Frequently Asked Questions
If you do not find your answer below, please call our Customer Service Department Toll Free at 1-866-870-8911 or you can email us at email@example.com.
Bra Fitting and Selection
Customer Service Questions
Bra Terms Glossary
Bra Fitting and SelectionHow do I determine my size?
Everything you need to know about determining your size and how your bra should fit can be found on our What’s My Size? page.
Why do other bra retailers tell me to add inches to my measurements?
Adding inches is an antiquated method developed by US bra manufacturers to decrease the number of individual sizes they need to manufacture. This allows them to get more women into the 9-12 cookie-cutter sizes they produce per style. The UK bras that we offer come in 40-75 sizes per style to ensure you get the size that actually fits your body.
Why does Breakout Bras tell me not to add inches to my measurements?
This is a no-brainer. When you want something to fit, you take measurements. When you go to a tailor or seamstress, they take your measurements and use those measurements to create a suit, dress, or pair of pants that fit. They do not add inches to your measurements. If they did, your clothes would fall off. The same thing is true for a bra. When you add inches to your actual measurement, your straps fall, your bra falls, your breasts fall. When you don’t add these extra inches, the bra fits. 90% of your support comes from the band so if your band is too big, you have no support. Also, when you get bras that are correctly sized, they last a lot longer. When you first get a new bra, it will be snug on the loosest set of hooks so as the bra stretches over time, you'll be able to tighten the band and continue to get the same high level of support.
Why does Breakout Bras not offer a hundred different brands like other websites?
We are very selective when choosing lines to offer. We want lines that fit well and that are true to our sizing philosophy. We choose to only offer brands that consistently produce quality, well-fitting bras with extensive sizes. Because US manufacturers offer limited sizes, most of the brands we offer are UK brands with UK sizing.
What is the difference between US and UK Sizing?
UK sizes are different because they use double letters more extensively (i.e. FF, GG, HH, etc.). UK bras also tend to have a larger range of sizes. When using the Breakout Bras sizing method, the resulting size will be your US size. Please click on our CONVERSION CHART see your US size and the corresponding UK size.
How should my bra feel?
It should be snug, especially for the first week or so of wear. The band is what holds your breasts up and in place (with a little help from the straps). Keep in mind that bras stretch as you wear them; you want it more firm in the beginning so that you will get longer wear. This way you can add more bras to your collection rather than replacing stretched out ones!
Why are seams important?
Seams are present to reinforce the cup and to maintain support for heavier breasts. They are sewn in different directions to push the breast in and up, giving better shape and support.
Why are there no seamless bras in larger sizes?
When your breasts are heavier, the fabric has to work harder to maintain support. The more weight you put into the cup of a bra, the sturdier the bra needs to be. Seams are what provide this extra support in a bra. Most bra manufacturers make bras with barely-there seams that blend into the fabric of the cup, so after your breasts press against the cups for just a few days, the seams smooth down to be invisible under almost all tops.
How do I wash my bra?
HAND WASH, HAND WASH, HAND WASH!! Regardless of manufacturer instructions, Breakout Bras recommends hand washing everything. Using a washing machine (even on gentle cycle, even in a front-load washer without an agitator, even in a laundry bag) can warp the underwire and potentially cause it to poke through the fabric of the bra. The use of standard detergents and/or putting them in the dryer, typically breaks down the delicate fabrics of lingerie, causing your bra to deteriorate quickly and lose their elasticity. NEVER PUT YOUR BRAS IN A DRYER.
How long should a bra last?
This depends on how many bras you have, if they are of the correct size, and if you care for them properly. A bra stretches every time you wear it, so if you have at least three or four of them to rotate, then you'll easily get 1 ½ to 2 years use from them. Again, this is assuming that the bras have been cared for properly and are of the correct size. If you wear the same exact bra every day, it's going to stretch much quicker than when alternating between several.
How many bras should I have?
Once you are sure of your correct size, having three daily wear bras should be fine to start off with. Most women also like to have a few special occasion and/or fun and sexy bras in their collection.
How do I find the right bra for my body?
While measuring for your correct size is very important, choosing the right style in that size is also crucial for your overall satisfaction, support, and comfort. There are different styles that work better for different body types. For example, bandless bras work well for shorter-waisted women while molded cup bras work well for women with less mass at the top of their breasts. If you are uncertain about which style works best for your body type, call or email our customer service department for help and recommendations.
Do any of these guidelines change if I’m looking for a maternity or nursing bra?
Maternity/nursing bras are designed for changing breasts and bodies more so than everyday bras. Nursing bra manufacturers have come a long way in making bras more fashionable; however, the main concerns are still functionality and breast health. In terms of the fit, the coverage tends to be fuller and the fabrics more stretchy to allow for greater fluctuation in breast size. Maternity/nursing bras also have less side support to avoid applying pressure against milk ducts. Trust us! You do NOT want to get Mastitis.
How long should my nursing bra last?
The lifespan of nursing bras is considerably less than with everyday bras for several reasons. A nursing bra is tugged on repeatedly throughout each day to breastfeed, they are made of more stretchy fabrics, and they tend to be washed a lot more often. The result is that nursing bras break down much more quickly than regular bras. One nursing bra typically lasts 2-4 months, even with proper care. Having 3 nursing bras to rotate can extend the life to 6-8 months each.
How do I care for my nursing bras?
Regardless of manufacturer instructions, we recommend hand wash/line dry due to the fabrics stretching with wear and increased risk of nursing clasps breaking with machine laundering.
Do I need a different bra while I’m pregnant?
Most women will need to be refitted for a new size within the first trimester due to changes in their breasts and body. Once in a correctly-fitted regular bra, they can usually wear it throughout most of their pregnancy. They should take care to select a style with a flexible fabric (lycra, stretch lace, etc.) to allow for the continuing changes in their body. We recommend that in the 3rd trimester, you begin looking for a transitional maternity/nursing bra.
What is a transitional bra?
A transitional bra is a moderately supportive bra that accommodates a range of sizes allowing for the fluctuation of your body and breast size during and just after pregnancy. It will take you through pregnancy, labor, and the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Three weeks after delivery, you should measure for a long-term, size specific nursing bra.
Customer Service QuestionsWhen will my order ship?
Most orders are shipped the next business day. Saturday, Sunday, and Postal Holidays are not business days.
Can I track my order? (U.S.)
Yes, a shipment confirmation e-mail including a tracking number will be sent to you via e-mail when your order ships.
Can I track my order? (Canada)
The FREE standard shipping method now offers tracking information. This method is shipped with US Postal Service, and will be carried to your address by Canada Post once it processes through Customs. It IS trackable, but typically will only be updated when the package leaves USPS handling, when it leaves Customs, and when it is delivered by Canada Post. We also offer a paid, FedEx method for Canadian customers. If this method is chosen, we will provide you with tracking information for your shipment, which should deliver in 2-5 business days.
How can I check the status of my order?
If you chose to create an account at the time of your order, you can log into your account and get complete updated order information. If you chose not to create an account, just give customer service a call at 1-866-870-8911 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will happily assist you.
What type of payment methods do you accept?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal online.
How can I receive Breakout Bras coupons or promotions?
You can become a fan of Breakout Bras on Facebook to receive exclusive coupons or you can sign up to receive our E-mail newsletter. From any page, just enter your email address in the Email Newsletter section on the left navigation bar .
What is your price match policy?
We are committed to having the lowest prices available on the web. Therefore, if you find the exact same product, in stock, for less money on another website we will meet that price and then take an additional 5% off. The item cannot be on clearance or close-out to be eligible for price matching.
Shipping/Return QuestionsWhen will my order ship?
Most orders are shipped the next business day. Saturdays and Sundays are not business days.
Can I track my order? (U.S.)
Yes, a shipment confirmation e-mail including a tracking number will be sent to you via e-mail when your order ships.
Can I track my order? (Canada)
The FREE standard shipping method now offers tracking information. This method is shipped with US Postal Service, and will be carried to your address by Canada Post once it processes through Customs. It IS trackable, but typically will only be updated when the package leaves USPS handling, when it leaves Customs, and when it is delivered. We also offer a paid, FedEx method for Canadian customers. If this method is chosen, we will provide you with tracking information for your shipment, which should deliver in 2-5 business days.
How much do you charge for shipping?
We ship to all 50 United States and Canada free of charge. We have expedited shipping methods available for a fee. You may view our fee schedule on our Shipping Information Page.
I’m in Canada. Where is my order?
Most packages are delivered within 2-3 weeks to any address in Canada. Customs can hold the package however and in rare cases can cause delays of upward of 6 weeks. We ship through the US Postal Service. Once your package is released from Canadian Customs, it will be delivered by Canada Post to the address you provided.
How do I know if the item I want is on backorder?
Our website features real time inventory, which means that you can see the availability of each item at the time you order. In the rare case that an item we show in stock is actually out of stock, we will contact you immediately.
How do I return a bra?
Please see our Return/Exchange Policy which can be found at the top of every page.
Bra Glossary2-part cup
The cups on a bra have one seam to create two cup parts. This seaming creates shape, comfort and added support to the bra cups.
The bra cups each have two seams to create 3 parts on each bra cup. This construction is usually found on full-figure bras because it gives comfort and greater support to the breasts.
A bra without straps or back wings that stays in place with medical-grade adhesive.
A babydoll is a woman's short nightgown sometimes with lace, ruffles, bows and ribbons, optionally with spaghetti straps. Sometimes they are made of sheer cloth like chiffon. It is said the name comes from the 1956 movie "Baby Doll" starring Carroll Baker in the title role.
Back wings are the strips of fabric, which extend from the outer base of the cups and secure in the back. Important aspects of the back wings are; stretch vs. non-stretch, the measurement at the widest point (which is usually at the base of the cups), measurement at the closure, and type of close including number of hooks and eyes.
This is a half cup or demi style meaning the bra comes very low in the cup and is suitable for wearing under low cut tops. Balconette styles generally give you a rounded shape but offer less coverage.
A strapless band of fabric that covers the breasts. It is usually stretchy and sometimes has built-in cups. It is a great option for small busted women who dislike wearing traditional bras.
Boning is usually incorporated into a vertical seam to provide more support, structure, or body contouring to a bra. Boning can be made of steel, metal spirals, or plastic.
A bralette is an unlined, soft cup bra, which resembles a crop top. A bralette is a comfortable bra alternative, with very light support, most appropriate for smaller cup sizes.
Bra Hook Extenders
These are similar to the hook closures of most bras, but they are sold separately and are designed to attach to your bra to extend the length of the band size. They have multiple rows and columns of hook and eye sets. To use, simply hook one end to the end part of your bra band and adjust accordingly.
A small adhesive nipple cover worn to prevent the nipples from showing through under sheer garments.
A highly structured garment, which extends from bust to hip, although it will vary in length. Most bustiers have flexible boning throughout the body of the garment for additional shaping, and close in the back with a long column of hooks and eyes. Additional features may include removable or convertible straps or garters. Smooth bustiers are perfect under special occasion-wear as they provide both shaping and uplift.
Comfort Straps are wider than average straps and are usually padded or lined more evenly distributing the weight of the breast, increasing the comfort of the wearer. Comfort straps are an important feature for any woman who has experienced shoulder pain due to her bra.
The center gore is the fabric which connects the cups of a bra at the front center. Important aspects of the center gore include: stretch vs. non-stretch – with the non-stretch offering significantly more support than stretch – and width measurement. Bras with low or plunge fronts have thinner center gores making them a good choice to pair with low cut tops.
A contour bra has shaped cups, which are always padded or lined. They often have an underwire. The cups mimic the natural shape of a woman's body. Contour bras are similar to a molded bra, except molded bras are generally not as highly structured. Contour bras are a perfect choice for any woman seeking a sculpted silhouette, as they offer a significant amount of coverage and control.
Cookies are oval shaped, removable demi pads. These are generally used in push-up bras, which are designed to create dramatic, yet adjustable enhancement.
Describes any bra with detachable straps that can be worn in a variety of ways including traditional, criss-cross, halter, strapless or one shoulder. Convertible bras are a flexible option since they can be worn with a variety of tops, including boat neck, halter and asymmetrical necklines.
A corset is a highly structured, form-fitted support garment that extends from the bust to the hip- although the length can vary. Most corsets have lace up details, flexible boning throughout the body of the garment for additional shaping, and close in the back with a long column of hooks and eyes.
The bra cups each have a single seam starting from bottom of the cup straight up to the center of the cup. This construction is usually found on full figure or full busted bras for a rounder silhouette, comfort and greater support.
A demi-cup bra offers a sexy, cleavage enhancing shape. This style is best for petite to average figure women. These bras offer less coverage than a full cup and more than a balconette. Demi bras cover approximately half to ¾ of the breast, and will create you cleavage and uplift. If it seems like you’re “spilling out” of your demi-cup it's probably the wrong style or cup size for you.
The cup of the bra is made from foam and offers a pre-formed, rounded breast shape and creates a smooth look under clothing. These bras do not add volume. For added size, look for padded bras.
Full Cup Bras
A full cup bra completely covers most of the breast, offering both more coverage and more support than a demi cup bra.
Full Figure Bras
Full figure bras offer comfort and support features designed specifically full busted women regardless of body or band size. See Plus Size Bras Plus Size Women
Front Closure Bra
Front-closure bras, unlike conventional bras, only have one non-adjustable clasp at the center front.
Graduated padding is thicker at the base of the cups and tapers to a thinner layer towards the top of the cup, creating a natural looking silhouette as well as the appearance of increased cleavage.
Leotard Back / U-Back Bra
Rather than the conventional rectangle shape in the back, the leotard back provides a U-shape, which prevents the straps from sliding or falling off the shoulders. This style is particularly good for fuller figures and full busted women who need the additional support.
Inner slings are a support feature built into the cup of bras for fuller-busted sizes. They are curved strips of fabric, which follow the natural curve of the bra similar to an underwire, except they are soft and built into the design of the cup, creating an extra layer of support.
A bra specifically designed for women who are pregnant. Since pregnant women often have swelling and tenderness in the breasts, maternity bras are constructed with wider straps to increase support and reduce bounce, as well as more comfortable fabrics to prevent irritation.
A bra specifically designed for women who are nursing. Similar to a maternity bra, it provides increased support but offers detachable clips on the top of each cup to allow easy access for breast-feeding.
A minimizer bra reduces the appearance of the bust by up to one cup size. This can be especially helpful for women who have trouble with gaps between the buttons on shirts and blouses.
Molded bras have cups that are pre-shaped and designed to mirror the natural shape of the breasts, for a better fit and comfort. Molded bras are generally unlined and may be either soft cup or underwire.
Moisture wicking fabrics draw moisture away from the skin. This is a great feature to look for in a sports bra.
Padded Bras have shape-enhancing pads or lining designed to increase bust size and add cleavage. Graduated padding is thicker at the base of the cups and tapers gently, to create a natural looking silhouette as well as an enhanced cleavage.
Plunge bras create the appearance of increased cleavage because of their deep (plunging) front silhouette, angled cups and narrow center gore. Plunge bras differ from push-up bras in that they are not generally as heavily padded.
Plus Size Bras
Bras that are specifically designed with larger bodied women in mind
Push-up bras create the appearance of increased cleavage using angled cups (which generally have underwires), a variety of types of padding including graduated and cookies, and demi cups.
A racer-back is designed for a no-show fit under tank tops. Most convertible bras can be worn racer-back, but a true racer-back bra is a must-have to pair with racer-back tanks.
Non-stretch straps which are generally adjustable. Rigid straps offer more support than stretch straps. Rigid straps are an important feature for Full Figure silhouettes. Some bras have rigid in front straps, and stretch adjustable straps in the back for additional, adjustable comfort.
A bra constructed without seamed cups. There may be seams in other parts of the bra and still be considered seamless. Seamless bras are a great choice for pairing with clingy knits, and lightweight jerseys since they are virtually invisible under clothing.
Soft Cup Bra
Soft Cup bras do not have underwires, but may be padded, seamed or lined to provide shaping and support.
Sports bras are specifically designed to offer the appropriate amount of support during physical activity. Sports bras are designed in various levels of support- from light support (best for yoga and walking) to maximum support (for running and jumping).
Transitional Bra (Maternity/Nursing Bra)
A bra designed to be worn during pregnancy, at the hospital during delivery, and for the first few weeks after delivery.
A triangle bra has triangle shaped cups, which offer the perfect amount of coverage and support for petite to average figures. Triangle bras may be padded or lined but generally do not have underwires, and most have thin straps, minimal center gore and back wings.
Invisible under even the thinnest fabrics, t-shirt bras are seamless, contoured styles designed to prevent any show-through when wearing light knits. Important for all seasons, t-shirt bras create an ultra smooth look under knits, sweaters or clingy tops.
A thin, flexible wire, which offers added support to the cups of bras, bustiers and shapewear.