You've probably heard the scary statistics about underwear. The experts believe that as much as 80% of women, maybe even more, are wearing the wrong bra size. If you did the responsible thing and got a professional fitting a few years ago, you might not be in the clear. Weight gain, exercise routine, pregnancy, and aging can cause dramatic changes in your bra size.
Chances are, your brassiere doesn't fit. However, we've tapped into the wisdom of some fit fan girls over on the Reddit community /ABraThatFits. Even if you're not in the fashion industry or a specialty size, there's a lot to glean from the wisdom that the community shares on a regular basis. It's a pretty supportive group (pun intended).
To help you determine whether it's time for some lingerie shopping and help you hack your sizing questions, we've collected 13 of the smartest fit tips from these sharp Reddit members.
1. Your Band Should Stay Put
No two bodies are the same, and for some people finding the holy grail of their lingerie needs can take years. Yellkaa, who wears a size 30J or 30 JJ posted that her number one deal-breaker is discomfort or a band that rides up. Celebrity fit specialist Kay-Lin Richardson, who specializes in larger cup sizes, agrees. She writes that a band that slips up OR down can be a sign you need a smaller band size.
2. Avoid Armpit Migration
Referred to as '"armpit boob," extraneous flesh in your armpit area is actually another fit warning sign. Neverlu writes that picking a different cup shape can encourage shaping, recommending plunge bras for more armpit coverage. Richardson also recommends seamed, as opposed to seamless bras, to help keep everything in place.
3. No Spillage
Nordstrom's leading fit specialist Sandra Saffle thinks one of the best fit checks is to lift your arms above your head when trying on. If your breast tissue falls out the bottom, you're either dealing with a cup or band that's too big. Reddit's rebinator reminds you not to "rule out the smaller bands", in fact, most bands are designed to stretch.
4. Try Different Brands
Not all brands fit the same, and not all brands fit every body. While investing in quality lingerie is definitely wise, you don't want to limit your options while you're still in search of the right fit. Reddit member Saskia_C advises others to try as many as 4 different options to find just the right fit for your body.
5. Avoid The Cheap Stuff
Reddit is filled with horror stories about people who sacrificed quality for affordability, and suffered. Nordstrom Fit Specialist Carrie Hauser believes that quality matters just as much, if not more, than it does with shoes.
6. Be Confident
Worried that you're totally abnormal? Even if your size is unusual, you're probably definitely not unusual. Sigh01 and other Reddit members all believe that specialty sizes are more common than we believe. Hauser also believes that women should be confident in their bodies, even if they don't fit into a standard department store bra—and understand that everyone is a little different, and that's okay.
7. Try It On
Redditor YouLuckyDuck42 has observed—and other Reddit members would agree—that not all bras in a size are created equal. A 34DD for one manufacturer may be wildly different sized than the same product from their competitor, and sometimes even within the same brand (Victoria's Secret's PINK line is notorious for running smaller than their standard lingerie). If you can't go try on lingerie in person, find an online retailer that offers free returns.
8. Find What Works for You
Lucky for you, the process of getting lingerie that makes you feel like a goddess won't always be tough. PTDaisy and other Redditors believe that certain cup shapes just work for certain breast shapes. You may thrive in certain types of balconette style as opposed to the full coverage you've been wearing.
9. Don't Dismiss Underwire
If you're a bralette girl, that's fine. If you're a bralette girl and your back hurts, it may be time to pay another visit to underwire. Reddit user AnatolysDream discovered at age 60-something that she wasn't actually a D, but a size FF. By realizing her true size, she was able to find an underwire that changed her life.
10. Contour Cups Aren't For Everyone
Reddit members are almost obsessive about helping other community members find the right style for their individual breast tissue shape, which they believe is just as important as cup size and band size. Fit specialist Bobbie Smith agrees, stating that contoured cup shapes can cause the dreaded "quadboob" on women whose tissue shape doesn't match the standard bra mold.
11. Make Special Exceptions
Every once in a while, you may need to wear a plunging or backless dress. One night of bad lingerie won't result in back aches or other issues. ThrowawayAccount1414 is one of many Redditors who has a balance of unsupportive and supportive in her wardrobe, wearing the ones that fit most days. Bobbie Smith agrees that balancing fit with clothing items is tricky, and special occassions might require sacrficing comfort.
12. You Need At Least Two "Everyday" Bras
Specialist Smith recommends letting your bras "rest" in between wears to help the elastic recover. This means your lingerie wardrobe needs to include at least two brassieres you're comfortable wearing regularly. Members of the bra-loving subreddit claim to own anywhere from two to 50 bras.
13. Don't Stress Your Size
You may find that you're definitely, definitely not the size you thought when you get fitted professionally or use these awesome Reddit resources. Reddit user MidNightMare5998 thinks "the hardest part of this journey is believing your size at first." Remember, size is just a number and getting lingerie that fits can change everything.
Finding your fit isn't an overnight process. You may need to revisit it each time you gain weight, lose weight, or experience life changes. However, if you dive into Reddit's rabbit hole of lingerie knowledge and emerge with the right pick, you'll admit bras can be life-changing.