Wearing the wrong size bar can lead to increased pain in the neck and shoulders as the breasts are inadequately supported. One of the most common causes of breast pain is poor support and women are often shy to look for the correct size of bra. As a result their bust is unsupported from below and all the support comes from the shoulder straps which causes welts and indentations in the shoulders.

It is estimated that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra. Are you one of them?

This lack of support can also lead to large breast hanging down on the skin below the breast causing an area of warm moisture through the day. This results in a fantastic breeding ground for bacteria and funguses to grow- often seen as a white or red discolouration under the breasts and eventually leading to darker discolouration in dark skins. An inappropriately tight bra can also cause problems. There is constriction of the respiratory muscles (the muscles that helps us breathe well) causing breathing problems, and back and should aches too.

So what is the wrong bra and how do you find the right one for you? Look in the mirror with your bra on and see if it fits.

It doesn’t fit properly if...

  • The underband is riding up at the back: If the underband bows up at the back or lifts up when you raise your arms it is too loose.
  • The shoulder straps are digging in: A vast majority of the support for your breasts should come from the underband, support from below not suspension from above. If you have too loose a band you will feel the straps dig into your shoulders and be left with red marks there.
  • The centre between the cups lifts away from the body: The centre should lie flat against your body supporting and separating your breasts. If it does not, your cup size is probably too small.
  • The straps do not lie in parallel to each other but stretch outwards: This normally means that your underband is too tight and is overstretching at the fastening.
  • Some of your breast spills out over the top of your bra: The classic ‘four breast’ look! The cup is dividing your breast tissue because your cup size is too small. Often women are alarmed to find they are actually a DD, E or F rather than a C cup.

If the number is:
0=AA cup
1=A cup
2=B cup
3=C cup
4=D cup
5=DD cup
6=E cup

Remember that this is only a rough guide of your size. You should then shop and try on sizes one above and below. As you adjust the band size up (e.g. 36 to 38) come down by one on the cup size (e.g. 36D to 38C).

Not all styles will suit all breast shapes, so it may take some time to find a bra that suits and fits you. When you find the right bra, it should not be uncomfortable or dig into your skin. It should hold your breasts well and give you a good shape. A good bra can give you as much shape and lift as expensive plastic surgery.