It is really no surprise to learn that up to 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size, and I am probably one of them. Throughout history, women have been told that it’s our boobs that are the problem, not the bra, or the lack of fitting options, which (news flash) have been the problem all along, and that’s not even factoring in the rest of the fit or what can happen to your bras with regular wear. 

So to make your next bra shop less frustrating and depressing, here are some factors to consider when looking for your perfect bra (and yes, it does exist).

This Is How The Cups Should Fit 

When it comes to cups, they should be comfortably full. You don’t want your breasts to spill out of the cup of the bra, nor do you want a situation where there is too much room, which can create an empty, unsupported space.

Ensure your breasts fits evenly in both cups with no overflow and no gaping. Anything more than a ¼-inch gap indicates you need to go up, or down a cup size.

This Is How The Bands Should Fit 

Your bra band should be comfortably snug. You should not feel like you’re spilling over the sides of your bra. If the band is too loose and therefore not pulling the wire into the right place, you may want to try a larger cup size and a smaller band size. As a general rule, you should be able to slide exactly two fingers under the back of your band, that’s it.

This Is How The Straps Should Fit 

Straps that are too loose, or drop off your shoulders could mean your bra is worn-out from use and the straps have lost their elasticity or that the bra is too big for you. At the same time, your straps shouldn’t dig into your flesh either. The band of the bra should be the one that gives you most of the support—not the straps. So if the straps are digging into your shoulders, chances are the band is too loose and not providing enough support.

This Is How The Right Size Should Fit 

Different breast sizes can also benefit from different cup sizes and styles. Breast asymmetry can also impact the way a bra looks and feels, so if you are unsure, you should have one of the trained staff help you with a bra that is made for asymmetrical breasts, and come with removable inserts.

This Is How The Shape Should Fit 

It’s important to factor in your breast shape. Athletic, or wider boobs with more muscle and less tissue, can experience cup gaping and therefore benefit from T-shirt style bras, whereas ‘bell boobs’ tend to be slimmer at the top and fuller at the bottom and can benefit from a full-coverage bra that features wider memory-foam straps.

Relaxed boobs, are those which have lax tissue and nipples that point downward, can typically benefit from a balconette-style bra that has a slightly shorter cup for more fullness at the top, whereas “east-west boobs” that have nipples pointing in different directions look their best with full-coverage bras that will help bring the breasts up and together.

For “round boobs,” try a wireless bra when you want light support, or a balconette bra when you want an ultra-flattering fit.

It’s also very important to note that a woman’s bra size changes on average six times in her lifetime. So it is unrealistic to think that you are the same size you were a few years ago, when in reality your cup and band size will have changed over time. Size is really just a number, so don’t get hung up on the change, and instead know that when a bra really fits you well, you will look and feel your best.