article_ms-bra-fit.jpg'Fess up—you've probably worn the wrong size of bra at least once in your life. In fact, you might have even stuck to the same size, even after pregnancy, weight loss, and general body changes. We women tend to take our bra fitting for granted, resorting to the idea that if it feels right, then it must be right.

But if you're often plagued by wires digging into your flesh and breasts spilling over the sides, then you most certainly are wearing the wrong size. Who better, then, to help us discover the perfect bra than someone who really knows breasts (with 30 years of experience under her belt!)?

On a recent trip to Manila, Julia Mercer, Marks & Spencer UK's Technical Manager for Lingerie, urged women to go out and find a bra that truly fits them well. "If you're going to spend money getting a bra—and bras are quite expensive—spend a bit of time to get fitted," she said. Makes absolute sense, right?

Check out Julia's top bra-fitting tips below!

1_ms-bra-fit.jpgHOW DO I KNOW MY BRA FITS RIGHT?

1. UNDERBAND
According to Julia, "The underband does the whole job of supporting the bra. It's got to be the foundation. It holds where it needs to hold." To check, simply wear the bra on the middle hook. The underband should fit snugly around the rib cage, and you should be able to fit two fingers under the band.

2. CENTER FRONT WIRE
"[This] must always sit flat [against the sternum between your breasts]. If you've got an underband too big and a cup too small, it's going to stand away," Julia shares.

3. SIDE WIRE
The side wire should never sit on the breast tissue. Instead, it should lay flat on your rib cage. "If you found your rib cage, you should feel the wire. [Your breast] shouldn't bounce from the side."

4. CUP
"The volume of the bust should be fully in the cup. This is not about how deep the cover is; this is about how much volume you get into the bra itself. Your whole breast should sit in there without double-busting or spillage," Julia explains.

There's no easier way of knowing your cup size than by asking a bra fitter. "We want to do visual assessments on cups, because it is more accurate," she adds. The right cup size will actually make you smaller and hide unwanted bumps, so don't insist on wearing a smaller cup!

5. STRAPS
Strap adjustments should not be identical. Instead, they should be adjusted individually. The straps should also be secure but not tight; you should be able to fit two fingers under each strap.

Click "next" to discover the bra shape that best suits your body type.

(All photos courtesy of Visions and Expressions)

2_ms-bra-fit.jpgSHOULD I GO FOR A PLUNGE, BALCONY, OR FULL CUP BRA?

Plunge bras are characterized by a low front and straps in a more central position on the cup. They are great for ladies with a smaller frame and breasts that are closer together.

Balcony bras have a wider strap positioning. They are ideal for women with a slight gap at their cleavage and a more defined shoulder line.

Full cup bras are perfect for those with fuller breasts. They give complete cover, while also lending a supportive feel. Full cup bras suit most body shapes.

3_ms-bra-fit.jpgWHAT OTHER TIPS SHOULD I REMEMBER DURING MY BRA FITTING?

1. Don't be afraid to ask the bra fitter for help!

2. Want to know if you're wearing the right bra size? Simply lift your arms up and check if the bra stays in place. Then, lean forward to make sure your breasts don't spill out.

3. Don't just stop at trying on the bra. Wear your clothes over it to check the final look. You should have a streamlined silhouette that's free of bumps and lumps.

(All photos courtesy of Visions and Expressions)

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