When you’re shopping for new underwear, you probably just go for the same size and same style, sometimes without even trying them on, but a woman’s bra size changes an average of 6 times over their lifetime due to weight loss or gain, the contraceptive pill, pregnancy, muscle tone or age. A change of bra style and a properly fitted bra can instantly improve the look of your breasts, make you look slimmer and is sometimes necessary for certain new outfits. Poorly fitted bras can lead to neck, back and shoulder ache as well as being a major discomfort.
If you have a cloth tape measure, you can measure yourself at home or you can get somebody else to measure you and use our online fitting guide to find your correct bra size. If you aren’t sure if your bra fits or not, here are a few checks you can do-
• The underwire and the part of the bra between the cups should lie flat against your rib cage without digging in.
• The straps should stay on your shoulders without slipping off or rubbing and leaving marks.
• There shouldn’t be lots of room inside your bra cup- your breasts should fill them without bulging out and giving that dreaded “double boob” effect.
• The back strap should be underneath your shoulder blades and not droop or ride up.
Once you’ve got your correct bra size, it’s time to look at some new bras! If you’ve got a specific outfit that you need a certain shaped bra for, like an asymmetric or backless dress, your best bet is a multi-way bra. These generally are wired and don’t have much variation, but they are really versatile. If you’ve got an event to go to where you’ll be wearing something rather slinky, you may want to invest in some shapeware to flatter your figure and ensure that all your curves are in the right places.
Wireless bras used to be the preserve of only the more petite-chested women, but there are now lots available that offer the support that larger breasts need. You may prefer to wear bras with an underwire for a bit of extra lift and reassurance if you’re very voluptuous, but wireless bras are best for pregnancy and breast feeding.
A T-shirt bra is a great all-rounder, everyday bra as they don’t show through most clothes and have moulded cups to give a nice shape and give coverage. As they’re full cups, they can peek over the top of lower cut tops, so you may want to try a balconette bra, which is more of a half cup.
If you want the illusion of a bit more cleavage, push-up and plunge bras push your breasts a bit closer together to make them look fuller and generally have slightly less space between the cups. Plunge bras are better with low cut tops than push-up bras and some push-up bras come with extra padding for added va-va-voom!
Remember, every woman needs a well-fitting sport bra as the tendons underneath your breasts can permanently stretch if they move around and jiggle too much and this promotes sagginess. If you’re pregnant, you will also need to pick a couple of maternity bras. You will need to measure yourself again as during pregnancy your back size will normally increase by one size (sometimes more, varying woman to woman) and your cup size will increase by around 2-3 sizes. Some women prefer to purchase their maternity bras quite early in pregnancy as they find their regular underwired bras get uncomfortable, but don’t forget to measure yourself again as many women increase in size when they are pregnant.
Colour-wise, it’s best to avoid black bras under white tops and white bras under sheer or stretchy black tops, but you can get a nude coloured bra to wear with various coloured outfits and tops with thinner straps that may not completely cover your bra strap. If you’re going to be wearing an outfit that you can’t see your bra through, you can go for any of the hundreds of colours and patterns out there. The underwear world is your oyster! To view our latest range of lingerie, click here.