Thursday, July 21, 2011

How to Select the Right Bra

Finding the right bra can be a complex process; there are many factors -- support, comfort, price -- to consider. Ill-fitting bras can lead to muscle tension, back problems and headaches. If your bra is riding up your back, the straps are digging into your skin, the band feels too tight or the underwire is poking into your ribs, you're wearing the wrong bra size. Finding the right bra can make you look great without being uncomfortable.


Things You'll Need

  • Tailor's measuring tape
  1. Bra Size

    • 1
      Wrap a tailor's measuring tape around your back and torso to the center of your chest, directly below your breasts. The tape should rest straight across the back, parallel to the ground. Round fractional measurements to the nearest whole number. If the measurement is even, add 4 inches. For an odd measurement, add 5 inches. This number is your bra band size.
    • 2
      Measure the fullest part of your bust while standing straight. The tape measure should wrap around the body and chest in the same manner as it did for the band measurement. Ensure that the measuring tape is flat against the skin and parallel to the ground. Round fractional measurements to the nearest whole number. This number is your bra cup size.
    • 3
      Subtract the bra band measurement from the bra cup measurement. The difference between these numbers will determine your standard cup size. Cup-size conversion: 0 to 1/2 inch is AA; 1/2 to 1 inch is A; 2 inches is B; 3 inches is C; 4 inches is D; 5 inches is DD or E; 6 inches is DDD or F; 7 inches is G; 8 inches is H; 9 inches is I; and 10 inches is J. Band size is traditionally matched with cup size; for example, "38B." The "38" indicates the band size while the "B" refers to the cup size.

    Bra Styles

    • 1
      Shop for bras that meet your requirements for support. Light support bras contain no underwire and are less constricting; they're good for women with smaller breasts. Full-support bras typically have underwire and can be worn by women of all breast sizes, but are a must for those with larger breasts. Pushup bras add shape and lift the breasts; they may or may not have padding. Sport bras stop the breasts from moving and are generally used during athletic activity.
    • 2
      Consider bra material for maximum comfort. Many luxury bras are made from fabrics that are uncomfortable for daily wear. Try on various fabrics to determine which feel comfortable against the skin. Silk bras are generally comfortable and fit snugly. Nylon and other man-made-fabric bras generally don't absorb perspiration. Cotton-mix bras fit snugly against the chest and are "breathable."
    • 3
      Find the right bra for your budget. Never sacrifice comfort for price. Sacrifice buying two ill-fitting inexpensive bras for one more-expensive proper-fitting bra. Inexpensive bras may be made from uncomfortable materials, not fit well and not offer the support your breasts need. Choose a bra that can be used for day-to-day wear in a color that won't be visible through your clothing.
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