You are looking for a new bra so you now have to choose a size, but figuring out your bra size looks like a minefield sometimes. Everyone is different and every person will have a different experience of finding their size.
There are various methods of measuring and it can be quite confusing, especially with the math involved. Measuring yourself at home is probably what most people want to do. It can be embarrassing to go to a professional bra fitter and it’s understandable, even if it means getting the wrong size.
Why is it important to measure your bra size?
If you have the wrong bra size it’s not the end of the world but it may have some negative effects. If a bra is too tight it can be uncomfortable and it will not provide proper support. Lack of support can lead to other problems like back or neck pain. Posture can become affected and even tissue damage can be evident in the long run.
How often is it required to measure bra size?
The question of how often people need to measure for their bra is relative as it depends on each individual. Bodies change and it’s not something that has to happen once each year, or with any degree of regularity.
In short, it depends. You may need to measure once, twice or even more. The first time is when you start needing to wear a bra. This is usually around the time of puberty or when your chest starts growing. Over time this can change as the body itself changes, so another measurement will be needed.
Other than that, whenever you feel that you need a different size you should measure again. Some things that affect chest size include hormonal changes, weight and pregnancy and even menstrual cycles.
How to measure your bra size?
So you have found that you need a new bra and now need to find your size. How do you go about doing that? First of all, you will need some tools, or more specifically a tool, which is a measuring tape.
You will need to wear a loose unpadded bra or just measure directly on the skin. You will have to measure two parts of the bust to get the numbers that will give you your ultimate size.
Measure the band
Place the measuring tape beneath your bust all the way around and make sure to keep the tape in a straight line. Use a mirror to make sure you get an accurate measurement or at least as close as possible.
This part of the measuring should be quite tight as it will be the part of the bra that needs to rest close to the body. There are some sources online that suggest measuring the upper part of the chest above the bust for the band. The number you get is your band size.
Measure the bust
Now for the bust, place the measuring tape onto the fullest part of the bust and measure it, again in a straight line all around the torso. If you’re unsure where the fullest part is then use the nipples as an indicator. Make sure to measure loose as opposed to the band measurement, as you need some space for shifting movement within the cup.
Rounding the figures
The measurement now needs to be precise. If you have measurements that come with halves, you need to round them. For example, if you got a number with a half such as 12.5, then you round down to just 12.
Calculating the size of the cup
Now you will have to calculate your cup size and to do this you need to subtract the band size from the bust size. This difference is what gives you your cup size. For example, 1 inch gives you the A cup size. Use the table below for reference.
|Result in inches||0||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15|
The right fit
Even with all these measures in place you might still find you have trouble finding a size. Sometimes you might just need to try it out and see if you are one size up or down. Measuring will offer you the base for your size and armed with this you may find your own perfect size.
How should a bra fit?
The band is the first thing you strap, and it should stay fairly tight but loose enough to get your fingers underneath. You do still need to feel some resistance otherwise it’s too loose.
The straps don’t need to dig into your shoulders to be nicely fitted, but also not too loose or you won’t have any support. The part in between the cups should sit flat on your chest and the wire part, if you opted for that style, should follow the natural curvature.
It can be daunting to start looking for a new bra and realise you don’t know your size. Then going through the process of finding your size is quite the quest that is sometimes confusing.
However you go about it, once you are fairly confident about the size it could still not fit exactly how it should. Luckily there are ways to at least get a good idea of your size. Different styles of bras also come into play to provide a nice fitting bra.