The Bra Book’s 10-Point Fashion Formula To Finding The Perfect Bra

Jene luciani   headshot

Jené Luciani

Fashion & Style /

What can shave ten pounds off your appearance and make you stand up straighter in a snap? If you answered the right bra, you would be correct! We’ve all heard the statistics that 85-90% of us are wearing the wrong bra size. And, as the bestselling author of the one and only bible to all things bras, The Bra Book (BenBella Books, 2009), I can attest that through years of working with women, both on-camera and off, this is definitely true.  In fact, I’d go as far to say as even more of us are getting it wrong, leaving only a small fraction that’s walking around with their girls held high.

While we’ve all heard we’re supposed to “go get fitted,” and “try before you buy,” there are a few rules to being an educated consumer. The bra world is rife with variety, with hundreds of different brands, hundreds of different styles within those brands and hundreds of different fits. That’s enough to leave even the savviest shopper scratching her head.

The important thing is to do your research before you hit the stores.  So, without further ado, I present The Bra Book’s 10-point Fashion Formula to Finding the Perfect Bra.

  1. Choose a store that has a wide selection of bras and trained bra fitters on hand.  Measure yourself first as a guideline as described in The Bra Book, especially if shopping online. 
  2. Go to the store armed with a list of what you need and plan to buy:i.e., two nude bras, two black bras, one strapless, one sports bra, one bra without underwire for comfort (this will vary from person to person). Remember: nude goes under nearly everything.
  3. Be aware of your body type so you know what bras to look for. For example, if you are more of a top-heavy “apple,” you likely will be looking for fuller coverage bras, not demi-cups.  A full guide by body type can be found in The Bra Book
  4. Wear or bring a thin t-shirt to the store so you can see what each bra looks like under the sheerest of circumstances.
  5. Be open-minded about your size. If you’re surprised (or disappointed), remember that size is just a number (and a letter!). The proper fit of the bra is the most important part.
  6. If you’re in a bind and there’s a bra that you really love but they don’t have your size, it’s usually OK to go up a band size and down a cup size – or vice versa.
  7. Don’t be afraid to put the bra on and face yourself in the mirror with a critical eye. If you see any gaps, spillage, digging in, or other signs of poor fit, it’s not the right bra. Turn around and look at the back as well. The back band can be very telling too when it comes to proper fit.
  8. Don’t forget to pick up some bra accessories, too, so you avoid any faux pas! Breast petals and double-sided tape are always good to have on hand.
  9. Don’t get stuck in a size rut. Write down the date of your visit and be sure to plan another one six months to a year later (our sizes fluctuate due to weight gain, hormonal changes, aging and other life changes so it’s important to get fitted at least once a year!) Our bras also need to be replaced every 6 months to a year due to wear and tear so it’s a good rule of thumb.  
  10. Be sure to properly care for your bras!  It’s best to hand wash but if you must put in the washing machine, make sure it’s encased in a protective garment bag. Always air dry – never put your bras in the dryer! 
Categories: Fashion & Style
About The Author
Jene luciani   headshot

Jené Luciani is a fashion journalist, stylist and regular correspondent and contributor to a number of national media outlets, including NBC’s TODAY, The Nate Berkus Show, and Martha Stewart Living Radio. Hailed as a “Brilliant Bra Guru” by BRAVO-TV and a “stylist extraordinaire,” Luciani is the bestselling author of The Bra Book: The Fashion Formula to Finding the Perfect Bra (BenBella Books, 2009) which counts Sherri Shepherd, Jill Zarin, Kathie Lee Gifford and Kat Deluna among its many celebrity fans. The former fashion editor is a regular contributor to SHAPE.COM, fashion critic for Life & Style Weekly, and has been quoted or featured in nearly every major magazine. When she’s not giving advice on TV or putting her tips in print, she’s playing dress up with her 2 year old daughter. You can find her on Facebook by searching “The Bra Book” or “Jene Luciani” and on Twitter @JeneLuciani.

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