Choosing a bra: the worst mistakes to avoid

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Choosing a bra is far from easy: here are some tips on how to avoid common mistakes and find quality and comfort.

Choosing a bra
By AbElena / shutterstock.com
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Choosing a bra that is too small

Avoid this mistake by choosing a comfortable bra at the time of purchase and make sure that the bra is adjustable enough. As your bra ages and the elastic bands stretch, you will then have the option of tightening it up by adjusting it further.

You haven’t taken your measurements in ages.

The size of your bra varies from year to year depending on various factors: changes in your weight, firmness of your muscles, following pregnancy, and age. If you can, have your measurements taken in-store, suggests Christina Faraj, a bra expert from Beacon, New York.

If you cannot have your measurements taken, use the following basic formula:

1) Measure your breast size by placing a tape measure under your breasts, starting from your back and around your rib cage. If you get an odd number, round it up to get the next even number. This number will tell you the size of your bra.

2) To get the cup size of your breasts, measure the fullest part of your breast. Then subtract the size of your rib cage from this number. The difference you get will tell you which bra cup is best for you. A difference of one inch is a cut, a difference of two inches is a B cut, and so on.

Your chest is poorly supported by the cuts.

Is your chest not well supported? This means that your bra cup is either too small or that you have chosen the wrong style for your breast type. For example, women with larger breasts should avoid bras and opt for a bra that completely covers their breasts, making them look more harmonious under clothing. When trying on a bra, take a few moments to observe how it falls on your body. If you find that the bra fit causes a crease on your breast, take a larger fit, or try a different style bra.

The elastic band of your bra is not parallel to the floor.

If the band on your bra tends to rise up towards your shoulders, chances are the size is too big and not providing you with adequate support. Opt for a smaller size, or your bra may cause pain in your shoulders and back.

The frame of your bra tightens you.

This indicates that the cups of your bra are too small. The underwire of your bra should start behind the boundaries of your breasts. As such, let’s mention that experts report that most women use a brand that is too big and cuts too small.

Choosing a bra without ties

If you have a large bust, strapless bras offer very little support. Opt for an elegant bra style made of a material that is more rigid than elastic.

You wear your bra for two consecutive days.

If you don’t need to wash your bra after every wear, the elastic band still needs a day to breathe. “When you wear a bra for two days, it puts stress on your bra, which may not return to its original shape,” says Bobbie Smith, a bra specialist for Freshpair. Ms. Faraj suggests getting four or five bras. Beige or black bras for the office, a more classy one with laces, and a quality sports bra. For summer, Ms. Faraj recommends a convertible bra with ties. In closing, it is best to wash a bra after wearing it three times.

You wear a color that contrasts with a semi-transparent shirt.

To avoid contrasts, choose beige bras under white clothes, and black or navy blue under black clothes.

You keep your bras too long.

When you find the right bra, you’ll quickly see when one of your old bras starts to lose their elasticity and doesn’t support you as well. Expect a bra to last around a year, depending on how you use it and how many bras you have.

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