Sizing up Bras

May 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Nearly nine billion dollars a year is spent on bras. Yet Consumer Reports says for many, it's not money well spent. A recent survey by the magazine shows one in five women have regrets about the bra they've purchased.

This Victoria's Secret model may look pretty comfortable in this commercial. But when it comes to real women, buying a bra can be anything but clear-cut.

Linda Ruby, Dorothy Stein Studio, says "I think most people really don't know their correct size. If they are in their correct size, they're definitely going to be more lifted and look better in their clothes."

Lingerie Salon owner Linda Ruby teamed up with Consumer Reports to size up the bras of five staffers.

Lisa Lee Freeman, Consumer Reports, says "The right fitting bra is essential. But what was surprising to us is that the five women whom we gave bra interventions to were wearing the wrong bra. Either it was the wrong cut or the wrong size."

Staffer number one's problem was coverage, or the lack of it.

"She was wearing a demi-bra. The solution was to wear a full bra with molded cups that gave her much more support and better coverage," says Freeman.

And this woman's chest actually shrank after breast feeding, leaving her with ill-fitting, gaping bra cups.

"This woman needed a bra that was lightly padded and shaped and also had an underwire. And that gave her a little bit of lift."

Consumer Reports says you don't have to pay top dollar to get a good bra. So how do you know if you've made the right choice?

Freeman says "If you pick the right bra, you won't even know it's there. And your clothes will look a lot better."

To get the most out of a bra, always wash it in a gentle cycle with mild soap and cold water. You never want to put it in the dryer.


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