Women are always told that they are wearing the wrong size bra. It's the constant refrain we hear from bra manufacturers, fitters and stylists.
Oprah tried to solve the problem a couple of times by televising mass bra fittings on her show. But not much has changed over the years. Just recently, lingerie giant Triumph conducted a survey of 10,000 women and found that over 75 percent admit to wearing the wrong size bra.
Why is it that we choose to be uncomfortable in our own foundations, and does it even matter?
Here are five reasons why women could be wearing the wrong size bra:
1. No two bras fit or wear alike. Think about other pieces of clothing in your wardrobe, like your jeans. Different brands and styles don't "fit" the exact same way. Quality of design and materials drastically change how the item looks and fits. Some pieces wash and wear longer than others. And bras are way more complicated. There are options like wires, padding, strap placement, number of hooks, etc. If you fit into more than one size, they can still both be "right."
2. No two breasts are are the same, even on the same woman. Breasts can rest just about anywhere on our chest, from low to high up or be widely or more narrowly spaced. Breast density and percentage of fat can change their weight or fullness. One of our breasts is always slightly different than the other. Two women who measure into the same bra size may not be able to wear the same bra brand and style (see #1 above).
3. Fit is subjective. I can be sized into a technically well-fitting bra, but if I don't like it, who cares? Bra fitting is more art than science because it's about more than calculating the band number and cup letter. In the end the customer has to be happy with how the bra looks and feels.
4. Women's breasts are moving targets. We grow up, older, gain or lose weight, get pregnant, go through menopause; all resulting in body and boob changes and different bra sizes. Thanks to monthly cycles, most of us wear two different bra sizes in one month. Which one is the wrong size? It depends on the day or week.
5. Fashion changes. What I found appealing in bra and clothing styles in my teens has evolved and changed through my 20s, 30s and 40s. Even my nearly new bras don't always "fit" under every style of clothing I own.
I could be wearing the "wrong" or "right" size bra on any given day. If it makes me feel uncomfortable, I look for something else to wear. And I turn to the fitting experts to find solutions to my fashion and support problems. But it's no big deal. I've learned to accept, embrace and love the ups and downs of my breast life.
What about you? Are you wearing the wrong size bra? Does it bother you? How do you handle your breast changes?
This article first appeared on The Breast Life.