S.H.E.: Ensuring the Proper Fit

by Stacie Rose

Daily News Correspondent

 

Nearly 50 percent of women are wearing the wrong-sized bra, and getting into the correct size is as simple as walking into J.C. Penney and asking to see one of their certified, bra-fit specialists.

 

At the Greenville location, Amy Jo McDonald is willing to make sure women are in the correct- size bra, which not only properly supports, but will in turn be more comfortable as well. McDonald is one of six certified bra-fit specialists and said the service has increased in popularity since the issue has been discussed on shows such as The Today Show and Oprah Winfrey.

 

The reason so many women are in the wrong-sized bra is because they often mistake breast tissue as fat – especially in the underarm area. Women may not realize bra fitting is offered as a free service at J.C. Penny. According to McDonald, most women underestimate their cup size or many do not want to recognize they are a larger size.

 

“A bra should have four ways to provide support,” McDonald stated. “Bra straps should be wide enough, it needs to have enough seams in the cups, there should be underwire and there should be four hooks. A good bra should have at least three of the four support systems.”

 

Ideally every woman should buy new bras every six months and should own seven bras, one for each day of the week. McDonald also said proper care involves hand washing and line drying as machine washing and drying can damage the support system of bras.

 

Proper fit can be determined by measuring around the chest, just above the breasts for band size. For cup size, measuring should be done around the fullest part of the chest. Every inch more than the band size equals cup size. However, as fitting services are free, it is always best to go to a store for a fitting and try on various brands of bras. Women who wear A- and B-cup-sized bras should also purchase those with underwire and women who wear a C cup or larger should always buy bras with the best support. All bras should fit comfortably when sized on the middle hooks and still support when straps are dropped off the shoulders.

 

“There shouldn’t be any protrusion of breast from the cups, you should be able to place two fingers comfortably under the back and shoulder straps and there shouldn’t be any rippling in the cups,” according to McDonald.

 

Like all clothing, there is a wide variety of sizes and designs from which to choose, but comfort, support and proper fit should be the deciding factor. Though women who wear smaller sizes can get away with “cuter” styles, designers are working harder at providing a wider selection for those women who require a larger size and more support.

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