourself and stick with the correct bra size

My underwire bras always poke me. How come?

As a bra gets larger in the band size, the distance between the cups also increases. Underwires are placed in a bra according to accurate measurements. If you experience poking, your bra is probably the wrong band size. It is important that you measure for your band size and then not deviate from it when purchasing bras

Why do I need a wider band along the back of my bra?

There are several reasons. A wide band is less likely to ride up in back or twist. A wide band will also give more support along the sides and allow for better posture. And, a wide band can give additional support, which means more freedom of movement.

Is it true that a "D" cup in a 36D is different from a "D" cup in, say a 42D?

Yes. As a bra style increases in band size, the cups get wider as well. So, say you wear a 36C and your aunt wears a 44C, her cups (and breasts) will be larger than yours.

Is it important that my bra rest on my sternum between the cups?

No. It is not critical that the center panel of your bra touches your sternum. It is more important that your breasts have separation and definition, and that they not be overflowing out the top or sides of your bra.

The bottoms of my breasts are often red and sometimes bruised. How come?

When the band of your bra is not up against the ribcage, but rather resting on the under-breast tissue, redness and bruising can occur. The problem is that the band size of your bra is too big (e.g. you're wearing a size 42 instead of a size 40). Your breasts are falling out from the bottom of your bra and your bra straps are being asked to bear too much of the weight and support. Not only are you uncomfortable, but your bustline is not getting proper support. Try a bra with a smaller band size and a larger cup size (e.g. try a 42D if you were wearing a 44C).

Where exactly are a full-figured woman's breasts supposed to sit?

If you are wearing a properly fitting bra, your breasts should sit midway between your waist and your collarbone. Here's a quick test. Put a belt around your waist and hold a pencil or ruler horizontally below your neck at your collarbones. Looking in the mirror, the fullest part of your breast should be midway between your waist and the pencil.

What is the number one mistake most full-figured women make when sizing a bra?

By far, the most common mistake among full-figured women is buying a bra with cups that are too small and then compensating by going up to a band size that is too big for them. This mistake is understandable since many bra styles don't come in larger cup sizes. However, you are doing a disservice to yourself. Find out what your measurements are and only buy bras that are made specifically for your measurements.

Must full-figured women only wear underwire bras?

No, but here is the trade-off. A softcup bra can be more comfortable, but does not shape your breasts. A proper sized underwire bra can be comfortable and will provide attractive shaping to your breasts.

What is the best way to launder my bras?

You can wash your bra in the washing machine, but make sure it is hooked together to avoid tangling or hooking onto other clothing. It is always a good idea to put bras in a lingerie bag to keep them separate (see our etcetera department). Wash on delicate cycle in cool water with gentle detergent. And don't ever put your bras in the dryer. Heat breaks down the spandex. A bra gets a lot of wear and tear anyway. So keep it away from the dryer.

What is the best way to launder my panties?

Begin by looking at the care instructions on the label. If they are machine washable, it is safest to put them in a load with other delicate items and run washer on the delicate cycle with cold or warm water. Avoid hot water and the dryer since elastic breaks down with heat. Line-drying panties is always best.

What is the best way to launder shapewear?

Your best bet is to follow the washing instructions on the shapewear garment. In general, don't wash in hot water, never use chlorine bleach, and do line or air dry. High washing temperatures and hot dryers can break down the controlling performance of shapewear over time.

What are some general tips on washing lingerie?

  • Sort articles by color, washing whites, darks and medium colors separately. Lighter garments can pick up dyes from darker colors.
  • Separate man-made fibers (e.g. polyester) from natural fibers (e.g. cotton). Man-made fibers can attract the oils that are released from natural fibers during washing. These oils build up over time and make the spots on the man-made fibers more obvious.
  • Try to have both large and small items in each washer load. This will let the items move more freely during the washing cycles.
  • Sort delicate fabrics from tougher fabrics like denim and terry cloth. This will lessen the friction of fabrics against each other.
  • Lint-generating fabrics (e.g. fleece, towels) should be washed separately from lingerie. The lint clings to the lingerie fabrics.
  • Don't overload the washer. If the washer is too full, the clothes won't get enough agitation to get clean, and the laundry soap may not spread evenly though the load thus leaving globs of detergent on certain items.
What are some general tips on drying lingerie?
  • When possible, only line-dry lingerie. This will increase its life considerably.
  • If you do put lingerie items into the dryer, first lightly shake out the items, or untwist them before placing them in the dryer. This will allow even drying and reduce wrinkling.
  • Don't overload the dryer. A stuffed dryer will not allow the items to tumble. Drying will be slower and clothes will wrinkle.
  • All clothing should be left in the dryer just long enough to remove wrinkles and moisture. Any longer, and the heat can actually set wrinkles, increase static cling and cause shrinkage. This can be true for natural and man-made fibers.
  • Acrylic, nylon, polyester, and microfibers have low moisture absorbency so are fast drying and should be dried using a low temperature setting.
  • Once you remove your items from the dryer, immediately hang or fold them. Clothes left in a heap will wrinkle.

Can you give me some general care information on specific fabrics?
Most acetate garments should be dry-cleaned. Some acetate knits are washable and should be laundered as follows:
  • Hand wash in warm water with mild suds
  • Do not twist or wring out the garment
  • Do not soak colored items
  • Press, while damp, on the wrong side with a cool iron
  • To finish ironing the right side, use cool iron and a pressing cloth
  • Circular knits should be laid flat to dry.
Acrylic garments may be washed or dry-cleaned. Lingerie items should be washed by hand in warm water. Gently squeeze out water, smooth or shake out garment and let dry on a non-rust hanger. If ironing is required, use moderately warm iron.
Cotton can be easily laundered and can withstand hot temperatures. Chlorine bleach can be used safely on 100% cotton whites. Use color safe bleach on dyed 100% cottons. A higher heat setting is needed in the dryer to dry cotton. It will take much longer to dry than less absorbent fibers. Cotton can be ironed with a hot iron and does not scorch easily.
Acrylic, nylon and polyester microfbers can be machine-washed and dried or dry-cleaned.
Most nylon items can be machine-washed and tumble-dried at low temperatures. Use warm water and add a fabric softener in the final rinse cycle. A dryer sheet is best for reducing static electricity. If ironing is required, use a warm iron.
Most items made from polyester can be machine washed and dried. They can also be dry-cleaned. Use warm water and add fabric softener to the final rinse cycle. Machine dry at a low temperature setting. If ironing is needed, use a moderately warm iron.
Most rayon items should be dry-cleaned. However, some garments, if the label specifies, can be hand or machine-washed. In such cases, follow the label instructions.
Dry cleaning is the preferred method for cleaning silk since laundry detergent and the dyes in other clothes may adversely affect silk fabric. Silk items without linings or attached embellishments can be carefully handwashed with mild soap and lukewarm water. Never use chlorine bleach on silk. For long-time storage, silk should be kept away from light, air and insects.
Items made of spandex can be hand or machine washed in lukewarm water. Do not use chlorine bleach on any fabric containing spandex. Use color safe bleach only, then rinse thoroughly. Drip dry. If machine drying, use a low temperature setting. If ironing is required, iron rapidly on a low temperature setting and don't leave the iron in one place too long.

Why can't I wear regular bras throughout my pregnancy?

During and after pregnancy, your breasts undergo numerous changes. They enlarge and become heavier and more sensitive. So, for late pregnancy and after delivery, choosing a bra that provides proper support can help you feel more comfortable and less fatigued. Normal bras simply aren't designed with these issues in mind.

When is the right time to buy a maternity bra?

The right time is as soon as your breasts begin to swell and become tender. Maternity bras are different from normal bras in that they are specially designed to give extra support. They are also made to fit comfortably on the first (tightest) hook early in your pregnancy and adjust to the final (loosest) hook by your last trimester. However, it is not unusual for women to need a whole new size bra towards the end. Most mothers-to-be need to start wearing a maternity bra by the fourth month of pregnancy.

How much is my breast size going to change during my pregnancy?

There is no standard answer. Some women change in size drastically and require several different bra sizes throughout their pregnancy, while other women change very little until the baby arrives and milk production begins. Your best guess is to ask your Mom what her breasts did during her pregnancy.

How do I measure for a maternity bra?

Wait until your fourth month of pregnancy, then, wearing your most comfortable bra, measure yourself as described in our Bra Sizing Page.

What features should I look for in a maternity bra?

A comfortable maternity bra should have wide side bands and shoulder straps to support growing breast tissue. Shoulder straps should have some cushioning and not stretch. Look for a bra with three or more back closures to offer the most flexibility in fit. The bra's band should lie under the breasts and on the rib cage -- not creeping up on the breast tissue. If the breast tissue is receiving pressure, this could lead to a plugged duct and ultimately mastitis or breast infection. Also, if you're pregnant during hot summer months, or you find yourself getting hot easily, look into bras made from 100% cotton. And remember, you will be wearing these bras for several months after your baby is born, so it is wise to buy a good bra that will adjust with your changing sizes.

Should my maternity bra be soft cup or underwire?

Properly fitted underwires generally cause no problems during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. However, softcups are usually more comfortable when the breasts are at their fullest. This is during the last months of pregnancy and during the first month of breastfeeding. Also, it is imperative that the wire fits well under and behind the breast tissue. Any pressure on the breast tissue can result in a plugged duct and ultimately mastitis or breast infection. Wearing an underwire while sleeping is not recommended.

When is the right time to buy a nursing bra?

Try to wait until about the 8th month to buy a nursing bra. Then, buy one cup size larger than your measurement at 8 months. In general, this is how much a woman's breasts will increase once milk comes in after the birth.

Any special tips on a nursing bra?

Look for a bra that provides convenient, easy access to the breast. A bra that allows the cup to be opened with one hand can be helpful when you're holding your baby and preparing to breastfeed. Choose a bra made of cotton or other smooth breathable fabric. Bras made with synthetic materials may trap moisture against your skin. Make sure that any decorative details (e.g. lace trim) are not scratchy and irritating to your skin. A bra with a four-hook back closure is going to offer you the most flexibility in fit. The straps should be wide, cushioned, and non-stretch for best support.

What are some tips for a well- fitting maternity/nursing bra?

Be sure the cup is large enough to give you adequate coverage and depth for your breasts. If the cup is not large enough for proper coverage, some of the breast tissue may spill out on top and under the arms resulting in inadequate support. The bra should fit snugly around your girth. If not, the back may ride up and cause the breasts to droop in front. If the bra seems to fit properly but it is riding up in back, go to a larger cup size before trying a larger band size.

How many maternity/nursing bras do I need?

Most recommend that you have at least three maternity/nursing bras so that you can wear a fresh one every day. One to wear, one to launder and one as a spare just in case....

What is the best way to put on a maternity/nursing bra?

You may pick any one of the three techniques we recommend on the Bra Questions Page. However, you must take extra care in making sure your breasts are placed correctly into the bra. You should bend over while doing this to allow the breasts to fill into the cups naturally.

What is the best way to put on shapewear?

It is kind of like the way you put on pantyhose. Gather up the legs of the garment so that it is only a few inches tall. Step into the legs and pull it up to the point where you want the shapewear to begin. Now, gradually unroll the shapewear over your torso. If you do this, the shapewear should be in the proper place.

I need more control in my shapewear. Should I go down a size?

Absolutely not! A smaller size won't fit properly and may be painful. Shapewear comes in levels of control: light control, moderate control, firm control and extra firm control. Instead of going down a size, go up a control level.

I sometimes get hot in my shapewear. Any solutions?

Several manufacturers are adding shapewear made out of cotton to their lines. This is much cooler while still providing support.

What can I do to stop my thighs from jiggling and shaking?

A control brief with legs will solve this problem. There are several lengths available, depending on how much control you want. A biker pant length will support the tummy and thin the upper thigh. A capri length will provide a slimmer and more elongated silhouette for most of your leg to the calf. And a long legliner will shape and smooth your entire leg.

What can I wear to get my "girlish figure" back?

A high-waisted control brief will smooth your midriff, accentuate your waist, and slim your hips--giving you back a figure with curves in the right places.

I want control but don't want a girdle. What are my options?

Girdles are out and have been replaced by shapewear. Unlike old-fashioned girdles and corsets, shapewear is made without painful bones and stays. Instead, shapewear is made of firm control fabric and is constructed so that it shapes and smoothes without cutting off your circulation. (Probably not good news for the makers of fainting-couches.) As the saying goes, "We've come a long way, baby!"

What is the most common mistake women make about their bra size?

The number one mistake is increasing the band size instead of the cup size. For example, you try on a 34C and it feels tight. The mistake is moving to a 36C instead of a 34D. Don't change band size unless you are unable to get a few fingers under the band of your bra.

What's the difference between a sports bra and a regular bra?

Whereas traditional bras are designed to provide support, a sports bra is designed to support and also reduce breast movement. It has been estimated that the average underwire reduces breast movement by 38%. However, a good sports bra can reduce breast movement by at least 56%.

Why do I need a sports bra?

It's a fact of life that most women's breasts will sag over time. No amount of exercise (not even pecs toning) will prevent it. The reason is that breasts have no muscles in them to be toned. Ligaments are what attach the breasts to the chest. If these delicate ligaments are not supported, constant motion will break them down and erode breast support and positioning.

How much support do I need?

Different sports exert different stresses on your body and consequently your breasts. Many sports bra manufacturers have picked up on this and categorize their bra line by sports impact levels. The least impact, such as weight training, requires some support, while sports like volleyball require significant support. When choosing a sports bra, consider the activity. It is very possible that you will need a wardrobe of sports bras depending on the number of sports you participate in. Breast size also plays a part. Larger breasts are going to need more support. Therefore, the proper sports bra is going to give the necessary support to control breast motion and reduce the bounce force in each activity. To assist in evaluating your activities in terms of impact, we have grouped various sports into breast impact levels, beginning with the lowest and working up to the most strenuous.

Moderate Stress Medium Stress High Stress
Weight training
Snow Skiing
In-line skating
Martial Arts
Step aerobics
Stair Climbing
Field Hockey
Horseback Riding

(Note: several of these sports can be more stressful depending on your level of playing intensity)

What sports bra style is right for me?

The American Council on Exercise did a study on sports bras and came up with suggestions for selecting the right bra. A good sports bra should minimize breast movement . The Council found that compression style sports bras are best suited for smaller-busted women. Harness-style bras, which encapsulate each breast, are more suited to larger-breasted women.

I'm small-chested. Do I still need to wear a sports bra?

The answer is yes. Whether you're a 32A or a 42DD, you still need to support your breasts. Otherwise, constant motion caused by exercise will break down the delicate ligaments keeping your breasts in place and cause sagging over time. Small breasts can sag too.

Can I just wear two bras instead of a sports bra?

Wearing two bras was a common practice for gaining support years ago. However, the sports bra market has made great strides in better understanding a woman's needs in this area. One good sports bra is better than two normal bras because the sports bras are designed not only to give support but reduce bouncing.

Is there an easier way to put on a sports bra that has no clasps?

Boy, is it not the worst trying to pull on those bras over your head only to end up with deodorant marks on the bra and smashed breasts! Thank goodness, most sports bras on the market now have closures or snaps to ease the process. Consider buying a new one with these features. An added benefit is that the new ones will also have comfortable adjustable straps and better support. And, they are now designed to support each breast and eliminate the unattractive "Uni-boob" look.

How often should I replace my sports bras?

The American Council on Exercise notes that since elasticity in bras breaks down over time, sports bras should be replaced every six to twelve months.

What is the proper way to put on a panty?

Well, for starters, try one leg at a time, no matter how famous or important you are. Step both legs into your panty, then pull it up until the waistband is at the desired location. Check and make sure your crotch is centered and pulled forward. Now, starting at the sides, run your fingers along and under the elastic of the leg openings towards the back to make sure the back panel is properly cupping your buttocks. Finally, run your fingers around the inside of the waistband to set it evenly at the waist.

How do I prevent my panties from riding up?

If this is a constant problem, you are probably in the wrong size. Measure yourself using the steps on our Panty Sizing page and you will probably find that you need to go up a size. However, if the size is correct, your panties may have lost their shape and need to be replaced.

How often should I replace my panties?

That is a very individual question because it depends on how many panties you have and how you wash them. In general, if you are constantly fighting panty ride up, the elastic is stretched out, the fabric is yellowed or fraying, or you would frankly be embarrassed if anyone saw you wearing them, they need to be replaced.

The elastic in my panty legs is too binding. What's going on?

Your panty size may be too small, or the manufacturer has not given enough allowance for your legs. Consider going up a size, trying the same style from another manufacturer, or choosing a hi-cut leg style.

How do I eliminate panty lines?

Wearing a thong or a g-string will eliminate panty lines in the back. However, if you find those uncomfortable, consider wearing a slip or pantliner between your panty and garment. If this doesn't work, consider a long-leg style shapewear brief.

What's the difference between a thong and a g-string?

A g-string, as the name implies, has a string in the back of the panty instead of a fabric panel. A thong has a little more fabric and usually comes to a "Y" at the waistband. Both serve the same purpose of cutting down on visible panty lines. Each style has its ardent fans -- your best bet is to try each and decide which one feels more comfortable to you.

Who is wearing thongs?

Not long ago, thongs were just a novelty panty style. Well, today thongs are the fastest-growing segment in intimate apparel. The funny thing about the thong style is that women either swear by them or despise them. If you're thinking about giving them a try, here is some advice from the thong throngs. Most women don't like a "string" in back. They like thongs cut with a more generous back (around 1 inch). Every woman has that initial "wedgie" feeling when she first tries to wear one. However, thong fans claims that, if you give it a chance, the feeling goes away and the thong feels very comfortable. Most thong wearers do not wear them all the time- only under particular clothes like pants or tight dresses or skirts. And finally, women of all shapes and sizes wear thongs. It is not the exclusive right of the thin and tall. So be adventurous -- go out and buy one and give it a try.

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