Are You Wearing the Right Bra Size?

::UPDATE!!!

This was posted quite a long time ago, but since I have people still coming across this post I want to emphasize how most women are wearing the wrong bra size!! Professional fitters don’t always fit you right either. The best person to fit you is yourself! After having so much trouble these past few years, I gave up. Especially after I went to the renowned Linda’s Bra Salon (my review here) and they measured me to be a 34DD when I had been wearing 36DD/DDD (which I was spilling out of).

A few weeks ago,I came across a subreddit on Reddit.com called A Bra That Fits I was able to measure myself, figure out my size, my shape and what bras would work best for me! I have yet to find a bra that is perfect for me but this is a long journey. Especially when you most likely will have to order online for the sizes most will need. I measured myself using their guide, posted for help and figured out I am a 34G/GG. I know this sounds like a HUGE size, but really this is the average size according to A Sophisticated Pair’s Sales. What they put me in is FOUR cup sizes too small for me… basically offering no support and being super uncomfortable.

I highly suggest checking these places out to find your shape, size and what bra style suits you most to be able to have that perfect bra fit! The redditors are really friendly and you can get answers right away on all your bra questions. Once you get on there you will want to spread the word to all your family and friends, I did! haha. This is a bravolution that needs to happen. Women need to be more informed on how to fit themselves and what to look for in bras. Anyways, I hope this is helpful!

The advice below is still good, this is just more informative now that I have come across it.

End Update::

Hey everyone, today I’m gonna talk about bras. 

YES BRAS! 

You’ve all heard the statistics that 80% of women right now are wearing the wrong bra size, right? 

Well, it. is. true. 

I feel like we all have these misconceptions about bra sizes. How an A cup should look or a D cup, etc. I always thought women with D cups were “porn star” huge. But now, as a triple D cup, no way do I think I am that type of huge haha! 

I have had a lot of trouble with bras throughout my life. In high school I wore a B cup like my friends but I was definitely bigger than them. Most of them just defined it as being a “full” B cup. I look back now and realize I  must have been wearing the wrong size. After high school I gained some weight and noticed that my cup also grew. This caused my upper back to hurt, as well as my breasts to hurt. They were tender and when I got home from school/work/wherever I couldn’t wait to take off my bra and set them FREE. 

So I went to a store, got fitted and bought another bra with a bigger cup size, yet it still did not fit right. I complained and complained to all my girl friends, mom, sisters, and my boyfriend. And after no one could take me anymore, I finally decided to do some research (lol!) and came upon multiple women experiencing the same thing- bras just weren’t comfortable and they never seemed to fit right. I did more research and found that the more widely known method generally used to measure your bra size hasn’t changed since the invention of the bra itself! I couldn’t believe it. I mean, bras have obviously changed since the ones that were first invented. We use different fabrics now, especially ones that give and stretch, the shape of the bras are much different to the first ones, as well as the addition of underwires. 

The original method of measuring is to measure underneath the bust. Then measure around the bust and subtract your first measurement from this. This gives you your cup size, with 1″ = A, 2″=B, etc. Finally add 5″ to your first measurement and this will be your band size. A lot of the times they also tell you to put on “your best fitting bra” while you do this, which I feel just obscures the correct size even more. I’m guessing the reason for the addition of the 5″ is because back then they didn’t have lycra/spandex/etc. which stretches and gives, but now most bras are made of this, so really there’s no need to add this. If I measure myself in this manner, my size would come out to be a 40D. I have tried this bra on and it is VERY loose at the band and ill fitting at the cup. 

The way I discovered my true size (36DD a year or two ago) was by trial and error. Now, if you’re anything like me, shopping for clothes just isn’t something you love, especially when it comes to trying on a TON of stuff. But, for the sake of my breasts I went to my favorite bra store and tried on bras ranging from 34D to 36C/D/DD to 38C/D/DD to  40C/D! Yes, very time consuming and frustrating. However, this gives you the best bet that you will find a perfect fit. Also, it’s good to note that not all styles of bras are the same, you should still try on a few different sizes in the same style to make sure the fit is right as they can vary even within the same brand.

While I tried on all these bras I looked for a few things:

  1. The band could not be pulled away from my back more than an inch or two.
  2. The cup fit well- no extra fabric or quadro-boob effect.
  3. The band in between my breasts sat flat against my chest.
  4. The straps did not dig into my shoulders- meaning GOOD support from the band and cup.
  5. The band went horizontally across my back- not angling upwards

And as another little test I moved around in it. I jumped up and down, stretched all the way from side to side, rotated my upper body around, etc. This is when you can really feel if you are being well supported by the cup and band and/or being stabbed in the ribs by the underwire. 

I read somewhere that the band/cup should support about 80% of the weight of your breasts therefore, leaving only 20% for the straps to support. This proved to be crucial for getting rid of my upper back pain! If you are properly supported, you should not experience any back pain due to slouching or poor posture and you should not experience any breast tenderness from the cup cutting into the breast or so little support that they are constantly bouncing around! 

When you have a bra that fits right, not only is it comfortable to wear but it also helps with your posture, the way you feel and the way they look. When you wear the right bra, you will notice that you stand straighter and your breasts are perkier and fuller looking. Which is why if you have a small bust or full bust, this will make a dramatic difference! 

I’ve gained a little more weight recently and am now a size 36DDD, which proves to be quite a task to find bras in this size at stores. Mostly they only have them online. It’s a pity because I really don’t want to have to go through the trouble of ordering one, finding out it doesn’t fit quite right, and then having to return/exchange it. But, what can you do? I have found a few stores that I will be going to soon. A bridal shop (I am currently a bridesmaid) told me about a great store brides use within my area, so I can’t wait to check them out. But for some of you your only option might be online. So, make sure you read reviews and check out blogs before you purchase something so that way you know what you’re in for.

Upon trying to find great bras for my new size I came across a blog about, you guessed it, BRAS haha with some great information on it. In this blog she describes a method for measuring oneself that I found to be true for me and could be great for those of you out there who need a guideline on where to begin your search for the best fit for you. Below is the excerpt on how to do it (it is part of a longer blog post about breasts growing during pregnancy) Click on her name to view the entire post:

Measure under your bust, this is your band size. If you are inbetween sizes, say 33 underbust, try both a 32 and a 34 band and see which fits you best. Next, measure your overbust (around the middle of your breasts) – the easiest way to do this is to lean over forwards. This is the more difficult measurement to take, what with breasts flopping about all over the place, so don’t assume it will be 100% accurate.

For example, if your underbust measures 32 and your overbust measures 42, that is a difference of 10. So, count 10 bra size letters.

 1: A, 2: B, 3: C, 4: D, 5: DD, 6: E, 7: F, 8: FF, 9: G, 10: GG.  

Match that with your underbust measurement.

You would then have a starting point size of 32GG – this does not necessarily mean that is your exact bra size, but you can be sure that if it isn’t, your size will be very close by. The next step is trial and error with different brands and styles of bras, not much fun but worth it once you find one that fits the best.

There are of course lots of criticisms of using the tape measure, mainly because measurements do not set your bra size in stone – breast shape and comfort play important roles too. However, the quickly and constantly growing breast often has to be measured – it’s the one time when you may struggle to keep up with your body.”

Now that you know your approximate size, you can go off to find your perfect bras! It might be hard and time consuming, but don’t give up! If we all stop giving in and buying these “standard sizes 32-38, A-D” then companies will have to start making more sizes, small and large, for everyone. Lets get rid of all these misconceptions on how big certain sizes are which can detain you from finding your true size. It seems like Europe and especially the UK have got a lead on this because in all my research the best info I got was from them. So, we need to help the US get up there too! Anyways if you have any questions post them down below.

TL;DR– Check out the links below, the quote above and the numbered fitting guide above.

If you wanna see a video demonstrating how a well fitting bra should look check this video out.

If you wanna see how wearing the wrong bra size can look awful and painful check out this other Sophia Jenner post.

Another great source for more bra information.

Update:  more info can be found on the subreddit a bra that fits by real women who can help you out and a great blog by a great fitter!


~~Andrea

5 thoughts on “Are You Wearing the Right Bra Size?

    • Thanks so much for commenting! You have really revolutionized how I see bras! I made an appointment at your midtown store with 4 of my girlfriends!! I can’t wait to go tomorrow! You have no idea the trouble I’ve had at other fitters coercing me to buy bras that didnt fit me. I can’t wait to experience something amazing tomorrow!

  1. You’re so right about this and girls need to be more aware of true bra sizes! A few months ago I finally found my perfect fit…I had been wearing a 34B but found it was hurting the sides of my boobs since I guess they kind of grew but the 36B band was too wide for me, and I thought there was absolutely no way I was a C cup because my boobs aren’t big and I always imagined C cups to be big boobs lol. But I finally bought a 34C to test it out and it was so much better…more comfortable and even made my clothes look better. Its amazing how the right bra really does make a huge difference in how you look

    • Yea it’s crazy what a difference it makes! If you read Linda’s blog she talks about how sizing has changed in the last ten years alone and how bras have gotten smaller! Which is why we need bigger cups :D

  2. Pingback: Linda’s Bra Salon- Review | Life through Andrea's Eyes

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