A bra is a necessary tool in any woman’s attire. Dressed up or down, a bra can hamper your style or elevate you to a higher level (pun intended). It can make you look younger, older, smaller or fuller. Whether full figured or small breasted, a bra can enhance your natural curves, allowing you to go from frump to fab with the snap of a clasp.
Jene Luciani, a bra expert, shares her top 7 tips to finding a great bra below.
- Be aware of your body type so you know what bras to look for. For example, if you are more of a top-heavy “apple,” you likely will be looking for fuller coverage bras, not demi-cups. A full guide by body type can be found in The Bra Book.
- Wear a thin t-shirt while trying on so you can see what each bra looks like under the sheerest of circumstances.
- Get a fitting! Or give one to yourself, using the instructions in The Bra Book. Be open-minded about your size. If you’re surprised (or disappointed), remember that size is just a number (and a letter!). The proper fit of the bra is the most important part. Look for ‘key’ fit points like the ‘bridge’ between the cups lying flush and that nothing is bulging, pinching, gaping or billowing it, and the straps aren’t digging in or slipping!
- If you’re in a bind and there’s a bra that you really love but they don’t have your size, it’s usually OK to go up a band size and down a cup size – or vice versa.
- Don’t be afraid to put the bra on and face yourself in the mirror with a critical eye. If you see any gaps, spillage, digging in, or other signs of poor fit, it’s not the right bra. Turn around and look at the back as well. The back band can be very telling too when it comes to proper fit.
- Don’t get stuck in a size rut. Be sure to plan another fitting six months to a year later (our sizes fluctuate due to weight gain, hormonal changes, aging and other life changes so it’s important to get fitted at least once a year!) Our bras also need to be replaced every 6 months to a year due to wear and tear so it’s a good rule of thumb.
- Once you find a brand you like, or that caters especially to you, like Curvy Kate for full figures, stock up on your ‘7 essentials,’ ie one bra for every day of the week and all occasions. These include a spa bra (comfy for everyday wear), a sports bra if you exercise, a nude t-shirt bra, a great strapless bra, and a few ‘special’ bras that are decorative and pretty, perfect for spicing up a hum drum work wardrobe (but only you will know!) and of course, for spicing up evenings – even let one peek out occasionally!
Let’s talk! When’s the last time you were fitted for a bra?