8 Tips for Buying a Better Bra

Finding the right fit isn't easy, so we've called in a professional to help break it down. Lyn Lewis, CEO of New York City-based lingerie brand Journelle, explains sizing, which hook is best, and why shopping for the perfect bra doesn't have to be as scary as it seems.

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Tip No. 1: Yes, You Should Go Get Professionally Fitted

"We've found over and over again that women are wearing the wrong bra size! The band is too big or the cup size is too small, and all this leads to an uncomfortable bra that isn't flattering. Our specialists are trained from day one on the job to fit our customers perfectly for their bra. It creates a much more enjoyable and empowering shopping experience because you're now able to try styles that are comfortable and make you look good."

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Feathers Contour Plunge Bra by Natori, $34, journelle.com.

Tip No. 2: Don't Fall Into the Traps

"Not knowing your correct size, shopping for trends, and thinking it's a scary process are the biggest struggles when it comes to bra shopping! Oftentimes, when bra straps keep falling during the day, customers think they need to tighten the straps—but the cause is actually a band size that is too large. Women also tend to shop for the latest trends instead of what's right for their bodies. The shape of the breast tissue affects which styles are most well-suited, so buying what's trendy isn't the best way to go. Lastly, shopping for the perfect bra can be fun! So many of our customers leave our stores happier about their bodies, and feel more empowered to make the right decision about shopping in the future."

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Effie Midline Underwire Bra by Lonely, $120, journelle.com.

Tip No. 3: Look Out for the Red Flags of Fitting

"A few warning signs to watch out for: if the underwire is cutting into the breast or if the bra is riding above the breast. The center gore needs to lay flat on the sternum—that's how you know you have the correct cup size. If the band is riding up the back, that could indicate the band is too big and needs to be sized down. If you reach up with your arm and your bra moves with you, you're wearing a bra that's too big."

Swan Lake Comfort Bra by Mimi Holliday, $95, journelle.com.

Tip. No. 4: Chances Are, It's Time to Be Re-Sized

"Bra size definitely changes over time. Fluctuation in weight and age can affect the correct bra size at that time."

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Chantilly Lace Coucou Bralette, $40, journelle.com.

Tip No. 5: Not All Brands Fit the Same

"There are differences in sizing from different countries, among different brands, and even by different styles. Once you become comfortable with your sizing, you're better equipped to adjust and purchase correct sizes."

Minoa Soft Bra by Cosabella, $48, journelle.com.

Tip No. 6: Clip the Right Clasp

"Your clasp should fit on the loosest hook. Bras stretch over time and you'll need the extra hooks to tighten the band."

Paul & Joe Juliette Printed Underwire Bra by Cosabella, $85, journelle.com.

Tip. No. 7: Know When to Say Goodbye

"A good bra will maintain its shape and elasticity for about six to nine months. When the bra loses support and you have to adjust throughout the day, it's time to toss it or donate it! Journelle has a great partnership with Free the Girls to donate gently used bras."

Vega Long Line Bra by Fortnight Lingerie, $55, journelle.com.

Tip No. 8: Repeat After Us: You're More Than a Number

"What we like to say to our customers is that they're not a size, they're a shape. It's all about finding the right bra for your shape."

For more bra styles, shapes, and sizes, check out journelle.com.

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