Choosing the right bra – Fitting Guide

An ill-fitting bra not only creates a poor silhouette under the clothes, it can be hazardous to your health. A right fitting bra can reduce shoulder/neck/back pain and help look younger and thinner.

The best option is finding a bra or lingerie store in your area and get fitted. Don’t forget that you actually pay money for your bra to make you look beautiful, not to cause problems.

This is a “Bra Fit Guide” from Panache, so you can check if you are wearing the right size.

As a starting point, the hook and eye should be fastened comfortably on the loosest setting to allow for adjustment as the band stretches due to wear. Bending forward and making sure the wires are positioned under the bust is an essential next step. You should then stand upright and move the breast from the underarm if necessary so that it is inside the wire.

Part the bust at the centre to make sure the centre front of the bra is sitting correctly between the breasts. Finally the straps should be adjusted so that they are firm, but not too tight. Take a look at our fit guide to see some common problems and their solutions.

  • Wires should sit close to the chest.

If the wires stand away from the body at the centre front or dig in at the underarm, a larger cup size is needed.


  • The wire should not sit on the breast tissue.

If the bust is bulging over the cups at the neck edge and/or the underarm then a larger cup size is needed. There is no bulging at the underarm or the neck edge. The breasts are totally encased within the wire.

  • The straps are comfortable.

If the straps are digging into the shoulders, they are supporting too much weight of the breasts and so the underband may not be giving enough support. A smaller back size may be needed.


  • There is no wrinkling on the cups and no space between the bust and wire.

If the cups are wrinkling and there is space at the top and the sides of the cup, a smaller cup size is needed.



  • The arms are lifted and the bra stays in place. 

If the cups lift away from the chest when the arms are lifted, then either a smaller back size and/or a larger cup size is needed.



  • Underband is not riding up and is firm, but not uncomfortable.

If the underband is riding up, the back size is too big.



If the band is uncomfortably tight and the hook and eye is straining, then the back size is too small.



If one breast is bigger than the other. It is quite common for a woman to have one breast bigger than the other. Sometimes there is only a slight difference, but sometimes there is a cup size difference.

It is important to fit the bigger breast so that it is encased by the wire. The straps can be adjusted so they are looser on the larger side and tighter on the smaller side to achieve the best fit.

Once the correct bra size has been found, it is a good idea to try a t-shirt on over it to make sure the shape looks supportive and smooth with no bulging.

Read more about bra fitting on Panache’s blog

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