Let’s face it ladies: breasts can be a big headache. Sure they turn the heads of prospective mates, but between issues with size (too small, too large) and the difficulty of finding a bra that fits properly and offers adequate comfort and support, you sometimes wonder if they aren’t more trouble than they’re worth.
In truth, finding the perfect bra can make a huge difference not only in the way you feel about this contentious body part, but also in your level of self-esteem and your ability to function. So here are just a few tips that should help you to find the perfect bra for your body and your lifestyle.
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1. Start with a fitting.
This is an absolute essential that many women overlook. As a result you may be surprised to learn that the size of bra you’ve been wearing is wrong! Our bodies are constantly changing, and things like dropping or gaining a few pounds, starting (or stopping) medication, and having a baby can lead to the need for a new bra. Even if your weight hasn’t changed, the distribution may have. You may not need a bra fitting every time you buy new undergarments, but it only takes a minute to determine your size, so you should probably do it once a year at minimum.
2. Know your wants.
There are certain things you will want from your bra. Perhaps you’re looking for coverage. Maybe you want the appearance of additional volume. You almost certainly want support (especially if you exercise). And most women don’t take an entirely utilitarian approach to underwear, so you’re likely looking for undergarments that make you feel beautiful or sexy. You may also want to camouflage perceived flaws. When you go into the bra shopping experience knowing what you want you are much more likely to be happy with your choices in the long run (as opposed to, say, buying a bra solely for the pattern or fabric).
3. Know your needs.
Aside from what you want in a bra, you will have to address certain needs based on your body type. For example, women with larger cup sizes will definitely have to focus on the issue of support. Straps that are too thin could dig into your shoulders without offering the lift you’re looking for, so wide or padded straps could be an essential feature. You might also want to consider an underwire for added support. And those with a little extra skin under the arms or around the back will probably want a wider band and extra closures to ensure a smooth body line. The right bra for your body type is out there if you’re willing to be honest about your needs. It can only help you to look your best.
4. Know your wardrobe.
This is an important factor that some women forget when they’re shopping for undergarments. If you wear a lot of thin fabrics, for example, lacy brassieres might not be the best choice. And if your tops are mainly light in color then nude bras may be preferable to black or bright colors. Of course, you will likely want to have several options available for different situations and wardrobe selections, but you should probably focus on what you’ll get the most use out of on a day-to-day basis first and worry about special-occasion bras later.
5. Try different brands.
Shopping at department stores or online outlets like Knix or barenecessities.com will give you the opportunity to try a variety of brands. You might consider yourself a Victoria’s Secret or Maidenform girl, but you don’t know what kind of comfort and fit you could be missing out on until you try other labels.