Did you know that you’re more likely to feel confident by wearing a good fitting bra compared to an ill-fitting bra? Ill fitting bras can be physically uncomfortable and don’t make you feel or look good. But, 80% of women in the UK are wearing the wrong size bra.
I have always had big boobs (DD+). It’s in my genetics to be big chested and I’ve found my family members have the same issues I do – it’s hard to find affordable, comfortable and supportive bras that don’t have big thick straps, boring designs and cost a fortune!
Finding the perfect bra can be really difficult! Common problems include:
- The size you are in one style/brand bra is likely going to be completely different to what size you’ll be in another style/brand bra
- Your bra size can frequently change depending on reasons such as weight loss/gain, the food your eating, pregnancy and a change in exercise routine
- Bras can be really expensive, especially on a student budget! The average priced bra for me is around £40 – and of course I need more than one bra. I have sports bras, strapless bras, day bras, night-out bras and the list goes on!
- Underwired vs non-wired? It’s a personal preference whether you prefer to have a wired bra or not. For high-impact exercise I always opt for wired, but if I am just at home I prefer to wear a non-wired bra for more comfort
- Bras loosen over time. The more you wear and wash them, the more likely the straps will loosen and the elastic will weaken, meaning they provide less comfort and support. Many brands recommend hand-washing your bras so they’ll last longer, but if you’re like me you’ll just chuck them in the washing machine with everything else! I try not to tumble dry my bras though – just so they keep their shape better
- Even the best bras don’t last forever. Experts suggest we should replace our bras every six months (or every 180 wears). The best bras usually don’t stay in stock for long, so six months after buying your perfect bra, it’s likely to not be available any more and you’ve got to go out and find a new one!
I gave up on having my bras professionally fitted after an embarrassing incident in John Lewis where I just wanted to burst into tears because I felt so self-conscious about how I looked. I was 16 with a petite frame and what I thought were huge, saggy boobs that could only be covered by a bra that looked more suitable for grandmothers than teenage girls. After that day, I would order and return hundreds of bras until I found one that I thought fitted me to avoid having a professional fitting. What I was naïve too at the time to realise was that by wearing the wrong-sized bra I was more likely to experience discomfort, back-pain and bulges around my chest and back which showed through my clothes.
I spent years wearing ill-fitting bras in reality gave me little to no support and it was a nightmare if I ever ended up having to run for a bus or bend up and down! I used to get upset about the poor choices of bras available to me in most lingerie shops like Victoria’s Secret and Ann Summers, however in recent years I’ve noticed there are so many more options for bigger-chested ladies in these stores and also in specialist shops like Bravissimo and Figleaves.
During lockdown I booked a virtual bra fitting with a really helpful lady from Bravissimos Newcastle store. At first I was sceptical as to how somebody could tell me what size I am just from looking at me over Zoom, but she really could! I knew my size had changed during a year of lockdown as my cup size looked bigger and it turned out the bra I was wearing was not the right fit for me at all. I was shown a variety of bras online which came in the styles, colours and price-range I wanted. All the bras cost between £32 and £38.
Although my fitter was not able to spin me around and measure me with a tape measure, she was able to explain why my bra wasn’t fitting properly just by looking at it. These ladies are experts in the bra fitting field!
I would highly recommend a virtual bra fitting if you’re not sure what size bra you’re supposed to be wearing. I would also recommend Bravissimo as a brand because of the huge range of styles, colours and sizes they sell. The customer support is excellent and the bras I have bought in the past from there are excellent quality and value.
If you’re a bit self-conscious or feel too embarrassed to have an in-person fitting, a virtual bra fitting is definitely for you!