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Measuring Your Bra Size

Updated on February 2, 2011

Thanks to people like Oprah, you probably already know some 85% of women are sporting the wrong bra. Now, if the average bra size is a C, and that average is wrong 85% of the time, this has to mean that the average woman is actually a D or larger. No, this doesn’t mean you have larger breasts than you thought – you see them every day, don’t you?

They’re the same size today that they were yesterday. You just didn’t know which letter to label them before. So don't worry, you're not stretching out of shape or something. I thought I was a 36C until I saw Oprah’s Bra Intervention. I am actually a 34DD (34E in the UK.) And there are loads and loads of women out there just like me. You will be shocked – and pleased – once you find the right bra! It really just feels better! What’s that? You think you’re one of the 15% who know what size their girls are? Let’s find out!

Signs your bra does not fit.

  • Your breasts have a dent in them. Ok, not a dent. Well, no, I guess dent is the right word. What I mean is the top of your bra is not flush against your skin, but rather pressing into it. You might think this is push-up effect type cleavage. Um, no, it’s just a sign you’re in the wrong cups! Go up a cup size.

  • There’s a bumpy bulge under your shirt, blouse, whatever. Women should not have bulges unless.. well.. nevermind. Go up a cup size.

  • The band isn’t flush against your torso between your breasts. By this I mean that little piece of fabric that sits between your breasts. If it’s gaping away from your body, your girls are bigger than you realize. Go up a cup size.

  • Your bra looks more like a bikini top. You know what I’m saying here, right? If the sides are not covered, if your breasts look like they go way back past your bra.. girl, you need a bigger bra! Go up a cup size.

  • The band rides up in the back. This has very little to do with straps – this just means you are narrower around than you thought. Go down a band size. This was a major indicator for me.

  • The cups are not flush against your skin – and they are puckering. If there is space between your bra and the area between your breasts, something is too big. Most people assume it’s the cups, but it could also just mean the band is too wide. You should get fitted just to make sure.

Things to remember:

  1. A bra that may have fit last year could be worn out by now. Make sure your problem isn’t just a tired out elastic.

  2. You gain and lose weight more often than you realize – you may have outgrown or outshrunk your bra!

  3. Not all cup sizes are created equally. The C in a 36C is not the same size as the C in a 32C. Be mindful of cup size equivalents. For example, the CUPS in the following sizes are equal: 36C, 34D, 32DD and so on and so forth.

  4. Different lingerie makers have different sizing sometimes. Just like shoes. You might be a slightly different size between brands.

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