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10 Common Questions About Bras

Top tips and all your bra queries answered

Belle Lingerie18 October 2021

10 common questions about bras

Got a question about bras that you need answering? Well, you are certainly in the right place! With over 15 years in the lingerie industry, we like to think of ourselves as bra experts. We've seen so many styles of bras, spoken to so many women and done our bra research. So we are here to help with all your bra and boob related questions. Check out this blog to see our answers to the 10 most common questions about bras. But if you don't find what you are looking for here, you can always get in touch with our lovely team who will be happy to answer any of your questions.

Should my bra be uncomfortable?

The simple answer is no. We are big believers in comfort when it comes to finding the right bra. A bra can absolutely be supportive without feeling awful or being unkind to your body. Belle has so many comfy bra options so you can have the best of both worlds. If your bra is feeling uncomfortable, it may be time for a change. Your bra may be the wrong size for your body, which means it is sitting wrong on your curves and causing discomfort. Make sure you check your bra size regularly as your body can change. If your bra was once comfy and now you dread putting it on, maybe it is simply past its sell-by date. Bras won't last forever. The material wears and the bra can become misshapen. This could be the reason for that uncomfy feeling.

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Why does my bra leave red marks?

Red marks on your skin when you take your bra off is usually a sign that your bra is too tight. First, try loosening the shoulder straps or the back band to see if that stops your bra from digging in. But you don't want to loosen so much that you are losing the support. If that doesn't help, you may need to measure your bra size again and invest in a new bra. Your band may simply be too small and you may benefit from going up a band size. Or maybe the size is fine but the bra is poor quality and the fabric is irritating your skin. Try a few options and different materials to see what works for your body. Belle has free UK delivery and returns so you can try as much as you like before you commit.

How often should you wash your bra?

You should ideally wash your bra after 3 or 4 wears but we know that might be a little unrealistic depending on how many bras you have. It also depends on your individual situation. If you are quite a sweaty person or you have a very active lifestyle, you will need to wash your bra more often. Sweat and oils from our skin can actually damage your bra so make sure you wash it regularly. Also always read the washing instruction before you wash. Some bras are absolutely fine to throw in the washing machine but others will need to be hand-washed.

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Why do my shoulder straps fall down?

Your shoulder straps can fall down for a number of reasons. First, the straps may simply be too loose and you need to tighten them. If it is as tight as it will go then your bra may have seen better days and it's time for some new lingerie. Over time your bra straps will stretch and eventually they will be too loose for your body. If you don't think that is the problem, maybe your shoulder shape is just naturally prone to straps slipping. Many women have very narrow shoulders, particularly if you have a petite frame. Or maybe your shoulders slope downwards naturally. If this sounds like you, then look for bras with a U-shaped back as this prevents slippage. Or you can always try a racerback style bra as the straps are connected at the back so will not fall down. You can also buy clips to turn your favourite bras into racerback styles. Clever right!

Should my bra give me back bulge?

Many women of all shapes and sizes can experience the dreaded back bulge so don't worry you are not alone. Although it is not the most flattering of things, back rolls are completely normal. A bra is supposed to have a firm band with a snug fit to give your bust the support it needs. Sometimes this can lead to a back bulge. It shouldn't be uncomfortable at the back. If it is, your band may be too small. But try not to increase your band size simply to get rid of back rolls as this can have negative effects. If your band is too loose it may have a negative impact on the lift and shape your bra creates and it could cause shoulder pain as the weight is being transferred to the shoulder straps. Ultimately a little bit of back bulge is normal but if you really can't stand it, you could try a bra with a thicker band or some shapewear to smooth out the back.

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How do I know if my bra fits properly?

The best way to know if your bra fits is to get a bra fitting. Our bodies change over time and so will your bra size. But if you don't want to travel to get a bra fitting, you can measure your own bra size at home. You can also check out our bra fitting guide here as this gives you top tips on how your bra should fit and feel. But if you are not sure if your bra fits, simply listen to your body. If you feel uncomfortable or in pain, then you absolutely have the wrong fit. Or if you are not happy with the way your bra looks then it may be worth checking your bra size again. But bare in mind that not all bra styles suit every body shape. Every boob shape has unique needs so what fits one person may not fit your curves. For example, if you experience gaping at the top of the cups, you may need a more triangular shaped bra with a high apex. If you think you are wearing the right size then experiment with different bra styles to find the perfect fit for you.

How do I know my bra size?

You can measure your own bra size at home in just a few simple steps. Click here to see our guide to measuring your bra size. This will talk you through step by step on how to measure your band and cup size from home. All you need is a flexible measuring tape or a price of string and a ruler. Knowing your true bra size is crucial to finding the perfect fit and feeling comfy in your lingerie every day. So many women wear the wrong bra size and actually risk unnecessary pain. Once you know your true bra size, you need to invest in some new lingerie to find the bra that is right for you.

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What is a sister bra size?

A sister size is simply another size with the same cup volume. So in most cases, you should be able to swap between your sister sizes and your true size. An example of a sister size is where you go up a band size and down a cup size. E.g. your true size is 36D but your sister size is 38C. This also works the opposite way as you have two sister sizes (up and down). So if you are a 36D you may also be able to wear a 34DD. So why would you wear a sister size? It might be that your true size just doesn't quite feel right. Trying a sister size might allow you to feel more comfortable without compromising on fit or shape. Sister sizes also allow you more choice and flexibility. So if you fall in love with a bra but your true size is out of stock, you can probably get away with trying your sister size.

How many bras should I own?

This is really up to you. It is mostly personal preference as to how many bras you own but we do have some advice. Try not to wear the same bra for days on end. You need to give your bra a break to allow the elastic to readjust and rebound to maintain the shape for longer. You also need a variety of styles and colours for different purposes. We recommend you have at least 1 black, white and beige bra so you are covered for any outfit. Every woman also needs a strapless bra for those awkward outfits where you won't want the straps showing. So really you are looking at 4-6 bras as a minimum, but we know many of you will probably own so many more!

Do you have to wear a bra?

Our answer is always yes! Wearing a bra is not just for cosmetic reasons, it can also have a massive impact on your health. Not wearing a bra allows your boobs to hang naturally and unsupported. That is fine on the odd occasion when you just want to chill but repeatedly not wearing a supportive bra can lead to premature boob sag ... no one wants that. A lack of support can cause your Coopers ligament to stretch and that may not be reversible. Also, a bra is designed to give you support by taking some of the weight of your bust. If you don't wear a bra, you may experience back pain, particularly if you have a larger bust. Going braless may also lead to poor posture. The weight of your boobs may be pulling you forward and rounding your shoulders without you even knowing.

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