Top Tips for Finding the Best Bra

Did you know that the right bra can make you look younger and thinner? By lifting your chest and extending your torso, “the girls” look perkier and your waist looks smaller!

You’ve probably heard that 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra. Many are wearing too small a cup size and too large a band size (Oprah fans may recall her bra interventions). In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are my top tips on finding the best bra for you:

1. The perfect position for your breasts is midway between your shoulders and your elbows. If your bra isn’t doing this for you, see a professional bra-fitter ASAP! Getting measured is free and well worth your time. (I recommend going to the Nordstrom lingerie department, where they are known for their bra experts.)

2. Get measured every 6-12 months or with the loss/gain of 5 pounds. What you consider to be a small gain or loss can affect your bra measurement.

3. Keep in mind that the support should come from the band of the bra, NOT the straps. The straps act as stabilizers and should hold no more than 10% of the weight of your breasts.

4. When you try on a bra, make sure it fits you on the loosest hook. Bras stretch over time and when that happens, you can tighten the bra to the second and third hook to retain firmness and lift.

5. Racerback styles can be great for women with sloped shoulders (who otherwise often have shoulder strap slippage).

6. Hand wash (or wash on delicate in a mesh lingerie bag) your bras with the hooks closed, and use gentle detergent like Dreft. (Woolite breaks down the elasticity of both bathing suits and bras.)

7. Replace bras that have been in heavy rotation every 6-9 months.

What should you include in your lingerie wardrobe?

T-shirt bra: A super comfortable bra with soft, molded, seamless cups that “disappears” under thin fabrics like light sweaters and t-shirts. It should be in a color as close as possible to your skin. This bra is not terribly exciting, but it is true work horse! I buy in multiples, wear them to death, and start over again ;)

Convertible / strapless bra: This is a must-have for tops and dresses with tricky necklines or backs. One of my favorites is the Biofit 7-way bra by Victoria’s Secret. Use it for strapless, halter, one-shoulder looks, and more!

Racerback bra: The straps of this bra come together in the back for a no-show look under sleeveless tops and tanks.

Something sexy: You can’t go wrong with something red, lace, or animal print!