“A good bra is like a good man: he’s gotta be good looking, supportive and he’ll never let you down.”

These are the kind of truths that Rebecca, the owner of La Petite Coquette – the store I was telling you about the other day – can throw at you in an everyday conversation.

And the thing is after talking, and moslty, trying bras with her, I kind of realized that in spite of all my efforts, my bra knowledge was very limited. It was time to take a lesson in bra fitting, and to ask her a few of the essential questions…

How do you figure out your size? I don’t believe in tape measures because they are not tried and true, it’s basically a gimmick. The most important thing is to go to your local lingerie store and try on bras. You need to give yourself 20-30 minutes to try on a few different styles. There is no standardization in bra sizing. Each manufacturer makes a different size. A C-cup in an American size is very different from a C-cup in a European size. You have to know how the bras fit.

What to wear when bra shopping? Wear a simple a t-shirt or tank top. If you’re looking for a t-shirt bra, it should look like you’re not wearing anything at all, it should be smooth, round and high. You don’t need to bring multiple tops. You know when it fits, when it’s comfortable.

How do you know the bra fits? The middle part of the bra should go flat against your sternum and the band should be in the middle of the back. Your nipple should land in the middle of your arm between your elbow and shoulder. You shouldn’t have spillage coming out. Always have your bra on the first hook, it should fit snug on your back so you’ll have places to go when it stretches out. The straps should not dig into your shoulder and they should fit snug.

How often should you be buying new bras? Bras always wear out but it’s the way you take care of them. If you hand wash and air dry them, they will always last much longer. Most women, I find, wear the same bra every single day. You have to rotate your bras. Don’t wear the same bra twice in a row– you sweat and the sides, back and straps stretch out.

What should you have in your bra wardrobe? Four to five bras for during the week, when you wear your work clothing, when you want your clothes to be smooth and fitting you well. You should have 3 or 4 sexy ones for when you want to go out at night or you are entertaining your man for seduction. Two strapless bras, one black and one nude (when you buy a strapless bra it should fit very, very snug, you can even go one size down sometimes).

Best brands for…
Small Chests: Timpa, Eberjey, Chantelle, Simone Perele
Large Chests: Freya, Chantelle, Simone Perele, Prima Donna
Petite: Wacoal, Lula Lu Petites

PS: The bra in the photo is by Cosabella.