Our bra fit guide will help you to get the best fit from your bra.
We’ve put together this bra fit guide as many women will never have had a bra fitting. Even if they have, they may have very little knowledge of how a bra should fit. We hope this will help to dispel some myths and help you to get a better fitting bra.
When we ask ladies what makes a good fitting bra we always receive a range of answers. From, “One that is comfy” to “A bra that lifts my boobs.” “One with straps that don’t slip” “One that the underwires don’t come out of” Due to there being many things that go into making a good bra there can be just as many issues for ladies if they don’t understand how a bra works.
So we'll start with the key points to finding a good fitting bra.
Firstly the back of the bra should sit across the back in a straight line at the bottom of your shoulder blades:
- The back should be level front and back.
- If you stand sideways and look in the mirror, your bra should be level all the way around your body.
Secondly, breasts start under the armpit and extend up onto the chest:
- Bra cups need to cover all of this in order to fit and support properly.
- If wearing an underwired bra, the underwires should sit at the side of the body in line with the underarm.
- The fabric of the bra should cover the fleshy underarm area.
- The cups of the bra should sit flush with the skin on the top of the breasts.
- The breasts shouldn’t overflow the cups.
Thirdly the straps:
- You should be able to fit two fingers beneath the straps.
- You shouldn’t be able to pull them too far from the body and they shouldn’t be so tight that they dig into the shoulders.
Finally the back fastening:
- Always fasten a new bra on the loosest hook. This allows you to tighten the bra as it stretches.
The whys and wherefores of bra fitting
The back should be level front and back:
- The band of the bra should take 90% of the weight of the bust.
- It’s the band that does the hard work.
- If it’s too loose it will ride up in the middle.
- This then means that the weight of the breasts will pull the front of the bra down giving a saggy appearance to the bust.
- If the band is firm it will hold to the body and lift the breasts up.
- A firm band will also stop any movement of the bra lessening the need to adjust it throughout the day.
- A firm fit stops the band of the bra from rubbing against the body.
- This will also help to stop the wires from twisting and poking through the fabric.
Bra cups need to cover the whole of the breast area:
- The area beneath the armpit should be covered by the fabric of the bra.
- This support is as essential as the centre of the breast for support and comfort.
- Underwires should sit on the ribcage not against breast tissue. Test this by pressing on the wires. If your breast moves then increase the cup size.
- The top edge of the bra should sit against the skin, not digging in nor lifting away.
- If you find that you overflow the cup or double boob then you should try a bigger cup size to support the top of the breasts.
Shoulder straps do not offer support:
- The straps on a bra should only give 10% of the support.
- In a correctly fitted bra you should be able to slide the straps off without the bust dropping or moving too much.
- We recommend having the straps so that you can fit two fingers beneath the band comfortably.
- If they are too tight they will dig into the shoulders causing irritation and back and neck pain.
- They will also pull the back of the bra up. You may also find that it pulls the front up exposing the underside of the breasts.
- Too loose and the straps will constantly fall off the shoulders causing you to have to adjust them all the time.
Back fastening adjustment:
- Always use the nearest set of eyes first, that’s the ones that the hooks meet first, so that as the bra stretches out it can be tightened up.
- This means that you can get the maximum amount of use out of the bra.
- If tightened on the tightest hook there’s no adjustment in the bra.
- Many ladies believe that by tightening the bra to start with they can loosen it if they put weight on.
- This rarely works as weight gain often occurs both on the body and breasts.
- By loosening the bra you’ll also loose support on the cups causing the bust to sag
If you follow this bra fit guide it’s really quite easy to get your bra fit right.
Using this guide it’s possible to assess how your current bra fits and to see where you might make changes.
If ordering bras online it may be worth ordering several sizes to compare.
Check out our bra advice and faqs page for more info.
See our bra measuring guide if you’re still not sure what size you need to order.
When you have a rough idea of a size you can use our Sister Size guide to see which bra sizes to compare when ordering multiple sizes.