Bra fitting with implants~ It’s the same but totally different.
I happened into the bra fitting world by a choice I made in life. I made the choice to get implants. Really, if I had a proper bra fitting before getting implants it would have made my choice much easier. I was the girl wearing a 32AA bra that was too large, who should have been in a 28A. Have you ever tried to find on of those? It is harder than trying to find the 28H bra I need now. After getting my implants I started learning more and more about bra fitting. Through all this I think I have gained some knowledge that would be beneficial to fitters every where and lingerie companies in general.
*While I love a good debate the purpose of this blog is not to start one about implants. I would never question a woman who chooses to undergo a reduction, it is a very personal choice.
Myth #1- Women with implants do not need a bra.
False! Implants can and will sag over time without proper support just like breast tissue. Proper support should always be provided in the form of a bra on a regular day, a sports bra during exercise, and the occasional braless night out. With many women today electing to get implants as part of a breast lift procedure, there is a very important need to ensure she is in the right size bra to prevent future sagging and need for another lift.
Myth #2- Implants are hard and fake feeling.
False again! Have you ever noticed how there are different types of breast tissue? Some women may have very soft and “pillow” like breasts while others have more dense and firm breasts. Implants are like a dense firm breast. This is where it is important to understand the characteristics of implants. Many women with implants size out a size or two larger than a woman with the same breast volume. The reason for this is that an implant, while soft and moveable, does not mold its shape to the cup of the bra like breast tissue does. When you combine and implant with more breast tissue you may find that the breast shapes to the cup of the bra normally. But when a woman has very little breast tissue there is little to shape to the cup. Many women with implants and little breast tissue prefer a soft cup bra or a lightly lined bra.
Myth #3- Implanted breasts will never have a properly fitted bra. It’s just part of having implants.
False!! The same rules of bra fitting apply to implants. The band should be firm, the underwire should fully encase the breast, the center should sit flat on the sternum, the straps should not take the majority of support. I can’t even begin to tell you how many women I have helped fit that think they should just wear the size Victorias Secret puts them in, even if the bra causes pain. They are told that the center will never sit flat with implants. Or that the correct band size does not matter because they do not need as much support.
There are different types of implants and each women’s needs are considered when choosing an implant. Many women have implants after children to return shape and perkiness. Others have implants because they had no breast tissue to begin with. A woman may have had Tuberous Breast deformity or reconstructive surgery from breast cancer or lumpectomies. There is no way to know why a woman has implants, so there is no reason for a person to judge.
When I fit a woman with implants I ask her several questions. Many fittings are done virtually so I rely on them to provide me with fitting information. I ask them their current bra size with implants and what they find wrong with the fit. I ask them their starting breast tissue, implant size, and implant profile. I ask them to measure their ribcage, with their breath exhaled. I have them check the fit of the underwire, looking to ensure the wire fully encases the breast. I ask how the center front fits, how much spacing they have between their breasts. I can usually take the answers to these questions along with photos in a bra and help them find a starting bra size and a bra brand/style that may fit.
Through my time in fitting I have found that certain bras fit certain implant styles better. In the lingerie world we all know that Panache lines tend to have wider underwires. This is great for ladies that have moderate or moderate plus implants. These two implant styles are wider at the base, creating a wider root to the breast. Freya bras are more narrow and allow for more forward projection of the breast. These tend to be the style of bra for women with high profile or ultra high profile implants, which have a smaller base and more projection. As a fitter it is important to know how each bra is designed and how it may work for different body types. These same considerations should be given to different implant types.
One thing I’d like to mention is the Le Mystere no 9 collection. This collection is supposed to be made for women with implants. This is impossible. There are too many variables to implants and anatomy, how can one style of bra work for them all? In fact I have only had the pleasure of fitting one woman who preferred these bras. No wonder there are so many available on eBay.
The point of this blog is simple. When you fit a client with implants be sure to extend the same fitting rules to them. Their bras should fit like any other woman’s. Just because they do not look like XX size does not mean that the bra does not fit. You must consider the shape of their breast and how different styles fit their breast type. Just like you would with any other woman.
Like I said above, having implants myself, spending countless hours researching proper bra fit, and successfully fitting many women with implants I feel like I have the knowledge base to post on the subject. If you have questions on implant fitting or need help finding the proper size for you or a client, please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.