- The band of the bra (back wings and cradle - the bit the cups are attached to) should be a snug fit without digging in and be an even straight line around the body. The back of the bra should not rise or create an arc.
- The side seams, where the back wings join the cradle, should sit on the mid-line of the body. If the side seam moves forward of the mid-line then the back size too large. If the side seam is more towards the back of the mid-line then the back size is too small. Side seam position is an indicator of the relationship between back size and cup size and should be noted where there is one in the design of the bra.
- The cup's under-wire should fit to the line of your breast root. The breast root is where the main breast tissue joins to the body. When worn, the under-wire should "spring" no further than a thumb width from the side of the breast root. More than that and the wire will not support the breast tissue and distort its shape. Less than that and the wire could "pinch" the root and cause bruising and be painful.
- The big issue of the centre front bridge and under-wires: how tight fitting should they be? The centre bridge should fit snugly to your breast bone touching the skin NOT anchored in as if someone used a nail gun. Too tight can cause more damage than too loose.
Recently had a question from a client. She was confused as to why the bra sizes covered in our size charts only went up to a 46 when she was informed by a major high street chain that her bra size was a 50-52 for a size 26-28. I told her that I could pretty much guarantee that she was wearing the wrong bra size. Ok... fasten your seat belts! Although there has been a recent trend to offer larger cup sizes in a response to re-examining modern women's bodies the industry as a whole has not really changed many of its practices. Bras used to be offered in a limited range of cup sizes mainly to cut down on manufacturing costs. These went usually from an A (more rarely a AA) up to a DD. Getting your hands on an E or above usually meant specialist stores, very limited styles and huge prices. So... How did women get bras that fit? Honestly - they didn't. How a bra should fit: