Hurrahs for bras! Just make sure you get the right size.
Squished together, hoicked up trophy bosoms are so last year! The more natural ’70s boob’ is in, but unless you’re a nubile teenager, you’ll probably still want to wear a bra to stop you from falling out. But will it be the right bra? Incredibly, about 80 percent of us are wearing the wrong sized bra – are you? I discovered I was when I went to Amour Lingerie in Wincanton last week. Luckily the lovely Jane, who owns the shop, was there to take me – and my boobs – er, in hand.
I’ve always felt a but intimidated by posh lingerie shops – and Amour Lingerie does look very swish with its gorgeous array of bras, camisoles, nightwear and soft, slouchy clothes that you could stay in all day. But Jane, and Sue who works with her, are so warm and friendly that I felt instantly at ease.
Jane says that wearing the right bra improves posture, makes clothes hang better (it’s not called a foundation garment for nothing) and helps you women feel more confident and attractive. So get me into that changing cubicle quick…
Professional bra fitters don’t use tape measures, they just cast their expert eye over you and your current greying, fraying bra. Turns out mine was too small – and too big – at the same time, which is quite a common problem apparently. There was far too much room across the back (Jane could fit her entire hand down there and jiggle it around), my straps were too loose and the insufficient cup size (I never thought I’d be able to say that) was giving me that very attractive four-boob look. In two shakes of a burlesque dancer’s nipple tassle, I went from a 36B to a 34D (and she stocks bras up to a 44H).
Jane brought me a bra to test the new, correct, size and you’ll have to take my word for it that it fitted perfectly (I’m not showing you what I look like in my undies) and then she brought a selection of bras in different styles (the right style for your shape and what you want to wear over it), colours and fabrics. I could have bought the lot. Fittings take between 10 minutes and half an hour and you don’t have to book, you can just turn up.
Get the perfect fit
- The central part of the bra (between the cups) should sit flat against your chest.
- If the bra’s wired, the wire should sit closely around the edge of each breast (not on your breast or stand away from it).
- Your breasts should be encased by the cups to create a smooth silhouette. If the the bra’s cup’s wrinkling, try the next cup size down; if your breasts are spilling over the top, go one cup size up.
- It’s the back which gives you most support. First fasten on the largest hook so you can adjust. The back of the bra should be level all the way around. When you lift your arms up, the back of the bra should stay where it is and not ride up. If it does, you need a smaller back size, and you’ll probably need to go up a cup size to compensate. You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably under the fastening.
- Adjust the straps so that the adjuster is about half way up; the straps shouldn’t dig in or leave marks.
- Try some clothes on over the bra so you’ll know how it really looks.
Meet the bras
Jane stocks bras, briefs (from thongs to Bridget Jones big pants, and some gorgeous boy pants in neon colours) and other underwear from all the leading lingerie companies, like Marie Jo, Lise Charmel, Wacoal, Fantasie as well as Stella McCartney and Heidi Klum. Bras start at £25 and given that they’re really well made (typically consisting of around 45 different components, believe it or not), they’ll outlive several cheaper ones – as well as making you look and feel fabulous – it seems well worth it. You can spend a lot more though, up to about £120. A hint for Christmas perhaps?
The bra expert says:
- Everyone needs a skin tone bra which won’t show under white (white bras do)
- Everyone should have a t-shirt bra
- If your bra feels so uncomfortable that you can’t wait to take it off – it’s the wrong bra
- It doesn’t matter where you buy your bra from but always take time to try it on and make sure it fits
Amour Lingerie, 7 Market Place, Wincanton, BA99LL. Tel 01963 32803. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm; Sat 9.30am-4pm.