We’ve all been there.
You’re in the “Delicates” section at a department store and you suddenly can’t remember what bra size you are, so you grab a handful (or two) of silk and cotton and lace and rush off to the change rooms.
After much huffing, puffing and shoulder dislocation, you just grab what “looks about right” and head to the cashier with your hard-won prize. It isn’t until you’re dressing for a very important event that you realise your purchase is either;
A) Way too small and pinches the area where back meets arm, creating a nasty little roll that will absolutely show through your outfit or,
B) It’s way too big and offers little to no support whatsoever, giving you flashbacks of your Great Aunt Busteed nearly knocking you unconscious with her hefty bosom as she comes in for a Christmas hug.
What’s a gal to do? Well ladies, you aren’t alone.
In fact, according to research conducted by Triumph Lingerie Australia, it turns out a whopping 80 per cent of women are wearing the wrong size bra.
Not that this has mattered during lockdown, where so many decided to ditch the brassiere altogether.
But now as everyone emerges from their cocoon of sweatpants and TV streaming, the “over the shoulder boulder holder” is back - at least for the most part.
To help us ease back to normality and combat fit issues, the experts at Triumph have performed a unique consumer trends study analysing over 280,000 Bra-related Google search terms for 2021, to reveal exactly what the nation is searching for when it comes to underwear & what we really want to know right now.
And when it comes to what we're unsure about, we're asking: How to properly measure bra size and how bra size actually works, How a bra should fit and the importance of understanding how individual breast shape may affect fit, How a fitted bra can help with breast sagging. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Why is it so hard to find a great-fitting bra?
Top category questions have been answered by Expert Bra Fitter Kate Minin, who has over 25 years industry experience and has assisted over 50,000 women to date to provide much needed and trusted guidance in selecting the right bra fit.
“The large search increases this year in fitting and measurement advice has come out of necessity during the Covid lockdowns,” says Kate. “Women haven’t been able to access the traditional Brick and Mortar stores for fitting advice, so they have wanted to educate themselves to find the perfect fitting bra.”
In fact, findings reveal ‘bra measurement’ searches have increased 44% over the year.
“Our bodies change naturally due to alterations in lifestyle and routine (hello Covid-19!), menstruation and pregnancy as well as being affected by regular weight fluctuations,” continues Kate. “Some women do not fully consider how these changes can alter breast shape, and in turn implicate bra fit."
Many will continue to wear the same bra size that they have for years at a possible detriment to their overall health and wellbeing. Ill-fitted bras are not only deemed uncomfortable, but they can damage health, affect breast tissue, cause back pain, affect posture and impact mental wellbeing.
Sadly, many are unaware how it actually feels to wear a well-fitted, supportive bra.
"A good fitting bra is something we should all have and reclaiming bra and body confidence should not be a mystery” Kate adds.
How to find the perfect fit
If you don’t have access to a proper fitter, Kate has some tips:
The first measurement taken is the under bust measurement. This needs to be a firm measurement as the measuring tape isn’t stretchy like a bra is. This will give us a close estimate to your bra band size-10, 12, 14 etc. It is preferable that the measurement is taken over the bra you are wearing, but can be taken over a T-Shirt if you are uncomfortable with removing your clothing.
The next measurement is taken over bust. For this the measuring tape needs to be over the fullest part of your bust, but measured loosely. You need to envisage that the measuring tape will fall between your breasts to gain the closest possible gauge to the correct size. Once we have this measurement, the difference between the under bust and over bust gives us a cup size reference (A, B, C, etc.).
If only Great Aunt Busteed (totally her real name) could have accessed this vital information…
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