Monday, July 30, 2012

On Bras, Posture, and Health

The other day, I was rereading The Butterfly Collection's great post about posture and correct bra fitting. SO much of this article really hit home for me - 

"Besides potentially giving you physical pain, bad posture can affect the way your bra fits you (even a correctly sized bra) and consequently, how you feel about your shape."

"The most common posture issue for busty women is hunched shoulders and this is the direct result of physically hiding your breasts. You see it all the time; huddles of teenage girls with rounded shoulders and folded arms."

I've already written in the past about why it's important to wear the correct bra size, but I thought I'd share a little more of my personal story (along with some examples) to sort of give a better idea of why I'm so passionate about correct fit.

Before I found my correct size, not only was I wearing uncomfortable, unsupportive bras, but I was embarrassed and ashamed of my body. I was constantly assuming a "defensive" pose (arms crossed over chest), wearing jackets and layers, and - perhaps worst of all - hunching my shoulders and overall carrying a very bad posture. All these things combined to give me back and shoulder pain.

I dug through some old photos and found a few typical examples from several years ago when I was wearing 36DD bras - soon before I started my correctly-sized-bra-journey - of what I mean:

Too-big clothing, too-small clothing, unsupportive bras, hunched shoulders, and jackets galore! Rather than minimizing my bust, all these measures just made me look unsupported and heavier than I actually was.

Contrast the above photos with a few more recent pictures, taken while wearing a bra in the correct size (28GG-28H, depending on the date) along with more flattering clothing and better posture:

The shape in these photos is much more flattering - not just because my boobs are actually supported, but because I'm able to stand straight! No hunching of the back or shoulders!

Keeping a good posture is something I actually still struggle with, even though it's been a few years since I've started wearing better bras. I still need to remind myself to stand straight and keep my shoulders back. Old habits and fears die hard; it's a process, to be sure. But I'm in a much better place now than I was back when I was wearing bras that made it pretty much impossible for me to have a correct, healthy posture.

So, what's my point in this brief post? Wearing a bra that fits well really matters. Not just in terms of looks (although it will help your clothes fit better and give you a better shape), but in terms of your health, posture, and even emotional well-being. It did for me!

For some more great reading from The Butterfly Collection, check out Breaking the D Cup Barrier and Breaking the 34 Band Barrier.

Interested in seeing more bra-size transformations? Take a look at the before and after photos of the U.S. Star in a Bra winners! Fuller Figure Fuller Bust also recently put together a great post illustrating Ill fitted bras vs Well fitted bras.

Not sure you're wearing the correct size? Try out a good bra calculator (or five), or get a free sizing consultation!


  1. Your body looks so much younger and more shapely when you're not trying to hide it! I hate seeing women wearing clothing or postures that try to hide their bodies.

    My boobs aren't big enough for my change of bra size to have affected the way my boobs look under clothes, but it has definitely affected my posture! Because my bras used to shift around so much, I would hunch over and try not to move much so they wouldn't chafe, whereas now I know I can move as much as I want without risk of chafing.

    1. I think that size of boobs doesn't matter quite as much as how far off someone is in their size they're wearing in terms of how clothes look/how shape can improve. I've seen the visible difference from someone going to a 34A to a 28D, for example! I would bet your shape has improved with your posture at least a little in correct bras(although, I think it's often hard for us to notice in ourselves)! But also - it's so freeing to be able to move around without pain or chafing, isn't it? :D

  2. Love that middle dress in the after picture! Who makes that?

    1. Thanks! The "dress" is actually one of my more recent thrift-store finds - a tunic/shirt in a size 2X that I turned into a dress by using the waist-belt! :) The brand is Kische Boutique. I'm hoping to do a post one of these days on thrift store shopping for the busty, so I'll include it there as well.

  3. From my experience difference is very noticible not only for big breasts, but also for from too narrow underwire to the wide enough underwire, and this can be the case even for 34A cup to 32C cup.
    I also noticed that not wearing a bra has very different effect on small-to-medium breasted women and large breasted women. If you are small or medium you tend to keep your shoulders back to avoid sagging, because it's just uncomfortable, but you can't do this trick if you have really big breasts.
    So on smaller side of the scale not wearing a bra at all is better then wearing ill-fitting bra. And on larger side well-fitting bra becomes crucial.