More than three-fourths of all women are not wearing the correct bra size. Whether you have gained or lost weight, had a baby or just gotten older, there is a good chance your bra size has changed over the years. It’s a good idea to get a professional fitting any time you have a drastic change in your body. If you aren’t sure what size you are, follow these steps and you can measure your bra size.
Flexible tape measure
Conversion chart (available at most lingerie stores or websites)
- Remove your present bra. It probably doesn’t fit anyway. Measuring based upon your ill-fitting bra size may give you a bad measurement.
- Use the tape measure to measure your band size. Wrap the tape measure around your body directly under your breasts. Do this with a mirror so you can be sure the tape is wrapped around your body at the same even height all the way around. If the tape measure hangs low, you will get too large a band size and if it is too high or pulled tight around your body, you might get a size too small. This number is where to start for your band size. For example, if you measured 36” around, try on a 36-inch band bra.
- Take a second measurement around the full part of your breasts. This is the step that causes the greatest difference between measuring at home and having a professional fitting. Few women measure at exactly the inch mark so there may be some variation. When measuring at home, take the second measurement and subtract the first number. If you result is 1” then your cup size would be an A, 2” a B, 3” a C and so on.
A decade ago it was common for bra fitters to add four or five inches to the measurement to determine band size. So if you measured at 36”, they would fit you in a 40” or 41” bra. This is no longer an accurate measurement for most women. When you purchase a bra with the correct band size it should fit snugly around your ribcage on the widest hook. Bras stretch with usage and washing so as your bra stretches you should have to move to the tighter hooks. That’s why you want the bra to be tight at the loosest hook when you first purchase it.
- Consult conversion chart for variations. Bras are not sized the same around the world. Start with your basic size (this is the American measuring format). When shopping online or at some specialty retailers, you will find European sizing. Use the conversion chart to find the correct size for the different sizing method. Keep in mind that all bra manufacturers are not the same. So if you measure at a 36B, that doesn’t mean all 36B bras will fit. You have to try the bras on.
- Get a professional fitting if you can. Head to your lingerie specialty shop or a higher end department store for an accurate fitting. If you don’t fit into a size exactly, a good lingerie retailer can help with alterations so you find the perfect fit.
Don’t spend your days pulling at straps or sagging in discomfort. Show your body to its advantage with proper lift and fit. After getting a proper bra fit you will notice two things – your chest is lifted (which makes you appear thinner) and your posture is better (because you are no longer hunching over in response to having very short bra straps trying to lift your breasts). Find your proper bra size and you will not only be comfortable, you will be confident.