It’s the final Friday of October, the penultimate day to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so this week as part of my Breast themed segment we’re going to talk about the myths and legends concerning bra’s and the way they should fit…
1. Bra’s don’t expire
The lifespan of a bra depends on how well you look after them, they’re just like cars or shoes. If you alternate between the same two bra’s every day then granted they’re not going to last much longer than a couple of months, especially if you chuck them in the washing machine. It’s all about the elastic in the bra, if you wash your bra gently on cold washes and alternate between several different bra’s then they’ll last much longer.
2. Bra sizes are universal
Like when you buy a pair of jeans, you’re never the same bra size in every shop. Every bra is different, and in most cases a balcony bra will fit you differently to the way a t-shirt fits you. In order to make it work, you can alter your bra size so that a different style bra fits perfect. This is the same with different shops, you might be a 36D in one store but a 34DD in another, it just depends on the style, material and colour. Fun fact, dark bra’s like black and navy often come up tighter because of the dye that is used to make them that colour, they shrink.
3. Cup sizes larger than F are rare
Most of the ladies I bra fit at work are on average an F cup. Larger cup sizes are so much more common now and high street shops are being much more accommodating for ladies with a larger bust. The store I work in stock sizes up to a J in some styles but most go up to a GG if not H cup.
4. The letter determines the size of the cup
To an extent this is true, yes you are 32D your cup size is a D but you won’t be a D in every bra. For example if you decide that actually the 32 is too tight for you and go to a 34, you’ll no longer be a D, but actually a C cup. The size of the cup is relative to the size of the back, for every back size you go up, you must go down a cup.
5. White goes best under white
People seem to think that in order to make a bra look invisible you have to go as light as possible. In actual fact, you should choose a colour that is closest to your skin tone. White reflects light, if you’re wearing a top that you can see your bra through, more light will be reflected if your bra is white. Granted it won’t be as bad as a black bra under a white top, but it’s pretty close up there! Try a nude bra instead.
6. The support comes from the straps
Only 20% of the support should come from the straps and the rest from the band around the back. If band is too loose and the straps are taking too much weight from the bust, you could end up with back and neck pain.
7. Wires give support
The wires in bra’s are for shape and shape only. I can see why people might think they give support, a metal wire sitting under your bust like a steel beam in a house, sure. But actually you get most of the support from the band around the back, the wires tend to shape mould the breast into a more flattering shape.
8. Non-wired bra’s have no shape
Maybe yes, some non-wired bra’s have no shape. However, design in bra’s has advanced and techniques are in place to give the same effect as a wire without the discomfort that some people get. Most non-wired bra’s are fitted with a plastic strip under the armpits as well as reinforced stitching in place of where the wire would have been.
9. You should sleep in a bra
False. You wear a bra in the day to give your breasts support and reduce the shock of daily activities like walking to the store or climbing the stairs. If you wear a bra that isn’t supporting you enough, over time your breasts lose the elasticity which is what tends to make them sag or droop. When you’re in bed there isn’t much movement or shock that is going to effect the tightness of the breast tissue, so you don’t need to wear a bra. If you feel more comfortable wearing a bra to bed then by all means carry on, there is no harm in doing so however nor is there no benefit. What I would suggest however, if you are wearing a bra to bed, is to invest in a non-wired bra. Whilst you are asleep the wires can press into the breast tissue damaging it and/or blocking the milk ducts.
10. Breasts are twins
Everyone has one breast bigger than the other. For most people it’s just a slight difference that isn’t noticeable when you take your bra off. For some people though it can be an entire cup size. Breasts are sisters not twins!
11. The tighter your straps, the more uplift.
When I was in high school, girls used to tighten their straps so tight because they thought it lifted their breasts up and made them look larger. However, after about 10 minutes of wearing a bra, your breasts settle and decide to sit where they want. Tightening the straps just increases the chance of shoulder, back and neck pain.
12. The band size isn’t important
Actually, you get 80% of the support from the band of you bra! The looser the band, the less support you are receiving and the more likely it is you’ll suffer from back, neck and shoulder pain.
13. Moulded bra’s make you look bigger
There are three types of basic ‘padding’ levels in a bra; soft, moulded and padded. Padded being what it suggests, a little extra padding at the base of the cup to lift you up and look larger. A soft cupped bra is made from a single layer of material, it’s great if you like the natural look. Moulded bra’s are the most common type of bra, the cup is thicker in order to ‘protect’ you against the elements, not many people like the nipple through the shirt look. Moulded bra’s aren’t there to make you look larger, so many ladies with larger breasts refuse to wear them because they think they’ll look “even bigger”. Not true.
14. You should use the middle hooks
The hooks on a bra are not there so you can pick and choose how tight/loose you want to wear your bra. In fact, they’re actually designed to make your bra’s last longer, shock horror you thought all shops just wanted your money. I’m joking, but the idea is that as a new bra you should wear it on the loosest hook (hook furthest to the right) then as it gets older and starts to stretch due to the washing and wearing, you can move in inwards in order to maintain the perfect amount of support from the band.
15. You can use the washing machine
If you have genuine respect and care for your belongings then you wouldn’t put your bra’s in the washing machine. The heat of the wash breaks down the elastic in the bra’s and the barrel can ruin the shape of the cup if you have moulded bra’s. If you wear wired bra’s, the barrel can cause the wire to come out and even damage your washing machine. I’m going to be honest, though, I use the washing machine for my bra’s but that’s because I’m lazy and often don’t have the energy to hand wash my bra’s. It’s not the be all and end all but if you want to make your bra’s and your washing machine last longer then hand washing might be the option for you!
It was another long one this week and if you read the whole thing then I commend you, there’s just so much that I wanted to talk about and like last weeks post I didn’t want to miss anything important out. If you haven’t read the rest of my Breast Cancer Awareness Month posts yet you can check them out below: