Since the 19th century, women have been wearing bras as undergarments to support their breasts. But is the average woman wearing the right size bra?
According to TIME Magazine, 70 to 85 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bras. Is it because they can’t afford to buy bras that will fit them correctly, or are they simply not taking the time to get fitted?
Statistics show that women wear their bras about 1 to 1.5 inches too small in the band and a size too small in the cup. Many women don’t know that bra sizes change when weight is gained. Bras also change sizes during the menstrual cycle.
Bra sizes are also inconsistent between different brands. Bras that are made well will last up to 100 washes before they make a change in size.
Victoria’s Secret employee Alicia Bennet believes women should come for a fitting twice a year because bras fluctuate based on weight. However, she said cup sizes still change even if there hasn’t been a weight gain.
Bennet also described the three-step procedure to having a proper bra fitting.
“First, you want to take the band measurements, which is the most narrow part of the body,” Bennet explained. “Next, you measure the bust area. Last, the two measurements are subtracted and that gives you the desired cup size.”
Bennet said getting fitted for a bra is a huge self-confidence booster, and the perfect bra will help give breasts the perfect shape under any style of clothing.
“Many women can’t afford name brands like Victoria’s Secret, so many tend to go to inexpensive places like Walmart,” said Sherona Tennyson, a second-year history and pre-law student from Jacksonville. “But on the other hand, some cheaper places don’t have nice variety when it comes to cup sizes.”
According to Women’s Health Magazine, wearing the wrong size bra can cause permanent effects to the body. Not having the correct support can lead to back pains. Although gravity will cause breasts to naturally sag, not wearing the correct size can cause stretch marks and the breasts to droop even more.
Valencia Cheers, a second-year psychology student from Kissimmee, Fla., said more women should get fitted. She also said women should make sure there is no bulging on the sides and that the bra fits comfortably.
“Wearing the wrong bra size does have a long-term effect,” Cheers said. “I feel that over 70 percent of women don’t wear the right size simply because they don’t know.”