Bra size matters. When it comes to all-day comfort and support, having a well-fitting bra makes all the difference, regardless of size. However, when you have a cup size in the higher end of the alphabet, DD cup or higher, it can be challenging to find what you’re looking for, and many women wear the wrong bra size altogether.

In the past, plus-size bras were few and far between. Thankfully today, designers and companies have started to focus on bra sizing for plus-size women. So, what makes a bra a plus-size, and how can you calculate your bra size?

What Makes A Bra Plus Size? Is There A Chart to Help?

What Considers a Bra as Plus Size?

Simply put, plus-size bras are for women with larger breasts. A bra is considered plus size when the band size is 38+ or the cup size is D and above. While women gifted with smaller breasts have various bras to choose from, finding the plus size bras can be a bit more challenging if you don't know where to look.

Bigger breasts require more lift, and while all bras provide support, the higher the cup size, the more help is needed. Wearing the right size is important to get the most out of your bra, and of course, comfort is vital. If you are struggling with your current bra, here are a few signs that you may need a new bra fitting.

Signs your Bra is the Wrong Size

The right bra should have a snug fit and feel like a second skin. It should not cause you any issues, so if you are experiencing any neck, shoulder, or back pain, you might not be getting the support you need.

Your bra band should sit straight and fit snugly across your back. Your bra may be failing if the band rides up or if the straps slip off your shoulders. If your straps dig in and you constantly adjust straps or need to tighten the band, this could be a sign that your bra isn’t fitted correctly and you need a tighter band size.

The band should fit snugly around your body and you should be able to fit just two fingers underneath it on the loosest hook. If the band feels uncomfortably tight then you likely need a bigger band size. If your bra strap constantly slips off your shoulders,

If your band isn’t the problem, look to the cups. Your breasts should fit comfortably in each cup. If the cups gap, you likely need a smaller cup size. If the cups runneth over, you likely need a bigger cup size. If you find yourself continually readjusting your cups, lifting or loosening your bra straps, and fiddling with the closure, your bra is probably the wrong size. Your bra should always hold cups firmly against your breasts.

Measuring for a Bigger Bust

Our bodies are in a state of constant change. We gain and lose weight, grow older, experience life and body changing experiences, and it all takes a toll on our breasts. So, your bra that once fit perfectly may not fit so well in year, and you will likely wear different bra sizes throughout your life.

If you’re unsure where you land in the “cup” alphabet, there’s a quick way to figure out your current bra size. Grab a measuring tape and take the measurements listed below. Once you complete the measurements, you’ll be one step closer to finding a supportive bra.

1. Measure for Band Size

To find your size, you’ll need a measuring tape. To check for your band size, take the tape measure and wrap it around your chest just below your underarms. The tape should be tight against the body, but not so much that it squeezes.

It should sit comfortably against the skin, just as you would want your band to fit. Check the number; if it is even, this is the band size you should go with. If you land on an odd number, round up to the next even number.

2. Measure the Bust

Once you’ve got your band size, you need to measure for your bust size. You need both measurements to determine your cup size. Take the tape measure and wrap it around the fullest part of your chest. This time, the tape should fit loosely—not too tight. You don’t have to worry about rounding this number. Once you have both numbers, you can figure out the cup size you’ll need.

3. Cup Measurements

To determine your cup size, subtract the band size from your bust size measurement. The final number will help you find your cup size on the chart. The numbers below will correspond with a cup.

Cup Measurements Bra Size Chart
Inches Cup Size
1” A
2” B
3” C
4” D
5” DD/E
6” DDD/F
10” J
11” K
12” L
13” M
14” N

4. Sister Sizing

Unfortunately, regardless of how well you know your size, not all bras are created equal. You might find a bra in one brand that fits on point, while another designer may not work as well. That’s where sister sizing can help. For a bra that’s too loose, try going down a band size and up a cup size. If the band is too tight, go up a band size and down a cup size. This little trick can help you navigate different styles and help you get the fit you need.

5. Using Our Bra Size Calculator

Once you've taken your band and bust measurement, simply plug both numbers into our Bra Size Calculator to find your size. You can find our Bra Size Calculator.

Click the button below to determine your bra size.

Finding the Right Bra for You

After you calculate your proper band size, you still need to find a bra that fits! So, how will you know if you’ve found the one? Your bra cups should fit snugly, hugging the breasts - not squeezing them out.

The band should sit comfortably against the back without clamping down or rising up. The straps should sit lightly on your shoulders and help hold the cups in place. Overall, it should feel like a weight is being lifted off your shoulders (because it is!)

Getting the Right Bra Fit

Sizing Does Matter

When it comes to your comfort and holding up the girls, sizing does matter, especially if you’re gifted with plus-sized breasts. If your bra stays perfectly in place with a snug band, cups securely fitted, and lay flat straps, then you've likely found your perfect fit.

If you still need to tweak your sizing, find your sister size, or just get a bra that fits well, you have the tools you need to get that fit right at Glamorise. We proudly carry a collection of bras in an extended size range – from 30B to 58K. Whether you're searching for everyday bras or sports bras, we carry an array of styles with both front and back closures so you can find your perfect fit.

A good-fitting bra is a wardrobe essential, so might sure you have the right fit. To confirm your best size in our bras, we always recommend using our Bra Size Calculator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my bra straps dig into my shoulders?

If your bra straps are digging into your shoulders, try loosening them. If that doesn't help, try out a bra with wide padded straps. If neither of these fix your issue, this might be a sign that your band is too big and you should go down a band size. The band provides the majority of the support, and it should fit snugly against your body in order to do so. If it is too big and doesn't fit snugly enough, this can lead to the weight lying heavier on your straps which in turn causes them to dig into your shoulders.

Learn more in our guide to understanding why your bra digs into you.

How should your bra cup feel when it fits properly?

Your bra cups should comfortably encapsulate your breasts. There should be no gapping in the cups or spillage over the top or sides. If your breast tissue does not fill out the cups, you likely need a smaller cup size. If your breast tissue is spilling out over the top or on the sides, this is likely a sign that you need to go up a cup size or two.

How many fingers should be able to fit under bra strap?

Your bra band provides the majority of the support, so it should fit snugly against your body. It should sit flat beneath your shoulder blades and should not ride up your back. You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably underneath the band, but no more than that. Having a proper bra band fit is crucial to having the support you need from your bra.

How to tell if I need to go up a bra cup size or a bra band size?

Whether you need to go up in the cup size or band size depends on the bra fit issues you're having. If your bra band is digging in under your arms or on your back, this is likely a sign that you need to go up a band size. If your underwires are digging in, you have any cup spillage on the tops or sides, this is likely a sign that you need to size up in the cups. Having the right band size and proper bra cup fit is crucial to getting the support you need from your bra.

Related Posts:

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  • How to Measure Your Bra Size: A Curvy Girls’ Guide to Finding the Right Fit
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