Wearing an unsupportive bra isn't merely annoying. It can make you look heavier than you are and more importantly, can cause your breasts to sag, especially if you have a large chest. Follow these uplifting tips from our friends at You Beauty, and Susan Nethero, owner of Intimacy intimate apparel stores, so you can look slim and trim while giving your boobs (and body) a big boost! Try on a new look in the Makeover Studio!
The best way to find the perfect bra is to have a one-on-one fitting with a bra specialist in a store that offers a wide range of bra sizes beyond DD (stores can only sell you what they have, even if it means recommending that you squeeze into a too-small bra). The right bra will cup most of your breast and keep your set firmly in place. It should also separate your breasts by about an inch. If you wear underwire bras, the wire should rest against your rib cage and not pull away from the body, according to Nethero. Try on a new look in the Makeover Studio!
Think your bra support comes from the straps? Think again. "A good bra provides breast support from the band [across your ribs]--only 10 percent of the support should come from the bra straps," says Nethero. In other words, if you slip off the bra straps, you shouldn't notice a significant slump in your breasts; the bra should still be supportive even without the straps. Also, if you're looking at yourself in a mirror from the side, the bra's bottom band should form a straight line or the back can be an inch lower than the front of your bra. "When the bra angles up your back that will cause the cups to fall down," she says. Try on a new look in the Makeover Studio!
If a bra fit specialist tells you that you're actually a 32 E (yes, E), despite the fact that you've been wearing a 34 D for a decade, don't sweat the sizing. It may come as a shock that you're bigger (or in some cases, smaller) than you were led to believe, but it makes sense that there would be a range of cup sizes that go beyond the typical A, B, C, D. After all, clothing doesn't just run in sizes 0 to 6, so why should your bra? As with clothing, don't get hung up on numbers, just focus on the best fit. Try on a new look in the Makeover Studio!
Start out firm. Although you want your bras to feel good on, you don't want a brand-new bra to be too comfortable from the get-go. "You want it firm around the body and on the first hook so you have two to three hooks to go as the bra stretches," says Nethero. "You want a bra that hugs and holds you because you wear them 14 to 16 hours a day." In other words, like your best friend, you want your bra to deliver continuous support and be able to grow with you over time. Try on a new look in the Makeover Studio!
You need to rotate bras every day to prevent them from wearing out too quickly and to let them breathe. So how many boulder-holders should you own? "Ideally, seven to ten, but that's a large number," says Nethero. "Women have too few bras that they actually wear--and a lot sitting in their drawers that are a waste of money because they are uncomfortable. If you have five working bras in your wardrobe that you actually wear, that's good." Try on a new look in the Makeover Studio!
Tossing your bras in the washer and dryer can cause them to fall apart over time. Using a standard laundry detergent to wash them will degrade the material and cut the bra's lifespan in half, according to Nethero. What's more, the intense heat of the dryer will cause the elastic to break and lose resilience. Instead, take care of your investment by washing your bras by hand and using a mild fabric care wash such as Ivory Snow or Nethero's favorite, Forever New. Dry bras on the dryer's delicate cycle or let them hang dry. "You'll double the life of a bra," she says. Try on a new look in the Makeover Studio!