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How to Determine Bra Size

Updated on May 7, 2012
Courtesy:  Flickr, Carnaval King 08
Courtesy: Flickr, Carnaval King 08
Courtesy Flickr, BigGirlBlue
Courtesy Flickr, BigGirlBlue

Figuring out what bra size you are is based upon your ability to do accurate measurements, really. But, knowing your band and cup size is crucial if you want to get bras that fit you properly.

TLC’s “What Not to Wear” recently devoted a show to assist women in how to determine bra size. It’s no secret the majority of women are not wearing the correct bra size, many women learned that from Oprah Winfrey. I have so theories about why this is the case… Lets face it, ladies, our bra size changes over time. Post children, our breasts may become less full, and sadly may decide they enjoy pointing southward. Some women may just not want to fess up to their TRUE bra size. You may just be a bit smaller than you’re willing to admit, or (in my case) a bit bigger…

Anyway, if you take the time and effort in learning how to determine bra size, you will not only be a lot more comfortable, but frankly you’ll in all probability look better in your clothes.

In Top Picks for Minimizer Bras- Best Minimizer Bra, I’ve included a bra sizes chart for your convenience. I’ve also walked you through the steps in the measurement process. I urge you to take a look there before you proceed.

When you’re wondering how to do proper measurements, I’m pretty much convinced you need to be an octopus. It is worth the time to have yourself properly fitted. You can go to a department store or a specialty bra store for this. If you choose not to go this route, definitely have another set of hands assist you in the measuring process. However, bear in mind, these measurements are not the end-all, be-all answer to your size! They are a good approximation, however. A knowledgeable sales assistant will be able to look at you in your bra and determine whether or not it’s a good fit.

Ironically, the first time I went to a professional to get properly fitted for a bra, I ended up with one of the most ill-fitting bras I’ve ever had. It was way too tight! By mid morning, I had horrible chafing and a painful indentation mark where the band was squeezing me like a boa constrictor. So, I ended up exchanging this bra for a larger band size and the problem was solved. So, again, the measurements are for approximation purposes. Different brands of bras simply fit differently, even if they are the exact same cup and band size.

How to Determine Bra Size

Clues You Have the Wrong Size

The mesh between the cups should not be sticking out. It should lay plush against your skin. If it doesn’t, you not only have an ill-fitting bra (it’s probably too small), but you’re also sure to have that uniboob look going on.

Your breasts should not be spilling out of the cups. If they are, you need a bigger cup size.

Your breasts should not be slipping out under the bra. If you are flailing your arms around, going wild, it shouldn’t matter. The band should be tight enough to keep your breasts in place. You need a smaller band size if arm movements cause the girls to fall out.

The straps should not hurt and dig into your shoulders. If they do, it means the straps are bearing too much of the weight and the band isn’t doing its job. In this case, the band size is probably just too big.

Your breasts should fill the entire cup of your bra. There should be no excess material, pooches, or wrinkles in the cups. If there is, you need to go down a cup size.

The band should not be slipping around throughout the day. It should stay fixed just below your breasts.

Finally, bras should not create folds of fat anywhere. I’ve had bras that are so tight around the back, it looks like I have all kinds of fat folds on my back. This can also happen under the band in the front or along the sides under your arms. It’s a definitive clue your band size is way too small.


More Tips...

Being armed with your new bra size measurements does not ensure you’re now going to always get the correct bra for you. I’ve been amazed by the variations between two different bras that are seemingly identical except for brand. You are going to have to buy some losers along the way, I’m afraid.

Talk to friends who have similar physiques and see what brands of bras work for them. One of my best friends has large breasts like myself and a similar figure, so we compare notes on brands and sizes.

Bear in mind, bras WILL stretch out over time. The bands that seem to be perfect at first will begin to stretch out after repeated wear. So, if you are struggling with band size when bra shopping, I recommend you go with the larger size for this reason.

Finally, it really pays off to get adjustable straps, ladies. It’s part of making a bra the most custom fit it can be. And, like the band, straps will stretch out over time, and even over the course of a day!


Submit a Comment

  • wordscribe43 profile imageAUTHOR

    Elsie Nelson 

    7 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

    Thanks, mysisters. I appreciate the visit and comment.

  • mysisters profile image


    7 years ago

    Nice Hub. Great tips and tricks on how to determine your bra size and fit. I love how you incorporated the how to video in your article.


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