Asset Management

Whether challenged in the chest department or blessedly buxom, every girl needs proper support
Wednesday , 04 March 2009
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She’s been the body of Agent Provocateur and Calvin Klein, but last week, 35-year-old Kate Moss admitted that putting on weight had meant she’d had to wear a bra for the first time in her life!

But with nine out of 10 women wearing the wrong size bra, it seems Kate isn’t alone in making a few boobs in the undies department.

The facts

Wearing the wrong size bra – whether too big or too small – can impact on your health. Aside from creating tension and strain in the upper back and neck, a bad bra can impede blood and lymphatic system flow, cause poor posture, pounding headaches and even interfere with digestion. Worse still, going bra-less like Kate can weaken and tear muscle tissue in the breast – which ultimately leads to sagging.

The wrong bra?

Most women underestimate the width of their back and overestimate cup size. A bra must be firm, not tight, around the back and support the weight of the breasts. The under band of the bra provides 80 per cent of support, the straps just 20 per cent, so when straps dig in, it’s because the under band is too loose and straps tightened to compensate. The centre front of the bra should lie flat against the body – if it doesn’t, the cup size is probably too small. The solution? Get a proper bra fitting!

Size matters

Find your perfect bra with our measuring guide...

1 To determine your back size, wearing an unpadded bra, use a measuring tape to measure around your rib cage, directly under the bust, rounding up to the nearest whole number.

2 Add on five inches. If you get an odd number, round up to the next even number (bras only come in even sizes).

3 Make a note of your even number. This is your back measurement and band size.

4 To determine your bust size, measure loosely around your chest at its fullest part. Keep the tape measure straight and flat all the way around your body. Round up or down to the nearest whole number. This is your bust line measurement.

5 To find your cup size, subtract your band size from your bust line measurement. The difference between the two determines your cup size. See circle to the right for sizes...

If the difference is:

½ inch, your cup size is AA

1 inch, your cup size is A

2 inches, your cup size is B

3 inches, your cup size is C

4 inches, your cup size is D

5 inches, your cup size is DD

(Size guide based on European measurements)