Fitting Your Bra Perfectly

Roberta Chavez
by Roberta Chavez

Okay, here’s the reality: 75% to 80% of all women are wearing the wrong bra size. Why?

Getting it right

Sometimes it’s due to changing bodies. We gain weight. We lose weight. We exercise more… or less. We get pregnant. We age. All of these changes affect the size of our breasts, but we don’t always change our bras when our bodies change. The bra that fit perfectly last year may no longer be right for you this year. The average woman will change bra sizes six times in her life.


In this video, Valerie Lucas from Coup de Foudre Lingerie, a European lingerie store located in downtown Washington DC, talks about the importance of getting the bra fit just right, and how to find the right fit for you.

Her credentials are impressive. Lucas’ shop specializes in bra fitting—since she opened, she’s done over five thousand bra fittings! She consults with clients as to which bra to wear under certain types of clothing. The shop is part of the My Intimacy network of bra-fitting stores and was named Best Reference Shop in America by Intima Magazine. Lucas has been featured on TV shows such as Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style on Bravo, What Not to Wear on TLC, The Oprah Winfrey Show and most recently on How To Look Good Naked with Carson Kressley on Lifetime. In every televised appearance, Lucas has emphasized the importance of wearing the right bra size.

What’s the big deal?image2_compressed

If you wear a bra that doesn’t fit, you’re asking for problems. It can make you ill—literally! Wearing the wrong-sized bra can cause neck pain and headaches. Many women wear bras with small cup sizes and larger band sizes, so that the bra’s shoulder straps support the woman’s breasts. This puts way too much pressure on the shoulders, using that neck pain and headaches. The right bra, on the other hand, supports your breasts from underneath. Wearing the wrong size can affect your shape, your posture, and your overall health.


It’s in the numbers

Four factors determine whether or not a bra is correctly fitted. They include band size, cup size, strap adjustment, and how the bra appears under clothing (if it looks good in a fitted tee-shirt, you can be sure it fits right!). There are different ways for you to measure yourself. The best way to do it is to get fitted and measured professionally in a bra shop. If you’re going to do it yourself, start with your band size. Measure just under your breasts around your chest with a tape measure. Whatever number you see on the tape measure, add four inches if the number is even and five inches if it’s odd. Then measure again for the cup size, putting the measuring tape around the fullest point of your breasts.


Don’t do it. “You need to wear bras,” says breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk on The Doctors website. “Your breasts don’t have muscles in them; they can’t just defy gravity all by themselves. If you let gravity take its toll long enough, your nipples, instead of pointing ahead, will be looking south.”