Did you know that as many as 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size? Ashley Kelsch, CEO and founder of Teddies for Bettys, started her company with the intention to empower women by helping them find well-made, great-fitting undergarments. She meets new clients on the daily who are getting by in life with ill-fitting bras, and she’s all about helping them slip into something a lot more comfortable. Here in Austin, we’re pretty pumped about the second location of Teddies for Bettys opening at the Domain in late September. In the meantime, we’re taking notes from Ashley and identifying which bras we need to break up with for good.
1. You’re suffering from “spillage” out of the top and/or sides.
2. There’s a bubble or air pocket at the top of the cup.
3. You’re on the tightest hook eye closure and the band keeps riding up your back.
4. You find yourself pulling your bra down constantly.
So — what to do? The first step is to be measured by an expert.
“The first and most important step to finding the right fitting bra is going into a specialty shop and having an expert measure you,” says Ashley. “8 out of 10 women do not know their bra size — they assume they need a larger band and smaller cup when in all actuality, it’s the other way around. Not to mention, our breasts are not like our body height, they don’t stay the same. Weight loss, pregnancy, exercise, and hormones keep our breasts constantly changing. We recommend getting fittings every 6 months if you can.”
Try on several styles and brands.
“A common misconception is that bra sizes are absolute. This could not be further from the truth. Some brands are made for full cups and would swallow a woman who doesn’t have a lot of breast tissue on top or on the sides. You will likely be told about your ‘sister size’.
You need to spend a little time trying styles and silhouettes. Depending on the shape of your breast and where your tissue lays, you may find that a demi or sweetheart cup/shape bra fits you particularly well, or not at all.”
Buy different occasion-specific styles.
“You want to consider when and where you are wearing your bra. If it is for every day, you may want a molded cup versus an unlined for more ‘coverage’. Some women who do not want to add extra volume to their chest area and prefer a bra that is a molded seamless or spacer cup. They are light weight, breathable and provide the coverage you are looking for. Other women are looking for bras they can wear with their button up work shirts and need a ‘low cut’ bra such as a demi or balconette. Knowing the occasion(s) in advance is best. (We recommend 5-7 bras in your drawer to wear throughout the week.)”
Pay close attention to the band fit and which hook you’re using.
With a brand new bra, it’s important that the band rests in the middle of your back and feels snug on the loosest hook eye closure,” explains Ashley. “It will loosen up after your first few wears! As time goes on and your bra begins to lose its elasticity, you can start adjusting the hook eye closure to tighten your bra giving it a longer life span. This is important because 90% of your breast support is coming from you band, not your straps.”
Check that underwire!
“The underwire or mold should hit just below your underarm and all your breast tissue should be pulled forward. This method is often referred to as the ‘scoop and swoop’. You don’t want your underwire digging into your side breast. If you notice your breast tissue is pouring out the front or the sides of your bra cup, you need to go up a size.”
Finally, make sure the center gore lays flat.
“Make sure your straps are adjusted properly and the center gore lays flat. If they are digging in, sliding off, or pushing out, you need to adjust the size,” says Ashley.
Follow @teddysforbettys on instagram and watch for the new store at the Domain in September!