Bra Fitting Tips

Let’s go bra shopping!

In the fitting room, women often tell us that they’ve always felt uncomfortable in bras and have just resigned themselves to the idea that “that’s just the way it is”.  Not so!  A properly fitted bra should leave you feeling supported and comfortable without necessarily being conscious of wearing a bra…yes, even in a bra with underwire.

Here are a few things you should look for at your next bra-shopping trip:

The Band– The band’s function is to provide support for the weight of the breast and in order to do this well, it has to fit snugly, but comfortably, around your back. If when you move your arms your band moves, it is likely too loose.

The Underwire– All of the breast should fit comfortably inside the underwire and it should not feel as though it is poking or digging into breast tissue. Underwire is not your enemy! Underwired bras tend to provide more lift, support, and shaping than a soft bra can.

The Cups– Breasts should be encased in the cups and not spilling out the side, top, or bottom. If you have wrinkling or gaps, and all of your breast tissue is in the cup, the cup is likely too big.

The Straps-The support of a well-fitted bra should come from the band and not the straps.  Straps are primarily meant to keep the cups in place and not provide any substantial amount of support.

With this in mind you are well on your way to finding the best fitting bra for you, but we can all do with a little (ahem) support. If your bra has previously been your enemy we at Underpinnings are here to help.  Give us a call or click to book your bra intervention today!

5 signs it is time to ditch that bra

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We get it, you found that awesomely sexy bra in your favourite colour that goes so well with practically every outfit you own… but it’s two years old and we’re here to tell you that it is time to give it up! Yes, it is time. Chances are you are already hooking the bra on the last row, chances are you’ve tightened the straps to the tightest it can go and if the bra has any underwire (or bones as it’s not so fondly called), it has been making its presence known for a while. It is time to give it up! But, just in case you are still unconvinced, here are a few signs that you do indeed need to give that bra up.

  1. It is uncomfortable: Many women enjoy walking into the house after a long day and ditching their bras post haste, but have you found that you want to ditch your bra in the middle of the day? Or, maybe it feels like it fits like a vise as soon as you put it on. Well my dear, this is one of the first signs that you need to ditch that bra!
  2. It has lost its elasticity: Are you already on the last row of hooks on your bra, or have your straps been tightened to their last? Is there no more stretch or bounce back in the elastic of your bra? Then, this is a sure-fire sign that your bra is no longer doing its job of supporting your girls. Bras need to be at their tip top elasticity in order to give you the support you need and if they are not (especially as they would be after a few years), it is not supporting you as it should. If this is your bra, then it is time to ditch it!
  3. There are lumps and bumps and it no longer holds its form:  If your favourite bra has turned lumpy and shapeless, then it is time to ditch it! If there are any lumps, bumps or unevenness in the cups it means that you are probably not getting the support you need. Ditch that shapeless bra!
  4. It is too small: This goes without saying, right? Well, you would be surprised that about 80% of women are wearing the wrong sized bra and they don’t know it. This is why we suggest that you get yourself professionally fitted; especially after gaining or losing weight or having a baby. Wearing a too-small bra can cause pain and discomfort and does not support your breasts in the way a bra should. Breasts go through many changes throughout our life, which is why having a perfectly fitting bra is important, always. So ditch that bra and make an appointment to get fitted!
  5. It is falling apart: We know, we know, it is the perfect colour, the right size and it goes so well with everything, but the lace has gotten a bit rough and there are some strings hanging out. Your favourite bra is falling apart, and you have to replace it. If it is falling apart, then chances are its ability to support your breasts adequately has also been compromised. So, make a decision, ditch that bra and go shopping!

Think about it…even if you have three great bras in your wardrobe that means you wear each one over one hundred times each year! Even the best of bras will wear out after a while. Don’t hold on to something that may be causing you pain and discomfort. Now that you know the warning signs, ditch that bra, get measured and go get some new favourite bras!


Three major benefits of wearing a proper sports bra

Panache sport bra, available at Underpinnings

When you joined the gym, or decided to partake in that Zumba class, you bought all the things you thought necessary for your new exercise adventure. Water bottle =check, cute gym outfits= check, branded sneakers= check! But what about a new sports bra? Did you think that the cute lace number that you wear everyday would be suitable? Well, I have some news for you, no it is not! Yes, your everyday bra has been professionally fitted, and it was one of the best investments you’ve made in yourself, but it cannot do the job of a sports bra, and here’s why: sports bras are manufactured to provide a level of support and comfort during exercise that the typical everyday bra does not.

Here are the top 3 reasons why you should be fitted for a sports bra as soon as possible:

1. Avoid permanent damage to breast tissue and ligaments: Exercising without a sports bra can cause damage to breast ligaments (called Cooper’s ligaments) causing the breasts to sag and droop. No matter the breast size, damage can be done when the chest is not properly supported during physical activity. A supportive and well-fitted sports bra will protect your breasts and minimise any damage to the soft tissue and ligaments.

2. Maintain comfort while exercising:  The moisture-wicking materials of a sports bra makes them better equipped for exercise. Manufacturers of sports bras pay attention to making the bras out of materials that will keep you comfortable while exercising, while preventing you from chafing (something that can develop from wearing a wet bra during prolonged physical activity).

3. Reduce pain and discomfort: Wearing a sports bra prevents breast pain by reducing bounce. Sports bras are designed to restrict movement, which means less pain. However, you need to make sure that you replace a sports bra every 6-8 months after continuous wear to make sure that the supporting fibres are not worn out.

With that said, now is a GREAT time to make that appointment to have yourself fitted for the perfect sports bra. Visit us at book.prettyunderpinnings.com and we’ll get you properly outfitted for your fitness adventure!


Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Get A Professional Fitting.

Have you ever considered getting a professional bra fitting? Maybe you have been following Underpinnings on social media and have asked yourself, ‘I wonder if I should make an appointment to have a fitting?’ Maybe you have been hesitant because you think that your bras fit pretty well, and a bra fitting is only for “certain” people or maybe you think it is a waste of time. Whatever the cause for your hesitation, we think that making that appointment to get a professional fitting may be the best decision you have ever made!

Want to know why? Read on for the top 5 reasons you need to make that appointment for a fitting today.

1.  Your bra hurts: Many women feel a sense of freedom at the end of the day when they remove their bras because it has been feeling like a vice all day. Well, did you know that your bra is not supposed to feel like that? Your bra is not a torture device and it certainly is not supposed to hurt you. In fact, when a bra fits well you shouldn’t even feel as if you are wearing one. A bra fitting would help you find the correct sizes and styles and will alleviate all of that unnecessary pain. From the poking of the underwire, to the sinking, pressing sensation of a too-tight shoulder strap; a professional fitting will get you into the perfect bra in minutes.

2. Your weight has changed: We are not talking about a two pound weight difference here; we are talking about a difference of 8-10 pounds or more. Since breasts are made of mostly fatty tissue, when you either gain or lose weight, the fit of the cups would be noticeably different. Additionally, the fit of the band, which is the part that goes around your rib-cage, would also be affected. Suddenly your bra would be either too tight or too loose in all the wrong places. A professional fitting would alleviate this problem and get you into the perfect fit in a style you love.

3.  Peace of mind: Have you ever gone to one of those ‘bra boutiques’ and felt as if you could not get the help you needed? They simply gave you the size you asked for and rushed you to the cashier, while simultaneously moving on to another shopper. Have you ever asked them a serious question about the fit and the longevity of the product and gotten either a stock response, or no response at all? Well, when you deal with a professional bra fit consultant you will get the peace of mind that you are dealing with someone who knows their product and cares about helping YOU, the individual client. All questions would be answered; you will get individual attention because their job is to help you and find you that fit that would boost your confidence and relieve any discomfort. Many bra-fit professionals are women who have had similar problems, and with their knowledge they dedicate their time to help other women.

4.  Many women wear the wrong sized bra: Some numbers we have seen suggest 85% or more, and from first-hand experience at the boutique we can attest that the vast majority of our first time customers come in wearing bras that do not fit well.  The question is, why is this number so high? Well, too often we follow the advice of non-professionals who tend to pigeon-hole women due to their body shape. Or, we have only been exposed to the mainstream brands, many of which have a very limited size range. This is why a professional fit is needed; a bra-fit professional can guide the process to a correct fit.

5.  Body confidence: Yes, the way your bra fits can affect your level of confidence. Have you ever gone shopping and seen the perfect blouse, you try it on and somehow it does not drape well over your body? You notice it does not look right because the fit of your bra is making it bulge or pucker in places it should not, or your bra does not support you well enough so your posture is negatively affected. But the moment you get that perfect fit you feel like a million bucks! It is simple, having that perfect fit affects the level of comfort you have in your body, and can affect the level of confidence you project! All you need is a well fitting bra or lingerie set to get you feeling like a rock star!


Top 5 ways to pick the perfect bra

Finding bras that look good and feel comfortable can sometimes feel like a real struggle, but we here at Underpinnings have a few ways to help you through the process of finding the perfect bras:

  1. Get a fitting: Of course this would be number 1! But, by now you know this is not just us tooting our own horns (but *toot*). A professional fitting can change the way you feel about bras and can literally change your life.
  2. Try it on the right way: Lean forward, scoop your breast tissue into the cups and fasten the back. Stand up and adjust the straps. This method is the foolproof method to make sure that your breasts are well positioned in the cups, so you can quickly tell if it is the perfect fit for you, or if you need to move  on to another option.
  3. Move with it on: When you lift your arms, your bra should not move. If it is riding up, then you are in need of a better fitting bra. So, if you need to practice your dance moves in the dressing room to find that perfect fit, then have at it!
  4. Check for Spills: If you have under-boob, quadruple-boob or even uni-boob, you need a better bra. That one is not it! No need to squeeze your poor breast tissue in an attempt to get cleavage. Let them breathe.
  5. It fits on the loosest clasp: This clasp is where you should begin. Overtime, the band may stretch and then you will need to use the additional clasps. If you have to fasten it on the tightest clasp in the fitting room hen this is not the bra for you.

So, there you have it. 5 simple tips to pick the perfect bra. Don’t forget to make your appointment for a fitting (and bring a friend). It is time to love your bra!


How to navigate your first fitting

 

Chances are you have seen the harrowing statistic that 85% of women are wearing the wrong sized bra. Chances also are that you didn’t believe it, because why would so many women walk around wearing the wrong size? Well, the thing is most women don’t know the telltale signs of an ill-fitting bra, and because everyone else around us complains about bras being uncomfortable, we believe that this is just the way it is.  If everyone else is experiencing underwire pain, we start to all expect this as par for the course.

However, you should not accept pain and discomfort, making the decision to get a fitting will help you to live your best bra life and then you can be the catalyst in another woman’s life by suggesting a bra- intervention. 

But what exactly is a bra fitting and what should you expect? Well, this post is going to help you navigate your way through your very first fitting.

What is a bra fitting exactly?
A bra fitting is best done by a trained bra-fit consultant who can take into consideration the position of your breasts on your ribcage, shape, size etc in order to find the fits that suit your unique body.  A perfect fit improves posture and helps your outer layers fit better, ensuring you always look your best.

Dispel fears and educate yourself on what to expect
No you will not be poked and prodded! You will not be paraded in front of other customers in your unmentionables! Relax, breathe. A bra fitting at Underpinnings is an intimate experience between you and the bra-fit consultant. The decision about whether to disrobe or not, in front of the bra-fit consultant is dependent on you. If you are a bit shy you can put on the bras in the dressing room before the consultant comes in to assess the fit, if you aren’t shy, then by all means have at it! Your comfort in this is important so don’t be afraid to speak up.
At Underpinnings, we make you the centre of attention. A fitting usually involves a pre-discussion, and then we ask the client to remove as many layers as they are comfortable. Measurements are made, and then you get to try on some enviable pieces that you can make your own! A simple process that makes a world of difference.

Bring a friend
Bringing a friend is an amazing idea! Bring two and have a full on bra-intervention party! The more the merrier. The more friends that you help out, the lower that statistic gets. Also, who does not like to show off a cute underwear purchase to their girlfriends?

Be open
Try on as many styles as the bra-fit consultant gives you. Finding out that you are a totally different size can be a bit strange at first, but be open to it because it will only benefit you in the long run.

Make that appointment!
So now that you have an idea about what to expect at a fitting, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and book your bra-intervention today! Log on to: book.prettyunderpinnings.com


How to tell when it is time to retire your bra

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​There comes a time in every bra’s life where you need to let it go. Many of us try to hold on to our bras way past their prime and that only leads to pain and heartache. So, we here at Underpinnings wanted to do our duty to try to help you know when it is time to break up with your bra by providing you with 5 easy-to-remember tips.

Tip number 1: Your weight has changed
Whether it is on purpose, or just a force of nature, whenever your weight changes significantly (think 10 lbs or more) you are more than likely going to need a new bra. When a bra is too loose or too tight it means it is not actually fitting right. It is time to break up and get a new fitting!

Tip number 2: A wire has come out
Now, this may be obvious, but we have seen some things! If you notice that a wire has popped out of your bra, it is time to say goodbye. Do not try to save it! There is no hope and anything you do would only lead to frustration.

Tip number 3: The hooks are damaged
If you can’t hook your bra it has literally stopped being worth it. How would it hold? Step away from that safety pin and go out and get you a new bra!

Tip number 4: The underwire does not rest on your skin
Every part of your bra has a specific function and if they are way past their prime, they cannot provide you with the comfort and support that a bra should. The underwire of your bra must lay flush against your skin in order to provide you with adequate lift and support, if they are out of position it cannot do its work. It should not cause you discomfort!

Tip number 5: The band rides up
So you have had the bra for a few years and over time you have made it to the tightest closure, and yet still it does not fit snug. This is a clear sign that your bra has surpassed its time. Bra bands are meant to fit well on the loosest or middle set of hooks when now purchased, but stretch out over time (the purpose of the other hooks). If it does not fit snug even on the tightest hook, it has stretched out too much and it’s time to get another.

Is it time for you to break up with some of your bras? 


#BraIntervention – Your Bra is Not Your Enemy!

Are you one of those women who can’t wait to get home so you can finally take off your bra? You might have had the thought that your bra doesn’t “feel right”, but you don’t know what the problem is or how to fix it. Consider this your Bra Intervention!

Quadraboob
If your bra cups are too small they can cut into your breasts, giving the impression of four breasts instead of two! This can be painful and has the added disadvantage of not being the best look under your tops.

Sideboob
Often seen on the runway, this look is best when it’s intentional as opposed to the unintended result of a bra that doesn’t fit! You should not have excess breast tissue overflowing the side of your bra or settling under your armpits.

 

The Seesaw
​When the band is too loose it rides up at the back and hangs too low in the front, giving the opposite of a perky appearance.

 

 

 

 

Deep Grooves
Bra straps that dig into your shoulders are not just a painful nuisance but can lead to long term problems such as permanent indentations in your shoulders, headaches, back pain and even nerve damage.

 

 

 

It’s Time For an Intervention!
Your bra should fit comfortably without digging or pressing in. At Underpinnings we help you choose the styles and sizes that are right for your body. Your bra does not have to be your enemy, in fact it’s your right to have a bra that fits well, looks good and is comfortable!

5 Ways to Care for Your Lingerie

According to this bra fun fact, women worldwide spend US$16 billion annually on bras. That’s a whopping amount of cash for undergarments!
A good bra that supports and flatters is an investment, so you want to treat it well to get the most use possible.
To ensure the longevity of your lingerie (your bra should last up to 18 eighteen months, with proper care and use), and to make sure that they look and feel good, we have the following tips for you:

1. Look at the care label. 

​Those itchy little tags at the band of your bra? The manufacturer put them there for a reason. Before you snip them away, read what’s on the label so you’ll know how to care for your undergarments. Lingerie are made from different materials and may require different water temperatures and drying instructions. Is the label full of hard-to-decode symbols? This laundry symbols chart should help.

2. Wash your delicates by hand.

​They’re called delicates for a reason! Bras are made of fragile materials and require more care than other pieces of clothing. Throwing your bras in the washing machine may cause the underwire to warp and its delicate trimmings to snag. Even if your bra doesn’t have underwire, the band could overstretch and would no longer be a perfect fit.

Your safest bet is to hand wash each item in cold water and mild detergent. If you must wash your undergarments in a washing machine, put them inside a mesh bag first and set the machine to the gentle cycle. Clasp the hooks in place so they don’t rip holes into the delicate fabric (very important especially if your underwear has lace).

And don’t mix your white undergarments with colored ones. Lingerie fabrics can easily pick up dyes from colored items, so do a separate wash as needed.

3. Use a mild detergent. 

Many detergents contain bleach that can weaken the fibers of your lingerie. A great alternative to detergents is baby shampoo. Soak your delicates in water and mild soap for a few minutes before washing. Make sure to pay extra attention to areas that trap sweat such as under the arms and the band. And don’t forget to rinse thoroughly. Soap residue weakens the  fabric and can cause skin irritations.

4. Avoid wringing your bras. 

​We know how tempting it is to wring your bra after washing, but don’t. Doing so will only deform its shape. To squeeze out water, gently press on the cups with your palms. Another way to do it is to place your bras on a towel and gently pat them dry before hanging.  This is especially useful to help shorten drying time for molded or padded “t-shirt” bras.

5. Air dry your undergarments. 

Speaking of drying, it’s best to dry your delicates on a line (hang from the center not the strap to prevent overstretching) rather than in the dryer. The heat from the dryer warps elastics and can causes padded cups to wrinkle. Even if the label says it’s okay to pop your lingerie in the dryer, the best thing you can do to preserve your undergarments is to air dry them.
And now for the question we get asked often: How often should you wash your bras?

Unfortunately we don’t know the original source of this hilarious graphic. If you do please let us know so we can give due credit!

The short answer here is it depends. If you perspire a lot it’s best to wash your undergarments right after you wore them. This is especially true for sports bras which soak in a lot of perspiration.

However, if it’s just a normal day at home or in an air conditioned office, a general rule of thumb is after every couple wears.  According to Lexie Sachs, product analyst in the Textiles Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, washing a bra too often can damage the elasticity and as a result it can become less supportive. Takeaway: your bras will give you good support for a longer time if you wash them less often. But there’s a caveat here: if you don’t wash them frequently enough, you risk skin irritation and ruining the quality of your lingerie.

For women who have a particular bra that they really love, give your intimates time to breathe. Rotate them every few days to let the elastics readjust. Wearing the same bras far too often can make them lose shape and support.

Show your bra some TLC and it’ll love you back.

Bra School for Teens and Tweens

Have you been wearing bras for a while now or are you new to this whole bra thing?  Either way, we want to make sure you’re set up for a happy bra-wearing lifetime. Welcome to the Underpinnings bra school (don’t worry, there’ll be no pop quiz!)

What size am I anyway?

Source: nowthatslingerie.com

Many adult women aren’t wearing the right size bras so don’t worry if you aren’t sure what size you need either! Bra sizes combine a band size and a cup size. The band size is based on the measurement around your ribcage, just under your bust. The band of your bra should be snug enough (on the loosest or middle set of hooks) to make sure it doesn’t move when you raise your arms or move around but not so snug that you feel it’s tight. This is pretty important because if the band doesn’t fit correctly you’re probably going to find that the bra is uncomfortable.

The cup size isn’t so straightforward and really depends on the number, or band size, it is attached to. For example, a 36D and a 30D are two very different cup sizes. Even though they are both ’D’ the 36D will hold a bigger breast than a 30D would. It can get confusing, so here’s what you need to know: figure out the band size that stays in place around your ribcage comfortably and then try on bras with that band size but different cup sizes until you find the one that fits, which brings us to…

A word about underwire

Despite what you may have heard from the adult women around you, bras should not be uncomfortable. In a bra that fits properly you shouldn’t even really remember that you have it on. When you are trying on bras, check to make sure that the underwire is lying flat against your ribcage all the way around, and not resting directly on your breast at any point.  Think about it, if you were wearing a bra in which a piece of metal or hard plastic was poking your breast all day wouldn’t you be uncomfortable too?  If that’s happening it’s a sure sign that the bra cups are too small, increase your cup size until you find one that can contain your entire breast.

How to put on a bra ‘correctly’

Once you’ve got some bras that fit well the next step is learning to put them on.  The best way to put your bra on is to place your arms through the shoulder straps while leaning forward slightly and do the hooks up behind you.  Leaning forward helps make sure that the fullest part of your breast makes its way into the fullest part of the cup – that way there is less adjusting to do once the bra is on.  Until you get the hang of it though, hooking the band behind you can feel a bit awkward so an easier alternative can be to hook the bra around your waist in front of you then turn it around and while leaning slightly forward put your arms through the shoulder straps and raise the cups into place.  An important note with this method- when you bring the cups around your waist to the front they should already be facing the correct direction – meaning they should not be upside down so that you need to flip them rightside up.  Especially in a bra with underwire this flipping motion can distort the shape of the underwire which means the bra won’t last as long before you have to replace it.

Get the most out of your bras

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Washing and drying
We have to say that washing your bras by hand is the absolute best way to have them last a long time (because it’s true) but really we just want to make sure that you don’t throw them in the washing machine with your jeans.  If you’re going to wash them in the machine use a mesh laundry bag to protect them and use the delicate cycle of the washing machine…they’re called “delicates” for a reason after all.  We will put our foot down at the dryer though. Never, ever put your bras in the dryer – heat and the delicate materials that bras are made of do not work well together.  Instead hang them out to dry.
Bra rotation
Don’t wear the same bra two days in a row- remember the band is stretchy and if it’s constantly stretched around your body it will get loose too quickly.  Instead wait at least 24 hours between wears. 

When to replace
Your body is still developing and the shape of your breasts may still be changing.  If you notice that your breasts are starting to overflow the cups of the bra or the underwire is pinching or squeezing breast tissue it’s time to overhaul your bra collection.  Similarly, if your size hasn’t changed but you notice that you’re using the tightest hooks and the bra band still shifts up and down your ribcage it is likely that the band is stretched out and the bra needs to be replaced.  To keep it simple – if your bras are no longer providing comfortable support it’s time to go shopping.  Fun! 


Your first bra fitting

We know that this can be a tricky phase of your life and the idea of taking off your clothes in front of a strange woman might not be so appealing, but trust us – the right bra fit consultant will make you feel extremely comfortable and will make your bra shopping experience enjoyable.  While we will need to see you in the bra to assess the fit, you never need to be bare chested if that makes you uncomfortable.  You’ll be wearing bras for many years to come, and so a professional fitting can definitely help ensure you get the right bras for your body.

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