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How to Find Your Perfect Bra

How to Find Your Perfect Bra

By Isabel Kallman

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get to be personally fitted for a bra by the designing women of Bali, the makers of supportive bras and other intimate apparel. That’s kind of like having Valentino fit you for your own little black dress since really my biggest takeaway from that experience was that dressing your boobs is just like dressing for your body. It’s all about understanding what styles flatter your shape.

However, here are some more thoughts on finding that perfect bra:

Guide to Everything Archives1) Get fitted by a pro
In this era there is no excuse to not be fitted for a bra. Department stores, like Macy’s (where I got my Bali fitting), are flush with fit specialists and some even train their sales associates as well. Even independent specialty stores are now found all around the country.

2) Be prepared
Set aside enough time to try on 10-20 bras. Also, bring a fitted white t-shirt and whatever your “uniform” may be. For example, I live in button down shirts, so a bra that minimizes and prevents front gaping is important to me. Make this is a worthwhile experience.

3) Understand your problem areas
Of course the day you need to show off your gaping bra, it may not be. Well have a list of what bothers you about your bra. Be prepared like when you go to the doctor. Bra manufacturers make “solution-based” bras, oh yes, they do. Do your bra straps fall? Does your bra back ride up? Are you not filling up the top of your bra cup? Well, there’s most likely a bra for that. And that, and that, and THAT.

4) Even though you’re with a pro, know some things
When trying on bras: a) make sure the band settles mid-back, b) lean forward and position your breasts into the cups, c) make sure the middle center of the bra is flat on your sternum, d) ensure the eye and hook fastens on the middle row allowing you room for band loosening if there’s weight gain and tightening when the bra naturally stretches.

5) Know your style
As I mentioned above, the key is knowing your bra style. By the time you’re done with your professional fitting you should be able to walk into any store, eye a bra off the rack and immediately sense whether that bra style is for you, much like you must already know whether or not an A-line or empire dress style is a right choice. Clearly if your body changes, you should be refitted (go back to #3).

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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  • Philip @ RAOP

    May 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Yeah, I am thinking I should leave this one alone. I will say that my wife finally went and was fitted for a bra and she has loved it! They are getting to expensive to buy just to find out you don’t really like them in a week or so.

  • Annah

    May 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I didn’t know number #1! I feel like I’ve been living under a rock oh my. And bras are like $50.00. It’s nuts!

  • Bonnie

    May 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    If only they made stores that actually CARRY enough bras in my size to make any of that worthwhile. I’m a FULL DD, not quite triple (although I’m sure that will change once I start lactating. I haven’t grown too much so far this pregnancy). No stores have any kind of selection of those sizes that don’t come in a box with a picture of someone’s grandma on the outside. What’s worse is that the makers of bras that size are not only clueless about the fact that “OMG women with full breasts want to feel pretty too? WHAT?” But all those “solutions” and “styles” you mentioned don’t exist in that size, either. They’re always going to gap at the top because for some reason the fact that you have large breasts must also mean that they’re perky, right? They’ll never have fewer than four hooks, as if that really helps ANYTHING. The wider straps are more comfortable, but good lord they’re hideous. Anything with lace or a pretty color or print? Forget about it. I’m sure someone will respond with some specialty store that does online ordering, but there is no freaking way I’ll buy a bra I can’t try on first. I’m just lucky to find one that isn’t completely horrible. Sorry for the novel, this is just a sore subject that I always feel the need to give my two cents on.

  • Nicole R.

    June 20, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Nordstrom professional fitters helped me discover my real size — and also had it in stock! 32D or 30DD, Calvin Klein, very cute, $44. Can’t beat that.