How to Buy a Bra
Its been around for ages, survived all sorts of changes, even survived the
feminist barbering revolution, and come out on top! Sarah Raskino, lingerie
designer for Marks and Spencer tells you how to buy the perfect bra.
They come in all shapes and sizes. And something women across
all ages and cultures have realized that it is essential to wear a bra – a good
bra. We all know how a bad bra, especially if you have a fuller bust, can cause
your muscles to stretch beyond repair a leave with a ‘saggy’ shape. Here are
some tips that will ensure you buy the right kind of bra.
Watch out for rigid (non-stretch) fabrics such as woven cloth
in which it is very difficult to get a good fit. Moreover, it can shrink in
washing and does not suit most women whose bust size fluctuates during the
month. Stretch fabrics always give more support as well as a better fit. Try
Lycra blends as opposed to knitted jersey (non Lycra) fabrics, which get baggy
after a while and do not give adequate support
Watch out for rigid lace, which can scratch and cut you, more
so in our tropical Indian climate. Try stretch laces with Lycra which are now
available with cotton blends which are soft, strong, cool and let your skin
If you wear close fitting clothes, avoid bras with lots of
frilly straps and bows or highly topstitched obvious seam lines. Instead buy a
‘moulded’ (seamless) bra or one with a small dart
Only buy wired bras if they are a perfect fit as a wire
packing can lead to health problems. The wires should sit flat against your
ribcage and not on your actual bust with no gap between the garment and your
body. The wire bras should be made soft, but strong casing. Wired bras tend to
give more support to a fuller bust and more definition to a smaller bust.
Soft Bra (Unwired):
These are generally more comfortable and can give good
support to a fuller bust if they are made in medium or firm control fabrics
They must be adjustable and have good elasticity. If they are
totally rigid they will cut your shoulders and if they are loose and springy
they will not give adequate support
A single hook width looks very neat, but it is not practical
for fuller busts. A fastening with two or three hooks is much more comfortable
and supportive for everyday wear. All straps should have adjustable levels for
the hooks to be tightened or loosened to accommodate fluctuation of weight or
washing changes. A Stretch bra, with Lycra, will get bigger over time and a firm
cotton woven bra will shrink.
People often wear bra, which is too big in size and too small
on the cup, which is shown by the elastic riding up the back instead of sitting
straight at a horizontal angle from the front. And this is one of the biggest
mistakes women do in maintaining their bodies. Unless a bra fits just right, it
could ruin the shape of your bust if it is too big. Alternatively, if it is too
small, in extreme cases it could even leave you vulnerable to tumours. Never buy
a bra without trying it on and never get anyone else to buy it for you. Because
nobody knows your body like you do.
Things to check in the Fitting room
Do you like the look of it?
Does it enhance your shape? (Try a top over it)
Is it comfortable? Is it cutting anywhere?
Does it give you the necessary support?(Jump up and
Is it durable?
How to Measure Yourself:
Measure your rib cage under the bust in inches and add four
five inches to bring it to an even number. This measurement is the bra size; 32,
34, 36, etc. Measure across the top of your bust without a bra on. Subtract the
bra size measurement from this new measurement. The balance you are left with is
your cup size: AA, A, B, C, D, DD etc. If the first measurement is 29-30 you are
a size 34". If the second measurement is 35" and you subtract this from the
second measurement you are left with 1" (B cup).
Your cup sizes less than 1" = AA;
No difference = A; 1" = B; 2" = C; 3" = D; 4" = DD