I’m embarrassed to admit this, but before I started working on this series the only thing I knew about bras was that there is no better feeling than ripping them off at the end of a long day. So when I decided it was time to tackle the scaffolding that supports our clothes, I called in reinforcements.
Rechy Rosenthal is the owner of Myself Lingerie, which has shops in Boro Park, NY and Lakewood, NJ. She has been doing bra fittings since she opened her shop 8 years ago and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to literally everything undergarment related. This is a two part series. In this section Rechy will address some common problems you may be experiencing with your bras and how to tackle them. In part 1 she explains why fit is important and how to properly care for your bras. I’m going to hand the reins over to Rechy now and I hope you learn as much from her as I did.
Hey Lovelies, Rechy here again!
Let’s delve into common issues women experience with their bras and the reasoning behind it. Before we do that, here’s a quick illustration to familiarize yourself with the parts of the bra.
My straps are constantly slipping off my shoulders
Firstly, not all bras have fully adjustable straps. In that event, some of the strap may need to be cut away to remove any “extra space” in the strap so it can sit firmly on the shoulder.
Also, for women with sloped shoulders, it is advisable to purchase a bra with a U-back. Meaning, the straps are sewn onto the bra like a U - it is more indented towards the center of the back of the bra and therefore the straps won’t slide.
The bridge isn’t sitting on my chest
This is a biggie. Lots of women have no idea that the bridge of the bra should actually touch their chest and hug their body completely. If a bridge doesn’t sit on the chest perfectly, it is an ill-fitting bra. If this is an issue for you, find a bra that has a lower center gore so it tacks fully on the chest.
My band is constantly riding up
Usually this occurs if the band is too big. It also tends to happen when a bra starts losing its elasticity on the band- Time for a new bra!
My cups are gaping / my molded cups are dented
Usually, a cup gaps or puckers when the breast tissue isn’t filling it out completely. A bra fitting boutique that alters bras will typically dart the cups to pull in the extra fabric to avoid it from happening. Also, when a bra is really worn out and stretched, the cups tend to pucker as well, it’s simply time for a new bra.
I’m constantly slipping out of my bra cups
This usually occurs post-menopause and after finishing to breastfeed. The breast tissue is super soft and tends to slip out of the cups. Purchasing a bra with a wider supportive band under the cups for extra support will usually keep the breast tissue in place.
One of my breasts is larger than the other
Just as with our hands and legs, our breasts can be different sizes. While for most women the size difference isn’t significant, for some it can be. This can easily be corrected by getting a bra with cups sewn into the smaller side for an even appearance.
My underwires keep breaking
There are two reasons that can trigger this to happen. Firstly, putting an underwired bra in a washing machine will cause the underwires to break from the friction of the machine and other clothes being washed at the same time. Secondly, if a wrong bra size is worn (typically when a bra is too small), the underwires simply can’t support the pressure of the breasts and it just gives way. Washing your bras in this laundry bag can help to prevent one of these issues.
I recently purchased a bra that is now too tight / too big
Our weight directly affects our bra size. Even gaining or losing a mere five pounds can make a bra feel tighter or looser. Also, birth control can greatly impact bra size fluctuations.
I’m about to give birth. When should I shop for nursing bras?
We recommend shopping for comfy wire-free nursing bras in the eighth month. It is best to purchase 2-3 bras so you have what to take along in your hospital bag plus enough to change in the first couple of weeks when let’s just say the milk keeps flowing. We don’t recommend overbuying as the cup size will change when the milk comes in. Usually, the size stabilizes at 10-12 weeks and at that time, a regular underwired bra can be purchased.
Is there a time I shouldn’t be shopping for bras?
We don’t recommend shopping for a bra right before or during the menstrual cycle. Most women can be up to a full cup size larger!
How should I launder my bras?
Maintaining and washing bras properly is the key for a longer lifespan. We recommend using a natural lingerie soap and hand washing it. Then, drip dry. If you must put your bra in a washing machine, always protect it by placing it into a round lingerie bag so the bra doesn’t have too much room to wiggle around in the machine. Always hook your bras in the back before placing it in the bag. We’ve seen too many lacey bras destroyed in the wash when a hook caught the lace. A bra should never be placed in the dryer. The fibers of the bra will disintegrate when machine dried.
How many bras should I own?
We recommend owning 3 bras. (at the minimum) One to wear, one to wash, one to rest. A bra can be worn up to 2 days consecutively. After that, it should be washed and put in the drawer to rest. Constant contact with body heat will make a bra stretch much quicker and thus lose its support.
Why are bras so pricey?
While most garments are manufactured in mass-production, the manufacturing of bras is still done piece by piece as there is so much detail that goes into every part of the bra. From the underwires to the construction of the cups, to the straps and bands- each bra is unique.
How does a cup size differ in each band?
A 32B and 34B are not the same. While they share the “B” cup, every cup in every band size will fit differently. A 34B is actually one size larger than 32B both in the band and in the cup.
I need a bra for a wedding gown. Can I wear any bra?
The short answer: no!
The lengthy answer: Just as a wedding dress gets tailored to perfection for that beautiful silhouette, so too, the proper bra is to be worn under that dress so the dress fits to perfection. We recommend purchasing a bra before a party dress / gown is sewn so the fittings are done with the proper shape. If a gown or party dress is purchased ready, we recommend bringing the dress in when getting fitted so we can perfectly match a bra that will transform the fit of the dress.
I hope this helped to address the problems you may be having. If you have any further questions check out myselflingerie.com for my contact information and one of our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.