How should bras fit? It's a question that has been plaguing the minds—and backs—of women for years. Trying to determine how to find your bra size has become practically an art form, and only the chosen few seem to be lucky enough to find something that really works for them and is comfortable. Almost 80% of women may be wearing the wrong bra size!
The unfortunate truth is that when women wear a bad fitting bra, it can lead to a host of other problems that are completely unrelated to just the embarrassment of having a poorly fitting bra. From total body pain to a reluctance to exercise and more, when you aren't sure how bras are supposed to fit, then it can make a huge impact on your life.
What are some of the negative effects of wearing the wrong bra size? Here are just a few:
Neck, Back, and Shoulder Pain
Asking yourself 'how should bras fit?' is crucial when you're trying to reduce your pain levels. Choosing the wrong bra can be extremely detrimental to your neck, back, and shoulders since that are where the weight and support are concentrated.
This is more of an issue with women with larger breasts because the added weight needs the support of a bra to help manage it. It's a well-documented fact that larger breasts cause more back pain or exacerbate already existing pain. Without the support of a well-fitting bra, the pain will only get worse.
The same is true for neck and shoulder pain. While this is once again more of an issue for women with larger breasts, it's still important to bring attention to. Because bras designed for women with larger breasts often come with wide straps to help support the weight, these wide straps will dig into women's shoulders, causing shoulder and neck pain.
However, it's important to note that even if you do get a properly fitted bra, then it might not eliminate all of the neck, back, and shoulder pain you're feeling. If that's the case, you may need to speak with a doctor about a potential breast reduction surgery. Speak with a medical professional before making any decisions.
Rib Cage Pain
Along those same lines, an ill-fitting bra can even cause rib cage pain. The band of your bra sits directly on top of your rib cage, making a bad-fitting bra a potential danger to discomfort. If the band of your bra is too tight around your chest, it may feel constricting because of the tightness of the elastic band. Also, if the elastic band is too tight, it can add to the potential back, neck, and shoulder pain.
One way to combat this rib cage pain is to know how your bra band should sit on your body. When you're wearing a bra, the band around your chest should sit parallel to the floor and should not ride up even when you lift your arms above your head. Additionally, you want a little bit of wiggle room underneath the band–about three fingers or so. If the band is too tight then it can cut into your skin, but if it's too loose, then you won't get the support you need.
Underwire bras are typically the biggest culprit causing excessive rib cage pain. Fortunately, our BRABAR bra selections don't contain underwire. Instead, they are a stretchy fabric knit with cup support, so you know that when you're wearing a BRABAR bra, you'll know the answer to 'how should bras fit?'.
In addition to the pain you may experience when wearing a poorly fitted bra, you may also experience poor posture. The side effects of wearing the wrong bra size can be long-term and painful. Back, neck, and shoulder pain can contribute to poor posture as many people tend to hunch their back when they're in pain to try and help alleviate that pain. As a result, your back, neck, and shoulders just hurt even more!
A Reluctance to Exercise
While an ill-fitting bra does not directly cause a reluctance to exercise, it can be one of the factors that women reference to account for their lack of time going to the gym, going on walks or runs, and more. After all, who wants to do all of these physical activities when you're in pain or worried that your chest won't be supported?
The negative effects of a lack of exercise are vast. Good, regular exercise is an important part of any person's physical health, and not exercising often can put you at risk for many physical struggles like weight gain, cardiovascular health issues, and more. It's important to find a good and well-fitting bra so that you don't have to worry about exacerbating any potential side effects you may face.
Breast Skin Damage and Breast Pain
Did you know that having a bad-fitting bra can actually cause damage to your breasts and skin? It's true! A lack of support in your bra can cause damage to the skin of your breasts, which is often shown in stretch marks. Larger breasts especially need that support.
Having the wrong size bra can also cause damage to the skin around your breasts, your ribcage, and more. Underwire bras that don't fit properly can dig into your skin and, should the fabric wear down enough, can poke you! A band, shoulder straps, or cups that are too tight can cut into your skin and cause chafing due to the constant contact with your skin and the consistent rubbing motion.
Sometimes, simple adjustments can be made to fix the issue, like adjusting the straps or the band, but others may be a result of the style of the bra or the general size. If you're experiencing these issues consistently, then it may be time to get a new bra style or change your size.
How to Know if Your Bra Doesn't Fit
So, how are bras supposed to fit exactly? The fit can change between styles of bras, brands of bras, and more, but here are a few key telltale signs that your bra isn't fitting as well as it should:
- The cups of your bra are visibly wrinkled
- The band around your ribcage does not sit parallel to the floor and is consistently riding up
- You experience spillage, meaning your breasts overflow from the cups of your bra
- Your straps are consistently too tight or too loose
- The underwire of your bra pokes you constantly and is consistently painful
While these tips are not the end-all and be-all of comfortable bra wearing, they are helpful signs and can help you determine whether or not you should look into purchasing a new bra.
BRABAR's Style Guide and Comfortable Bras
When you're trying to figure out how to find your bra size, let BRABAR help. Our EZ-fit guide is a simple, at-home way for you to determine what fit is best for you. With this guide, a tape measure, and maybe a little bit of help, you'll be able to determine what your bra size is. Of course, if you're feeling a bit unsure or skeptical and want a second opinion, that's okay too. Speak with a professional to get a proper fitting, and always consult the brand that you're wishing to purchase from.
Here at BRABAR, we're proud to offer three incredibly styled bras with support and comfort. Our Everyday T-shirt Bra, HUG Lace Halter Bra, and Cotton Stretch Rib Racerback Bra are all designed with both comfort and support in mind. They're great for long wear without any of the negative effects that other bras may have.
When you've tried one of our bras here at BRABAR, you'll never need to ask, "How should bras fit?" again, because the answer will be right in your dresser drawers.