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how to buy a bra

Bra shopping is a process. As much as we’d love to go into a lingerie store and walk out with new bras in a matter of minutes, it never quite works out that way. In most cases, bra shopping starts before you walk into the store, so it’s best to be prepared.

In this guide, we’re sharing a few things you can do to make bra shopping a little easier. Read on for everything you need to know.

Start with a bra fitting

If you haven’t had a bra fitting in six months or more, you’ll want to get fitted before buying new bras. If you’ve never had a bra fitting before, here’s what to expect: a bra fitter will measure your bust in the fitting room, determine your bra size, pick out bras for you to try, and check the fit of each bra to make sure they’re fitting you right. Bra shopping is a personal experience, so if you’re not comfortable with removing your shirt for a fitting or having your bra fitter check each bra in the fitting room, you can always let her know. Bra fitters want to make your bra shopping experience as easy and pleasant as possible – and communication and comfort are key to a good bra fitting.

Set a bra budget

How many times have you walked into a store and wanted to buy everything? To avoid going over budget, determine how much you’re comfortable with spending before you walk in the door. Be upfront with your bra fitter and let her know if you’re only looking for one or two bras or if you have a certain amount in mind you’re willing to spend on new lingerie. The same goes for online – know your budget, search for coupons and promo codes before adding an item to your cart, and don’t be afraid to pause and walk away from the computer if you feel overwhelmed. New lingerie can be pricey and stressful to shop for, but you’ll feel more in control (and be less likely to have buyer’s remorse) if you set a budget ahead of time.

Related: 4 Ways To Make Bra Shopping More Fun

where to buy strapless bra

Charm Molded Balconette Bra | Charm Bikini in Spring Print

Make a list of what you need

Overwhelmed by all of the bra styles out there? You’re not alone. If you want to make bra shopping easier and more enjoyable, make a list of the bras you need before you start shopping. Go through your bras and identify the bras you want to keep, donate, or toss. Then determine which bras your wardrobe is missing. If you’re building a new lingerie wardrobe from scratch, start with 2-3 everyday bras, 1 bralette, 1 sports bra, 1 strapless bra, and 1 beautiful lingerie set that makes you feel like a queen. Depending on your lifestyle, you may want to adjust the list to reflect what you’ll wear on a weekly basis. For example, if working out is important to you, you’ll need another sports bra or two so you can rotate your bras and always have one to wear on laundry day.

Shop smart

Searching for a strapless bra for a special occasion dress? Bring the dress with you. Do you live in t-shirts and comfy tops? Wear a t-shirt when you’re bra shopping so you can see how the bra will look under a favorite top. Shopping smart applies to online shopping too. Sign up on the email lists of your favorite lingerie stores so you never miss a sale. Consider following them on social media if you check Instagram more than your email. Buy a few new bras throughout the year and stock up on the fun colors and styles you’ve wanted to try during the big mid-year and end-of-the-year sales (like Black Friday and after Christmas) to get the best deals.

Try on everything and critique it thoroughly

Before buying a new bra, check the return policy. If you’re taking a chance on a store or brand you’ve never purchased before, you’ll want to know the return and exchange policy in the event the bra doesn’t work out. After purchase and before taking the tags off, wear the bra for a few minutes. Remember: A bra might feel different at home than it did in the store. While you’re wearing it, note how the underwire feels, make sure your breast tissue stays within the cups, check the fit of the bra straps (do they fall off your shoulders or do they stay put?), check the fit of the band (does the band stay in place or does it move up your back?), and check if the fit changes when you’re going about your day. Once you’ve decided the bra is a keeper, take off the tags and wear it with confidence.

Related: Why It’s Important To Know Your Breast Shape

how to buy the right bra for you

Charm Molded Balconette Bra | Charm Bikini in Garden Print

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for your wedding day, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Featured image lingerie:
Evoke Bralette A1582 | Evoke Bikini A1583 in Ivory/Petal
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Published by

Katie Donnelly

Katie Donnelly is a full-time freelance writer, content manager, and founder of Katie Rose Creative. An experienced bra fitter, Katie has helped hundreds of people shop for lingerie. Her favorite bra is the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra.

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