Welcome to Bra Size Measuring. Use our guide to determine your bra size and get a perfectly fitting bra using the techniques the professionals use.

 

Find the perfect fit

Having a bra which fits perfectly is essential to provide comfort and support. Not only will it improve your figure, but it will also your improve posture.

One initial point to mention - all women are unique! Therefore even if you think you are a similar size to someone else, it doesn't follow that your bra size will be the same - there are many other considerations to also take into account in determining which bra is right for you, such as age and elasticity of the breast tissue. Not all styles therefore suit everyone. The only real way of finding out which bra fits best is to try them for yourself. Many shops allow returns, so take advantage of this to try different sizes and styles at home using our guide below for reference.

Putting on your bra

To determine how a bra fits, its essential that it is put on correctly. To begin, adjust the straps to maximum length, put both arms through, lean forward into the cups and hook the bra on its loosest hook setting at the back, or..

.. if you prefer, you can hook the bra in front of you then twist the bra around before putting arms through the straps.

Adjust by lifting each breast inside the cup making sure it sits within the frame correctly. For under-wired bras this means that the underwire should sit perfectly in the creases beneath your breasts without pinching.

Finally, drop each strap off the shoulder and adjust before putting back on, making sure each strap is adjusted so it offers support but without digging in to your shoulders.

A bra which fits perfectly..

The band will sit across your back perfectly level - I.e. without riding up, and should be comfortably snug. If its riding up, then it is too big, so you would need to either adjust to a tighter clasp, or try a smaller band size.

Straps should sit either perfectly vertical or be slightly wider on the shoulders than they are where they attach to the bra. The straps should not dig in to your shoulders - it is the band which should be offering the majority of the bra's support, not the straps! If you are finding that the only way to get support is by adjusting the straps so they dig in, then the band is too big and you need a smaller band size.

The bra's centre front and underwire should sit directly on the skin between and under each breast embodying each breast in its frame perfectly. If the centre front is being held off the skin, then the cup size is too small. If the wires pinch the breast tissue at all then either the cup size or the band size is too small. So try a larger band size or cup size.

There should be no bulging or gaping in the cups. If your breasts bulge over the tops of the cups then its likely that the cup size is too small. Please note that for breasts which have lost elasticity, a half cup bra may also cause bulging, and this is not necessarily being caused by a small cup size. In this case a full cup bra should be tried instead - remember, different designs suit different women! If you experience gaping, then the cup size is too large - try a smaller cup size.

Remember, when trying different bra sizes..

Remember if you need to try a bra one band size up from one which is too tight, to keep the same cup fitting in the new bra, you should drop the cup size by one letter. And in reverse, if you need to drop a band size to try a new bra and maintain the same cup fitting, then up the cup size by one letter for the new bra. Here's an example:

If you try a 36C bra and the cups fit perfectly, but the straps need to be tightened to get some support, causing the band to rise up at the back, then you need to try a smaller band. In this example you would try a 34D - this keeps the cup fitting the same whilst dropping the band by one size.

And another example:

If you try a 36C bra and the underwire pinches your bust at the sides, but the centre front sits neatly against your skin, then first you should try a larger band size. Moving to a 38B would be the first thing to try. With the larger bra then check how the underwire sits and make sure that the centre front sits comfortably against your skin without any bulging from, or gaping of the cups. If you then find that in order to get support from the band on the larger bra, you are having to adjust the straps which makes them dig in, then its likely that the original bra in fact had the correct band size, but the cups were in fact too small. In this case trying a 36D bra would be the next step.

So remember, to maintain the same cup fitting - if you go up in band size, come down in cup size. If you go down in band size, go up in cup size.

Also remember that whilst moving between bra sizes to find the best fit, keep with the same model of bra, as there are often differences in size between different manufacturers and even with different designs from the same manufacturer.

Once you have your bra size sorted, you may be interested to take your hips and waist measurements. Our next guide - Hips and Waist takes you through these measurements.