Design Enterprises of San Francisco.
Look at yourself sideways in a mirror. Your breasts should sit midway between your shoulders and elbows. If not, you need a more supportive and better-fitting bra.
If you need to go down a cup size for fit, go up one band size, and vice versa. For example, if a 34C is too big for you, move to a 36B.
Choose a bra that fits perfectly when secured on the outermost hook. As the bra loosens over time, make the band taut by moving toward the tightest hook. Now that you've found your correct bra size, it's time to go shopping! Below are some of our favorite places to pick up a pretty bra, in person and online. Real Simple may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website. Close View all gallery.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Are You Wearing the Right Size? Determine Your Band Size While braless or wearing a non-padded bra, measure around the bottom of the band, directly under your bust. A study by White and Scurr University of Portsmouth compared method that adds 4 to the band size over-the-bust method used in many United Kingdom lingerie shops with and compared that to measurements obtained using a professional method.
The study measured 45 women using the traditional selection method that adds 4 to the band size over-the-bust method. Women tried bras on until they obtained the best fit based on professional bra fitting criteria. When women wear bras with too big a band, breast support is reduced. Too small a cup size may cause skin irritation. They noted that "ill-fitting bras and insufficient breast support can lead to the development of musculoskeletal pain and inhibit women participating in physical activity.
In , researchers published research on world-wide breast size. They gathered breast data by gathering , individual breast size measurements in different countries. Only data from women in the age group 28 to 30 years. They found that women born in the United States have much bigger breasts than women in any other country. Their average bra cup size, when converted to the European measurement system, is substantially larger than "F".
The mean cup size of women of Canadian origin is "E" according to the EU bra size. Their average breast size is "D". Women born in Africa and Asia, especially those born in East Asian countries, have the smallest breast volumes. Asian women were found to have an average "A" cup size or even smaller.
Bra-labeling systems used around the world are at times misleading and confusing. Cup and band sizes vary around the world. Bra-fitting experts in the United Kingdom state that many women who buy off the rack without professional assistance wear up to two sizes too small. Manufacturer Fruit of the Loom attempted to solve the problem of finding a well-fitting bra for asymmetrical breasts by introducing Pick Your Perfect Bra, which allow women to choose a bra with two different cup sizes, although it is only available in A through D cup sizes.
There are several sizing systems in different countries. Most use the chest circumferences measurement system and lettered cup sizes, but there are some significant differences. Many bras available come in only 36 sizes. The UK uses the inch-system, this means that the difference in chest circumference between the cup sizes is always one inch, or 2. Leading brands and manufacturers including Panache, Bestform, Gossard, Freya, Curvy Kate , Bravissimo and Fantasie, which use the British standard band sizes , and so on.
However, some clothing retailers and mail order companies have their own house brands and use a custom sizing system. As a result, their J-Cup is equal to a British standard H-cup. Their H-Cup is roughly equal to a British standard G-cup.
Cup labelling methods and sizing schemes are inconsistent and there is great variability between brands. This has introduced further sizing scheme confusion that is poorly understood even by specialist retailers. Bra-sizing in the United States is very similar to the United Kingdom. Band sizes use the same designation in inches and the cups also increase by 1-inch-steps. However, some manufacturers use conflicting sizing methods. D1, D2, D3, D4, D In , underwear maker Jockey International offered a new way to measure bra and cup size.
It introduced a system with ten cup sizes per band size that are numbered and not lettered, designated as , etc. The company developed the system over eight years, during which they scanned and measured the breasts and torsos of women. Researchers also tracked the women's use of their bras at home.
In very large cup sizes this causes smaller cups than their English counterparts. This system has been standardized in the European dress size standard EN introduced in , but was in use in many European countries before that date. They increase in steps of 2.
Japanese sizes are the same as Korean ones, but the cup labels begin with "AA" for a 7. The French and Spanish system is a permutation of the Continental European sizing system.
Since it starts with size 0 for European size 60, the conversion consists of a division by 5 and then a subtraction of The size designations are often given in Roman numerals. Cup sizes have traditionally used a step size of 2. Manufacturers' marketing and advertising often appeals to fashion and image over fit, comfort, and function.
English mechanical engineer and professor John Tyrer from Loughborough University has devised a solution to problematic bra fit by re-engineering bra design Loughborough University. He started investigating the problem of bra design while on assignment from the British government after his wife returned disheartened from an unsuccessful shopping trip.
He theorised that this widespread practice of purchasing the wrong size was due to the measurement system recommended by bra manufacturers. This sizing system employs a combination of maximum chest diameter under bust and maximum bust diameter bust rather than the actual breast volume which is to be accommodated by the bra.
According to Tyrer, "to get the most supportive and fitted bra it's infinitely better if you know the volume of the breast and the size of the back. It's an instrument of torture.
The average breast weighs about 0. If a cup is a hemisphere, its volume V is given by the following formula: If the cup is an hemi- ellipsoid , its volume is given by the formula: Cups give a hemi-spherical shape to breasts and underwires give shape to cups. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Brassiere measurement. Archived from the original on 19 February Retrieved 30 January Archived from the original on 1 October Retrieved 30 September Archived from the original on 24 May Retrieved 24 January Archived from the original on 18 June Retrieved 22 January Expert Bra Fitting Advice".
Archived from the original on 23 June Clothing and Fashion Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 29 November Retrieved 19 January Oprah's Bra and Swimsuit Intervention". Archived from the original on 13 February Retrieved 13 February Retrieved 4 January Archived from the original on 29 July Retrieved 29 April Archived from the original on 21 April Retrieved 28 May The Wizard of Bras.
Archived from the original on 7 April Retrieved 28 April Archived from the original on 26 May Archived from the original on 20 June Archived from the original on 23 February Retrieved 7 September Doreen the Bra That Conquered the World". Archived from the original on 4 October Retrieved 19 September Archived from the original on 27 December Retrieved 28 January Archived from the original on 13 July Retrieved 26 June Archived from the original on 27 February Retrieved 11 February Archived from the original on 3 April Retrieved 28 December Report — Bra fitting services".
Archived from the original on 18 February Archived from the original on 29 June Retrieved 27 June Then you should apply the tape tighter around your upper body for a second time, this time allowing the tape to pinch the skin slightly. This time you should breathe while taking measurements and enter the value. Before you can get your cup size, you need to measure your bust size. To do this, you need to wrap the measuring tape around your upper torso and on top of the highest point of your breasts i.
Make sure that the measuring tape is at the same height in the back as in the front and that it is parallel to the ground. Take note of the measurement in inches and centimeters and write it on a piece of paper.
Now look up your bra size in the bra size chart above or use the bra size calculator. Cup sizes typically vary per country, especially for larger bra sizes. Make sure that the measurements you are subtracting are in the same units; they must be both in inches or centimeters. Once you have the difference, all you need to do is refer to a size chart to determine the alphabetical equivalent of your cup size.
A sample chart for U. If you plan on using a bra size calculator like the one provided below , you may not even need to calculate your cup size. All you may have to measure are your underbust width and your bust size, and once you have inputted the appropriate information to the calculator, you will then be provided with the bra sizes which suit you best.
Shopping brassieres can sometimes get frustrating. And even if they do have your size, something may be slightly off with the fit. For example, maybe the cup size is just right but the band size is too loose. Some women may immediately take this as a sign to move on and search for some other bra that might fit them.
In determining your sister size, you have the option to go one size up or one size down. In doing so, the number of your band size and the letter of your cup size shifts by one size. For example, if your bra size is 34C, you have the option to try either a size 32D or a size 36B. You may refer to the chart below and use it as a guide to help you identify your appropriate sister sizes. The adjacent sizes to the left one size down and right one size up of your real bra size are your sister sizes.
A bra, which is a shorter term for a brassiere, is an undergarment that is meant to cover the breasts and provide support to the person wearing it. It is regarded to be among the most complex garments to ever be manufactured. Its main components include:. Bras come in different shapes and types, which serve various purposes and are meant for specific body types.
As a guide, here are several of the most common bra styles currently being sold in the market:. At present, the clothing industry has made it possible for women to choose their preferred brassieres from a wide selection of styles which suit their needs and tastes alike. Choosing the perfect bra, however, is more than just about fashion. Believe it or not, wearing an ill-fitting bra can actually make you sick.
It can cause headaches and neck pains, which may eventually lead to posture problems. Even worse, it might negatively affect how well your lymphatic system functions. A lot of women, as it turns out, do not wear the right bra size.
This is because many of them do not take the time to consult with a professional regarding their bra size or even take their own measurements. Instead, these women rely on the size of their old and used bras when shopping for new ones. This is supported by our study participated by 1, women who were asked in an online panel about bra sizes. Result of the survey showed the following:. Ever wonder why you have the set of breasts that you do?
Here are four of several factors that influence the size and shape of your breasts:. There are several red flags to watch out for when fitting bras, and once you encounter one, you need to either size up or size down. Here are some of the signs that you are wearing the wrong bra size:. To find a great-fitting bra that provides optimum support and gives you a more flattering form, it is not enough to take your underbust and chest measurements as well as your cup size in consideration.
You must also think about the shape and positioning of your breasts. Here are several breast types and the bra styles that suit each one best:. Do you have a slightly larger bust? Then it is important that your bra is the right size and fits well. As a rule, a big bust is very heavy and should be properly supported with the appropriate bra. Women with a large bust whose bras do not fit properly can suffer from various physical discomforts.
When buying, you should consider that the intended support of the bra is 80 percent dependent on the underbust brace and not on the wearer of the bra, as is often mistakenly suspected.
If the brace of your bra fits too loosely and slides upwards, the bust load is transferred to the bra straps. As a result, the bra straps intersect causing tension and pain in the back and neck area. Do you have a big bust? Then you should pay attention to the following aspects when choosing the right bra:. With breasts of different sizes, the shape of the breasts is often different, the nipples sit in different positions or point in different directions and the volume can vary from side to side.
In the case of pointed breasts, however, the course between the upper part of the breast and the nipple is conspicuous and can appear almost triangular in profile. To a certain extent, bras with molded shells act as a template and shape maker shapewear. They do not allow the nipples to shine through the upholstery and clothing, creating a balanced appearance. To increase the symmetry in case of small side differences, the beam lengths can simply be adjusted.
So bra makers added several inches to make a womans bra size sound more desirable. But with todays stretch fabric technology few more inches need to be added to your underbust measurement in order to find your band size. Using your current bra size as a starting point, refer to the chart below to refine your fit. Bra sizes that share a row are called sister sizes. Move across the chart if neither your cup or band fit, and move up/down the chart if your cups don’t fit. If you need to go down a cup size for fit, go up one band size, and vice versa. For example, if a 34C is too big for you, move to a 36B. Choose a bra that fits perfectly when secured on the outermost hook.