From when we first start wearing bras as a girl, wearing a bra should never hurt us. If it does, your not wearing the right style or size.

Don’t start shouting at me, I’m only the messenger, but an experienced one now. I, like you, was ‘supported’ by some trainer bras to start with, ‘fitted’ by ‘experts’, and only really felt truly comfortable and supported when I was in my mid-30s.

There are many factors to consider when buying and wearing bras. I’m not going to cover them all here, but here’s some things to consider when you’re out shopping.

Is your weight fluctuating? Where are you in your monthly cycle?

If you buy a bra when you’re at your biggest in your cycle, then in a weeks time the bra will be too big and not supportive enough for you. Can you wait? Or do you actually need different bras for different times of the month? (I do some months).

Rule of thumb – Buy a bra that is fitting firmly on it’s loosest setting when you buy it. It will only stretch with wear, and you need it to remain firm around your ribs.

What type of clothes will you be wearing? Does the bra need to work under different styles of tops and dresses?

One bra is unlikely to suit all your wardrobe! What about when you wear that backless dress you’ve got? Or when you do some exercise? Are you really expecting that skinny little piece of lace to support your breasts when you’re running around the park with your children?

Rule of thumb – However small your budget, getting the right tools for the job is always more cost effective. Get a sports bra for sport, and a good supporting bra for day wear. What you do when you go out depends on the look you’re wanting to create!

How far are your breasts apart on your chest wall?

Have you ever looked at how far apart your breasts are? Some of you will be touching, with no space at all between your breasts. Others will be able to put 3 fingers in between your breasts. Whatever your breasts look like, select a bra that suits your body shape.

Rule of thumb – check how the seams and wires sit against your chest wall and breasts. If anything is pressing onto breast tissue, it’s not right.

Whatever your question about bras, please remember that you should always be comfortable. Since my discovery, I always have been. It’s taken time, but I no longer have back ache or neck ache because of my bra!

The Bra Lady network, set up by T-J in 2004, supports women around the world with bra fitting advice, and specialist bras. For advice on bra wearing and bra fitting, please use the contact form, or contact T-J via twitter.