Finding a properly fitting bra

Someone recently gave me a book which was a collection of short stories called “The Modern Jewish Girl’s Guide to Guilt”. There were quite a few comments by the young, female, Jewish authors of the stories about Jewish women being known for their full bosoms. Personally, I had never thought about it before. But because it was brought to my attention, I did a bit of research.

No – I’m not going to talk about ethnicity affecting breast size. Genes and lifestyle play too big a part in that topic for me to touch it. Rather, I found a great article in The Baltimore Jewish Times entitled How Uplifting! Finding a properly fitting bra is a load off your shoulders.” by Amy Landsman.


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Amy met with lingerie store owners and clerks and learned all about the bra shopping mistakes most women make. After writing the article, Amy says she ended up tossing out over half the bras in her dresser.

The article starts with a laughing shop clerk commenting that, “Everybody thinks they’re a 36C”. Bras are not a one-size-fits-all proposition. In fact, even if you really were once a perfect 36C, you’re probably not anymore. That’s because breast size changes during a woman’s life. Your monthly cycle, those extra 10 pounds, pregnancy, nursing, menopause or exercise can all play a part in whether you’ve gone up or down a size or two.

But don’t some educated shoppers come in to a store in the right bra size? “Nine times out of 10 they are wearing the wrong size,” says sales clerk Dorothy Stocksdale of Lingerie Lingerie near Baltimore, MD.

Lingerie Lingerie owner Barbara Bianco talks about getting fitted for the right bra size. “It’s not rocket science, but there is a lot to it.”

In a well-fitting bra, the band and straps work together to keep you lifted, and you should feel comfortable all day.

How do you know it’s time for a new bra? Clerk Beverly Lutters answers with:
- discomfort
- stretched out elastic or fabric
- you see one you love

They recommend 5-7 bras for each woman’s wardrobe. Rotating those should make them each last about a year. If you have fewer, they might not even last that long.

The biggest mistake ladies make when self-fitting for bras? Buying too big in the band and too small in the cup. “The worst thing you can do is have a band that’s too big around. Then it tends to ride up in the back. It sags in the front. The fit is terrible, the look is terrible,” Bianco says. “It should fit parallel all around.”

How can you help your bras last? Never put them in the dryer.

This encouraging article ends with, “Whatever your size, the bra that makes you look and feel your best is certainly out there somewhere.”

To learn more about finding a great fitting bra in the right size, you can read our Bra Guide.

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