“I love shopping for bras,” said no woman ever. So we swing through the store, grab something in the same size we’ve worn for decades off the rack, and move on. Then we complain that they’re expensive and never fit right.
We don’t wear shoes that don’t fit because they’re uncomfortable and can affect our posture, muscles, and overall comfort. Wearing a poorly fitting bra is the same. The straps slide down, the back slides up, we have spillage over the sides, our clothes don’t look or fit right, our shoulders, back, and neck can hurt from lack of support.
But how do we find the right fit? Going in to a store and being fitted by a professional is absolutely the best way. However, if that thought makes you uncomfortable, here are GoodHousekeeping’s tips on how to find the correct size yourself.
➢ Stand up straight but relaxed. Don’t hold your breath or release too much air. Breathe normally.
➢ Place a soft tape measure around your body directly under your breasts. If the measurement is an even number (e.g. 32), add 4 (for a total of 36). If it’s an odd number, add 5. If it’s a fraction (e.g. ½), round up to the next even number (e.g. 37½, round up to 38). This is the band size.
➢ With your bra on, measure around the fullest part of your bust (across the nipple), but don’t pull tight. Make sure the tape measure is straight around you, not dipping down in the back. Stand in front of a mirror to check. (We’ll use 36 for this example.)
➢ Now subtract this number from the band size (38 – 36 = 2). This will be the approximate cup size. These measurements would indicate a 38B bra size.
0 = AA
1 = A
2 = B
3 = C
4 = D
5 = DD
6 = DDD
This is where you should start when you shop for a new bra. Remember, no two bras will fit the same so you definitely need to try them on. How will you know it’s the right fit? Comfort should be your first indicator.
Here are 5 ways to tell if your bra is the right fit:
1.) In the front, the center of the bra should be flat against the breastbone, with no gap.
2.) The back should not hike up; it should fit comfortably around your ribs and rest against the middle of your back.
3.) The cups should be smooth and wrinkle-free.
4.) Since bras stretch over time, the bra band should fit snugly on the loosest hook, so you can tighten it as needed.
5.) Your breasts should sit halfway between your shoulder and your elbow.
Check out the GoodHousekeeping link for more tips and answers on buying and wearing the perfect-fit bra.