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Evaluation of professional bra fitting criteria for bra selection and fitting in the UK

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A correctly fitting bra is essential for good health; this study investigates the use of professional bra fitting criteria to establish best-fit in an underwire bra commonly sold in the UK. A comparison was made between women's bra size as measured by the traditional bra fitting method with their recommended bra size based on professional bra fitting criteria. Forty-five female participants were recruited; their mode self-reported bra size was 34DD. Participants were measured in their own bra using the traditional bra-fitting method to establish their ‘traditional size’. A ‘best-fit’ bra size was recorded for participants based on professional bra fitting criteria. Significant differences were found between traditional and best-fit cup and band sizes (p < 0.001); the traditional method of bra fitting overestimated band size and underestimated cup size. As band size increased the traditional method also became more inaccurate (p < 0.001). It is recommended that women are educated in assessing their own bra fit using professional bra fitting criteria and less emphasis placed on determining absolute bra size.

Practitioner Summary: This is the first study to investigate using professional bra fitting criteria to establish best-fit in an underwired bra commonly sold in the UK. The traditional method of bra fitting was found to be inadequate, especially for larger-breasted women; the use of professional bra fitting criteria should be encouraged.
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Keywords: bra; education; fit; sizing; women

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Sport and Exercise Science,University of Portsmouth, Spinnaker Building, Cambridge RoadPortsmouth,PO1 2ER, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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