It’s super important for all women to know how to find their right bra size. Why? Because when you’re shopping for bras online, be it strapless, sports, or any kind, knowing your size saves you from ordering the wrong fit. Chances are, unless you had someone guide you through a bra fitting, you might have picked sizes based on how they looked or felt rather than measurements. But trust us, eyeballing a bra in the mirror over your clothes isn’t the way to go. Unlike picking out leggings or shorts, a bra needs more precision.
Whether you wear a bra daily or occasionally, we’re here to make shopping a breeze. Most people don’t know how to find the right bra size which is why a little guidance can go a long way. We’ve got the inside scoop and some awesome bra picks for you to check out. There is no need for thanks; just keep scrolling down!
- How to Figure Out a Bra Size
- How to Measure Boob Size with a Tape Measure
- How to Find the Perfect Bra
- 11 Tips on How to Find the Right Bra Size
- 1. The Band Offers the Maximum Support
- 2. Be Aware of Your Size as Well as Your Sister Size
- 3. Deducing Out Your Size with MATHS
- 4. Don’t Worry If the Breasts Are Different Size
- 5. If the Straps Are Assaulting Your Shoulders, the Cup Size May Be Small
- 6. Or They May Be Big
- 7. Slipping Straps, A Big No…
- 8. Follow the Goldilocks Rule for Bands
- 9. Know Your Terminology “Full Figure,” “Plus Size,” and “Full Bust”
- 10. Different Fabrics, Different Styles
- 11. Nothing Lasts Forever, So Does Your Bra
How to Figure Out a Bra Size
Several lingerie brands, like Marks & Spencer and Beija London, have ditched the tape measure. They’ve mastered the art of sizing by sight, a technique that’s become quite common but still remains impressive.
Whether you’re in-store or online, their expert fitters observe you in your usual or most comfy bra. In just 20 minutes, they send you off with your accurate bra size.
At Freya and Fantasie, a similar approach reigns, rarely involving a tape measure. However, the lockdown nudged them toward virtual fittings, prompting a dive into the most precise tape measure method.
How to Measure Boob Size with a Tape Measure
Let’s start by making sure you’re wearing a simple, non-padded bra for accurate measurements. Grab a soft tape measure before you get all tailor-y.
1. Measure Your Band Size:
Wrap the tape around your ribcage under the bra band. Ensure it’s snug but not uncomfortable, keeping it level. Note the inches. If it’s even, that’s your band size. If odd, round up for leaner builds or down for softer ones to the nearest even number. No tape measure? No sweat. Add 20 to your dress size (e.g., size 12 + 20 = 32 band).
2. Measure Your Cup Size:
Wrap the tape around the fullest part of your bust, letting it sit flat without pulling too tight.
3. Calculate Your Cup:
Simply subtract your band size from your cup size.
4. Determine Your Bra Size:
Combine your band and cup sizes for your final bra size. For example, let’s reinforce what you’ve learned about finding your perfect fit.
How to Find the Perfect Bra
We’ve got more expert tips to help you figure out if your bra is the right fit for you.
Many experts emphasize the importance of the band size, stating that 80% of support should come from there, not the straps. Your band should fit snugly yet comfortably, allowing two fingers underneath and about an inch of give when pulled away from your body. As it stretches with wear, move to tighter hooks for a better fit.
|BUST MINUS BAND||US CUP SIZES||US BRANDS||EUROPEAN CUP SIZES||EU BRANDS||UK CUP SIZES||UK BRANDS|
|less than 1″||AA||AA||AA||AA||AA||AA|
Experts suggests checking if your cups fit properly—spillage means they’re too small while wrinkling or gaping indicates they’re too big.
- Bridge Fit: Many experts advise ensuring the central wires lie flat against your chest and that side wires contain all breast tissue, not sitting on it.
- Strap Fit: Experts highlights adjusting straps correctly for a better fit and extra lift—tight enough to stay put but not uncomfortably so.
- Bra Sister Sizes: Remember, sizes can differ between brands. Sister sizes—same cup volume but different band size—can be a solution. If your usual size feels loose, try a size down in the band and up in the cup, and vice versa if it feels tight.
- Using Sister Sizes: Consider sister sizes when your preferred style isn’t available in your exact size. Trying sister sizes might just lead you to the perfect fit in your dream bra.
11 Tips on How to Find the Right Bra Size
Bra shopping and wearing can be tough emotionally. Many end up in uncomfortable bras that don’t fit properly. Finding the right bra size and fit is crucial. Here are 11 must-knows for bra wearers.
1. The Band Offers the Maximum Support
The band provides most of the support. While cups hold, the band offers about 90% of the actual support. Straps aid in keeping cups in place and shaping breasts. According to bra experts, a well-fitting band and cup allow you to move without straps and keep the bra in place.
2. Be Aware of Your Size as Well as Your Sister Size
Similar to shopping for jeans, bras of the same size can vary widely in fit across brands and styles. Experts suggest knowing both your actual size and your sister sizes. If your usual size doesn’t fit, try your sister size.
Here’s a quick rule: If you increase the band, decrease the cup, and vice versa. For instance, if you’re a 32C, a 34B or a 30D might work. For a 34C, try a 32D or a 36B for potentially better fits.
Understanding your sister size is handy for dealing with size variations across brands and when your true size is tricky to find. This is especially helpful for individuals with different band and cup sizes.
3. Deducing Out Your Size with MATHS
Your bra size is a blend of your cup (ranging from AA to M) and band size (from 28 to 44). Getting a professional bra fitting is smart. Experts might reveal you’ve worn the improper size for years. You can also calculate at home using a tape measure.
4. Don’t Worry If the Breasts Are Different Size
Having one breast larger than the other is very common. If this makes bra shopping tougher, expert Cora Harrington suggests fitting to the larger breast. To balance, consider using a cutlet or removable pads in the smaller breast.
5. If the Straps Are Assaulting Your Shoulders, the Cup Size May Be Small
When your breasts spill out of the cup edges, they add extra weight to the straps. You might tug the straps to manage. Larger cups could ease the strain on your shoulders.
6. Or They May Be Big
If your band is loose, it could cause the straps to dig into your shoulders, carrying most of the load. Check in the mirror: If the straps are pulling too much, your band might be too big or stretched out.
7. Slipping Straps, A Big No…
You can check if your bra fits by looking at the center gore between the cups. It should rest flat against your chest. Also, if your cups gap because they’re not filled by your breasts, consider reducing your cup size.
8. Follow the Goldilocks Rule for Bands
If the band is right, you should fit a finger snugly under the belt with just an inch of give. A strap is too tight if it squeezes or digs into breast tissue. However, a loose band doesn’t mean more comfort in bras. It’s the band that gives the maximum support work, so if it rides up, it won’t give you the needed support or comfort. Experts suggest starting with the loosest hook to maintain your band’s fit. As your bra wears out, switch to the second and third hooks for better grip.
9. Know Your Terminology “Full Figure,” “Plus Size,” and “Full Bust”
A 2016 survey by Rigby & Peller revealed the most prevalent dimensions for women in the US fall between 32DDD and 34G (32E and 34F in UK sizes). Brands offer larger sizes, marked as full bust, plus size, or full figure, each with distinctions:
- Full bust: Small band, large cup sizes like DD cups or bigger, and bands of 36 or less, such as 28G, 30F, 32E, and 34H.
- Plus size: Bands of 38 or bigger.
- Full figure: DD+ cup sizes with a band of 38 or bigger. Every full-figure bra is plus size, but not vice versa—a 38F is both, while a 40B is solely plus size.
10. Different Fabrics, Different Styles
Your bra collection should match your wardrobe, offering comfort from daytime to nighttime.
Experts advise having:
- Two standard bras, like a slick T-shirt bra in neutral or black, cover most outfits.
- A sports bra for varied activities, with different support levels for heavy exercises.
- Consider multiple sports bras if you exercise frequently.
- A convertible bra for uppers with unique necklines or formal wear.
- A bralette or non-underwire bra for travel or lounging, adjustable for the finest fit.
Consider the fabric and technology, too, suggests Jenny Altman, a fashion stylist and lingerie expert. Ask what you need: Does it wick sweat? Lace detail? Soft fabric for sensitive skin?
11. Nothing Lasts Forever, So Does Your Bra
The experts suggest that a decent bra can last around a year, depending on size, care, and rotation. Handwashing gently after a few wears and switching between bras helps avoid quick stretching. Eventually, signs like the band riding up hint it’s time for new bras.
Understanding How to find the right bra size can feel as tricky as shopping for jeans. Like with jeans, sizes vary, and trying them on is crucial for the right fit. Just as denim fits differ based on cut, brand, and style, the same goes for bras—what fits in one style might not in another.
In Case You Missed It!
- How to Choose a Bra for Sagging Breast
- 20 Organic Underwear Brands That Are Worth Your Attention and Hype
- Understanding the Do’s and Don’ts of Lingerie Shopping