Bra hacks you really need to know

Top tips and myth busters – Your most frequently asked questions answered… Figleaves fit specialists spend every day answering customer queries. Here are the solutions to your most commonly asked size issues.

1 What’s the most common error made in choosing a bra size?

Problem: Wearing too big a back band is one of the most common mistakes that we see. Many people confuse the back measurement with breast size, incorrectly thinking, for instance, that a 36 or 38 must be busty. This not only gives poor support and causes bulging necklines and lumps under fitted tops, but it can also lead to skin irritation and bad posture.

Solution: Your dress size can be a helpful guide – if you are a UK 10 or a 12, for example, you are unlikely to need a 36 bra. But the best solution is to follow our guide and don’t be surprised if you find yourself going down two back sizes and up two cup sizes, it’s not unusual.

2 My breasts are different sizes

Problem: My breasts are different sizes, which one should I fit to.

Solution: It is perfectly normal for breasts to be different sizes, but some are more noticeable than others. For the best shape and support, fit your bra to the larger breast. If you notice any creasing to the smaller cup you can always try adding a gel or foam insert. Stretchy as opposed to moulded firm cups will also have more flexibility so may work, for example a non-pad stretch lace style.

3 Why don’t you recommend using a tape measure?

Problem: The tape measure system was developed over 80 years ago and body shapes – and our understanding of them – have changed a great deal since then. It was never intended for larger cup sizes, only for cup sizes A to D. We now have cups up to a K and the same rules don’t work at both ends of the scale. Additionally, you have to be wearing a bra in order to be measured, but you won’t get an accurate measurement if you are wearing the wrong size bra in the first place. It also ignores the shape of the ribcage which varies between women and can affect sizing.

Solution: Our simple visual guide using your current bra, a mirror and your own judgement. All easily done in the comfort of your own home.

4 Which hook and eye should I fit to?

Problem: Which hook and eye should I wear my bra on?

Solution: If your bra is new you should wear it on the loosest hook and eye. Over time bras stretch and you can accommodate this by fastening it on a tighter hook.

5 My size is not available

Problem: I have found a style I like but my specific size is out of stock.

Solution: You could either try going down a band size and up a cup size or up a band size and down a cup size. For example if you are a 34E, try a 32F or a 36DD. This is called sister sizing – the cup volume will be the same for these three sizes. You can read more here.

6 How do I avoid back bulge?

Problem: Using your visual fit guide I appear to need to wear a tighter back band but will this create back bulge?

Solution: Try wearing the back band an inch lower than the front. It will sit on the smaller part of your body and create less of a bulge. Wider side wings are also more flattering under a fitted top as they create less of a bulge.

Jo Jeffery

Jo Jeffery is on a mission to spread the message that every body fits at Figleaves - through content and PR that celebrates inclusivity and diversity.