How To Choose The Right Bra, According To An Expert - The Gloss Magazine
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How To Choose The Right Bra, According To An Expert

Georgia Larsen, founder of Dora Larsen lingerie advises on the one mistake we’re all making when finding the perfect bra, plus how to find a flattering bikini for your holiday capsule wardrobe …

“I think a lot of us are still wearing the wrong bra size,” says Georgia Larsen, the founder of Dora Larsen, the lingerie brand loved for its fashionable bras that prioritise excellent fit (in a world of flimsy, soft cup bras, Larsen is meticulous about good sizing; the brand mainly does wired styles). However, there is a caveat with that, Larsen believes. “I find that bra fitters will sometimes suggest you wear a small back size because you are meant to wear a bra that fits very firmly across your chest. But some people don’t necessarily like that. So technically I’m a 32B but I never buy a 32B because I find it too tight, I would always buy a 34A so I have a slight bit of room,” she says. That feeling of being in a fitting room trying on a prescribed bra that also delivers an unwelcome amount of underarm bulge is certainly familiar.

There is something else we tend to get wrong, too. “I think what people don’t do enough when they try a bra on is adjust the fit to make it better. So you can transform the fit by getting the straps right: adjust the strap and instantly it will look so much better and fit correctly. Or, for instance, the closure on the back might have been on the loosest clasp but it should have been on the tightest clasp,” she says.

Blue Maudie recycled nylon underwire bra, €86; blue Maudie embroidery thong, €49; 

While, particularly with a bigger bust, fit is essential, Larsen believes we often forget about what is comfortable, which should also be a guide when choosing the right bra. That, plus a pinch of common sense. “You know you’re wearing the wrong size if your bra rides up your back. You know you’re wearing the wrong size if it’s gaping in your cup. The wrong back size can create a baggy cup, too,” she explains.

Speaking of finding the right fit, surely it must be hard for an underwear brand to be almost exclusively available online? (Lucky for Irish customers, Dora Larsen is available at Brown Thomas now, too.) “People are used to the process of buying bras online now,” she says. Larsen credits her team’s extensive fit research, too: the brand has developed a tool that allows customers to check their fit against that of competitors. “So you can enter in the size you usually buy from somewhere like Marks & Spencer and it will calculate the best fit for you based on that,” Larsen explains. She also suggests the Graphic Lace Underwire bra which is loved for being a universally good fit.

Green Simone strapless lace bra, €86; green Simone strapless lace high waisted briefs, €55;

As for trends? While a flash of a coloured strap is always in style, the larger trend for underwear as outerwear – as seen on models at Paris Fashion Week, but who can actually do it in real life? – is waning, Larsen notes. Meanwhile, the Gen Z cohort are looking for sports influenced bras, “sexy stuff that has a bit of a Skims vibe, it’s less traditional,” she says. Call it the Kardashian effect – it drives demand, too. “It’s not my personal aesthetic but I have to be engaged with it because it’s a huge part of our culture now. We made some of our knickers higher on the leg and more of a 90s, sexy vibe to accommodate that look,” she says. 

The brand has, happily, just launched swim, too. Fashion hasn’t really been stepping up to the mark when it comes to swimwear, Larsen believes. “There are other swimwear brands that do wires but they do it in a fashion sense rather than a fit first sense – you have to be an A, B or C cup at most to wear them. We have these cool back adjustors so you can basically adjust it to be the perfect fit around your back so it can be a 32DD but it will fit you,” she says. “Usually if you have a small back and a larger bust it’s hard to find swimwear because the back size isn’t adjustable, or it has a tie, which is quite scary because you can have a wardrobe malfunction. I once flashed my husband’s entire family on holiday!” she laughs. “So, from that traumatic experience, I thought it was important to develop something that would be secure and that you can adjust so it fits perfectly.”

Blue Phoebe underwired bikini top, €105; blue Phoebe low rise bikini briefs, €72; both Dora Larsen at Brown Thomas.

The collection, which has been in development since 2020 (it was delayed because of Covid-19), comprises eight pieces that are modelled on the brand’s best-selling underwear shapes and mirror the cuts used in the brand’s clean tulle and organic cotton ranges, is available in a curated palette of vibrant shades. It’s compact, Larsen says, as she really wanted to focus on fit. “There was a lot of back and forth on fit. We wanted to make sure we were fitting it on different body shapes,” she says. Another consideration was making sure it was in line with the lingerie range, so that existing customers can take the equivalent size in swim as they would in lingerie. 

Who is Larsen’s ultimate summer muse? It’s someone who is cool, but is also subtle, without screaming out for your attention. “I’ve always got a Brigitte Bardot type in my head, because I always connect Dora Larsen to that vintage 1960s vibe, in a very feminine way – the whole idea of an underwire bikini feels very vintage and then there is this St Tropez colour palette. However in a more modern sense I love Angie Smith (Instagram @angiesmithstyle): she is slightly bohemian but in a modern way without being too fussy. And an Australian influencer called Courtney Skippon (Instagram @courtneyskippon) who is very cool,” she says. 

Dora Larsen is available at Brown Thomas and

Pink Lucy bikini top, €90; pink Lucy low rise bikini briefs, €72; both Dora Larsen at Brown Thomas. 


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