Forget Bra Sizing: What's Your Bra Style?

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

Ever since Oprah staged her first Bra Intervention, the importance of proper bra fit and sizing has been in the news. But what about bra style?

Many women assume they wear the same size across different brands and bra styles. But nothing could be further from the truth. Why? Because: (1) no two bras are constructed the exact same way, and (2) no two boobs are alike, even on the same woman. I wear at least two different sizes depending on my mood. Yes, you heard that right. My mood plays a huge part in how well a bra fits me. It’s this “style factor” that women may want to consider when deciding what bra fits them best.

I start off my day by reaching for my trusty sports bra before heading for a run or to the gym. Later in the day I have more bra choices to make: is it a jeans and t-shirt writing at home day? Or do I have a presentation or meeting to attend? Will I be going out to dinner later? Is the restaurant dressy or casual? My wardrobe choices dictate which bra style I wear. Does it mean women need to own a half dozen different bras? Most women already do. Surveys show we own 9 bras but only wear 6 of them. And there are plenty of lists that offer advice on which types you should own. Or you can decide what suits your personal fashion sense and style.

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Your style doesn’t always have to match your actual breast shape. Need a little push-up? You can find bras that lift your girls up from the bottom or create more cleavage from the sides. Who knew there were so many different ways to pad a bra? Not only can you change the direction of where your breasts rest on your chest, you can alter their natural shape. That’s what most contour bras already do: create perfect circles where the natural teardrop shape of a breast resides.  What Katie Did makes lovely bullet bras to meet the needs of those with vintage inspired bra styles.

What Katie Did Bullet Bra

What Katie Did Bullet Bra

Here are five bra style questions you may want to consider on your next bra-shopping trip:

1. Fabric: Do you gravitate to bows and lace, or prefer more of a smooth or satiny finish? There’s nothing wrong with choosing a plain, unembellished bra. If you like it you’ll wear it more often and it will gather less dust in your lingerie drawer.

Claudette Dessous Mesh Bra

Claudette Dessous Mesh Bra

2. Padding: How much, or how little? Do you prefer graduated padding or partially molded cups? Which kind comfortably matches your personal style? Do you like rounded mounds or feel more at ease in a softer, less constructed bra? (Hint: there is no wrong answer.)

Freya Deco Half-Cup Push-Up

Freya Deco Padded Push-Up

3. Cut: The choices are abundant. You can pick from long-line bras, deep plunge, full coverage, or demi-cup bras – just to mention a few. All these styles have their advantages and you may want to stock up on two or three that suit your personal wardrobe best.

Elle Macpherson Long Line

Elle Macpherson Long Line

4. Shape: Your breast tissue may reside closer to your armpits or your boobs might ride low or high on your chest. There is no “wrong” breast shape or placement. But you need to decide where you want them to rest under your clothes. Side boning, separate panels, and lace or contour cups will all alter the shape of your breasts. It’s your call. You decide!

5. Color: White, beige, and black are all great choices. But pastels, prints, or bright lingerie can also make your day. If you're reserved, stay away from bold bra colors under a white button down blouse. If you're more of a rebel, go ahead and make your own rules.

My own style has changed over the years. I tend to choose multi-part (for support) mesh or lace fashion demi or plunge bras in flashy colors. My taste in home décor also went from traditional to more minimalist and architecturally forward designs in furniture and accessories. Deep down I’m a country girl with modern tastes, so this bra style suits me best.

What about you? Do you think bra style makes a difference? What’s more important to you? Bra fit or following your own bra style?

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