the one about bra fittings
It's amazing just how little I knew about bras until yesterday, when I had a fitting at Nordstrom by a lovely gal named Brooke. You've heard that most women are wearing the wrong bra size, right? Here's what I learned, in case you're curious!
+ BAND SIZING
The band should be very snug around your rib cage - this is where almost all of the support comes from (not the straps). I was wearing a 34 band, but it would ride up in the back, which I always thought meant it was too small, but my thinking was backward. It should be straight across your back. If your bra band rides up, size down in the band and up in the cup size (in my search for the perfect band size I went from 34 to 32 to 30). It actually feels really nice to have all that support!
+ CUP SIZING
I have a very average amount of breast tissue, but guess what? I am size 30DD. I know! It's hard to believe (32D also fits me pretty well - it's a sister size to 30DD). The biggest thing I have learned about bras is that cup sizes are relative to the band size. So, if you put a 32D and 36D next to each other, you will notice that the D cups do NOT have the same volume. It varies based on the band size.
Bottom line: Forget what you think a D cup looks like. 32D and 30DD are very similar in size, and I could have gone with either.
+ BRA STYLES
After trying on lots of different styles, I decided that molded cups aren't my favorite - all breasts are shaped differently and mine don't usually fit the "mold." I instead went with contour bras with a lot of lace. At first I was hesitant of the lace because I wear a lot of T-shirts and don't want the texture to show through, but I was surprised to see that the lace actually helps blend the bra with my body so you can't tell where the bra stops and my breast starts (no gaping). I also just really love the way I feel in a lace bra.
The two bras I bought and love:
Tip: Try on a lot of styles to see what feels the best for your body and lifestyle. I kept an open mind and found two I really love that I normally would not have even given a chance.
+ ROTATING BRAS
Confession: I have always owned one bra that I wore every day for six months until it was super stretched out, then I would go back to Victoria's Secret and buy the same bra in the same size and do it all over again.
My gal at Nordstrom says you should have at least three bras: one that you're wearing, one that you're washing and one that is "resting." I had no idea that elastic needs a rest day away from the wash and away from the heat of your body, which causes it to stretch out faster. I purchased two bras and am hoping to purchase another one soon and get better about washing them on a regular basis.
+ WASHING BRAS
The ideal way to wash your bras is to do it by hand after every wear. Put come cold water in a bucket, lay your bra in the water, sprinkle in some lingerie soap, and let it sit for a half hour, agitating the water a couple times throughout. Confession: I have been wearing a bra for 20 years and have never once done this.
You can also machine wash your bras. Get a mesh bag, hook the bra closed (so the hooks don't snag the rest of the bra) and wash in cold water on the gentle cycle, laying flat to dry.
I went from size 34C to 30DD and have never felt better in a bra. I'm still in the process of weaning Finch, so I'm hoping these bras will fit me for a while, but I already feel way more confident and like I have a little more knowledge on troubleshooting issues. I highly recommend a fitting at Nordstrom!
Have you had a professional bra fitting recently? Did it change your life?
P.S. Check out my friend Indiana's post for really great info on how to measure yourself for an accurate bra size, how to put on a bra, correct underwire positioning, etc.