Bra Fitting Tips

I get it — I am lucky. If I want a bra, I can easily order it. Towels? PJs? Those too (thanks to my mother-in-law!). But one of the reasons why I am extremely lucky is having access to getting measured and fit FOR the right bra by one of the most amazing ladies ever! Now that is what I call lucky! Last week, I had the privilege of meeting with Lynne Reynolds to help me find the best bras and fit for my back-to-normal-post-pregnancy-just-weaned-boobs. I can’t even explain how amazing it was — her knowledge, expertise and experience was exactly what I needed to find the right bras for my now flat-chested body! Thank you, Lynne!

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Not Lynne. Nor me. Models wearing Natori bras.

Lynne Reynolds is the National Fit Specialist and Manager of Retail Services for Dana-co, the licensee of Natori Intimate Apparel.  Lynne is a certified bra fitter and has been in the lingerie industry for 17 years (absolutely incredible!). She helps manage a team of dozens of regional fit specialists that travel around the country helping educate store salespeople and customers on all of the amazing features of Natori, Josie, and N Natori bras    Not only did she help find my bra size and three incredible Natori bras, but she answered all my questions, too!

Lynne!

Lynne!

So many bras to choose from!

So many bras to choose from!

What do you measure to get a proper bra size?

measuring tape

A measurement for a bra is a guideline or a starting point.  I always tell my fitters that bra fitting is an art and not a science.  I start by measuring around the rib cage, pulling the tape measure snug against the body.  The guidelines for band size measurements are as follows: 27”-29”- 32 band, 29”-32”- 34 band, 33”-34”- 36 band, 35”-38”- 38 band, and 39”-41”- 40 band) The best way to find a properly fitting bra is to determine how the bra fits on the body.

The bra band should be low and snug and parallel to the floor, the same level all around the body.  You should only be able to slide 1-2 fingers underneath the band.

For cup size, the cup should encompass all breast tissue.  If the cup wrinkles or puckers, the cup is too big.  If breast tissue bulges out of the cup, the cup is too small.  The center gore should “tack” or lay flat against the body.  If the center piece pulls out in front, you need to go up a cup size.  The wire should surround the entire “footprint” of the breast.  The wire should hit under the ribcage on bone, not on breast tissue.

How do you know what notch to put the bra on?

back

I always advise putting a new bra on the last hook.  As you wear your bra, overtime, the fabric stretches.  Starting on the loosest hook will allow you to tighten your bra over time to get maximum support and optimum wear time.  (6-8 months)

What are the steps to secure a bra?

To start, you should lengthen the straps before putting your bra on.  Lean forward into the cups and let your breasts fall naturally into the cups.  Hook the bra in the back.  Adjust your breasts in the cup.  Slip hand into the cup and lift the breast tissue up into the cup on both sides while keeping the wire in the correct place.  The nipples should hit the apex or fullest center of the bra.  Adjust your straps so that they are resting comfortably on your shoulders.  The straps only provide about 10% of support of the bra.  They should not put too much pressure on your shoulders.

What is the most common mistake you see with people wearing wrong sized bras?

Most women purchase a bra that is too big in the band and too small in the cup.  If the bra band is riding up in the back, it is too big.  If you can feel the underwire in the cup against your breast tissue, the cup is too small.

What is your favorite Natori special bra?

I love the Calais strapless.   It is perfect for all strapless looks, whether it is under an evening gown, a sundress, or a strapless top.  Calais strapless has detachable straps.  You can add one strap to halter or two straps to criss-cross for extra support.  There are also memory foam “cookies” or pads, to give extra “oomph” or swell if you want cleavage.

Calais strapless! So lacey, racy, and fun!

Calais strapless! So lacey, racy, and fun! And good for any size — I just placed an order on natori.com for this bra! In every color option!

Josie Jet Set is a favorite for spring and summer.  It’s a young and fresh-looking style, and the perfect t-shirt bra, especially for under spring and summer racer-back tops.

Josie jet set! LOVE! (although for the really small boobed ladies, like me, it doesn't work so well! WHAT A BUMMER!)

Josie jet set! LOVE! (although for the really small boobed ladies, like me, it doesn’t work so well! WHAT A BUMMER!)

Question: Favorite Natori everyday bra? 

There are too many to choose just one! Natori Feathers is a favorite because it is so feminine and beautiful.  The lace is smooth and disappears under tops.  Natori Understated Contour is another one of my favorites.  The fabric feels like cotton and gives beautiful, simple support.  It’s the perfect everyday bra.

Feathers! LOVE! Almost as much as the feathers undies I am obsessed with.

Feathers! LOVE! Almost as much as the feathers undies I am obsessed with.

Understated. Perfect name for the perfect bra.

Understated. Perfect name for the perfect bra.

Any final tips for finding the right bra?

It is always a great idea to go to an expert to find your perfect fit.  Most department and specialty stores have certified bra fitters who can help you find your perfect fit.

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So, Josie Girls, words from the wise Lynne! Thank you so much! And if you are interested in more about bra sizing, check out the Natori Bra Finder App for iphones and ipads. Fun to have — and also inspiration for the perfect abs.  You can also tweet to @NatoriCompany to inquire about Natori specialists who may be in your area.  Happy bra shopping!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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6 Comments

  1. I got fit by a Natori bra specialist at my Dillard’s in Santa Fe (Cielo Vista). She was amazing (I forget her name). Everyone should definitely get fit professionally. It makes a huge difference!

  2. Go Lynne!!! Excellent tips! As always, you are a wealth of knowledge and expertise! Thanks for all your help 🙂

  3. I must admit that its very common for people to buy the wrong band and cup sizes for them but it’s usually inevitable. The band size is not in proportion to the cup size (wide girls but small cup sizes). I have a friend with that problem and it’s really annoying to get a bra that would fit you well. For those who have problems like what my friend had, we found this on the internet last month, http://www.boubey.com. They have lots of bras to choose from. We’re still looking for other sites or brands that sell unusual sizes of bras.

  4. It must be a great experience to have a chance to meet certified bra fitter like Lynne Reynolds. You got the knowledge directly from the expert. You could ask anything you want about bra fit, right?

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