How to tell if you're wearing the wrong bra size or style

  • Your back band is riding up
  • Your breasts are either spilling out of the cup or the fabric is gaping
  • It's so uncomfortable you want to rip it off at end of the day
  • You are continually adjusting it
  • You don’t feel secure, held in and uplifted
  • If you drop the shoulder straps and your bra band doesn’t stay in place, its not firm enough

A bra should not be uncomfortable, it's just what women have become accustomed to and they now have low expectations due to past experience.

49 out of 50 women in wrong size bra... What? Thats 98%
Can you believe those numbers? We know most women who visit Brava for the first time are wearing the wrong size bra, but even we were surprised to find that this is true for a staggering 98% of our new customers. That's just nuts!

So how do we know this? Recently we asked new customers what size they had been wearing and then we recorded their correct size once we had completed the fitting process.

Here are the results of the 50 women we surveyed:

  • 32 out of 50 needed to go down at least one back size
  • 29 out of 50 increased by 1 to 2 cups
  • 15 out of 50 increased by 3 to 4 cups

One woman went from a 22E to a 16GG - that's 3 back sizes and 1 cup. Remember that the back band affects the cup size, for example: 22E is equal in cup size to a 20F = 18FF = 16G and so on. So for this woman although a GG cup sounds very different to an E cup, once the back size is sorted it's actually only one cup difference. This is one of the reasons we get it so wrong. If this woman was fitting herself and wanted a tighter back band, she would probably assume she needs to go from a 22E to an 20E - but in fact this would decrease the cup by one size, this would not fit her.

At Brava we only fit fuller-busted women, and our guess is that badly fitted bras are more prevalent in women D cup & above. So if A, B & C cup women were included in our survey, it's likely the final figure may come down a little and sit with the widely documented figure of 80% being incorrectly fitted. However, we believe that whether the correct percentage is 80% or 98% is irrelevant because the majority of women in Australia, and probably worldwide, don't know how it feels to be wearing the right size bra. Its very well-documented by leading physicians who specialise in this area that ill-fitting bras can lead to back, neck and shoulder pain. And lets not get started on the negative body image and discomfort...

Why? Why? Why?

We know why, because we talk with these women every day.

In their words:

  • "Myer only had two bras in my size and there weren't enough staff to help me"
  • "David Jones don't even do fittings now, nobody could help me"
  • "All the bra shop had in my size was a granny bra"
  • "But I've always worn this size"
  • "But I have been fitted before and this is what they fitted me in"
  • "The fitter made me feel like I was abnormal because I was an F cup"
  • "Last time I was fitted at a department store I walked out in tears"
  • "I've never had a bra fitting"
  • "I've only ever had a negative experience when buying a bra"

We hear these comments on a daily basis from our new customers. Although lingerie shops and departments stores are carrying a wider range of bigger cup styles, it is still not enough. Anyone who has had a fitting at Brava knows that we need to try a wide range of styles, brands, shapes and sizes to get a really good fit. If a store only carries a handful of bigger cup styles, it's just pure luck to get the right fit.

We also know that many women do not get a bra fitting because they feel embarrassed or they don't know what to expect. Some women liken a bra-fitting to a pap smear or a breast scan. Although women do not look forward to any of these things, they are without a doubt important for a woman's health and should be seen as a priority.

A bra fitting can be quite enjoyable once you start to feel good about your shape and a correctly fitted bra makes you feel this way. At Brava, you can have privacy to put the bras on yourself (which happens most of the time), as long as we can check each fitting and advise on the fit. Gone are the days of the tape measure and snooty bra-fitters who don't listen to your concerns and hand you a granny bra because that's all they have on offer.

More reasons you should get a professional bra fitter's help:

Fitting a woman above D cup is generally more challenging than fitting a B or C cup.  As most of the support derives from the back band it needs to be firmer, so you don't rely on the shoulder straps to take the weight off the bust. When the band size is reduced the cup size needs to increase to compensate. The intricacies of bra fitting could fill another couple of pages and it can be difficult to comprehend unless you are a bra fitter and work with women with a fuller bust. If you go for a bra fitting to a store who does not specialise, its unlikely you will get the right fit. These fitters have almost no experience and very little understanding how to fit beyond a D cup. One customer told us that a store said to her "there is no such thing as an F cup". A bra fitter without daily experience of fuller cup fittings is comparable to trying to drive a manual car after learning in an automatic.

So what's our message? Get a bra fitting! But ensure it's with a store who specialises in bigger cup bras. And when we talk about bigger cups, we are not just talking about DD & E cups; the store must carry many styles to a J cup and lots more to a K cup. Get a fitting in one of our 6 stores or a virtual fitting today! 

Tell us about your experience - we love to hear from you. Were you surprised to find how amazing you felt in the right size bra for the first time?
By Lin Windram.