If you’ve ever gone bra shopping, only to come home with a bra that’s either too big or too tight, then you know how frustrating finding the right bra can be. From underwire digging into your ribs to too-small-cups to uncomfortable bra bulge, it’s no surprise that many girls and women have trouble finding — and buying — the best bra.
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Here are seven tips on how to buy the perfect bra.
1. Measure Your Band Size
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Before heading to the mall — or your fave online shopping site — determine what your true chest measurements are. You’ll need to know both your band and cup size. For band size, measure the bust line while braless or wearing a non-padded bra. Pull the tape around your chest as tight as you can underneath your breasts. The measuring tape should be level and snug, and your arms at your side. Round to the nearest whole number.
2. Measure Your Cup Size
Measure loosely around the fullest part of your bust. Subtract your band measurement from this bust measurement. The difference calculates your bra size with each inch representing a cup size. For example, if you measure a 32 inch band size, and a 34 inch cup size, the difference is 2: which would mean a B cup. Therefore, you’d be a 32B.
3. Make a List
It’s a good idea to have an idea of what types of bras you need, especially if this is your first time buying a bra. Generally, having a black bra, a white bra, a nude bra, one strapless, one sports bra and one bralette is a great way to start off your bra collection.
4. Try Your Bras On
We know. Change rooms can be a drag, but trying on bras is super smart when it comes to bra shopping. This is mostly because, like clothing, bra sizing varies by store, so you might need to try on multiple band and cup sizes until you find your perfect fit.
5. Bring Different Types of Clothes
If you’re trying on a bra in person, you might want to consider bringing a few different types of tops with you. This will help you see how your potential bras will look underneath each top, including sheer tees, blouses and dresses.
6. Go For Quality (Most of the Time)
It’s super easy to grab those cute $10 bras at your fave store, but trust — it’s better to splurge on a few quality bras that will last. Bras typically last at least a year, so you want to get the most out of them. Of course, buying a couple of those cheap bras is totally OK. Just make sure you have a few high-end ones in the mix, too.
7. Be Patient
We’re going to be real: bra shopping can be a really looooong process. If you want to find a bra that fits you perfectly, you can’t just run into a store and grab the first one out of a bin. Even if you have to try on 10 bras, at least the process will help you find the perf bra.