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What You Need To Know About Bra Shopping

May 29, 2008
Apparently, over seventy percent of all women are wearing the wrong bra size. This is a staggering statistic, and cannot be entirely down to inappropriate purchases by doting, yet inadequate, male partners. Many women have no real idea of their size, and often find that they buy a variety of different sizes, depending on the style of bra they are choosing.

What many people also fail to appreciate is that if you lose or gain about ten pounds, start or stop exercise, become pregnant or have a baby, your body shape will change and you will almost certainly need a new bra size or shape.

It is actually a very difficult process to measure oneself accurately, and this is where much of the problem comes from. Without an easy or recognizable way of measuring themselves, most women rely on a combination of rough guess work and experience based on the relative comfort of bras bought in the past. The most recommended course of action is to visit a specialist in a women's lingerie department who will be able to carry out an accurate measurement and make recommendations on size and cup.

Of course, there is then the increasingly wide choice of styles, and your selection of bra will depend on a number of factors such as what it will be worn with, the sort of activities you'll be carrying out, the length of time you'll be wearing it and your general size.

Most women agree that under wired bras offer the most every day support. For the men who aren't sure what this means, an under wired bra is one that has a curved length of stiff wire threaded through the lower seam of each bra cup. This helps to lift and support the breast, although it can lead to discomfort after a while, especially if the bra is cheap. Sometimes these wires can start to poke through, and this can be extremely uncomfortable. More expensive under wired bras are labelled as 'no poke' or 'comfort' and have extra padding around the wire to reduce the cutting in it can cause.

The natural alternative to these types, and a much more comfortable bra, is the wireless or soft cup bra. These don't have wires inserted, but instead have a foam or material hammock inside each cup which lifts and supports the breast. This is much more cushioned and along with foam padding provides comfort for longer periods, although it can be a little more expensive.

Of course, if you're planning on wearing an off the shoulder or low cut dress or top then a strapless bra will be required. These have wider and tighter straps running horizontally that mean that over the shoulder straps can be removed. Because of the extra tightness required, these can be uncomfortable over long periods of time, and are really intended much more for the glamour and style than the everyday ordinary comfort.

Another type used in fashion is the seamless bra. These are smooth and contoured with soft padding that removes visible edges so that under tight clothing such as t-shirts and tops, the outline of the bra material is not visible. Depending on the price you pay, these can be reasonably comfortable.
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