Bras are no longer a style prerequisite, but wearing a supportive bra can make your clothes look better, smoothing out the silhouette and accentuating the female form in a sculptural way. Personally, I’m also more physically comfortable wearing one. 

Bra fittings are tedious, and finding the perfect bra can be difficult. Sometimes you need to settle for a bra that is almost dead right just because you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, or your size is in short supply. But don’t give up. Fits and fabric technology improve over time so you’ll eventually find what you need.

Here are some facts about bras and bra fittings that bear repeating:

1. Bras Are Expensive For Good Reason

I’ve visited bra factories in Cape Town, Paris and Hong Kong, and it’s an absolute eye-opener. Bras are highly complex items made of many, many intricate pieces that are hard to sew together because they are small, delicate and stretchy. Skilled labour comes at a price.

2. Many Women Wear The Incorrect Bra Size

Most women go too wide in the band and too small in the cup. For example, they’re in a 36B, when they should be in a 32D. Most of a bra’s support comes from the band, so that needs to be snug, structured, sufficiently broad, and in the right position on your back so that it does not create “back muffin top”.

Also, don’t assume that you are an A-cup when you are small in the bust. Chances are high that you need a larger cup size and a smaller width in the band. Get a professional bra fitting and make sure you’re wearing the correct size bra.

3. Cup Size Increases With Band Size

The cup size is not the same across sizes. It increases as the band width increases. So the cup size on a 38D is larger than the cup size on a 30D. That’s why a person who wears a 30D looks like she has a regular size bust, while the person with a 38D looks like she has a larger bust.

4. Bra Sizes Are Not Created Equally

Like clothing, bras in the same size across various brands can fit very differently. Some fits run wide, while others run narrow. Some cups offer more coverage than others. Some silhouettes enhance the size of the bust, while others minimize. Since we carry the bulk of our breast tissue differently, this is GREAT news because it gives us a greater variety of fit.

5. Bras Can Be Altered To Fit

Bras, like clothing items, can be altered to fit more perfectly against the body. Women who have had breast surgery can have bras altered or made to fit their new bodies.

6. Fit Bras With Clothing

Before you commit to a new bra, try it with your tops. Make sure you like the shape, texture and feel when you wear clothes. Are they creating the smooth look that you want them to? If you wear a camisole often, make sure you fit your cami over the bra too.

7. Buy Bras Online When You Are An Uncommon Size

You can buy almost any bra size online, so that’s your best bet when you’re an uncommon size. You’ll also find a larger assortment of colours and silhouettes in your size online.

8. Buy Bras That You Can Return After Wear

This is especially important when you have a larger bust and find it hard to find a comfortable bra. Things feel great in the dressing room, but aren’t so great when you wear the bra longer. Rubbing, digging, sliding off, and creeping up is not so fab. The option of returning a worn bra so that you can find something more suitable is handy.

Generally, you’ll need at least six everyday bras across a range of colours that work for your skin tone and wardrobe. You’ll need sports bras if you work out, and perhaps a few special bras for a particular cut of clothing or for occasions.

I LOVE bras because wearing wonderful underwear boosts my body image and makes me feel better in my outfit. I would have a larger assortment if my size was more common, but feel fortunate to have found perfect bras from Simone Perele. I like them lacy and pretty, with no exceptions.

These are my current favourtites:

Don’t forget about your bra capsule. It needs regular replenishment, and an update in size, style and fit when you gain or lose weight. Make 2018 the year for getting wonderful bras and feeling fabulous in them. It makes a visual and emotional difference.