Picking the Perfect Bra

vintage bra
Picking the right bra is not as simple as it may seem. If statistics are to be believed, up to 80% of women in Britain are still wearing the wrong bra size. That, my friends, is a situation that can cause a great deal of discomfort. As Ruth Fox, Design Director at Freya lingerie puts it, “A good fitting bra should be comfortable, supportive and give you the best shape under clothes.” It occurred to me recently that I own bras in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, and I am sure that it isn’t just me who struggles to find the “ideal size” from the depths of their lingerie drawers. So, how do we recognise if we’re wearing the wrong bra?

After looking into Freya’s guide to picking a good fitting bra, the bra should definitely “sit firmly but comfortably around the body” – seems obvious, but I know we all have a few that we cannot wait to take off at the end of the day! Also, the underwires (should you choose an underwired bra) should lie flat against the rib cage, and be able to contain the full…proximity…of your girls.

Overall – and I quote – “the breast should be contained within the cup with no puckering or bulging in the cup fabric.” Most of us don’t realise that the consequences of wearing the wrong bra size over a long period of time aren’t limited to affecting the look of your clothes and causing discomfort. A poorly chosen bra can lead to bad posture, back problems, and more.

I have only one bra – from Panache Lingerie – that feels “perfect”. With everything from a B to C to DD in my repertoire, and given that having breast augmentation and other cosmetic enhancements on a regular basis is out of the question (and given that a nice cleavage should go with a great flat tummy, which have its own costs), I figured it was time to clue up on bra fittings and the possible problems (below) to look out for:

• If you’re wearing a bra with the back size too big, the underband around your body may ride up at the back. The support structure of the bra, as a result, becomes unbalanced. Because support is not being given where needed, this can tip your breasts forward and straining the shoulder straps. The underwires of the bra may stand a short distance away from the body, possibly even digging uncomfortably into your breasts.
• Wearing a cup size too small may force your breasts to spill out of the bra cup, creating the dreaded “double breast” effect also known as “shelving”. The underwire may be too small to contain each breast so is squashed against the breast itself – no support there, my lovelies.
• Wearing the right bra should mean that the underband is firmly anchored around your body and at a level height at both the front and the back. Each breast should be fully contained by the support of the underwire and in each cup of the bra. There should be no puckering of the fabric or overspill on top. This type of bra will be comfortable and supportive and you will feel the difference.