Monday, July 16, 2012

How Your Posture Affects Your Bra Fit

Image from Ghetto Nurd website
Large breasts are heavy, very heavy. Imagine carrying a couple of bags of sugar around your neck all day and you get the idea. This weight can impact on your neck, upper spine, lower back and shoulders. The most common posture issues are curvature of the spine, hunched shoulders and back pain. Besides potentially giving you physical pain, bad posture can affect the way your bra fits you (even a correctly sized bra) and consequently, how you feel about your shape.
When the Lingerie Addict tried on a pair of weighted 34HH breasts she was amazed how heavy they were. Photo: taken by Darlene at Hourglassy
The Emotional Causes of Bad Posture
The most common posture issue for busty women is hunched shoulders and this is the direct result of physically hiding your breasts. You see it all the time; huddles of teenage girls with rounded shoulders and folded arms. Of course it's an awkward time being a busty teenager but if no-one bolsters your confidence and teaches you to be proud of your body then the shoulder-hunched-arm-cross can plight your life forever.
 
Every day I see adult women who are visibly ill-at-ease with their breasts. They stand and walk in such a way that says 'don't look at me, I'm ashamed of my bust.' I want to run up and hug these women, whisk them off for a cup of tea and a bra fitting. Is it worth risking your health and happiness for the sake of worrying about what other people think about your bust? The small-minded idiots who would judge you for your bra size aren't in physical pain because of their ignorance, why on earth should you be? 

Shoulders
If you have rounded shoulders then your straps can't lie flat against your chest causing your bra to stand away from your body. This can cause your breasts to bounce up and down in their cups as the strap can't keep them locked down. I see lots of women default to hunched shoulders when they try on bras. When I realign their posture they can see the difference in fit instantaneously.

It can be incredibly hard to re-train your mind as well as your body, but it is possible. You should try to roll your shoulders back in small rotations every day. A little tip I like is to put a red sticker on your computer (one of the culprits for our declining posture) then every time you become aware of the sticker relax your shoulders, and make 10 small, slow backward rotations (make sure not to stretch you neck back, keep your chin down). Over time you can improve your overall posture by moving your shoulders farther back.

Back and Neck
Your head should be aligned over the thickest part of your spine so that the weight is distributed evenly down your spine. When your boobs pull your whole body forward your head can move farther forward causing the upper part of your spine to work extra hard as it tries to pull your head back into place. This strain on your upper back causes curvature of your upper spine which affects your height as well as disrupting the blood-flow and nerve message around your upper body.

Physically pulling your head in (tuck your chin in and down as you do so to ensure you don't strain your neck) will align your head and spine. You need to wear a correctly fitting bra (by this I mean a snug band!!) so that the weight of your breasts is transferred from your neck and upper back to your mid and lower back which is much stronger. Click here for some posture improving exercises.

Wear the Right Bra
It can never be said enough, wearing correctly fitting bras is so important for your physical and emotional health. In case you don't know if your bra fits, here are the 5 tell tale signs:

1) All of your breast tissue should sit inside your cups (this includes the breast tissue at the side under your armpit) without any gaping.

2) You should be able to get just two fingers under your band. If your band is too loose your bra is completely redundant and probably doing you more harm than good.

3) The centre part of your bra (the gore) should lie flat against your body.

4) Your straps should NOT dig into your shoulders.

5) Your band should be level with the ground at the front AND at the back of your body.

The way you feel about your bust (and your figure in general) is absolutely apparent in your posture. If you think that you should be ashamed of your figure, then you will stand that way. If you feel proud to be busty and healthy then your stance reflects it. Feeling better in your body and your bra starts in your head so I highly recommend reading this post to start piecing together what's holding you back from your embracing your shape and standing with shoulders back xx

7 comments:

  1. Since buying my first right-fitting bra from Butterfly Collection, I've noticed my posture automatically changes. I don't think this has to do with the change in my attitude (though there certainly has been one!); rather, I think the bra itself urges me to stand and sit straight. Less back pain and headaches due to my changed posture have made my life so much better!

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    1. That is wonderful to hear! A correctly fitting bra will physically affect your posture for sure. I'm so glad you are feeling better. Thank you for sharing your experience xx

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  2. Great detailed advice that plenty of women should read. So many women out there wear the wrong sized bra (not of their own fault obviously) and it is so bad for your posture which will come back to haunt you in the future. Some women complain that a poorly fitted bra has even led to headaches which only subsided after a well-fitted bra was worn for a period of time. I advise any woman who hasn't been for one to not be shy and go for a professional fitting. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're so right Claire that the consequences of wearing the wrong bra may not be apparent right now, but in the long term they can be dreadful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here xx

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  3. I used to have pretty severe scoliosis as a kid- (I was only two degrees away from having to get a back brace!) It's not that severe now, however it's quite noticeable. Will that affect the fit of my bra?

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    1. Any disruption to the symmetry of your shoulders will affect the fit of your straps and cups. You may find that you can simply shorten the strap more on one side to address the fit. I would advise choosing cups that aren't fixed molded cups so that there's more flexibility in the fit of the cups. Check out our website for information on Skype fittings because one of our fitters would be able to assess your fit needs much better by seeing the severity of the effects of your scoliosis. http://www.butterflycollection.ca/skype-bra-fittings/ xx

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  4. I'm not sure I can even get a bra that's as you describe (and yes, my breasts are completely natural.) Measured wise I'm a 38 around my band size and a 48 around my breasts (at nipple level and level about the whole of my body. I know each inch is a cup size, but I'm not sure if that places me at a cup size G, or what. Since the bras I can afford are only available in up to double D sizes. Thus tend to get 40DD or 42D (depending on the fit, sometimes it's alternating, but needless to say, I'm not sure a bra would even "rest" against my breastbone if it was correctly sized. I do know they make them, and usually charge nearly $100 dollars for them. That's not happening for me.

    It's also destroyed my back and neck. At age 35 I had a double neck fusion and now I have so much back pain I honestly have trouble standing for 5 minutes. On pain meds. I have bulging discs and my posture is something I continually fight with. I am even to the point of seeking disability because the pain of trying to work is too much and takes too long to recover.

    It really blows me away that there are plastic surgeons that give breast implants over double D, simply for someone's looks or profession. I would love to get a breast reduction, and can't afford it, yet these women are paying to increase their breasts to unhealthful sizes?

    Vanity what cost...

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