When, where, how, why… bra fitting can be full of scratch-head moments. So, we went straight to the experts – a.k.a. our in-house team of bra fitting aficionados – and got them to answer some of your most frequently asked questions. Here’s what you really need to know and why:

How do bra extenders work?

Bra extenders are small pieces of fabric with hook and eye closures that attach to your bra to extend the length of the band. Think of them as your tiny bra preserver, able to extend the life of your bra when things get a little too tight in the band region. Simply attach it to one end of the back fastening, hook it in and put on as usual. Genius!

What sports bra should I wear?

Whether you’re walking, running, or pushing yourself to the limit, the right support is essential to protect your boobs. Our unique Support Factor system has been created to help you find the right level of support for your chosen activity. SF2 bras are for medium impact sports including weights, walking and cycling, SF3 bras are for high impact sports including tennis, basketball and netball and SF4 bras are for extreme impact sports like running, kickboxing and HIIT. Find out more about getting the right support for your sport here.

I only walk and do yoga, do I really need to be wearing a sports bra?

Did you know an unsupported B cup can bounce up to 8cm during exercise? No matter what exercise you’re doing, even low impact activity such as yoga or walking, you should always wear a supportive sports bra. Why? Because doing so will help prevent the breast ligaments from stretching and sagging, which could result in long-term issues like back problems and shoulder pain. For gentle exercise, check out our low impact sports bra range here.

How do I tell if a bra fits well?

The right bra will fit perfectly across three areas – the band, the straps, and the cups. The band should sit horizontally at the back and not ride up. The straps should feel comfortable and supportive, not digging into your shoulders or slipping off them. You should be able to fit two fingers easily between your shoulder and the straps of your bra. Finally, underwire bras should sit flat against your ribcage and should not dig into your chest. For more information about bra fit issues and solutions, click here.

Why are my bra straps digging in?

The only thing worse than straps that slip are straps that dig. Here are a few tips on how to prevent this:

  • Try loosening them so they are comfortable but not too tight.
  • Cups that are too full can cause straps to dig. Be sure to re-measure your cup size each time you purchase a bra to check that it fits well.
  • Try a bra with wide, padded, or cushioned straps to minimise digging and ease pressure on the shoulders.
How often should I get fitted for a bra?

Just as our jean size can continuously fluctuate throughout our life, so can our bra size. We recommend getting fitted and updating your bra wardrobe every 6 months to ensure you’ve got the perfect fit.

Do I need to wear a bra to sleep?

This is a personal choice. If you feel comfier and get a better night’s sleep wearing a bra then continue doing so. In this case, we suggest opting for a wirefree bra for a gentler, non-restrictive fit. Generally speaking though, most people do not sleep in a bra and there is no evidence to say that it helps prevent breast sagging. Just as pyjamas are designed for sleep, we suggest dividing your day and your nighttime bras to help protect the life of your bras.

Does the life of a bra depend on if they’re being worn regularly or if they’re sitting in your underwear drawer?

The more you wear your bra, the shorter its life span. Perspiration can cause the elastic in bras to stretch and deteriorate, so having a handful of great bras on rotation will help your bras last longer. We don’t recommend wearing the same bras for 2 days in a row, as the bra will need some time to stretch back to its original form.

Why does my band ride up?

Your band should sit in line with the front of your bra. If it’s riding up, then there could be a few things at play here. Ask yourself: Are my straps too tight? Loosening them could give the band some leeway to move into the correct position. Also try decreasing the band size until it’s sitting horizontally on the body. Is my band too big? This could mean your breasts are weighing down in the cups resulting in the band pulling upwards. Expert tip: You’ll know when the band size is correct when you can slip two fingers under it. It should be snug on the loosest hook, so you can continue to tighten it when your bra stretches overtime. To find your perfect fit, check out our Berlei bra size calculator.

Why do my bra straps slide off?

Your bra straps should feel firm but not tight and restrictive. If your straps are sliding off, try tightening them – it sounds obvious, but a lot of us forget to do this when our mornings are so busy. Straps naturally stretch with time so be sure to check in on your straps every month or so and tighten accordingly. The next thing to check is band size. If your band size is too big then the straps could fall down due to them being too wide on the shoulders. The style of bra, and how it sits against the body, can also lead to strap slippage. Bra styles such as full coverage or demi styles are designed with narrow-set straps, which help keep the straps in place. Balconette and plunge bras have wider-set straps that can slip depending on whether you have narrow or sloping shoulders.

My breasts are a B cup, do I really need to be wearing a bra?

Yes, we recommend wearing bra no matter what your breast size is. Although small breasts rarely lead to back pain, without the proper support, you can accelerate sagging.

From what age should I be wearing a bra?

Girls usually start wearing their first bra between 8 and 14 years old. When the nipples show signs of budding or other signs of puberty begin, this is a good time to start with a comfortable crop or training bra.

What do I look for when buying a maternity bra?

Maternity bras are specially designed to accommodate your changing body during pregnancy and breastfeeding. They’re wirefree and designed for maximum support providing good coverage and comfort for everyday wear. They’re engineered to grow as you do with extra hooks and eyes for breast and diaphragm expansion and strong adjustable straps. There is also the all-important drop down cups that can be released to expose the breast for nursing.

What happens if I wear the wrong sized bra?
  • Scaring under the breast is a common problem if the bra is far too tight, which is caused by the bra digging into and rubbing against the skin.
  • Lack of support in the bra frame can cause bad posture and pain in the shoulder, neck and back, especially in women with larger breasts.
  • Breast pain due to tight fitting bras or from underwire that pokes can also lead to blisters and skin irritation.
  • A loose-fitting bra that fails to support correctly can lead to breast sagging.
How do I care for my bras?

Here are our top tips for washing, drying and storing your bras to ensure you get the best out of them: WASHING Handwashing your bras in cold water is the best way to preserve them. If you decide to use a washing machine, use a washbag so bras don’t get tangled or damaged. Set the machine to the delicate cycle on the lowest temperature and use a gentle detergent. DRYING Allow your bras to drip dry, using a towel to blot off any excess water. STORAGE Stack your bras vertically side by side in the drawer to prevent bending and denting. For more care tips, don’t miss our Bra Care page for a deeper dive on how to care for and prolong the life of your bras.