If your clothes don’t seem to fit well anymore, one of the biggest reasons is you NEED TO PICK YOUR KNOCKERS OFF THE FLOOR! A well-fitting bra is one of the essentials to good style. Almost 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra!

I know how frustrating it is to go bra shopping when you don’t have professional help. You come home with one that doesn’t fit correctly, and either you’re spilling out of the cups or the back strap digs into your skin. For such a small item of clothing, bras can be the hardest to buy.

Let’s see if I can make it a little easier with some basic bra-fitting tips:

Bra Tip #1: Get A Professional Bra Fitting

Do not just go into Marshall’s or a big department store and choose a bra based on your old cup size. Cup sizes are not standard, and they only matter when paired with your band size. Go to a dedicated bra store; in the States that would be Soma or a lingerie store, or a good department store such as Nordstrom. Choose a store that has a wide selection of bras and trained bra fitters on hand. Measure yourself first as a guideline so you know where to start looking once you get there. Make a list of the types of bras you need. For example, you may need a nude bra, black, sports, tee shirt, and a fun colorful bra.

I love how one of my clients thanked me for suggesting (strongly!) that she get a professional bra fitting. Here’s what she wrote after the experience, “I had my bra fitting today at Soma. It was super easy. I don’t know why I kept putting it off like it was a colonoscopy or something. I ended up with two styles — one of which I would have never chosen for myself.”

Bra Tip #2: Replace Your Bras At Least Once or Twice A Year

Depending upon how often you wear a bra, it will wear out faster if you’re in it 3-4 days every week. I find that my fancy bras last several years because I rarely wear them. But, my sports and tee shirt bras need replacing every 6 months. Check the following for worn out signs:

  • Does the band ride up your back?
  • Does your breast tissue spill over or bulge around the cup?
  • Do the cups pucker or gap?
  • Do your straps slip and slide?
  • Do your straps dig into your shoulders?
  • Does the wire poke and prod?

If any of these conditions exist, you need to get rid of the old bra. Try not to wear the same bra two days in a row — it will help the elastic regain its strength. Have several of the same type of bra so you can rotate.

Bra Tip #3: Look for the right fit

A bra that fits just right should have smooth cups, center section lies flat against your chest, band is low and even, no poking or digging or gaping. While you’re in the store, try the bra on with the clothing you plan to wear. You want to see what your bra looks like under sheer fabrics, or with a low-cut back.

Note: According to my acupuncturist (she understands poking!) underwire bras are not good for a woman’s health. She explained that the wire puts undo pressure on your chest. Try some of the new wire-free bras that offer just as much support.

Bra Tip #4: Know your body type

Be aware of your body type so you know what bras to look for. For example, if you are more of a top-heavy apple shape, you will likely be looking for fuller coverage bras, not demi-cups. If you’re not sure what type you are, I teach you how to determine your body type in my online style workshop, called “Body Confidence.”

Bra Tip #5: Be open-minded about your bra size

Bra sizes have really changed since 1928 when the bra measuring system was invented! Don’t get stuck on a number. The proper fit of the bra is the most important thing, even if it is a 36DDD or 38FFF. Lift the girls — they’ll thank you for it!!

Bra Tip #6: Take good care of your bras

It’s best to hand wash in lingerie soap every 5-6 wears (Woolite is actually NOT good for bras), but I’ve been known to put bras in the washing machine, using a mesh garment bag. Always air dry – never put your bras in the dryer. Store them in a drawer by stacking open bras one on top of the other. Never fold bras up; you want to avoid crushing the cups.

Bra Tip #7: Learn how to measure yourself

Measure around the bottom, directly under your bust. The measuring tape should be level and very snug. Round to the nearest whole number. If the number is even, add four inches. If it’s odd, add five. Your band size is the sum of this calculation. (So if you measured 32 inches, your band size is 36. If you measured 33 inches, your band size is 38.)

While wearing a bra, wrap the measuring tape somewhat loosely around the fullest part of your chest (at nipple level). Round to the nearest whole number.

Subtract your band size from your bust measurement and refer to chart. Example: 37 inches (bust) – 34 inches (band) = 3 inches. That’s a 34C.

Okay, I’ve done my part. I try to encourage and remind and cajole my clients at least once a year to get a professional bra fitting and buy new bras. It’s life-changing, I promise….