Some things in life should be simple. Like, choosing hot chocolate and a blanket on a winter's night. Choosing underwear should be just as effortless. However, the measurements on bras can get quite complex and everyone knows that ill-fitting bras are no joke. A bra that doesn’t fit well can ruin an otherwise perfect look besides stabbing you in the back and leaving you in need of shoulder rubs. There are several long term health risks that can arise from poor fitting bras. Which is why it's so important to find a bra that fits just right. We'll decode everything that's there to know and discover secret keys to finding the bra that's just right for you.
Where to Begin
Sizing guides can look complex but a few simple steps can turn you into a pro when reading them, even help you help friends find their match. First, it's important to remember that sizing can differ from brand to brand and the type of bra. Second, that your bra size can change as you grow older or even through the seasons, with lifestyle changes. Measuring yourself from time to time is crucial to staying abreast of sizing changes.
The following three steps are important to discover the right bra size for you.
Step 1: Get your Band Size
Step 2: Get your Bust Size
Step 3: Find your Cup Size
Step 4: Discover Your Bra Size
Step 1: Get Your Band Size
Get a measuring tape and wrap it around your rib cage and below your bust, right where your bra band would sit. Measure while wearing an unlined bra or without a bra on. The measuring tape should fit snugly but not tight. The measurement you have in inches is your band size. If it's an odd number, round it up to the nearest even whole number to find your band size.
Step 2: Get your Bust Size
Make sure you are wearing a t-shirt, cami or unlined bra so that your boobs are held in place. Choose your most comfortable style, unlined and without compression when doing this. If you don't have a bra or cami and this is your first purchase, that's okay, we'll help you out, too.
Simply wrap the measuring tape around your chest and over the fullest part of your bust. Again, the tape should fit snug but not tight. Jot down the measurement in inches and that will give you your full bust measurement.
Step 3: Get your Cup Size
Now, subtract your band size in inches (Step 1) from the full bust measurement (Step 2) which you just noted. The difference between the two is your cup size.
For example: 36 inches (bust size) - 32 inches (band size) = 4 inches
Use the chart below and you’ll see that a 4 inch difference means that your cup size is D.
1/2 inches = Cup Size AA
1 inch = Cup Size A
2 inches = Cup Size B
3 inches = Cup Size C
4 inches = Cup Size D
5 inches = Cup Size DD or E
6 inches = Cup Size DDD or F
7 inches = Cup Size G
8 inches = Cup Size H
…and so on.
Now, for the magic number….your bra size.
Step 4: Discover Your Bra Size
Simply combine your band size and your cup size and et voila, you’ve got your bra size! For example if your band size is 36 and your cup size is B, your bra size is 36B.
This bra size is your key into the magical world of comfortably snug and supportive fitting bras. But, remember that this number is only a guide to finding the right size and the right fit is all about feeling it.
If It Sits It Fits - The Perfect Cup
When you put on your chosen bra, fasten at the loosest hook. This way you leave room for tightening the bra after it stretches. The strap should fit snugly over your shoulders - not too loose or tight. Adjust the strap so they fit just so and don't cut. The role of the strap is to give you the right support and a feeling of lift without pinching your skin. Over 80% of a bra's support comes from the bra band. If the strap fits too tight even after adjustment, it's likely not the right size/bra for you. If the bra straps fall off the shoulders, the band is likely too big for you.
🔑 The Vibe Check: A good bra should fit like second skin and shouldn't bite or jab.
🔑 The Mirror Test: A good bra fits neatly under a tee leaving no visible bulging skin or jutting lines.
If your skin is bulging from the sides, it's likely the cup size is too small.
How to Avoid Spillage
If you find that your breasts are spilling out from the sides of a cup, you should consider remeasuring your cup size to look for better coverage.
How to Avoid Gaping Cups
On the other hand, if you notice too much room inside your cups, try tightening your straps. If the roominess persists, you're probably wearing a cup size too big and need to go down a size.
If It Sits It Fits- The Perfect Band Size
The majority of your bra support comes from your band. The band determines how your breasts are going to be held. If the band's too loose, it means the straps are doing all the heavy lifting meaning more pressure at your shoulders. On the other hand, if the band keeps riding up, you may want to recheck your band size, readjust your straps (especially loosening them), or change to a tighter hook. The center of the bra band should tack against the body, and if it sits away from the body, that means the bra cups are too small.
🔑 When you try a bra on for fitting, you shouldn't be able to pull your band more than an inch.
🔑 Your band should fit snug but not cut into your skin. If it's on the tighter side but not cutting into your skin, that's ok as bras tend to loosen over time.
Taking care of your bra
To make sure the straps and band of your bra retain their elasticity, machine wash in cold water on a gentle cycle and air dry on a flat surface. Check for elasticity after every 4 to 5 washes.
🔑 If you can slide one finger under your bra strap, that's good elasticity. But, if you can lift up the strap with your pinky finger under, it's a sign your straps are too loose. It's a sign you might need to tighten them using the adjustable hook.
If your bra straps continue to fall off your shoulders after adjusting them, you may want to recheck your band size. Some women tend to have shoulders that slope more than others. Which means greater chances of bra straps that just won't stay in place. If that sounds like you, consider switching to a racerback bra, a halter bra or a bra with a convertible J-hook.
Bridging the Gap Between the Cups
None of us wants the bridge of a bra (also called the gore), which is the centerpiece between the two cups, stabbing us in our hearts. So, if a bra does that, it's most definitely the wrong one for you.
🔑 The perfect bra bridge should sit as closely to your sternum (or your skin) as possible.
Going up a cup size or down a band size should fix this problem. Or, if you absolutely hate bra frames, switch to a longline cami style bra for extra support. It's all about what you like at the end of the day.
Is There a Best Bra for Me?
The answer to this question really depends on what you like. And, to some extent, pegs itself on where your breasts carry more volume. For example, longline wirefree bras are great for women with more volume on the sides or teenage girls growing between sizes. And, crop tops and bralettes give women with smaller busts just the right amount of support without overdoing it. That's what our Soft Cami Bra does as vouched for by many teens and young women.
That said, you can really wear whatever you want. If you follow the steps above and find the right fit, you should be able to wear any style with the right comfort and support.
You can also always count on BRABAR to do it all for you. From sizing to material, BRABAR wireless bras for teens and women are cut to make you feel confident in your own skin. We'll help you with the right size. And make slipping into your first bra a special experience with our wire-free Wireless Bra Starter Kit. Our kit makes bra wearing fun with three different styles to choose from - the everyday bra, the bralette and the crop style.
For the seasoned bra-wearers out there - our super comfortable wireless bras will redefine your experience of wearing one. And help you find the size that fits as your body changes. At the end of the day, we believe it's all about getting closer to who we really are.