Is your bra the correct fit? According to numerous media reports, many women in the UK are wearing the wrong size bra. When fitted correctly, most women will generally find themselves to be wearing a bra smaller in the band and larger in the cup – try out my bra measuring guide and see where you come out.
Did you know…
…that cup size is relative to the size of the rib cage?
…that there is no uniform size for an A cup or a D cup?
…that most of the support from your bra should come from the band and NOT the straps?
…that if your bra rides up at the back, it’s because it’s likely too big?
…that if your straps are digging in, it’s likely because your bra is too big?
If you didn’t know these, there is a good chance that you are wearing the wrong size bra.
Back in the “olden” days, women were generally measured using the old “+4” method. Women would be measured just under their bust and whatever the number, 4 would be added to the figure if the measurement was even, 5 if it was odd. This means that if you measured 32, your band size would be deemed to be 36. If you measured 33, it would be deemed to be 38. Women would then be measured around the fuller part of the bust and the band size would be subtracted from this measurement to get the cup size. Unfortunately, this outdated method doesn’t offer the best support to women – especially those with larger chests. There has been a move away from this method, with many retailers moving towards the theory that the band size is your actual size – this is the method that my bra chart follows. Unfortunately, some retailers and high street stores still use the +4 method.
Once you’ve measured yourself, it’s important to remember that this is only a starting point and that different styles, brands and even different colours can fit differently. Ever been to a shop and tried on a size 12 just for it to not fasten, but then a size 12 in a different shop is too big? It’s the same with bras. Don’t be surprised if you sometimes have to try a slightly different size to get the perfect fit and don’t be surprised if certain styles don’t work for you.
Knowing how to measure yourself is important, but don’t be afraid to get measured either. It is always easier to allow a bra fitter to fit you and they will be able to recommend the best styles for your shape. However, don’t be afraid to ask how they measured you and got to the recommended size. They should be able to explain how and if they have used the “+4” method, you might want to measure yourself instead.
How should it fit?
The band on a new bra should fit well when fastened on the last clasp. This is so that you can tighten it as the bra stretches overtime. If you have a new bra and need to fasten it on the tightest clasp straight away, it’s time to think about going down a band size.
The band should fit snugly and horizontally across your back. If it is riding up, it’s too big. It should be a snug fit without constricting breathing. It’s important that the band fits firmly, especially if you have a larger bust as most of the support of the bra comes from the band.
The straps should not be digging into your shoulders. If the bra fits well and the band is a snug fit, the straps should not be digging in because the band does the work. If your straps are digging into your shoulders, your band size may be too big.
Be sure to lean forward when putting on a bra and pull your breasts forward to fill the cups. Gently gather in all the breast tissue. If your breasts are bulging over the top or sides, you need to go up a cup size. If the cups are left gaping, you need to go down a cup size.
The gore is the part of an underwired bra that connects the cups at the front. This should lie flat against your body and should stay lying flat when moving around, even if you lift your arms above your head. If it moves, the band may be too big or the cups may be too small.
Are you wearing an underwired bra? The wires should also lie flat against your skin and shouldn’t move away from your body. If the wires poke into your underarm, then you might want to try a smaller cup or a different style.
Remember, like clothes shopping, different brands can fit differently and not all styles suit everyone!