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, it can be challenging to find what you’re looking for. In the past, plus-size bras were few and far between.
Thankfully, designers and companies have started to focus on bigger ta-tas, and with it came a plethora of bra options for bigger breasts. So, what makes a bra a plus size, and how can you find your proper size?
What Makes a Bra, “Plus Size?”
Simply put, plus-size bras are for women with larger breasts. The band size can range from 38 up or starting at a D cup. While women gifted with smaller breasts have various bras to choose from, plus-size bras require a little more ingenuity.
Bigger breasts require more lift, and while all bras provide support, the higher the cup size, the more help is needed. Sizing is important to get the most out of your bra, and of course, comfort is vital. If you find you are struggling with your current one, here are a few signs that you may need to resize.
Signs your Bra is the Wrong Size
Your bra should fit you 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. Additionally, your bra may be failing if the band is riding up or clinging to your back. This could be a sign that your bra band isn’t fitted correctly.
If your band isn’t the problem, look to the cups. They should not be puckering. On the other hand, the girls shouldn’t be spilling out either. 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.
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 once perfectly fit bra may not fit so great in a year. This is especially true if you’ve become pregnant. Don’t worry; if you’re unsure where you land in the “cup” alphabet, there’s a quick way to figure out your current size. Once you complete these measurements, you’ll be one step closer to getting the support your girls need.
1. Measure for Band Size
To find your size, you’ll need a tape measure. 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 size.
2. Measure the Bust
Once you’ve got your band size, you need to measure for your bust. 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 measurement. The final number will help you find your cup size on the chart. The numbers below will correspond with a cup.
1” - A
2” - B
3” - C
4” - D
5” - DD/E
6” - DDD/F
7” - DDDD/G
8” - DDDDD/H
9” - DDDDDD/I
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.
Getting the Right Fit
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!)
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. A little extra lift goes a long way, and the right bra will have the support you need. So, whether you 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.