How To Find The Right Bra Size

Whatever look you’re going for, it’s crucial that your underwear is the right fit. Whether you have a favourite pair of boxer briefs or you’ve invested in pretty red lingerie designed to make you feel confident, it’s crucial that you’re comfortable.

An ill-fitting bra can be anything but comfortable. Over a decade ago, a study by Dr Jenny Burbage, a sports biomechanist at the University of Portsmouth, found that traditional methods of bra fitting were inadequate. The study recognised that between 70 and 100% of women were wearing bras that were the wrong size. 

Now, almost 11 years on, it seems that not much has changed. According to a report by European lingerie specialists, Hunkemöller, eight in 10 women are still wearing the wrong bra size. From back pain and bad posture to abrasions on the skin and breast pain, a bad fit can be detrimental to bra-wearers’ health. 

So, how do you get the right size for you? Read on to find out. 

Finding the right size

Bra fitting was introduced in the 1930s-1940s. It was around this time that manufacturers realised the right size is good for business. Finding the correct measurement has been an important part of the bra-buying process ever since. 

To find your size, you need to be aware of two measurements that you need to take: cup size and band: 

Get your band size

Start with the band size. This measurement is the area directly below your bust around your ribcage and is where you can make sure your bra doesn’t dig in or sag. 

Place your measuring tape around this area, pulling it so that it’s snug but not too tight. Keep the tape level here. Make a note of the measurement in inches. This measurement is always an even number, so if you arrive at an odd number when you measure yourself, round up to the nearest even number if you don’t notice any give in the band or down if it’s a softer fit. 

Get your cup size

For the cup size, move the tape to the fullest part of your bust. Check that the tape is sitting flat and it’s level all the way around your back. Try not to pull it tight over this area as this can give you an incorrect size. Again, make a note of the inches. 

To get the cup size, subtract your band size from your cup measurement. The difference reveals your size. 

If there’s no difference, your cup size is AA. A 1-inch difference means you’re an A, a 2-inch difference means you’re a C, and so on. 

What next?

It can come as a shock to many when they discover their bra size and it’s not uncommon for women to discover they’ve been walking around in bras that are several sizes in the wrong direction. 

The reasons for this can be anything from fluctuations in weight to hormonal changes. During major hormonal events, such as pregnancy, it can be common for cup sizes to increase by a couple of sizes.  

Whatever the reason for a change in size, investing in the right size bra can improve both your physical and mental health. The pain of a tight fit is gone and in its place is a confident you. Ultimately, getting the foundations right ensures you feel comfortable throughout the day.

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