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The How-To Lounge: Buying a Bra that Fits!

According to Susan Nethero, an expert bra fitter, 85% of women in America wear the wrong size bra. Odds are, this means you. Are you still buying the same size bra you wore in college? Are you wearing bras you owned before your pregnancy? Is it time for you to go bra shopping? Hopefully I can help you make the best choices.

To see some helpful tips

  • Get measured by a professional. Go to any department store's lingerie department (as you know, I'm a big fan of Nordies) and ask for a proper bra fitting
  • The band (the part that goes around your back) of your bra provides 90% of the support, so make sure to measure your ribcage carefully. You can wear your clothing to take this measurement, but don't wear bulky clothes. It's better, really, to not wear any clothes at all. These ladies have seen it all; don't fret
  • Make sure to secure the bra on the last hook (the loosest notch) when trying it on, because your bra will stretch with wear and you'll need the ability to tighten it. Make sure the band fits snugly, but not so that it creates a back roll
  • Slip back on your shirt or blouse so you can be certain the bra looks and fits well under your clothing
  • When determining your cup size, bend over at the waist and shimmy your way into the bra. This will evenly distribute your weight into cups
  • If the band of your bra rides up your back, it's the wrong size. The straps of your bra should not slip from your shoulders or dig into them. Straps should be about 10% of the support; remember, 90% of the support comes from the band

While there's a time and a place for sexy lingerie, your everyday bra should be about comfort and support. If you're wearing a bra that's too small and you spill out of the cup, you could be causing a loss of firmness. Don't smash your breast tissue, ladies. If you're wearing a bra that you can't fill out, you could be causing stretchmarks on your breasts.

Happy shopping, and don't forget to bring along these tips. Good luck!


Join The Conversation
c0rkie c0rkie 9 years
why is bra buying so difficult? :(
potterlove potterlove 9 years
Yup, Nordstrom is the best for a fitting. I know for a fact that they (well the one where I live) HAVE "seen it all".
missro21 missro21 10 years
Another thing they never tell you is how long to keep a bra. Some stretching is to be expected, but if it is lose at the very third hook, it is time for a new one. Also, Gap has some very good bras. They have one that is called the invisible bra that goes by the shoulder blades so you never have that back fat under your clothes!
asco00 asco00 10 years
I tried to go out to some other places like Macy's and Nordstrom's, but I just can't find bras that fit me like Victoria's Secret. But I have been wearing them since I was 15, I think my boobs prefer them ;)
Tnkrbelli Tnkrbelli 10 years
I went to Vic's Secret and they were very wrong with my measurements too. Oh well, I know what I wear and what feels comfortable. Vic's Secret is MY FAVORITE place for bras. Anyone know of any other good places?
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
Sometimes the ladies at Victoria's Secret are so rushed that the don't have time to take proper measurements. However, I had recently lost about 10 pounds and was still wearing the same old bras. I knew they weren't fitting right b/c I wasn't filling out the cup but I just thought it was the bra, not the size. Anyway, I went into VS on a non-busy day and a salesgirl came up and asked if she could help me. I told her the style of bra I was looking for, she asked my size, I told her, and she looked at me and said, "Really? Oh no, you look like a B cup." She was so right. A measuring proved it.
SeaFoamGreen215 SeaFoamGreen215 10 years
i was told at victorias secret that i'm a 38 band size when I'm definitely a 34 to a 36
nicachica nicachica 10 years
thanks so much for the tip Dear! I've been thinking of going bra shopping this weekend and this guide is really helpful. even better, there's a Nordstrom in my area so i'll head there after work. :)
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 10 years
I would have to agree..Nordstrom is the best place to go to get fitted! **Not only is England beautiful, but it brings me 2 of my fav. men....Gavin & David**
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