What does the wrong bra look like? Take a quiet moment and study your bra in detail.
Here's the catch, you need to study your bra in detail while you are wearing it.
The best way to see all the angles is by looking in the mirror.
Most women rank looking at themselves in their underwear right up there with bikini waxing, but it must be done. So suck it up and just do it.
Here's what you need to look for.
Is it level all the way around?
Most likely it pulls up in the back. This means that your band size (the number part) is too big.
A band that is too large causes your shoulders to bear the burden of holding up your breasts, turning your bra into an 'over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder'. This is bad.
It will lead to painful shoulder grooves, neck pain, and headaches. Ouch. (You can read about large breasts and health problems here)
The band is what should support your breasts, not the straps. (like a corset, it lifts from the bottom)
A band that is too big will also give you back fat. A common is misconception is that back fat rolls are caused by wearing a bra that is too small. This is false.
Wearing a band that is too big causes your band to raise up in the back and push the fat down creating those lovely rolls.
A bra with the right band size will almost eliminate the appearance of back fat.
Also, slip your fingers under the shoulder straps and lift up. Do you 'plop' out the bottom? If so, that is another sign that your band size is too big and that you're wearing the wrong bra. The band should rest snugly on your skin.
Most likely if you have a big bust you're spilling out of your bra. There are several reasons for this.
Does all the wire lay flat against your skin? If it digs in or pops out (something my daughter refers to as 'pokies') then you're wearing the wrong size cup and you probably need to go up in letters. (Like from a D cup to an E cup)
If your bra looks bad, then your figure will suffer!
If so then you're wearing the wrong bra.
The average lifespan of a bra is 6 months. I've heard of women wearing the same one for 6 years! In my opinion 6 months is probably an exaggeration. A well made bra, that is well taken care of, can easily last a year to 18 months.
Your breast size can fluctuate depending on the time of year (Christmas cookies and turkey can lead to a larger chest). Weight loss can also affect your bustline, as well as breast changes during pregnancy. So you need to get a new bra when these events happen.
Now you've learned how to spot the wrong bra, take a deep breath and head to the mirror. I don't mind waiting. Go check yourself out!
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Lingerie manufacturer Frederick's of Hollywood reports that in 1996, the average size of bras they sold was 34B.
Currently, the average is a 36C.
And I'd bet my best bra that nowadays the average bra size is closer to a D cup
Similar data about the increase in average breast size comes from England, where busts grew from 36B to 36C in a 3 year period.
According to The Penguin Atlas of Human Sexual Behavior, breasts across Asia grew from 34A to 34C between 1980 and 2000.