Cami Raymond, senior design director of Ruby Ribbon says, “Non-negotiables of a good bra are quality materials and construction, a supportive band and straps, and the overall fit.” The fabric should feel like a second skin: soft, stretchy, and smooth. “Since bras are worn for extended periods of time, make sure the fabric isn’t causing any uncomfortable sensations like chafing or itching. Look for softer fabrics and bras with lining in the cups,” she adds.
A properly fitting bra should fit snug around the breasts. A bra that is too big will cause gaping in the cups, while a bra that is too small will cause spillage. Cohen says, “The band should fit comfortably snug for support, but not too tight that it leaves marks. You should be able to slide two fingers under the back of your band—no more, no less. The straps should stay put all day without slipping, but they shouldn’t be so tight they dig.”
There are several bra styles on the market, so finding the right one to flatter and support your shape can take time. “Almost 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong bra size due to common fit issues like slipping straps, wire sitting on breasts, straps digging in, cup gaping, side overflow, and cup overflow,” Cohen says. Consider this your checklist to avoid when bra shopping. If you’re free from all, you just may have found the perfect bra.
Gabrielle Richards, bra expert and brand director of Truekind and Shapermint, suggests fuller-chested women should consider a bra with wider straps. “These are designed to offer better support by distributing weight more evenly, giving you that extra comfort you deserve,” she says. Full-coverage cups will also make a bra more comfortable. “Strong back bands will provide extra support, making sure your bra stays put and doesn’t ride up.”