How To Correctly Measure Yourself To Find Your Bra Size: A Bra Fitting Guide
The perfect bra is a bra that defines your curves, gives you an enviable shape, and makes you feel unbelievably sexy, confident and just plain fabulous. If you are experiencing discomfort, spillage over your cups or back strap, tight straps, or a gap between your cups, you are most likely wearing the wrong size bra, and you're not alone. According to recent surveys, approximately 8 in 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra. Why so many? Female bodies change over time and your fit changes year to year as you lose or gain weight, exercise more or less, and so on. If you are not sure what bra size you wear, we can help. Our bra fitting guide will show you how to correctly measure yourself to find your bra size, help you find solutions to your bra troubles, and give you great tips for finding your best bra fit.
How To Correctly Measure Yourself To Find
Your Bra Size: A Bra Fitting Guide
Getting Started – Measuring Your Bra Size Discovering the perfect bra fit for you starts with finding the right band and cup size. To do this, it is best to measure your chest when you are wearing your most comfortable bra - one that has no padding and is not a minimizer.
Bra Fitting Guide Step 1: Measuring Your Band Size To find your correct band size, measure under your arms, high on your back, and across the top of your chest (see photo at right). If this measurement is an even number, this is your band size. If it is an odd number, add 1" to determine your band size.
Step 2: Measuring Your Cup Size To find your correct cup size, loosely measure around the fullest part of your bust (see photo at right). Make sure the measuring tape is horizontal but not too tight. Round the measurement to the nearest whole inch and then subtract your band measurement from your bust measurement; each inch represents a cup size (1”=A-cup, 2”=B-cup, 3”=C-cup, etc.). For example, if your band measurement is 34" and your bust measurement is 36", the difference between these measurements is two inches, so you would wear a B-cup.
See the chart below for your cup size.
Common Bra Fitting Problems
What if you've done your fitting, but your bra just doesn't fit you perfectly? Keep in mind that different brands size their bras differently. A band measurement is a band measurement, but the shape of the cups and the size of the center attachment between cups vary from brand to brand. You may fit a 34C in one brand perfectly and find that the same size is not as comfortable in another brand. This is because each brand has a different process for developing their bras, shaping their cups, and grading their sizes.
Cup: Bra cups should never be baggy. If they are, try going down a cup size. If you notice creasing just around the nipple area, you may have to go down a band size to pull the fabric tighter.
Underwire: The underwire should lie flat against your breastbone. If it rises up, you need to go up a cup size. The other side of the underwire should sit flat against your ribcage without digging into the tissue of your breast.
Straps: Did you know most of the support in your bra comes from the band? Well, it should. If your straps dig into your shoulders, it's because your band size is too big.
Band: The band should run in a straight line across your back. If it rises up at the back, you need to go down a band size.
Comfort: Ultimately, your bra should be comfortable. Try it on under clothing to see how it looks and walk around a bit in it to see how it feels when you're on the move.
Bra Size Tips
Now that you've found your size, it's time to test your bra's fit. To help you fit your bra and find the right size for you we have compiled a list of handy tips and tests to see if your bra is flattering you as best it should.
How to place yourself in your bra
When putting on your bra, lean forward as if touching your toes. This helps the breasts sit in the cups correctly. Next, take the opposite hand from the side you are adjusting and gently bring the breast tissue from the back to the front. This movement will further help you settle your breasts correctly into the cups.
Your bra should feel comfortable
A great fitting bra should not dig, pull, poke or otherwise cause discomfort. If it does, it is not the right bra (or size) for you. Make sure the bra feels comfortable when you sit down and move around.
Your bra should look good
When trying on your bras always wear a t-shirt. This is the best way to see what the bra is doing for you. A great fitting bra can make you look taller, will define your waist, and even make you look slimmer : ) For great fitting bras we recommend Maidenform.com.
Don't settle for a wrinkly bra
If you see extra fabric or wrinkly, baggy cups, this suggests the cup size is too big. Try sizing down.
You shouldn't fall out of or spill over your bra
Take a look at the front of the bra. Your breasts should be enclosed in the cups. There should not be any breast tissue spillage, puddling, or falling out of the bottom of the cups. If there is, your cup size is too small. Try sizing up for a flattering, more natural looking fit.
Your bra straps shouldn't be doing do all the work
Contrary to what you might think, your bra's support does not come from the straps, it comes from the band. That is why you need to be sure that you're wearing the correct band size. If the band size is too big, your straps will end up taking all the weight, which will cause them to put pressure on your shoulders and dig into your skin.
Make sure your bra band is straight
While wearing your bra, stand sideways in front of a mirror and look at your bra band. It should be at the same level all the way around your body. If it rides up in the back, it is probably too big. Try tightening your band, loosening your straps or sizing down a band size.
There should not be a gap at the center front of your bra
The center front of your bra should lie flat against your breastbone. It should not lie on top of any breast tissue or float above your chest. If there is a large gap at the center front of your bra, you may need to go up a cup size.
How tight should your bra be?
The bra band should fit firmly and securely around your body. It should be snug yet comfortable, with just enough room for you to run two fingers under the band in back, and slip one finger under the center in front. If you can't do this, you may need to loosen your band a bit, or go up a size.
Bra underwires should not dig
The underwire should lie flat at the front of your bra, against the ribcage, and should follow the natural crease of your breast. If the underwire is being pulled down your ribcage, you need a larger band size. If the underwire is digging into any part of your breast, you should try a larger cup size or a different style.
Bras will stretch over time
When wearing a new bra, the bra should be fastened on the loosest bra hook with the over bust seam running across the center of the nipple. Be sure you are wearing your new bra on the loosest hook. Bras can stretch with washing and wear, so when you buy a new bra, it's best to ensure it fits properly on a loose hook, so you can tighten it as needed over time.
How to know when you've found the perfect bra fit
Your breasts will feel like they are "sitting" in the cups, you will not feel any underwire pinching and your bra will feel comfortable and supportive. Do not settle for a so-so fit. Sometimes you may even have to go up a cup size or two. But don't let this concern you since bra sizes vary among brands. Finding the perfect bra takes time and patience, but the way you will look (and feel) once you have found it will be worth all of your effort. Please note that demi and quarter cup bras are designed to support the bust and expose some of or the entire nipple.
Be sure to re-evaluate your bras
Because a woman's body changes over time, and bras stretch and lose their shape with repeated wear and washing, you should re-evaluate your bras every six months or so to guarantee that they are still fitting you the way they should. You may discover that it is time to restock your bra supply sooner than you think!
It has often been said that measuring yourself for a bra is an art, not a science. Our bra fitting guide provides you with the knowledge you need to correctly measure your band and cup sizes to find the perfect fitting bra for you. If you are still not sure what size you wear, or fall between two sizes, you may want to try several sizes and styles as a starting point. Due to the individual design of each product, the nature of the fabrics different companies use and the fact that every woman is unique both in her shape and size and also in the look she wishes to achieve, we believe the best way to find a perfect fitting bra is to try it on and see how it looks and feels. We hope you use our bra fitting guide as a starting point to correctly measure yourself to find your bra size, for finding solutions to your bra troubles, and to get great tips for finding your best bra fit.