Finding a soul mate…for your boobs

bra-shoppingBra’s and boobs. Boobs and Bra’s. The confusing experience that is known as bra shopping. Whether you have small, medium, or large breasts, you will likely need to be fitted for a bra.

Every bra is a little different despite what the size may say, so trying them on is the best way to get the right fit. Otherwise, you might end up with a bra that is too tight, too big, uncomfortable, or just not supportive in all the right ways. It’s practically like dating and finding “the one.” You have to try on a bunch of them and then decide which ones go in the “I’ll keep it” or “back on the rack” pile.

I know what you’re thinking. Why can’t bra shopping be like dress shopping—easy peasy lemon squeezy. As someone who loves fashion and designs clothes (in a sketchbook) during her free time, I absolutely detest bra shopping. Honestly, it’s daunting to figure out which bra is perfect and does everything you want it to do. I wish there was a secret handbook with all this vital information because no one tells you any of this before you go bra shopping. Over the years, I have been asking my girlfriends how they pick out their “perfect” bra and what they suggest. Here is the advice they have shared with me.

  • “The right fit is key” A great bra can do a lot more than merely support your boobs. It can improve your posture, enhance what you like, and play down what you don’t. The “right” bra is comfortable, never too tight, makes you feel good.
  • “No two breasts are the same” Breast shape and body type play a large role in how a bra fits. It’s not unusual to have one breast that is larger than the other which can make finding the right fit even more challenging. Here’s where a bra-fitter can help.
  • “Get fitted by an expert” Believe it or not, there are professional “bra-fitters” and they work in many large department stores and lingerie shops. The service is free and you don’t have to buy your bras at that store. They can suggest solutions if your breasts are different in size or shape.
  • “Boobs are as unique as you” There are millions of bras on the market, in tons of different styles, and they all do different things. Some bras look cute, some give tons of support, and some just get you through the day. Gather a variety of bras to try on, such as strapless or convertible styles, so you have a bra that works with any type of outfit.
  • One size does not fit all”—Bras are no exception. If you find a brand that you like and it fits well, it makes sense to stick to that brand but if you prefer to try another brand or style, you may find that your size may be different. .
  • “Handle with care” Bras are also no exception to this rule. My mother always told me to wash my bras by hand and I simply followed her instructions without asking any questions because mom knows best. When I went to college, I could no longer wash my bras in the dorm sink, so I began throwing them in the washing machine with the rest of my clothes. To my surprise, my new favorite bra had lost its cushiony support and began to stretch. Mother was right—I learned the hard way that to increase the life of my bras, I either have to hand wash them or wash them separately on the “delicate” cycle.

I hope my experiences and the advice from my friends make your bra shopping a little bit easier and a lot less confusing. Pretty soon, I am sure you’ll be shopping the intimates section like a pro. Be sure to check out the CYWH breast health guide: “Buying a Bra”