How To Choose The Right Bra

It’s my only true love. I live for bras. I worship bras. After all, is there any woman in this wretched world who doesn’t? Cruella De Vil’s passion for animal fur runs parallel with my undying love for lingerie.

There is a scientifically proven magnetism between myself and every lingerie store I pass on the high street. I cannot but enter and peruse. If I am not satisfied with the wares that I find, be it for their unrealistic sizing or poorly engineered cups, I loudly and verbally shred the establishment and dramatically storm out with my faux-fur coat billowing behind me. Contrary to what this may tell you about me, I am actually quite a pleasant person.

I scour the internet on a daily basis to keep up-to-date with new lingerie brands from all over the globe, which is why I do most of my lingerie shopping online. This obsession with bras stems from being the proud owner of a pair of 32E breasts. As an uninformed teenager, I struggled to find clothes that fitted my chest, or rather, my wrongly chosen over-padded and ill-fitting bras. It made me begrudge my hourglass figure and loathe the fashion industry for being so discriminating. All this changed when my mother flew me out to London to get a professional bra-fitting at the renowned lingerie retailer, Rigby & Peller.

Instead of padded 36D cups (which is usually the largest size offered at your average lingerie store), I now opt for non-padded underwired 32E bras from reliable brands who offer much more than mundane beige, black and white fabrics. The choice for DD+ bras is most definitely minute compared to what’s on offer for A-D cups, but if you look well and hard, you’ll come across quite a few gems.

I bestow upon you the sacred rules to becoming a well-endowed and well-fitted lady.

1. Know thy bra size.

Your bra size is synonymous to your ID card number or your bank PIN. You must be confident in knowing what your size is. If you’re ever in London, I do recommend you find time to get yourself properly fitted at the above-mentioned establishment or at Fenwick. If you’re in a hurry, you can very easily measure yourself by following this step-by-step guide offered by top lingerie retailer Herroom.com.

2. Know the system.

Be fully aware that a French 32E is not the same as an English 32E, and an English 32E is not the same as an American 32E. French cup sizes run quite small to those which are English. A French 32E is actually an English 32DD. However, an English 32E is actually an American 32DD. Yes, it’s a nightmare, but I once again recommend Herroom.com for providing such an excellent breakdown of the different size systems which are used by different lingerie brands.

The more acquainted you become with your favourite brands, the less trouble you’ll have choosing the right size. From my experience, I know that Simone Perele’s 32E only properly fits someone who is an English 32DD… which led to a waste of €124 for two – admittedly exquisite looking – bras. This brings me to my next point.

3. Be ready to spend.

If you plan on investing in about ten well-constructed bras, be prepared to spend an estimate of €900. But that is exactly what it is. An investment. The right bra gives you posture, comfort and support. Wearing a properly-fitted bra can save you from future back pain or even breast-tissue damage. This holds especially true for DD+ girls. Don’t take any risks with bras, especially during your teenage years. It is worth every penny spent on that Wacoal balconette bra.

4. Know thy brands.

I’ve so far mentioned Simone Perele and Wacoal. By knowing the trademark styles of the most prominent lingerie brands, no retailer can pull the wool over your eyes when investing in new bras. I highly recommend both of these brands, along with Lise Charmel, Chantal Thomass, Lepel, Charnos, Figleaves, Gossard, Agent Provocateur, Mimi Holliday and Pour Moi. However, it’s important to know which of these brands are not suitable for your breast shape and to avoid them like the plague.

5. Know thy retailers.

Most of your shopping will probably be done online, especially if you have a difficult size. My go-to retailers are figleaves.com and herroom.com. They tend to stock most items by the top designers which I’ve mentioned above, and they give you information a-plenty to help you make the right decision. However, if you are in a position to try these bras on at a store near you, please do so. Nothing beats having the real thing in your hands… or to be more precise, on your boobs.

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