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The Ultimate Guide to Bras: Fit & Tips

Over the years, I’ve had a multitude of bra fittings and have spent a lot of my time researching & figuring out what styles work best! I’ve conjugated all I’ve learned from different Bra-Fitting Professionals as well as from personal experience to give you the ultimate Guide to Bra fittings & tips. Just by taking the time to get properly fitted, your outfits can fit better and your overall confidence can skyrocket. All from being properly fitted! who knew?!

1. How do I know my current bra properly fits me?

Let’s start with the basics and work our way through each part of the bra. Test out at home as we go through each category if your bra “passes” the fitting test.

The Band: What to look for

  1. Placement: Your Band should be in line with the bottom of the bust, and sit nicely across your mid-back. Therefore, your bra strap should not be higher or lower than the bottom bust line!
  2. Fit: Your band should sit firmly against the skin. It should not be overly tight, or too loose. You shouldn’t be able to pull it far from your back.
  3. Are any wires poking out? Get rid of the bra if wires are sticking out.
  4. Width: Is your back band wide? For those with a larger bust, a wider band in the back helps with overall support and can help to smooth out the back.

The Cups: What to look for

  1. Fit: You should not be spilling out of the cups nor should there be any gaping! (Fit Test: If you raise your hands up, does your bra go up as well? Your bra should always stay put)
  2. Dimpling: If your cups have dimples or lines across them, That means your cup size is currently too big.

The Straps: What to look for

  1. Fit: Are you having to constantly readjust your straps since they are sliding off? Or are you having to keep it as tight as can be all day? Your straps should not be sliding off or digging in.
  2. Width: Are you using a thin strap for a large bust? A wider strap can help with larger busts for better support.

The Center Piece between the cups: What to look for

  1. The centerpiece between the cups should sit directly against your sternum! It should not stick out- if it does, you need to get re-fitted and possibly go up a cup size.

If you are noticing any of the above with your bra, it is time to look into getting re-fitted and taking the next step towards your perfect bra!

The Ultimate Guide to bras by chelseamproulx.com

2. Getting Properly Fitted

If you want a professional bra fitting done, I highly recommend Nordstrom. (Especially for those in the Ottawa area). I can’t explain the power of a proper fitting, especially for those with larger busts like myself. Not only was I more comfortable, but clothes fit better as well.

For those nervous about getting fit, I’ll walk you through my experience in an easy step by step manner of what to expect.

  1. Assess: She will take a look at you and see how your current bra is fitting- She even asked what size I currently was (and then was very quick to tell me “no, honey you are definitely not a 34DDD”)
  2. Ask about what bra/brand you are currently wearing: This gives her an idea of style and brand you like, and helps with sizing as each brand can run sizing and shape differently
  3. Measuring of the rib-cage and bust: This will give her an idea of your band and cup size.
  4. Grab different Bras for you to try on: Once the ideal bra size is set, they will give you that size as well as other sizes close to it to see what works best for you. This is why it’s important to take your time when bra shopping.

I not only felt completely comfortable during my fitting, but she gave me an endless amount of time to try on all the bras I needed too in order to find the perfect size. Believe me when I say I probably had about 15 different bras in my changeroom at one time!

3. Bra Changing room Tips

  1. Adjust the straps to your liking: This might seem obvious, but growing up I never did this! Adjust so everything feels comfortable.
  2. Always try on a bra on the last hook (the loosest hook): Your bra should start off on the loosest hook because the more you wear it the looser your bra will get overtime. This way as time goes on, you can make your band tighter as opposed to starting on the tightest option from the start.
  3. Use the assessment given earlier when in the changeroom: Look for how the band, cup, and straps sit!
  4. Your bra should make you want to do a little dance, not make you want to cry (unless its tears of joy). A perfect bra should give you confidence!

4. Bra Must-Haves for Large busts!

Here’s what I look for in a bra for full support as a larger busted woman myself:

  1. Wide Straps: This provides me with better support, and evenly distributes the weight on my shoulders. This also will help my straps to last longer as they are more durable than a thin strap.
  2. Wide Band: This is a must-have! This helps to give me extra support, as well as help to smooth out back fat! (which all busty ladies know oh, so well). No, your back fat won’t all go away, but a wide band can really help in minimizing it.
  3. Lace Bras/less padding: I am always looking for ways to make my chest look smaller (there’s no such thing as a minimizing bra, even if stores tell you there are) but there are ways to help! I have found lace bras that have zero padding really help in not creating extra bulk- plus they’re cute!

5. Brands I recommend

Over the years I have tried some brands- but there are still a lot more that I would like to try out! Here are my go-to’s for 2019.

  1. Additionelle Bras
  2. Chantelle

*They have cute styles for larger busts!

Strapless Bras

  1. This Bra from Amazon (more comfortable, not as lifting- can be worn for longer periods)
  2. This Bra from Wacoal (More uplifting & with more shape)

I wear the strapless Bras with my dresses or off the shoulder tops the majority of the time. I am wearing them here, as well as with this outfit.

Needless to say,

Go get a proper fitting! Do yourself a favour and take a day to go to Nordstrom, and find yourself a perfect bra. Not only will it make you comfortable, but it can improve your overall confidence.

Let me know if you found any of this helpful, or if there are other tips you know that could help all the ladies out there!

The Ultimate Guide to Bras: Fit and Tips
Chelsea Proulx

Lifestyle Blog

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14 COMMENTS

  • Kaila

    This was actually so helpful. Iโ€™ve never been measured and always just guessed, so thank you for these tips!

    • chelseamproulx
      AUTHOR

      Aw, I’m so glad to hear it was helpful!! I do truly recommend getting properly fitted/measured by a trained specialist (not someone from Victoria Secret). Everyone deserves to have that bra that fits them like a dream!

      Thank you for reading and commenting! I really appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Samantha

    I NEEDED this post. Bra’s can be so annoying and with me being overweight but not HUGE in the boob department, it can be hard to find that right bra. I LOVE your website – it’s beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚
    -Sam

    • chelseamproulx
      AUTHOR

      Thank you so much!! I’m so thankful that this could hopefully help you out! I’m overweight and also larger chested, and so I too had struggles, which is why it was near and dear to my heart to write a post to hopefully help other people too.

      Also, thank you!! I’m still new to the blogging community, so I appreciate your feedback on the website ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nyxie

    I have a love/hate relationship with bras. I usually wear sports bras because I’m so small in the chest area that I can get away with it. That is until I need a fancy one for a fancy outfit and then I’m buggered. The underwire hurts my breast bone and the cup, more often than not, sits too big for my boobs.

    The last time I got measured I was significantly heavier and came in at a C, now I am about 10 KG lighter, underweight and I have practically non-existent boobs. Yet I refuse to get re-measured.

    Anyway, this comment became a story time. Apologies. This is a very interesting and helpful article for a bit of a bra-novice like me ๐Ÿ™‚

    • chelseamproulx
      AUTHOR

      Your storytime is appreciated though! we’re all shaped differently, and learning about different struggles can help other people out too. At the end of the day, you do what is best for you! If sports bras or bralettes are your thing, then stick to it! If I could get away with that (or even not having to wear a bra period) I would do that too!

      Thanks for sharing and for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jessie Bang

    This is a great guide! I think most women wear the wrong fitting bra! Thanks for sharing!

    • chelseamproulx
      AUTHOR

      Yes! I know I certainly was for way too long. Thankfully that woman from Nordstrom gave me the honesty I needed! Thank you for reading and commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Britt

    Great suggestions! It’s funny, as much as almost every woman relies on bras in our daily lives, so few actually understand the basics of proper bra sizing and it can cause discomfort and even long-term pain (like back issues). This breaks it all down in a way that’s so easy to understand

    • chelseamproulx
      AUTHOR

      Thank you so much!! It’s so true, understanding the basics is super important! I’m glad it was an easy to follow guide, and I appreciate your feedback and comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Amanda

    This is so helpful. I’ve had a lot of wrong bra size. It is really hard to find one that fits you the way you always wanted. I haven’t even thought about a lot of the things that you mentioned. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a beautiful day.

    • chelseamproulx
      AUTHOR

      I’m so glad that you found this helpful! I hope you can find the perfect size and fit that every woman deserves! Thank you so much for reading and commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Adrienne

    You donโ€™t know how much I needed this Iโ€™ve been saying Iโ€™m going to buy new bras I brought some from Macyโ€™s a while ago I love them but theyโ€™re leaving marks. I also hate going to be measured because they always tell me different sizes so Iโ€™m like okay whatโ€™s my real size Lol I will be rereading this when I go bra shopping soon thank you for helping lol

    • chelseamproulx
      AUTHOR

      I know, getting measured by different people from retailers/chain stores I’ve stopped doing as well (such as VS). That’s why I only recommend going to a department store like Nordstrom since they are trained professionals! Coming from experience, they got my size down perfectly. However, the quick guide to how you can assess while you’re in the changeroom is for those who don’t want to be measured! But if you have any questions while you’re shopping, don’t be afraid to message me here or on Instagram and I can answer any questions for you ๐Ÿ™‚ *chelseamproulx on insta.

      Thanks so much for commenting and reading!:)

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