How to Find the Right Bra for Your Body

Your cup should NOT runneth over

Getty Images

Bras are one of those necessary evils of a woman’s life. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em (unless you like things… loose). Which probably explains why it’s the first thing you remove as soon as you get home. It’s tight, uncomfortable, almost suffocating, right? But that’s probably because you’ve been wearing the wrong bra!

Awesomeness continues after advertisement

According to Mariana Hernandez, founder of Manhattan-based lingerie shop White Rabbit, most women aren’t choosing their best bras because we continue to buy the same size we have been wearing for years without questioning whether it still works for us.

Just like how the right fit of jeans makes you feel comfortable and confident, the same goes for your bra. Below are some tips from Hernandez to help you find the right fit for you and your girls.

Your Cup Size Matters

Awesomeness continues after advertisement


The #1 sign that you’re wearing the wrong bra size, says Hernandez, is cups that don’t fit.

“Your cup size is not correct when your cups are either gapping, meaning there is extra space at the top of the cup indicating you need to size down, or when your cups are overflowing, meaning the cup is not holding all of your breast and there is overflow indicating you need to size up,” she says.

“One additional sign of an incorrect cup size is a loose or lifted bridge, which is the central portion that connects the two cups. If your band is riding up or not staying in place, it means that it is either too large or it needs to be tightened.”

Don’t Forget About Your Straps

As much as your cups are important, don’t forget what holds them up: the straps!

“If your straps keep sliding off your shoulders despite adjusting them, this could indicate your band is too loose or has lost its elasticity and cannot support your breasts,” says Hernandez. “We also tend to neglect adjusting our bra straps when trying on a brand new bra.”

“Straps are typically set to a 2 1/2 inch height, but this measurement may not work for every woman. You should be able to slip a finger under your strap and feel it snug, but not too tight. A well-adjusted strap can make a huge difference in how a bra fits, providing the right amount of support and comfort.”

Hernandez points out that most department stores, specialty boutiques, and online stores can help you find your correct size, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Screenshot This Checklist!

So now you’re ready to visit your fave lingerie shop, prepared to finally buy the perfect bra. Keep Hernandez’s checklist handy in order to find your new favorite — and perfectly fitted — bra.

  1. Ensure your band fits snuggly against your torso and lies straight across your back, parallel to the floor.
  2. The central panel connecting the two cups, or bridge, should lay flat against your chest without any gapping, and it shouldn’t be easy to pull it away from your body or slip a finger underneath it.
  3. The cups should be full, without any spillover, and lay flush with your body.
  4. Your straps should lay comfortably on your shoulders, not digging into your skin but not slipping either.
  5. Put on a T-shirt and make sure you like how the bra looks (or doesn’t show) underneath.

Happy shopping!

Brianne Hogan
Brianne Hogan

Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer in Toronto who loves coffee, cats and astrology. Her byline's been featured on HelloGiggles, Elle Canada, Flare, Thrillist, among others. Keep up with her on Twitter, Facebook or her blog.