Shopping for a bra can be challenging, whether you're well endowed or have a small chest. It's not surprising that eighty percent of women are said to be wearing the wrong bra size.
Consider that our bra size fluctuates throughout our lifetime based on our menstrual cycles, weight gain or weight loss, pregnancy, nursing, illness, and aging. This is par for the course! We interviewed bra fitting expert and viral TikTok influencer Madison Alexandra to get the inside track on what to look for, specifically when it comes to sports bras.
Because of her bra fitting expertise, Madison has amassed a huge +700K following on TikTok (@madisonxalexandra) and she's been interviewed by numerous publications, including Elle, Forbes, Mashable, Seventeen Magazine, New York Post, and The Sun.
If you've never been fitted for a bra, you should get to know Madison Alexandra.
& viral TikTok creator of #braschool
Tell us about yourself
I am a fit-focused influencer, advocating for proper bra fitting techniques from the perspective of back and breast health. I've been so fortunate to have had viral success with my Bra School videos on TikTok and have been featured as a lingerie educator in publications such as Elle, The Washington Post and Forbes! As a fuller busted woman, I have also worked as a model and fit consultant pushing for size range expansion for bras worldwide. I currently wear a 24L/M bra size, but my size has fluctuated and ranged up to a 28M/N.
What inspired you to start #braschool and become a bra fitting expert on TikTok and IG?
To make a very very long story short, when I was 25 I was diagnosed with Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), for which I was put on hormonal birth control for the first time to manage my symptoms. PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. As a result, I experienced rapid breast growth and very quickly realized that a) I had run out of bra sizes I had heard of and b) something was very wrong with the way I had been fitted into my bras my whole life.
At a larger breast volume, I actually started to feel the improper weight distribution of an ill fitting bra and, most prominently, a band size too big for my rib cage. I then started to do research on where I could find extended sizes, and I was lucky to come across a lingerie boutique in my area that not only carried my size beyond DD cup sizes but also gave me the best bra fitting of my life. All of my pain disappeared. It was quite literally life changing.
Essentially I became obsessed with learning as much as I could about proper bra fitting and trying to share the word with everyone I knew. I randomly went viral on TikTok during quarantine when I started making educational videos on this topic, and now it has become a huge part of my life to keep educating women about how their bras should fit. It's an extremely rewarding job to be able to give women that life changing experience that I had.
What are common misconceptions that women have about bra sizing?
There are countless misconceptions about bra sizing simply because over 80% of women have been fit into the wrong bra size. Poor bra fittings have unfortunately been rampant for decades, which has led to millions of women being in daily pain.
Bras are engineered to be support garments, so wearing the wrong size can quite literally damage your body from improper wear. So, the biggest misconception out there is that bras just hurt. Period. They are difficult to wear, and it's a relief to take them off at the end of the day.
If your bra is actively causing you discomfort, there is something wrong with the fit. You're either not wearing the right size, shape, or style for your body. Another big misconception is that ALL women fit into the size range of 32-40 A - DD. This is wildly untrue.
The majority of bra size ranges globally are extremely limited - again, due to widespread poor bra fitting techniques. In reality, there are HUNDREDS of potential band to cup proportions out there that are just not easily accessible or catered to at all. Band sizes can range from size 22 and past 60, and I frequently see women with O cup proportions and beyond.
When it comes to sports bras, how should a sports bra fit?
The most important aspects of sports bra fitting are support and comfort. And, you need to think about what you want out of your sports bra based on the type of movement you will be performing in it.
- Support-wise, you need to make sure you can achieve the right bra band support for the level of activity that you are doing. The firmer the band, the higher level of impact you can perform in your sports bra.
A high impact sports bra may also involve more heavy duty materials. However, not every sports bra you own has to have an extremely firm band and a "locked-in" feeling cup, especially if you are doing lower impact activity. This is where balancing comfort and support comes in.
- Doing yoga in your firmest possible band may feel restricting, but sizing up several bands may end up sacrificing support so much that you feel tension across your neck and back and shoulders from strap pain.
- You also need to be educated as to what your breast weight, size, and shape require. For example, you may see that very minimal style strappy sports bra style and think that's what should work for you because it's trendy, but your specific proportions may necessitate a wider strap and back panel to distribute the weight of your breasts in a much more comfortable way for your body. And that's ok! Different bodies need different sports bra constructions, so you can finish your workouts without feeling limited.
What does confidence mean to you? How do you help women be more confident with their bodies?
I've had a LONG journey of struggling with finding solutions for my breasts as a very active woman. Honestly, I found that I have the MOST confidence when I am able to achieve the support I need to be able to workout the way I want to, and - outside of the gym - to perform the activities I need to in my daily life.
Feeling unsupported can be extremely limiting and stressful, and I know that I've had days where I have literally felt held back by my boobs. No woman should feel like that. The goal of my content is to empower women through teaching them how to find the right fit that doesn't hold them back.
Madison wearing her favorite Kinflyte Rise Plus Zip Bra
At Kinflyte, we've been hugely fortunate enough to consult with Madison. When launching our expanded sizes, Madison has been incredibly helpful in providing fit feedback on releases like our NEW Rise Plus Zip Bra and Curve Zip Bra. Kinflyte is the only posture-focused sports bra brand that goes up to a 7XL and supports up to an M bra cup size. Through her continuous efforts, Madison has strived to drive change in the lingerie and sports bra industry through education and by advocating for more inclusive sizes.
Madison in Kinflyte's Rise Bra - Eco Jersey
Madison in Curve Zip Bra ('Plus' size)
Madison has reviewed Kinflyte's posture sports bras over the past few years, and you can find past reviews on her TikTok channel (@madisonxalexandra). You can also find Madison on Instagram with the same handle.