I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it 100 more times — I don’t do anything without a list. That includes shopping for the perfect bra! I know — I’m kind of nuts. But being prepared when making any kind of purchase is so helpful and makes your life so much easier — why not try it?
A good-fitting bra is arguably the most important garment in a woman’s wardrobe. Lucky for me my good friend, Jené Luciani, happens to be a bra guru and is willing to share her list for buying the perfect bra.
by Jené Luciani
1. Choose a store that has a wide selection of bras and trained bra fitters on hand, like Frederick’s of Hollywood. Measure yourself first as a guideline, especially if shopping online.
2. Go to the store armed with a list of what you need and plan to buy: i.e., two nude bras, two black bras, one strapless, the best sports bra, one bra without underwire for comfort (this will vary from person to person). Remember: nude goes under nearly everything.
3. Be aware of your body type so you know what bras to look for. For example, if you are more of a top-heavy “apple,” you likely will be looking for fuller coverage bras, not demi-cups.
4. Wear or bring a thin t-shirt to the store so you can see what each bra looks like under the sheerest of circumstances.
5. Be open-minded about your size. If you’re surprised (or disappointed), remember that size is just a number (and a letter!). The proper fit of the bra is the most important part.
6. Wear a different size. If you’re in a bind and there’s a bra that you really love but they don’t have your size, it’s usually OK to go up a band size and down a cup size – or vice versa.
7. Don’t be afraid to put the bra on and face yourself in the mirror with a critical eye. If you see any gaps, spillage, digging in, or other signs of poor fit, it’s not the right bra. Turn around and look at the back as well. The back band can be very telling too when it comes to proper fit.
8. Don’t forget to pick up some bra accessories, too, so you avoid any faux pas! Breast petals and double-sided tape are always good to have on hand.
9. Don’t get stuck in a size rut. Write down the date of your visit and be sure to plan another one six months to a year later (our sizes fluctuate due to weight gain, hormonal changes, aging and other life changes so it’s important to get fitted at least once a year!) Our bras also need to be replaced every 6 months to a year due to wear and tear so it’s a good rule of thumb.
10. Be sure to properly care for your bras! It’s best to hand wash but if you must put in the washing machine, make sure it’s encased in a protective garment bag. Always air dry – never put your bras in the dryer!
Jené Luciani is a celebrity style expert, author of The Bra Book (BenBella Books, 2009) and regular Life & Style Weekly and Today Show contributor, to name a few. You can find out more about her by visiting www.JeneLuciani.com and get more of her tips by visiting her blog, Jene’s Jems.