I bet that title got your attention. It actually comes from an old cabaret song from the 1960’s by Ruth Wallis. I’ll leave it here for your listening enjoyment. But you say, Okay Evelynlouise what’s the point?
While trying to come up with a good way to approach the delicate subject of bras, I found myself tumbling into a hate spiral of magnanimous proportions. I started with a top 10 things to look for in a bra for all of you plus sized ladies looking for tips and tricks for better bra fit. However, what ended up coming out was this long and judgmental list of fashion industry standards that totally negated the desires of the wearer. I promptly deleted this and decided to start again.
First of all we can’t have perfectly photo-shopped breasts like those seen in countless articles, billboards, fashion magazines, etc. Why? Because they are an idealization of the real thing. Breasts are lopsided, gravity works its magic on them with age. Not only does gravity get you, but also the loss of elasticity in your skin and having babies. I could go on and on, but I digress.
Breast Cancer researchers can not seem to make up their minds about what causes or how to prevent breast cancer. One week they release a study saying that underwires cause breast cancer, the next week they release a study saying all bras cause cancers to form. Then they release a study saying that it’s only women who sleep in bras. Then a group of students do an interesting study concluding that squeezing your breasts can actually reduce the size of potentially problematic cancer cells. If you try to keep up at all with what the latest science tells you about how to avoid and prevent very dangerous diseases your brain could also explode.
Steps to a better Bra for you
1. Get measured – Measuring Guide – IF you want to do it from home, this awesome website explains step by step how to measure yourself for a better fit. If you don’t feel confident in your use of a tape measurer, JC Penney, Lane Bryant, and Victoria Secret all have associates who are trained to measure for bra fittings. Even if they don’t carry your size, they will usually help you get measured.
2. Figure out what you need and want from a bra – If you don’t want bells and whistles, don’t buy them!
- Do you want lift? Go with a push up
- Do you want comfort? Go for a t-shirt bra – these come with underwires, you don’t have to sacrifice support for comfort or vice versa.
- Need more support in your shoulders? Lane Bryant has a whole collection of bras with wider and padded shoulders to help distribute the weight of your girls!
3. Make sure it fits –
- A properly fitting bra band will feel snug when you first buy it (it will break in over time). Snug does not mean so tight it is painful. If you’re not used to wearing an underwire, it will be uncomfortable the first few wears, but just like shoes, bras have to be broken in.
- Make sure the cup is the right size. is there a giant gap between your boobs and the cup of the bra? This means it’s too big go a cup size down.
- Are your breasts threatening to spill over the top of the cup or creating what my friends and I affectionately refer to as quadra-boob (Where the bra is making 4 breasts because the top of the cup is too tight)? Go up a cup size.
- The center section of the bra in between the cups should sit relatively flat on your chest in between your girls.
- Make sure you adjust the straps to wear they feel secure but not where they are falling off of your shoulders or digging into your skin. Poorly adjusted bra straps or bra-straps that just don’t fit will cause your bra to ride up or worse, you’ll have to constantly be pulling at your shoulders all day.
- The back band of the bra should sit straight across your back and not arch up in between your shoulders, this means the band is too small or the straps are too tight.
4. Get the right tool for the right job. –
- don’t try to make a strapless formal wear bra into an everyday wear. Going to the gym in a $60 Lane bryant satin strapless bra sounds like a painful way to spend your time exercising. Have a few types of bras that will meet your needs for the occasion you are dressing for.
5. Make sure you wash your bras properly
- Nothing can lead to a ruined bra faster than putting a bra in the dryer.
- If you invest the money in a good bra, invest the $3 in a delicates wash bag from Walmart. This allows you to wash your bras with your other perm press items, and then simply remove it, reshape your cups and hang it up to dry.
- A dryer will make underwires brittle and prone to breakage. The heat can also warp underwires and padding in bras.
Here is the link to Lane Bryant’s online bra shopping. I personally swear by their bras. I have tried over the shoulder boulder holders (as we refer to them in my home) from Walmart, Target, Sears, JC Penney, and Torrid and I have never found a bra that is higher in quality. If you have a store near you, go in and get fitted. Their bras may be a bit pricey, but they usually always have a buy one get one sale, and they last for a pretty decent amount of time. My longest lived bra died after 5 years of wear. Now that’s pretty darn good.
So, How did I do? I don’t want to get into the nuances of cultural ideas of where and how breasts should be worn, but this should help get you started on a search for a better fit to your bra and possibly the garments under which you wear it.