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There's the fiddly straps, the angry red marks on tender, pinched skin, the borderline comical foam inserts and the industrial strength underwire. Finding the perfect bra can be a challenge, right ladies?

But now a San Francisco-based lingerie brand, ThirdLove, has created a guide designed to make the process a bit easier.

The guide takes in characteristics such as roundness, length and direction, and was created to prevent women from making the age-old mistake of buying the wrong sized bra.

The seven categories include the "east west", where the nipples point outwards, the "bell shape" for boobs that are fuller on the bottom, the "asymmetric" where one breast is slightly larger than the others, and the "slender", for small, slim shapes.


Once you've chosen a shape that best matches your assets, the guide suggests a bra style, such as t-shirt, wireless or strapless, to comfortably accommodate your lady lumps.

"During our product design process, we discovered that getting a great fit was about identifying the style that best suits your natural shape," Ra'el Cohen, vice president of design and product development at ThirdLove, told Women's Health magazine.

According to the experts at ThirdLove, you should be able to slip two fingers underneath the back of the band of your bra while you're wearing it; anything less may mean it's too tight.

To avoid the infuriating situation of straps slipping down your shoulders, ThirdLove advises tightening the straps every other month.

When it comes to the cups, there should be no empty space or overflow, and a new bra should fit perfectly on its loosest hook, allowing you to tighten it over time.

If your favourite old faithful is too loose on its longest hook, it's time to treat yourself to some new lingerie.