We have all heard the statistics that approximately 60% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. However, the reality in Nigeria is that about 90% of women are either wearing the wrong bra size, or are not even aware of the wide range of bra sizes available to them. This is through no fault of their own as there are very few places in Nigeria where women can get affordable underwear, professionally fitted.
Historically, women have relied on the advice of their Mothers, Aunts or Sisters when selecting a bra size, and have stuck to that size for years, ignoring the great discomfort caused by ill-fitting underbands and too-small cups. We as women have gone through all this because we didn’t know any better.
I walked around for years believing I was a 34B, when I never was and till this day never have been. When I had a professional fitting done, it made such a difference to me. I realized that bras are meant to be comfortable and not feel like a restraint.
The most popular reason why most women do not get professionally fitted is out of sheer embarrassment and in that is perfectly understandable, especially in certain cultures. If you choose not to get professionally fitted in a store, take note of the basic rules to follow when choosing the right bra size. Keep in mind that you should always do this when buying a bra, as bra sizes differ between styles, fabrics, and designers.
- The Centre-front – this is the bridge between the two cups, it should sit flat against the body. If the centre front is pushed away from your body the cups are probably too small, so try a larger cup size.
- The Under-band – The Under-band should fit you snugly as it provides most of the support. When you slip the shoulder straps down the band should still hold you in place, without being so tight it causes restriction or discomfort. If you lift your arms up or move them around the band should still sit firmly in place and not move around. If the Underband is riding up your back, this is because it is too loose.
- The cups – Most times, people wear the wrong cup size. If your bust is bulging over the top of the cups, giving you the double boob look then the cup is probably too small. This isn’t helped by the fact that most sexy lingerie shots are done with bras looking like this because of the over-the-top cleavage look.
- The straps – If the straps are digging in this may be because the band is too big and not giving you enough support, meaning that the straps are doing all the work instead – try loosening the straps too see how the band feels. If, with the straps loosened the band is not supporting, try a smaller band size.
- The Under-wire – If the underwire is digging in or pinches the breast tissue under the arm, this is a sign that the cups are too small, the under-wire should sit on your ribcage and not on the breast tissue.
How to measure yourself
- Measure directly under your bust
- Measure the fullest part of your bust while wearing a bra.
Another important thing is to know what size can substitute for your bra size; this is called cross grading. May not work for everyone because of the different body types and how your breast tissue sits on your chest.. Here are examples below
A 32A can can wear a 30B.
A 34A can wear a 32B
A 36A can wear a 34B or 32C
A 38A can wear a 36B or 34C or 32D
A 38B can wear a 36C or 34D
A 38C can wear a 36D
Measurements are only a guide, because breasts and body types are different. The important thing is how the bra looks and fits.
As someone once said to me, you wouldn’t wear the wrong shoe size, why would you wear the wrong bra size? These words have always rung true to me. No matter how pretty the bra is, always make sure it fits perfectly before purchasing as you might find out the bra is wrong for your body type.
Written by Denaki Lingerie.