In order to measure yourself, you will need a soft measuring tape because it will provide the most accurate measurements. To begin, remove your bra. If you visit our store for a free fitting, we will not ask you to remove your bra, but if you are measuring yourself, this will give you better results. For a quick and easy way to determine a starting point bra size, please visit our bra size calculator or check out the video below:
Measure directly underneath your breasts on the rib cage, making sure to keep the tape level all the way around your torso. Pull the two sides together until they meet and lie flat against your body, but be careful not to pull too tightly. The tape should feel snug, but not constricting.
Now, we need to take into account your personal preference for how your band should fit. If you prefer a snug fit, then your ribcage measurement becomes your band size. Note that if you are between two sizes, e.g., your ribs measure 31″, you can size up or down to the nearest band. If you prefer a slightly looser fit, you can also size up one extra band size for comfort.
For example, if you measured 31″ around the ribs, then you can try a 30 band for a tighter fit, a 32 band for a moderately tight fit, or a 34 for slightly looser fit. Keep in mind, however, that bras do lose elasticity over time and will only become less supportive with frequent wear. Furthermore, we only recommend sizing up an extra band size if you have sensitive ribs or less body fat around the torso because 80% of the support for your breasts comes from having a snug band.
Next, measure around the fullest part of your breasts (usually across the nipples) and round up to the nearest number:
For example, a measurement of 40.5″ would be rounded to 41″. To find your cup size, subtract the band size from the measurement taken across your bust. Then, use the chart below to find your corresponding cup size:
|Measurement (in.)||US Size||UK Size|
If you needed to size up in the band because of less cushioning on your ribcage, we recommend subtracting your original band size from your bust measurement to ensure you have enough room in the cup. For example, a person who measures 31″ around the ribs and 35″ should try either a 30DD or a 32D but may need to wear a 34C for comfort. Remember: When you size up in the band, you also need to size down in the cup, meaning a 32D becomes a 34C.
This fitting technique as well as our bra size calculator are only meant to provide a starting point size. Breast shape, personal preferences, and even age can all affect what size you need, and because manufacturers utilize different cuts and sizing guides, finding the right fit can be challenging.
Double Check the Fit
Now that you have a general idea about what size you need, take a moment to review some of these tips to ensure that you have the proper fit.
- Your band should fit snug (but not tight) on the loosest set of hooks. The elastic in all bras deteriorates with everyday wear, and the bra will last longer if your start with a snug band on the loosest set of hooks.
- The band of your bra should be centered across your back with the straps adjusted to the tops of the shoulders. It should not ride up the back or cause the straps to fall off the shoulders as this will mean your breasts hang low in the front. At least 80% of the support from your bra comes from the band, so it is important that the band fits perfectly.
- Adjust your straps. Again, the majority of weight is supported by your band, but you may need to adjust your straps looser or tighter to provide you with optimal support and comfort. Properly fitted straps will pull the cup against your breast so that it sits nicely under clothes and supports the full breast tissue.
- Check your underwire. The underwire of a bra should encase the breasts and rest firmly against your ribcage, especially in the center where the underwire meets. The wire should lie flat, completely separating your breasts. On the side of your torso, the wire should not mash your breasts or dig into the skin. Many people do not realize that there is breast tissue on the side that needs to be scooped into the cups as well. When the bra fits properly, the cup of the bra should enclose the breast tissue and be filled out and shaped by your breasts.
- The cups should not allow breast tissue to spill over the top or the sides nor should they pucker or gape. Also, there should not be extra space between the underwire at the bottom or side and breast tissue.
- Anyone needing wireless bras may experience fit issues, particularly in higher cup sizes, because the bra design and construction changes. In general, the band should still fit snug on the loosest set of hooks without any gaping, puckering, or overflow at the cups. The band should sit beneath breast tissue to provide lift, but the center may not sit flat against the ribcage. Breast tissue on the side should be fully scooped into the cups without overflow, and the straps should be adjusted as with a wired bra. If the bra has side stays, watch the location to ensure they do not compress or dig into breast tissue, and while the underwire is no longer present, the cup itself should match your tissue shape as closely as possible to improve the fit.