Not only will a well-fitted bra help you look and feel better, but the wrong fit (too big or too small) can also damage your breast tissue.
If it’s too big, your silhouette will appear heavier, and if it’s too tight, it will hurt your skin and will give you unwanted skin rolls! Since your weight varies with time, it is important to take your measurements regularly and adapt your bra accordingly. Ideally, you should change the bras you wear daily at least once a year.
How to take the right measurements?
Band size (30, 32, 34, 36, etc.): Measure very snugly around your rib cage, just underneath your breasts. Be sure that the tape measure lies straight all the way around. If the result is an odd number, add one inch because all sizes are even numbers.
Bust size (A, B, C, D, etc.): Measure loosely around the fullest part of your bust (usually over the nipples), keeping the tape measure straight all the way around your body. Subtract your band size from this measurement. The difference will indicate you bust size: 1 inch is an A cup, 2 inches is a B cup, etc.
For example, if your first band size is 32 inches and bust size is 35 inches, you are a C cup.
If you are unsure about your measurements, you can go to a lingerie store in your region, where trained personnel will be able to take your exact measurements and help you with your purchase. The important thing to remember is to never buy a bra without trying it on in the first place, since every make is different and may not fit you perfectly.
A and B cups: almost all styles usually fit well: triangles, padded or push-ups.
C and D cups: you need support, so avoid “soft” makes that would give the appearance of sagging breasts, and opt for bras with underwire.
E, F and G cups: Underwires are necessary to support your breasts. Large, cushioned straps will also be more comfortable.
Adjusting your bra
- When your bra fits properly, the fullest part of your breasts should sit in between your shoulder and your elbow.
- If there’s any excess fabric wrinkling in the front, you need to get a smaller size. If there’s an overflow from the top and/or your breasts are coming out of the sides of the bra,, you need to get a bigger cup size.
- Use the middle hook to attach you bra; your breasts can vary in size depending on your menstrual cycle, so it’s important to be able to tighten or loosen your bra accordingly.
- If the straps dig into your skin, choose either larger straps or better support from an underwire bra.
- If you get skin rolls around the armpits, your bra size is too small; try a larger size. If it doesn’t solve the problem, you may have the wrong type of bra for your silhouette.
- The underwire rises up on your breasts when you lift your arms? Either the cup is too small or the band is too big. The underwire and the cup should not move!
- The back of your bra rises up? The band size is too big. You should be able to put one finger in between your bra and your skin for the perfect fit.
- The straps are constantly falling? Start by adjusting the length of your bra straps. If the problem persists, you may have the wrong style of bra for your shoulders.
- The underwire is hurting you? Some makes don’t have enough fabric to cover the underwire. Choose a well padded make to be more comfortable! Comfort is key, since you will be wearing your bra for hours.
After picking out the bra that fits you best, try wearing it under a fitted T-shirt to see how it looks. Remember that lace covered bras or bras with marked seaming are often much more noticeable under clothes.