How to buy a bra in 5 easy steps

By: Erin Lukas

Image courtesy of Victoria's Secret Author: Canadian Living Credits: Image courtesy of Victoria's Secret


How to buy a bra in 5 easy steps

By: Erin Lukas
Whether you've worn out your favourite bras, your size has fluctuated, or need the right bra to wear under your next special-occasion outfit, shopping for new bras can be time consuming, frustrating, and exhausting

But once you find the right shape that fits like a glove, it will be one piece of clothing you'll never want to part with. These five essential bra-buying tips will make easy work of your shopping experience.

1. Get fitted
As a sales associate at a lingerie store, I help plenty of customers find the right bra. And I can attest to a commonly cited stat that reveals eight out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra.

A perfect fit provides the right amount of support, and makes you look and feel better too. The easiest and most accurate way to find your size is to get a professional bra fitting at a lingerie store.

2. Know what you want
Before you go shopping, keep in mind what kind of bra you want or need. From full-coverage to convertible bras and everything in between, boutiques and department stores carry a variety of shapes and colours.

It's easier to narrow down the selection of bras you'll want to try on when you know what you do -- and don't -- like in a bra. And consider what kinds of outfits you'll wear over it.

3. Try it on
When you're ready to try on bras, wear a T-shirt or bring one along so when you're in the fitting room, you'll notice any lumps and bumps caused by a poor fit or an unflattering bra shape.

Don't be shy to ask a sales associate for a second opinion on how the bra fits. Staff are accustomed to pointing out fit flaws and helping you find a new size or style that will complement your body.

Page 1 of 2 -- Find out how to properly care for your bras on page 2

4. Buy more than one
When you find a style you like, stock up. Give each bra a couple days of rest before wearing it again so that the bra maintains its shape.

Buying multiples means you'll have enough bras to rotate throughout the week and you'll have the right colours to choose from -- and be better prepared to avoiding choosing one that shows through your outfit. Plus, many lingerie brands and boutiques change their styles each season so when you're ready to replace your favourite bra, you might not be able to find the same one you love.

5. Handle with care
Hand-washing your delicates in cold water is best to keep your bras in pristine condition and keep them lasting longer. When machine-washing, use a cold water, gentle cycle and place bras in a mesh lingerie bag. To prevent shrinking, rips and warped underwire, be sure to hang dry.

Now that you have these need-to-know shopping tips, buying a bra will be little less intimidating. Check out our photo gallery: your top 10 essential bras

Find more great fashion and style advice on the Fashion and Beauty Blog.

Erin Lukas is a Toronto-based freelance writer and a sales associate at Aerie, American Eagle Outfitters' intimates and apparel store. Since 2010, she's been helping women eliminate unwanted bumps and lumps by finding the best bra fits for their body shapes and lifestyles.

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How to buy a bra in 5 easy steps