Inside - Out
Bra Fitting 101
By Carol Gill, Undercovers Intimate Apparel


Bra fitting is more than a number and a letter determined by a tape measure.
I am continually confronted with, “I’ve been measured but my bras still don’t seem to fit.” Measuring is just a starting point for bra fitting. Every manufacturer, every style and even different fabrics can fit differently. It is important to know where on your body the parts of the bra should lie.
This is why it is important to find a trained bra fitter who knows the purpose of different styles and the design direction of each of the manufacturers represented on their sales floor. Our body configuration is constantly changing with age and life changes. This is all natural. One cannot expect to wear the same size bra forever. Softening bones, the retention of body fat around internal organs and loss of one’s skin elasticity all play significant roles in bra fitting. Your lifestyle and body form are also major factors in choosing a bra. An athletic, on the go mom’s needs are totally different from a middle-aged career woman who wears suits. One needs a wardrobe of bras that accommodate differing apparel types. I always recommend starting with a couple of basics and gradually add the specialty bras. This will keep you in budget and accommodate your multiple needs. Do not let the sea of bras discourage you. There is a style and size out there just for you. There is more to bra fitting than a tape measure. I cringe when a customer comes in and tells me she has been to a fit clinic or read a magazine article and measures a specific size. Measuring is only the beginning step to proper bra fitting. It is a good guide line. The right bra must meet other qualifications as well. Just like in street wear, manufacturers cut differently. Fabrics fit and support differently. And different styles are designed to accommodate different needs. A bra should not be chosen just because one likes the color or because it is pretty. It is important to know how a bra should fit on your body. It is not uncommon to need different sizes depending on brand, style or construction. Underwires should lay flat against the body and outside the breast tissue. The band of the bra should be snug enough to hold the bra in place when lifting the arms but not so tight that it rolls during wearing. Shoulder straps adjust the lift of the bra cup which should peak half way between the shoulder and the elbow. Look for signs of improper bra fitting such as the back riding up, bulging at the top of the cup, floating out below the cup or straps slipping over the shoulder when you bend and reach forward. These are all signs of an improper fit. Are your old bras showing signs of improper fit? They will do that as they wear out. Do not put off getting new ones. Not only is it a comfort issue but also a health issue. Like badly fitting shoes or worn out glasses, worn out bras can affect your health. Improper fitting bras can affect your neck, back and posture. Improper placement of underwires can create bruising, blistering and general soreness. Plan for a wardrobe of bras to meet your lifestyle needs and rotate wearing them to keep them fresh and supportive.

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