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How to Measure for a Proper Fit


Did you know that a woman’s bra size can fluctuate from year to year and sometimes even month to month? On average, you should measure yourself at least once a year but more frequently if you go up or down a size in your regular clothing. That’s why it’s important to know how to properly measure yourself, so you can choose a comfortable bra with confidence; a bra that will look great and feel good!

Choosing a bra that gives you the comfort you need will be a breeze when you follow these few simple steps, so let’s get started!

There are two aspects to finding your correct bra size and they are band size and cup size. The band size is the size of the bra band around the torso. The cup size is the circumference measured around the bust over the fullest part of the breast.

First, you’ll need a standard tape measure. You should be able to find one at your local sewing store or even at your local drug store. It’s inexpensive and handy to have around. Second, you’ll need to put on a comfortable, well-fitting, non-padded bra.


Step 1 – Measure Your Band Size (Under Breast)

With your bra on and starting at zero on the tape measure, place it directly underneath the breast where the bra band sits. Make sure that the measuring tape runs horizontally around the upper body and is at the same height in the front and the back. The measuring tape should fit snugly, but not too tight; you should be able to breathe normally. You’ll want to get an accurate measurement because the band size provides 90% of your support. If it’s not tight enough your bra band will be loose and will not be supportive enough. (You may want to enlist the help of a close friend to help, if you need help.)

Measure underneath the bust line from the center breastbone in the front all the way around.

Write down the number of inches. If that number is a fraction, round it up to the next whole number.


Step 2 – Measure Your Cup Size (Over Breast)

Next you’re going to measure your half-chest circumference. Make sure that the measuring tape runs horizontally around the upper body and is at the same height in the front and the back of the body. Starting at zero on the tape measure, position the tape measure at the center the spine in the back, then loosely wrap the tape measure over the fullest part of your breast, directly above the nipple.

Write down the number of inches, then double that number. If that number is a fraction, round it up to the next whole number.


Step 3 – Calculate Your Cup Size

Now, subtract your band size measurement from your cup size measurement and that will give you your cup size.

Cup sizes for a double mastectomy would be the same as that worn prior to surgery. If you want to go larger or smaller, select one size above or below your previous size.

Step 4 – Determine Your Bra Size

Finally, all you need to do is combine the cup size with your band measurement to determine your bra size. For example, 38B means you have a 38-inch band and a B cup.


How to Know When Your Bra is a Good Fit

Now that you know how to determine your bra size here are a few helpful hints on how to know when your bra is a good fit:

  • The cups are smooth and the edges lie flat against your chest.
  • The straps stay in place and don’t dig into your shoulders.
  • The center section lies flat.
  • The bra band is snug and low in the back.

Tip: because cup size can fluctuate based on weight change, hormonal changes, bloating, or further surgery try to check your bra size from time to time. Also, try to measure on a day when your breast feels relatively normal. Many women buy a bra style that they love in two sizes – one size for regular days and a size up for days when they feel a little fuller; that way they can avoid the discomfort of having to squeeze themselves into a bra that’s temporarily too small.

Now that we’ve got the technical stuff out of the way, let’s move on to choosing a wonderful new bra!

Click here for our article on Choosing A Bra That’s Right for You.


tender loving care