Did you think that you were alone in your strapless bra woes? Think again, my undergarmently challenged friends. In a recent study Elle conducted, (which they aptly titled “The Boob Survey“) the magazine chatted with 7,000 ladies to ask them the questions about bnbs (boobs ‘n bras) you’ve always wondered and even some weird ones you may have been afraid to ask.
While some of the responses were predictable (everyone definitely hates strapless bras), some were more surprising. For example, 73% of women admitted they remain confused about their bra size even after they’ve received a personalized fitting and 29% of ladies said they’ve stuffed their bra with toilet paper before. Whether the latter was recently or back in middle school, we’re not entirely sure.
If you can totally relate to some of the major bra problems the survey points out, we’re here to help. We tapped Michelle Lam and Beenish Kahn, the CEO and Merchandising Manager of True & Co, an online bra retailer that uses a simple quiz to curate a customized selection of lingerie, to offer up easy + comfortable solutions to four of the biggest issues Elle’s survey points out. Read below, and may your breasts never runneth over your bra cup again, friends.
1. Why do you think that even after a personal fitting, 73% of women are still confused about their bra size?
Beenish: “I can speak from personal experience that women are very stubborn. I thought I was a 32A when in fact I had grown to a 32C. The sizing system for bras is very confusing, particularly when you start talking about sister sizing (34B is the same as a 32C?! What?!). At least that’s what I thought. Even after my professional fitting, I still picked up smaller sizes. I was in denial. It wasn’t until the fitter came into the fitting room and showed me how my breast tissue was spilling out of the wrong size bra that I believed her and finally started to begin to understand how a proper bra is supposed to fit. If you walk into Victoria’s Secret for example, plastered on the walls are these fantastical images from the runway show of the models in the bras. When I was younger, I didn’t know about things like ‘chicken cutlets’ [or breast pads that help fill in and even out your chest] that enhance your bust and create more cleavage. So when I saw these images, I thought that was what my bra was supposed to fit like. So from early on, I didn’t even have the proper education on how a bra is supposed to fit and what it’s supposed to do for you.”
2. Do you have any type of solution to keep strapless bras from constantly falling down?
Beenish: “Obviously the first thing I’m going to ask you is ‘are you wearing the right size?’ One of the most common problems is women getting a band that is actually too big. Especially for a strapless bra, you want to make sure the band is nice and snug. Secondly, before you put it on, make sure if you have put on any lotion or oil that is has absorbed completely, otherwise, you will definitely have spillage. Lastly, if you’re not confident that neither of the above will help, safety pins! Try attaching the bra to your dress or top with two tiny safety pins, one on each side. Keep the safety pin inside your clothing to keep it invisible.”
3. Do you have any tips + tricks for ladies whose breasts are noticeably different sizes and want to even them out?
Michelle: “First of all, you’re not alone. 40% of women have one breast that is bigger, usually the left one. Short of stuffing a cookie in one cup (some European bras have a lined pouch), try a bra with a stretchy fabric with give or a triangle shape where the fabric stretches up almost to the shoulder.”
Beenish: “In the market, you can find breast pads or ‘chicken cutlets’ as they are commonly called to help fill in and even out your chest. I prefer the non-silicone kind for everyday wear.”
4. For women with a larger bust who might want to make it appear smaller, what type of bra would you recommend that’s not a sports bra?
Beenish: “You want to try a non-contour cup bra. Some examples: our Unlined Triangle, Made of Stars, and Gramercy. If that is not enough, there are “minimizer” bras. These bras gently smooth out the breast and make them appear smaller without the dreaded uniboob that a sports bra can often do. Wacoal’s Awareness Seamless is a great example.”
What’s your biggest bra problem? Share with us in the comments below.