Learning how to measure bra size can feel uncomfortable, but knowing your measurements—and keeping them written in a note on your phone or somewhere else that’s accessible when the bra-shopping mood strikes—will make bra shopping so much easier, especially for online shoppers. Equipment is minimal. All you need is a tape measure and a little free time, and you’ll have saved yourself a lot of bra-shopping misery. Best of all, knowing how to measure your bust will make adjusting to changes in your breasts (from losing or gaining weight, hormone fluctuations, aging, pregnancy, and more) so much less stressful.
There's no magic bra size calculator that works on every woman and for every brand, but our recommended bra sizing methods should work for you. Measuring yourself isn't fun, but it's SO worth it. Wearing the right bra size helps your waist look thinner, your bust look fuller and your body look taller. Your shoulders and back will feel comfortable and your clothes will fit better. Convinced? Let's get to it.
Check at the sides under your arms to make sure the underwires are sitting on your ribs, not on soft breast tissue. If they're cutting into the sides of your breasts then you need a larger cup size. Also be aware that if you have been wearing a bra with a too big band and too small cups, you may have ended up with migrated tissue, which will seem to be armpit rolls, or back rolls. This can be fixed after getting a well fitting bra.
There is a variety of panties to choose from that can fit and flatter your figure and work with your outfits. Build the perfect panty drawer by choosing from full-coverage panty styles like briefs, boyshorts, bikinis and bike shorts and sexier panty styles like thongs, tangas, g-strings, and crotchless panties. You can also choose from a range of fabrics and materials like breathable cotton, lovely lace, smooth satin, rayon, nylon and more.
Deep V bodysuits can be worn comfortably under your business attire. They are more likely to stay in place throughout the day than separate pieces. However, just because you're wearing a bodysuit doesn't mean that it has to be drab. Cute designs make it so that when it's time to spend time with your partner at home, you can still look confident and sexy.
Anyone who has worn an ill-fitting bra or the wrong bra size knows that doing so can ruin an otherwise flawless outfit—or worse, an entire day. (The breast pain and backaches that can come with large breasts are nothing to joke about.) The solution is finding and investing in a set of undergarments that are the right cut, fit, and size—but it’s not a simple solution.
Several of the women we spoke to named Commando as a go-to underwear brand, whether it be for briefs, bikinis, or thongs. Stylist Jasmine Caccamo says that the brand’s stretch-cotton bikini briefs are seamless and “create a super-flawless (a.k.a. wedgie-free) fit” whether she’s wearing them under leggings or a silk cami dress. “For me, it’s all about comfort and functionality,” Caccamo says. “Not only do I love Commando-brand underwear for myself, but for my celebrity clients as well … I’m obsessed.” Costume designer and Strategist contributor Alison Freer prefers the brand’s boy shorts, which she says “are both elastic and trim-free — meaning they won’t dig in, bunch up, or cause lumpy, unflattering bulges under a flattering pair of pants.” The underwear never shifts, slides, twists, or reveals itself once you start moving and sweating, according to Freer, and best of all, the wide sides keep it securely in place on your body, preventing a wedgie. “If you’ve ever wondered what the stars on the red carpet were wearing underneath those sheer, unforgiving gowns, the answer is almost certainly a pair of Commandos,” Freer says. If a thong is more your style, two of the women we talked to recommended the brand’s mid- and low-rise options. “Okay, so here’s the thing about these thongs,” says Cupcakes and Cashmere founder Emily Schuman of the mid-rise cut. “There is nothing remotely sexy about them — they’re devoid of lace, have super-thick sides, but they lie completely flat against my skin and don’t show under even the tightest, lightest pieces.” The absence of seams and tags “makes it feel like you’ve gone commando (hence the name),” says Schuman. “Best of both worlds!” Stylist Tiffany Gifford is a Commando thong fan, as well, though she prefers the low-rise over the mid-rise. “My favorite underwear are Commando’s thongs,” Gifford says. “They are seamless, and come in great colors and an array of sizes. The best underwear you forget are even there, and that’s what these do.”
The fiber scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab are constantly testing undergarments like bras, pantyhose, shapewear, and swimwear both in the lab and with real consumer testers. The team evaluates things like washability, stretch recovery, fit, comfort, and more to find the ones that will feel great and actually last. We also got medical input on finding the best underwear for your health from Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD, a gynecologist in New York and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V.
A fitted t-shirt will show up any bulges from cups which are too small, and likewise a moulded bra that is not filled out will show lines at the bust where the edge of the cups are visible. It's also useful to make sure that the colour of your bra is not showing through a thin or light coloured top - if you need to make your bra invisible, go for seamless cups which match your own skin colour rather than the colour of your top.
Lisa Buhler, founder of Lisa Says Gah, told us that she’s a big fan of Swiss lingerie brand Hanro for its “luxe fabrics and classic designs.” (The brand also came up when we talked to some cool and stylish women about their favorite bathrobes.) If the price of the Hanro bikini is a little steep, Buhler suggests Everlane’s underwear, which she says has a similar design to Hanro at a fraction of the price.
Offer valid in stores and outlets, at soma.com or at 866.768.7662 on select styles only, while supplies last. Marked price reflects savings off original ticketed price. No adjustments on prior purchases. Offer not valid on purchase of gift cards, previously purchased merchandise, taxes, or shipping. If you return a portion of your purchase, an applicable portion of your original discount will be forfeited. Valid through 12/30/19.
Hosiery, also referred to as legwear, describes garments worn directly on the feet and legs. The term originated as the collective term for products of which a maker or seller is termed a hosier; and those products are also known generically as hose. The term is also used for all types of knitted fabric, and its thickness and weight is defined by denier or opacity. Lower denier measurements of 5 to 15 describe a hose which may be sheer in appearance, whereas styles of 40 and above are dense, with little to no light able to come through on 100 denier items.
After 20 years in the business, we’ve found the best brands for petites are Chantelle, Natori, OnGossamer, Calvin Klein and DKNY. For average sizes, your best bets are Wacoal, Natori, Chantelle and Simone Pérèle. Full busts will love Freya, Panache, Fantasie, Prima Donna and Empreinte. Curvy figures, check out Elomi, Goddess, Glamorise, Bramour and Curvy Couture.