Finding a bra that fits without spilling, gaping or digging into your ribcage shouldn't be rocket science but somehow - despite your mother's eye - it still feels like unnecessarily hard work. That is, until, you *finally* get a professional bra fitting for the first time in months and realise that you're...oh four letters and a number off of your actual bra size.
And it's not such an uncommon problem for women, either. According to one heavily cited study, about 80 per cent of women are wearing the wrong-sized bra.
So surely, after all these years of women having breasts, someone has had to have cracked the bra measuring code. Well lucky enough for breasts everywhere, Katherine Payne is that very someone.
Creative force behind the luxury larger cup lingerie brand, Katherine Hamilton, Payne has discovered the ultimate hack for finding the perfect fitting bra - without getting measured, that works for just about everyone.
I have this general rule that if you’re a size 6 on top, you’re a 26; if you’re a size 8 on top, you’re a 28.
The logic is that your bra band should be based around bone structure, not how you measure. You might measure a 34 but you don't carry your weight around your ribcage and therefore wear a size 12 in shirts and dresses meaning that 34 bra band is far too big. Asides from being uncomfortable, wearing a band too big forces your weight to be pulled down meaning you won't get that lift and stability you need to feel comfortable and confident. is forced to pull down
"It’s a great starting point for any woman who is new to bras or lost their way when it comes to shopping for bras because the going to get measured can be quite a deflating," says Payne.
As for your cup size, that's, unfortunately, a whole other maths equation.
The simplest way to about finding your cup size sans measuring tape is to use the above method as your basis. If you go down one size, go up one in the cup. If you go up one size, go down one the cup.
We actually did quite a bit of research on this and found that the majority of women are wearing two sizes too big in their band and two sizes too small in their cup.
For example, say you're currently wearing a 32D, you should really be wearing a 28E. This way you get the same cup capacity, but with extra support.
If like me, this comes as an overwhelming shock, think about your jeans. You shouldn't let the sizing label on your clothes affect how you feel about yourself and the same goes for your bra. Besides, Payne assures us that it's "essentially the same cup but on a smaller, more supportive band."
But above else, Payne says "you need to understand the principles behind the fit. Make sure your centre front sits flush against your sternum, make sure nothing is cutting in or gaping and you'll never hate wearing a bra again."
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Katherine Hamilton Luxury Lingerie is available in sizes 26-38, D-HH. Their designs can now be found in The Lingerie Room at Brown Thomas. For more info, click here.
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