Think you’re wearing the right size bra? I thought so too, until I met Freddy Zappe.
Zappe is a bit of a magician – when I met with the Everden fit specialist at Toronto’s swanky Four Seasons hotel, I was feeling pretty confident that she’d tell me I had my bra situation under control.
Instead, I came out two cup sizes bigger and with 4 inches off my band. Turns out, I definitely didn’t have it under control.
And I’m not the only one. It’s been said that up to 85 per cent of women are wearing the wrong size bra.
So how do you avoid the bad bra rut? I asked Zappe to fill me in on some of her insider secrets.
What are the biggest mistakes ladies make when it comes to sizing?
Women usually think they’re bigger in the band, and smaller in the cups than they really are.
OK, but if you’re anything like me, you have no idea! How exactly should a bra fit?
The most important things to look for in great fitting bra are:
1.The centre of the bra should lie flat against the chest wall.
2. The underwire should sit behind the breast tissue (not on top of it) to ensure the breasts are fully supported.
3. The band should fit snugly around the torso (like a snug hug). The band should be snug enough to stay parallel to the floor, and at the same level around the body.
Is there a specific way you should try on a bra on to find out if it’s the right size?
We recommend fitting a new bra on the loosest hook. The band will stretch with wear, and this way she can snug up the band when it stretches, to the second, and then finally to the last hook to maintain the original support. She’ll get more wear out of her bra, before it gets tired and needs to be retired. It’s essential to “swoop, stoop and scoop” the breast tissue from the back to the front into the cups – it’s just as important as finding the right style and size. There is no “proper fit” without “swooping and scooping!” This will change how the bra fits, and most importantly how the bra feels. Here’s how to do it:
1. Stoop: Lean forward from the waist, allowing the breasts to drop into the cups.
2. Swoop: Then, with the opposite hand gently bring the breast tissue forward from the back towards your cleavage…
3. Scooping it in front of, and on top of the under wire into the cup…(Editor’s note: The “swoop and scoop” method basically involves leaning forward and letting the breast tissue “fall” forward and then trying on the bra. Check out a how-to here)
What’s the No. 1 sign that you’re wearing a bra that’s the wrong size?
As I mentioned before, women are usually buying their cups to small and their bands too big. The telltale sign of a band that’s too big is that it will ride up the back, and consequently the breasts will fall down in the front – very much like a teeter-totter, or a see-saw. The band is up, and the breasts are down. Of course we want the breasts up, and the band down. Ninety per cent of the support of a bra comes from the band, so it needs to fit snuggly around the torso. The straps are just there to help. If you see breast tissue squeezing out of the cups, and/or the underwire is pressing on breast tissue, the cups are too small.
Why are so many ladies wearing the wrong size bra?
Because nobody told us what to do!
Any final advice?
If you’re feeling claustrophobic and uncomfortable in your bra, think about going up in the cup, and not in the band. If the cups are too small, the entire bra will feel too tight. When we feel uncomfortable, we automatically want to go up in the band for relief. Usually going up in the cup one, or even two sizes will do the trick, In the past cup sizes were only available to a DD cup, so in order to get more cup capacity, we had to go up in the band – which ended up not supporting the breasts at all.
Now several brands offer many more cup sizes, so it’s possible to get a more “custom” fit. Eveden brands are offered to a K cup – that’s 12 Ds! This allows us to go down in the band, and then up in the cups as much as we need for that perfect fit.
Have you tried the ‘swoop and scoop’ method for finding the right sized bra? Let us know by tweeting to @YahooStyleCA.