How Often Should You Get Fitted For a Bra? A Victoria's Secret Model Has Some Pretty Useful Advice
Almost every woman is guilty of working out their bra size and sticking to it for their entire life. Most of the time, this is done via a method of trial and error — rather than with the help of a professional. But one Victoria's Secret model has spoken out to explain why you should enlist expert advice every now and then. So, how often should you get fitted for a bra?
Well, according to Danish model Josephine Skriver, all women should have their bra professionally fitted every six months. This may sound like an excessive amount, but the 25-year-old makes a good case. Telling Elle that she got fitted three years ago and "assumed that was [her] size," Skriver revealed that she then got fitted again at Victoria's Secret shortly afterward and was "completely shocked" to see that she was "a totally different size."
She explained: "Every time my mum comes to New York, I get her fitted for a new bra and it's a new size every time. I always thought these people don't know what they're doing but no, it's just us women going through body changes. As a woman, your size changes whether you're working out or it's that time of the month."
Skriver has a point. After doing a little research, I was surprised to see just how much impact hormones can have on the size of your boobs. OK, so you won't wake up four sizes bigger, but you may find yourself fluctuating between a couple of sizes.
Size changes are mainly down to the menstrual cycle, according to experts. "Most women will notice differences across their monthly cycle, and it's completely normal," gynaecologist Dr. Rebecca Booth told Health.
In order to understand exactly when you might need to swap to a different bra size, you first need to understand how the menstrual cycle works. It is split into two stages. The follicular phase takes up the first half (and starts on the first day of menstruation), while the luteal phase begins after ovulation occurs.
During the follicular phase, the body's levels of estrogen and progesterone are particularly low, Dr. Jennifer Litton, associate professor of breast medical oncology at the University of Texas, explained to Shape. This is when your boobs will be at their smallest and is actually regarded as your "true size" when it comes to bras.
As the luteal phase starts, your boobs will automatically become fuller as they are once again pumped with hormones. At this point, you may need to invest in a slightly bigger bra size to provide you with maximum comfort and stability.
Of course, it's not just your period that can affect your bra size. Weight gain or loss can have an obvious impact, as can your diet and certain forms of birth control.
Some women who are on the pill "may notice an increase in their bust size," Rebecca Findlay from the Family Planning Association told Cosmopolitan. "Some women notice no difference at all and some notice their breasts get smaller."
A diet rich in carbohydrates can also have a boosting effect. As Health reports, this is because food containing a high amount of carbs can stimulate insulin production, resulting in fluid remaining in your boobs. Some experts believe that phytoestrogens — plant estrogens found in the likes of fruit, vegetables, and some legumes — can lead to breast growth, too. However, research surrounding this is pretty limited.
In 2016, Debenhams found that eight out of 10 women in the UK were wearing the wrong bra size. Not wearing the correct size can can create a number of health problems, "including back pain, restricted breathing, abrasions, breast pain, and poor posture," as reported by the Independent. With that in mind, perhaps all of us should take half an hour out twice a year to seek some professional help.