Why are the bands on my bras different lengths in the same size?
The band size of a bra can be a bit puzzling. Have you also noticed that two bras of the same size sometimes have different length bands? Here’s everything you didn’t know about the band and circumference of your bra.
Sometimes we are asked why the band of two bras in the same size are different lengths. Garments can differ by several centimetres. This doesn’t mean that one of them has the wrong size label. The band size (length) of the bra is not the same thing as the actual size. If you want to measure your bra size, you therefore have to measure your own body. So, don’t measure your favourite bra even if you think it fits perfectly. If you are 85 cm round the body under the bust, you have size 85. If, however, you measure the length of a bra of size 85, it will be shorter. Why? There are several reasons.
“It is quite normal for your bras to have different length bands”
1. The material
Bras can be made from many different types of material, all with their own unique properties. Some materials are more flexible, others firmer. A bra must feel and look as good in all sizes. It should fit tightly and provide support yet be comfortable and follow the body’s movements.
All bra bands have some form of elasticity. Without that, the garment would fit tightly like a corset and it would feel difficult to breathe. In order for the band not to lose elasticity, we use materials that contain elastane. Elastane is a textile fibre that stops elastic material from losing its shape. Imagine a chewing gum that is pulled and then doesn’t return to its normal size. A hair tie, however, returns to its normal size. Elastane makes an elastic material work more like a rubber band than a chewing gum.
The kind of elastic used also has an effect. The wider and thicker the elastic we use, the stronger the resistance. A bra with wide elastic is therefore made longer than a bra with thinner elastic as the latter will stretch more.
A bra with an underwire is also made longer at the back than a non-wired bra. This is because the underwires are firm and ‘hold together’ the front of the bra. On a bra with an underwire, only the back can stretch, never the front.
The difference is in the fit
The fit must feel perfect already when trying the bra for the first time. The feeling you get for those short seconds in front of the mirror is decisive to whether you will want to buy the garment. But a bra shouldn’t just fit in the changing room. It must remain perfect also after it has been used and washed many times.
At Miss Mary, our stylists test and adjust the pattern many times during the work on a new bra model. We always do all our testing on real bodies and not on dummies. Only on a person can you see the lift and support and also get feedback on how the bra feels. We make patterns, sew, test, adjust and improve until the bra fits perfectly. Our design department has a total of 120 years’ experience of making bras and that’s very useful! With such long experience behind them, our stylists have had time to work on almost all types of bra models and materials that exist. They have keen perception and know exactly where and how they should reduce or increase a pattern part so it will fit perfectly, just like our customers demand of a Miss Mary bra.
When we have sewn a sample bra that we are happy with, our stylists hang up the bra on a measuring rod and attach a weight at the bottom of the garment. See the example in the picture below. With the help of the weight, the material is stretched in the same way as it would if it were fitted around a body. This allows us to check the correct size of the garment.
“We carry out weight tests on all sizes”
At Miss Mary, measurement tests using weights are carried out to check that the band is the right size. This is a bra in size 75C. On the left, the bra in a ‘relaxed’ state measures 70 cm on the middle hook and eye fastening. On the body, however, it will be 75 cm, as shown by the weight test on the right.
Things to consider when buying a bra
What do you need to consider when buying a new bra? As we said, it is perfectly normal for one bra to be longer than others. So, instead of comparing them with each other, we recommend that you put on the bra and feel how it fits. Bear in mind that the bra will be a little tighter when it is brand new. We also recommend that you use the hook and eye fastening in the outermost position until the bra has adapted and stretched a little. Then you will enjoy the bra for longer, as even the best quality bra will need to be tightened after a lot of use.
If you are unsure which bra will suit you and your needs, or which size you should wear, contact our Customer Services. We are experts at helping women over the phone, via email or on chat to find the right bra. No questions or issues are too big or too small.