You would think, in a world of such incredible achievement and technology we could come up with a reliable method of bra sizing. Sadly not. The underwear drawers of the planet's women are full of Big Bras that don't fit quite how they should.
Bras sag, bands rise up at the back, wires pinch, straps cut. All in all, there are probably a lot more bad big bras than good ones out there. In fact it is estimated that some 80% of us wear the wrong sized bra. So, how do you get it right?
I won't be giving a lesson on bra sizing here. There are several different methods used, and unless you're using the same one whoever made your bra is using it still won't be right. This is more of a ramble about my issues with the whole Bra Sizing Debacle.
Why oh why, can't someone come up with a sensible method of bra-sizing? But, even if they did (or have), would we pay any attention? Probably not. After all, how many of us have persevered, buying the same sized underwear we bought aged 18? And, come on, how many of us are actually the same size and shape we were then? It isn't just weight-gain or loss that affects our boobs. Age, physical fitness, muscle tone and of course that old nutshell of children all have a part to play in making our breasts an ever changing part of us.
Rather than go on with the same sized Big Bras we should be looking at how our bodies are changing on a regular basis. That most revered maker of bras to the Queen of England; Rigby and Peller suggest women are refitted every six months. Now that is probably a little extravagant for most of us, but I understand the point. Bodies don't change, and breasts need well fitting bras, big or small.
Probably the most accurate method of bra sizing, is trying on bras. But, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Straps are NOT for support. If you are using straps to hold up your breasts, you're in the wrong cup size.
- Bands should NOT rise up your back. If it is, you're in the wrong band size.
- Extra boobs above your bra or under your arms is not a good look and means your bra no longer fits.
- Wires are not meant to dig into flesh and cut off circulation.
- Bras are designed to lay flat across the chest between your breasts. Guess, what. If it gapes your big bra is the wrong bra.
- Standing in a dressing room looking in a mirror does not mimic your real life. Whenever trying on bras you really need to apply the 'jiggle' test. Jogging, jiggling, star jumps, whatever... You need to move about a bit to see how your new bra copes.
- Not all cups are created equal. For example a D cup on a large band size is larger than a D cup on a small band size. So you can have relatively small breasts but still need a 'big' cup.
- Bra Color matters too - apparently!
The key, is not to get too hung up on the bra sizing issue. When you hit the shops take a bra you think should fit, then a few either side. One with a slightly smaller band and a bigger cup and one with a bigger band and smaller cup. You will then really see which Big Bras you fit into!