TWIN ASSETS

How do you take care of your bosom buddies to fit into your favourite lingerie? Find out the elements of bra fitting to ensure that you are giving your girls the right support at every stage of your life!
WORDS | Valerie Tan

H

ave you ever wondered how and which part of your body matures faster? Well, a study discovered a new biological clock embedded in the human genome that can gauge the age of diverse human organs, tissues and cell types.

It revealed that certain body parts like the breasts age faster than the rest of the body.

“Healthy breast tissue is about two to three years older than the rest of a woman’s body,” Steve Horvath, a professor of human genetics and of biostatistics at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a university news release. “If a woman has breast cancer, the healthy tissue next to the tumor is an average of 12 years older than the rest of her body.”

Although additional research has to be done to find out how to reverse the ageing process, it is certainly possible to give your assets a boost by choosing the right support for every stage of your life.

The tricky part is to find your true bra size. You will need to get yourself properly measured so you can choose a bra that’s both comfortable and versatile enough to work with different types of tops.

the 20s Your breasts are made up of fat, glandular tissue and connective tissues called Cooper’s ligaments. Cooper’s ligaments are responsible for holding the breast shape together while a lower ration of fat to glandular tissue explains why younger breasts often look perkier.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO

Wearing a supportive bra during the day and a sports bra whenever you’re exercising so it can help to support the ligaments and ensure that gravity does not affect your girls too early.

the 30s Maintain a healthy weight to avoid bloated breasts, and do the scoop and swoop method every time you wear your brasserie to ensure maximum support for your bust. During pregnancy, your breasts will start to feel tender and sore as your hormones begin to trigger increased blood flow to your breast and affect breast tissue. You may also experience bigger cup changes, which stretches the skin and result in disrupted collagen production, sagging, and stretch marks.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO

Skip the underwire lingerie and stick to soft cotton bras with adjustable straps. Use band extensions when your bra is fitting too tightly as you progress in pregnancy.

the 40s The lobules, or milk-producing glands, start to shrink around this time, causing breasts to sag and look floppy. As the body prepares for menopause, production of oestrogen surges before ovulation. This hormonal hike acts as a catalyst, spurring fluid-filled cysts growth, sometimes up to 2 inches wide. These soft, grapelike lumps tend to swell right before menstruation.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO

Donning a push-up bra can counteract sagging boobs. At the same time, do a monthly breast self-examination (BSE) and a mammogram every 1-2 years to detect presence of any lumps.


GETTING THE RIGHT FIT

There are a few factors determining the accuracy of the measurements, such as the firmness of your breasts, the width of your shoulders and back, plus the bra that you are wearing.

1. Get Yourself Measured

There are 2 measurements to be taken. One: your band size, and two: your cup size. The key is to take the measurements when you have your bra on.

THE BAND SIZE: Using a measuring tape, measure directly under your bust, making sure that the measuring tape is parallel to the ground and you are breathing out.

THE CUP SIZE: Stand straight with your arms by your side and measure the fullest part of your bra (make sure you are not wearing a fully padded bra for this). Deduct the breast size from the band size and you’ll derive your cup size.

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2. Scooping and Swooping

Gravity is your powerful ally when you are going for that full cleavage. When you scoop and swoop in the right manner, your breasts sit well in the cup without the breast tissue being compressed into the cup or squished to the armpit (thus flabby arms).

The bra is not able to provide ample support when your breasts are being compressed and pushed against the torso. The right way is to lean forward and bend at your waist, letting your breasts fall into the cup, and fastening the band behind your back. Still leaning forward, use one hand to hold your bra strap or the underwire cup, and the other hand to scoop from the armpit to the cup. Repeat for the other side. You may have to do this a few times in order to get fully adjusted.


CHECKLIST FOR A PERFECT SUPPORT

DEBUNKING THE BRA MYTHS:

1. The smaller the cup, the smaller the boobs and vice versa.

The truth is, cup sizes are not static, which means they are not an absolute measurement of volume. What is significant though, is when it is paired with a band size. For example, D cups on a smaller band size such as 28 or 30 can be quite small when you compare them to D cups on a larger band size like 38.

2. A professional fitter can find out my true bra size.

While most professional fitters are able to measure and advise the right bra size for most women, what is out of their control is the change in breast size during the menstrual cycle. Some women typically find that their breasts swell prior or during their period and bras that fit perfectly the week before may now be too small. If you have experienced this and are not sure what to do, you may want to keep a set of bras for such scenarios.

3. I can buy any type of bras now that I have found out my true bra size.

Yes and no. Different bra manufacturers vary in the construction of a bra, so while you may find yourself wearing a 36C from a particular brand, you may have to switch to wearing 36B or D in another brand. Bra shapes are also pivotal to getting the right fit. The bra you chose may be in your size and the right volume for you, but if the shape does not match the shape of your breasts, it will seem to be in the wrong size.