• Finding The Perfect Bra

by Samantha Miles 0 Comments

Time to buy a new bra? Not really relishing the idea? You're not alone. As women, we should all know exactly what size bra to buy and which styles suit us best, right? I mean, buying shoes is easy enough, what's so different about a bra? Well let me tell you ladies, around 70% of the women that come into Katys Boutique are wearing the wrong size bra and it's usually because they've adopted the "I've always been a (insert bra size here)" attitude. Newsflash! Your boobs grow and reduce in size regularly during your adult life, which means the bra you've always loved might not fit you properly anymore. And, just to add to the confusion, it's not just manufacturers of bras that have different sizing templates, sometimes the styles within a range will fit differently too. So, the best advice is this; try your new bra on, and scrutinise yourself in the mirror. 

Here's how to do it...

First things first, throw that tape measure away! It's really not necessary for a perfect fit – Guides Honour – and, since different lingerie brands vary in their specifications, a tape measure might just add to your woes rather than helping. Instead, use your mirror. It’s the only tool you’ll ever need.

The back band

The band of your bra should be responsible for 80% of the overall support that your bra supplies, with only 20% being attributed to the straps. Knowing this, you need to check that it’s tight enough. So, stand in front of the mirror with your bra on and check that the band is completely straight the whole way round. If the bra is higher at the back than at the front it will cause the cups to sag down and give you no support. If the back band is riding up towards your shoulders, then the back size is too large.

One further check to see if the band of your bra fits properly might involve a willing volunteer (chaps at the ready!) With the back of the hand against your skin and underneath the fastening of your bra, try pulling the band away from the body. It should not move more than approximately one inch away. If it’s looser than this, then it’s definitely the wrong size; you’ll need to down a back size. If the band is right for you it should be firm enough to hold your boobs in place even without the help of the shoulder straps.

Shoulder Straps

Many women make the mistake of tightening their straps to an uncomfortable level in order to create more of a cleavage. This actually comes from getting the back and cup sizes right. Instead, tighten them to a degree that allows you to just about fit two fingers underneath. This will mean that the straps don’t slip off your shoulders, but they’re also not digging in and causing red marks.

Finding the Right Cup Size

Once you’ve decided upon the perfect fit for your back, it’s quite likely that you’ve gone down a few sizes. In this case, the only way is up for your cup size! To achieve perfection in this area there are a few points that need discussion.

1: Scoop and Swoop
You may scoff, but the importance of the ‘scoop and swoop’ fitting technique is paramount. Get your hand inside that cup and lift your boob into place. The whole breast should be encapsulated by the cup, with nothing at all escaping from underneath the underwire. If this is not the case, then you’ll be much more comfortable going up a cup size.

2: Cup
It’s easy to see if your cup size is too large. If you are trying on a soft-cup bra there will likely be wrinkling and puckering on the top of the cup. If you are trying out a padded or moulded cup bra, just look down! You will see large gaps below the shoulder straps which means that these will not fit you either, and will constantly slip off your shoulders. Keep going down a cup size until there is a smooth and uninterrupted line across the top of your bra and the top of your boob. 

Likewise, if your boobs are spilling out over the top of the cup then it is undoubtedly too small, resulting in the dreaded quad boob! Go up in cup sizes (and down in back sizes if needed) until no breast tissue bulges over the top (or out of the side) of the bra.


The Underwire

When fitted correctly, the underwire of your bra should fit perfectly against your ribcage, resting comfortably on your sternum (that bit between your boobs) and finishing just before your armpit. Underwire and cup size tend to go hand in hand, and therefore it can sometimes be quite difficult to make sure that both are correct. As a rule however, if the side of the wire that is closest to your underarm pokes into breast tissue then the cup is too small. It’s imperative that this does not happen as it can damage your breast tissue. Go up in cup sizes until the underwire is comfortable.

The Centre Panel

Finally, probably one of the most important yet overlooked points is the centre panel at the front of your bra. The centre panel needs to become close friends with your sternum in order for it to fit perfectly. This means that the cups will then start in the correct place and if there’s an underwire to the bra this will also point in the right direction. As a test, stand in front of that mirror again and put one finger against the bra’s centre panel. If this causes the entire bra to move, then you don’t have a solid foundation. The centre panel needs to be tight to your chest. If it's not, going up one cup size will almost certainly provide you with a much better fit.


So there you have it. Seems like a lot to take in, but once you've examined yourself and your new bra once, you will know exactly what to look for next time and soon it will be second nature. No more constant fiddling with loose straps, no more yanking the back down, no desperate desire to get your bra off. You won't even know you've had it on - Heaven.

Now all that's left to do is search for the perfect bra.
Luckily, Katys Boutique can help you with that too!

Samantha Miles
Samantha Miles


Lingerie Lover and Owner of Katys Boutique