Bra size: how to calculate it, all models and shapes
Bra fittings. Find out the size of the bra to choose the perfect models and shapes to enhance the breasts and avoid problems (including health problems).
Most of the time the purchase of a bra is driven by the desire to want to wear a particular piece of lingerie: delicate French lace, very light tulle and satin straps, are just some of the details that catch the eye when you are in a shop intimate. This is a not entirely correct approach. Because if style and aesthetics are a factor to be taken into consideration, the bra fitting it is extremely important in choosing the right bra.
Too narrow, excessively wide, straps that do not support, the wrong bra can indeed cause several problems, such as back and neck pain or headache. That is why we resort to bra fitting, or “the adaptation of the bra”, a professional system to find the perfect shape, size and fit, to enhance the breasts and the silhouette, and avoid problems. A method imported into Italy by Patrycja Kamila Lewicka and Joanna Grunt, under the Pati Jò project. In Milan (in via del Torchio, 16) and in Rome (Via Paganica 9b), there are in fact two centers dedicated and specialized in bra fitting: their mission is precisely to find the perfect bra for every woman.
The Perfect Bra it is instead the house project Intimissimi which offers 20 different models, declined by color and cup. With the size of the bra and the shape, you can find the right garment for your needs.
The advice of La Perla
We asked Alessandra Bertuzzi, Creative Director of La Perla, some practical advice to understand if the bra that made us “fall in love” is suitable for your body “The shoulder pad must be comfortable on the shoulder, it must not be too narrow to leave its mark, nor too wide because it slips and does not support the breast; while the rear band on the back must be perfectly horizontal on the back. As for the cup, the breast must find its perfect space inside“. Below you can discover a small useful handbook with La Perla divided, to keep in mind before purchasing:
With a bra worn, the fit is correct if passing a finger vertically between the breasts passes without obstructions or too easily.
To understand if the cup size is correct, you need to lean forward, the breast must remain comfortably inside the cups, without coming out or being crushed inside.
You should never underestimate the fitting of the bra under the clothes: it is better to try the bra under a t-shirt or a silk shirt.
Daring with a different model of bra: it is not said that the model you have been wearing for years is the right one for your body, the strength of a good lingerie brand is knowing how to balance tradition and innovation, also discovering new shapes.
Are you wearing a right or wrong bra?
Each part of the bra (cup, shoulder straps, underwire, side band) must be perfectly adherent to the body, without creating voids. When, on the other hand, you take off your bra, this must not leave obvious marks on the skin. If you notice at least one of these notes (below), then you are wearing the wrong undergarment:
The lateral non-adherent band is wide or too narrow
The breast does not fill the cup
The breast is crushed by the cup (inverse problem)
The breast comes out of the lateral bands
The straps drop continuously
The bra continues to “rise”
The center of the bra rises
Rolls are created on the back due to the band
How often should you change your bra?
The bands and elastics over time can be worn and released due to use and washing. When the bra begins not to adhere to the silhouette, then the time has come to change it. Usually it happens every 6/8 months.
The size of the bra
It is in close relationship with the shape (round, teardrop, distant, champagne cup etc.) and breast circumference. So equip yourself with a centimeter as a dressmaker and take your natural breast measurement (i.e. without underwire or padded bra). We also recommend measuring the chest circumference, along the breast line.
All models and shapes
The first bra was created in 1889 by the hands of Hermine Cadolle, the bustier in Paris. It was a simple piece of lingerie, made up of two pink silk triangles, equipped with matching laces to stop it on the back. Before that time, generous breasts were “contained” with bands. Since that 1889, the history of the bra has undergone an evolution, which has involved every part of the bra. For needs or aesthetics, different models have been proposed to the market: the post-war period is the time of the Very Secret, equipped with air cushions, then the Wonderbra push-up arrived in the 60s, and then the designer Jean Paul Gaultier (here Le Muse by Jean Paul Gaultier) designed a bra with cone cups for Madonna.
Let’s see together some bra models suitable for different breast forms:
Balconette bra – It is very low-cut, sometimes equipped with a underwire and gives a natural volume. Suitable for a not too generous breast that has the volume on the bottom (like the drip breast).
Underwire bra, the bralette – Enhances the natural beauty of the breast. It is a bra that has no padding or underwire, therefore free from constrictions. It is recognized for its “triangle” shape. If you have generous breasts, a wider band is recommended to support the shapes. Usually i Bralette they are made with precious fabrics, such as tulle and lace, which is why it is pleasant to show them.
Underwire bra – The underwire is important for those with generous breasts, because it helps support it and prevents the weight from weighing only on the shoulder straps. More or less high and / or thick, the underwire must be snug, to be comfortable and unobtrusive.
Contour bra – It has a thin underwire and a not too thick cup that defines the shape of the breast. It is made with fabrics that give comfort and, more often than not, are smooth so as not to show the seams. It is the right bra for those who have very generous breasts and want to contain it.
Bra plunge – It has a more or less thick padding, while the structure tends to separate the two breasts, enhancing the décolleté. This is why it is perfect for low-cut dresses. It is a model that gives comfort and adapts to all body types.
Push-up bra – It is recognized by a padded cushion present in the cup. It is suitable for those who have small breasts and want to steal a size.
Sports bra – The model is designed to prevent possible breast and back pain after training, thus protecting the muscles.
When the bra is in sight
For some seasons the bra is no longer only an intimate garment: fashion offers in fact wear it without a shirt or blouse. Sporty or band models are perfect as tops to show off under men’s jackets and overalls. And we must not forget the trend of the “bralette”: versatile and feminine, it is a garment loved by celebrities such as Katie Holmes, Jennifer Lopez, Kristen Stewart and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The latest creative styling idea is instead of Emily Ratajkowski who sported a costume bra under a total black suit: look to try when summer is just around the corner.
Cover photo – Fashion Italia, 2003
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