Every woman has been there: finding the perfect bra. Take comfort in this statistic: more than 86 percent of bras don’t fit any body types at all. Whew! So how should a woman go about finding the perfect bra?
1. Breasts are like snowflakes—no two breasts are the alike, and even within said pair there could be serious discrepancies. It’s important not just to know your size, but your shape. Wear the right kind of bra to flatter your bust.
2. Even if you have a bra that you like, it’s important to be open to new brands and styles. Most women simply replenish what they have instead of trying new types and styles.
3. Just like there is no one all-purpose dress, there is no all-purpose bra. Just like shoes, you should have one for every occasion. Every woman should own an “everyday T-shirt bra” — supportive, seamless, smooth-cup and comfortable in nude—not white. For dress-up, a strapless bra that stays put. Nothing is more unattractive than hoisting your bra up every five minutes. And a good, supportive sports bra is a must. One that really locks your breasts in place and prevents movement. You can do a lot of damage to the ligaments in your breasts if they’re bouncing uncontrollably during workouts
4. Be practical. Bright colors, lace and embroidery are pretty; but they may not be practical. A bra shouldn’t show. When shopping, bring a few items you wear often, a T-shirt, a blouse, a favorite dress. And judge the bra by how you feel and look in the garment.
5. It’s always best to try on bras in person, but that’s not always possible in a pinch. If you’re shopping on-line, look for sites that show the bra on a woman rather than a bustform. Many retailers even offer detailed style information and videos about their products. And read the reviews! If you’re feeling anxious about size or fit, order from a company that offers free returns so you can try multiple sizes.
6. If you want to get the most life out of your bra, purchase one that feels snug on the loosest hook-and-eye set. The elastic in the band stretches with use, and as it ages, you can move to the tighter hooks.
7. Care for that perfect bra and it will care for you. Handwash if you can, do not bleach, do not iron, and do not throw it in the dryer. And even if it is perfect, give it a day off. Wearing elastics on consecutive days makes them wear out faster.
8. Let it go. Once a bra can’t do its job, it’s time to go. The life expectancy of a bra varies greatly depending on body type and usage.
A good rule of thumb for fuller-sized women is to reevaluate every four months, especially if it’s a bra you’re wearing frequently. If your nipple is sagging below the horizontal mark — they should be pointing out like headlights — then it’s time. The spandex in the cup has given out. And once you’ve gotten to the tightest hook and it’s still stretching out, it’s time to bid that bra bye-bye.