Loving your body starts with knowing it.
There are more than 3.7 billion women in the world right now, and each one of us has special qualities that make us totally different from everyone else.
We’re all shaped differently and have unique curves. Breasts, in particular, are like snowflakes. You’ll never find two pairs that are exactly the same.
But most of the 3.7 billion women in the world today deal with insecurities. We’re afraid to love and accept our shape. Most of us haven’t even taken the time to get to know our bodies!
Us Against Our Bust
From the early years of our lives, we begin to form a close relationship with our bodies and our chests. In many cases, this is a love-hate relationship. Women are constantly struggling with our own femininity, with how we see ourselves and each other.
“Women are constantly struggling with our own femininity, with how we see ourselves and each other.”
For example, I remember perfectly that when I was a 16-year-old, I went from having a totally flat chest to a 34B! I’m not going to lie to you - it was a complicated time for me. I had to accept that my body had changed and that I would have to look for bras that would meet my new body’s new needs.
I think it was in that moment the battle began between me and my bras. I must confess that I was never able to find one that fit me, and that more often than not I would just buy any bra that gave me more volume! I wasn’t conscious of the reality of what my bust was like, and I didn’t know which garments my body really needed during that moment of my life.
I’m absolutely certain that I’m not the only one this has happened to, and that thousands of other women in the world have had similar experiences. For example, it’s very common for pregnant women to realize that their boobs have done a full 360º. I will never forget my friend who became a mom and had a hard time adjusting to her drastically new body: during her pregnancy, she went from a 34B to a 38C! How did she learn to accept the change? By understanding that her body was able to give life to another being, and that this was the cause of her change in size. Nice, right?
You’re unique, so don’t compare yourself to anyone else!
Something else that happened during my formative years is that I used to compare myself to my friends who were still flat-chested. I used to envy them because they didn’t have to deal with the discomfort of painful underwires, nor with the awkward padding that made it look like I was wearing a bra I borrowed from someone else.
Read more about cups and underwires.
There were even days that I would wear up to 2 sports bras to look more like my friends.
I’m telling you these little stories because I’m certain any number of these “situations” has happened to you, where you didn’t accept yourself and you compared the appearance of your own chest to others.
It’s no secret that many of us tend to want what we don’t have.What do I mean by this? What I’m saying is that society has set such unreasonable standards for us that we’re never content with how we look.
Love yourself more, know yourself better
What I’m here to tell you is that, during many of the personal shopper sessions I’ve done, I’ve met spectacular, charismatic women...who were still insecure in their own skin. Insecure about how small, or how large, their bust was. Insecure because it’s so round, or because gravity has taken its toll. But I’ve also run into empowered women who accept their figure for exactly what it is.
I know it sounds hard to stop being so self-critical, especially when we live in a world where our physical appearance and beauty standards are idealized and limited to just one thing: perfection.
“We live in a world where our physical appearance and beauty standards are idealized and limited to just one thing: perfection.”
In this article, all I want is for you to take a little time to get to know your own bust better. I want you to get to know what fits well and what doesn’t; through this process of self-discovery, I want you to be able to reach that point of acceptance and self-love that we should all strive for in our lives.
The importance of knowing your bust size
Today is a great day to absorb the top recommendations of an underwear expert...like me! It’s also the perfect time to find your Perfect Bra, and to open your mind to trying pieces you wouldn’t normally consider wearing.
Knowing your bust size sounds straightforward, but most of us don’t know it as well as we think we do. Not knowing can cause you to choose pieces that don’t actually work for you.
So now that you know all this: What’s the first step to figuring things out?
The first step is to know and recognize the characteristics of your bust. It’s very important for you to be able to identify this using the information I’ll be imparting to you through the following paragraphs.
To simplify things, I’ve narrowed it down to 3 bust sizes: Small, Average, and Full/Very Full.
So now, let’s start to learn about these distinctions so that you can become an expert in your own size!
The first bust size I’m going to tell you about is Small. This size is usually an A or B cup, and it’s really easy to recognize: you’ll have little volume, it will be flat on top and separated in the center.
What looks good, and what doesn’t, for this bust size?
The first thing you should know is that not every bra was designed for every bust size. Each bra is created with certain qualities that make it ideal for certain bust sizes.
If you identify with this bust size, you’ve probably had a problem finding bras that fit you perfectly. Why do I say that? Well, like I said before, this bust size doesn’t have much volume, so not every bra is going to fit well.
Just a few weeks ago, I had a young client that has a very small bust. When I started to consult with her, she told me that she worried she’d never find a bra that would really fit well. She told me that the only bras she wore were sports bras in very small sizes, or none at all, because she just didn’t think her perfect bra was out there.
I gave her some recommendations for what she should look for, and what she should definitely avoid.
Is this your bust size? Keep reading to find out your yeses and noes.
SAY YES TO:
JUST SAY NO TO:
If you don’t already know what bralettes are all about, or if you don’t know the difference between a bralette and a regular bra, I’m going to tell you a little about them here.
This style of bra is relatively new on the underwear scene. It has very special characteristics that make it a crowd-pleaser. And I’m sure that, if you don’t know about them already, you’re going to fall in love with them!
Bralettes are usually made of 100% lace with very few structures, less support, a natural shape, and spectacular comfort. The charm of a bralette lies in its cute design: they have different style backs, unique necklines, and standout straps that make them perfect to show off under your clothes.
“Perfect to show off under your clothes.”
I gotta tell you - this style is such a winner. Most women I see at work that have your bust size end up falling in love with the lightness, comfort, and perfect fit a bralette offers.
Triangle bras with demi cups or little coverage:
Because a smaller bust is going to have less volume, demi cup bras are going to be your new best friend. This is owing to the fact that your bust will completely fill these cups, preventing gapping that can make your bra look too big. This silhouette tends to have pluge necklines and less coverage than a full-cup bra would.
You already know that your bust has little volume overall. That’s why bras with built-in push-up padding can be the perfect option to give you a little extra cleavage. These bras have built-in padding to give your bust a more rounded, lifted appearance. These are perfect for anyone who wants to look like they have a fuller bust without having to result to surgery.
Bras with deep cups aren’t a very good idea for you if you have a smaller bust because it won’t fill the cups and that will make your bra look too big, even if you’re wearing the right size. This is one of the reasons why, in many cases, women with smaller busts can’t find a strapless bra that fits. The cups tend to gap, leaving space between the bust and the bra.
Just like deep cups, full cups can be a “lifelong enemy” of small-chested ladies. I’m never going to forget this young lady who came into my store looking for full-coverage bras because those were the only ones she wore. Just by glancing at her, even under her shirt, I could see that her bra looked too big and I assumed she didn’t know her size. When we went into the dressing room and she showed me the bra she had on, I was surprised: she was wearing the right size! It’s just that she had a small bust and was wearing a full-coverage bra with triangle cups that she just couldn’t fill out.
Bras with a lot of structure:
A smaller bust is lighter, so it’s not a good idea to look for bras that have underwire, side boning, or complicated structures. It’s important to understand that this bust size won’t need the same level of daily support that others may require.
This bust size usually wears a B cup and has a little more volume both above and below with a more rounded neckline. I must say that, if this is your bust size, you’re lucky! Almost everything is going to look good on you.
If this is your bust type, you have to keep in mind that, although you have many more options to choose from than any other size, your taste and needs are super important factors to consider when choosing your perfect bra.
SAY YES TO:
It’s no secret that this silhouette is the favorite of many! And if you have an average bust, you have the luxury of choosing between demi cup or full cup - they’ll both look great.
For example, demi cups offer a plunge neckline and less coverage, making them your best ally with more fitted shirts, or ones with v-neck and plunge fronts.
Meanwhile, a full-cup bra will give you full coverage. These are perfect for you if you want to stay comfy and confident in your day-to-day life.
A balconette or balcony bra is perfect to wear strapless. If you have an average bust, I’m certain this kind of bra will look great on you! That’s because the volume of your bust will totally fill the cups and the style will help round out your cleavage.
3. Full to Very Full Bust
Lastly, I’m going to tell you about full/very full busts. They’re easy to recognize: they have volume in the top, bottom, center, and sides, and they tend to sit close to each other. If this is your bust size, you need to pay extra attention when it’s time to choose a new bra. Because you have so much volume, and because your bust is heavier, you’ll need more support than the others.
“You need to pay extra attention when it’s time to choose a new bra.”
I’m telling you this because you must keep in mind that the fuller your bust is, the more structure and benefits you’ll need in a bra. I recommend that you read this article (link), which can further help you make good decisions when it’s time to pick out a bra.
In the majority of cases when I’ve been helping women who had fuller busts, they’ve revealed to me that the only thing they consider when buying a bra is that it even comes in their size! Band sizes like 38, 40, and 42; cups like C, D, DD and above are hard to find. What they don’t consider is that, while it’s important to choose the right size, it’s also important to choose a bra with the benefits they need.
“While it’s important to choose the right size, it’s also important to choose a bra with the benefits you need.”
I vividly remember this woman I attended to in my store who was in a constant battle with her own bust: she didn’t like bras at all, and she avoided using them no matter what. She wore a 38C and, sadly, she’d never been given good advice for how to choose the right bra for her size. She had no idea that this could literally change her life in seconds.
In the beginning, she regarded each piece I showed her with suspicion. I was pulling out bras with wide straps and backs, deep cups, side boning, underwire...she thought everything I showed her seemed uncomfortable, and that there was no way any of it would help her alleviate her daily discomfort. Hands down the best part of that day was when she tried on those bras and got the shock of her life: the comfort and support the bras gave her made her realize that bras weren’t the enemy. In fact, the right bra can be your best ally!
Now that you’ve read my story, it’s time for me to tell you the yeses and noes for a full/very full bust.
SAY YES TO:
Deep cups and full cups:
I want to let you know that this is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when you’re choosing a bra for a heavy bust. The cups are in charge of supporting your breasts and keeping them in place 24/7.
Have you ever felt like you were going to “bust out” of a bra?
Nobody wants to have a wardrobe malfunction like that! Deep cups can keep you comfy and confident, so you won’t have to worry about any spilling at any time.
Longline underbust bands and wide backs:
There’s no better feeling than when everything falls into place, allowing you to live your life in comfort. When it comes to bras, the underbust band is one of the most important structures. The right underbust band can offer amazing support and a perfect fit. The longer your underbust band is, the more support it will give your chest.
It’s also important to look for bras with a wider back, which will offer smoothing coverage and give you a streamlined look under your clothes.
The straps play the important role of carrying, or supporting, the weight of your bust. That’s why, if you have a fuller bust, you’ll need wider straps that can give you the support you need throughout the day. These straps won’t only help give you a lifted look - they’ll also keep you more comfortable than ever.
Thin straps, on the other hand, aren’t such a good idea. They can dig in, making you uncomfortable and creating dents in your shoulders.
So, if you have a heavy bust, now is the time start wearing bras with thicker straps!
JUST SAY NO TO:
Silhouettes without structure:
Underwires are important - they’re in charge of giving you great shape, support, and fit. So when it’s time to choose the perfect bra, I recommend that you stay away from wireless styles. Those won’t give your bust the support it needs.
- Has your bra ever rolled down? Side boning is another must-have in a bra because it stops this from happening, keeping your bra right where it belongs.
- In the majority of cases, bralettes are designed for small to average chests. That’s why I, personally, recommend that you look for bras that are more structured but have the look of a bralette.
I’m sure that, by now, you’ve identified your bust size and have a clearer idea of what’s going to look awesome on you!
If you want to learn how to measure yourself, click here to learn a lot more about your size.
Lastly, I’d love to give you the same advice I give to every woman I consult with: know yourself, love yourself, and feel confident in your own skin!
And what better way is there to do that, than to treat yourself to some nice underwear?