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June 4, 2020

59 Comments

Did you know that you should be re-measured for a bra every 6 months?

Fluctuations in hormones, weight or puberty can and will have an effect on your cup size, not to mention that the elastic in your trusty and reliable lacy friend will eventually wear out. With approximately 80% of women wearing the wrong size bra, it’s time to examine what exactly the consequences are and make sure you take care of your breasts.

1. Breast pain

One of the most common side effects of wearing the wrong size is breast pain, particularly if your bra is too small.

 2. Back pain

There are a lot of things that cause back pain, but wearing a bra that is too small will result in pressure on your rib cage and shoulders that you simply won’t be able to fix until you size up. This usually occurs in women with large breast size.

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 3. Premature (or excessive) sagging

If you’re constantly wearing a bra that doesn’t provide sufficient support for your breasts, such as a sports bra when exercising, or a bra that is simply too big for you, can stretch the delicate tissue of your breasts prematurely. Instead of lifting it up and keeping in shape, the bra can sag your breasts and make them heavier.

4. Shoulder and neck pain

Oh yes, that pain you feel in your neck, and that chafing on your shoulders? That’s because your bra is too tight for you. Larger cup size bras are typically designed with thicker straps to disperse weight across your shoulder and prevent chafing or indentation.

This strain from shoulder can go up to the neck, which can cause severe pain. It is one of the most common and more serious effects of wearing the wrong bra size.

5. Blocked lymph nodes

Lymphatic vessels are very thin, and they’re easily prone to pressure and compression. Excessive and repeated pressure on the nodes in the breasts (such as from a bra that’s too small) can cause lymph valves and vessels to close. Wearing a bra with a cup size smaller than it should be, causes the failure of the lymph nodes.

6. It can ruin your posture

Wearing the wrong bra size can upset your posture. Pain felt in the shoulder, neck and back tends to make you hunch your shoulders to soothe yourself, which, if allowed to continue, will ruin your posture.

7. It may trigger breast cancer

One of the more severe side-effects of wearing the wrong bra size. In some extreme cases, wearing the wrong bra size can induce breast cancer.

This can happen because a bra that’s too tight will block blood flow to the breasts, which can cause cancer.

8. Skin abrasions

Wearing a bra that’s too small or too tight for your breasts can result in callouses or blisters from the constant rubbing against your skin.

So what can I do about it?

1. Get fitted

Getting fitted is simple and it’s a free service available at most lingerie stores. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get up close and personal with anyone, most assistants will have you try on a bra in a size that you’re currently wearing and evaluate your fit once you have it on.

This is useful if you’re unsure of exactly what to look for, but if you’re a little bit more knowledgable about bra fit, or shopping with a daughter who will barely let you check the fit, observing the telltale signs are a good way to check your fit.

2. Check yourself out

Once you’ve picked out a bra that you really like, it’s important to look for the key indicators of a good fit. Stand with your hands on your hips and turn to the side.

  • You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers between your rib cage and the band. Same goes for the shoulder straps (with no digging in to your skin).
  • You should not have any cup spillage – that is – the top of the cup and your breast should sit perfectly aligned, with no breast tissue spilling from the top (affectionately referred to as the double-boob), or the sides (side-boob).
  • Conversely, there should not be any gaping in the cup.
  • The wire between the cups should sit firmly against your sternum and not away from it.
  • The cups should not be baggy (for non-moulded cups).
  • The underwire (or elastic for non-wired bras) should fit snugly against your ribcage under your breast.

Armed with the knowledge of how important a good bra is, your next shopping trip will be less of a nightmare. We hope.

When was the last time you were fitted for a bra? Share with us in the comments.

  • There is no scientific evidence to support that a bra of any kind, whether fitting or ill-fitting, can cause breast cancer. That should not be included on this list, it is spreading false information.

    Reply

  • I never got fitted until a friend of mine worked at BNT when I was about 19. I was wearing a B cup and I was actually a DD. Oops!!

    Reply

  • I didn’t realise you could trigger breast cancer by wearing too tight a bra.

    Reply

  • I’ve been wearing incorrect bra sizes for years. My mum never took me to get fitted properly and I only did for the first time recently, when pregnant. I will be getting fitted more regularly and taking my daughters to do the same.

    Reply

  • I have never been fitted for a bra in my life. But when I tried bras on prior to buying I always made sure that there was no excess skin that showed on my back once the bra was done up. Just before iso I checked with a bra shop about the next size up as things were starting to feel tight and I didn’t know whether you went from 10D to a 12B or stayed with 12D. The first comment was you normally go down a cup a size – but lets see and the assistant brought out some bras to try. I just ended up going from to 10 to 12 with a D cup, and it really feels wonderful. I will be checking in future as it was such an easy thing to do, and the assistant was wonderful. Go on ladies – get checked if you are at all unsure – it is less intimidating than you think in your mind.

    Reply

  • Years ago. And it was not a great experience, which is why I’m not keen on going through it again.

    Reply

  • I don’t think I’ve ever been properly fitted for a bra but I’m going to make sure my daughter is and I’ll go with her and get done too.

    Reply

  • great article

    Reply

  • Oh my! This is a good reminder to get tested…and ASAP!!!

    Reply

  • I’m a size A and mostly live in sports bras to be honest lol

    Reply

  • I’ve never ever been fitted for a bra. I knew wrong size causes back, neck and shoulder pain. But never knew about blocking lymph nodes, or cancer link.
    Will have to get fitted now – do one thing to look after me.

    Reply

  • I have never been fitted but think I’ll do it after I finish breastfeeding

    Reply

  • I had been wearing the wrong size post baby and wearing right size is so important

    Reply

  • I was fitted for a bra many moons ago. I was very self conscious then so it made for a very uncomfortable experience. Where I live there is no such place to get a fitting done.

    Reply

  • I was fitted before ISO. I had my size completely wrong!

    Reply

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