When I went in to get a bra sizing by the lingerie experts at Intimacy in New York, I was expecting a small change to the size I’m used to wearing. After all, I hadn’t been sized in about a year. But when the specialist told me my bra size, I was shocked. I didn’t even know you could be that far up the bra alphabet! And coming from a family full of busty women, I began to wonder about others’ sizes: If I’m that big, are other women walking around with Q-sized breasts?
To demystify it all, I talked with Intimacy’s bra fit specialist Maria Aste to get the scoop on everything from the sizing process (it’s not scary and it’s free!) to how to make your bras last (those things are expensive!).
How often should women get sized for a bra?
We recommend that women receive a bra fit styling session every six months. There are a few other reasons to go more often than that, which might include wanting to see the latest fashions, a change in weight, or a change in exercise routine.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for women to get properly sized?
The biggest obstacle for women to find a properly fitted bra is that they do not have the knowledge about how to get properly sized. Some women might be afraid that it may cost too much and that they can’t afford it or they are too comfortable wearing the same bra they have had for years or they are too shy to come in for a fitting because they are uncertain of what it entails.
Why is it so important to get properly sized?
With a properly fitted bra, anything is possible. Women who wear bras that fit them have more confidence because they look better, their clothes fit better and their breasts have more support and shape.
I know that when I found out my bra size, I was shocked — I had no idea how big my size was! (And how far off I was.) Have sizes changed at all in the past years or are more women just finally getting properly sized?
I think that women are finally receiving the knowledge to get properly sized and are taking matters into their own hands by seeking advice and bra fit styling help from experts.
What's the biggest misconception when it comes to sizing?
Women think the most important part of the fit is the cup not the band size which in fact is not correct. The band is what provides the support of the fit whereas the cup is where the breast distribution occurs. Women tend to the think that the smaller the cup the smaller they will look, which is simply not true.
Flat-chested women seem to automatically think they're a size A or, at most, a size B. Could that ever be wrong? Could small women be a C (or even bigger)?
Yes, most definitely!
What are the bra sizes that one could have?
At INTIMACY we carry more than 90 sizes ranging from A to K cup with band sizes that start at 30 and go up to 44. The cup size is the size of the actual breasts (the volume of the breast tissue) and the band size is the torso measurement.
With strapless and other types of bras with different straps, what would you say is the biggest misconception? Is the sizing different for these types of bras?
With a strapless style, 100 percent of the support comes from the bra band. Since support is the main reason you wear a bra, the band of a strapless style needs to fit snug on your body. Sometimes that means that you go down a size to make sure the band supports your breasts and does not slide down your body.
You're supposed to replace bras pretty often, but that can get very pricey. What's the best way for women to extend the life of their bras?
Take care of your bras, ladies. Lingerie will stay newer much longer with the proper care. Hand wash bras with Forever New Fabric Care wash after every two to three wears. Never use Woolite to wash your bras because it is made specifically for natural fibers and will break down the elastics in your bra that keep it supportive. Also, hang dry or flat dry your bras – never put lingerie in the dryer because the heat will cause the elastics in the piece to lose shape.
Any other tips or advice on bra sizing?
Always remember that the bra is the only technical piece that a woman wears on her body. As the foundation to every outfit, it should fit properly.