Tuesday, February 25, 2014

10 Signs That Your Bra Doesn't Fit You Proper - Fitting Tips

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When was the last time you had a proper bra fitting? Do you know why it's important?

I was completely in the dark when it came to bra fitting until a few years ago when I took a part time job in a clothing store specializing in women's fashion - as if working full time as HR Manager and full time Mom wasn't enough.

Anyway, I took a course on bra fitting. I always believed that a good fitting bra was important for comfort and look but I didn't know there was a way to find that perfect fit other than trial and error. 

I mean, I had a vague idea what to look for. But holy cow there are actual guidelines you can follow.

For instance, my Mom always had huge red groves in her shoulders from her bra straps. I thought that was normal so when my shoulders showed signs of groves I would try moving my straps a little to the left or right to avoid them. That is until I learned different.

I thought a bit of discomfort was normal. It isn't. A good fitting bra is so comfortable that you hardly notice that you are wearing one. At the same time it gives you the proper support and keeps the girls where they are supposed to be.

I wonder if many women think like I did. I am a certain size and that's it. But that isn't true. Our bodies change throughout our lives. From teenagers to adults. Pregnancy. Nursing. Weight fluctuations. Birth Control Pills. So it makes sense that our bra requirements will change too.

It's funny. Right after taking the bra fitting course, I couldn't help but check out other women's breasts. My eyes were drawn in - I felt like such a pervert. LOL I couldn't believe just how many women were wearing bad fitting bras. I wanted to walk up to them and tell them just how good they would feel and look if they invested in a nice bra that fit properly.

I did share my new found knowledge with a few women, who were eternally grateful for the advice.

Illustration of Pink Bra

So let's get to it. Let's figure out how to find your perfect bra so that you can look and feel your best.

Benefits of A Proper Fitting Bra

  • Can help to reduce back pain and headaches for women who are large breasted,
  • help improve posture by supporting the breasts comfortably, 
  • help improve overall appearance - smooths and shapes your breasts giving you sleek lines,
  • enhance self-esteem,
  • improves how your clothes look and how they fit your body,
  • make you look five to ten pounds thinner,
  • make you look younger - your breast are up where they are supposed to be.

Did you know that approximately 67 to 80% of women are wearing ill fitting bras? I didn't. That's a lot of women.

Measuring For A Bra

Band Size

Measure your rib cage directly below your breasts. If the measurement is an even number then that is your band size. Example: You measure 34" your band size is 34".

If the measurement is an odd number you will have to round to the nearest even number. Example: You measure 33.5" then your band size is 34.

If your measurement is right in the middle of two even numbers, your band size could be rounded up or down. Example: Your measurement is 33" then your band size may be either 32 or 34.

Cup Size

Determine your cup size with this tableMeasure around the fullest part of your breast. 

For best results measure while wearing your bra. 

Make sure the tape is horizontal and snug - your arms should be down by your side. You may need someone to help you.

Subtract your band size from your breast size. Please refer to the chart to determine your cup size.

Now keep in mind these results are just a starting point. 

I've noticed that there is a difference in fit between two bras of the same style and size when there is a color difference. For example, the black one may fit tighter than a white and the white is tighter than the pink or blue bras.

So always try the bra on before you purchase it. You don't want to get home all excited about your gorgeous new bras just to find out that the black bra is the only one that fits perfectly.

Signs of an Bad Fitting Bra

  1. The band rises up your back instead of horizontally because the band is too loose,
  2. the straps leave red marks on your shoulders - too much of the support is relied on the straps,
  3. the breast tissue bulges above the bra cup because the cup is too small,
  4. the bra cup is loose and or wrinkled because the cup is too big,
  5. the underwire digs into your breast or your sides - cup or band size are wrong,
  6. you can't wait to take your bra off,
  7. the underwire hurts in the front on your rib cage - the band is too small or the bra fits too low,
  8. the middle front rides up away from the body - cups are too small,
  9. the straps fall off your shoulders - the straps need to be tightened or they have lost their elasticity or your shoulders may be sloped.
  10. when you raise your arms over your head, the cups lift up exposing the under side of your breast - the band is too big.

Signs of a Proper Fitting Bra

  1. The girls sit half way between your shoulder and elbow.
  2. when you jump up and down your bra doesn't need to be adjusted,
  3. the band lies flat on the front and back,
  4. the center of the bra lies flat against your breastbone, separating your breasts,
  5. the underwires do not dig in anywhere,
  6. the sides don't bind or cut in, 
  7. the straps support comfortably - they don't slip off or cut into your shoulders,
  8. your breasts fit comfortably in the cups smoothly without wrinkles or overflow,
  9. the band is closed at the back on the loosest hook – allowing for use of the tighter hooks as the bra ‘gives’ with wear,
  10. you can only fit two fingers in between you and the band.

Going Up or Down in Band Size

The last thing to keep in mind is the relationship between band size and cup size.
For example a 36DD is the same cup size as a 40D.
What I mean is, the larger the band size is the larger the cup size is, and the smaller the band size the smaller the cup size.

How to Use the Chart

  1. If your bra band is too loose or tight then go straight up or down the table. For example, you're wearing 34B. The cup fits but the band is big so you need to go to a 32 band size with a C cup.
  2. If your cup is too big or too small then go diagonally up or down a letter. For example, you're wearing a 34B. The cup is too big so you need to try a 34A.

Determine your bra size with this table

So now that you know what you are looking for, go out and get your perfect bra. You won't regret it.

The foundation of any good garment is a well fitted bra. Your clothes will look better because the girls sit exactly where they should. You will feel prettier, younger, leaner and more confident.

There's nothing worse that getting dressed for the day wearing a stretched out, greyed out limpy sad old bra with equally icky looking panties. 

Are you ready to look and feel your best? 

Enough talk - go and shop!


I would like to thank all the hosts at the Four Seasons Blog Hop for featuring my post. I am extremely grateful.

To check out the other features please click HERE.


Well thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed reading this post. 

You won't want to miss the next post because I'll explain how to properly take care of your new wonderful bras so they will last and stay in shape.

And don't forget to stop by my Etsy Shop, Little Shop of Treasures or check out a few other posts.

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  1. I've noticed a big difference in comfort since you've been helping me find good fitting bras.

    1. I'm glad. No one should suffer because their bra is pinching or piercing.

  2. Thank you so much for this! I read another blog post about this, but they didn't truly explain how to get the correct measurements. I've been wanting to get a proper fitting bra and now I can! Thank you! Pinning :)

    1. I'm glad I could help. But remember, the measuring is just the starting part. You still need to find a style that you like.

  3. It never occurred to me to change cup sizes! *face palm* Thank you!

  4. After having the typical rash of ill fitting bras as a teenager I make sure to have a bra that I love. There is nothing more frustrating than having a bad bra. I don't feel myself when I don't love my bra, I would rather sleep in mine than have to go without one! Wearing a bra makes me feel complete, like doing my hair and makeup; I can do without fixing my hair and makeup on a daily basis, but support? Oh no I want it even more than I need it! I am going to forward your post on...and throw out some hints. hehehe :D

    1. I agree. I good bra is essential. I couldn't imagine life without one - that would be a nightmare. And it's so true - a good bra does improve the look of your outfit, makes you look younger and thinner.

  5. Great advise! I actually hid my first fitting after school when I realized that I was actually a DD and not a B like I had always thought. I grabbed new bras in my right size and felt more confident with my body and clothes afterward. So yeah, getting a good fitting bra is really helpful with confidence!

    1. HI Tara, good for you. I know so many women who have never had a bra fitting. It's nice that more stores are offering this service for free to their patrons.

  6. I really am long overdue to get a proper bra fitting. These are some very helpful tips, I have definitely been guilty of wearing bras that do not properly fit! Stopping by from #LOBS.

    1. Well I hope you go and get one. You deserve it and you'll feel great.

  7. Thank you thank you THANK YOU for doing this post! I have worked at Victoria's Secret and Nordstrom and I'll tell you right now..most women are DEFINITELY wearing the wrong bra size. I honestly see so many women I want to give a bra makeover to because it literally changes your life. You feel better, you breathe easier, and your clothes fit so much better.

    1. Hi Liz, nice to meet you. So nice to see another person who believes in the right fitting bra as much as I do. It does literally change your life and I wish every woman can experience it.

  8. So many women would benefit from your thorough explanation. I can't believe how much I've learned. I must say that I love the idea of a proper fit making us look thinner and younger. ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing your tips at Project Inspire{d}!!

    1. Hi Diane, I'm so happy that you found the post helpful. I hope you find your perfect fit and feel fantastic.

  9. I was floored when I had my first fitting after I had my daughter. And I was nursing so my size changed quite a bit over a few years, but it was good to keep on top of it and buy the proper size.
    Made a huge difference in my life!

    1. I think most women don't realize what a huge difference it makes until they get a proper fitting bra. Glad you did.

  10. I dread bra shopping!! When I find one that fits right i buy alot!! Great tips, I need to remember! Thanks for sharing at The Happiness is Homemade Link Party!!

    1. Bra shopping is not fun but unfortunately it is a necessity. I'm like you, when I find one that I love, I buy a few.

  11. Thanks for sharing with us at The HomeAcre Hop!

    Please join us again Thursday at: