The Best Tips for Making Your Bra Work for You


Good fitting bras

(image from Threads)

The Best Tips for Making Your Bra Work for You

Do you wear a bra?  I’m sure most of us do.  And the undergarment has certainly gone through many metamorphoses over the years.  There are so many different types, colors and varieties, but considering women’s bodies are so varied–there should be a large variety.   I know many women don’t want to discuss their undergarments or even go shopping for them.  I get it.  But trust me, a good foundation for anything is essential!  Nowadays you can google bra fitting and come up with all the rules and  tips you need to know. But let me review 5 basic fundamentals:  (The first & fifth ones are key)

1-After you put on your bra and before anything else goes on top (each day), you should do one evaluation to check fit (it takes 30 seconds):  Stand sideways in the mirror, bend your arm so it is parallel to the floor and check.  Are your nipples halfway between your shoulder and elbow?  If not, you might be able to adjust your straps, or you need a different sized bra.

2-You may need your bra altered.  Not everyone is symmetrical.  Not everyone fits into ready to wear.  You most likely have your clothes altered, so why not your bra?

3-If you’re wearing a good fitting bra, you are ready to take it off at the end of the day.  There is a reason for this—just think of all the hard work it has had to do for hours on end.

4-I love pretty bras.  And yes, you can find them in your size…especially with the internet.  But let’s be practical, too.  At a more mature age, there are very few of us who can get away with a one clasp band.  Your band is the workhorse of your bra, so get one that is thick (at least 2-3 inches) which means at least 2 clasps if not more!

5-Now when you put on your bra, make sure to tuck everything in properly.  As we age, all of our tissue sags, so you want to include the tissue under your arm (pull it forward) into your cup….then it won’t spill over the band.

This is one piece of clothing that can be expensive, and as thrifty as I am, I will spend the extra money (usually over $100) on it!  Because of all the intricacies of this garment, it’s a perfect example of “you get what you pay for.”  If someone complains to me that they can’t wear under-wire bras,  I’d bet you money, it’s because of a bad fitting bra and not the under-wire that is causing the problem.

Making your body look better is easier with a wonderfully fitted brassiere!

Good fitting bra  Photo from People magazine June 1, 2015

Just look at Jane Fonda…she’s in our older generation and see how nicely her bra works?

The Facts

Even if you wouldn’t consider purchasing your clothing online, it can be helpful to look through my links to see what is available! It certainly doesn’t hurt my feelings, if you click on them but don’t like them. Just so you know, one of the ways I make money from this blog is through these linked items.

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Many thanks for your attention!  

  • Kathleen McDermott

    I love bras, but they have to fit perfectly and look good under my outfit. So, I probably have at least 50. Yes, it’s excessive, but I love wearing just the right one. Has to be smooth in the cups (and back!) for knits. Lots more choices with woven tops. I adore colors and patterns (in addition to beige and black) and love cami-bras with the lace panel sewn over the cups so you don’t need a separate cami for low-cut tops. If it’s on clearance, fits perfectly and is pretty, it comes home with me. (Let me add how I love bra extenders for a band that is a bit too tight. I have them in 2-hook and 3-hook in neutrals and a variety of colors and they come in so handy.)

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I haven’t tried the bra extenders, but that sounds smart!
      Since you are quite a pro with shopping and bras—have you tried the shapeez?
      Laurie talked about it in this post I’m linking for you, and I was thinking I might have to try it. I feel like even when my bra fits well, I can still see the extra ridges??
      You’ll have to let me know?? 🙂

      • Kathleen McDermott

        I’ve not tried that brand, but do have similar undergarments. They don’t leave any line or bulge in the back and look very smooth. Also have bras like the genie bras, but with a bit of padding so there’s some shaping and coverage. Those work well too. It’s hard for me to believe that you could have any such problem! You are built like a Barbie Doll! I used to be a rail (I’m 5’7″), and while still relatively trim, my love of the grape (and getting older) has taken a but of a toll! Thank goodness for all the wonderful shaping and firming options available now.

  • lorena

    I have several tabs right now open in my browser looking for good fitting bras. I have spent a lot and little on bras and I am always on the hunt….

    • Truly my favorite bras are from the specialized bra shop…they were over $100 each, but I’ve had them for years and they are actually comfortable (for the first 10 hours). I’ve tried True & CO for online, but they got rid of their “try on at home” program…and I only liked one of the two I bought (the “bad” one was okay for the first hour, but then bugged the dickens out of me—I threw it out after I even tried to alter it). If you’re here in Denver, I’d suggest SOL in Cherry Creek…they are actually trained in how to fit them!

  • Kathy

    First time commenting here…this is a subject about which I’m passionate. As a 14 year breast cancer survivor, I am very asymmetrical and have a horrible time finding a bra I can work with. It can’t have padding, but the unlined often reveal my lack of symmetry. And because I hate the exposed bra strap look, I can’t wear thin strap camisoles (no bra is also a no-no due to surgery). I have just recently discovered that Nordstrom carries a line with built in pockets for a breast form, which I’m definitely going to look into. What do you do about the no exposed strap quandary? Bra-less or strapless?

    • Hi Kathy…thanks for your question. I just can’t go without a bra, so I’ll sometimes wear a strapless (my strapless’ band is probably 5 inches thick for support), but my other favorite is the clear straps. Now they aren’t perfect…they stretch differently, but they function better than strapless (in my opinion). Sure, you see the shine somewhat, but I figure as we get older our peer’s vision has gotten worse, so no biggie (and the youngins don’t care about a strap showing). Have you tried a specialized bra boutique (that’s where I get mine altered) as they seem to have high quality bras for many situations (although they certainly are not inexpensive)? It’s wonderful that you are a long time survivor!!

  • Great post!
    Mademoiselle Coconath

  • Thanks for the nice tips. never thought of altering my bra but it makes sense.

  • I never thought about getting a bra altered…what a great idea!

    • It makes sense especially since we’re not all symmetrical!! I’m also trying out some strap savers that I’ll talk about in two weeks!!

  • Fabulous tips! I am completely with you on the importance of fit, no matter what the cost. This is one area I do not mind paying extra! I just wish larger sizes also had a wider variety of pretty styles – at least in stores. I definitely prefer to do this shopping in person because of fit and comfort issues.

    • I found going to a couple stores helps the variety issue. My favorite lingerie place only carries these certain brands, so then I visit another one for a different brand. More work, but usually worth it!

    • I found going to a couple stores helps the variety issue. My favorite lingerie place only carries these certain brands, so then I visit another one for a different brand. More work, but usually worth it!

  • So many women don’t realize how important it is to have a good fitting bra! Thanks for sharing 🙂