78% of women wear an incorrectly fitted bra*, according to Triumph research- that's a lot of women who are uncomfortable on a daily basis!
But what are the implications of wearing an ill-fitting bra? Why should we consider bounce control when it comes to picking a sports bra?
Spokesperson for the Triaction by Triumph range and bra-fitting expert Paula Svoboda - has the answers. She has fitted over 50,000 women - seen bra trends come and go, listened to women in the change rooms about their biggest gripes, concerns and so much more. So this week, we sat down with her to discuss bra and breast health.
Finding the right bra can be a daunting process. I know women who just guess their size and hope for the best. What's your top tips to finding the right bra with confidence?
PS: A professional fitting is not as scary as you think. I have been fitting bras for over 10 years and can tell a women’s size, shape and the most appropriate bra style to suit their shape, just by a simple glance. I have seen many women’s confidence transformed by a simple bra fitting, some have even been reduced to tears of joy. So don’t be shy! When coming for a fitting, be sure to wear your best non-padded bra and then let us work our magic.
Are there any consequences for wearing an ill-fitting bra?
PS: Unfortunately there are a lot of women out there wearing ill-fitting bras. In fact research shows 78% of women across the globe are wearing an incorrect size. Ill-fitting bras can be rather uncomfortable and lead to back, shoulder, breast or neck pain. It’s important to know what bra size you are, to ensure that your bra is doing its job and offering you the support that you need.
A correctly fitted sports bra is even more important! 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 overtime regardless of your size. Even if you are a double A it is as important to wear a correctly supportive bra as it is if you are a double D.
How often should bras be replaced and how long should it last?
PS: This obviously depends on how often you wear the bra. If it's your all time favourite and is worn a few times a week expect about six months. The same goes for sports bras as they endure more than your everyday bra and you want to be sure it remains firm and tight. If it's a bra that only gets an airing a few times a year, count on having to replace it every year. Lingerie is better worn than not. The elastic fibres perish when not worn. So don't save your favourites for special occasions.
Recently, there's been a conversation around the regularity of washing bras. How often should women be washing their bras?
PS: It is best to wash lingerie after every wear. Contrary to what you would think - it won't last longer if not washed as often as the fibres in lingerie retain their 'memory' when washed frequently. Consequently, they'll fall back into shape and wear better for longer.
Lingerie is best cared for by handwashing in a woolwash or mild detergent. In these time poor days though, if lingerie must be washed in the machine it should ALWAYS be placed in a lingerie wash bag and placed on a gentle/delicates cycle. Still use a woolwash or mild detergent. NEVER place lingerie in the dryer. For a start the wires play havoc with the machine, resulting in costly repairs but they're also really hard on the delicate fabrics and elastics. Just hang over the washing line or a clothes airer. And lay bras flat in a drawer to store between wearing.
Insecurities are common when it comes to breast size and shape. What would be your top tip to making boobs look bigger? And on the other hand, what's your top tip to making boobs look smaller?
PS: Wearing a great fitting t-shirt bra can help make smaller boobs appear bigger and if you want extra va va voom, opt for a Push-Up style. Try Triumph’s Magic Boost Push Up bra (RRP $69.95) which features extra padded cups with a low cut neckline for the perfect cleavage.
If you have a larger bust, a minimizer bra will be your best friend! There is a misconception that minimizer bras are made for older ladies who don’t want to flaunt their bust, but that’s certainly not true. The minimisers of today are stylish and pretty and can do so much more! They are like shapewear for your boobs with different styles that can enhance your bust in any way you want – fuller at the sides, fuller at the bottom, no cleavage or some cleavage. They are made to reduce bust projection up to one cup size so are great to wear with button up shirts (to eliminate that annoying button strain) or with high round neck tops or dresses.
What are the most popular bra trends for 2017?
PS: Off the shoulder dresses and tops continue to be a big trend going into 2017, so a good strapless bra is essential for pulling off this look. Opt for Triumph’s Beautiful Silhouette (RRP $69.95) – this bra stays in place all day!
T-shirt bras—an oldie but goodie—will keep the lines under your T-shirt smooth while giving your bust a bit of support and soft shape. Triumph’s best-selling t-shirt bra, Gorgeous Luxury (RRP $49.95) is famous for its superior fit and high level of support.
When it comes to activewear, the rising trend towards HIIT style workouts mean you will want to opt for a bra with extreme bounce control.
Triaction’s Extreme Lite N is an ultra-lightweight feminine sports bra with no padding or underwire, meaning it naturally contours the body. Due to the dynamic design, high neckline and non-moulded cups, this innovation has an impressive 77% certified overall extreme bounce control test rating With adjustable strap features and on-trend anti-perspiration zones built into the style, the design assures moisture control, impeccable support and comfort.
We've seen a lot of dominatrix inspired styles coming through. I've even personally tried them out only to end up tangled with the many different straps! What advice would you give women when it comes to stepping out of their comfort zone and experimenting with different styles and trends?
PS: Wear what makes you happy, confident, sexy and empowered! A beautiful lacy bra and brief set in a gorgeous colour is a great way to start your day!
What are the biggest concerns you've seen women face when it comes to bra-fitting and how have you helped them overcome their insecurities?
PS: Women are always concerned about their body image no matter what shape or size they are! I always tell them I am not there to look or judge them but to just help them get the best shape and support and style possible so they can feel amazing when they walk out of the fitting room!
Going braless has also been another conversation that's been trending. Many women suffer from back pain and simply being uncomfortable wearing bras. What's your view on this matter and what bra styles should they be looking at to assist in alleviating the pain?
PS: Get properly fitted right now!!!! It's not the bras fault; it’s often the person wearing the wrong sized bra or the wrong style. Finding the right bra that offers support and comfort is as simple as getting a bra fitting. Remember, the stress of movement on the breast is what causes the fatty tissue and ligaments to stretch and sag overtime, irrespective of your size, so a supportive bra is essential. If underwire is your issue, opt for a Soft Cup Wire-free Bra to highlight the natural shape of your bust. The Amourette 300 Wirefree (RRP $59.95) offers the same loved shape as the wired version in a stunning stretch lace design. Triumph’s biggest innovation, Magic Wire, features a flexi soft-touch wire that provides the support of a wired bra, with the feel and comfort of a wireless one. The integrated flexi wire ensures a perfect, flexible fit, without wires that dig in. I recommend Triumph’s Amourette Magic Wire Bra (RRP $69.95)