Finding a comfortable and supportive bra can be difficult, we know. But they are an essential part of your everyday wear, and can cause back ache and discomfort if you wear an ill-fitting design almost all day, every day.
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Nudea has shared the statistic that a whopping 80% of British women wear the wrong bra size, and "over 75% of bra wearers were last fitted more than three years ago."
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How to find a bra that fits?
For those on the hunt for a new bra, or have never had a bra fitting, it is advised you have one so you can be sure you have the correct cup and chest size to find your perfect fit.
While some shoppers may prefer to go into a store to seek a helping hand on their underwear shop, others can get the same assistance but online, as numerous lingerie brands offer an online fit finder, such as Nudea and M&S, or Virtual Fitting Sessions.
The key when bra shopping isn’t to go directly to your usual size, or to slip it on and pray for the best, but to get familiar with the adjusting options.
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Nudea’s founder and CEO, Priya Downes, said: "When you finally get your bra, make sure you try adjusting the straps and jiggling your boobs. Nudea provides all customers with instructions on how to wear and adjust and bras come with added features such as cross back and halter neck options.
"For 'the jiggle', as you’re putting the bra on, lean forward and ‘jiggle’ your boobs into the cups to get the best fit. This can be a real game-changer for some who’ve been wearing ill-fitting bras for years."
More often than not bra fittings start with you trying on a simple T-shirt bra, without padding or lining, playing around with the fixtures at the back and strap adjustments.
It also provides a little coverage when getting measured.
3pk Underwired Full Cup T-Shirt Bras, more colours, £18, M&S
But why is the fit so important?
"Correctly sized bras are as important as correctly sized clothes with one the key difference - bras offer support and comfort to breasts, whereas clothes do not", Priya explained.
"Wearing clothes (bras or not) that are too tight can be painful, restrictive for range of movement, and generally uncomfortable. Wearing the correct size bra is particularly important as you get older, as breasts are not muscular, and are supported by a single ligament - the coopers ligament.
"Time and gravity means firmer, younger breast tissue is slowly replaced with heavier, fattier tissue. However, wearing a correctly fitting bra can slow this process down.
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"If your bra is uncomfortable in any way it probably means it doesn’t fit correctly. A proper fitting bra should support and add to comfort not detract from it.
"Most common telltale signs your bra doesn't fit properly are: straps digging in, because the underband isn’t supporting the breast weight, or cups are digging into your breast, or your bra cup doesn’t contain your breast tissue fully."
However, there are bras, which can offer support, and feel like a second skin, for days you want something quick to slip on when working from home.
Chantelle Soft Stretch Padded Crop Bra, £42, John Lewis & Partners
Bra shopping myths
When navigating the world of underwear, especially bras, for the first time, it can be overwhelming with various numbers and letters to contend with. One myth is the lower the letters, the smaller bust, which is not necessarily true.
Priya shared: "Bra sizing in its ‘current’ form was developed post-war, and is an alphanumerical system designed to calculate ribcage circumference and breast capacity. The numbers equate to your band measurement, however the out-dated nature of the system means that your ‘underbust’ is not actually what you measure.
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"It is the letters, which assess the difference (in inches) between your underbust and your overbust measurement - basically how full the difference is.
"The letter and number only make sense together. For example - DD is not necessarily a fuller bust size. A 28DD is the same ‘volume’ as a 34B. A 34B is seen as a small size, and a DD a larger size. However the breast tissue of both these sizes weighs and appears the same. The difference is one has a much smaller band or back size."
Another myth is your bra size rarely changes, but in fact, Nudea has found on average women wear four different bra sizes in their lifetime, maybe even more.
Priya shared: "The average women wears four bra sizes in their life and even a small amount of weight gain/loss can result in a cup or band change. Monthly cycles, pregnancy, menopause also contribute to changing bra sizes. This is why it’s so important to fit yourself regularly, it’s a good self-health check and unlike visiting the dentist you can do it yourself at home."
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Some also believe a one size fits all, doesn't actually fit all, while others think certain designs are strictly for certain bust sizes.
For those who feel more comfortable measuring their bra size in the comfort of their own home - we don’t blame you - it is easy to do so, especially with Nudea’s Tape, which gives you your bra size without any conversions or calculations.
The Nudea Fit Tape, £5, Nudea
Best bras to shop online
With all that in mind, we have curated a selection of brands, and bra designs, we wear and love to help you fill your underwear drawer.
Whether you need extra support, have a larger bust, or a petite frame, prefer wired or non wired, the t-shirt style, balconette or lust after a push-up design - there are plenty to choose from.
From cotton to softer silkier fabrics, lace designs, underwire, padded or lightly lined, there are plenty to choose from.
Our top pick: The Easy Does It Bralette, £42, Nudea
Our top pick: Silk & Lace Underwired Balcony Bra, £28, M&S
Our top pick: AND/OR Wren Lace Underwired Plunge Bra, £34, John Lewis
Our top pick: Seamless jersey push-up bra, £19.99, H&M
Our top pick: CHANTELLE Parisian Allure multi-way stretch-jersey, £60, Net-A-Porter
Our top pick: Forever Fiore Full Cup Bra, £13.20 (Was £22), Pour Moi
Our top pick: Strapless padded plunge bra, £28, Boux Avenue
Our top pick: Lila Lace Balconette Bra, £69, Dora Larsen
Our top pick: TRIANGLE BRA, £19 (Was £38), Calvin Klein
Our top pick: Tiziana Natural Cotton Triangle Bra, £25, Intimissimi
Our top pick: Sexy Lace Planet Plunge Bra, from £10, Ann Summers
Our top pick: SLOGGI S BY SUPERB P - Padded bra, £55, Sloggi
Our top pick: Savage Not Sorry Ultra Demi Unlined Lace Bra , £60, Savage
Our top pick: Full effect Bra, £31, Wonderbra
Our top pick: Freya Cameo Deco Moulded Plunge Bra, £38, Next
Our top pick: Paris Recycled Microfibre Balconette Bra, £14.99, Tezenis
Our top pick: LYRA BRA BLACK, £28, Bluebella
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