Well Hello Boys!
I'm unlikely to stop traffic but I'm bravely sharing my professional bra fitting experience and five key facts to finding the perfect bra!
I recently popped along to Gok Wan’s ‘One Size Fits All’ event and within an hour he had the whole room pulling on their bra straps to see if they were wearing the correct sized bra. Rule of thumb – you should only be able to lift it an inch.
To much hilarity some women were stretching straps above their earlobes. I tried to remember when I’d last been professionally measured and shockingly it was over 20 years ago! Since then I’ve had three children and my body and boobs have changed considerably – yet I’m still habitually picking up a 34C.
I decided to pop along to House of Fraser and Boux Avenue in Intu Chapelfield with my bosom buddy Pippa (@longlashesandlaughterlines) to have a professional bra fitting. Less ‘Hello Boys’ and more ‘ahem Helen’ – what had I been thinking!!
I’m not as self conscious as I was in my teens and I’m happy to share the results (plus a little bit of back fat) if it helps to educate women about the importance of wearing the correct bra to support your back, shoulders and boobs.
The lovely Emma from House of Fraser and Josie from Boux Avenue got to work with their tape measures and I was pleased to find I am indeed 34 inches – hoorah! However, my cup size was not C but actually D.
Pippa was a little dumbfounded at my bra ignorance – this is a lady who expertly gets her boobs measured and replaces all her bras annually. With an ample bosom, it’s a necessity to have the correct bra support and after a little persuasion she let me include this beautiful picture of her showing that big boobs can look beautiful too!
Fact no. 1 – bras only have a shelf life of 12 months. Crikey I have some older than my children!
Much to Pippa’s amusement when asked if I was wearing an underwire, I replied “yes” but upon inspection couldn’t find it. Embarrassingly the wire in my right cup had disappeared and I hadn’t even realised.
Next I was brought a selection of bras to try on.
Fact no. 2 – similar to clothes sizing, there will be small variations to fit between brand, style and fabric. You need to be prepared to shift up and down a little.
The four key things to check are ….
- The back strap fixing should have an inch give when pulled and be in the centre of your back – parallel to the bit between your boobs.
- The centre of the bra at the front needs to be flush to your chest – no gap.
- If wearing underwire, these need to be flush to the skin and the outer bit of the wire needs to sit behind the breast under your arm – not on the boob itself.
- You should only be able to lift the straps an inch off the top of your shoulders.
If your bra is gaping or riding up at the back then either you’re wearing the wrong size or the fabric has loosened too much and it’s time to shop.
Fact no. 3 – The three rows of hooks and eyes on the back of the bra are there to adjust as the bra stretches over time (12 months).
I learned that my boobs are slightly bottom heavy and the balconette and push up styles are best suited to my shape. The difference in look and comfort was surprising – gone was the capital B effect (boob spilling over top of bra) and in it’s place a much cleaner and more pert bosom!
And finally ….
Fact no. 5 – brace yourselves …. you’re supposed to hand wash your bras.
Nooooo really?? I’m afraid the hand wash setting on the machine will have to do!
Five bras later I was off home to throw out my old bras and encourage the women of Norfolk to start budgeting for an annual splurge on underwear – obviously we need the matching knickers too!
Ps. You can recycle your old bras by giving them to the charity Against Breast Cancer who use them to raise vital funds for breast cancer research. Click HERE to find your nearest bra bank.