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Blog — Bra Fitting Guide


Several Bra Myths Busted 0

Although there are lots of information and advice online that help women deal with bra shopping and fitting, you should still be careful because there is also misinformation that can make you even more confused.  Actually there is so much misinformation and below is a list.

Bras can make your breasts sag

This myth sprung from a published report by a French scientist last spring.  It said that bras do not in any way benefit the breasts, but instead cause them to sag more  There is no concrete proof to this, says bra experts, because the study included certain ages of women and did not consider the women’s breast sizes into account. The general belief is that bras prevent breasts from sagging because of the support they provide.

It is beneficial to sleep with bras on

Well, this issue is dependent on a woman’s comfort.  You can sleep in your bras if feel like it, but if you don’t like for any reason, then don’t do it.  There is no proof that a bra  in bed will help nor harm the breasts.

Bra wearing can cause cancer, because toxins are trapped inside the cups

This is not true.  Internet may have stories linking bras to cancer, but you cannot find any credible research that supports the claim.

The average bra size is a 34B

Then it changed to 36C. There is a great difference in bra brands, sizes, models, styles and designs. So the true average bra size can not be ascertained, even if manufacturers are able to know which bras are the most saleable.

Breasts are mostly supported by the bra cups

No. The bands offer 90 percent of the support; the bra straps and cups simply help to carry the breasts. The right band should be snug, that is, it hugs your body and not rides up when you move around.  It also helps prevent the dreaded back fat from showing through clothing.

The lightest colored bra is the best option to wear with white tops

The truth is that the tone that is closest to your skin tone is the most ideal. It becomes less visible.  In simple words, if you have lighter skin, wear a lighter toned bra with a white top.  If you have darker skin, wear bra colors that are close to the color of your skin.

A good bra will stay with you forever

Nothing lasts forever, okay?  Bras can serve you only for up to nine months, but can last for one year if they are well taken cared of (like hand-washing, air-drying, storing properly, and having several pieces to rotate). Smaller bra cups may last longer than the larger ones, for obvious reasons.

There are other myths like: any style will work for your body, and you know what size you are even if you don’t go for a fit.  Again please be careful at accepting these advice and suggestion.


Why Is the Average American Bra Size Increasing? 0

The average bra size in the US has increased by almost three cup sizes, from the 34B bra size 20 years ago to 34DD at the present time.  Some lingerie retailers, yes, including us Orlinas Bra, have attested that bra sizes are really increasing.  These retailers report that the best selling bras are sizes 34E; and are also planning to include bigger sizes.

You may ask: what is the reason for this inflation?  Could it be that women’s breasts are actually growing, or there is a lessening stigma towards purchasing bras in larger sizes?  According to lingerie retailers, some factors in the increase in sizes may include breast implants and weight gain; but the most significant reason is that women today are choosing a bra size that is more appropriate to their bodies.  Specifically, women are more aware of their bodies and knowledgeable about bra fitting and breast health today than 20 years ago, when they tend to conform to the structure and squeeze their breasts into smaller cup sizes.

It is believed that the larger bra sizes demands come from a combination of better customer service, more abundance bra fitting guidance and an increased awareness among the women themselves.  In the past, women were more prone to purchase a bigger band and smaller cup size than their true size. The loose band easily rides up when the body moves and provides almost none support for the front.  Missing this most important support the breasts droop easier and earlier than they are supposed to.  Additionally, due to this lack of support from the band, the front weight almost exclusively falls on the straps, causing a lot of shoulder pain. 

Nowadays, thanks to the increasing channels of communication and media, women gradually realize that, by ignoring their own body’s needs, they are paying a price not only to the appearance but also their health.  They can say bye to all the discomfort a bad fitting bra causes (the straps leaving red marks on shoulders and ribs, the wires digging in, the breasts spilling over the cup tops, bad look in the clothes etc.) by just embracing their bodies and not feeling shy to pick up a bigger cup and smaller bands, which closely cater to their body and provide more support, lift and ultimately, comfort.

Orlinas Bra applauds this trend and encourages every woman to start to know their body, love their body and not shy of showing their body.  Small or big breasts, they are beautiful in their own way.  The bra’s role is to cater to, support and demonstrate the breasts, not depress them.  To do so, the very important step, get bra fitting, either do it yourself according to our guidance or by professional fitter, and find the right bra size.

Bigger Bra Cup Sizes May Fit Better…Sometimes 0

You won’t believe it, but a great majority of women all over the world wear bras that are incorrectly sized.  Many are using bras with back sizes that are too big and cup sizes that are too small. The most popular bra size bought by women is a 36C, so this is the most quoted size, but actually, those who are wearing this size should use instead a 34D or a 30E, which may fit better on them.

The sizes of bras are expressed in numbers and letter(s).  The number represents the band or back size, while the letter(s) represent the cup size. A fact which is not yet known to all women is that the cup sizes are proportionate to the band sizes. Women often think that an A cup is very small, and a DD is very big, but this should not to be the case.  The letter, say an A or a DD is the difference in measurement between your busts and back. For example, if your bra is a 32D it is also the same cup volume as a 34C or 36B ( as the number (band size) becomes smaller, the letter (cup size) increases.)

If you are a large woman, you may still need to wear a band size which is smaller, as the band size is the size of only your rib cage and excludes the other parts of your body which remain curvy.  Further, gaining or losing even only a few pounds will have an effect on your bra size, although many women do not consider this despite re-sizing other clothing.

Women’s bra sizes are available today on a wider range, making it more confusing to determine your exact size. Sometimes you get tempted to stick to the familiar, or you wear a certain size for so long you fail to notice that it does not fit well anymore.  Because you think that is only normal, the discomforts are not realized.

The increasing awareness of women about wearing an undergarment that fits properly prompts women to look for bra sizes that are bigger than A to D cups.  This is a sign that women of today are starting to correct the mistake of wearing a wrongly sized bra. We all saw it during the past years, when a woman had to make do with a B, C or D cup.  Some go simply without it.  Today, more bra sizes are being made available online or in boutiques, so more options are there for them to purchase the right size.

The common advice is for women to get themselves fitted by professional fitter at reputable shops or specialty lingerie store.  Orlinas also has an online guide to help you get measured yourself.  Wearing the right size bra will not only boost your self confidence, but can also prevent the physical problems associated with the wrong size bra.  You won’t have the headache, neck pains, back and shoulder pains, poor posture, and the strap red markings on your shoulders. Instead, you will be comfortable moving about and wearing your bra the whole day at work or play.

Was Your Properly Fitted Bra Painful At First? 0

If your bra is properly fitted but you experience pain when first wearing it, perhaps you’re just having a break-in-period for the new bra. Did you use a looser band before the new bra?  It’s just like adjusting to a new pair of shoes:  you feel the tightness because the old shoes had loosened. If your bra is painful, you can try to adjust your body to wearing it, maybe several hours at a time.  This should stop the pain, but if you continue to feel it, it’s a different story.

Maybe the “properly fitted bra” isn’t really a proper fit. Have yourself resized again to find the correct size.  Sometimes even if you have measured your size again and again, you still can’t get a rightly fitting bra.  In this case, you need to rely on the signs of a poorly fitting undergarment.  Below are some common signs for you to see if you notice any one of these being the case with your new bra.

1.  Your shoulders have grooves and marks because the bra straps are digging into them.

The support provided by the bra to your breasts should come from the band instead of the straps. When straps dig in to your shoulders, it is an indication that you are placing too much weight to the straps and this situation can result in your discomfort, pain, slouching and marks that most often become permanent. You need to go down band size until it becomes firm and supportive and your two fingers can fit under it.

2.  The bra wires are sitting on breast tissue.

Your breasts should entirely be encased in the wires on all sides. If the wires sit on the breast tissue, there could be issues of too much need for readjusting, shifting an ill fitting look, uneven redistribution of breast weight, pain, and other problems. To solve this problem, you need to go up a cup size, or as many cup sizes as necessary.

3.  The bra center gore isn’t touching your sternum, or it isn’t firm against your sternum.

This is a sign that your bra cups are too small.  So, the best solution to this is to go up in your cup size (down in back or band size), until you have the center gore completely sitting against your sternum.  This solution also makes sure that no wires will be sitting on your breast tissue.

4.  The bra band is either sitting too low or riding up in the back.

This is the most common sign of an ill fitting bra – too small cups and too big band.  This sign tells that the breasts are not given the proper support by the bra, which functions more sling-like rather than support-provider. Your new bra band should sit straight and firm across your back, and you should clasp it on the loosest hook. You need to get a smaller back size (and higher cup size), until the band across your back is firm and flat.

5.  Your breasts are over flowing out of the cups, resulting in “quadra boobs” or “four boobs” look.

This is a sign that the bra cups are too small for your boobs, or the wires are sitting on your breast tissue.  The bra should not be creating a bulging effect, but a smooth line.  You need to increase your cup size until the bulging is gone.


Things about Bras That You Never Knew…Until Now 0

You and I always hear it often said that only 10% of women wear the right size bra. So if your underwire seems to punch your sides and your bra straps are constantly falling off from your shoulders, it is not the fault of your body. It means that you are among the 90% who are wearing the wrong size bra.  There are things about bra that you’d wish you have known earlier, and they are listed below.

1.  Had you known that bra cup sizes are relative to the sizes of the bands? Yes, it’s true.  When you change your band size into a smaller one, the cup size should be larger.  Simply put, reducing your band by one size means that you should increase your cup by one size. Had you also known that there is a sister size?  These are bra sizes that have the same mass volume.  If your bra is a 34C, then a 32D or a 36B may also fit you. You can find sister size charts online which you can refer to, so you won’t be using bras with too small cup sizes and too large band sizes.

2.  If you keep adjusting when you put a bra on, try the “scoop and swoop” method.  It goes like this:  put on your bra and bend at the waist.  While in the bending position, scoop and adjust and put everything in place. Then stand up straight and get surprised at your new form acreage.  The method is effective, try it.

3.  There are two kinds of breast shapes:  (1) full-on-the-top, and (2) full-on-the-bottom.  If your breasts fall into no. 2, there might be a gape at the top of the cups and you might think that the cup size is bigger than it should.  This shouldn’t be the case, because there are bras that are designed purposefully to fit either the no. 1 or no. 2 shape, or both.

4.  Ill fitting bra can smash your breast tissue upward, that leads to a lot of back folds and armpit flabs. The remedy to this is a rightly fitting bra; it can reduce or totally eliminate these problems.

5.  Most women’s bras are found to be too large on the band size, and the cup sizes are too small.  Make a self- measurement, three times if possible.  You can do it manually using a tape measure, or a bra calculator.  If you do both things right, you will get the same results, and you can proceed to buy the bra according to the size given to you.

6.  Make sure that the bra fits right by making sure that they are snug, and you can insert your two fingers under the band. One other thing about buying a bra is that it should fit on the last hook, although maybe this is nothing new to you.  I, too, have read about this advice when I make my research about bra fitting.  With the bra fitting at the last hook, you will be provided with enough room when it begins to get stretched.

Knowing all about this information, you go now and measure yourself up and purchase your best fitting bra.

First Bra Buying Guide 0

Talking about purchasing the first bra, teens and preteens find this task somewhat embarrassing.  Why?  Because, well, what you will purchase is something that you will wear under... ha ha… an underwear. It can also be exciting, because it means that you are growing and nearing womanhood.

If you feel that you’re ready for your first bra, don’t get shy or nervous to talk to your mom about it.  Maybe you’re waiting for her to bring it up to you, but if she doesn't  it’s okay that you make the suggestion. You can tell her that you think you should start to wear a bra, because you are developing.  Ask her if she could take you to the mall to try and buy one or two. Really, she will be surprised, but will appreciate your bringing it up to her. What a smart kid she got!

Having two bras to use as starter is ideal.  You can always go back to the store if you feel that you need more.  Bras for younger girls are called teen bras, bralettes, or training bras. These names refer to one and the same item – bras with cups that are lacking in underwire and are intended for use by teens and preteens.  They can be bought in small, medium, and large sizes, but some styles come in standard sizes.

Before heading to the mall, you may suggest shopping in a place that is not frequently visited by your classmates and friends.  You don’t have to tell your mom that you feel partly embarrassed once friends see you buying an undergarment, she will know from her own experience when she bought her first bra. However, if you’re really on to it, and you understand that it is part of your body growing, you can go to more popular bra stores in the malls, or visit high end bra boutiques.  Where you should buy your first bra is a matter of your own personal choice.

Another thing before you two go out shopping, ask your mom to measure you.  Or, you measure yourself if you know how to do it.  Maybe you’ve read about bra buying and learnt how to get the right measurement.  There are plenty guides online to help you. See Orlinas bra sizing for a detailed instruction.  Otherwise, you can go to a high end bra shop and find a staff there who can do the measurement for you. The important things to consider when buying your bra are comfort and fit. Try on several sizes and styles, ask your mom to help you put each one on and adjust the straps.  You move around a bit so you will know how it feels.  If you needed several tries before you find the bra that fits, it’s perfectly alright.  

Training bras are mostly available in cotton fabric and white color. You can wear them under most of your tops. You can even try some “fun” bras, which come in all kinds of available colors.