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Best Brassiere For Your Body

How can a woman determine and ultimately choose the best bra for her body type?

According to Barbara Lipton, a merchandise manager for Saks Fifth Avenue, 75 percent of women wear the wrong size bra for their figure. That means they're walking around in bras that are at least uncomfortable, and at worst could damage their breast tissue.

Lipton has fitted bras for Saks clients for 10 years, and has been a buyer for its Intimate Apparel Division. She joins CBS This Morning to give women some tips on this subject.


A bra fitter will ensure that a bra fits perfectly five different ways:color=purple>

  • Cup size,
  • Band size,
  • Strap length,
  • Underwire (It should sit on the rib cage, not on the breast), and,
  • Center (The area between the cups should lie flat against the body)

Many women choose bras that are either too small (the majority), or too large. Both situations can contribute to loss of elasticity of the breast. Add a little gravity and sagging can get worse over time.

Essentially, bras are designed to shape and support the bust in a natural position.color=purple>

Shoulder straps should not be hiked up to pull the breasts up higher. The straps should rest loosely enough to fit one finger underneath. A bra should not ride up in the back; that's a clear indication the band is either too big or the cup size too small. There should be no spillage, unless the "demi" effect is what you really want, and for that you should get a demi bra).

Flags that indicate a professional bra fitting is a must:color=purple>

  • If you gain or lose more than 10 pounds
  • Before a baby, and after giving birth
  • At the end of a lengthy exercise program--because your back may have broadened
  • If you are on hormone replacement therapy, since enlargement of breasts is a common side effect

How to measure yourself at home:color=purple>

It is best to get a friend to help and to do this in front of a mirror. It is also important to remember that the measuring process is just a guideline.

Measurement #1 : Band Size

With both arms at the side, wearing a bra, wrap a flexible cloth tape measure perfectly horizontally and snug on the rib cage underneath the bust where the breast tissue touches the rib cage. Add five inches to that measurement. So, if the measurement is 31, add 5 inches and 36 is the band size.

If that total is an odd number, round up to the next even number.

Measurement #2: Cup Size

Take a second loose measurement over the nipple, the fullest portion of the breast. Every one inch difference between that number and your band size number gives you your cup size. A one inch difference would be an A-cup, two inches a B-cup, and so forth. So, if this second measurement totals 39, and the irst measurement is 36, the difference is 3, indicating a C cup.

Most women buy bras too small, Lipton says. The average women wears a 36C.

Important to remember:color=purple>

Underwire is a must. It gives shaping with support.

Style is a personal preference. Demi, push-up, sports bras, strapless, minimizers, they're all available. A full cup bra should cover the breast. The demi or half bra provides cleavage. The push-up bra gives the ultimate decolette. As long as the fit is right and it has underwire, any style will work for you.

A few bra style tips:color=purple>

Seamless bras:
The seamless bra is all the rage today, as it provides a well-rounded and natural shape. "Everyone should have them in their wardrobe for tee shirts. But you should also have seamed bras in the wardrobe for an everyday look, especially if you are above a C cup," Lipton says. Bras with seams have more support.

Sports bras:
The "squished" look is fine as long as the bra fits properly. Sports bras are designed to contain the breasts so they don't bounce. Women in the C and larger category should wear more of a bra type sports bra. One that Lipton recommends is Donna Karan's style 35137 for $50.00.

Strapless:
This category of bra can be a challenge. Style and fit are key. A, B, and C cups should not have a problem with strapless bras, still it can be difficult to get this one right.

Tones:
A white bra should never be worn under a white shirt unless you actually want the bra to show. The rule of thumb is to wear a flesh-tone bra if the blouse is sheer. Women of color can try a darker nude to achieve the same colorless effect. Black bras should never be worn under white.

Bras Recommended:color=purple>
Here are some of the brands by style that Lipton recommends to her customers.

Minimizers - Wacoal makes the best.

STYLE NAMEPRICESIZE
85122Lace Elegance Minimizer$5232-44C-DDD
85150Slimline Minimizer$5385600Inner Shape Minimizer$5232-42C-DDD

Seamless
STYLE  BRAND   PRICE NAME 
1660 Chantelle$50Tamaris Lace
85105Wacoal$42Opaque Rigid Seamless
85182 Wacoal $36Bodysuede Microfiber Seamless
85185Wacoal$48Bodysuede Full Figure
35160DKI$4Casual Comfort
35146DKI$40Simple Sophistication
35152DKI$40Signature Cotton Lycra

Padded
STYLE  BRAND   PRICE NAME 
75362Natori$40Invisible UW Bra
32362Natori$35Tailored Classic Seamless
2600Felina
Wacoal
$29Stephanie Padded
Petites Collection
1465Chantelle$59Essencia Line Strapless

Strapless
STYLE  BRAND   PRICE NAME 
85482Wacoal$38Lightly Seamless
74362Natori$32Seamless Strapless
515Va Bien$70Long Line Strapless

Protruding Nipples
STYLE  BRAND   PRICE NAME 
85115Wacoal$40Lightly Lined Seamless
85341Wacoal$48Brocade Lightly Lined

Racerbacks
STYLE  BRAND   PRICE NAME 
35362Natori$33Tailored Classic T-back
85585Wacoal$48Full Figure T-back
5124Wacoal Silver$34Net Insert T-back

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