Surveys suggest that over 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size! This is a significant problem as sporting the right bra is crucial for comfort and support as well as making your clothes fit and look much better.
So how do you know if you are one of the many ladies who have got the wrong bra size and what is the best way of finding the perfect bra in a world where there is so much choice and sizes can vary from one brand to another? Read on.
Problems with with wearing the wrong bra size
The right bra is not just an issue of band and cup size but also of style and design. A variety of problems can manifest themselves if you have got the wrong size, so if you are experiencing any of the following irritations you are almost certainly wearing the wrong bra. Follow our tips to measure bra size and find the perfect fit.
1) Your underwire is pinching you or stabbing you in the chest!
In this case try a bigger cup size first and if this doesn’t work try a larger band size.
2) Your straps regularly slip off
If adjusting the straps does not work or simply makes the band ride up your back, this can be a sign that your band is too big or the design of the bra simply doesn’t work for you because it sits the straps in the wrong place.
Try a smaller band and a different shaped bra, perhaps one with wider straps.
3) Your breasts are sagging
Try adjusting the straps to increase lift but if this doesn’t work you may be wearing a cup size that is too generous. You might simply need a more supportive style with underwires or a more solid construction. Remember your bra should lift and separate not squash your breasts together.
4) Your band is riding up your back
This is usually the result of wearing a band size that is too large but can also be due to insufficient support causing your breasts to sag and pull the bra down from your shoulders and up at the back. The band of your bra should always sit comfortably across you back and be tight enough to stay put without cutting into you.
5) Your bra feels tight and you are always aware that it is there
In this case you are definitely wearing a bra that is too small. Try a larger band size and make use of the different hooks to get the fit exactly right.
6) Your breasts are bulging out of the tops or sides of the cups
If this is the case you are certainly wearing the wrong cup size. Check out larger sizes until you find one that accommodates your breasts but is not so large as to cause wrinkles in the fabric. The right cup size should result in the bra sitting flat against your chest with no wrinkles or folds in the fabric.
How to Measure Bra Size
To measure bra size and find the right fit you will need to establish a starting point for the size and this can be tricky as advice on measuring can be conflicting and bra sizes vary from brand to brand. It is also the case that you may need a certain size in one style of bra and a different size in another. Nonetheless measuring yourself is a good place to start in establishing roughly what size to look for.
- Use a soft tape measure and place it flat against your body without pulling tight.
- You should measure around your ribcage, positioning the tape just under your breasts. This is the basis for the size of band you require.
- Some say that you should add 4 or 5 inches to this figure to establish the right size, others that you should add nothing. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle. Whatever measurements you take add 1 or 2 inches and that is a good guide to your band size.
So if you measure 34 inches you probably need a size 36 bra.
How to Measure Bra Cup Size
- For the cup size measure again but around your breasts with the tape resting on your nipples.
- Subtract the band measurement from this one and the resulting figure is the basis for discovering your cup size.
- Here use the original band measurement before you added 1 or two inches. Each inch of differential is roughly one cup size so if the difference between measurements is an inch you are an A cup, if it is 2 inches a B cup and so on.
So if your band measurement was 34 and your breast measurement 37 you should use a bra size of 36C as a starting point.
The Perfect Bra
Once you know roughly what size to look for, start trying some different styles to find the right one for you. If you put a bra on and like it but feel it is not quite fitting well enough, before changing the style try other sizes in the same bra.
Getting it right is a question of fine tuning and you must remember that the cups get bigger in proportion to the band size. In other words the actual cup on a 38C is bigger than on a 36C.
If you have tried your 36C and it is just a little off, try a 34D or 38B to see if that is the solution. Check all aspects of the fit including the cups, level of support, bulging, whether the band rises up your back and if the straps stay put and don’t cut into you. If everything fits and the bra is comfortable you have found your solution!