The INSIDER Summary:
• Most women wear bras that are too big for them because they don’t get professionally fitted.
• The band provides 80% of the support for a bra, so it should be tight.
• When you first buy a bra, you shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers between your back and the band when wearing the bra on the first hook.
If the bra you’re wearing is feeling loose and really comfortable, chances are you’re probably wearing the wrong size.
According to Nicole Kivitz, who works for French lingerie brand Chantelle, the number one mistake most women make when shopping for a bra is buying a band size that’s bigger than what they actually need.
“Most women are actually smaller than they think they are,” Kivitz says.
She says that when you first buy a bra, it should be tight enough that when you wear it on the first hook, two fingers should just fit between your back and the band.
If you can fit more than two fingers, the band is too big.
As you continue to wear the bra and it stretches, you should switch to using the second and then eventually the third hook. If you’re on the third hook and can fit more than two fingers between your back and the band, it’s time to replace that bra.
Kivitz recommends getting a professional fitting, and recommends getting it annually, as women’s bodies change regularly, due to weight gain or loss, pregnancy, or nursing.
However, even after a professional fitting many women still end up going for a bigger band size than what was recommended because it’s more comfortable. But in the long run, a band that’s little less comfortable is better for you.
“Because 80% of your support is from your band, it should be tight,” Kivitiz says.
So next time you’re in a lingerie store or the lingerie section of a department store, ask to be fit, and then take that size seriously. Your chest will thank you for it.
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