Bra Fitting Guide
Wearing the right size of bra is vitally important. A badly fitting bra can lead to a number of health problems from poor posture, nerve damage, headaches, digestive issues and even permanent breast sagging. It can be painful, it can be irritating and it’s risking our health. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you get properly fitted for a bra, or read a bra fitting guide so you can do it yourself.
Yet 80% of UK women are still wearing the wrong size of bra!
One reason we are wearing the wrong size of bra is that we are placing too much emphasis on the measurements we are given instead of concentrating on the fit of the bra. With this in mind, I have written a helpful and easy to follow bra fitting guide to help you choose a bra that fits properly and looks great.
First things first – Ditch the measuring tape during bra fitting.
Using a tape measure to work out your size rarely provides correct results because every bra is so different. However, a measuring tape can give you a good starting point for choosing the correct bra. In this bra fitting guide, you’ll discover how to find the size of your breasts without the tape.
Here’s what you do:
It’s always recommended that you have a bra fitting with a professional but you can check your own measurements at home. To check the measurement of your underband, use a soft measuring tape and ask a friend to help. For those who are shy, you can leave your bra on as long as it isn’t a padded bra or underwired as this will affect your measurement.
Ask your helper to measure around your chest, directly underneath your breasts. Ensure that the tape measure is lying flat against your skin and sits snugly around your body. Pull it quite tight so you get an exact measurement.
Make a note of the measurement in inches, if you measure as an odd number round UP to the nearest even number.
Next we determine your cup size.
Measure around the fullest part of the breast with the tape lying horizontally around your back. Leave the tape a little looser this time and do not squeeze it tight. This will determine your cup size.
To get your Bra Size, you need to subtract your band measurement from your cup size.
My chest measures at 32 inches
My bust measures at 31 inches
That leaves 1 inch difference (Yes, I am aware that they are very small)
That would make my estimated bra size a 32 A.
However, in my experience I have worn bras comfortably at 34 inches and some bras in this size are far too big. That’s because the style of a bra affects how the bra will look on your body, we are all shaped differently and therefore the bra will not fit the same on two different people.
I would recommend using the numbers as a very loose guide when choosing a bra and use the fit itself to determine whether the bra is suitable.
Here’s what to do next.
Stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself in your bra. Look at your posture and how the bra sits on your body.
A well fitted bra:
- Fits snugly around your body
- Will have you pulling straps or the underband all day
- Will not ride up at the back
- Will allow you to put no more than 2 fingers in the underband. Any more and the band is too big. Go down a size.
- Will sit flat against your breast bone
- Will have no creasing or gapping in the cups.
- Will not move when you lift your arms
- Will fully encase your breasts in the cup and underwire
- Will not be painful or uncomfortable to wear
- Will leave a smooth line where the fabric at the top meets your breasts
- Will not leave indentations in your shoulders
Look at the bra that you currently have on. Does it fit properly and do you feel supported? Are your breasts properly encased and is it comfortable. The chances are that you aren’t wearing a bra that fits properly. A well fitted bra will totally change your shape and posture, leaving you with a beautiful silhouette and feeling like a million dollars. It can also help to alleviate shoulder and back pain, giving you a whole new lease of life.
it’s worth a try surely?
What can I do to improve the fit of my bra?
It’s extremely important to try on every bra that you pick up before purchasing it. Just because one size in the same brand fits you, it doesn’t mean that another will. Different styles of bra and even different material can all affect how the bra fits your body, so it’s wise to give yourself plenty of time to shop.
If the department store has a professional fitter, enlist their help in choosing the correct bra.
They have the training and expertise to help you choose the perfect fit.
Frequently Asked Questions about bra fitting
When I put on a T-Shirt, I look like I have one big squashed boob. Why is this?
A ‘Uniboob’ is caused by your cups being too small and squashing everything together. Try going up a cup size and see if that helps.
My bra is causing rolls of back fat. Why is this happening?
Contrary to what people believe, when this happens this means that the underband is too big, not too small. The large band is causing your bra to ride upwards and squash together skin that it isn’t meant to touch. This would not happen if the bra was properly fit, try going down a band size.
My bra straps are digging into my shoulders and leaving indentations
If your straps are digging in, this illustrates that the band is too small. Your shoulder straps should only do about 10% of the work when wearing a bra so this indicates a lack of support. Try going up a band size and see if this helps.
My bra straps keep sliding off my shoulders.
This indicates that the underband may be too big or your straps are too long and need adjustment. Another reason is your body shape, do you have sloping shoulders? This could cause some styles of bra to slip down at the shoulders.
Try a different style of bra that has the straps closer together or has a multi-way function. Again, experimentation with different styles will really help here.
I have quad boobs. What causes this?
If your breasts are pouring out of the top and sides of your bra, making you look like you have four breasts. It’s definitely too small. This can be caused by cups that are too small or an issue with your underband.
I would recommend starting from scratch and throwing out your bras. Book an hour with a professional bra fitter and have a proper fitting so you leave with a size and shape of bra that suits you best.
My breasts are popping out of the bottom of the bra when I move around.
You band may be too big which is casing the bra to ride up, or the cup is too small and not fully encasing your breasts. Try going down a band size and see if that helps, if not, try a bigger cup.
The underwire digs into my breasts and it’s really uncomfortable
The cup may be too small and isn’t completely encasing your breasts, try going up a cup size. However, it may be that the style of bra that you’re wearing isn’t right for your body. Try a different shape of bra and see if that helps.
I have different sized boobs and struggle to find a bra that fits.
Most women have one breast bigger than the other. I would recommend measuring around the larger breast to find a size guide and fitting the bra to that breast. Add some light padding to the smaller breast to even out your shape. Once you have your clothes on, it’s hardly noticeable.
Why do the same size bras always fit differently?
There a lot of reasons why each bra is different. Some of it comes down to the different materials used as some is a lot stretchier than others. Other times it can be the cut of the bra and the shape of the cups which make the bra look different. The list is endless. One thing that won’t change is that the key to finding the perfect fit is working with your body shape and trying on the bra.
Should you take your bra off at night?
If you have smaller breasts it’s always nice to remove your bra at night and enjoy some ‘freedom’. However, larger breasts can benefit from a light, cotton bra at night to help keep their shape and prevent sagging. It’s a personal choice and there is no definite answer, just do what you feel most comfortable.
How often should I have a bra fitting?
You get around 100 uses per bra and our bras quickly become tired. It’s very important to have a selection of well-fitting bras to choose from and to never wear the same bras for two days in a row, let it rest.
You should have a bra fitting every six months, particularly if dieting as this will change the size and shape of your body.
Where can I buy larger or smaller bras?
Retailers for larger breasts:
Retailers for smaller breasts
Mastectomy and Post-Surgery retailers
Follow Voluptasse on Twitter or Like us on Facebook