The female breast represents nurturing, sexuality and maturity. The development of breasts represents the most visible aspect of womanhood. No wonder breasts receive so much attention from heterosexual men, from media and from the entertainment world.
Bras are an invention of the twentieth century. Before then, bras were encased in corsets along with a woman’s ribcage. However, today’s bras are both fashion and lingerie. Finding the right fit for your bra depends largely on how and where you intend to wear it.
Getting the Right Fit for Your Bra
The best way to ensure that you obtain the right fit for your bra is to make an appointment with a professional fitter who can take precise measurements as well as recommend the proper style of bra for your breast size and for your lifestyle. However, do not buy a bra without trying it on, even after obtaining measurements from a professional fitting. All bras are not created equal. Instead, gauge the fit of the bra by how it looks and feels on you. If you find a bra style that you like and which fits well, consider purchasing several at once if you can afford it.
Even without the services of a professional fitter, there are basic rules you can follow to ensure a proper fit. The two trouble areas are bra bands that ride up and cups that either fail to contain your breasts or cups that wrinkle or pucker underneath your clothes. If the band of your bra rides up, your band size is too big. Likewise, if there are visible folds in your bra cups underneath your clothes, your cup size is too big. On the other hand, if your bust line resembles a shelf, your band size and your cup size are both too small. Similarly, if your breasts spill over the top of your bra or out the sides of your bra cup, the cup size of your bra is too small.
How to Find Your Bra Size
You may be surprised to learn that Most of the support from your bra comes from the band, not the straps. As a result, the two most important bra measurements are your band size and your cup size. To measure your own bra band size, take a tape measure around your trunk below your bust line. Add five to that number. If the result is an odd number or a fraction, round up to the next highest even number. To find your cup size, measure your chest across the fullest part of your breast, which usually falls right at the nipple. Subtract the result from your band size. The result is your bra cup measurement. Ranges for the most common cup sizes are illustrated in the chart below:
Cup Measurement Cup Size
Bras for Backless Dresses
You may hesitate to purchase that gorgeous backless dress because you are too well endowed to go without a bra. There are actually two solutions to your dilemma, neither of which involves wearing pasties. One solution is to purchase a specialty bra with a very low back band. If your dress is super low cut, the alternate solution is to purchase a bra with a transparent back strap. However, the back strap would be visible for observers who are very close to you, so this might not be an ideal solution.
Bras for Strapless and Halter Top Dresses
Halter top and strapless dresses do not present nearly as much of a challenge for finding the right bra as backless dresses do. Strapless bras are a staple of bridal boutiques and department stores that sell evening gowns and cocktail dresses. Strapless bras can also be worn with many halter top dresses. Bras with convertible straps represent another alternative for no-show look under halter top dresses.
Bras for Tight-Fitting Dresses
Back in the sweater-girl days, the outline of a woman’s bra was often plainly obvious underneath her clothing. Today, visible bra lines are often just as undesirable as visible panty lines. The solution is a smooth cup bra that provides support without seams or underwire. Such bras are often made of smooth cotton to maximize the invisible look. If you need more support, more structured bras are also available that are nearly undetectable under most sweaters or blouses.
Victoria Fleming is passionate about flattering fashion. She often blogs about the tricks to looking and feeling beautiful for any occasion.