This post has been sponsored by Allure Intimate Apparel. All opinions are 100% my own!
27 years ago, my mom sat me down (around the age of 10) and try to delicately explain to me that I would be adding a new addition to my wardrobe. The reason: I was developing a little quicker than most girls my age and it was time to start covering up because boys might take notice.
I’ll be honest, I’m only guessing what was said in that conversation because the mere thought of going “bra shopping” was embarrassing. And even more mortifying, the bra aisle at Mervyn’s (yes, I said Mervyn’s!) was just across the aisle from the young boys’ department where I was 100% convinced I was going to run into my male classmates at any moment.
During my first bra shopping experience, I ducked, dived, and hid as much as possible between the racks avoiding all eye contact with anyone who walked by. Quickly nodding in agreement with anything my mom showed me. I didn’t even care if it fit. I just wanted out of there!
It wasn’t until the end of high school when I saved up enough to shop at a high-end bra store that I finally felt comfortable shopping for bras on my own.
Now a “bra fitting” was an entirely different story “No, thank you. I’m good!” Even in High School, I was convinced this was code for taking my top off in front of strangers.
4 babies later…you’ll be happy to know I have no problem talking about bras, breasts or any other part of the female anatomy. When doctors, nurses, and lactation consultants have been all up in your business, your wariness towards discussing such matters goes out the window!
This past year when I officially stopped nursing my last baby, I decided it was time to finally toss out the nursing bras (that I’d been wearing for 9 years!!) and head out on a mission to find bras that would put an end to the sagginess and discomfort. I wanted to feel like a woman again…not just a mom.
This time, when I was asked “Would you like a bra fitting?” I said, “Yes!” Little did I know, because I’d never been properly fitted, I had been wearing bras ALL WRONG for most of my life.
Recently I had the opportunity to talk about these things with the professionals at Allure Intimate Apparel and I learned so much that I just had to share some of these tips with you!
4 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Bra
You’re Probably Wearing the Wrong Size!
First and most importantly, there’s a REALLY good chance you’re wearing the WRONG size bra. The most common mistake women make is measuring their band size and then trying on various cup sizes until you find one that looks like it fits. Trying on bras isn’t like trying on jeans.
Changes in your weight. Nursing. Age. These can all change your bra size. Emily, a fitting specialist and manager at Allure Intimate Apparel in Dallas, recommends women get fitted at least once a year to ensure discomfort or frustration doesn’t result from a poorly-sized bra.
“That’s Not Normal.” :: Five Obvious Signs Your Bra Doesn’t Fit
There are a few tricks to knowing if a bra is fitting correctly than just knowing the size of your band. Emily shares that a bra shouldn’t:
- Ride up your back. If it’s making an arch shape, it’s too small. A proper bra band should sit just below your breast line on your back.
- Dig into the side of your breasts. The wire of a bra should fit BEHIND your breast tissue, under your arm; not dig into the side.
- Slip off the shoulders. Stop discreetly trying to slide it back up. Your strap slipping off the shoulder isn’t normal. This is another sign that your bra is either too large or too small around the band.
- Cause a bulge or “spillover” effect. The breast should fit 100% inside a cup and if it doesn’t you’ll want to change your cup size!
- Hook anywhere but the first clasp at purchase. Your bra’s elasticity is going to change with wash and wear which is why there’s multiple hook lengths on a bra. As the bra stretches over time, you adjust your hooks inward. If you’re starting your hooks in the middle or at the end, your buying a bra that’s too large and it’s only going to cause problems.
Bra Sizes Aren’t The Same From Country To Country
Depending on where you shop, you might notice a 36C bra doesn’t always guarantee you a great fit. There’s a few reasons for this.
One, there isn’t an industry-standard for bra manufacturers. The US and UK utilize the same bandwidth measurements; however, countries like France, Italy, Australia, and Japan that use entirely different band sizing! That 36 in the US could be an 85, 3, or 14.
Also, some brands may change the materials in the band which would change the fit. Some might use a firmer, tighter band, and others may use softer, stretchier material. It’s always important to know your measurements BUT it’s equally as important to know that bras change between manufacturers.
Another big difference affects larger chested women. Both the US and UK have similar cup sizes from A-DD; however, after DD (sometimes referred to as E) the US continues with F-O sizing whereas the UK follows a DD with E and incorporates FF, GG, HH and JJ.
What’s even more confusing? US brands will sometimes use UK sizing.
Bottom line: Having a store like Allure Intimate Apparel in Dallas & Southlake that can help you quickly navigate these differences will be a big timesaver!
How You Wash Your Bra Is Important
Bras that are meant to last aren’t cheap and sometimes women are scared to invest in a quality bra because the maintenance involved can seem overwhelming. Do you have to buy a special bag? What if my washer and dryer are too rough? Should I handwash them? Is my laundry soap damaging?
Don’t let these questions prevent you from taking care of yourself! Emily from Allure Intimate Apparel tells me it’s really not as scary as you’d think.
A few care tips:
- Have about 4 bras you can rotate through weekly to protect the elastic from overstretching too quickly.
- Try to wear your bra 4-5 times before washing to prevent overwashing.
- Do: Purchase a mesh lingerie bag because washing them in the washing machine on the “delicate” cycle is fine! A mild-detergent is generally preferred because it will help preserve the elastic and thus save you additional money. Don’t: Put them in the dryer! Hang dry or lay flat to avoid breaking down the fabric.
Moms, my time with Allure Intimate Apparel changed my relationship with bras. I now have a better understanding of how my bra should fit for my busy lifestyle — which means more comfort and less physical discomfort and confidence my money doesn’t go to waste. But of course, after four babies and the toll my body has been through, I just finally feel more confident in my clothes with the right size bra!
I encourage you to find some time for yourself and make a quick FREE 20-minute bra fitting appointment (with safety precautions in place!) with Allure Intimate Apparel in Dallas or Southlake. Let them help you select from hundreds of different brands, styles, and sizes to find the perfect bras for you; including their large in-store selection of full-figure & nursing bra styles and sizes.
While shopping, you can also browse their selection of lingerie, sleepwear, and swimwear for summer! Yes, swimwear that’s actually designed to fit your band and cup size!
Learn more about Allure Intimate Apparel on their website or follow them on social media to see how they’re making accommodations for shoppers during coronavirus and how you can shop their store from the comfort of your home.
BONUS :: Shop online and get $20 OFF when you spend $100 or more using code “DALLASMOM20”.
:: Dallas ::
5600 W Lovers Ln #139, Dallas, TX 75209
:: Southlake ::
1236 Prospect St, Southlake, TX 76092
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