Top 7 Mistakes Women Make with Bras
1. Guessing size
You’ve probably heard it before – most women are wearing the wrong bra size. But unless you’ve been professionally fitted for a bra, how do you know your size? Many of us conduct trial and error sessions in change rooms across the world, randomly grabbing cup sizes we think we might be (“I’m big so I must be a D”) in a variety of bands until we find something that we guess doesn’t look too bad and doesn’t seem to leave any bubbling over under our favourite T-shirt. It has a lot to do with how we’re taught to shop for bras and also what we’re told by the media. For myself, I did my first bra shopping with mom at the discount department store by looking for cheap Warner or Playtex bras in white because, well, the only other choice was black. When I was 20 and discovered the WonderBra brand, boy did I ever think I had it made! Now a lot of this comes down to socio-economic status and the availability (or lack there-of) of higher-end bras in rural areas, but it also has to do with messages from media. From a young age we’re delivered that “ideal” female size: 36C. It isn’t any wonder that women gravitate to these common sizes when trying to fit themselves, because surely many of us balk the first time it’s suggested we’re actually a 34J. The common perception is that the DD cup and beyond is reserved for only the giantly busted, those women whose cleavage is fodder for discussion and that anything beyond that Bridget Bardot DD look is just wrong.
The truth is that women come in an unbelievably wide variety of shapes and sizes and that the number and letters on the bra has nothing to do with your identity or your self-worth. Guessing doesn’t work well and it is enormously beneficial to be professionally fit. You might look passable but as soon as you are fit with the right size, you can visually see the difference and feel the difference too. Things that we thought were acceptable, the band rising up in the back, the cups spilling over or the gravity-laden silhouette of the unsupported breast suddenly seem unfathomable. How to fix the guessing? Get professionally fit or if you’re not near a lingerie store that fits read a guide to fitting and measure yourself.2. Not being professionally fit
If you’ve been professionally fit you know how beneficial it can be. A fitter knows how to measure you in order to find a good bra for you and they also know the difference not only between styles of bras but also the subtle difference between brands or even styles within the same brand. They know what to look for in terms of fit: a band that isn’t pulling up or down, cups that are neither gaping nor spilling over, and straps that aren’t cutting into your flesh or letting your bust line fall. At Midnight Magic Lingerie, our fitters help women “drop down” into bras by teaching them how to let gravity drop the extra tissue that we commonly assume is back fat down into the cup, ensuring a proper fit. Fitters will also know which bras having a deeper or shallower cup or which ones tend to run small in the band.3. Being in the Victoria Secret Daze (i.e. maximum cleavage or nothing)
Some ladies we see, particularly the younger ones, are still in what we call the La Senza or Victoria Secret daze: the strange obsession with the push-up bra for maximum cleavage despite an incorrect fit or a bra that isn’t going to work for day-to-day use and the insistence that there are no other sizes or styles of bras that would work better. Don’t be afraid to try what a bra fitter suggests or to try a style you think might be a little “older” than you … it just might fit great and still make you feel youthful and sexy. Being open minded with bra shopping is fun! Experiment!4. Not experimenting with brands and styles
We all have that favourite bra: the bra that fits perfectly, never lets us down and is perfect for almost any occasion. Chances are it’s a nude or black T-shirt or soft-cup bra that has a nice shape and that works well under a smooth fitting tank. And there’s nothing wrong with having a go-to bra (or a few in multiple colors) in your closet. But you can also gain a lot from experimenting with styles and brands. If you’re a Prima Donna gal, try Freya on and be pleasantly surprised. Or maybe you’re all about the full-coverage molded cup, try a balconette style and you might just find a new favourite. Trying new things is how we grow and it’s always fun to grow your lingerie collection.5. Drying Your Bra in the Dryer
The cardinal sin of all bra-wearing women: using the dryer on those precious lingerie items that for which you just shelled out a hundred or more dollars. Don’t worry, we totally get it … at the end of the day who has time to set up a Martha Stewart-esque hand-washing station and gently launder their unmentionables, laying them meticulously on organic cotton towels. But seriously, even if you *do* machine wash in a garment bag (we always recommend hand washing) just DON’T stick the bra in the dryer. You can lay it flat, you can hang it, just avoid damaging your bra buy allowing the heat to ruin the elasticity and quality of the fabric. Hanging can potentially stretch the bra but it’s a far superior method to the dryer.6. Wearing too often between washes
A lot of women have been taught to wash their bras sparingly in order to reduce stretching problems and while we do want to reduce the loss of elasticity in the fabric, washing too infrequently may allow our bodies’ natural oils break down fibers in fabric, particularly Spandex style fabrics. We recommend to our customers washing after every second wear. That sounds really often, doesn’t it? If you’ve got a good rotation of bras it shouldn’t be a problem and you just get into the groove of throwing your bras in the sink with a bit of Forever New or Eucalan washing soap.7. Buying band too loose
We’re finding that many women wear their band too loose due to personal preference. While it’s important to be comfortable and we would never push anyone into a too-tight band, we always encourage women to wear the band size they are fitted in. Why? Bras will stretch out over time (guaranteed it’s happened to you right?) even with the proper washing and wearing procedures. If you buy a band in the right size and start off at the widest band hook setting you can always go in on the hooks as the band stretches slowly over time. It might not be a significant change but it does matter especially when you’re buying a quality bra.
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