Bras 101: An Expert Tells Us How To Measure Our Bra Size Correctly

Dhruvi Modi , 27 Jun 2019

OK, lemme start off by asking you the most important question you’ll read today: “When was the last time you got your bra size measured?” If you answered only once or twice in your lifetime, that’s no good! About 80% of women wear the wrong bra size, and that is just a big no-no, IMHO. Wearing the wrong bra size can have many repercussions, such as back and neck pains, and irritation as well. Trust me, I know, I had no idea as well. And that’s why, dear readers, I implore you to get your size checked at least every six months. However, if you are too busy to go for a fitting, or just simply too lazy (um, hi!), here is a way you can DIY at home!

Wanting to settle the bra size debate for once and for all, I decided to go to my all-time favourite lingerie store, La Senza. The Executive Store Manager, Ms. Shamima Shaikh gave her expert opinion on how to correctly measure your bra size. Read on to find out!

Take your measuring tape out of the drawer and get going!

While figuring out the perfect bra size is a process that varies from woman to woman, there’s some information you need to keep in mind. Our bra sizes come with two important figures: the underbust (band size) and the cup size. This measurement has the first numerical part, and the corresponding alphabetical part (32 A, respectively).

Underbust

Measuring your underbust means checking the circumference of your chest just below the breasts, as shown here.

Measuring Your Bra Size (Source: www.shutterstock.com)
Measuring Your Bra Size (Source: www.shutterstock.com)

So, you measured your underbust, and you’re probably wondering, What does this number mean? No worries, I got you!

Here’s a guide for what the measurement on the underbust (in inches) correlates to:

  • 25-28 inches: 32
  • 28-30 inches: 34
  • 31-34 inches: 36
  • 35-38 inches: 38
  • 38-41 inches: 40
  • 42-45 inches: 42

Cup size

Now that you have your underbust measurement, which is your band size, let’s move on to the cup size measurement which is the alphabetical part of your bra size. Measure the circumference of your breasts, thus, by placing the tape around the center of your breasts as shown in this picture here.

Measuring Cup Size (Source: www.shutterstock.com)
Measuring Cup Size (Source: www.shutterstock.com)

Here’s a guide for what the measurement of the breast correlates to which cup size:

We have used a sample size chart for an underbust of a size 32.

  • 29-30 inches: A
  • 32-33 inches: B
  • 34 inches: C
  • 35-36 inches: D
  • 37 inches: DD

So, you get the drift, right? Once you’ve found your underbust and cup size, voila, you have your bra size figured! But that’s not where it ends.

The 4 point bra test is a quick and easy checklist to see if your bra is well fitted and supportive.

1. The band size should fit comfortably on the largest size setting.

There should be enough space for only two fingers between the bra band and your back. Make sure there is no skin bulging out on the sides!

2. There should be no overflow on the top and sides of the bra cup.

Ensure that the bra cup covers your breast entirely and that there is no skin overflowing from any side. If your breast is being pushed upwards, then your bra is too small for you. If it is stand out a bit, and there is space between your breast and the front of the cup, then it is too big for you.

3. Your center gore must lay flat on your chest.

Center what you ask? Well, the point in your bra which connects the two cups is called the center gore. This should lay flat, and not poke outwards.

4. Bra straps are key!

The bra straps must not be too tight or too loose. Of course, the length of the straps depends on your individual choice and height. But make sure that your bra band doesn’t rise up, and remains parallel to the body.

Now, a lot of women fit into various bra sizes, which are known as their sister sizes. This means, that they could wear a band size higher, and consequently a cup size lower and vice versa. For instance, if you are a 32 C, your sister size is a 34B. A 36 D would become a 34 DD, and so on and so forth. While finding your sister size is all well and good for times when you can’t find your perfect fit, yet Ms. Shaikh advises to avoid cross-sizing if you’re very petite.

So there you have it! A guide to measuring your bra size correctly to end all the neck and back pains. Do try this at home!

On Malini’s Girl Tribe, we discussed finding the correct bra size and fit for yourself. The women on there had a lot to say, and provided their inputs as well! Join us to be part of such conversations.

Don’t forget to follow @missmalinilifestyle for more cool updates!

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