Does my bra fit?
It has been estimated that 80% of women wear the wrong size bra. Many women are not aware that they do not have to endure discomfort from their bras. With a simple fitting, a Certified Mastectomy Fitter can recommend which size and style will flatter a women’s appearance and provide the most comfort. Whether or not a women has had a mastectomy, a good fitting bra is essential for creating symmetry.
The National Lymphedema Network (USA) states that poor fitting bras can contribute to the formation of lymphedema of the upper extremities. Bra straps and bands that are too tight are thought to impede the flow of lymph fluid. It is important that someone who has a history of lymphedema have at least yearly bra fittings.
What makes a good fitting bra?
To get a good fitting bra you must first start with a good fitting. The fitter should measure and make recommendations for optimum fit and comfort of her patients. To assess the fit of the bra, the fitter will evaluate all the components of the bra to see how they match with the wearer’s unique proportions. Among these are:
The bra band should be snug, but not tight, using the middle set of hooks to fasten the bra. With a proper fit, you should be able to comfortable insert 1 finger under the band on each side, front and back. If the band rides up in the back, this is an indication the bra is too large.
The straps should fit snugly without cutting into the shoulders and sides. You should be able to get two fingers under the strap. Women who are large breasted or who have a history of lymphedema should always wear a bra with wider straps. Underwire bras can help take some of the pressure off the shoulders.
The cups should not force the breasts toward the sides or the center. There should be a natural looking separation of the breasts. The center portion of the bra should lie flat against the chest wall between the breasts. If the cup is not filled out or if it wrinkles, a smaller size, fiberfill or contour cup may work better. If the breast tissue overflows, a larger cup or a style with more coverage should be suggested. The underarm area should lie smooth without cutting into the flesh.
To test the fit of a bra sit down and take a deep breath. Does the bra feel binding? If so, it may be too snug. Too loose? Maybe the next size down would be better. Bras should be washed by hand with delicates wash or a mild soap and line dried. This will prolong the elasticity of the fabrics. The average lifespan of a bra is four to six months of daily use. Proper care extends the lifetime of the garment.