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how is a bra supposed to fit

Getting a bra that fits perfectly can be tricky. Don’t worry – we’re here to help. You’ve probably heard that when you find the right bra, you’ll feel comfortable, supported, and confident. Which sounds amazing, but how is a bra supposed to fit?

If you’re struggling with finding a good bra or you want to check the fit on the bras you already have, here’s what to look for. We’re breaking down each bra part in our guide below. Read on for everything you need to know!

The band

First things first, let’s check the band. Once you’ve hooked the bra and slid your arms into the straps, take a good look at your bra band in the mirror. The bra band should be parallel to the floor and even all the way around your chest and back. Make sure the band isn’t riding up in the back (a sure sign of an ill-fitting bra). If it’s a new bra, it should be fastened on the loosest hook (the one closest to the end). Older bras may be fastened on the middle or tightest (innermost) hook.

Next, check the tightness of the band. Can you fit two fingers between your skin and the band? If you can fit three fingers or more between your skin and the band, the band is too big. Try hooking it on a tighter hook for a more supportive fit. If you’re already on the tightest hook, you either need a smaller band size and/or a new bra.

The cups

After you’ve checked the fit of the band, turn your attention to the cups. First, do the scoop and swoop – this will scoop all of your tissue toward the center of the cups so they’re filled. Ideally, your breast tissue should fill the bra’s cups completely. There shouldn’t be any gaping (empty space in the cups) or spillage over the sides, bottom, or top. Also, check where the underwire is sitting. You don’t want the underwire to rest on top of your breast tissue. Instead, your breast tissue should be completely enclosed within the underwire.

Try this: Raise your arms up into the air like you’re stretching. Did your bra move significantly? Ideally, your bra band should stay in place and your cups should keep all of your breast tissue contained. Also, your straps should stay put on your shoulders.

The straps

If the band provides 85% of the bra’s support, that leaves only 15% for the rest of the bra. So if you’re relying on your straps for support, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s a common misconception to think that your straps are doing the heavy lifting – it’s actually your band that is providing most of the support. Instead of overtightening your straps, focus on leaving just enough room between your skin and the straps (ideally you should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between your skin and the strap) so the straps are tight enough to stay securely on your shoulders without feeling uncomfortable or leaving a mark.

Fit wise, you might want to try a band size smaller to get a snug fit so you’re not overtightening the straps. Also, if your straps frequently fall off your shoulders and tightening the straps doesn’t fix the problem, you might need a different style. A racerback bra or bra with inset straps could be just what you need. Avoid bras with wide-set straps, like balconette bra and demi bra styles as they can easily fall off of narrow shoulders.

Pro tips

Did you know that you have lingerie experts right in your neighborhood? It’s true. Your local lingerie store has bra fitters that can help you find bras that fit well and feel good. No need to worry about getting the right fit at home – they’ll determine your bra size and make sure you only leave with bras that fit you amazingly. Perfect!

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:
Amour Unlined Wire Bra A1472 | Amour Bikini A1473 in Aubergine

Published by

Katie Donnelly

Katie Donnelly is a full-time freelance writer, content manager, and founder of Katie Rose Creative. An experienced bra fitter, Katie has helped hundreds of people shop for lingerie. Her favorite bra is the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra.

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