Are you like many women who stick to the same bra size, year after year? Or maybe you're like others whose weight has changed and you're not really sure what bra size you are now.
If so, it's a good idea to re-measure yourself and see if you are wearing the right bra size. Women's bra sizes can change over time for many reasons, and just because your current bra has been in your drawer for several years doesn't mean it's still the right bra style or size for you. Read on to discover how to properly find your bra size, with or without measuring tape, and some things to keep in mind while bra shopping.
So why is having the proper bra fit so important? For starters, comfort! Wearing a bra that's too small can be extremely uncomfortable, not to mention unflattering. And if you're wearing a bra that's too big it won't give you the support you need. Wearing a bra that is both comfortable and supportive is something every woman should have. So how do you know if you're wearing the wrong bra size?
There are a few telltale signs that you need to take some new bra size measurements. Your bra is likely the wrong size if any of the following bra fit issues apply to you:
- The shoulder straps dig in leaving you with painful red marks. Try loosening the straps and tightening the band. If neither of these help, you need a smaller band size.
- The straps are too loose and sometimes slip off your shoulders. No one wants to be constantly pulling their bra straps back up. This could be a sign that you need a different cup size.
- The band is uncomfortably tight. This is not only painful but it can also leave unflattering bulges and red marks. This mean you need a larger bra band size.
- Your breasts spill out of the cups. Once again, this is not a very flattering look, and can be uncomfortable, too. If this sounds familiar, you need to size up in the cups.
- The cups are too big leaving gaps between your breasts and the cups. Depending on the style, this can look bunched up under clothes and doesn't give the correct support.
- Your breasts peek out from underneath the underwire. This means that your cup size is too small.
How do I Calculate My Bra Size?
If you have measuring tape handy, calculating your bra size is pretty straight forward. Put on a non padded bra (or no bra at all) and follow the steps below to measure your bra size:
Find your band size. To find your band size for your Glamorise bra, wrap the measuring tape around your chest and back, underneath your arms and just above your bust. Make sure that the tape is snug but isn't too tight. Round your number to the nearest whole number. This is your band size.
Next, measure across the fullest part of your bust. Now, subtract your band size from this bust measurement. The difference will give you your cup size. A one-inch difference is an A cup. A cup size is added for every inch difference. For example, if you're a 40-inch band and your bust measurement is 44 inches, there's a 4-inch difference which makes you a D cup.
How Can I Measure My Bra Size Without a Tape Measure?
Of course, in order to get the most accurate size using measuring tape is the best, but what do you do if you don't have a tape measure handy? Well, there are a couple of options. You can use a string or ribbon to measure. Simply measure as you would with a tape measure.
Then measure the length of the string against a yardstick or a ruler. You can also estimate if you have a bra that fits decently. Put it on and take notice of the fit. If the band is too tight you can estimate how many inches you need to add.
If the band fits fine but the cups are too big, choose a bra with the same band size but a smaller cup size. If the cups are too small go up one or two sizes. It may take some trial and error, but finding the right size is worth it.
How to Find the Perfect Fitting Bra
Once you have your correct bra size you'll want to try a few different bra styles on and see which type fits you best. Not every bra style will work for every woman. Many factors come into play when shopping for the right bra for you, like what band size and cup size you wear, your breast shape, etc. Many women unknowingly wear the wrong bra for their bra size and body shape. Keep reading below for a few fit tips to take into account to find the right bra for you.
Hook the bra band on the first set of hooks. When you first wear a new bra, you should always hook it on the first set of hooks. This allows you to adjust the bra band as needed, as it will inevitably stretch out over time. It should feel snug but not uncomfortably tight. Move to the next set of hooks if it starts to stretch out with time or washing. If you prefer to wear front-closure bras that don't have band adjustments, knowing your proper band size is even more important as you won't be able to adjust the band as the bra stretches out.
Check the center gore. The center gore of your bra should lie fairly flat and sit comfortably between your breasts. If there's a huge gap, that is likely a sign that you may need a bigger cup size.
Check the fit of the cups. There shouldn't be any gapping in the cups and your breasts shouldn't be overflowing either. If you notice gaps at the top of your cups, you probably need a smaller size. And if your breasts are spilling over the top of the cups, you need to try either a larger size or a different bra style altogether. Your breast shape will determine how well your bra cups fit, and if you need to try a different style.
Find the Perfect Bra Style
Not all bra styles are created equal. Ask yourself what kind of look you're going for and where you intend your bra. Do you want a totally natural look for wearing everyday? Go for a T-shirt bra or a style without lining or seams, or a style that is lightly lined. Or maybe you prefer the ease of a front-closure style to avoid reaching behind you to fasten your bra. Check out our essential guide to front-closure bras to find the right bra for you.
Some women even prefer to wear a sports bra as an everyday bra. Sports bras come in versatile styles and support levels and are great for a range of high-impact activities as well as for daily wear. What bra style you choose depends on your activity level and where you intend to wear your bra.
For more style options, check out our bra collections page and find the right bra for your breast size and breast shape.
About the Author
Maeve Gesualdi is a Fordham University alumna where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Fashion Studies. Based in New York City, Maeve is part of the marketing team at Glamorise. Maeve regularly interacts with customers via social media and product reviews, as well as with influencers and models. She is constantly getting feedback on our products as well as gaining a better understanding of what women in our category struggle with and/or look for when searching for a bra. Aside from writing, she is passionate about all things travel and fashion.
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