You probably know already that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But did you know that an average of 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day in Hong Kong? And that the number of breast cancer cases diagnosed for women in Hong Kong more than doubled from 1,152 in 1993 to 2,701 in 2007. Or how about this: the median age of breast cancer patients is only 47.6 in Hong Kong – compared 61 in the US, 62 in Australia and 50 in Singapore?
The best defense against breast cancer is a good offense, so get regular screenings (if you’re over 40 or at high risk you should get a mammogram once per year) – and don’t forget to do your self-exams!! Log on the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation to learn more.
So now that we’re on the topic, the good folks at Bralicious are having a huge sale through the end of the month on their entire stock of amazing bras and lingerie. Everything in the store is 15% off – and 5% is going to the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation. So you can support yourself and the fight against breast cancer. Love it!
bralicious owner Nicki Perry talks to Yummy Mummy Asia about choosing a bra (newflash: I bet you’re not wearing the right size), the signs that your favorite bra needs to be retired, sexy nursing bras (they do exist), and how to avoid the incredibly unflattering ‘four boob’ look.
OK, Nicki, how can I tell if I’m wearing the right bra size? What are the signs that my bra doesn’t fit as well as I think it does?
To get the perfect fitting bra is not easy! With women’s breasts coming in all shapes and sizes and bras in different brands, sizes and styles it is not an easy match!
Here are some common bra issues and solutions:
*You find that your bra is loose around the edges: Try a smaller cup size.
*You find that your breasts are spilling out of the front of the bra and your silhouette is bumpy: Try a bra with a smaller back and a larger cup size.
*You find your bra strap is riding up the back: Try a smaller band size.
*You find your straps are leaving indent marks: Try a smaller back size so the band is supporting you and not the straps.
*You find that the underwire is digging under your arm pit: Try a larger cup size.
*You find that your breasts are falling out the bottom of the underwire: Try a bra which is smaller in the back and larger in the cup.
*You find that your size fluctuates: This is a common problem for most women. We recommend that you buy a bra with some stretch in it; this will mean that it is more comfortable. If you find that you have large fluctuations in size, it can be helpful to have a larger bra for these times.
Soooooo, I’m pretty sure I’m not wearing the right size (like most women out there, right?). Now what?
Bralicious offers a professional bra fitting service where we will try various styles and brands to find the perfect fit for you! We don’t believe in measuring as every bra is cut differently. You may be a D cup in one style, but a DD cup in another. The fitting service takes around an hour.
What should I look for when picking a bra?
There are various things you should look for, including:
*BACK BAND – The back band is what goes around your body. When purchasing a bra you need to make sure that you fit it so that it is on the first hook in so as the bra looses it elasticity through wash and wear you can tighten the band so it continues to give you support. Also the back band is what should take the weight of your breasts and not the shoulder straps so it needs to be firm when fitted. When you turn side on and look in the mirror your bra should sit horizontal around your body. If the band rides up at the back you need to go down in the back size to get the correct fit.
*SHOULDER STRAP – As I said above, it is important that the weight of your breasts is taken by the back band rather than the shoulders, therefore make sure that your straps are not digging into your shoulders and giving you indentation. You should be able to slide two fingers under your straps and lift up.
*CUP – Make sure that you do not have the “four boob” look – this is soooo not attractive! This is when the cup is too small and you bulge over the top of your bra! Also make sure that your whole breast is encased in the bra and doesn’t dig into the side. Make sure also the front of the bra where the underwires meet is flat against your breast bone.
What tips (and brands) do you have for those with a bigger bustline? And for our more petite friends?
At bralicious we stock a full range of bras from B cup up to G and from. For the larger bustline we have a fantastic brand called Freya and there sister brand called Fantasie from the UK. They give fantastic support and shape and their designs are far from dowdy…they are hot to trot! Their range is available in B to now K (although we only stock up to G at this stage!) Full cups, plunge and balcony style bras are all great shapes for the fuller busted women but to get your best shape come and see us and get a fitting. It is amazing what happens to your figure when you are wearing the correct size bra!
For the smaller cups we have a brand from the US called Le Mystere. One of their styles, the Tisha bra, is recommended by Oprah as the best Tee shirt bra ever! This bra gives even a B cup a fantastic shape that makes you look more like a C but without looking over padded or false! The material they use in this bra actually moulds to the shape of the breast and it also has some uplift in the cup as well which makes the breast look fuller. At this stage we do just carry the tee shirt style bras from this brand but will be getting some more sexy styles in before Christmas.
We also stock some fantastic little silicone push up pads which sit in the bottom of your normal bra and gives you a lift to make your bustline look bigger. This is the cheapest boob job you will ever get – the results are awesome! These are also commonly known by many Kiwi’s and Aussies as chicken fillets!
I’ve got a few tried and true bras that I love, love, love – but how do I know when it’s time to retire them?
A tired bra will cease to give you support and even if it is your most comfortable bra ever, if it has lost its elasticity, it is more than likely doing absolutely nothing for you! If you are wearing it on the tightest hook inwards and there is nowhere else to go and it is riding up your back, then it is time to say goodbye! If you are unsure, bring your old bras in to us at bralicious and we can tell you what ones are keepers and what ones to say goodbye to!
What should we look for in a bra if we’re pregnant or nursing? Do I really need a different bra?
You certainly do need a different bra. From around the 4 month mark it is important to be an a maternity bra. At bralicious we stock a range of maternity & nursing bras from New Zealand called HOTmilk. Firstly the HOTmilk bras have no underwire – it is important to not wear underwire during pregnancy and breastfeeding as this can cause block milk ducts that will cause issues with your milk supply. Also it is a comfort thing as well, as underwire tend to get quite restrictive and dig into the side of the breast. The cups are soft and cotton lined with seams that avoid the nipples which is a bonus as well, as we know how tender those can get during pregnancy! The material has plenty of stretch in too so that it can handle your milk supply as it goes in and out during the day. The back band has 6 rows of hooks and eyes so there is enough room for expansion of the ribcage during pregnancy and also room to go back in once the baby is born and your ribcage returns to normal. And lastly all the HOTmilk bras have clipdowns for feeding as well.
If you are wondering what the difference is between a maternity and a nursing bra – the answer is not much! Just basically the clip downs for feeding!
The word ‘sexy’ isn’t usually used to describe a maternity/nursing bra. Tell me there’s hope!
Oh yes there certainly is hope! HOTmilk is completely different to any other maternity brand out there! When you put on HOTmilk lingerie not only will you feel comfortable and supportive but you will also feel glamorous and sexy!!
Any other tips for us?
My best tip is to all women out there to get fitted at least once a year. As women our breasts change a lot over a short period of time due to weight loss, weight gain, the time of the month, pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you haven’t had a proper fitting in a while come and see Nicki or Sarah at bralicious for a professional and free fitting session where you will walk out feeling uplifted and supported.
Fittings are by appointment only by contacting Nicki on 9772 3864 or Sarah on 6051 8195 or email us at [email protected].
Bralicious, Room 105, 1st floor Hollywood Centre, 77-91 Queens Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong