What lies beneath: How to choose the perfect bra

What you don’t see is often as important as what you do when it comes to fashion, and putting together the perfect outfit starts with selecting the right underwear.

To guide us through the intricate world of intimates, Triumph’s product manager Monica Harrington filled us in on what to look for in a good bra, how to clean your lingerie and why every woman should get professionally fitted.

What’s the most common mistake people make when choosing a bra?

People often buy a bra with a back size that’s too big and a cup size that’s too small. Some women don’t get fitted even if they feel their breasts have increased in size and often just buy a larger underband. This is why getting professionally fitted is so important!

How often should you get measured?

You should really get measured every time you buy a bra because if you decide on a different style with a different fabric it may fit you differently.

Can you tell if a bra fits you correctly just by the look and feel?

Yes. If your bra is riding up your back it means it’s too big on the underband, and if the wires are digging in this usually means the cups are too small. If the bra is standing away from the body around the cup area this usually means there isn’t enough room in the cups.

How can you tell if straps are adjusted correctly?

Straps are a personal thing; some women prefer them tighter than others. I would suggest adjusting your straps until you feel the breast is supported into its natural position. This is usually half way between the shoulder and the elbow.

What’s the main thing to look for in a good bra?

The most important thing is undoubtedly the fit, followed by finding the right shape that suits you.

Smaller busts may like some additional padding – for this I would recommend our Magic Wire Push Up style in Body Make Up WHU. Its graduated padding will give you a fantastic push up effect and our award winning Magic Wire technology means you get all of the support of a wire with the comfort of none.

I would also recommend the Magic Wire for the fuller bust, but in a different shape – the Contouring Sensation WP. Its available in up to an F cup and offers the most amazing shape and support.

If you prefer a non-padded style the Beauty-full collection with its 3D wire offers three times more comfort than the average wire and is available D-G cups.

While we’re talking… 

Is it common to have one breast slightly bigger than the other?

Yes, one breast is usually slightly larger than the other – this is completely natural.

Can pregnant women still wear underwired bras?

Every woman is different and there are no set guidelines as to how much your breasts will grow. It’s advisable to wear a non-wired bra, as your breasts are likely to increase in size from month to month which may cause an underwired bra to become too small and feel uncomfortable.

How often should you wash your bra? What’s the best way to launder lingerie?

You should wash your bra daily as it sits next to the skin. I’d recommend hand washing lingerie and avoiding fabric softener. Tumble drying or ideally drying on the radiator is best, especially if it’s an underwired bra.

How often should I replace my bras?

This is the million-dollar question! It really depends on how many bras you have and how often you wear them. If you have two bras which you are washing and wearing every other day then you might look to replace them every six months.

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In the Kingston area? Easily book a bra fitting in minutes using Fenwick's online booking service.

By Alison Millington