Health And Wellness, Sex

If This Is Your Bra Size, You're Probably Not Wearing The Right One

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How To Tell If You're Wearing The Wrong Bra For Your Boobs

There's nothing quite as satisfying as taking your bra off after a long day of work. But why is that? Bras are supposed to provide support and comfort, not pain and confinement.

So why do your undergarments feel more like Medieval torture devices? Probably because you’re wearing the wrong size.

In fact, most women who wear the two most common bra sizes (34B and 36C) are actually not wearing the proper size. These average sizes mislead women into picking them by tag, rather than by fit. 

In 2014, Swiss lingerie company Triumph did a study that showed, out of 10,000 polled women, 64 percent of them were wearing the wrong size bra. That’s over 5,000 women in just that study alone! Of the 64 percent who were in the wrong size, nearly 30 percent admitted they were aware it wasn’t correct to begin with, but wore the improper size anyway.

Bras can make or break an outfit, your day, or even your back. Imagine knowing that you’re a size 10 but intentionally walking around in size 9 shoes.

You’ll mess up your posture, your stride and your toes. And a large percentage of women willingly do this to themselves with bras. No wonder Americans spend $50 billion a year on back pain remedies.

We ladies are doing ourselves a serious disservice by not taking the time to get some proper support for our girls. 

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Here are three ways to tell if your current bra needs to get trashed. Trust us, your boobs will thank you later.

1. You can move your bra band around. Like, a lot.

“If you have your band on the tightest hook and it can still move around, your bra is too big,” says Jenny Altman, a style expert for Aerie.

The band is the part of the bra that goes around your ribcage and back, not the straps. This portion of the bra gives you the most support, and if there is a bunch of space between it and your chest, it’s not doing its job. If you are a C-cup or bigger, this can cause plenty of back pain.

If your shoulder straps are biting into you by day’s end or they need constant tightening, this is another sign that your band is too big. In this case, according to Altman, you may want to decrease your band size while increasing the cup size. For instance, if your bra is a 36C, but you’re having problems, try a 34D instead. If your bra sits unevenly on your back or pulls tight, you need to adjust to a different band size.

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2. Your boobs are literally spilling out of the cup.

The center of the bra should fit comfortably between your breasts, resting on your skin.

“If the center area between the two cups is floating away or not touching your skin instead of laying flat against you, it’s time to move up a cup size,” adds Altman.

And if your cleavage has cleavage, your cup is too small, and you need to go up a cup size. Your breasts should fit comfortably inside of the cups, not heave over the edges like drunken sailors.

3. Your bras are all the same size, regardless of structure.

You might have a regular bra that’s a 36C, but then own a strapless bra and a balconette that are both that same size. This, according to Altman, is a big no-no.

“Think of it like jeans. You might be a size 28 in boyfriend jeans, but you may need a bigger size in skinny jeans.”

Bras are made in different styles and shapes, and each one is designed with various materials and support ideals. If you’re not checking with your body to see how each one should fit, you’re going to wind up not using the bra properly.

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So ladies, are you wearing the right size bra? Going to a local bra or lingerie retailer where getting fitted is absolutely free (though we can’t guarantee you won’t buy eight of a miracle bra you find in your perfect size).

Make sure to treat your girls right, since your breasts age faster than the rest of you and need the extra comfort.

Merethe Najjar is a professional writer, editor, and fiction author living in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their wonderful rescue cat. She graduated with a degree in creative writing and recently had her first sci-fi romance novel Mercury in Retrograde published. You can also find her on her website,, or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on June 8, 2016 and was updated with the latest information.