09/16/2015 05:06 EDT | Updated 09/16/2016 05:12 EDT

How to Find the Perfect Bra

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I am a curvy woman, so finding a bra that fits in all the right places is a challenge. Over the years, having the right information for a great fitting bra, has made the difference between a comfortable happy day and a day where I am feeling tugging and pain from my bra straps.

Getting the right fit with a T-shirt bra is even trickier than a regular bra. Wearing light colours or white and everything is on display. A T-shirt bra needs to be on point with the fit and colour.

Recently, I spoke with Julie Douce-Alexe, Sales Director at Chantelle. Julie provided her top tips on how to find the perfect fitting t shirt bra for your shape and wardrobe.

T-shirt Bra Top Tips

Look for a T-shirt bra that has molded cups that are seamless. The cups are designed to not show under clothing -- even under the most form-fitting T-shirt. A T-shirt bra is ideal for wearing under thin, lightweight and form-fitting tops, because the lined cups provide an opaque layer between your body and your clothing.

The cups will also prevent nipple bulges. The thin layer of foam added to the bra's cups are meant to enhance your natural shape, creating a slightly more rounded look.

How To Ensure You Have The Right Fit

It's important the bra fits snugly! Most women wear a band size that's too large or a too small cup, because they do not know that the majority of the support comes from the band.

The ideal fit lesson :

Check to make sure the band is snug- you should be able to fit only one finger under your band. Look at your profile in the mirror and make sure that your bra band is straight and low across the back.

The band is too large if it's riding up your back and too small if it's digging in to the point of discomfort. This is the most important "point of fit" in a bra since 70 per cent of the support comes from the band!

Lean forward, bending slightly at the waist to allow the breasts to fully fall into the cup. With your opposite hand, reach into the cup of the bra, pulling all breast tissue from the side to the center while holding the wire in place under the arm with your spare hand. Repeat on the other side.

Adjust your straps so that they are snug and have some tension, but you can run a finger under them comfortably. Most women have slightly different size breasts so it's fine to adjust the straps to different lengths. If you have sloping shoulders and your straps keep falling off, you should focus on bras with more centered straps. If you have average to broad shoulders and your straps keep falling off, then your band is probably too big.

If the bra has an underwire, make sure that the wires are fully encompassing your breasts at the side and are not cutting into your breast tissue. Then make sure your breasts are not bulging out at the top of the cup.

If either happens, it means your cup is too small and you should go up at least one cup size. If you experience any gapping at the top of the cup, you probably need to try another style or go down at least a cup size.

The center front should be lying flat between your breasts. If there is any space between the center front and your skin, then your cup is too small and you should go up at least one cup size.

When lifting up your arms, your bra shouldn't move. If the cup lifts up to the point of any breast tissue being exposed, then it is too small. Try some light movement, if your breasts don't stay contained in the cup and need readjustment, the band is probably too big and the cup too small.

Stand in front of a mirror and look at your profile. Your breasts should be lifted and supported ensuring you stand straight and confident. The right fit helps women realize their self-confidence and well-being.

How to care for your lingerie

From lace to silk or high quality cotton, lingerie needs to be stored, washed and dried with extra care and attention.

It is strongly recommended to hand wash bras but you can also use a washing machine with a lingerie bag to separate them and keep them looking fresh. The best is to use an alcohol free hand washing detergent.

Soak lingerie for up to an hour and gently rub the fabric together to remove dirt. Rinse in cool water. Lay garment flat on a towel and lay another towel over top and press to remove extra water. Hang to dry. Never put bras in the dryer because the heat will break down the spandex and you will lose elasticity.

Avoid throwing your bras and panties into one drawer and separate your molded cup bras from your bra collection. Molded cups will pucker and bend if inverted or folded, subsequently shortening your bra's life. Instead, buy a drawer with dividers to keep them organized and safe from damage.

It's important to build your bra wardrobe so you'll have a good selection of bras to rotate, giving you more bras to wear and less washing to do.

Replace your bras every 9 to 12 months, depending how many bras you have in your rotation and pay attention to the bra's elastic. Over time, the elastic wears out and the bra band can't provide proper support.

If you have ideas or questions about the bras and fit, please leave a comment below and I will do my best to find the answer for you.

Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to enjoy life to the fullest. Let's have the very best 2015!

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