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Whether you like lacy or racy, purchasing new bras after your breast enhancement procedure should be fun, but it’s often more challenging than you might wish!

Whether you have had a breast lift, breast reduction or breast implants from our NYC or Long Island cosmetic surgery specialists, we want to be sure you know how to select the best-fitting bras afterwards.

Even for our readers with no breast enhancements, finding well-fitting bras can be a challenge unless you buy your lingerie at a store that employs professional bra-fitters. We hope these tips will help!

Finding a Bra That Fits

Wearing a bra that fits well can mean the difference between a youthful silhouette and one that makes you look old because your breasts are sagging. A poorly-fitted bra can dig into your shoulders, cause back and shoulder pain, irritate your chest wall underneath the front of the bra, and just be a pain to wear all day.

Here are some signs that your bra doesn’t fit correctly:

  • It rides up your back.
  • You keep tightening the straps but it doesn’t help.
  • Your breasts fall out of your bra when you bend over or even when you’re upright.
  • Your bra bags at the nipple area or squeezes you too tightly.
  • You have chafe marks under the bra—anywhere.

Bra sizes vary, sometimes a great deal, from manufacturer to manufacturer. You may find that you wear a 36B at Victoria’s Secret, but a 36C in a Warner’s bra.

So how do you find the perfect bra? Good question. There are a lot of methods and formulas to help you determine your correct bra size.

What’s Your Bra Band Size?

The band size (also called frame size or back size) of a bra is the number part of the size. In the United States, this number is in inches. In foreign bras, it’s in centimeters.

Determine your band size by measuring around your rib cage with a measuring tape. Wrap the measuring tape snugly around your rib cage, directly under your breasts. It should be horizontal all the way around. It should not be placed too high or too low around your back, so check there before you note the number.

Once you have your band size in inches,add 4” if your measurement was an even number and 5” if it was an odd number. Example: If your measurement was 28”, add 4” and your bra size should be a 32. If you measured 29”, add 5” and your bra size is a 34.

Your band size doesn’t change after breast augmentation because your rib measurements stay the same.

How to determine cup size

Center the measuring tape over the fullest part of your breasts and around your back. Again, make sure the tape is horizontal and level all the way around. Subtract your band size from your new bust-size measurement. So, if your final band size is a 34 but your cup size measurement is 37, you are likely to be a 34C. Remember, size varies from brand to brand but this is a start!

Now find that number on the chart.

Bra measuring chart provided by Advanced Cosmetic Surgery of New York.If you use this method but still have a lot of sagging, you probably need a larger cup size than shown on the chart. If the cups are too loose, go down a cup size and see how that works for you.

Bra Strap Basics

Bra straps should always be comfortable. They shouldn’t dig into your shoulders or leave your skin red. Keep in mind that bra straps, contrary to popular belief, aren’t the primary support for your breasts.

More Tips for Bra Shopping and Bra Care

Trial and error is essential. The bra should fit snugly on the hooks closest to the bra itself, so when it stretches with wear you can still fasten it. Remember, once you find a great-fitting bra, you might do well to buy only that brand, choosing other styles from their line to suit your mood and garments.

As previously said, a 34B in a Maidenform is a 34B in all of the Maidenform styles, but a 34B in a Victoria’s Secret may be another size altogether.

After all the hard work that went into finding the right size bra, take good care of it! Hand wash and line dry your bras. If you must machine wash your bras, fasten them before washing, and place inside a lingerie bag. Don’t put into the dryer—it will loosen the elastic and the bra will wear out faster.

If you are considering breast augmentation and aren’t sure about how to arrive at the ideal implant size for your body type, get help deciding on breast implant sizes here.

We hope you found this blog post helpful!

To a Better Fitting Bra,

The Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Team