Words by Alyce Cowell, originally published on westfield.com.au in partnership with Bras ‘n’ things.
Admit it: when was the last time you had a professional bra fitting? Never? You’re not alone. It’s no secret most of us continue wearing the same bras in our underwear drawer, even after losing weight, having kids, or never actually finding out our correct size. Bras n Things confirmed this for us: apparently, 70% of customers in their stores are wearing the wrong size bra. What’s going on here? With a team of Bras n Things fitting pros at every woman’s disposal this seemed like a major disconnect and a big loss in terms of comfort for women everywhere. We set out to change that.
Seeing as I’ve never had a professional bra fitting, it’s only fair that I go first. I made my way to Bras n Things to find out if I’m in the majority and learn more about what happens in a professional bra fitting and, crucially, what constitutes the perfect bra fit.
Westfield: Why is it so important to get a professional bra fitting?
Bras n Things: A great bra improves health, posture, confidence and wellbeing. Not only that, it maximises support to prevent things like sagging and stretching of the tissue, and provides more comfort – no more aches and pains.
W: Should we have a regular bra fitting, or is it a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing?
BNT: Bodies change shape so regularly, so it’s important to have a professional bra fitting every six months. Most customers are wearing the wrong size bra because they use their dress size as a guide, their current bras have stretched out of shape or they’re simply buying off the shelf without professional advice.
W: What can we expect during a bra fitting? What is the process?
BNT: The first thing to know is that it’s really not daunting at all. Our trained Bras n Things Fitting Experts will take two simple measurements over your clothes: one under the bust and one over the bust. These are used as a guide to select a few bras and this is where our training really comes into play. After you’ve put on the bra, we’ll adjust the straps for you, check for firmness at the back and make sure the underwires are fitting correctly.
W: What should we be looking for in a perfect-fitting bra?
BNT: Here are a few simple, but important, things to check:
- The bra band provides 80% of the support, so it should sit firmly but comfortably under the bust and horizontally around the body (not riding up). Make sure the bra is fitted on the loosest or first hook when you are fitting the bra, to allow for stretching. You should be able to fit two fingers under the bra band!
- The shoulder straps should be firm but comfortable – not too loose so they fall off and not too tight so they dig in. Again, the width of two fingers is a good indicator that the straps have been adjusted correctly.
- The underwires should lie flat against the ribcage, enclosing the breast without rubbing or digging in to the soft tissue or the armpit.
- The cups should have a smooth outline from both the top and the sides.
W: Are there any red flags to keep an eye out for?
BNT: Yes! When trying your new bra, you don’t want any gap or overflow in the bra cups, underwire that digs in, straps that are falling off or marking the shoulders, or back band that’s riding up the back.
W: What are the biggest trends in underwear right now?
BNT: Lingerie is having a moment. It’s all about the “worn to be seen” look, making lingerie part of your outfit. Bralettes have also become a fashion staple in our wardrobe, while lingerie detail including caging, strapping and high necks is popular too.
W: What pieces should every woman have in her underwear drawer?
BNT: There are six key pieces you’ll need to complete your underwear drawer and equip you to handle any outfit situation.
The strapless bra: Our Body Bliss Strapless Bra has a small push-up cup with a great deep neckline that sits perfectly in place. It’s the perfect staple.
The t-shirt bra: A must-have in every wardrobe! The Body Bliss range comes in contour, full cup and a variety of colours.
The black set: It will make you feel special, sexy and confident. We love our Paris range!
The bralette: This is the perfect layering piece and is super comfy. The Lucile Bralette comes in multiple colourways and prints for everyday.
The bodysuit: These bodysuits can be worn by themselves as a fashion piece or underneath as a layering piece.
The emergency items: Always make sure you have body tape, nipple covers etc, just in case.
W: What about shapewear?
BNT: Shapewear is perfect for every shape and size! It can change the way an outfit looks by sculpting, smoothing or supporting the body shape and highlighting key areas. Each piece targets a specific area so it’s good to know what you want to achieve before shopping.
W: When should we be wearing shapewear? Do the different styles work with different styles of clothing?
BNT: Shapewear can be worn at any given time, it’s just about what you choose. For example, under a little black dress, you’d go for firm support. Our cooling seam-free garments are a good choice as they also keep you cool! Second skins are a lighter support and have soft fabric, making them perfect for everyday.