How to Measure Bra Size
Every woman’s bust is slightly different. Therefore, a wide range of bra sizes is needed to accommodate the breasts of women of all shapes and sizes. A true full list of bra sizes is too long to include, but common bra sizes that are generally sold by most lingerie brands range from 32A up to 36D. However, a large percentage of modern women don’t really fit within this range of standard sizes. In fact, the average bra size in the USA is a 34DD. Other women do have the potential to find their perfect bra size in most lingerie lines but can’t seem to figure out which standard size actually fits them best. Unfortunately, many women (approximately eighty percent, in fact) end up wearing a bra size that is slightly (or majorly) off from the size that would actually fit them correctly.
There are very few lucky women out there who have somehow stumbled across a specific style and brand of bra that fits them perfectly with no pinching, squeezing, or falling involved. Since most women wear a bra every single day, it’s a tragedy that only about twenty percent of women are actually wearing the right size bra for their bust. Every woman deserves to have the tools and knowledge needed to find the perfect bra size for her and finally own a collection of bras that truly fit.
1. Let Go of Expectations of Your Bra Sizes
When you go bra shopping, whether it’s online or in a real brick-and-mortar lingerie store, don’t walk (or click) into the store with any expectations in mind. Many women think of themselves as fitting into a certain bra size and find it very difficult to accept that the size they think they are might not be realistic.
Seventy percent of modern women wear a bra size that is too small for them and ten percent wear a size that is too large. This staggering statistic occurs because many women can’t seem to reconcile their real bra size with the bra size they have in their mind. Know that bra sizes between lingerie brands and bra styles can vary greatly. When picking out a new bra, be open to any and all sizes and be sure to focus on how the fit of the bra feels rather than the number of its band or cups.
2. Take Advantage of Bra Sister Sizes
Sister sizes are a magical reality that many women remain unaware of or are unsure how to use. In terms of bras, sister sizes are bra sizes with varying band or cup numbers that are virtually equivalent to each other.
Knowing how to take advantage of equivalent bra sizes can help you find the right size when a certain lingerie brand doesn’t carry your regular size. It can also help you know what sizes to try on next if the bra size you’re used to doesn’t fit you in a certain style or brand. Your closest lower-end sister size is one band size down and one cup size up (34B to 32 C). On the upper end, your closest sizer size is the opposite: one band size up and one cup size down (32C to 34B).
3. Go International and Compare Bra Sizes
Don’t be afraid to try international bras just because their sizing appears different than the sizes that you’re used to seeing when bra shopping. Trying to figure out international bra sizing can be difficult at first, but be open to learning more about it.
Easy conversion charts like the one pictured below can help you effortlessly figure out which international sizes to try based on the size that you’re used to wearing. Be aware that conversions are not exact, so you definitely want to try a range of international sizes to figure out which one fits you best. You might just find your perfect size in an international brand instead of in a lingerie line close to home.
4. Consider Both Bra Band and Bra Cup Sizes
Both band and cup sizes are equally important when it comes to finding your perfect bra size. You can’t just pick up any C-cup bra off the shelf in a store and expect it to fit your bust. Also, be aware that when you change band sizes, the bra’s cup size shifts slightly too even if its letter remains the same. Try on multiple bands AND cup sizes when bra shopping to get a truly accurate idea of what size you are.
5. Measure Bra Size and Bra Cup Sizes Yourself
It’s important to know how to measure bra size and cup size yourself to find an estimated bra size that should work for you. All you really need is a measuring tape and a mirror. First, measure around the widest part of your rib cage, where your bra band normally sits. Round the number, you get to the nearest even number to get your band size. Then, measure around your nipples
If you don’t want to figure out your bra size based on your own measurements, you can use a bra size calculator. You can find an accurate bra size calculator many places online. Most bra size calculators work with measurements in inches and can help you out in a pinch when the question of “What bra size am I?” arises again.
6. Get Measured by a Professional Bra Fitter
While it’s a good idea to know how to measure yourself for a bra size, it’s also important to get measured by a professional as well.
Most stores that sell a significant amount of lingerie offer free, private bra sizing by their professional employees. Getting measured by an experienced professional takes less than five minutes and can do wonders for you when it comes to finally determining your real perfect bra size.
7. Keep Measuring Your Bra Sizes
Knowing what your perfect bra size was five years ago doesn’t mean you know what it is now. Your breasts and your body naturally change over time, which means that the size that fit you years ago might be completely wrong for you now.
You might not even notice when your old bra size stops fitting. To be on the safe side, make it a point to measure yourself or get measured professional at least once every couple of years to ensure that you’re still wearing the right size.