6 Telltale Signs of an Ill-Fitting Bra
Vicki Santillano | Divine Caroline
September 22, 2010
I used to assume that the oft-cited statistic about 80 percent of women wearing the wrong size bra was a scare tactic by the lingerie industry to sell more goods. Then I got measured on a whim recently and realized I’ve been wearing the wrong cup and band sizes for years.
Others I know also found out after being fitted that they’ve been wearing too-small cups and too-large bands—no surprise, since experts say this combination is the most common mistake women make when bra shopping.
How is it possible that so many of us are walking around in ill-fitting undergarments? In a word, ignorance—we don’t know what indicators to look out for, so we opt for bras that fit somewhat well instead of seeking out comfortable ones that also flatter our bodies.
If you suspect that your bra isn’t doing everything for your breasts that it could or should be doing, see if you recognize any of these telltale signs of an ill-fitting bra.
1) The center panel in the front doesn’t rest against your skin.
Again, this means that your breasts are too big for the cups you’re trying to fit them into, which results in the whole bra resting against your breasts instead of against your upper rib cage and sternum. “The front middle of the bra should sit firmly against your skin,” advises Madeline, a bra stylist based in Australia. “This means that your bust will be lifted and separated.”
And if you can feel your underwire—as in, it sits on the bottom part of your breasts rather than fitting comfortably underneath them—you have the same problem. “Underwire should not sit on the breast tissue at any time. If you see skin pinching from under the wire, you may need to go up a cup size,” she says.
2) You’ve got four smaller breasts or a uniboob.
If your breasts spill over the cups, you definitely need to go up a cup size. After trying on a bra, put a T-shirt on to see if there are any obvious bulges (the kind that look like you’ve got smaller breasts growing out of your other ones, or “double boob,” as my friend calls it) over the top of the cup.
The same goes if your breasts are so squished together that it looks like you’ve got one wide boob. A heaving chest looks fabulous on Victoria’s Secret models in catalogs, but the sexy effect is lost the minute they put on shirts. Since we all have to cover up in public, get the right cup size for your breasts and banish the uniboob.
3) The cups are wrinkled and/or there’s space between the cups’ edges and your breasts.
This indicates that your cups are too big and you should go down a size. While your breasts shouldn’t spill over the cups, they shouldn’t leave much room within the cups, either. The edges should lie flat against your skin; if they don’t, it means you need a smaller size.