There was a thread back in slimming world on bravissimo about bra sizes and some questions, i did this thread on another forum so have copied and pasted over here! Its basically a guide, I used to be a bra fitter from john lewis/bravissimo before i became a student nurse
Enjoy and feel free to ask questions!
Different Types Of Bras 1. Training bra. This type of bra is designed for preteen or teenage girls who are in the early stages of breast development. It is smaller than standard bra sizes, and its cups come without underwire support. Aside from providing some measure of breast support, it helps young girls to become accustomed to wearing a bra. Usually recommended from the puberty-16yrs
2. Full cup bra. This bra provides full support, as it comes with underwired cups and covers most of the breasts. It is recommended for all women, and especially for those with heavier breasts. When women think of full cup bras they usually think of heavy utility bras, however new ranges such as fantasie and freya do sell pretty full cup bras for larger ladies.
3. Demi cup bra/Balconette bra. A demi cup bra covers only half the breasts, with its cups coming up above the nipples. This bra is suitable to wear with clothes that have plunging necklines. It is supportive, yet provides maximum exposure of the breasts.
4. Padded bra. This bra comes with padding inside the cup linings, adding volume to smaller breasts. Padded bras are popular with teenage girls, who may otherwise stuff their training bras with tissues to make their breasts look fuller. Itís also useful for women who donít want their nipples showing under tight tops.
5. Underwired bra. Bras can come with or without underwire in their cups. An underwired bra provides strong support to the breasts and also maintains the shape of the bra. Some women claim that underwired bras lift their breasts, while others find these bras uncomfortable or painful.
6. Strapless bra. Strapless bras come with no straps or straps that can be removed. This style is very useful for clothes that bare shoulders, such as tube dresses and halter tops.
7. Convertible bra. This bra comes with detachable straps that can be arranged according to one's needs. It is usually worn with clothes that reveal the back and shoulders, such as backless dresses with halter top necklines.
8. T-shirt bra. T-shirt bras are made without a raised seam in order to appear invisible when worn under a body-fitting t-shirt.
9. Minimizer bra. This bra is commonly sought after by large-breasted women who wish to reduce the appearance of their breasts by a cup size or two.
10. Maximizer/Push up bra. These bras lift the breasts and emphasize cleavage through their unique structure and extra padding. The padding may come in various forms, such as water sacks or silicone inserts. The goal is to give a fuller, more natural look to breasts of all sizes.
11. Sports bra. Sports bras are made for active women who engage in rigorous physical exercise. They are designed to be comfortable and supportive by holding the breasts in place during motion, therefore reducing damage to soft tissues of the chest. These bras are usually made of stretchable material to provide a snug fit.
12. Built-in bra. A built-in bra is one that comes with the clothing, eliminating the need for a separate bra. This style can be found attached to the insides of swimsuits and tube tops. Some built-in bras are just horizontal, elastic fabric, but others have padding and underwired cups as well.
13. Shelf bra. This bra covers only the lower part of the breasts, leaving the nipples and upper part of the breasts exposed. It is not supportive and is worn in sexual situations.
14. Peephole bra. A peephole bra features holes around the nipples. Its loose coverage of the entire breasts is insufficient to provide significant support. This type of bra is also worn in sexual situations.
15. Maternity bra. Women's breasts become more sensitive, heavier and larger throughout pregnancy. Maternity bras are adjustable and can expand to take these changes into account.
16. Nursing bra. These bras are worn to ease the breastfeeding process. They are made with flaps that can be unclasped or pushed to the side, keeping the breasts supported during breastfeeding.
17. Mastectomy bra. A mastectomy bra is intended for women who have undergone the removal of one or both breasts due to cancer treatments. Here, the cups are made with pockets to keep breast prostheses in place and simulate the existence of breasts.
1. Iím after a good strapless bra, any recommendations?
Yes, http://www.figleaves.com/uk/product....uct_id=PA-5210, iím still waiting to see this bra NOT fit on anyone well yet!!!
2. I have a halterneck/backless dress, what is good?
For any halterneck dresses, a good strapless bra with long straps can help that fine, or alternatively just go for strapless!!! As for backless, this is a tricky one! Youíd be hard done for to find a bra thats backless for cup sizes over F, however for any other sizes this bra
http://www.figleaves.com/uk/product....-p323404-front is not half bad
3. Iím after a good push up and low cut bra, any suggestions?
Gossard, BLOODY BRILLIANT! I swear by this bra, and it goes up to a G cup aswell!! Buy Gossard Bras, Lingerie, Thongs & Suspenders - Official Site
4. Iím a large cup size and canít find anything pretty and sexy to wear, help!
Try Freya Lingerie or alternatively google fantasie! These are brilliant bras for the larger lady, they also do swimwear!
5. Iím a small cup size and want something thatíll give me a good shape without flattening me, what bras are there?
Elle Macpherson and Princess tam tam are gorgeous bras made for the smaller bust, theyíre sexy and pretty whilst giving a good shape. Go onto figleaves.com - Lingerie, Bras, Briefs, Underwear, Swimwear, Hosiery and More put your size and the brands in the search engine and shop away! On top of this, any balcony bra will give a good shape to the smaller bust!
6. How often should i get measured? I got measured once when i was younger, but i donít think iíve changed!
Your breasts change in shape and size over the years, thats why itís important to keep on top of the bras you wear and their size! This can simply be hormonal, weight change...whatever!
7. Why are bras so important?
Those in the know reckon that 80% of us are wearing the wrong size bra, with most of us wearing a back size that is too big and a cup size that is too small. Not only does this mean that we arenít supporting our breasts in the right way (which could lead to unsightly saggy boobs in the not so distant future, as well as back and neck ache) but in addition, if you get fitted into a correctly fitting bra, it can totally transform your figure, putting the curves back in the right places and changing your silhouette dramatically.
8. Is it a good idea to wear a bra at night?
By all means where a bra at night, however make sure itís the right one. Most of the growth hormone is released when you are sleeping, meaning your boobs will be growing. If youíre wearing a wired bra, this wire will inhibit any growth causing numerous problems. If youíre going to wear a bra to bed, make sure itís a non-wired one!
9. Whats the best way to put on a bra?
1. Begin by slipping the straps over your shoulders. Make note of the location of the bra's label (e.g. side seam, back).
2. Bend over at the waist and ease your breasts into the cups. Your nipples should be centered into the fullest point of the cup, and the cup should completely contain the breast (with the exception of push-up and demi cup styles).
3. Hook the bra closure in back, and then stand upright.
4. Run your finger along the area where the bra's label is to make sure it is lying smooth and flat against your skin.
5. Tug downward on the back of the bra so that it rests beneath the shoulder blades. The line of the bra should be horizontal from front to back.
6. Visually check to see that your breasts are in the proper position.
NOTE: This technique can be challenging for someone who is not limber enough to put their two hands behind their back. It is also difficult to tell if the bra is on the proper closure without checking in the mirror. This technique helps the bra keep its shape and not loose its elasticity sooner!
10. Iím an AA cup, do i need to wear a bra?
Yes! Please make sure you wear a bra. Often, small-breasted women will wear an undershirt and no bra, or flimsy triangle bras held together with elastic.
Neither choice does anything to enhance your look. What A-cup women need most is definition. A bra with light foam padding or fiberfill will add a natural-looking shape to your breasts. A padded bra with bump pads will even create some cleavage. You also may not be interested in cleavage or enhanced shape. That's fine too. But, even A-cups need tissue and muscle support. There are bras on the market in your size with no padding, but provide support and have underwires
11. Whats the most common mistake when buying a bra?
Most women walking around in the wrong bra size are wearing a bra with too big a band size and too small a cup size. So, a good starting point is to go down a band size and up 2 cup sizes and see how that size feels. For example, if you are wearing a 40C go to a 38DD (or 38F), You go up 2 cup sizes because when you go down a band size, the same cup size will actually be smaller as well.
12. I Have Narrow Shoulders And My Straps Keep Falling Down. What Should I Do?
Women with narrow shoulders need to find a bra style with close-set straps. Racer-back style bras are one great solution. Demi cup and front closure bras tend to have straps set farther apart and should therefore be avoided.
13. How should I wash my bras?
Handwash! They keep their shape longer, fit better and will save you money
The Good Fitting Bra
1. The straps, these should sit firmly on the shoulder not be digging in or falling off. However individuals with Ďsloping shouldersí should look for more thicker straps.
2. The Wire, in an underwired bra itís important this wire is sitting nice and far behind the breast tissue, always check as this can cause many health problems. Iíve had many stories about blood blisters or cuts from wired bras digging into breast tissue and causing infections etc
3. The sides and back, again the sides should sit firm, occasionally there will be spillage of skinas itís totally normal, however if it gets to the point of it rubbing try going up a back size. As for the back, it should be sitting on the LOOSEST hook and be sitting straight across around your body, not riding up or moving around. If this happens itís a sign itís too big.
4. The seams. This area should not pucker. Usually youíd find in smaller women a slight puckering around this area, it can be a sign that the bra style is not good. The nipple should also sit against this area
5. The bottom of the cup is important, if any breast tissue is spilling out underneath or if there is space then this is a sign itís too small or big. However, after you put your bra on remember you may need to alter yourself into it.
6. In this area a good fitting bra will sit nice and flat against the sternum, however some body shapes do differ in that they can be quite hollow, wide or thin and this may dig into breast tissue etc..itís simply about finding a bra that sits right.
7. Again, should sit nice and flat
8. Like the top of the cup the material should sit agains the breast tissue with no tissue spilling over nor gaps. Also if the cup is too small youíd find the breast tissue is sitting all at the bottom and the bra is stretching over this area to sit in, try changing the style before going down a cup size.
1. The straps are digging in, classic sign the back is too big. This is because the back isnít doing any support and the straps are doing most of the work!
The Bad Fitting Bra
2. Again, itís digging in
3. Skin shouldn't bulge over the bra a lot, a little bulge is fine with new bras as we're not made like supermodels! also if you look at the side itís not sitting nice and flat across, if we turned the woman around iím sure weíd see a back riding up.
4. The wire is sitting on the breast tissue
5. Again the wires are sitting on the edges of the breast tissue
6. Breast tissue is spilling out underneath, sign the bra is too small
7. Tissue is spilling out OVER the bra also, although the woman has a lovely cleavage, itís simply not a good fit!
Hope this helps!