Does your bra irritate you? Is it constantly moving around, slipping or just feel like its not supporting you very well? Grab yourself a cup of tea and have a little read to find out what the 5 most common indicators of a badly fitting bra....
1. The band is riding up at the back
This is probably the most common sign I come across when checking over someones bra. Did you know when it comes to support and uplift, the band (the number part of your bra size e.g. 32, 34, 36 and so on) is actually the most important part of the bra? Your band should be giving you 80% of the support, so this is a pretty important aspect! The band needs to be nice and firm on your body to ensure it can do its thing and help to lift the weight of the breasts all day long. You should be able to get about two fingers underneath the band - not a whole hand!
When your band is sitting too loose on your body, it will start to rise up your back, meaning that naturally your breasts will then start to fall forwards or perhaps even start to droop. The firmer your band is, the more lifted your breasts will be. It's a common misconception that your bra straps need to do all of the lifting - but this isn't the case!
2. Your breasts are spilling out of the cup or not filling the cup
This is quite an easy one to spot! The dreaded "double boob" is another common problem with an ill fitting bra. If this happens to you when you are wearing your bra, this means that the cup size is too small and the volume of the cup isn't big enough for your breast tissue - hence the overspill!
You also need to make sure that the underwire isn't digging into your breast tissue. This is very important, as this is the main culprit of discomfort and soreness. When the wire is poking in to breast tissue, ladies often mistake this for the band being too tight - and then go looser in the back! However, 99% of the time it is infact the cup size that needs to be increased (and the band made firmer!)
Alternatively, if there is space in your cup, this could mean that you may need to go down a cup size. Please note that sometimes the style of the bra may be playing a part! Moulded cups (like a pre-formed T Shirt bra) has a fixed, rigid cup shape. If your breast tissue is quite soft or has lost its fullness, this style of bra may always stand away or leave a gap, no matter the size. The answer to this is to wear a bra with a soft stretched lace in the cup. This sort of fabric is really soft and supple and will then mould to your shape rather than keeping its own shape!
3. Your bra straps keep falling down
There's nothing more annoying that constantly having to pull your bra straps up all day right?! Your bra straps falling down can actually mean a few different things!
Firstly - they might just need tightening up! The adjusters will natually start to loosen over time when you are wearing and washing your bra. Your straps will get looser quicker if you wash them in the washing machine (ladies, please try not to this and read here!) so you'll have to make extra sure that these are nice and firm.
Secondly - Your underband may be too loose! Yes - everything's connected! If the underband is already too loose on your body, the bra straps will then automatically be set too wide or far apart on your shoulders. Try going down in the band and then the straps will sit more snug on your shoulders!
Thirdly - some ladies do natually have sloping shoulders and no matter what bra they try, the straps seem to slip down their shoulders. Here, it may then be the style of bra that you need to tweak. Some bras are designed with the straps centered from the back (this means the designers have purposly ensured the straps are attached nearer in towards the hook & eye than normal) This will mean the straps will sit closer. Or, you can look for a bra that has something called a J-hook. This is a niftly little clip that brings your bra staps in together from the back meaning that they won't slip off your shoulders PLUS it means you can wear a racer style top and your bra straps will be hidden, and lastly, drawing in your straps together at the back can give you even more lift & support.
4. When you lift your arms up, your bra lifts up or creates a gap
If your bra stands away from you, or your breasts slip out the bottom of the cups when you lift your arms above your head, this is another clear sign that you are not wearing the correct size bra. If this happens, it means that the underband is too loose against your ribcage. If the underband is too loose then the cradle will not be able to lift and support you properly! The frame of the bra (the cradle) should be snug and sit flat on your body.
5. The middle of the bra isn't sitting flat to your breastbone
The middle part of your bra is called the gore. This is where part that sits inbetween your breasts - and it should sit flat against your breastbone. If you are able to pull this out quite easily and there's a lot of room - this is another indicator that the bra isn't quite right. The middle part of the bra should sit flush and flat. When it sits flat, it means that the bra can then fully support, lift and separate the breasts. When you lift your arms above your head, this centre part of the bra shouldn't move and shouldn't stand away from you.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next blog which will go through and show you what to look for in a good fitting bra!
I hope this blog has helped and if you want any advice or have any questions about your own bra - please get in touch and I'm more than happy to help you!