If the Bra Fits, Wear It: Tips On Finding The Right Size

I have a confession to make. The majority of my young adult life was spent in the wrong bra size and it wasn’t last year that I had them professionally sized. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I was surprised to find that I’m not alone.

According to the experts, eight out of ten women are wearing the wrong bra size. That means the majority of us are in size oblivion when it comes to what’s best for our breast. “I have seen women wearing a bra that is way too large for their frame or too small,” says Lisa Cole, body confidence expert and founder of Style Fit Solutions. “This is a major flaw and it can actually make you look out of proportion in clothes.”

Finding the proper fit with your undergarments is an easy fix but it requires a bit of acknowledgement and change. Here’s what Cole had to say:

Buying Cheap or Investing

"I consider lingerie shopping similar to a spa treatment. Take time out to pamper yourself with a proper fitting. It will change your life!” she exclaims. 

Even if you’re on a budget, you can still find a good bra in just about any store. “Discount stores and major super chains have great values. Bras can range from $9.99 to over $100 dollars now. It's about the fit, not price.”

For the women who shop in department stores, Cole suggests insisting on a complimentary fitting. “Too many women have lingerie in their drawers that don't fit. It's a waste of time and it will take you longer to get dressed in the morning. You should have a wardrobe of lingerie that makes you feel confident in your clothes.”

That includes matching bra sets.

Brand Recommendations

For a consistent fit, Cole relies on a mix of high and low-cost brands. “I have so many favorites such as Wacoal, Chantelle, Leading Lady, Warner, Lunaire, and Gilligan & O'Malley,” she muses. And for her clients, she entrusts the support of British lingerie brand Panache, amongst others. “Panache and more have been exceptional for great fit, selection, style, and comfort for my clients. I would recommend finding a brand that works, but also remain open to new possibilities that you may have never considered.”

At-Home Breast-Assessment

While the Internet swarms with DIY tips for at-home sizing, Cole proposes an interesting assessment, sans measuring tape. 

“I would look into a mirror and check for the following while wearing a bra. One, will all of the breast tissue fit in the cup, or do you have spillage? Or is it gaping? 

“Two, can you hook the bra on the farthest position only or can you hook it on all hooks comfortably? Three, do your straps fall down? This means it does not fit properly. Does it ride up in the back - another sign it does not fit. Lastly, do you look low or saggy even if the straps are adjusted? I recommend going to a fitter if you have said yes to one or more of these scenarios.”  

Shapewear: The Holy Grail of Underpinnings

The daily dilemma when dressing is whether to suck it all in or let our true selves hang loose. Cole says, try the first option. 

“Shapewear can revolutionize your body and wardrobe instantly. I have seen women from size two to 24-plus change the way they dress with it.” 

Cole’s top picks include a whip-smart camisole for hiding problem areas. “A shapewear camisole is one of my top picks - it's a bra-shaper and camisole in one. It eliminates the cumbersome rolls in the back and front.”

And how could we forget how Beyoncé seared in a red Alice Temperly number for Jay-Z’s benefit concert only a month after giving birth to Blue Ivy? A control slip can provide ample support without disheveling your clothes. 

“TC Fine Intimates has a silicone grip on that keeps the garment from riding up as well as a high waist brief to keep your frame streamlined.”  

Refining your undergarments will take some time but will dramatically enhance the way clothes lay on your body. Take your time with finding what works best for your lifestyle but ensure that you give the lingerie section more than a passing glance during your next Target run. 

“There are so many possibilities now with shapewear and there is something for everyone,” Cole declares. “and it's one of the best investments you can make in your intimate apparel wardrobe.”