Finding the right bra can be difficult. The right bra is important, because it will be the most comfortable when it fits properly. Most lingerie experts recommend that women attend a bra fitting with a bra expert, in person, at least once in their lives. The person trained to properly fit bras knows how to measure correctly and help determine what style bra and bra cup is appropriate for each woman.
Though a personalized fitting session can provide a guideline for future purchases, changes in life circumstances can also change the size and fit of a woman’s bra. What may have worked well at one time may no longer do so after gaining or losing weight, childbirth, illness or aging. It’s nice to have some basic measuring skills to use when a new bra is needed. There are many different styles of bras and women come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Each bra has two essential measurements:
• The band sizeTo find this size, use a tape measure. Wrap it underneath your bust and make sure it is parallel to the floor. Exhale to let out the air in your lungs and to get the measurement which is the smallest possible. If your measurement is not an exact number, round up to the nearest inch. This will be the closest to your proper band size.
• The cup sizeTo find this size, find the fullest part of your bust and wrap the tape measure around it. Don’t pull the tape tight, but let it just touch. Keep the tape parallel to the floor for even measurement. If the size is between numbers, round up to the next number. Then, take the two measurements and use the following formula to get the correct cup size:
Measuring before buying a new bra is a good idea. Knowing something about the various bust configurations is also helpful. Breasts have different classifications, such as the amount of separation between them, how full the upper breasts are, how the breasts are positioned on the chest, their shape, the nipple direction, and unusual considerations such as having breast implants, uneven characteristics, or fitting for the maternity period. These variations affect how bras fit, and each woman can understand her own configuration to help select the bras which work best for her. There are many online resources which detail these differences.
The following ten bras offer comfortable and stylish new choices:
1. Playtex Original 18 Hour Comfort Strap Bra
Model 4693 has pretty, netting details which add a bit of luxury to this bra, while the padded cushion straps keep shoulders comfortable. The attractive floral fabric is also a design plus. Most women wear this bra to get the added support and comfort it advertises. It is a seamed bra made from polyester, nylon and spandex, which work together to make a sturdy bra. Buy now from Amazon
2. Playtex Ultimate Lift and Support Bra
Another model from the popular 18 Hour line, this Playtex design features lift-support panels instead of uncomfortable underwires. There is no cup padding, but it does have some in the straps so they stay comfortable. The wider straps have an “o” ring which connects the band of the bra to the straps. They are also graduated in width, so they are wider at the top and less wide nearer the band. Buy now from Amazon
3. Hanes Cozy Seamless Bra for Women
It’s easy to pull on this wire-free bra. It has wider straps than most other bras for extra comfort and support. Many women have worn this bra as they recover from surgery. Others wear this bra to bed for extra sleeping comfort. The bra is available in many different colors, which is a plus for women who like to have many. Buy now from Amazon
4. Playtex Sensational Sleek Bra for Women
This 18 Hour bra is wire-free, which provides an enormous amount of comfort. It offers higher sides for better coverage of the underarm area, the strap design is wider so they don’t dig into sensitive shoulders, the cups are rounder to provide more support to the bust, and the back panels are stronger for greater stability. The goal of the extra design features is to allow for wearing a smooth bra which doesn’t show underneath sleek clothing. Buy now from Amazon
5. Warner’s No Side Effects Contour Bra for Women
With a different design for side panels, problems with underarm bulge are removed. Without using elastic, the innovative cup placement allows this bra to use extra fabric to provide support in the difficult underarm area. The new panel design smooths and lifts, while the foam cups are flexible to accommodate different body configurations. Many women have varied issues with extra breast tissue escaping from the sides of their bras, and this can be anywhere along the side. This bra offers a good solution for this problem. Buy now from Amazon
6. Hanes Comfort Evolution Women’s Bra
Its sweetheart neckline gives this comfortable bra a feminine, attractive style. Made from polyester and spandex, the soft and wire-free construction helps this bra to move with the body. The fabric is stretchy, matching body movements to provide a high level of comfortable wear. There are no seams in the cup area; only very slight ones at the shoulder tops. The wider sides and back give nice support and coverage for smooth clothing. Buy now from Amazon
7. Bali Wireless Comfort Revolution Bra for Women, in Smart Sizes
This seamless bra is construction of supportive stretch fabric made from nylon and spandex. The fabric stretches four ways, and there are zones on the bra which are specially knitted to provide additional support in the areas which women typically need it most. This is a wonderful bra for women who dislike padding, underwires, itchy seams or straps which never adjust properly. It has the comfort of a sports bra, but with a pretty, natural shape. Buy now from Amazon
8. Vanity Fair Full Figure Beauty Back Bra
The 76380 model for full figures is designed to be comfortable and beautiful. The back features a contour smoother which minimizes bulges in the back. The design feature includes wings which wrap around the body and provide a sleek look for those problematic back and underarm areas which can slipover. It has a pretty lace fabric detail in the center front of the bra. Though the bra is padded, it is light padding, which offers more comfort and flexibility. Buy now from Amazon
9. Warner’s Women’s Full-Coverage Bra with Underwire
Though this bra does have underwires in the cups, they are encased in a lovely satin fabric which keep them comfortable throughout the day. This bra is perfect for wearing with t-shirts and other soft blouses, as the smooth construction gives each woman a pretty shape while concealing nipples and controlling spillover very well. The fabric is extremely soft and comfortable, which makes this a bra which is easy to wear. It is available in many colors and fabrics, and this is a plus for the woman who appreciates having many choices. Buy now from Amazon
10. Just My Size Wireless Satin Stretch Bra
This pretty bra has angled seams which provide the right amount of lift for an elegant appearance. The side panels are wide, which gives extra support in the underarm area. The back of the bra features a series of three rows of four hooks to provide strength and even closure for larger cup sizes. Its wire free construction makes it comfortable and it is strong enough to provide support even without the underwires. The wider straps do not stretch, but this keeps the bra secure. The cups are a hybrid of cone and rounded shape, which is currently popular with women who enjoy vintage clothing in 1950s style. Buy now from Amazon
For women seeking style and comfort, it’s wonderful to know that there are bra fitting resources and many wonderful selections. Keep in mind that the style of bra and its size are the two factors which affect the way it fits. Knowing the size is the first step; knowing the style is the second. Start out with those two, and stick to them for easier future bra purchases. Be aware of the bra’s construction. Look for the center area and make sure it matches the shape between the breasts for the best fit. Each woman has a different dimension in the center. Some are close together, others far apart, and some have no space at all. It’s probably one of the most overlooked spots on a bra. Matching the bra to that center space is one key to a comfortable and proper fit. Buying the best bras with the most comfortable fit is part science and part art. Solve the fit, and enjoy a lifetime of beautiful bras.