The importance of a professional bra fitting

Julianne More wearing ‘Dahlia Florale’ $99.95

We all know the importance of ensuring a decent bra fitting. But does that mean we all have well-fitting bras? Certainly not. It’s reported that 78% of us are in the wrong size. Even with the best of intentions, we can get it really, really wrong.

Triumph expert fitter Paula has seen it all. When we asked her what the most common mistake she has seen during her bra fittings, her response was “everything”. Oh dear. We’ve been fitted a number of times over the years and have consistently been told we are the same size. To us, that cements the skills of these knowledgeable ladies. It’s not a guessing game, it’s not for shock value or to entice you to buy- you truly are wearing a bra 3 times the wrong size! Guilty.

Serious bra issues can lead to back and neck pain and headaches. And god knows it’s doing nothing for your appearance. Even while fully clothed, an ill-fitting bra can have a negative effect on how you look and ultimately how you feel. So it takes a good (read: brave and close) friend to let you know when you’ve got it that wrong. And that is why Triumph, in line with today’s National Friendship Day, is celebrating women supporting women. They’ve been literally supporting women for 130 years and are encouraging ladies to grab a girlfriend and go for a fitting together.
We had the pleasure of taking two followers (and their friends) for a fitting with Triumph expert fitter, Paula. It was not at all intimidating, in fact, it was a heap of fun and certainly quite eye-opening for each of our followers. While there, we pinned Paula down to get the nitty-gritty on everything brassiere-related. Here is what she had to say.

What do most women get wrong when choosing a bra?
Everything. Most women think they’re bigger than what they are, have no idea about cup size, how a bra should be worn, how to put a bra on. Get it wrong and you will have straps falling off, the cup riding up, back strap riding up and then you get neck and shoulder pains due to the weight of the breast.

Is there any allowance for riding or movement in the perfectly fitted bra?
No. For example, I don’t touch my bra all day. It sits where it needs to and that’s it.

Then are we allowed to expect comfort from the perfectly fitted bra?
You shouldn’t feel the bra on your body. When women say to me “I want a comfortable bra” I automatically think they’re in the wrong size because whether it’s big or small, she’s uncomfortable. Think about it like jeans. When you first put them on in the morning they’re a bit stiff, a bit uncomfortable, but by the end of the day, they should just sit. The bra is the same.

Paula expert bra fitting
Paula expert bra fitting

Say my weight hasn’t changed in the last 20 years (we wish!) do I still need to get regular fittings?
Yes. When you go through cycles like menopause, for example, it can give you extra weight in new places like your back. And I do believe that your bosom does change. It will lose its fullness and many ladies think they can’t get their bosom back up to the same spot where it once was but you can with the right sizing. Again, women often wear their bras too big in the back because they worry about whats happening at the back. The only way you won’t have that dig is if you’re an athlete because we are just built that way. Worry about the front, rather than behind. As we age it’s even more important to be fitted regularly because of things like a change in hormones, stress and diet.

How long should you keep a bra?
6-12 months. Financially it can be hard but it depends on how often you wear it. if it’s an everyday wear, make it 6 months and so on. But you must ensure the back of the bra doesn’t become worn. If it begins to fade, it has to go because it’s lost its strength.

How often should you wash your bra?
I think you can wear your bra at least 3 times before washing it, depending on what you’re doing that day and the heat. You obviously need to take into consideration particularly sweaty days but on a regular day, you could get at least three wears out of your bra.

Current Triumph bra styles
Current Triumph bra styles

Black Triumph Amourette styles and pink Triumph set ‘Body Make-Up Essentials’ available in August.

What do you wish everyone knew before shopping for a bra?
I just wish all women knew the importance of wearing the right size. It is so important for your breast, the tissue, for your health and even for the way you feel as a woman. I wish it was more embedded in our brains like having a pap smear or a mammogram that I’m due for a fitting and off you go.

What are some telltale signs that you’re in the wrong size?
Turn to your side and look at where the back of your bra sits. Your nipple should be parallel to that. Women seem to think that’s too high but too low and you won’t see your waist! It will take some getting used to in the right bra. But you don’t want side-bosom, double-bosom popping over the top or excess bounce that causes damage.

Current Triumph bra styles
Current Triumph bra styles

Triumph sets Beauty-Full Sunset (left) Jasmin (right)

Sports bras are so tricky to get in and out of. Do you have any tips for the contortion that is required to put on a sports bra?
Look for a sports bra that has the convertible straps that you can cross yourself. Put the bra on like a regular two-strap bra and ask for assistance from someone to cross them over for you. Even another woman at the gym, I do!

Are there any trends that have returned in bras?
There have been one-hit wonders like the U bra and it’s worked at the time but nothing has come back too strongly. Some still want longline bras and you can find it but there aren’t a lot of them. And there is also the pointed styles that are around. If you really like that very projected shape then you can still get them.

Should women be rethinking underwire? Can you still get support without it?
Well first and foremost, support comes from getting the size right. The only difference between a non-wire and a wire is the shape. The wire will give you a rounded shape. A non-wire won’t provide that but it will still lift you and support you just as well as a wired bra. But you HAVE to have the size right and it will look great on you.

Paula with winners of our Triumph expert fitting and bra giveaway
Paula with winners of our Triumph expert fitting and bra giveaway


Like to read more professional tips like how to wear a kimono or finding the perfect glasses?

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