For many women, the act of shopping for a new bra is enough to induce a panic attack. Go ahead, Google it. There are pages of stories of women who want to cry at the mere thought of getting a new bra.
Why? What makes buying a bra so terrible? For some, it’s the mere thought of walking into a store filled with lacy undergarments that could only have been made for a race of superhumans.
Who are these women with perfect breasts and six-pack abs anyway? We’ll take a look at some of the reasons why we find bra shopping so stressful, and what we can do about it.
Stressor #1: You associate bras with torture devices.
This is probably because your bra doesn’t fit correctly. Many women put up with ill-fitting bras because that's just how it is, right?" Wrong! Believe it or not, your bra should be comfortable.
You don’t have to put up with underwire that digs into your armpit, or bra bands that chafe. To make sure that your bra fits properly you need to pay attention to the following areas: band, straps, underwire, and cups.
Here’s what to look for:
- Bra band: should be snug enough that you can slip two fingers underneath, no more or less. It should be parallel with the ground all the way around.
- Straps: should not be digging into the skin and should not be too loose. Just like with the band, you should be able to slide two fingers underneath.
- Underwire: should surround the breast tissue entirely. It should never poke into the breast, and it shouldn't be sitting on top of the breast at the bottom or in the middle.
- Cups: should encompass all of the breast tissue. The breasts should fill the cups without leaving any gaps or spilling over. If you’re spilling out your cups are too small and if there are gaps the cups are too big.
Stressor #2: You’re wearing the wrong size.
This goes along with #1. If you’re wearing the wrong size, you’re not having a good bra experience. In 1998, Dr. Pechter published the findings of a small study. He found that at least 70 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra. One reason for this is that we don’t measure correctly.
Many women simply don’t know how to properly measure themselves, or they rely on someone else to measure for them. Another common reason for wearing the wrong size is that sizing is not standard within the bra industry.
Just because you’re a 38D in one store doesn’t mean that a 38D from another store will fit you the same. Yes, it’s maddening, but that’s why it’s so important to know how a bra should fit. That way you know what needs to be adjusted.
Stressor #3: You don’t think there are a lot of options.
It used to be true that bras above a D cup were pretty frumpy looking. Not only was the style subpar, but trying to find certain sizes was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Thankfully those days are gone and there is more size availability than ever before. Not only are there more size options, but the styles are much more feminine and stylish as well.
Stressor #4: You’re not willing to spend the money on a quality bra.
We’ll admit it; we used to be these women. No way were we going to pay $50 or more for something only we were going to see! It was big box store bras for us all the way. $14.99 for a pretty push-up? Sold! We used to think that quantity was greater than quality, but thankfully we are now older and wiser.
You really do get what you pay for when it comes to bras. What good is spending $15 when you have to replace the bra every couple of months? Also, cheap bras are more prone to stretch sooner and have underwire that breaks easily.
We only needed to be stabbed by broken underwire one time before learning our lesson. A high-quality bra is an investment. Not only is it more comfortable but it fits better and therefore looks better. Just like that make-up brand says, we’re worth it - and so are you!
Added bonus: if you’re buying quality bras, you need to do it less often! If you’re still hesitant, try investing in a good quality everyday bra like a t-shirt bra. You can wear it with almost anything and will get your money’s worth.
Stressor #5 You don’t take care of your bras.
Combine #4 with this one and you have a recipe for disaster. You should try to always hand wash your bras, or at least put them in a lingerie bag if you absolutely have to machine wash them.
Do not put them in the dryer unless you want to ruin the elastic and the shape of the cups. Things will go downhill much faster if you’re buying cheap bras. If you’re going to make the investment in quality lingerie make sure that you take care of it!
Stressor #6. You don’t feel comfortable with your body
This can turn shopping for clothes of any kind into a stressful ordeal. We don’t have any magic words to make your insecurities go away, but just know that we are all dealing with this on some level.
Not feeling comfortable about your body is no reason to not take care of yourself. We are all a work in progress and are constantly evolving, but we are more than our waist size or our bra size.