Monday, March 11, 2013

5 Things To Look For In A Bra Band

Your bra band is the beginning of great bra fit. In my opinion it is the most important part of your bra and it's a good idea to know how bra bands differ so you can work out what's right for you. The band is so important because it is the part of your bra that should take the majority of your bust's weight (it can only do this by being snug). Because it is the biggest part of your bra to make contact with your body it can disperse the weight of your bust over a greater area (if your band is loose the whole weight rests on your straps which is painful). The more the weight is dispersed, the more comfortable you'll be.
Banded bras have material below the wire/seam of the cup like on Medina
Banded Bras
Pros: A Banded Bra has a piece of material that extends below the wire or seam of the cups. This piece of material can vary in depth (longline bras have several inches of material below the cups) and it is often cushioned or lined to give extra comfort. A band increases the surface area over which your bust's weight is dispersed so many women like to have a banded bra because it eases the weight of their bust.

Cons: Some women find that a banded bra flips up. This can happen when your midriff protrudes farther out than your band and your body forces against the band. It can also happen if you have a narrow torso and your cups are too wide for you. This problem is irritating more than detrimental to your fit.

Profile Perfect is a Great Bandless Bra with Firm Support
Bandless Bras
Pros: It might surprise you to know that some bras are considered to be without a band. A bandless bra doesn't have any material below the cups. The central gore and wings attach directly to the cups. For women with high tummies or an outwardly flared ribcage a bandless bra can be much more comfortable.

Cons: With less surface area some women find that a bandless bra is less comfortable for them. If you have your band size correct the wings and back band of the bra should be able to take a great deal of your bust's weight.

I love that Claudette use 3 row hooks on all their bras
Bra Hooks
Most bras have three columns of eyes and you should think of these as a timeline. Hook onto the eyes nearest the edge of your band when you first buy a bra then work inwards as the bra ages and stretches. If you buy a new bra that fits you on the middle column, or worse the tightest column, straight away then you're throwing away months of comfortable fit and money!

The number of hooks on the back of your bra gives you an indication of what the support and comfort is like. Similar to the depth of the band, the more rows of hooks on your band the more support you can expect. Very few D+ cup bras have one row of hooks and this is because you need more support than one row for a full bust. Most bras have two rows and this is ample for many women.

Three rows of hooks will give you a deeper back band and again disperse the weight over more area. It also gives you a firmer support (your breasts will move less at the front) and you might find that it helps with your posture.

Some firm support bras have four and even five rows of hooks (longline bras will have many more rows). If you have a very heavy bust or enjoy a very firm fit then extra rows will be great for you.

The wing is the part under your armpit - Tango Beige
Wing Depth
The part of your band that attaches to the outside of your cups under your armpits and stretches around your back is called the wing. The depth of this part of your bra can make a difference to your comfort. If you have a short torso then this can be a particularly important fit issue. Measure the depth of the wing of your most comfortable bra and look for bras with a similar or lesser depth. Claudette is particularly good for shallower wings that improve comfort for women with shorter torsos (they offset the support with 3 rows of hooks on every bra).

Bra Band Size
There are two very simple tests you can do to see if your band size is giving you enough support. The first is to lift your arms straight up in the air. If you band moves up your body (usually exposing breast tissue as it moves) then your band is too big. The second test is to pull your bra away at the front using two fingers. If you can pull your bra away from your body more than a couple of millimeters then your band is too big.

I hope this helps you narrow down the kinds of bands that are going to give you the best fit. If you need help figuring out your size our Free Bra Size Consultation is a great place to start xx


  1. Thank you for your informative blog! I learn something new every time I read it. I like a deeper (higher?) wing as it seems to contain side and back tissue better for me.

    1. Thank you Judy, I'm glad the blog helps you understand your bra fit better. You're so right, a deeper wing will smooth out your side and back tissue. xx

  2. I always learn so much from your blog posts. Thank you!

    1. That's so great to hear - it means we're on the right track :) xx

  3. You learn something new everyday, thank you for sharing! :-)