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Have you ever wondered why a bra so often costs more than a t-shirt does, despite using a fraction of the fabric? Well, here’s the thing – bras are super complex! Fabric is just one of many components required to make one. Even a basic, triangle-cupped bralette is typically comprised of over a dozen parts. And a wired bra with some pretty decoration? That could easily have started life as twenty, thirty, maybe even fifty individual pieces.

There’s elastic, there’s metal hardware… And that fabric? We’re not just talking a front piece, a back piece and two sleeves like you need for a simple t-shirt. Just consider the ‘3-part cup’ bra, a popular full-bust style. As the name suggests, you need three pieces of fabric for one cup alone, and more if there’s a lining.

Yes, the pieces are quite small. But for each one you add, you also add construction time. The primary cost of a bra is in labour to sew it – piecing all of that together is fiddly and time-consuming. Start cutting out components to keep your costs down though, and you’ll soon find the bra no longer fits well or offers much in the way of support. Everything’s included for a reason!

The components in a bra

Here’s a list of the basic components that go into an underwired bra, and why each one is needed. Bear in mind that depending on the bra design, many bras contain elements in addition to this list, from decorative bows to padding or boning.

Fabric

To cover and support the bust, and to create the band which is necessary to hold the cups in place. Additional fabrics may be used to create linings, either for comfort reasons or to make parts of the bra stronger and more durable. And more may be used to add pretty lace overlays and trims!

Underwires

Increases support by creating a strong, fixed base for the cup fabric to attach to, and to channel the breast tissue into a particular shape.

Wire casing

Creates a soft barrier between the hard metal underwire and your skin, for comfort.

Elastic

Creates straps that fit well and stay in place, and to make the band do the same.

Rings and sliders 

Allows the strap length to be adjustable, for a better fit.

Hook-and-eye tape

Creates a fastening so you can get the bra on and off easily, and also make that fastening adjustable – again, for an improved fit.


Related: The True Cost Of Buying Cheap Lingerie


The three main parts of a bra

Rather than breaking a bra down into its individual components, you can also look at it as a garment that has three parts – a band, two cups, and two straps. Here’s what they each do – and why it’s still possible to make a functional bra with no straps.

The band

This provides the vast majority of support in a bra – roughly-speaking, 80%. Yep, bras support from below, not from above. If all that weight were being hung from your shoulders, that would not be very comfortable – especially if you have a heavy bust!

So the job of the bra band is to distribute a lot of that weight around your ribcage. It also provides a firm, non-slip base to anchor the cups to, which is why it’s important that your bra band fits relatively snugly.

The cups

The cups do support some of the weight of your breasts. However, primarily, their job is to ‘shape’ them. Maybe you want your chest to be smooth and round. Or maybe you prefer it perky and pointed. Some bras are even designed to flatten.

It’s all down to the cup design, from the direction the seams are sewn in to the type of underwire, padding or molding used (or lack thereof). Remember: just because you want lots of lift and a bra gives you a more relaxed and natural shape, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad fit – it might just not be designed to create the shape you want.

The straps

With the band doing most of the heavy-lifting and the cups also helping out, the straps actually only do a fraction of the support work. That’s why strapless bras are able to exist that still offer shape and lift! Mostly, the straps help to stabilise the bra, holding it in place if you twist or lean forwards.

In bras with cups made from unstiffened fabric, they also help to pull the upper edge flush against your skin, so it doesn’t wrinkle or flop over.

Hopefully this article has given you a newfound respect for these fashionable feats of engineering! Did you know that bras were made up of so many parts?


Related: How Should A Bra Fit?


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Red/Black

If you’ve read even just a handful of articles about bra fit, you’ve probably run across the statement that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. That hasn’t actually been proven by a statistically-significant research study. But, as any bra fitter can tell you, there are many women out there wearing bra sizes that aren’t ideal.

There are various signs that your bra is poorly-fitting. Some are obvious, such as aches and pains; a well-made, well-fitting bra should never be uncomfortable. Others are harder to spot, such as a band that’s riding up – you may not notice that one if you don’t dress in front of a mirror.

If you have no clue whether you’re in the right or wrong size, it ‘s worth considering a professional bra fitting. But if you’re pressed for time, feeling nervous (hint: this list of things to expect may help calm your worries), or don’t live nearby to a good boutique, you can also do a DIY bra-fit check at home. Plus use these tips to evaluate the fit of a bra yourself in the changing room!

Bras are made up of typically dozens of different components, but they all come together to create three main ‘parts’ – the cups, the band, and the straps.

Here’s how each of them should fit:

The Band

Turn to the side in front of a mirror. The band should continue horizontally across your back, not curve up in the middle. If it is riding up, that’s a sign you need a smaller band size. Check also that it’s not too tight. Lift your arms up, twist side to side, bend over… you should be able to do all of this comfortably and with ease.

If you have a lot of soft tissue around your ribcage, it’s perfectly normal to get ‘rolls’ above and below the band. It’s not a sign that it’s overly-tight if it’s still comfortable to wear. But if it bothers you aesthetically, choosing a bra with a wider band will help smooth things out.


Related: How Tight Should Your Bra Band Be?


The Cups

There are three fit aspects to check here. First, check the wires (if the bra has them). They should lie in the curve just below where your breast begins. Ensure the wire isn’t sitting on top of your breast tissue by leaning forwards, reaching into the cup and pulling your breast upwards.

It’s important to make sure your breast is fully inside the cup before moving onto the next step, which is checking that the cups’ upper edges lay flush against your skin. If there’s a gap, you’re not filling them out fully and should try a smaller size. If they dig in, creating a bump rather than a smooth contour, there’s not enough room and you should try a size up instead.

Finally, check the gore. It’s the area between the cups, sometimes a part of the band but other times a separate piece of fabric. This should also be lying flat against your skin. If there’s a gap between it and your sternum – that’s also a sign you need a larger cup size.

The Straps

If you’re trying on a new bra, expect to have to adjust the straps a little. You may also need to adjust them on a bra you already own since they can work themselves loose over time. They should be comfortably snug, neither loose nor digging in.

If they’re fully shortened yet still slipping off your shoulders, it’s most likely that the band is too big and is riding up (meaning the straps are not anchored in place sufficiently low down on your back).

But if you need to pull them painfully tight in order to achieve sufficient lift, this could also mean the band size is too big (because it’s not providing enough support). Straps can also dig in simply be because they’re too narrow – strap cushions or switching to a bra with wider straps can help.

Found your perfect bra fit? Great! Just remember that it’s the correct size for that bra only. It’s totally normal for your size to vary between brands, or even between different styles by the same brand; two 34Es can fit quite differently. But now that you know how to check if a bra fits well, you’ll be able to find your perfect size in all of them!


Related: Why Do My Bra Straps Dig Into My Shoulders?


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Matilda Contour Plunge Padded Bra P5311 in Bisque

There’s no doubt about it, bralettes are the hottest thing in lingerie right now. Even brands that were previously all about rigid support are beginning to add these soft, wireless bras to their collections. Clearly, women love them. But is a bralette right for you?

Wait, what is a bralette?

First, it helps to understand what a bralette is – and what it is not. Bralettes are still bras, just a specific style of one. They’re lighter, less structured, and importantly wire-free. That’s what separates a bralette from an unlined bra, which has no moulding or padding but is still underwired.

Some people think bralettes are ones with deep, lacy bands, but that’s a misconception. They can have longline bands but regular bras can too. In fact, bralettes are often where we’ll see the most narrow, delicate-looking bands of all. If you’re looking for a full-bust one though, you’re more likely to see a wide band because it bolsters the support. Bralettes aren’t designed to offer lots of lift, but a wider band does at least help to secure the garment in place.

What does a bralette not offer that a bra does?

As I’ve just mentioned, bralettes aren’t designed with oodles of support in mind. They won’t do much lifting, and they won’t do much moulding; if it’s a perky, rounded shape you want and that’s not what you have naturally, a bralette isn’t going to help you get there. And they won’t stop you ‘bouncing’ if you run to catch the bus either.

Many full bust bralettes have cups that are joined at the centre, which helps to prevent you falling out of it if you twist or bend over. However, the lack of fully-separated cups means your breasts won’t be held apart, like they would be in a wired bra. Instead, if they’re large, they could feel a bit ‘smooshed together’. On the plus side, this can lead to great cleavage!


Related: Bralette vs Bra: What’s The Difference Between A Bra and A Bralette?


So, why wear a bralette then?

A bralette won’t offer the same lift, shape and support as a regular bra, but there are still plenty of reasons to wear one! After all, if there weren’t, they wouldn’t be so popular. One of the top reasons many people turn to bralettes is for comfort – the softer structure and lack of rigid wiring means it’s less likely to rub or dig in.

And if the bralette doesn’t lift your breasts up super high, well, maybe you don’t mind that. Support isn’t a priority for everyone. If you’d prefer a more natural shape, a bralette can be a great middle-ground between traditional bras and going braless. They offer a relaxed fit, but also modesty. And by creating a barrier between your breasts and ribcage, they’ll ward off sweat when it’s hot outside too.

Finally, bralettes can also be considered a fashion accessory. Often designed with decorative straps or in beautiful lace, it’s fine to have a flash of bralette showing where having a regular bra visible may feel too exposed. Low-cut neckline? Show off that lacy centre-front – it’ll probably just look like a camisole being worn underneath!

Should I wear bras or bralettes?

Trick question. Who says you have to choose? Even if a bralette isn’t right for you as an everyday option, it could still be a fantastic choice in certain situations.

If your breasts feel tender during your period for example, maybe switching to bralettes for a few days can bring some relief. Or if you do love the comfort but aren’t keen on the shape, how about saving them for lazy weekends at home, or even wearing one as a sleep bra?

Some women try bralettes and love them so much, they rush out and replace all their wired bras. But for most, having a bralette in your lingerie drawer simply gives one more option – just like having a plunge, racer-back or strapless style does. I think a bralette makes a great wardrobe staple, but when it comes down to it, you should wear what’s most comfortable for you.


Related: How To Find A Bralette That Actually Works For Full Busts


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Adriana Lace Bralette P5482 | Adriana Lace Bikini P5483 in Sky Blue

Planning a wedding can be a stressful affair, but it’s also very fun! Not least because you get to shop for a whole new outfit, probably the fanciest one you’ll ever wear. I don’t just mean the dress. There are also shoes to think about, and the jewellery, and the part that’s not visible – lingerie.

For many brides thinking about what to wear underneath it all, their thoughts instantly turn to something ultra-beautiful or ultra-sexy. It’s your big day after all, and you want each and every thing to be the best of the best. In some ways, getting hitched is the perfect excuse to splurge on a really luxurious, designer lingerie set that’s unlike anything you normally wear.

But, it may not be what works best with your dress. Or something that’s still comfortable after you’ve been wearing it 12 hours. In fact, the best option may even be to go braless!

So how should you shop for bridal lingerie?

I’d recommend sorting out the dress first. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with a strapless, backless or body-skimming silk style that requires special considerations when it comes to lingerie.

Though, don’t leave your lingerie shopping to the last minute either. Corsets, other shapewear, and even bras can all change how a garment on top of them fits. You’ll want to leave time for potential alterations after you’ve tried the lingerie and dress on together.

And again, maybe you won’t even need to buy a bra. Many wedding dresses come with built-in cup molding. Once you’ve picked ‘the one’ and tried it on, you’ll be able to determine if it supports your bust on its own.


Related: 7 Questions To Ask Before Buying Bridal Lingerie


What style of bridal lingerie should I buy?

Option 1: Something fancy

If pretty lingerie’s what makes you happy, by all means go all out! But do be certain it’s something you can wear for some time. Just like shoes, some lingerie needs a little breaking in. You don’t want to discover two hours into a very long day that your bra wires are rubbing or your basque is digging in.

Or, horror of all horrors, your tie-side knickers are undoing themselves and slipping down! (Yes, it happened to me once. No, I wasn’t walking up the aisle). If you’re at all worried about your choice of lingerie, do a ‘test run’ wear before the wedding for peace of mind.

Option 2: Change it up

Dead set on something that just doesn’t work well with your dress? You can always change your lingerie between the reception and wedding night.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for brides to change their whole outfit too. Why not swap your gown for a glitzy cocktail dress for the final hours of the party, complete with covert change of intimates underneath?

Option 3: Keep things simple

For the day itself, the most important thing is that you’re comfortable. You’re about to make some of the best memories of your life, and you don’t need distractions! If a simple, seamless bra is what you find the most comfy, and what makes the dress on top look most fabulous, who needs to know what you’re wearing beneath?

Remember, you’ve got the whole honeymoon to dress for yet. Plenty of brides to pick out a range of beautiful lingerie sets, slips or robes to reveal one by one while away. Why not save the fancy stuff for when you can truly relax and enjoy it?

So no, you don’t need to wear fancy lingerie for your wedding day.

Maybe your wedding is the perfect place to wear a garter belt and stockings for the first time, or maybe it’s really not. Luxurious, uniquely-styled bridal lingerie is an option to consider, but don’t feel pressured into it. You should do what’s right for you.

If you’ve been married, what style of wedding lingerie did you choose? And did your chosen dress impact your choice of intimates at all?


Related: Does Bridal Lingerie Have To Be White?


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Elissa Low Back Bustier P5017 in Pearl White (perfect for low back and strapless wedding dresses!)

Once you’ve picked a photographer for your boudoir shoot, it’s time to get onto the really fun bit – planning your looks! Be sure to check how many outfit changes are included in the price, so you know how much lingerie to bring with you. But it’s not just bras and briefs that you need to think about.

Here are 4 more things you’ll probably want to take along to your boudoir photo shoot:

A cover-up

If this is the first time you’ll be being photographed in your smalls and you’re feeling a bit nervous, pairing your lingerie with something that offers a bit more coverage can help you feel less exposed. And if there are parts of your body you’re not keen on showing, draping a robe artfully around your body is a subtle and stylish way to cover them up.

It’s not just a confidence thing – long, swishy robes can add incredible dimension to your images, so you may want to wear one purely for aesthetics. Although robes are the most popular choice of cover up, they’re not your only option. Take into account the vibe you’re going for. Perhaps a chic sweater, button-through shirt or leather jacket could work instead?

Oh, and cover-ups are great for keeping warm between sets! You’ll be standing around semi-dressed for quite some time after all.

Props

You may be the centrepiece of the images, but you won’t be the only thing in them. Consider the background carefully, because it has a big impact on the mood and ‘feel’ of the images. In fact, it’s often what takes a photo from ‘good’ to ‘amazing’.

Speak to your photographer to find out if they provide any props – if you’re shooting at their studio, chances are they’ll have something. Though you may still want to pack a few things for a personalised touch.

So what to take? Again, think of the style of image you want to create. Suitable props can include anything from flowers to books to a musical instrument! If you find posing awkward, it can be especially helpful to take something to hold or do with your hands. Food is one such idea – why not be photographed nibbling on strawberries or sipping champagne?


Related: What To Wear For A Boudoir Photo Shoot


A pair of heels

We’re so used to lingerie being ‘bedroom’ attire only, it’s easy to forget to pack some nice shoes. But they can look fantastic paired with your lingerie – even if you’re lounging on a bed where you wouldn’t normally have footwear on!

While not a boudoir shoot must-have, a pair of high heels can transform your posture, not to mention make your legs look incredible. Just be sure to give the soles a thorough clean beforehand and wear different shoes on your way to the shoot, since the undersides may be visible in the photos.

Jewellery and accessories

Finally, don’t forget the little adornments that really complete a look. If you’re going for glamour for example, a pair of sparkling drop earrings can make all the difference. Don’t neglect to think about how you’ll be wearing your hair too – do you want to take hairslides, or a pretty clip-in flower?

If it’s a sexy vibe you’re after, you can set the mood with a lace or satin blindfold. If you’re keeping things casual, how about fluffy socks and some headphones? Or if you’re boudoir shoot is bridal themed, perhaps you’ll want to be photographed in your veil or wedding garter.

If you’ve ever had a boudoir photo shoot, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you took with you besides lingerie!


Related: The Girl’s Guide To Preparing For A Boudoir Photo Shoot


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for your boudoir photo shoot, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Wendy Plunge Padded Bra P5411 | Wendy Bikini P5413 in Victorian Rose

Are you feeling left out by the bralette trend that’s taken the lingerie world by storm? Perhaps you love the delicate look of them, or maybe you crave the comfort going wire-free can bring. But chances are, if you’re a D cup or above, you’re somewhere between skeptical and positively laughing at the thought of something so flimsy being able to support your chest.

Well, I have good news and maybe-not-so-good news for you. Here it is: perhaps you haven’t found them yet, but bralettes for full busts do exist. However, for no bralette will ever offer the same lift, shape or support as a wired bra can. That’s just not what they were designed for.

So why wear a bralette?

You might prefer the look that a traditional bra gives you. But if you’re easy either way, well, why not wear a bralette? There’s no rule that says your breasts have to look a certain way! We live in body-positive times, and it can feel quite liberating to flaunt your natural shape for once.

Even if you want that lift and support out in public, bralettes offer you an easygoing, ultra-comfy alternative for when you’re relaxing at home. Maybe even sleeping. This comfort aspect also makes them great when you’re pregnant, nursing or recovering from breast surgery.

And with bralettes as much a fashion trend as a lingerie one, it’s also more acceptable to have a flash of this style on show. Tired of hunting for a plunge bra low enough to disappear under your V neck, or a convertible one to wear with thin-strapped camis? No more! With chic strap details and gorgeous lace trims, many bralettes are simply made to seen.

And hey, did I mention they’re often also cheaper than their wired counterparts too?


Related: How Should A Bralette Fit?


Signs of a supportive full-bust bralette

Especially as someone with a fuller bust, you probably still want a lingerie style that can make you feel secure. No one wants to be popping out of their bra every five minutes – or ever, for that matter!

Luckily, not all bralettes were made equal. Here are 3 design tweaks that make a bralette significantly more suitable for large cup sizes:

A wide band

The majority of support in a bra comes from the band, and that’s still the case with bralettes. But with many made from stretch lace or other soft-and-supple fabrics, an ultra-firm fit can be harder to come by. Instead, look out for a band that’s wide, which is another way to increase its supportiveness.

Wide shoulder straps

The band may do most of the heavy-lifting, but the straps take some of the weight – especially in wire-free bras where the cup is less self-supporting. When you think of bralettes, you may picture narrow spaghetti straps. Many bralettes do have them. But plenty also have wider strap designs. These mean the weight is distributed over a larger surface area, leading to less cutting-in. Racer-back strap styles increase support too.

Added seaming

The classic triangle bralette is not seamed so much as darted – a sort of ‘half seam’ that starts at the base of the cup and ends by the nipple. That is only there to give the cup depth, not to make it stronger – which is what seams usually do on a bra.

So at the very least, look for a bralette with a seam going all the way to the top of the cup. It really makes a difference to the lift! Bralettes are less-structured by nature, but you may be able to find one with additional seaming – and generally speaking, more seams leads to added support.

Have I convinced you to give bralettes a try? Keep an eye out for these three design features when shopping, because everyone deserves a chance to get in on this cute and comfy trend!

Oh and don’t forget to check out our range of bralettes. Unlike many, they’re sold by standard bra sizing, so whatever your cup size from D to G you can get a great fit.


Related: Why Are Bralettes So Popular?


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Adriana Lace Bralette P5482 | Adriana Bikini P5483 in Pearl White

When it comes to bra fitting advice, there’s a lot that can be said about cup size. From cups that cut in to ones that are gaping, it’s easy to find guidance for your cup-fitting woes. But those are only half of the story. The fit of your bra’s band is equally important – in fact, perhaps even more so.

Why is a firm-fitting band important?

It’s the band, not the cups or the straps, that does the majority of the supporting in a bra. And to do its job properly, it needs to be snug. The looser your band, the closer the bra is to simply hanging off your shoulders. And if the full weight of your bust is suspended from only the straps, that’s when they’ll start digging in – especially for those with large, heavy breasts. If your bras make your shoulders ache, your band size could be the problem.

It’s not just the comfort of the bra that a loose band can affect though, but the shape of it too. Since a too-loose band can’t provide enough support, the cups will inevitably droop down. But when it’s tight enough that it can’t slip around, the band anchors the whole bra in place, providing a robust and sturdy base for the cups to sit on. So if it’s lift you’re looking for, you need a firm band.


Related: Here’s How To Put On A Bra Without Stretching The Band


How to buy the right band size

A good place to start is simply with a measuring tape. Wrap it around horizontally at the breast crease or base of your breasts, pulling it comfortably firm. This number, in inches, is a band size to try on (if it’s odd, try both the size down and the one up from it).

However be aware that a number of factors affect your bra band size, and you may actually need to go one or two sizes above this starting point, or below it. For example, if you have a ‘solid’ ribcage – one that’s muscular or with bones close to the surface – you may need a larger band for comfort. And conversely, if it’s soft and squishy, you may need a smaller band size to achieve that same, nicely-snug fit. If in doubt, a bra fitter can help you decide.

And while we’re here, a quick tip: make sure you’re trying these bras on with the hooks fastened at the last (biggest) column. Over time, the elastic in the bra gives way and the band stretches out. So by starting with one that fits best at its loosest, you can gradually move the hooks inwards to compensate and maintain that same size.

But how tight is too tight?

So we’ve established that yes, your bra band does need to be firm. It’s crucial for support, to reduce strain on your shoulders. But tighter is not always better! Once you think you’ve found the right size, try this test: pop a couple of fingers inside the band at the back, and pull it away from your body. If you can pull it about an inch or so, it’s just right. If you can pull it rather a lot more, it’s too large.

But if you can’t pull it at all, or even struggle to get your fingers in there, it’s too tight. Your ribcage expands and contracts through the day as you breathe and move around, and so the band does need some ‘give’. Otherwise, it may chafe. And if your bra is hurting you, it’s definitely not the right size.

Overall, it’s a case of weighing up comfort vs support. Your bra band should be snug, but not painful. And if you feel like your bra band is already as tight as you’d want it, remember that you can also increase support from the band by choosing a wider, longline style. A very narrow band can simply cut in, without providing much support at all!


Related: 3 Important Factors That Determine Your Bra Band Size


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for your boudoir photo shoot, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Elissa Strapless Contour Bra P5011 | Elissa Bikini P5013 in Black

New year, new lingerie! It’s the perfect time to review and refresh your lingerie drawer. Book a professional bra fitting if you haven’t had one for a while, and take some time out this month to try on all of your existing bras to check that they still fit you well. Check too for ones that are looking a little worse for wear – bras have a finite lifespan and, especially if it’s a well-loved favourite that you reach for all the time, it could well be time to find a replacement.

Whether it turns out that you do in fact need some new bras or you simply feel like treating yourself, below I’ve rounded up 8 chic bras that will breathe fresh life into your lingerie wardrobe this spring. Because whilst we may still be in the depths of winter right now, but it won’t be much longer until the mornings start getting brighter, the evenings later, and the skies a whole lot sunnier. And a bright new season calls for stylish intimates that will match your upbeat mood!

Here are eight pretty bras to lift your mood this spring: 

Romina Unlined Wire Bra

unpadded lace bras

Romina Unlined Wire Bra P5522 in Mediterranean Blue

Wave goodbye to gloomy grey weather and welcome in the bright blue skies of spring with the Romina Unlined Wire Bra P5522, designed especially with the new Spring-Summer 2018 season in mind. With contrasting black trims, it’s a vibrant, youthful style with a refreshing splash of colour that is sure to perk you up in the mornings!

Marion Unlined Wire Bra

what is an unlined bra

Marion Unlined Wire Bra P5392 in Pink Parfait

For a softer, more romantic antidote to the darkness of winter, you’ll simply love the blush-pink Marion Unlined Wire Bra P5392. The unlined version is made from all-over lace for a look that’s beautifully delicate, but with a subtle, beige mesh backing to ensure it still offers all of the support you need.

Ava Padded Bra

best padded bra

Ava Padded Bra P5371 in Black Floral

Nothing says springtime like a colourful floral print, and they don’t come much more eye-catching than on the vintage-inspired Ava Padded Bra P5371. It has all the practicality you’d expect from a standard smooth, t-shirt style bra, but the luscious, leafy print and cute button details make it far more fun to wear!

Casey Plunge Molded Bra

floral print bra

Casey Plunge Molded Bra 2801 in Black/Rose Print

If you like the Ava above, there’s a good chance you’ll love our Casey Plunge Molded Bra 2801 too. Also black with a bold floral print, this one has a plunge shape at the front that makes it a better choice if you tend to wear a lot of low V necklines once the weather warms up. Or, you know, you could always treat yourself to the two of them.


Related: Bra Shopping Guide: Tips For Buying New Bras


Charlotte Padded Bra

what's a padded bra

Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 in Floral Shimmer

Prefer your underthings to be more neutral in colour? You can still indulge in some beautiful springtime blooms with the floral version of the Charlotte Padded Bra 6901. The #1 Parfait bestseller, it features the same highly-supportive construction and expansive size range (up to a 44G) as its block-coloured counterparts, but with the added plus of a gorgeous monochrome print.

Irene Unlined Wire Bra

what is an unlined demi bra

Irene Unlined Wire Bra P5332 in Ivory

For a more subtle take on florals, take a look at our ivory Irene Unlined Wire Bra P5332. The semi-sheer, flowery mesh feels wonderfully light and breathable against the skin, perfect for those warm and breezy spring mornings.

Enora Minimizer Bra

best minimizer bra for dd

Enora Minimizer Bra P5272 in Whisper Blue

When the skies outside are clear and bright, match your underwear to your mood with our Enora Minimizer Bra P5272. In the lightest of powder blues and with a clean-cut design, it feels fresh, chic and very modern. From a distance it may seem like a fairly simple bra design, but take a close-up look and you’ll fall in love with the gorgeous jacquard detail on the fabric and the little silver charm between the cups.

Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra

plus size longline bra

Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra P5351 in Wild Pink

Let’s end this list the way it started – with a lingerie option that’s bold and bright enough to carry you not just through spring but through the summertime too. How could it be anything other than the fuchsia pink Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra P5351? Not just pretty but practical too, the lacy longline is boned and offers exceptional support despite the deep plunge neckline. Put this one on in the mornings and you’ll instantly be feeling zesty, energetic and ready for the day ahead!


Related: 12 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Beautiful Lingerie


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Do you treat yourself to new lingerie as the seasons change? What’s your favourite bra featured here today?

Found your perfect bra? It goes without saying that you want your purchase to last as long as possible, and here some tips to help make that happen. However, even with the very best care, no bra lasts forever.

Bras come under a lot of strain when worn, particularly in the larger cup sizes. Underwires get pulled out of shape around the curve of your ribcage, and spend the day pushing against their casing as they try to spring back to their resting position. The elastic of the band and straps gets stretched, and even the fabric of the cups comes under some pressure from supporting the weight of your bust.

Do you always need to throw out (or donate) your bra at the first sign of deterioration though? The answer is: it depends. Some types of damage can be repaired, giving your bra a new lease on life and letting you wear that everyday favourite a little while longer. Other types of damage are harder to fix, and may signify that the bra is no longer able to offer the support it’s supposed to.

Having trouble parting with your old bras? We’ve got you covered.

Check out our helpful guide for when to fix an old bra, and when to replace it:

Easy bra fixes

These bra hacks and repairs are so simple to do, and can add months to your bra’s lifespan in a matter of minutes!

Discolouration

Bra looking a bit old and grey? Or yellow? Often, stains on a bra can be attributed to deodorant, sweat or a general build-up of dirt. A good scrub will get most out, or at least fade them. For tougher marks, try using baking soda or a soak in a well-diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.

Slipping straps

If your straps no longer used to slip off your shoulders but now they won’t stop, the solution could be as simple as adjusting them. The elastic may have lost some of its stretch, or the sliders may just have moved out of place. And if they’re already at their shortest, small clips are available to convert regular straps into a tighter racerback – you can even do it using only a paperclip!

Tougher bra fixes

These bra fixes require a little sewing know-how – or paying for the services of a local seamstress – but are a wallet-friendly alternative to buying a whole new bra.

A popped underwire

When an underwire breaks through the end of its casing, it can be quite painful. But it can be fixed! You’ll find a number of no-sew solutions online, but for the most secure and long-lasting repair you’ll want to get your sewing kit out. Push the wire back inside the casing and stitch it closed. If the wire is still threating to pop back out, or the stitched area starts to rub, sew a strip of thick, soft fabric such as moleskin on top.

A loose band

Over time, the elastic in your bra’s band will deteriorate and it will get longer. That’s why you should buy a bra that fits on the loosest hook, so that you can gradually tighten it over time. What to do, besides replacing it of course, when you just can’t get it tight enough though? Either remove the hook and eye sections, cut some band length away and sew them back on, or simply fold the band and keep it that way with a few stitches.


Related: How Long Should Bras Last?


how often to replace bras

Parfait Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra P5351 | Parfait Sandrine Brazilian Thong P5354 in Cameo Rose

Signs your bra is not worth fixing

Crushed molded cups

If your molded bra cups have become lumpy or dented, sadly they’re going to stay that way. To avoid this happening in the first place, always reshape the cups whilst damp and store the bra in such a way that the cups aren’t being crushed.

Holes

If your bra is so damaged it actually has holes, it’s definitely a sign that it’s time to move on! The biggest culprit here is a harsh washing routine; minimise the risk of holes developing in your other bras by hand-washing or using mesh lingerie bags in the washing machine, and avoid the tumble dryer altogether.

Visible elastic threads

Over time, the elastic fibres in certain materials (particularly stretch lace) will become brittle and break. Speaking of tumble-dryers, this will happen rather fast if you use one for your bras, since heat is particularly good at destroying elastic! You’ll see it as tiny strands of elastic poking out of the straps or fabric. As well as being unsightly, it’s a sign the support is being compromised, and there’s unfortunately just no way to undo it.

It no longer fits

Just because a bra once fit you perfectly, doesn’t mean it always will. The band can stretch out (see above), or you can change size. Here are 10 signs your bra is no longer a good fit. At best a poorly-fitting bra won’t be supporting your bust the way it should be, at worst it will be causing substantial discomfort. So if your bra’s no longer a great fit, it’s time to replace it with one that is.

To repair or replace?

As you can see, many types of bra damage can be repaired. You’ll need to invest a little time, and perhaps a little money, but are all worth considering if you really love the bra and are keen to keep hold of it.

If your bra is suffering from multiple signs of damage listed above though, it’s time for a replacement. Patching up a small fault is one thing, but when the bra is practically falling apart, there’s no way it will be doing its job properly anymore. No one likes getting rid of a bra that was once a firm favourite, but just think of it as a chance to treat yourself to something lovely and new. A new bra perhaps?


Related: The Best Places To Donate Your Old Bras


how often should bras be replaced

Parfait Elissa Strapless Contour Bra P5011 in Pearl White

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Elissa Strapless Contour Bra P5011 in Black

Do you ever repair your bras? Or do you get rid of them as soon as they start to look a bit old?

We’ve all got a bra that we love simply because of the shape it gives us. So you’ll know already that your breasts can look quite different depending on which bra you’ve got on. Some will give you lots of lift, some won’t, some create a very rounded profile, some one that’s a bit pointier or flatter… But why is this? And how can you predict what shape a bra is going to create when you’re shopping online and can’t try it on?

Below I run through some of the construction basics of a bra that affect its shape: 

What do bra seams do?

What’s the point of seams in a bra? Rather a lot as it happens – they’re fundamental to creating the bra’s unique shape.

Vertical seams

Vertical seams are there for support. The seam is thicker than the fabric surrounding it, and therefore stronger. Imagine holding something heavy inside a piece of thin fabric. The lowest point where the strain on the fabric is at its highest is going to stretch and deform.

Your breast is like that object, and adding a strip of reinforced fabric prevents the cup from warping so that the bra holds its shape better. Typically, if there’s a vertical seam it’ll be up the centre of the cup where it’s under the most strain. Some bras though have multiple vertical seams, for lots of upwards lift!

Horizontal seams

Horizontal seams on the other hand don’t affect the amount of lift the bra has. Instead, they’re there to give it more ‘forwards projection’. A totally horizontal seam that runs straight across the nipple will create a more perky, pointed shape. One that runs slightly diagonally, up towards the strap, will create more of a rounded shape.

Seam combinations

A popular bra style is the ‘3 part cup’ – the bottom part has a vertical seam, but it’s cut off by a horizontal/diagonal one instead of reaching all the way to the top of the cup.

A bra that is only vertically-seamed is very uplifting, but can make your chest look somewhat flat from the side. So this combination of vertical support and horizontal shaping creates a shape that is both lifted and rounded. Full-busted women in particular tend to love it!


Related: 3 Important Factors That Determine Your Bra Band Size


What else affects bra shape?

Seams are very important, but they’re not the only thing that influences bra shaping. With bras being such intricate garments – often containing dozens of individual pieces and components – there are all sorts of ways for designers to tweak the basic shape of a bra.

Side supports

A side support is a vertical piece of fabric reaching from the base of the bra up to the strap. It may be a part of the cup itself, or a separate sling inside the bra. The point of a side support is to stop breasts splaying out sideways. The support pushes breast tissue at the outer edges inwards, creating a narrower shape from the front and a more projected one when seen from the side.

Gore size

The gore is the little piece of fabric at the centre-front, between the two cups. Some bras have a wide gore, with maybe as much as an inch between the two underwires. On other bras, it’s much more narrow – the wires may even be touching.

A wider gore will help to separate your breasts, and a narrow one will therefore hold them closer together. If you’re aiming for cleavage, you want as narrow a gore as possible.

Underwire shape

The underwire sits right at the base of your breast, and is designed to mold the soft breast tissue above into a particular shape. The narrower the U shape of the wire, the narrower (and therefore more projected) a shape you’ll have in it. Though be sure it is still sitting entirely under your breast – if it’s on top of it, it’s too small and you need a larger cup size.

There are also plunge bra underwires, which are less U-shaped and more like a J, not coming up very high on the inner side. This allows your breast to ‘spill over’ as it were at the centre, creating cleavage.

Molding and padding

Some people love unlined bras, others swear by molded ones. In a molded bra, the cup is pre-formed using heat, and retains its shape when you take it off. It’s therefore perfect for giving you a very smooth, round shape. Many molded cups don’t even require seaming because they hold their shape so well, though you can find molded bras with seams for adding support.

Padding is an extra-thick area inside the bra cup designed to give you the appearance of a larger bust. The padding may be built-in, or in the form of removable pads. If the padding is across the bottom of the cup, your breasts rest on top of it and therefore sit higher on your chest. If the padding is towards the outer side of the cup, it forces your breast tissue inwards – another way to create cleavage.

Now go find a bra you love!

You can refer back to this guide when shopping online, to get a sense of how the bra is going to look and fit. Take a moment to analyse that favourite bra of yours, the one that you love the shape of. Which direction do the seams go in? How wide is the gore? Are there side supports? Note down the key construction features, and you’ll be better able to hunt down bras by other brands that will fit in a similar way.


Related: The Complete Guide To Breast Shapes


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Matilda Contour Plunge Padded Bra P5311 in Bisque

What’s your favourite type of bra construction?

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