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.
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.