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October 16, 2016

A Bra Fitting Guide with Wacoal

80 per cent of women wear the wrong bra. That means only 20 per cent of us are getting it right, and even then, only sometimes. Not very good stats. For women, and their ta-tas.

If you're like me, you've probably owned hundreds of bras. Well, you don't need to. A properly fit bra with solid support should last you months with proper care.

To get the goods on wearing the best bra for me, I went for a professional bra fitting with Wacoal, at Hudson's Bay. 

If you've never been for a real bra fitting, these tips will be super important to you, and if you have, this is an excellent refresher: 
  • Make an appointment with a professional. Why? Well, you don't get your hair cut by amateurs, or your car serviced by people who aren't certified. Give your boobs the same respect! Be prepared to remove your shirt so each bra can be examined on your body. I met with Maggie, fit specialist from Wacoal, who was very patient and kind. She listened to my requests and challenged me to try a few other bra styles as well. There is a lot of science to bra fitting -- no two breasts are alike, and the same is true for bras. Devote an hour to the fitting, and be open to trying different styles and sizes. The same size bra in a different style could have a very different fit. Also, bring a t-shirt to slip on top. It'll show you how the bra looks while clothed. 
  • Don't wear the same bra for every occasion. Switch up your bras and the style depending on your wardrobe and need. Wear the best bra for the occasion. For every day use, Maggie says it's best to have at least 3 bras -- "one to wear, one for spare and one in the wash." 
  • Different body types require different bras. Buy the best bra for your body and body type. Maggie immediately noticed my petite (aka short) frame, and reminded me that I need a bra with adjustable shoulder straps and an underwire that doesn't pinch or puncture. Breast composition varies, too. Some women may have fuller cups, while others are a bit more shallow. 
  • Put your back into it. Breasts should be held from the back, not the shoulders. So the strap along the back of the bra should hit at the centre of your spine, and there should be no digging into your shoulders. It should also fit snugly, with only two fingers fitting underneath. I usually clip on the middle latch, so there's room to take out, and room to take in, as the bra stretches. With a proper fit, your breasts should be situated between your shoulder and elbow. 
  • Lift and separate? Whether you're looking for a push up, a full coverage or a tshirt bra (and there are a gazillion more styles!), the centre panel of the bra needs to sit flush against your breast bone. If you're opting for an underwire, it needs to sit BEHIND the breast tissue. 
  • Preserve the fibres in your bra. Wacoal suggests 9 months of wear per bra, or 100 washes. At that point, the fibres will start to stretch out and you will no longer be getting the best fit for your breasts. For washing: (hand wash) or gentle cycle, hang dry is recommended. 
  • Get fit regularly. 7-10 pounds (loss or gain) affects bra size by cup or band. So does hormonal changes, pregnancy, nursing, exercising, etc. There are lots of factors that will affect the fit of your bras. 
  • Don't focus too much on price -- focus on fit. 
  • Everyone needs a sexy bra. Maggie reminds me that while I love plain, simple t-shirt bras in nude and black, everyone needs a sexy bra. And a sexy, lacy bra at that. Be open to stepping outside of your comfort zone and into something a bit risque, that can still be very comfortable!

In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), Wacoal is selling their special Bra with a Cause. With every sale of an "Awareness" bra, $2 will be donated to the Susan G Komen Foundation. And that's not all -- you also get a beautiful charm bracelet (in stores and online).  For more information on Wacoal, you can visit their website.

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