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Bra Buying 101

Finding the right bra can be trickier than figuring out your locker combo. (Was it 34 or 36?) GL sorts through the details to help you find the best fit. Now, if only we could get boys to stop snapping those straps….

Most girls are bouncin’ around in the wrong size bra—but proper sizing can be confusing. The number is the measurement around your rib cage, and the letter is the size of the cup (who knew your A,B,C…D’s could be so difficult?).

Your best bet? Get fitted at a lingerie store. Wear a thin tee, and she’ll use a tape measure—over your shirt—to find your correct bra size. Turns out you’re a hard-to-find combo (hello, 30C)? Go to to locate a specialty boutique in your area.

Do not—we repeat, do not!—buy a bra without trying it on. Not sure you’ve picked the right one? Hook it on the end clasp, and see if it passes these tests.…

DO THE WAVE Reach both hands up to the ceiling. If the bra rides up, it’s too big. Go down a band size.
JUMPING JACK FLASH While in the dressing room, jump in place. If you’ve got big-time bounce, go for extra support, like underwire or structured cups.
WAITING TO EXHALE Feelin’ like you can’t breathe? Go up a band size…bras shouldn’t be tight, just snug!
I’M WITH THE BAND See if it’s a good fit by sliding the straps down for a sec. The bra should pretty much stay put.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT? Your bra should not dig in, fall down, pinch or make you uncomfortable in any way.
SMOOTH OPERATOR Pull on a tee and see how well it lays over the bra. Smooth? You’ve found a keeper!

GL’s got the answers to your most baffling bra problems.…

• Um…when should I start wearing a bra? Your hair’s not the only thing that’s bouncy these days? Try a sports bra for support. A little too much peek-a-boo through your shirts? Time for some coverage with a cute bralette. Keep getting measured as you develop, and buy new bras when you need them.

• My straps are always slipping down my arm!
Straps falling faster than the temperature? Adjust so they’re tighter.

• Ugh, this underwire’s killing me. Here’s a shocker: Bras shouldn’t hurt. If you’re getting poked, go up a cup size.

• My strapless never stays put! Nothing’s worse than finding your bra around your waist. Resist the urge to pull the band up in back—that’ll make the cups pop out in the front. Be sure the band rests right under your shoulder blades.

• Ouch! My straps always dig in. Loosen up, sister. Adjust the straps so they’re longer—comfortable but still taut. Or, look for wider straps the next time you go bra shopping.

• My boobs are so big they spill over the top of my bra! When you’ve got humps bursting out of the top of your bra, go up a cup size. No dreaded double boob!

BY KATIE ABBONDANZA ON 8/3/2010 3:25:00 PM


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