A woman can go through as much as six different size changes throughout her life. These changes may be due to fluctuations in pregnancy, weight, use of birth control pills, menopause, stress and other reasons. In my experience, close to 90% of women wear the wrong bra size! Here is your guide to measuring your bra size with a measuring tape.
To find the perfect bra it is important to know your size or approximate size and to estimate what style bra is most convenient for you (not sure? Just ask me!). It is equally important to consider that sizing standards from one manufacturer is not the same standard as another, and sizes may not be exactly the same depending on the brand; for example, European brands make sizes that often run smaller than their equivalent American and Canadian sizes. Also, some bras (even in the same brand) may be made smaller than others, even in the same size; sizing may vary depending on factors like the elasticity of the fabric used, the width of the underwire, the style of the bra, etc. So as you read below, keep in mind that this is not a complete fix to finding your bra size (i.e. may not be 100% accurate), just how to measure your size based on several North American companies' sizing guidelines. Read below for the steps on measuring.
Still need bra fitting help? Contact me with your specific bra fitting problems or questions and I can help by explaining how to fix them.
Your band size is numerical and represents the circumference of your rib cage. The numbers 30, 32, 34 and so on are known as the underbust measurement because it is taken from underneath your bust and around your rib cage.
Your cup size is represented by a letter which in turn represents the "depth" of your bust. (However, you may find that you don't necessarily have a "deep" or "full" breast, but that your breast is wide and necessitates a style with a wider underwire to accommodate this. For some styles/brands this may translate to needing to take a D cup bra instead of a C cup bra (as long as there are no gaps between your breasts and the bra cups' fabric.) The letters A,B,C and so on are obtained from the difference between your overbust measurement, which is taken around the fullest part of the bust,and the underbust measurement.
This may be helpful to do with a friend, your mom or your sister - or just in front of the mirror.
With a properly fitting bra on (try to avoid excessive padding), use a standard dressmaker's measuring tape. Measure snugly around your rib cage (your "underbust"; below your shoulder blades in back) while keeping the tape as straight as possible.
This may be helpful to do with a friend, Add 5 to that number. Once you add the 5, if the number is even then that is your Band Size. If the number is odd round up to one. If, let's say, it's 31, then add 1 to make it even, and it becomes 32. The best idea is to measure in inches, since that's the North American industry standard.
|Ribcage||Add 5"||Imperial Size||Metric Size|
Still using the same tape measure and with your bra still on,place the tape measure under your arms and around the fullest part of your bust (typically below the level of your nipples, or at your nipples).
Subtract the final number obtained from Step 1 above (your rib cage measurement), from the number you just obtained here in Step 2. E.X. Step 1 = 38, Step 2 = 42. 42 - 38 = 4 (a number equivalent to a cup size).
Take a look at the chart below to show you the equivalent conversion. For example, 4 Converts to D cup.
Note that in the table below there IS some minor ambiguity. For example, if the difference (between your rib cage measurement and the fullest part of your bust) is exactly 1", then you may fall into either the A or the B cup categories. When this is the case, the sizes are (mostly) interchangeable - you are probably right between an A or B cup. Always go up a size when you`re right between like the case here, otherwise the bra cup risks being too small around your breasts. As mentioned before, this is not a 100% foolproof way to fit a bra, especially since all bras fit differently, and two women measured at a 36C may not be the same shape or require the same type of bra.
|Difference||0" TO 1/2"||1/2" TO 1"||1" TO 2 1/2"||2 1/2" TO 3 1/2"||3 1/2" TO 4 1/2"||4 1/2" TO 6"||6" TO 7"||7" TO 8"||8" TO 9"||9" TO 10"||Over 10"|
|Cup Size||AA||A||B||C||D||DD & E||E & F||G||H||I||J and Up|
Of course, if you're still having trouble fitting your bras, contact me for quick and confidential help any time!