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Let’s get the facts straight:

The band size, the measurement tight around your rib cage just under your breasts, is written as a number. This is fixed and standard.

The cup size represents the volume of your generous bosom. This is written as a letter. Cup size is relative to band. In other words, a G cup on a large band is bigger than a G cup on a small band.

The problem is that there is no global standard among bra manufacturers. You may wear a 34D in one brand and a 32FF in another. And even styles from the same lines are cut differently, giving a different fit for each individual bra. Not to mention that each one of us is shaped differently. And at different times in our lives.

So, again, being properly fitted is the key to wearing the perfect bra that will make you look and feel gorgeous. Choosing the right bra size and style for you can totally transform your figure. It can put curves back in all the right places, while giving you more comfort and confidence than ever.

Fit - Ladies only image

Clues to tell you your bra doesn’t fit – as if you didn’t already know!

- The band is too big if:

The damn thing rides up in the back (the band should sit level at the front & back, just below your shoulder blades).

You look a little saggy, so you’ve tightened the straps and now have deep red marks in your shoulders. Those sweet little straps should only hold 20% of the weight. In a properly engineered bra, the band does all the heavy lifting.

- The cup is too small if:

Your cups runneth over, perhaps creating the charming ‘double boob’ effect. The fabric should lay flat over the top of your breast, achieving a smooth transition under the thinnest of T-shirts.

You curse your underwire for digging into your boobs, usually at the side near your underarm (the underwire should fully encase all of your breast tissue - yes, all of it!)

Your bra stands away at the front of your body, creating slippage below. On a well-made bra that fits, the center ‘gore’ will tack to your breastbone.

- It’s just plain uncomfortable.

You should feel comfortable all day long, so if you suffer from a combination of problems listed above or if your bra just looks and feels wrong, it’s clear that you are wearing the wrong size and style for your body. Simple as that.

Hand wash only

Sorry girls, but it makes a difference. Lycra™ is one of the key ingredients of your bra’s fabric - it makes sure there’s plenty of firm support, but it will degrade quicker in a washing machine. And that’s not the only reason to keep it hand-washed. Our delicate laces and embroideries will also last longer. Avoid harsh detergents. I recommend Forever New® Fabric Care Wash, or you can also use a mild shampoo.

Note: Nursing bras may be washed in the COLD water cycle and drip-dried for all you exhausted moms!

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Engineering banner

Buy cheap, get cheap, as my father always said.

Corsetry is comparable to shoemaking in the complexity of the product and the finesse required to produce exceptional results. Fine brassieres require more handwork than any other item of standard apparel in order to properly exploit the technical properties of various materials. Modern bras are a remarkable structural achievement. This seems to have become clear around the middle of the twentieth century. In the January, 1959 issue of CAPER, a second-string men’s magazine, we find this:

Says Henry Plehn, president of Peter Pan brassieres and one of the best silhouette engineers in the business, “More engineering time, skill, and effort goes into a brassiere than into a major steel and concrete bridge because of the unique stresses and strains involved. Among the sections to be harmoniously united: cups, stitching, hooks, eyes, wires, straps, gores, bones, bands, trimming and lining. Among the structural materials: cotton, nylon, silk, plush, batiste, rubber, plastic, iron and steel.”

Back up for Mr. Plehn’s bra-bridge comparison was not long in coming. In his article BRASSIERES: An Engineering Miracle (Science and Mechanics, February, 1964). Edward Nanas writes:

In many respects, the challenge of enclosing and supporting a semi-solid mass of variable volume and shape involves a design effort comparable to that of building a bridge or a cantilevered skyscraper.

Engineering bra details

Bra designers must solve the problem of providing an uplift against vertical (downward) and sometimes tangential forces. They have borrowed from the design of suspension bridges, supplying vertical supports of wire or bone that are similar to a bridge’s piers. Wire cages for the cups duplicate wire ropes supporting the bridge’s roadway.

Mr. Nanas concludes:

The object of the designer then is to keep the bosom at a pleasing equilibrium in the face of gravity.

You got that right, pal.