All women know that a little extra body fat can pop up virtually anywhere — it can even accumulate on your back and spill over the sides of your bra straps. Losing excess body fat with a healthy diet and regular exercise can help this problem in the long-term, but there’s no reason you can’t do some clever smoothing in the meantime. A proper-fitting bra — along with some help from your wardrobe — can make a world of difference.

Things You'll Need

Measure yourself to find the right band size for your bra. Use a soft measuring tape and wrap it firmly around your rib cage just below your breasts. Add 5 inches to this number and you have your proper band size. For example, if you measured 29 inches, your band size is 34.

Wear the right cup size for your breasts. Measure your cup size by placing the measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust and subtract this from your band size. For every inch of difference go up a letter to find your cup size. For example, if your cup measurement is 36 and your band measurement is 35, this 1-inch difference means you wear an A-cup. If your cup measurement is 37 and your band measurement is 35, you should wear a B-cup. For 3 inches of difference choose a C-cup, for a 4-inch difference choose a D-cup and so on.

Try on bras before committing to a purchase. Use the loosest setting on the clasp — this allows you to tighten the band as the elastic wears down after washing and wearing. Check that the cups are smooth with no wrinkles and that nothing spills out of the front.

Bend over when you put on your bra. Place your breasts in the cups before standing up and closing the clasp. Place the band in an even position to avoid it riding up your back or being too low. Low-fitting bras will exaggerate back fat and draw attention to the problem. Adjust the straps until the band is in the correct position.

Replace your bras every 6 to 8 months. Over time the elastic will wear out, and your trusty bra will not retain the proper fit it once had. Measure yourself again before trying on bras to see if your body has changed at all.

Wear clothes that flatter your body type. If you have excess body fat, especially on your upper back, avoid tight clothes that reveal your bra lines and make any extra fat appear more pronounced. Wear a body shaper under dresses or other form-fitting clothing to hide imperfections.