I get it. Between work, play, happy hour, barre class, the constant wave of incoming emails—am I the only one who feels like I must be close to breaking the Guinness World Record for most unread messages? Is there a prize?—rinsing, repeating, and the other five directions we’re all heading in at once (while also looking effortlessly pulled together, of course), it’s understandable that “getting a bra fitting” is pretty much on the bottom of everyone’s to-do list (if it even makes the cut at all). But I’m here to tell you: man-oh-man, you definitely should. Like treating yourself to a mani-pedi or scheduling a date night with your bff, getting a bra that fits correctly isn’t something that feels necessary until you have it done and then you’re like ohhhhhh, yes, this is exactly what I needed.
Most women don’t even realize that they’re wearing the wrong size in the first place, and that’s because (drum roll) no one ever really told us! My lingerie journey started with my mama handing me three training bras, in whatever size she thought best (and mom’s always right, obviously). Did they fit? Well, I could put them on my body, so, yeah? After we outgrew our training bras, my friends and I continued this fit misconception, basically thinking that everyone in the world was a 34B (or a 34C if you were “busty” or 36B if you were “athletic”) and all of us, despite us being differently shaped and sized because, duh, we’re different people, all wore those padded 34B’s without a thought. Don’t knock us. We also thought that light blue eyeshadow was a good look.
See, with pants or shoes, fit is pretty straightforward: too tight, pinched toes, baggy, doesn’t button? We know to size up or down (and also when the silhouette itself isn’t right for us, we know when to say: sorry peg-legged jumpsuit, you just aren’t flattering on my body). Bras not only have the band size (the number) and the cup size (the letter) to take into account, but also the individual shape of every woman. Not everyone is a 34B, not all 34B’s are shaped the same, and not every bra silhouette will work on every body. Mind. Blown. Time to get a pro involved. I asked Journelle’s own Stephanie, our faithful Customer Care Team Leader, for some easy ways to tell if your bra is the wrong size. Head’s up, if you answer “hmm, kind of”, “yes”, or “god, yes, my bra is killing me” to any of these questions, then it’s high time to get thee to a lingerie store:
- Do you feel your straps slipping off your shoulders? (And you’ve tightened your straps all the way and they still slip?)
- Is the center gore (the place between the wire cups) floating above your sternum?
- Is there visually any gapping at the tops or sides of your cups? (If you wear a foam/molded cup, you tend to see also the line prominently through your top.)
- Is there visually any spilling over at the tops or sides of your cups? When you bend over and stand back up? (You can usually see this prominently through clothes, too.)
- Is your bra band angling up towards yours shoulder blades?
- Did you use to wear it on the loosest hooks and are now on the tightest hooks? Because it might be stretched out. (Psssst: when you first buy your bra, you should start at the loosest hooks, then start tightening the band stretches.)
- Are the hook and eye closures bent out of shape?
- Are you always tugging or pulling at your bra? Do you feel it moving around as you move?
- Do you have to adjust your bra after you lift your arms?
- Does your underwire chafe because it’s rubbing on the bottom of your breast and not sitting flush against your body . . . did you just notice?
In addition to this list of wrong-fit-bummers, Stephanie made a super good point I never really thought about: whether it’s hormones or french fries (guess which one we like more), women’s bodies are fluctuating all the time. Just like you have your “skinny jeans” or your stretchy leggings, it makes sense to have several different bras that fit you when you’re at different stages. This is a game changer and can actually make all the difference in feeling fabulous in your clothes all the time. Stephanie also says it’s always good to get re-fitted at least once a year or any time your body changes: fit isn’t static because our bodies aren’t either.
My takeaway? Knowing more about your bra size can change your own perspective on your body. Body knowledge=power. Stephanie, a former 36C wearer who now knows she actually fits a 28H, says: “Knowing what fit and sizes work best on me has given me more confidence and has helped me love my body more, as well as (quite literally) helping me stand up straighter.”
Praise hands, sister. Praise hands.
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by Georgette Eva