How-to determine bra size is fundamental in getting a correctly fitting bra. This guide about proper bra size measurement will help a bra-wearer find the right size range for their body and spot whether or not a bra fits correctly, thereby allowing anyone to shop for a bra and avoid poor fitting advice offered by unscrupulous or unknowing fitters. This guide will detail the tools needed, dos and don'ts, the step-by-step measuring process, size calculation, the process of trying on a bra correctly, and ways to both recognize and fix problems with fit.
- Soft measuring tape (or a string, which you can measure against another measuring device)
- Writing utensil
Measure band size
- Remove all articles of clothing from the waist up, including your bra.
- Wrap the tape around your torso, directly under the root of your breast. Wherever your breast tissue terminates into the torso is where the band should be sitting, even if it seems high.
- After exhaling, pull the tape tight enough that it feels really snug (because bras are stretchy), but not so tight as to leave a red mark in your skin.
- Write down this number.
- If you have an underbust measurement of 36 inches or more, record the measurement when pulling the tape as tight as possible.
Measure cup size
- Lean forward, so that your back is parallel with the floor, so that gravity pulls all your breast tissue forward, even the migrated breast tissue that former ill-fitting bra squished back under your arms and around onto your back.
- Reach back, and massage your sides, pushing the breast tissue forward with a sweeping motion.
- Loosely measure around your bust, with the tape passing over the fullest part of your hanging breasts. Don't bend the tape into your cleavage; keep it running straight, touching your breasts in a straight line, perpendicular to the floor. Tighten the tape just enough so that it doesn't easily slide off the skin if nudged, but not tight enough to begin to deform the breast tissue.
- Write down this number.
- If you have extremely pendulous breasts, you may wish to take the average of two bust measurements (one bending over and one standing), but your best bet is still leaning toward the larger bust measurement, then working down to a snug cup.
- If you are a transgender woman, you may wish to follow the measurement guide for transgender women.
Since most bra calculators are not accurate, we recommend calculating manually.
Calculate band size
- Round your under bust measurement (the first number) to the nearest whole number.
- If it is odd, add 1.
- That number is your band size.
Calculate cup size
- Subtract the band measurement (the first number) from the bust measurement (the second number).
- Round up the difference to the next whole number.
- Look up that number on the chart below
- That letter is your cup size.