Every woman knows the struggle of finding the right bra; it usually takes us several years of experience- and stocking up our closet- to understand what works best; the world of adult lingerie is a lot more complicated than a sports bra, a t-shirt bra and a fancy bra (for those extra special occasions, of course). It is through several trial-and-errors that we figure out what works for our body type, and that cliche about every woman being unique is not as much a cliche as it is a fact when one takes into account our anatomy. A woman understands the importance of wearing underwear that is not only sexy, but also comfortable; the two however, are sometimes not compatible and require a compromise.
Most large-scale lingerie shops that Indian women have access to, do not cater to specific needs and the higher quality stores are often out of the middle-class woman’s budget. That being said, bras are an everyday feature in a woman’s life and should not be compromised upon; for those of you who grapple with the same questions and want to make sure that you get the right fit, this article lays out some of the problems that most women find while selecting their bras, and how to get around these!
Bra Fitting Problems and Solutions
1. The Rising Back Band
If the back band is not uniformly parallel to the floor all around, then we have a slight problem. Most often, this means that you’re wearing a size that’s too big for you; if it’s not just the band that’s too big, going down a size would definitely help. If it’s an older bra that you find this happening to, it probably means that the band is stretched out, and has therefore lost its elasticity. All it needs is a replacement, and you’re good to go!
2. A Floating Center
This is the biggest indication that you simply do not have the correct size. The central part of the bra is supposed to lie comfortably against your chest and if it doesn’t, it could either be a too-big or too-small problem. If the size is too small, the cups could be constricting your breasts and pushing them together to create a gap in the center. On the other hand, if the band is too big, a natural gap will form. To make sure that you have the right fit, insert two fingers between your band and your back, and if there is still space between your chest and center, you need a smaller size.
3. The Spillage
Ah. The dreaded spillage. Bustier women can tell you how uncomfortable this makes things, and you’re always having to discreetly adjust your bra when people aren’t looking to minimise the effect of a uni-boob. There is however, a simple solution. Instead of finding ways around this problem with regular bras, make sure to include a couple of full coverage bras in your closet. Or, just go up a cup size!
Ouch. This is a painful one. And the consequences of suffering from bra burns have to be dealt with over the following days, making for some very uncomfortable situations. And let’s be honest, a painful bra is the last thing we need. Chafing can happen for various reasons, but in most cases it’s because your bra is too tight. You can get around this by trying different styles and choosing the one that allows your breasts to move away from the ribcage and from each other. If the fit is not the issue, try a different fabric, preferably one that is more breathable.
5. Floating Cups
You do not want to have the ladies floating around in your bra; unsecured boobs are a woman’s worst nightmare. A bra, after all, should be supportive and secure. This problem can be seen in smaller breasts that don’t have a full-cup shape, but it is one that is easy to navigate. Your first step would be to tighten your bra straps, and if that doesn’t work, you should probably go down a cup size and try it in a different style. For women that face this problem, a balconette-style bra or a demi-cup bra is a good option.
6. Back Bulge
A bulge around your back band can occur if your bra is too small, or if the band is not wide enough. More often than not, a wider band is all you need to take care of this little problem.
7. Sweaty Boobs
How does one get around this? Especially in the Indian summer? Let’s face it, we probably can’t, but we can definitely make it easier. In the summers especially, it is important to wear bras that are made from breathable fabric because the constant accumulation of sweat is not only uncomfortable, it is also unhygienic. Avoid heavily padded bras and opt for lighter t-shirt bras.
8. Slippery Straps
We’ve all had those days- and those bras- that require us to keep adjusting the straps so that they don’t slide down our shoulders and it can be an extremely uncomfortable situation to be in, especially when in public. As simple as this solution might sound, people do not do it as often as they should: tighten your straps! And make sure to do so every other month so that you can avoid the awkward ‘pretend to scratch my shoulder only to adjust my bra strap.’ If this continues to happen, you probably have narrower shoulders than most women and exploring alternate styles like the racerback bra or ones with silicone straps are a good bet.
9. Nipple show
I’m not sure why people are so concerned about nipples showing, as everyone is aware they are part of the package and pebbling of the nipples is a natural reaction during cold weather. However, my lack of comprehension notwithstanding, for women who want to avoid this problem, and who want to avoid a push-up bra, you can check out contour or lightly lined bras. And if getting rid of existing bras is not an option, you can check out nipple tape and cover those babies for some extra protection.
10. Underwire Pain
We have all been warned about the dangers of the underwire. In fact, my mother made sure I understood that underwire equals breast cancer. While it is not a small thing, this in fact, is an exaggeration. Underwire by itself is not as much a villain as it is made out to be, but when coupled with a bra that is too small, it can definitely cause you some pain because it cuts off circulation. As long as you’re wearing the right size; meaning your breasts are supported and not being suffocated by the underwire, you should not have a problem.
Like I mentioned earlier, the world of lingerie is a largely unexplored space, and is more so in the case of Indian women because of the skewed notions of sexuality that are attached to it. Women in lingerie stores want to pick up what they need and get out of there as soon as possible, and be seen by the least amount of people. Ladies, if you have a question, and you just want to make sure that your girls are being given the best care possible, don’t be embarrassed to ask! Trust me, they’ll definitely thank you later.
Life is complicated, your bra should not be!
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