As a woman, you probably have your bra size memorized, much like your social security number and email password. However, the size you think you are may not be your true bra size. If you have not been measured in years or have never been professionally measured for a bra, there is a good chance you are wearing the wrong size. Keep an eye out for these six signs that your bras don't fit properly.
1. Slipping Shoulder Straps
If you are constantly having to reach down and pull your shoulder straps back up, your bra does not fit properly. Tightening the shoulder straps might help a little. If they continue to slip once tightened, you are probably wearing too large a band, causing the straps to be positioned too close to the edges of your shoulders.
2. Back Pain
Back pain is particularly common in larger-chested women who wear bras that are the wrong size. You may over-estimate your cup size when really you need a larger band with a smaller cup for better support. Alternatively, you may be wearing too large a band, which allows the band to ride up your back and pull on your shoulders.
Back pain caused by a lack of bra support is usually more noticeable at the end of the day or after spending a long time on your feet.
3. Neck Pain and Headaches
The pressure that an ill-fitting bra places on your shoulders can also cause neck pain and even headaches. Many headaches can be attributed, at least in part, to muscle tension. A properly sized, supportive bra takes the stress of your shoulders, allowing the muscles through the shoulders, neck, and back of your head to relax.
4. Space at the Top of the Cups
When a bra fits properly, the cups should be completely filled. If there's a big gap at the top of your cups, you are too large a cup size. For instance, you might be wearing a C when you're really a B. Space in the cups can cause them to rub and buckle under certain clothing. The extra space may also lead to the need to tighten the straps excessively, which can put too much pressure on your shoulders.
5. Unappealing Appearance
A properly fitted bra gives you a sleek, attractive look under your clothing. If you can see bulges of skin around your bra when wearing a t-shirt, your bra is probably too small and tight. On the contrary, if your breasts appear flat and unsupported under your clothing, you might be wearing too large a band.
There are different styles of bras suited for different clothing, but if you consistently have to try on three or four bras before finding one that looks presentable with your attire, it's time to get re-measured.
6. Tingling in the Extremities
There are many possible causes for tingling in the extremities, including nervous system disorders that need to be managed by your doctor. But if your doctor has looked you over and ruled out medical explanations for tingling in your extremities, your bra may be to blame.
Bra straps that are too tight can put pressure on the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves that run from your spine to your arms. This pressure can lead to tingling and numbness in the hands and arms. Some women even complain of weakness or swelling in their arms.
If you notice any of the signs above or if you simply find your bras uncomfortable, visit Sal-Liz for a session with one of our certified bra fitters. Wearing a properly sized bra should feel like luxurious, not burdensome.