7 Bra Mistakes You're Probably Making & Tips on How to Fix Them

braUgh. Bras. We can't live without 'em, but to say finding one that fits well, lifts and separates the way it's supposed to, and makes us look amazing in our clothes seems like an impossible feat, to say the least.

But as it turns out, a lot of us are making bra shopping way more difficult than it has to be. (Everything is our fault. Face it.)

Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Jené Luciani, style expert and author of The Bra Book -- and she gave me some easy tips for how to find the perfect bras -- and how to care for them properly so we remain happy with them.

OMG, you guys -- so many of us are making major bra mistakes. (I definitely am.)

  1. Look in the mirror -- If your bra is not laying straight across your back, if your boobs are spilling out of the top, or if the straps are cutting into you and the band is giving you bra-line-bulge -- you're wearing the wrong size bra. (Guilty as charged.)
  2. Get professionally fitted -- This means going to a specialty or department store that has certified bra fitters, not your local lingerie joint where some 18-year-old lets you into the dressing room and tries to sell you her most expensive bra. And it's important that whoever measures you actually busts out the measuring tape instead of trying to guess your size by looking at you.
  3. Be open minded -- What you think your bra size is and what your bra size actually is are probably two different things. And don't be surprised if your band size is smaller than you think and your cup size is larger. Don't laugh or cringe when you find out your real size after being professionally measured. Just go with it.
  4. Stick to your band size -- Alright, confession time. I measure at a 34, but always buy a 36 because the 34 feels so tight. But bras are supposed to feel snug at first. They'll stretch out after an hour or so, at which point they'll fit correctly. If you buy a size up, when it stretches out, it winds up being too big. (No wonder I'm always tugging on mine.)
  5. Stock up -- Jené recommends that every woman have the following in her lingerie drawer: 2 nude bras; 2 black bras; one strapless or convertible style; and 1 seamless, wireless bra for comfort. (Yes, you need more than one or two, ladies.) FYI, The Genie Bra is a great option as far as seamless bras go. It looks flawless under your clothes, and it's so comfortable, you might not even realize you have it on!
  6. Re-measure and Replace -- Jené also says it's a good rule of thumb to get measured and replace your bras about once a year. And if you experience pregnancy, weight loss or gain, or another life change, it's probably a good idea to get measured again.
  7. Wash often -- Ok, so I really suck at this one. Did you know you're supposed to wash your bras in between every single use? I didn't. I wear those babies over and over again. (Gross?) The oil from our skin breaks down the elasticity of the fabric if we don't wash them every time, which means they won't last as long, which means we have to go out and spend more money on new ones a lot sooner. (Fail.)

More from The Stir: Britney Spears' Major Bra 'Malfunction' Could Have Been Avoided

Are you making any of these bra mistakes?


Image via The Lingerie Addict/Flickr & Betsey Johnson

lingerie, shopping


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Ang9403 Ang9403

Also another to add is dont put them in the dryer an if your going to wash them in the washing machine to do it on delicate. 

nonmember avatar NoWay

This is when I am thankful for my tiny boobs. I get away with wearing just a camisole or undershirt with no bra 99% of the time. When I do need a bra for certain outfits, I LOVE the Genie Bra. :)

nonmember avatar Kereea

Honestly, I'm the only person I know who washes every bra after 1 use (maybe 2 if it's a specific bra for a specific thing, but that's rare). Everyone else was always acting like that was crazy.
Though personally I prefer sports bras to all others. Probabaly ebcyase I love to run and jump around whenever I feel like it.

mamav... mamavaness

i'm gross i guess because i dont wash mine in between every use. I usually wear a bra like 3 times before I wash it. And i prefer sport bras and wireless bras. I feel like if i wear bras with a wire my boobs look huge but the wireless ones I have like compress my boobs and don't look so ridiculous.

Chrissi Dunning

I wa a certified fitter in a major department store for many years. My biggest pet peve was measuring a customer and having her tell me I was wrong. Most women believe they need a bigger band size because their current bras are giving the backfat....newsflash, it's not the bra! I hate to be mean but I had to explain it to customers every single day for s long. If you eat, you will have fat on your back. If your body is not rock hard, you will have fat on your back. It's part of our bodies and buying a bigger bra to avoid back rolls will not support your breasts the way they need to be supported. The only thing a biger band size will do for you is cause you moreback pain and help your boobs sag faster. I really do agree that all women should go to a cerified fitter in a reputable store A fitter will know how different brands fit and what will work best for you.Don' be afraid to try on styles that you wouldn't ordinarily wear!

nonmember avatar Heather

For serious help on fitting a bra and putting it on right, go to http://www.reddit.com/search?q=Abrathatfits

Trenia Rexinger

what is the recommended way to wash and dry bras with wires?

Kelly L Niebla

I'm gross too, My husband swears I am the only women in america that does this. and I live in Sports bras, since I have never been fitted for a 'Real' bra....lol

Chrissi Dunning

Handwashing is the reccomendation for all bras. If you must machine wash, wash on delicate, cold water only. Make sure the bra is hooked. The most important thing you can do is put them in a ligerie bag. It's a little mesh bag with a zipper. If you cant find a lingerie bag, use a pillowcase and tie a knot in it. If you just throw them in the washer, the bands can get wrapped around the agitator and stretch out. Let them air dry. NEVER, EVER, put your bras in the dryer...wires or not. The heat breaks down the elastic and lace. It's literally the worst thing you can do to your bras. Proper washing will make them last alot longer. Manufactures only intend their bras to last abot 6 months or so. Not washing them alll the time will actually make them last a little longer so don't feel gross!


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