The infamous bra fitting, anyone been for one of those in the last decade? Yes, thought as much. Ok, ok, we all know that our trusty black faithful (admittedly worn for maybe a few too many years) probably isn’t quite the right size, but it’s just kind of pretty and sort of works under most outfits, so it’s no biggie, right? Wrong! Or so I realised when I took the plunge (excuse the pun) and went along to an actual bra fitting at my local Bravissimo store and left with some new kit, what appeared like a better figure (minus the diet) and a plethora of new lingerie related facts (which I have been sharing. Often)

1. Lose the tape!
The pros at Bravissimo don't use it, which really does save the embarrassment of standing starkers in a changing room, while someone measures up your vital statistics. No more they say! To find your proper size, they simply look at your bra (whilst you wear it) casting their expert eyes on the cup and back  before make a frighteningly fast and accurate assessment of what is going to fit.

2. Two boobs, not four
As I stood in the changing room in my current trusty staple, I sort of knew I had it a bit/very wrong. I really really liked this bra (the lace was to die for) but it wasn’t available up to my cup size. What to do? Obviously, bought it anyway.  But it dawned on me, as I stood there trying to justify my 4 boobs,  you wouldn't 'buy them anyway’ when it came to a good looking pair of shoes that were only in stock two sizes too small, so why wear the bra equivalent? So, onwards, how to do this thing right…

The front wires should lie flat against your breast bone between your boobs. Your boobs should be completely enclosed in the cups with a smooth line where the fabric at the top of the cup meets the top of your boobs (don’t be greedy ladies; it’s about 2 boobs and not four!)
The wires at the side should also sit flat to your rib and definitely not encroach on the boob itself, as this can be damaging to the tissue (yep, whoops).

In truth I was semi aware of these rules, but, blinded by the lure of something I liked the look of, I’d convinced myself this wire business was a bit of pipe dream; bras didn’t actually ever fit like that. I stand corrected - get the right size and they actually do!

3. Back up
Getting the back size right is apparently one of our biggest bra misdemeanours. Too big and it will ride up and not provide the support needed. Most of the heavy lifting is done by the back band so let it do the hard work, so your shoulder and back don’t have to. The right back size, as well as being way more comfortable, surprisingly seems to offer up a few welcome added extras by way of a more slim-lined look (a.k.a down with the dreaded back fat). Double bonus.

4. Try before you buy
With bra brands, it’s not a one size fits all. In the same way as you wrestle into a pair of size 12 Topshop trousers (they cut for teenagers it’s so not my real size) but when it comes to Whistles you are good for the 10, bra sizing is no different.You absolutely must try them on. Another top tip when trying is to make sure you ‘leverage’ (for want of a better word) correctly into the bra, to ensure it sits properly and you can really see how it will fit over the course of the day. During my fitting Bravissimo showed me exactly how it’s done. Once in the know you realise it makes all the difference. Really.

You’ll leave the fitting feeling marvellous and armed with a bra size, or in my case a couple of potential bra sizes, ready for your next lingerie shopping sesh.

5. Aftercare
Hand wash only I’m told. Hassle, yes, but your bras (and bank balance) will thank you for it when they keep their shape much better and for longer. Remember that baggy t shirt you now wear to bed that was once fitted and your wardrobe go-to? Yep, it might be comfy but really it doesn’t offer what it once did. Remember to replace bras, around every 6 months if you wear them regularly. Oh, as if we needed another excuse to hit the shops…

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For your tailored bra fitting service visit Bravissimo, stores nationwide.