Bra pic, Raleigh Mom-owned Business

Be Your Own Breast Friend: How the Right Bra Can Change Your Life

Is your bra as old as your youngest child?

Are you wearing your nursing bras (even though you quit nursing a year ago) because they are comfortable?

Do you attempt bra shopping, but end up in the fetal position on the dressing room floor because you are so overwhelmed?

Do you borrow your teenage daughter’s bra because it “sorta fits”?

Do you assume that because you were a C cup in high school, you are still a C cup and keep buying bras with a bigger band to keep yourself in that C cup?

Are you wearing a 5-year-old bra because your favorite style was discontinued?

Bra pic, Raleigh Mom-owned BusinessPhotos courtesy of Essential Bodywear

If you answered yes to even one of the above questions, then it’s time to put on your big girl panties and get a professional bra fitting. How do I know this? I became a certified fit specialist a year ago and I have heard all of the scenarios listed above. I have also seen women have reactions that range from strutting like they are on a catwalk to crying tears of joy at rediscovering their waistlines. I have seen the right bra take 10 lbs. off women.

A professional fitting and a properly fitted bra are important for three reasons:

Breast health — Unsupported, hanging flesh is not healthy flesh.

Back health — An ill-fitting or unsupportive bra puts undue pressure on your back and shoulders. Even if you are a G cup, the right bra will help your back.

Self-esteem — Whether we like it or not, a lot of our self-esteem is tied to our breasts. Too big or too small, it is hard to find clothes that look right. And, either way, we often try to hide the girls. When you don’t feel good in your clothes, it is hard to be your most confident self. A properly-fitted bra makes all the difference in how your clothes fit, and in how you feel about yourself. I guarantee that with the right bra, you will stand up straighter. Your clients will notice… and so will your friends and family!

The idea of a professional fitting makes most women groan. It doesn’t have to be a horrible, humiliating experience. If you don’t want to go the mall, there is a legion of us Bra Ladies out there who do personal, discreet fittings in our home or yours.

If you have been ignoring this part of your wardrobe, here is my call to action:  Get fitted, get at least one new bra, and throw away at least two old ones. In our business, we recommend that you have three in rotation: One to wash, one to wear and one to spare. And any bra, no matter the cost, is good for about 100 wears. It’s only fabric, after all!

If you want to fit yourself, here are some rules:

  • Measure around your ribcage. If it is an even number, add two or four inches (32” = a 34” or 36” band, whichever is comfortable). If it is an odd number, add three inches (35” = a 38” band).
  • The band should be snug, and the cup should contain your breasts and the flesh under your arms.
  • If you can’t get everything in the cup, go up a cup size, not a band size.
  • Always hook it on the last or middle hook. If you can hook it on the tightest, go down a band size and up a cup.
  • Never buy a white bra, it shows through any light color, especially white.
  • Consider a molded cup so no one can tell when your “turkey’s ready”.

    Bra pic, Michele Cohen, Raleigh Mompreneurs

If you have questions about anything, don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to seeing you all look perky at the next Vend Raleigh event!


Michele CohenMichele Cohen

Michele is a certified fit specialist and independent representative for Essential Bodywear. She is available for private fittings as well as home parties (which are fun!). Contact her by cell at 805-451-0397, or by email at Visit her website:, or click here to see the brand look book. You can also find her on Facebook:


Cary Heise
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