Need a little help finding the perfect bra fit? You are not alone.
Ladies, I know your struggle. Finding the perfect bra size is frustrating and challenging, but it is NOT impossible. I have been professionally trained to measure for bra size by a major high end retail store and what I learned through this experience, I will pass along to you. You will be able to measure for your perfect bra size and also you will know what size to choose if you go up or down a band size for the comfort you want! I will also show you the biggest mistakes most women make when choosing a bra, and how you can avoid these common pitfalls. So, get a NON-PADDED bra (or take yours off,) a pen and paper and one of those handy dandy tape measures…and meet me back here!!
Men …this is an article about boobs. Proceed with care 😉
Are you ready? Measuring for the perfect bra is not hard and you can do this!
We are going to take 2 measurements. I will walk you through this, but I will also tell you the things that will make your bra size make more sense to you, and help you understand what bra is best for you! (And no, I don’t sell bras, I just want to help other women be happy, confident, and empowered!) Ok, let’s DO this.
STEP ONE: Measuring for your band size
Using your soft tape measure, wrap the tape horizontally (parallel with the floor) around your torso, right where your bra band will be, just underneath your breasts. The tape should be level with the floor, not angled. use a mirror to make sure you are getting an accurate measurement. The tape should also be snug, no more than one finger should fit underneath. Ok now read your number and round UP to the next inch. WRITE THIS NUMBER DOWN.
Now, take the number you just wrote down: if it is an ODD number (31, 35 etc.) add 5 to your number and write this down.
If your first number was an EVEN number, add 4 and write this down.
Ok you should now have 2 numbers written down, your torso measurement and the second number, which is your BAND MEASUREMENT.
*** A little trick I learned from the bra-fitting experts I worked with and trained with…and I don’t see this information posted in other bra-fitting sites…if your torso measurement is 40 or up, don’t add the standard 4 or 5, add 2 or 3! If you do this and when in the store you find this doesn’t help and it feels too tight, then go with the standard of adding 4 or 5. SOMETIMES I have found this to allow for a better fit.
More on band size later, let’s get to CUP SIZE…
STEP TWO: Now, let’s measure for cup size…
But first. We need to talk about cup size for a moment. Before you take your measurement, and we figure out your perfect cup size…FORGET EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT CUP SIZE. Little known fact: CUP SIZE IS NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BOOBS. Letting that sink in? There is NO standard cup size of A or cup size of D…each cup size combined with the band size makes for a size to fit the breasts. This cup size thing needs to NOT be attached to a stigma of whether or not your breasts are “big enough” or “small enough.” More on cup size later but if you promise to take your measurements without attaching them to your self-esteem…we can continue. LET’S DO THIS LADIES.
Measuring for cup size
There are two ways to take your bust measurement; standing, or bent over. I will walk you through both.
Standing method. Take another measurement like you did for the torso measurement, with the measuring tape parallel to the floor, at the widest measurement of your breasts (usually right across the nipple area.) You want the tape to be an accurate true measurement so do not pull too tight or have it loose either. It should be resting against your skin all the way across your back and sides and softly across the bust area. You will want to round UP to the nearest whole inch number. Write this number down.
Bending method. Bend in half at the waist, until your back is parallel with the floor, and let your breasts hang to take the same measurement. (I often take the standing measurement with a non-padded bra and then take the bending-method measurement with NO bra on and compare the numbers. Try to make sure to round up to the nearest number for both and you should have the same bust measurement. it is ok to take both measurements several times and feel confident in this measurement. Write down your number (remember to round up to the nearest whole inch number.)
FIGURING YOUR CUP SIZE: Take the very first number you wrote down, the torso measurement and subtract the bust measurement and write this down. This number will determine your cup size.
CUP SIZE CHART
So now, you have your band and cup size! Here are a few other things you need to know BEFORE you go bra shopping:
An estimated 80% of women are wearing the WRONG bra size! Once you have measured correctly, I would advise that you re-measure anytime you have changed weight by 10 pounds or so to be sure your size has not changed. It is also a good idea to re-measure each year.
if you have “side boob” or that unattractive boob roll at the top of your bra, your bra cup size is TOO SMALL!
If you have gaping at the top of your bra, your cup size is TOO BIG, or this could be a sign that you have what is called “shallow” breasts, meaning there is less fullness in the top area of your breasts. This is a good indication that a bra with under-padding would be good for you.
If you lack the cleavage you desire, opt for this padding to be more toward the outer area of the cup. It is possible your breasts are more wide set (and since you’ve probably been wearing a cup size too small, you’ve been hiking your boob over and into the bra–very annoying to have to keep doing this!) and going up to the correct size could correct this for you.
Know your breasts are NOT the same shape as everyone’s. Breast tissue can be dense and round or slack at the top, or sprawly…everyone is unique and choosing the best bra style that best fits you is also important. While you may LOVE that delicate style, you may need more support for a fuller breast tissue. Wide set breasts need more support at the sides. Hanging breasts may need more lift. There are also minimizing bra styles for breasts that protrude more than you want them to. Once you have your correct sizing, try on several styles and see what looks best on you. Don’t try to be like everyone else – do what works for YOU.
ONE MORE THING ABOUT YOUR BRA SIZE THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT
THIS ONE IS BIG…PAY ATTENTION: If your band is just TOO TIGHT and you want to go up to the next band size for the sake of your preference and comfort, DROP DOWN A CUP SIZE. Also if the bra you like runs loose, and you drop down a band size, GO UP A CUP SIZE. It is a good idea to know the next size up and down so you can shop different brands and styles easily. For example:
You wear a 36 C. Therefore your “sister sizes” would be a 38B or a 36D. Some brands run small (Calvin Klein for example) so you may want to try the 38 B (or C if it is still too small in the cup area). Or that bra you really want is not available in 36 C but maybe they DO have a 36D. Try on that one! Each brand, whether your favorite is Bali, or Maidenform, or Victoria Secret, all run differently, just like jeans or any other apparel. So take this into consideration.
So …are you ready to toss out all those floppy bras that are every size BUT the right one? Are YOU wearing the wrong size? Ready to go shopping? When you do, be patient with yourself and KIND to yourself. We are all built differently, and everyone deserves to feel confident and content with exactly who they are.
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