Are You Wearing the Right Bra Size?
About two years ago I read an article on bra sizing and how most women wear the wrong size bra. It led me to a store for a fitting and surprise, surprise, I too was wearing the wrong size bra. I had gained some weight and filled out slightly in the breast area but I had been wearing the size I had worn for years. Despite being an educated and relatively intelligent woman, it hadn’t occurred to me that my breasts spilling (as much as the smaller endowed woman can spill) over the tops of the cups indicated the bra was too small. Doh!
In checking some stats for this article I found a wide variety of the supposed percentages of women wearing the wrong size bra – – anywhere from sixty-something to eighty-five percent. Since nothing is solid, let’s just say more than half and the majority of women are wearing the wrong size bra. Shocking, I know.
You may be thinking it’s not you. Statistically speaking, you’re likely to be in that group. So what’s the right method to determine your correct bra size?
The best way to get an accurate sizing is to go to your local lingerie or department store. The majority of them will size you and for free. When I was fitted, it was a quick, painless and non-embarrassing experience. The saleslady brought me probably a half dozen sample type bras to try in for fit and feel. The dressing room even had a sample t-shirt to use in order to see how the bra looked under my clothing (equally as important as you neither want to be flattened out nor have cone-like breasts.) Once I had chosen the two styles that were the most comfortable and flattering, with input from the saleslady, she kindly wrote the styles and sizes on a card for me that I keep in my wallet. Never unprepared while shopping, ladies!
While the store fitting is the best route to go, if you are at home and determined to do it yourself, here are some great tips:
The center of your bra, in between the cups, should lie flat on your chest. Your breasts should not be spilling out of the top or sides of your bra. The back band is straight across versus riding up and the shoulder straps do not dig in or leave marks on your skin.
If you wear an underwire bra and the wire pokes you, you may need a different size or style. If the wire is coming up under your arms, your cup size may be too large. If the bra is just not comfortable for you, you may want to try a no-wire bra.
If your bra cups are wrinkled and appear bumpy under your clothes, you need to size down with your cup size.
To properly measure your band size
Bring the measuring tape around your back to the front, keeping it under the arms and bringing it up across to the middle of your chest (see image). If you get an odd number, round up to the next even number to get your band size.
Measure across the bottom of your band, directly under the bust and across your ribcage. Make sure to keep your measuring tape straight around the back to front. Again, if you get an odd number, round up to the next even number to get your band size.
To properly measure your cup size
Measure loosely around the fullest part of your bust, with the tape straight across and around your back, bringing it to the front.
Subtract your band measurement (from step 1) from this bust measurement. The difference calculates your bra size- each inch represents a cup size. For example, if you measure a 34 inch band size, and a 36 inch cup size, the difference is 2: which would indicate a B cup.
MINUS BUST DIFFERENCE
|US CUP SIZES||EUROPEAN||UK|
|less than 1″||AA||AA||AA|
Photos, chart and measuring instructions from barenecessities.com