Fitting specialist reveals the seven stages to buying the perfect bra

The seven stages to the perfect fit: ‘Bra whisperer’ reveals what you need to know before shopping for underwear – and the one mistake all women make

  • Triumph fittings specialist Paula Svoboda spoke to FEMAIL about bras
  • The so-called ‘bra whisperer’ shared the seven stages to finding the perfect fit
  • Sh said that if your bra is riding up at the back or hurts, it doesn’t fit correctly
  • According to Paula, the right bra will sit evenly at both the front and the back 

We wear them every day, put them through their paces and expect them to last – often far longer than other items in our wardrobe do.

And yet, for many women, bra shopping is a hurried, stressful experience – meaning we often end up with an ill-fitting, poorly-thought-through piece of underwear.

To help you on your journey to buy the perfect bra, FEMAIL spoke with Paula Svoboda, a fitting expert for Triumph, who revealed the seven stages to the perfect fit.

The expert – whose 15 plus years of experience in the industry have earned her the title ‘the bra whisperer’ – also revealed the main mistake we make when bra shopping, which is thinking we are wearing the right size when it’s far from it.

FEMAIL spoke with Paula Svoboda, a fitting expert for Triumph  to find out the seven stages to the perfect bra fit (pictured)

Paula also revealed the major mistake we all make when it comes to bra shopping (stock image), which comes down to wearing the wrong size for most of our lives

According to Paula, the most important thing you, as a customer, need to know before going bra shopping is it isn’t something you can get over and done with in a matter of minutes.

‘You need to devote a bit of time to bra shopping,’ Paula told FEMAIL. ‘Don’t try and shop for a new strapless bra for your new cocktail dress during your 20-minute lunch break. You’ll end up frustrated and disappointed.’

She also said that if you are currently wearing a bra and it is uncomfortable or the wire is digging in, that is because it is the wrong size:

‘It’s entirely realistic to expect the right bra to be comfortable,’ she explained. ‘They’re not instruments of torture to be endured throughout the working day, only to be ripped off the minute you walk through the door at night.’

Paula added that if the underwire is digging into your front or back, your bra is riding up at the back or you have neck or back pain, it can be that you’re wearing the wrong-sized bra.


Paula said that if the underwire is digging into your front or back, your bra is riding up at the back or you have neck or back pain, it can be that you’re wearing the wrong-sized bra

Are you wearing the wrong-sized bra? 

* If the band of your bra is rubbing, your breasts are too big for the bra.

* Similarly, if your band is on the tightest hook and you can still slide it around with ease, then your bra is too big

* Check your straps – if they’re digging into your shoulders or constantly falling off and needing to be tightened, then your bra doesn’t fit correctly.

* Just because you’re one size in one store, doesn’t means you’ll be the same size in all stores.

* If you have ‘boob bulge’, either over the front or the sides of your bra, then it doesn’t fit right.

* Try to get professionally fitted every six months, and wear your bra tightly to ensure the best fit and room to move.

* Increase the shelf life of your bra by washing them inside a laundry bag and avoiding the tumble dryer. 

So what should you do instead, if you want to invest in some lingerie but have no idea where to start?

For Paula, first and foremost, you need to see a professional, however embarrassing you think it might be.

‘Seek the assistance of lingerie specialists and remember that no two bras will offer exactly the same level of support or will fit the same way – even if they have the same size on the tag.’

She outlined that sizes change between brands and ‘even sometimes within a single brand’s different styles’.

‘We all love a beautiful-looking bra, but if it’s not offering the right support, it’s not helping you at all,’ she said.

‘To ensure the fit is right, check the bra isn’t rubbing or digging in, the back of the bra is sitting level with the front, the underwire is lying flat against your body and your breasts are filling the cup with no excess flesh coming out over the top or sides.

‘Once this is right, then you can work towards finding the perfect fit and balance.’

The ‘bra whisperer’ said it’s important to see a specialist, however embarrassed you might feel about it (stock image)

The seven stages to the perfect fit, revealed by a fittings specialist

1. As a fittings specialist, establish the size of the lady through measuring her or with your eyes.

2. Find out what sort of bra she is after, whether it’s a minimiser, strapless, non-wired or sports bra.

3. Put the bra on the woman and adjust accordingly, clipping in the middle and adjusting the straps.

4. Check all areas for a perfect fit – make sure the back has ample room, wire is off breast tissue and the breasts are flush in the cup at the front (no four boobs, just two).

5. Explain to the customer how the fit is the one for her, how it supports and shapes her breasts and the features and benefits of the bra.

6. Make sure the woman is totally happy and ask her about colours and other styles – and if she needs briefs.

7. Invite her back for another fitting.

When it comes to the perfect fit, Paula said there are seven stages she – as a fittings specialist – will go through in her head.

‘First up, you have to establish the size of the lady through measuring her or with your eyes,’ she said.

Paula confessed that after fitting women’s bras for the past 15 years, she can normally identify a woman’s size by a mere glance. 

‘The second thing I’ll do is find out what sort of bra she’s after, whether it’s a minimiser, strapless, non-wired or sports bra.’

Thirdly, she will put the bra on the woman ‘and adjust accordingly, clipping in the middle and adjusting the straps’.

‘Check all areas for a perfect fit – make sure the back has ample room, wire is off breast tissue and the breasts are flush in the cup at the front (no four boobs, just two),’ she said.  

‘Fifth, explain to the customer how the fit is the one for her, how it supports and shapes her breasts and the features and benefits of the bra.

‘Sixth, make sure the woman is totally happy and ask her about colours and other styles and if she needs briefs.’

Last but not least, Paula said, it can be a good idea to invite her ‘back for another fitting’.

All sorts of things including the stage of your cycle can influence the size of your breasts on any given day. Therefore, it’s worth checking back on another day. 

‘Ill-fitting bras are not only uncomfortable, but they can lead to back, shoulder, breast or neck pain,’ Paula said (stock image)

Lastly, the major error we make when shopping is to be expected – we’re buying the wrong bra: 

‘The most common mistake women make is choosing the wrong-sized bra,’ Paula concluded.

‘Ill-fitting bras are not only uncomfortable, but they can lead to back, shoulder, breast or neck pain. 

‘Even worse, not getting the right support can cause irreversible breast sag. Women believe that sag is often due to the size of your breasts, but it’s not.  

‘The stress of movement on the breast is what causes the fatty tissue and ligaments to stretch and sag over time, irrespective of your size. Even if you are an A cup, it’s as important to wear a correctly supportive bra as if you were an E cup.’

Triumph are experts in bra support, with more than 130 years experience fitting and supporting women of all shapes and sizes.

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