It’s about time you learn how to measure your bra size. Whether or not you wear a bra is a matter of personal choice, but even if you only wear one occasionally, you need to know how to properly measure your bra size. By doing this, those you own will fit, flatter and offer the support they’re designed to give you.
“The majority of women wear the wrong bra size,” notes Emily Blundell, founder of Bluebella. “Wearing the right size, not only is it more comfortable, but it helps your clothes look good, and it gives you confidence. It’s really worth the time and attention.”
While a good bra can go completely unnoticed, an ill-fitting bra may come between you and a productive work day, a fun night out, or even just making a graceful descent down a flight of stairs. Unfortunately, many of us own far too many bras that fall into the latter category. “It is not uncommon for people to swap between just two bras despite owning between 10 and 20 of them,” explains Kelly Dunmore, chief lingerie stylist at Rigby & Peller.
The bra-wearers among us will also know that our preferred style can change due to multiple factors, including — but not exclusive to — our outfit, the time of the month, and our breasts developing and changing size. So, how to measure for a bra that fits you perfectly? We’ve broken down everything you need to know to improve the ratio of good to bad bras in your wardrobe.
Where to begin
A common mistake is refusing to consider the possibility that your bra size has changed since the last time you were measured. In addition to the impact of age and lifestyle, your size will likely vary depending on the bra itself. But though sizing differs from brand to brand, there are two basic measurements that will guide you regardless: the band size, and the cup size. Many bra-size calculators available online will do the math for you, but if you want to be sure, try the following method…
How do I measure my bra band size at home?
Stand upright without a bra on, and using measuring tape, measure around your back and under your bust, where the band of a bra would usually sit. Make sure the tape is going around in a steady, even line. It should feel snug, but not tight. “You can print [a tape measure] out, in a pinch,” says Jennifer Zuccarini, founder of Fleur du Mal. Note the circumference in inches. If you land at an even number, that is your band size. If it’s an odd number, round it up to the nearest inch to find your size.
How do I calculate my cup size?
For this bit, most retailers recommend you wear your current favorite (i.e. most comfortable) bra, so that your boobs are held in the place you actually want them to be. Then measure around the fullest part of your chest. Next, subtract your underbust measurement from this bust measurement. The difference denotes your cup size. 0=AA; 1=A; 2=B; 3=C; 4=D; 5=DD; 6=F; 7=FF; 8=G; 9=GG; 10=H; 11=HH; 12=J; 13=JJ; 14=K and so on. Combine your band and cup size, so you have a number followed by a letter, for example: 34F. This is your benchmark bra measurement — but remember, there’s a whole lot of nuance involved in finding the perfect fit, like considering your style and fabric preferences.
How do I know if my bra fits right?
“Once you’ve fully adjusted the garment, you really shouldn’t feel like you’re wearing anything,” says Miryha Fantegrossi, vice president of merchandising and design at lingerie brand Wacoal. Start by doing up your bra using the brand’s center hook. “That way, you have space if you need things to be a little tighter or looser,” explains Zuccarini. Then adjust the straps so they are snug, but not cutting into your shoulders. If you look at yourself sideways in a mirror, your breasts should sit midway between your shoulders and elbows. Put on your slinkiest T-shirt: “If you can see lines or bulging skin, you know it’s not the right size,” notes Emilie Moraes, resident expert at Harvey Nichols.
The best way to assess the fit? The mirror’s perspective is essential, but the true measure is how it feels under your clothing. “The strap should feel like you’re getting support [and] lift, and you should fill up the cup, but there should not be digging in or a double-boob kind of thing–that means the cup is too small,” says Zuccarini.
How do I know if the band is firm enough?
The band provides 80% of a bra’s support–so if it’s too loose, it’s not going to hold your breasts in prime position. Instead, it should fit flush to the body. “You shouldn’t be able to pull [the band] more than an inch or two away,” says Bendell. “If it’s too loose, it means the straps are doing too much work. I often say to people, ‘Do you get marks on your shoulder when you take your bra off at night? Well, that’s because your band isn’t tight enough, and so the straps are giving you the support instead,’ which is a mistake.”
Read the full article here