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    The Ultimate Guide To Buying, Wearing, And Caring For Bras

    It's probably easier to find a soulmate than a bra that actually fits. But we're here to help.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Get to know your *breast friends* before even shopping for a bra — this will help you figure out the support you actually need. Not all boobies are created the same! But they probably fit into a category.

    2. Learn up on what style bras are best designed for the shape of your breasts. You can pick mainly based on how you fill out cups, as every design offers a different kind of support.

    3. Remember your bra's life expectancy — a typical bra tends to last between six and nine months. If you reallyyyy care for your delicates, it can last up to a year. But even the most well-made bra isn't made to last forever. Sigh.

    4. Seek the guidance of a professional to learn your *correct* bra size. A lot of us think our band size is directly proportional to our cup size, and that's simply not true. A proper measurement can sometimes drastically change your sizing!

    5. Take a test online before splurging on a new bra (as we all know they are an INVESTMENT). Brands like True&Co., ThirdLove, and Victoria's Secret offer in-depth quizzes to learn all the deets about your nips, boob shape, shoulder shape, and more before suggesting a style.

    6. Fret not if your breasts are two different shapes. That's totally normal! Expected, even. When you shop for a bra, choose the one that fits your larger breast and then tighten the straps to ensure a snug fit.

    7. Fasten a new bra on the middle hook when testing to see if it fits. If the back rides up and doesn't rest straight across, that means the band size is too loose. In that case, go down a size bracket!

    8. Buy some staples that you know will be reliable no matter what. Certain styles come in handy every day (looking at you T-Shirt bra) while others save the day in unexpected situations (bless you, plunge bra).

    9. Keep in mind stores don't label their sizes consistently (lucky us!). The chart below lists all related sizes, or "sister sizes". Tldr: things like 28A and 30AA are exactly the same.

    10. Same goes for plus sizes! Letters like "E" and "G" are simply an extension beyond a "DD". For example, "F" is also a "DDD".

    11. Know the right steps needed if you're measuring yourself for a bra fitting. Pay attention to placement (for the band: right under your bust, and for the cup size: the fullest part of your bust). If you get a fractional measurement, just round to the nearest whole number!

    12. End the constant quest for nude bras that don't actually match your skin tone (hello world, we are not all ivory-colored). Aerie features a more diverse range of shades for nude bras!

    13. Make sure your bras pass this extremely simple test to see if they really do fit. If you can put your whole hand through the band, the bra is much too big.

    14. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed by the complicated world of plus-size bras. Sure, every store seems to have a different letter for your size, but with this universal cup sizing guide, you can easily convert to know which is for you.

    15. Put a bra on *correctly* by stooping over, gently tugging the bottom of the cups down, and jiggling to make sure your breasts sit completely in the cups. You'll know it's on right when the highest part of your breast is lined up with the center of the cup.

    16. For cup sizes D and larger, you should lean over and use your opposite hand to place all your breast tissue into the bra cup. Then scoop your breast from under your arm and under your breast and into the cup. Again, the highest part of your breast should be aligned with the apex of the cup.

    17. Consider a bralette if you absolutely hate the feeling of every bra. They're less expensive, extremely comfortable, and most importantly ALWAYS free of underwire.

    18. Shop at as many stores as possible to truly discover which brand is best for you (don't make a place your go-to just because you started there when you were 12, ok?!).

    19. Struggle no longer with dangerously loose strapless bras (oh, there's my bra, around my stomach). Wrap a removable strap around your bra for some DIY (and cheap!) support.

    20. Think you can't wear strapless bras if you have big breasts? WRONG. It just takes a little trial and error to find a good one. Luckily, we already went through all of that for you!

    The winner: Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra. What a name. What a bra.

    21. Study the complete structure of the *brassiere* — hooks and all! Now you'll know what salespeople are actually talking about, instead of smiling and nodding.

    22. Avoid sleeping in an underwire bra. Being in underwire 24/7 is just unnecessarily cruel to your soul. Instead, opt for a soft cotton bralette as a far gentler solution.

    23. Wear dark bras a little looser, as their ink makes them feel tighter. #Science.

    24. Differentiate between the three kinds of sports bras before deciding which type fits your needs. There are three categories: encapsulation, compression, and compression and encapsulation.

    25. Pause before you count out cheap sports bras; price tags don't always reflect the support they offer, even for high impact activities. Have we already tested some out? Of course.

    26. Reconsider your sizing approach if you can never find a bra that's *just* right, like if there's always a little small gap between you and your bra that you can never shake, no matter the store. ThirdLove offers half sizing for their bras, so you're much more likely to find your fit!

    27. Fix constant slipping (I'm annoyed just writing about it) or any discomfort caused by straps from too much pressure by adding silicone strap cushions to your bra.

    28. Don't restrict your bra choices to just bralettes if you're an "A" cup but would like more styles. Brands like Free People keep smaller breasts in mind when designing their selects.

    29. Take *care* when it comes to maintaining your brassieres. The better you maintain your undergarments, the longer they'll hold their original shape!

    30. Looking for sizes larger than DD? You're not alone. Brands like Torrid, Curvy Kate, and Lane Bryant cover wider ranges, so you can rely on cups that actually FIT!

    31. Effectively hide straps when wearing things like tanks by simply using a bra strap clip. All it does is transform your everyday bra into a racerback!

    32. Live comfortably in bralettes, even if you have DD+ breasts. Lively's ~busty bralettes~ are specially designed with you in mind. Comfort? Check. Style? Mhm. Support? INDEED.

    33. Adjust your bra straps to their proper place, so you have a little subtle *lift*. This is the best way to ensure the best support and a comfortable fit.

    34. Organize your bras with a drawer divider to maintain their shape, find them easily, and overall take better care of them for a longer shelf life.

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