Dianna Vaughn, owner of the fine lingerie and sleepwear Mia Del in West Chester, says that eight out of 10 women aren’t wearing the correct bra size, and she used to be one of them.
Several years ago, Vaughn, who describes herself as a “curvy girl,” was shocked when told that her actual bra size was miles away (more like a cup size and 4 inches in band size) from what she had been wearing. “Undergarments were something I never paid much money for, or much attention too — and in fact, I went to be fitted without much enthusiasm.”
The difference between the wrong and the right bra is what sparked her own enthusiasm to open Mia Del in February. “The right bra size can transform you. With the proper fitting undergarment, you can feel great, and when you feel great you present yourself in that way,” adds Vaughn.
The benefits of wearing the right bra can affect more than your confidence; it can affect your health. According to a study released earlier this summer, up to 95 percent of women are wearing bras that are potentially damaging to their breasts.
The research of Dr. Joanna Scurr and her breast biomechanics team at Portsmouth University in England released shocking numbers that say in a nutshell, women are not properly supported when it comes to their bras‚Äîwhich over time can cause breast pain and damage to ligaments, reports the Daily Mail.
“Of the women I have seen during my work, I would say only five percent were wearing the right size bra,” Dr. Scurr told the Mail. She attributes these ill-fitting bras to social stigmas about certain sizes and to women being simply unaware that they are wearing the wrong bra. Vaughn concludes that women who visit her shop for the first time typically wear too large of a band and too small of a cup.
Years after finding the right fit, Vaughn says that she rarely adjusts her bra once she puts it on in the morning. The increased comfort is something that traverses past day-to-day strap or cup adjustments, to positive results in minimizing breast damage overall.
The Perfect Fit
Vaughn dishes her top five tips for finding the perfect fit when it comes to a bra:
Ask yourself the right questions. What type of bra do you typically wear (soft cup, fashion, seamless, etc.)?
Vaughn usually asks customers questions about nursing, athletic needs or special occasions. She takes measurements and selects 4-5 of the appropriate bra styles.
Remember the following key points when finding your perfect bra:
- The bra must tack at the center to the breastbone.
- If an underwire is chosen, that it is behind the breast tissue (one on the breast tissue can be painful and cause injury).
- The band must not ride up the back. The back band should be parallel to the breasts. Swoop and scoop. Or “wipe the windshield” if you prefer, making sure that breast tissue is cleanly tucked in. Vaughn says that this secures “everyone in their own home, making sure there is no talking across the fence.”
- Life Happens. Women’s breasts change as they experience life, bringing body changes as they encounter weight gain or loss, menopause or breastfeeding. To look and feel your best, be sure to change your bra as your body changes.
- Be a good sport. Limit stretching and sagging by wearing a properly fitting sports bra, as well. The Portsmouth University study notes that breasts typically move eight inches when a woman is running. Vaughn says that a good sports bra will be sized according to your bra size and will be constructed to proved support both horizontally and vertically.
Photo: Amy Storer