There are many pleasures in what we do here at Plenty, but meeting Maggie Hess has to be one of the best perks of the job so far. Maggie is the Fit Consultant for Wacoal Bras at The Bay at Queen and Yonge, and she is a fount of bra wisdom. Carol, Beth-Anne and I met with her for a bra-fitting session, and we came away with so much more than new bras. We were armed with wisdom!
There really is no substitute for being fitted for a bra with a fit consultant, but here are some of the tips we learned to help get you on your way to the perfect fit.
Bra problems we put up with that we don’t have to put up with and some solutions
- Problem: the straps are always falling down
- Solution: shop for a bra with straps that are more towards the centre of the back (do not tighten the straps: this could make the breasts fall out of the bottom of the bra or make the band lift at the back, making the breasts fall at the front)
- Problem: the cup is too small
- Solution: make sure that the underwire is completely behind all of the breast tissue
- Problem: the cup is too large
- Solution: the underwire should be right under the breast tissue, not too low
- Problem: the band rides up at the back
- Solution: the centre of the bra should be tight to the breast bone, this will keep the band in place
- Problem: the breasts spill out of the top of the cup
- Solution: try a full-coverage cup
- Problem: the breast spill out of the side of the cup
- Solution: try a side-smoothing cup
- Problem: the breasts do not fill the cup
- Solution: try a 3/4 coverage or a balconette bra
- Problem: discomfort while wearing the bra or marks on the breast at the end of the day
- Solution: it’s the wrong fit. A perfectly-fitting bra should not leave marks and should not leave you wanting to take it off as soon as you get home.
Tips to find the perfect bra
- Get measured once a year.
- Get measured more frequently if your weight changes +/- 8 pounds OR if you change your exercise regimen. Exercise can change the breast tissue even if your weight does not change.
- The bra has three jobs: to lift, support, and separate. Make sure it’s doing all three jobs. Even a sports bra should not give you uni-boob.
- With the bra on, breasts should be between the elbow and shoulder.
- If the bra is for a special occasion, bring in the dress. It’s important to try them on together.
- Fun fact: according to Marie Koury, another of Wacoal’s wonder team, bras that are red with a tinge of purple will be invisible under white clothes.
- If you are also buying shape wear, don’t buy it too tight. The objective is to smooth the curves of the body, not erase them. Shape wear does not suck flesh in; it smooths it. The flesh has to go somewhere, and it will pop out and the shape wear will roll down if the item is too small. It will also suffocate you. New technology means that the fabrics are lightweight, so there is no need to suffocate or be uncomfortable.
Tips to keep your perfect bra looking good for longer
- a new bra should last for nine months or for 90 wears and washes (after that, the fibres break down and the elastic goes)
- wash the bra in a laundry bag
- never put a bra in the dryer
- do not use fabric softener
- wear your bra on the outstide set of hooks and make your way in as the bra begins to stretch with wear (this means buying a bra that fits correctly on the outside set of hooks)
Disclosure: Wacoal provided each of us with a bra after our fitting with Maggie. When I found out that I would have to wait for our bras to be mailed to us, I decided I wasn’t leaving the store without the perfect bra Maggie had found for me, so I bought one on the spot.