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Bella Forma :: Bra Fitting Guide

 Bra Fitting Guide
You've got the Perfect Figure now get the Perfect Fit!

International reports suggest that between 70-85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra, that's a lot of uncomfortable women!

A badly fitting bra isn't just uncomfortable, as if that isn't bad enough, it can also cause back, neck and shoulder pain from bad posture. Irritation and soreness from rubbing and by not lifting and supporting your breasts properly it can make your clothes look pretty awful too.

As your boobs will change size and shape at different stages in your life it's not a case of one size forever. Putting on or losing weight, pregnancy, getting older and the menopause will all affect the bust size so you should check how your bra is fitting every 6 months or so.

The biggest mistake is wearing a back size too large and a cup size too small and with the average bust size now being around a D cup larger boobs are on the increase - yes you are not alone! So it's time to have a good look at the bra you are wearing and check whether you have the perfect fit or not.

We think one of the main reasons so many of you are wearing badly fitting bras is the confusion over how to measure yourself. The fact that none of the measuring systems are 100% accurate and they just don't seem to work once you get over a certain cup size certainly doesn't help matters. Add to this the difference between each manufacturers sizing systems and finally that everyone's boobs are shaped differently so some styles will fit you better than others.

Taking all this into account it's no wonder that shopping for a new bra can be a truly disheartening experience. Even going to a professional fitter can be a hit and miss affair. Given that professional fitters are often working in stores with limited supplies of the larger sizes and may not have had much experience in fitting us bigger busted girls it can often be a case of 'this will have to do' and 'well that's the best fit your going to get.'

Of course we don't want to tar everyone with the same brush and we know there are some fantastic fitters out there but when you've been told that you'll 'never get the under wires to lie flat with your size of bust' and 'you definitely measure this size and that's what I recommend' - even though you know damn well you wear a completely different size and what your being offered fits really badly you will have to forgive our lack of faith in the current fitting system.

It's no surprise then that we don't have any complicated formulas that you need to work out to try and find your bra size, no magic system. Believe me if there was one that worked we would be the first to tell you!

What we prefer to do is to tell you what a well fitting bra should look and feel like and let you decide if it fits you properly or not. After all you're the one that's going to be wearing the bra all day, you know whether it feels comfortable or not and once you find that perfect fit you will never want to wear a badly fitting bra or swimsuit ever again.

Perfect Fit Checklist
So how do you find that perfect fit? Well the first thing to do is to buy a bra from Bella Forma and try it on. We have a huge range of gorgeous bras and cup sized swimwear and with sizes ranging from back size 6 to 30 and cup sizes D to JJ there should be something for everyone.

Remember we offer free returns so exchanging sizes is easy and hassle free and of course our Perfect Fit Guarantee mean you can always return your purchases for a full refund.

If you are trying a style or brand for the first time we recommend ordering two different sizes in the same style so you can try them on together and compare them easily. If you are unsure of your size we recommend you try two styles in a few sizes to start with as any more tends to become confusing.

Try a bra you think is approximately the right size, use your existing bra size as a starting point adjusted according to the check list below and be prepared for it to be a bad fit, although you might be pleasantly surprised! Think of it as the start of better things and a fabulous new you.

Putting It On

  • This might seem like going back to basics but putting it on properly can make all the difference to getting a well fitting bra.
  • There are two main ways to put on a bra, fastening the bra at the front, twisting it around and then putting your arms into the shoulder straps or putting your arms into the shoulder straps first, scooping it under your bust and then doing it up round the back.
  • Either method is fine the key thing to remember is to lean forward so your bust falls into the cups. This ensures your boobs are sitting properly in the cups and are not squashed against the rib cage.
  • Once you stand up you might need to reach into the cups to adjust your breasts and make sure they are sitting in the cups properly, a little jiggle does wonders but you shouldn't need to force them in.
  • Once you have got the bra on move around a bit in it, swing your arms around, bend over. It might look silly but it's what we do all day and it will give you a good idea of whether the bra is fitting properly. You should be able to do all that and not have everything pop out of place.

    The Back Strap

  • The most common mistake is wearing the back strap too loose around the body, it may feel comfortable but it offers little support. Fasten the back strap on the loosest hook and adjust the shoulder straps to a comfortable but not too tight position.
  • The back strap should be firm but comfortable, you may need to go a little tighter than you are used to but remember you need to be able to breathe!
  • It should run in a horizontal position around your body, check by looking in the mirror.
  • It needs to have some give in it but it shouldn't ride up. If you are constantly tugging it down then it's too large and you need to go down at least one back size.
  • You should be able to have your shoulder straps tightened reasonably firmly without it pulling the back strap upwards.
  • There should be no spillage or pinching of the bust from underneath the bra cups, that's a sure sign the back strap is too large.
  • With an underwired bra the wires should sit on the rib cage underneath the bust. The bust is made up of delicate tissue and any pinching can damage it.

    The Cups

  • The bust should sit comfortably in the cups and should be fully encased. The wires should go around the bust completely including around the sides under the arms.
  • There shouldn't be anything popping out of the cups underneath the arms, around the sides or over the top if there is the cup is too small.
  • The wires shouldn't poke out under the arms or rub, if they do the cup is too small.
  • The wires in the middle of the bra should lie flat against your chest. If they stick out then the cup size is too small.
  • Balcony bras are cut lower so the boobs continue above the cups but there should be no '4 boobs' or 'double boobs' ...it's not a good look!
  • The best way to check this is to turn to the side and look in the mirror if there are bulges over the top of the cups then the cup is too small.
  • If the cups fabric is wrinkled or seems loose then the cup size is too large.

    The Shoulder Straps

  • The shoulder straps shouldn't be too loose, tighten them so they are firm but don't dig in or leave red marks.
  • The weight of the bust should be supported mainly by the back strap and the cups. Try this test with an underwired bra. Loosen the shoulder straps or slip them off your shoulders. There will be a little movement but if everything plummets south then your back strap and cup size are not supporting you properly and you need to change size accordingly.
  • If the shoulder straps are digging into your shoulders or you feel like you are being dragged down by them then you are probably wearing too large a back strap and your bust isn't being supported enough so you are over tightening the shoulder straps to compensate, go down at least one back size.
  • The shoulder straps shouldn't slip off your shoulders, if they do tighten them a little or try a style with the straps closer together. Balcony bra's tend to have wider set straps than other styles.

    Some Other Points to Remember

  • If you're constantly re-adjusting your bra all day then your wearing the wrong bra size. Bras should feel comfortable and when wearing a well fitting bra you should be able to forget about it, for at least some of the day.
  • When you first buy a bra you should fasten it on the loosest hook, this means that as the bra gets a bit worn and stretches you can tighten the hooks and it gives you a bit more life out of the bra.
  • It's very common to have one breast larger than the other. Choose the cup size that fits the larger breast.
  • If the cups are fitting well but the back strap is too large or small you need to adjust the cup size accordingly. This is because if you go down a back strap size the cups will also be smaller. The same principle applies with increasing the back strap size but in reverse. So to go down a back size then you go up a cup size so if you are a 14E to go down a back size you change to a 12F. To go up a back size then you go down a cup size.

    Still not sure you've got it right? Need more advice?

    If you are still not sure whether you have got the perfect fit or you need to ask some advice please contact our Customer Support department.

    Making sure you wear comfortable and well fitting lingerie and swimwear is of the utmost importance to us. We never want you to make do with a bra or swimsuit because you're not sure about the fit. You've got a fabulous figure and assets some women pay a lot of money to get, make sure you look after them in gorgeous well fitting bras and swimwear from Bella Forma.
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