Bras: the perfect fitIt is said that the average woman owns about six bras, but probably most of them aren't the best fit. According to Oprah, up to 85% of women aren't wearing the right brasserie for their breasts. Since it's time for spring cleaning, take this opportunity to sweep the cobwebs from your lingerie drawer.
The key to finding the perfect bra is to get properly measured. Any lingerie store or bra department will gladly fit you free of charge. If you choose to fit yourself, measure using a flexible measuring tape while wearing either a non-padded bra that fits decently or without one at all.
Two measurements are necessary, the first being around the part of your ribcage that is directly underneath your breasts. This number is your Band size. Next, measure around your breasts at their fullest point (probably the nipple) for your Bust size. To find your Cup size substract your Band size from your Bust size and teh remaining number corresponds to your Cup size.
BAND - BUST = CUP SIZE
< 1" = AA
1" = A
2" = B
3" = C
4" = D
5" = DD
>6"= DDD, F, G and beyond
If your bra fits properly, it should never leave marks anywhere on your back, shoulders or breasts, nor should the straps or cups ever sag or pucker. Though bra sizing is universal, not all bras are created equal. If you suspect you are part of the 85% of women wearing ill-fitting boulder holders, try adjusting your straps, cup size, band size, or switch brands until you find a style that works well for your needs.
Besides finding the proper fit, you'll want to purchase the proper style for the clothes you wear. Different types of bras shape breasts in various ways. For example, when hanging out with Grandpa "the girls" shouldn't be hanging out of your pushup bra. A full-coverage one will do teh trick. Here are some common styles of support and what they are great (and not so great) for:
PUSH-UP: Strategically designed to thrust breasts upwards and inwards, creating the coveted "cleavage crack"
Best for: V-neck sweaters, evening dresses and anytime your are trying to bring sexy back...
Worst when: In professional settings or when you want the focus on your face and not on your fabulous chest.
WIRED: An under wire help breasts lift and separate.
Best for: Anytime you just want a little oomph!
Worst when:The wiring is taken too far, giving your chest less of a robust feel and more of a robot look.
T-SHIRT: Extra padding conceals erect or dark nipples, while the lack of seams and lace make for smooth sailing under shirts.
Best for: Natural-looking shaping without bumps or lumps
Worst when: Trying to recreate the Tara Reid nipple-slip. This would prove impossible, as this bra is the James Bond of brasseries and isn't going to reveal anything, ever under blinding lights or intense pressure (same as James Bond...)
SKIN TONED BRA: Camouflage for teh fashionista who wants her support to go unnoticed.
Best for: Stealth shaping underneath see-through shirts or tops with tiny straps.
Worst when: The Bra does not match skin tone well... what's the point?
STRAPLESS: Designed to defy gravity without tell-tale straps.
Best for: Strapless tops, or other shirts whne you can't find a proper color skin tone bra.
Worst when: Gravity wins, pulling your bra (and breasts) down with it.
ADHESIVES: The Houdini of all bras, carefully crafted to stay hidden no matter how low-cut the top may be.
Best for: Anything backless
Worst when: You have to take them off. OUCH!
MINIMIZER: A (hopefully) comfortable breast compactor to help upper body clothing fit better.
Best for: Getting rid of that awful gap between the second and third button of your favorite shirt.
Worst when: If it is a poor fit, instead of redistributing the breast tissue, the minimizer will simply push it up and over the top of the cups, creating a four-chambered "quadra-boob" across your chest. Not nice.
SPORTS BRA: Like a great boyfriend, it is designed to be strong and supportive and extremely helpful in reaching your fitness goals. (Why are you laughing?)
Best for: Anytime you'd like to jog without being reminded with each stride that you have breasts.
Worst when: Trying to take a really tight one off can be a challenge, especially when sweaty.
NURSING: "Regular" bras featuring removable inserts to make meal access easy for baby.
Best for: Mommies
Worst when: The mommy still wears one, even though her child is eight...
SHAPERS BRAS: that extend to your navel (or beyond), not only supporting your top but also providing a temporary tummy tuck.
Best for: Anyone with an extra inch to pinch... hey, that's most of us!
Worst when: Wearing cropped tops or other clothing that might reveal your shaper secret. Also, don't count on your shaper for all day, every day wear, as it isn't the most comfortable chest choice.
I hope you find this post helpful and please send me your comments and ideas. I will be posting more tips in the future.
Sabrina @ PARADISE