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How to determine your bra size

Category: Lingerie tips July 3rd, 2009
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Finding a perfect bra isn’t easy but necessary.

According to statistics over 80% of women wear a wrong size of a bra. This means they do not look as good as they would like to, and do not feel as comfortable as it is needed. You may be one of these women.


You might not know that an average woman wears six different sizes of a bra throughout her life. You may ask why. The answer is simple enough. Your body changes over time, and the fit changes year to year as you lose or gain weight, exercise more or less, and so on.

If you are experiencing discomfort, your breasts spill over the cups, straps are too tight or too loose, or there is a gap between your cups, you are most likely wearing the wrong size.

What can you do to solve the problem? Measuring yourself for a bra is something you urgently need. The best decision is to visit a specialized store where sales personnel can help you measure your size properly.

In case you want to shop through a magazine or online then you need to measure your size on your own. But remember that you cannot get as good of a measurement as someone else would by measuring yourself.


This fit guide has been elaborated by experts and can provide you with a good starting point.

Step 1. Getting Started

To get the right measurement put on your most comfortable bra – one that has no padding and is not a minimizer.

Step 2: Band Size

Keeping the measuring tape parallel with the ground, measure around your bra directly under your bust after expelling all air from your lungs – you want this measurement to be as small as possible. If your breasts are large or sagging pull them up to make sure your measurement is correct. If this measurement is an even number, you’ve got your band size. If that’s an odd number, add 1″ to determine your band size.

Step 2: Cup Size

Measure loosely around the fullest part of your bust. When done, subtract your band measurement from your bust measurement; each inch represents a cup size. For instance: if your band measurement is 36″ and your bust measurement is 38″, the difference between these measurements is two inches, and you should wear a B-cup.

If you have an odd number, go up to the next even number, because bras commonly come in even-numbered band sizes.

Difference (Band minus bust measurement)

US Cup size

Less than 1″













DDD (3D)











12″ L

Tips for you to understand if you’ve found the best-fitting bra:

– Put your breasts in the cups. Take the opposite hand from the side you are adjusting and gently bring the breast tissue from the back to the front. This motion will help you settle your breasts correctly into the cups.

– Check if it feels good wearing your bra. A nice-fitting bra shouldn’t dig, pull, poke or cause discomfort in any other way. If it does, it’s not the right bra for you. Ensure you feel comfortable when you sit down and move around in it.

– Check if it looks good. Try your bras on wearing a t-shirt or a top to see what how it looks. A perfect-fitting bra can make you look taller, slimmer and even younger!


– No wrinkles are acceptable. When you see extra fabric or wrinkly, baggy cups, the cup size is too big for you. Try a smaller size.
– Say no to spillage! Take a look at the front of the bra. If there is any breast tissue spillage, puddling, or falling out of the bottom of the cups the cup size is too small. Try a bigger size for a more natural look.

– No spare room is good. If your bra is molded make sure your breasts fill the cups entirely.

– Straps shouldn’t take the entire weight. It’s the band that provides the support, not the straps. So make sure you’re wearing the correct band size. If the band is too big, your straps will work on the weight and as a result the pressure will be put on your shoulders and straps will dig in.
– Ensure your band is straight. Look in the mirror from the side. Your band should be at the same level all the way around. If it is riding up in back, it’s probably too big. Try sizing down a band size or tightening your band.

– Make sure the center front of your bra lies flat against the breastbone, not on top of any breast tissue. If you see a large gap, you might need to try a bigger cup size.

– Determine if the bra is tight enough. Your band should feel firm and secure, but avoid wearing too tight bras as well. Check that two fingers can be slipped beneath the band in back, and one in the center in front. If it’s impossible, you may want to loosen your band a bit, or choose a bigger size.

– Do not allow underwire to dig. It should lie flat at the front of your bra and against your ribcage. If your underwire is digging into the breast tissue at any spot, try a larger cup size or another style of a bra.

– Be sure your bra hasn’t stretched over time. Let me remind you that it is best to buy the bra which you can wear on the loosest hook. Bra material stretches as time passes and soon you will have to tighten your bra. If you wear it on the tightest hook the bra will be too wide for you and thus pretty uncomfortable.

– Try various types of bra as they can give you different support and shape. Find the one you like best.

All these tips are great but one can be unsure whether she has found a perfect fit. How to know that?

Well, first of all, your breasts will feel like they are “sitting” in the cups. No underwire pinching is felt. And you just feel comfortable and supportive. You don’t need to settle the bra for a better fit because you feel it fits well.

If you have found a perfect bra for you it also means you have found the perfect brand for you. stick to it and you will always feel as comfortable you feel now.

And the last thing I’d like to tell you: check your size in six months or so. Re-evaluate your bras regularly to be sure they fit you the way they should.



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