Marko Metzinger/Studio D
Size It Right
Eighty-five percent of women wear the wrong bra size, Nethero guesstimates. And they almost always go too big. If you're one of them, here's the price you pay: "A poorly fitting bra makes you seem older, thicker, and less proportionate," she says. Ouch. The best way to find your fit? Work with an in-store pro. But here are key guidelines anyone can follow:
The bra's band shouldn't ride up in the back. If it does, the bra is too big. And the band should fit snugly around your body if you're like most women, that means it should be far tighter than you're wearing it now. General rule for band size, which Nethero says provides 90 percent of a bra's support: If you wear a size 8 or 10 top, you likely wear a size 34 bra; a 12 or 14 top needs a 36, and so on. (Eek our beauty editor, who wears a size 6 top, has been wearing a 36 bra since she was 15.)
Don't over-tighten straps (they provide only 10 percent of support anyway). If they fall off your shoulders, they're too slack; if they dig in and leave marks, they're too tight.
Buy a bra that fits when it's hooked on the loosest, not tightest, row. Why? Bras stretch over time, says Nethero, and "if it's loose, it can't lift." You want to leave yourself a way to tighten things up a few months later.
"Everything from nursing to aging to weight changes can reduce firmness, but the right bra can restore a youthful look," says Nethero. What you want: a contour-cup bra. These miracle workers have stiff, molded, foamlike cups that lend shape and super support. "They're not padded they just give you lift and a roundness that basically make you look 22 again," she says. Try Maidenform the Smooth Bra ($32, Macy's) or Barely There Invisible Look Underwire Bra ($30, Kohl's).