How to Know If a Bra Fits
By: Heather Bien
When it comes to bras, there’s no one-size-fits-all. All breasts come in different sizes and shapes—and that can fluctuate over time. For the best support and comfort, you’ll need a bra that forms to your body. With simplified and versatile sizing, our sustainable bras are equal parts beauty and function. You can feel confident hitting the gym, office, or living room with Boody Eco Wear bras.
Unsure what that optimal size feels like? We can help you find out. In our brief guide, we’ll take you through some simple tips on how to know if a bra fits and why the perfect fit matters.
Is Knowing Your Bra Size Important?
In one word? Yes.
Women's bras are more than just decorative pieces of clothing. A good fitting bra provides vital support and cushioning, oftentimes easing pain for women. A properly-sized bra can help with:1
- Breast sagging
- Back and shoulder pain
- Poor posture
- Sensitive tissue protection
- Athletic movements & support
- Clothes fitting
Remember—these benefits apply to well-fitted bras. When you're wearing the wrong size, it can actually exacerbate the effects of wearing no bra.
Unfortunately, while bra size labels are standardized across stores, the actual measurements are not. One shop’s 34B could feel loose, while another store’s 36C might dig into your shoulders. However, there are a few signs for how to tell if a bra fits.
What Are Signs You’re Wearing the Wrong Bra Size?
If you think you have the right bra size, you might want to recheck. While old stats—such as 80% of women wearing the wrong bra size—have been debunked,2 plenty of women still choose an ill-fitting bra.
Not sure if your bra is the right size? Whether too big or too small, let’s explore the telltale signs of improper bra sizing.
A Bra That’s Too Big
While less common, oversized bras are still an issue. Here are some ways for how to tell if a bra is too big:3
- Cup wrinkling – Over-sized bras leave extra space between your breasts and the cup, creating wrinkles in the fabric overtime. This effect is prominent in bralettes or non-molded bras (a.k.a., no padding or shells).
- Body pain – Bras take a (literal) weight off your back. But when loose, that supportive structure is gone. If your shoulders and back are sore after wearing a bra all day, it’s likely your straps or entire bra is too big.
- Arm-raise test – Adjust your bra to the tightest hook, and raise your arms overhead. If your bra rides up as well, you likely need a smaller band size.
- Cup gaps – There should be no gaps or space between the breasts and bra cups. If your breasts don’t fill out the cup, you need to size down.
A Bra That’s Too Small
The tighter the bra, the more support? Not exactly. Tight bras can actually heighten pain and create a whole new set of problems. Not sure how to know if your bra is too small? Here are some clues:4
- Skin marks – Chafing, indents, redness, and rashes all point to a tight bra. Most wearers will often find these marks along the band, underwire, and underarm areas.
- Gore gaps – The gore is that little band section that sits between the bra cups in front. It should rest easy on your skin. Gapping between the gore and your body indicates a tight bra.
- Spilling breasts – If your breasts are spilling over, under, or to the sides of your bra, then the fit is too snug. Bra cups should be full, but not overflowing or stuffed.
How Do I Know My Bra Size is Right?
You know the signs for wrong bra sizes. But what about the right size?
Of course, comfort should lead the way with choosing a bra size. But to make shopping easier, consider these sizing tips inside the fitting room:5
- Get your measurements – Not all 36D bras are alike. That’s why when bra shopping, coming to a store with your exact measurements (your band and breast circumferences) is more useful than naming a size label. Ask for a professional measurement or size yourself at home. And remember—it can be helpful to remeasure every six to twelve months. For information on how to measure your bra size, reach out today!
- Consider breast shape – It’s not just the inches that matter. Breasts come in seven shape categories, from round to teardrop to narrow.6 Certain bra types and bra styles accommodate each breast shape best.
- Wear it correctly – To truly test the bra fit, don’t just throw it on. Lean forward at the hips, hold the cups to your breasts, and then hook the outermost claps. That way, you won’t set up an inaccurate bra fitting.
- Check fit signs – With a well-fitted bra, your breasts should sit evenly between your shoulders and elbows. The front and back bands should also stay at an equal height. And for tightness, one to two fingers should easily sneak under the band.
- Finger Test – One simple test? See how many fingers can easily slip between your back and the bra’s band. About two fingers (or a half-inch gap) is ideal.
Easy Bra Fits with Boody
The bottom line? The right bra and correct size will feel comfortable, supportive, and quality. And while that can look different for everyone, Boody makes sure all of our bras meet those standards.
About the Author:
Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.
- Willingham, J. Why You Should Be Thanking Your Bra. https://www.bustle.com/articles/100873-5-reasons-you-should-be-thanking-your-bra-because-wearing-them-can-actually-be-good-for
- Perling, A., et al. Are 8 Out of 10 Women Really Wearing the Wrong Bra Size? https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/10/style/lingerie-are-8-out-of-10-women-really-wearing-the-wrong-bra-size-a-bra-myth-busted.html
- London, B. The 6 warning signs your bra is the wrong size and damaging your breasts. https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/signs-bra-is-wrong-size
- Torgerson, R. All the Expert Bra Fit Tips and Tricks That You Should Know, Like, Yesterday. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/fashion/advice/a6792/bra-fit-tips-and-tricks/
- Real Simple. How to Measure Your Bra Size at Home. https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/shopping-guide/how-to-measure-bra-size
- Marhol, A. Breast Shapes and Sizes: Everything You Need to Know. https://flo.health/menstrual-cycle/teens/your-body/breast-shapes-and-sizes
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What is Organic Cotton?
By: Heather Bien We’re all trying to be better stewards of Mother Earth. From recycling to upcycling and eating conscientiously to dressing mindfully, our choices affect the planet. So choosing organic cotton clothing seems like an easy decision, right? Not so fast! As with all sustainable choices, it’s important to take a moment to learn a bit more about why organic cotton might win over conventional cotton—and what makes these two materials different in the first place. Read on if you’re interested in learning about organic cotton and whether it’s the best choice for you and the environment. Conventional cotton Before we get into debating modern cotton farming techniques, let’s get familiar with the plant we’re talking about: cotton. It’s soft, durable, and probably on your body right now. But what else do you really know about cotton? Here are the basics: Cotton comes from the cotton plant – The cotton plant is a warm-season woody perennial shrub from the genus Gossypium and the family Malvaceae. Cotton fabric is made from the plant’s fibrous seed-hair (which is also called a cotton boll). Cotton is one of the top agricultural crops – Traditional cotton is the most widespread and profitable non-food crop in the world. Although the plant is capable of growing in any warm-weather climate, India and China are now the top producers of cotton globally. Cotton is thirsty – A normal cotton plant requires 10 gallons of water to reach peak potential. That doesn’t sound so bad, but multiplying it outward, that means it takes about 5,000 gallons of water to produce just 2.2 pounds of cotton fabric. Pests think it’s delicious – Not only is cotton thirsty, but it’s prone to pest infestations from bollworms, weevils, aphids, stink bugs, thrips, and spider mites. In order to combat these common pests, conventional cotton is routinely sprayed with a veritable salad-dressing of pesticides, many of which can remain in the soil and water supply for years afterward. Cotton harvesting requires defoliation – In order to quickly and efficiently harvest cotton, many commercial growers use chemical defoliants to strip the leaves from the cotton plant prior to harvesting the bolls. Like pesticides, these chemicals remain in the environment and on the cotton itself. Is organic cotton better? All of those cotton factoids point pretty compellingly to buying and wearing organic cotton fabric. But first, it’s important to understand what sets this organic alternative apart. Why exactly is “organic” cotton anyway? You might associate the word organic with your healthy fruits and veggies, but it’s not always clear what this term means when it comes to cotton. For many years, there was not a standard definition, but today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) require that any cotton product labeled “organic” meet the following criteria: Made with fibers from USDA-certified organic crops Third-party certified (ie., through the Global Organic Textile Standard) under the National Organic Program standards Has a specific percentage of organic material (depending on the crop) But this definition is a little circular, so we need also to define USDA-certified organic crops. According to the USDA, organic crop standards are defined as follows: Land must have had no prohibited substances applied to it for at least three years before the harvest of an organic crop. Soil fertility and crop nutrients will be managed through tillage and cultivation practices, crop rotations, and cover crops. These can be supplemented with animal and crop waste materials and allowed synthetic materials. Crop pests, weeds, and diseases will be controlled primarily through management practices, including physical, mechanical, and biological controls. When these practices are not sufficient, a biological, botanical, or synthetic substance approved for use on the National List may be used. Operations must use organic seeds and other planting stock when available. The use of genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge is prohibited. What is organic cotton? In short, it’s cotton that is farmed according to these practices and certified organic by the USDA. Why should you choose organic cotton? With fewer pesticides, fewer synthetic chemicals, and more thoughtful cultivation practices, organic cotton can certainly offer a more environmentally friendly choice when compared to regular cotton. Is organic cotton sustainable? Here are a few other reasons why organic cotton can be a better alternative for you and the earth: It’s better for our water resources – According to an analysis by the Textile Exchange, producing an organic cotton T-shirt requires 1,982 fewer gallons of water compared to a regular cotton T-shirt. Because organic cotton uses less chemicals, its production also releases fewer toxins into our aquatic ecosystems. It’s good for the soil (and our carbon footprint) – According to the Soil Association, the more natural cultivation practices and fewer pesticides used by organic cotton farmers can support healthier soil. That soil, in turn, can absorb more carbon from our atmosphere and help keep the planet healthy. It encourages biodiversity – Multiple studies have shown that organic farming practices can encourage more diversity among the animal species of our planet. Sustainability is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. But when it comes to plant-derived textiles, the ones which help us create a healthier world are always a better alternative. Explore the benefits of bamboo with Boody Whether you choose to purchase conventional or organic cotton clothing, the fact that you are shopping mindfully for yourself is a win for the environment. At Boody, we believe in bringing you quality, comfy, sustainable clothing basics that keep you feeling good about yourself and your personal impact on Mother Earth. From our sleepwear to our loungewear, women’s bamboo shirts to our underwear, sustainable and ethical are our touchstones. Our clothing is made of bamboo viscose, requiring less water than cotton while putting precious oxygen back into the environment. That just feels good, doesn’t it? Explore the bamboo benefits today, with Boody. Sources: Britannica. Cotton. https://www.britannica.com/topic/cotton-fibre-and-plant Cotton. The Story of Cotton - Where Cotton Grows. https://www.cotton.org/pubs/cottoncounts/story/where.cfm World Wildlife Federation. Cotton. https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton Textile Exchange. Quick Guide to Organic Cotton. https://textileexchange.org/quick-guide-to-organic-cotton Soil Association. What is organic cotton? https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/organic-living/fashion-textiles/organic-cotton/ USDA. Conservation and Biological Diversity in Organic Production. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/02/29/conservation-and-biological-diversity-organic-production About the Author: Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.