All you need to know about bra size
If you wear bras, you’ve likely got a few in your drawer that you avoid because their fit is a flub. Or maybe you’ve resigned to wear them anyway, even though they pinch or squish your precious parts.
Having a stash of bras that you find uncomfortable or unflattering can be frustrating. You might convince yourself that a good fit doesn’t exist, or that something’s wrong with your shape. We promise you, there’s not. Instead, something’s off about the way we’ve been conditioned to think about sizing.
In a 2010 study, 85 percent of participants were found to be wearing bras that didn’t fit right.
These fit issues are often a result of traditional measuring methods. Another 2011 study shows that the old tape measure tactic usually performed in lingerie or department store dressing rooms often overestimate band size and underestimate cup size.
On top of all that, many brands sold in big chain stores don’t carry sizes above a DD, leaving their bustier customers unsupported. " Facts about bra size"
To find the best bra, lingerie experts recommend focusing how it fits you instead of the size on the tag. We’ll show you how, bust some myths about boob bulge, offer specific fit tips on sports bras, and tackle the topic of going bra-free.
5 steps for fantastic bra fit
Although bra sizing based on the ABCs and beyond isn’t going away anytime soon, we can stop slurping the alphabet soup we’ve been sold. Finding a comfortable, supportive bra is about trying it on and checking some key factors, according to the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth. This cohort, dedicated entirely to studying the mechanics of our boobs, has outlined five steps to determining if a bra fits you.
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- Check the band
A properly fitting band should stay level around the rib cage during your day. That means no riding up in the front or around your spine.
To test if your band fits properly, use your fingers to pull the band away from your torso. You shouldn’t have more than a 2-inch gap.
Next, to make sure that the band stays level as you move, get your groove on in the fitting room. Lift your arms up a few times and try a twist or two. Don’t be afraid to test your bras with vigorous movements. It needs to stay in place during your day!
- Check the cups
The cups should hold the entire breast with no bulging or gaps at the sides, the top, or below. To get your full breast in each cup, employ the “scoop and swoop” technique. Take your hand and scoop the opposite breast upward and then tuck it into the bra.
Your breasts should stay in your cups when you bend over, so do an Elle Woods bend and snap in the fitting room to test it out.
- Check the underwire or cup seam
If the bra has an underwire, make sure it follows where your breasts naturally crease, and that it does so all the way to your underarm area. The wire should not rest on top of your breasts at any point. If the cup fits, but the wire doesn’t follow the crease, try a different style of bra. If the bra lacks a wire, use the same method for checking the bottom seam.
- Check the center front
The middle of the bra should rest flat against your breastbone. If it doesn’t, go up a cup size and see if that helps. " Facts about bra size"
- Check the straps
The straps shouldn’t slip or dig into your shoulders. If they do, try adjusting them. Many of us have asymmetrical breasts, so don’t worry about making the strap adjustments even.
If you run through these steps and find that you’ve got an awkward fit, the research team suggests trying “sister sizing.” For example, if you’ve got a tight band but the cup is a pretty good fit, try going up a band size and down a cup size — for example, if you’re a 36D, try a 38C. " Facts about bra size"