A bra that fits well can transform your life; it can make you look your best instantly. And if you are still not aware the magic of good fitted undergarments, you need to read this!
At Wink n Pout we are committed to make women of all shapes and sizes look their best. Think of your clothes like a building, and your undergarments like its foundation. If the latter is not right, nothing works at all. You can put on the most expensive clothes out there, have an impeccable style sense and yet, you still will not look your best if you don’t have a good fitting bra and underwear on.
So why is it so important?
While 80% of women continue to wear the wrong bra, the benefits of investing time in finding the right one are many. A lot of us do not even realize that we are part of the 80%, so it is a good idea to check.
- The right bra can prevent sagging by providing good support.
- The good fitting bra, visually takes off pounds off your body instantly. On the other hand a bad fitted bra wrongly makes you appear bulkier than you actually are.
- A good fitting bra makes your clothes fit better as well.
- The wrong bra will also affect your shape for the worse and your posture as well. It damages tissue over time and leads to health problems as well. None of that sounds good now does it?
- In popular culture we may be forced to believe that the perky kind of bust is what is perfect. Contrary to that, there are all kinds of bust shapes out there. Hence finding your very own perfect bra is all the more important.
How to know if your bra is THE right one?
So, once our stylists have you convinced that the most basic requirement of dressing up is a good fitting bra – we can move onto the tell-tale signs that it is not. If you answer no to the following questions, your bra is right for you. If you answer yes even for a single one, or even a maybe – you should read further.
- Does your bra ride up your back? Not in the straight line as the base of your bust?
- Do you spill out when you bend, or jump even slightly?
- Under t-shirts can you notice a qudra-boob?
- After you wear your bra, skin bulges out from the sides? (You may think I am fat and that is why I bulge there, but really it’s the wrong cup size trust us)
- Standing sideways in front of the mirror, is your nipple point below (or above) the mid-point between your shoulders and elbows?
- When you wear your bra, the gore (connector between the two cups) doesn’t sit flat on your chest?
- While wearing, can you pull the band of your bra over 2-2.5” away from your body?
- Do your bra straps leave red marks on your shoulders?
The basics of buying a bra
Since you are reading this section, you obviously answered yes to one or some of the above. So how do you buy the right bra? Follow these steps below.
- First and foremost, move your mind out from the stigma and fixation to a particular band or cup size. Some women feel shattered if a professional tells them that their band or cup should be bigger or smaller. Don’t lie to yourself, accept yourself.
- If you don’t get fitted professionally, you can do so at home with a soft tape measure as well.
- First measure the area under your bust, the circumference in inches. Make sure the tape measure is not too tight around the body. Add 4” to it, if it is an even number or 5” if it odd. This will give you your band size – and always measure the band size first.
- Measure the circumference over the fullest part of your bust, in inches. It is best done with a non-padded bra on and bending forwards so that your back is parallel to the ground. Or else you can also stand straight and measure.
- Now see the difference between the band size measurement and cup measurement. The below guide will tell you the cup alphabet.
Less than 1 inch = AA
1 inch = A
2 inches = B
3 inches = C
4 inches = D
5 inches = DD
6 inches = DDD (E in UK sizing)
7 inches = DDDD/F (F in UK sizing)
8 inches = G/H (FF in UK sizing)
9 inches = I/J (G in UK sizing)
10 inches = J (GG in UK sizing)
This guide, more often than not gives you your true size.
But if you are clearly stuck with the wrong bra size say a large band – you will have to go a band smaller and a cup size bigger. You can use this logic to figure out what bra size to try on.
- Scoop-in when you wear the bra. The image shows the proper way to wear a bra and you should never decide on your bra without this.
- Never buy a bra only by looking at it without a top on. Wear it with a white top for best results, as it will show you how it looks underneath a garment.
- A new bra must be worn on the farthest hook. Since it loses its elasticity over time, you can make it tighter as you go. Also, you can expect a bra to last you about 8 months.
- Adjust the straps, so that two of your fingers can be inserted easily. The straps are only meant to hold 20% of the weight, the band is supposed the support 80%
- Bend and even hop in your bra to make sure it fits.
Same size for all brands?
The above size indicates your bra size, but you will still have to try them in store. And you may not be the same size for different brands and even bra styles. In some you may need a cup smaller or larger. Also sometimes you can look at sister sizes as well. To understand this concept, understand the fact that two identical bras in 32D and 34D sizes will NOT have the same cup volume just because it is a D cup. Instead 32 D will have less cup volume than 34 D.
Below is a guide of sister sizes, with the sizes in the same color and same row being sister sizes. In most cases, only going one size to the left or right will work. Obviously you can’t expect a 32F woman to wear a 44A. Use your discretion there!
From underwired to balconette, there is a lot of lingerie lingo to know. The picture below explains major bra styles. But remember that some bra styles are just not meant for your bust shape or size. There is a purpose behind each style, read it and you would know which one you should buy. But before that we would like to answer one burning question about the underwired bra.
Many women wonder is the underwired bra is for them or not? If you are wearing the wrong size or wrong fitting it is harmful, and it will hurt to wear one. Hence, especially for an underwire find a good fitting bra and it will prevent sagging. And underwire bra shape differentiates with brands so try different brands before settling for one. Also, some bust shapes never sit right with an underwired bra, so it is not for everyone.
Starting from left in each row
Balcony: The Balcony bra gives minimum coverage and wider strap positioning. Hence it is good to be worn with scoop and sweet heart necks. Not very ideal for the busty woman.
Plunge: As the name suggests, due to a low cut it reveals maximum cleavage and hence great for low cut tops especially in the evening. The breast is mostly supported from the base and sides of the bra with less control at the front.
¾ cup: The ¾ cup gives a natural support to the full cup with less covering and a natural neck line. This style is ideal for wearing with everyday items such as vest tops and blouses.
Push-up: Push-up bras give maximum cleavage by pushing the breasts together to increase the projection. Some push-ups will also give the illusion of an increased cup size.This bra will give a great look under your low cup tops.
Full cup: A full cup bra gives superb support and is ideal for the bigger cup sizes. The straps on this style of bra are slightly wider and are positioned more centrally than other bras to give better uplift and comfort
Minimizer: This bra is designed to reduce the bust size by 2.5cm. The bra has been engineered to move the breast tissue towards the chest wall and to the side. The minimizer bra has a special wire to allow this reduction without damage to the breast tissue. This bra is best worn under blouses or tighter tops.
Multiway: The multi-way bra is designed for maximum flexibility on how to wear your straps e.g. strapless, halter-neck, crossover, one shoulder and conventional. You get the freedom to wear it with a lot of outfits, but try it both with and without straps. The correct band size is very important for this style.
T-shirt: The t-shirt bra is totally seamless for ultimate comfort; it moulds to your shape and gives a natural looking shape when worn under tight/close fitting tops with no visible bra lines.
Which bra style under which garment
If you thought one bra will work under all garments you should re-think. If you are wearing a lace bra inside your t-shirt instead of a seamless one, all your hard work of finding your right size goes to waste since it will not look good.
Similarly, plunge bra is when you want to show some cleavage. For a busty woman, wearing it under a button down can cause gaping. Under a button down, you should opt for a full coverage or minimizer bra at best. So take the purpose of the bra style in mind before wearing it under a garment. And have various bra styles in your wardrobe for all your needs.
The underwear guide
So much bra talking, how can we not mention your underwear, as it is as important as your bra. Most of us have our own favorite styles. But there are some occasions where specific underwear is required.
- If you are going to be wearing something skin-tight, remember to buy seamless underwear. Especially in corporate situations, this point must be taken care of.
- If you are going to be wearing low-rise jeans, make sure the style of underwear is low-rise as well. The last two rows ( hipster, bikini, boyshorts etc) are some low- rise styles.
- If you get uncomfortable with the elastic around your legs, choose styles with higher cuts like high-cut or bikini for eg.
- When choosing your underwear, pay heed to comfort as well not just fashion. You might think classic briefs are ugly but most women will swear by it on an everyday basis. And after all, you can buy them nice colors and prints and they automatically look appealing.
So that finishes our super long guide to good fitting undergarment – both bra and underwear. And while co-coordinating your lingerie is a personal choice, we highly recommend it, but not necessarily with the co-ordinates available in store. You can mix solid pieces with printed ones, solid with lace or even print on print. Yes, think bold but make sure it fits right!