It can be difficult to find a good bra that fits right. Plus, many people don't know how to measure for the bra. Stores like JC Penny offer fittings, but it isn't always convenient to go to the store to get fitted. How about fitting in your own home?
It will be helpful if you can get someone to take the measurements for you, like a spouse or close friend. Your posture will be much more relaxed and natural, making the measurements more accurate. Stand up straight and breathe normally. If you measure over clothing, it will be an inaccurate measurement, so be sure to measure with your most comfortable bra, but no shirt.
If you have one, a cloth tape measure is the best tool to measure with. When flexible tape measures get older, they can stretch, making the sizes distorted.
Measuring for Fitting
First take the cloth measuring tape and measure around the chest, directly under your breasts. Make sure the tape measure is the same height all the way around, and doesn't slip. This is the measurement you use for your band size.
Next, you will want to measure around the chest at
the fullest part of the breast. The measuring tape needs to be held horizontal, flat on the back, with your arms down. This measurement will help you determine what cup size you need.
Finding your Fit
Take the under bust measurement, and add five inches. This determines the number part of your bra size. If your first measurement is a 37, you would need to find a 42 bra. If you end up with an odd number for your size, go up to the next even number.(For example: 36 would make a 41. Buy a 42 bra).
To determine your cup size, take the Full bust measurement, and subtract from it the under bust measurement.
Take the difference, and see the chart below.
Half Inch AA Cup
One Inch A Cup
Two Inches B Cup
Three Inches C Cup
Four Inches D Cup
Five Inches DD or E Cup
Six Inches F Cup
Seven Inches G Cup
(1 inch equals about 2.5 centimeters)
Therefore, if you had a 42 band size, and a four inch difference, you would buy a 42D bra.
Another Factor in Fit
If you can, measure around your chest, directly above your breasts, but under your arms. Compare this measure to the under bust measurement. If the
difference between the measurement is above two inches, try the next band size up (instead of a 42 used in the example, you would get a 44).
Adhesive bra: This is great when you are wearing a backless dress, or any other outfit that makes other bras difficult. However, this bra gives NO support, so it's best to save this one if you're C or below.
Bralet or Bralette: This is an unlined wireless bra, with no closures (it slips on over the head). It gives little support, so it's best for smaller busted women, or to wear while sleeping for support.
Front Closure Bra: This is easy to put on and take off, but it has some issues. This isn't adjustable the way bras are that close in the back, so if your bust size changes due to weight gain, weight loss, pregnancy, or even your menstrual cycle, this bra becomes unusable. This is also less supportive, and the center clasp just isn't as strong as plain fabric in the front.
Long-line Bra: This bra has sadly been forgotten. There are many reasons why this should be a bra in every woman's wardrobe. This bra gives you smooth lines, essentially ridding your body of bumps from the neck down! It gives better support, and also helps your clothing fit better. It can reduce your waist enough that you might even be able to go down an entire blouse size. It helps reduce back pain, especially in larger busted women.
Minimizer bra: This bra helps reduce the projection of breasts. This is especially helpful for large busted women, so button down blouses do not gap in the front. A B cup minimizer will usually reduce your circumference by half an inch. A C will reduce three quarters of an inch, and a D will reduce a full inch. DD Cup and larger reduces more than an inch.
Push up Bra: This gives you the illusion of larger breasts, and usuall come in a C cup or smaller. However, some specialty brands have push up bras that go up to DD cups.
Padded Bra: This bra features lined cups for additional support.
Racerback Bra: This bra has a design for maximum movement of the back and the arms. While this design is great for movement, it is usually a front closure bra, with all the same challenges as seen above. In addition, the placement of the straps can hit a nerve that cause headaches and neck pain.
Shelf Bra: This bra is often worn for erotic purposes. It is an underwire bra with a small cup that does not cover the nipple. Some smaller breasted women wear these to achieve the look of not wearing a bra, but with added support.
Sports Bra: This bra is very supportive, and minimizes bouncing during exercise. This helps prevent sagging caused by ligaments that break down with frequent bouncing.
Strapless Bra: The best strapless is one that has a wide band, and boning under the arms and at the center front, and with deep underwires. Try to find one with silicone strips along the inside for reduced slippage. Boning in the cups is more supportive for larger sizes.
Bra Size Conversion
Trying to fit a bra over in Europe?
Below is a chart for USA, French, and Euro sizes.
USA FR Euro
30 80 65
32 85 70
34 90 75
36 95 80
38 100 85
40 105 90
42 110 95
How do I put on a Bra?
There are three basic ways to put on a bra.
The Hook and Spin
Wrap your bra around your waist and hook the closure in the front. Turn your bra clockwise, until the bra front is centered. Turning the bra clockwise makes sure the excess adjustment flap is flat against your back. Bring the bra up so the bra is resting below the breasts. Slip the straps over your shoulder, and adjust the bra.
Upside Down, Hook and Spin
Wrap your bra around your waist, inside out and upside down, and hook the bra in front of you. Spin it and flip the bra up. Adjust the bra.
Stretch and Hook
Slip the straps over the shoulders. Bend at the waist and ease your breasts into the cup. Hook the bra closure, then stand upright. Adjust the bra.
Be sure you can sip a finger under your straps. If you are having issues with the straps falling down, you will want to buy straps set closer together.
Nude: Best for all around color, and minimizes the chance of seeing the bra under clothing.
White: Easy replacement notice. When this bra starts to turn dingy and grey, you know you need to replace it.
Black: Slimming, and usually the best bra to choose under black clothing.
What type should I choose?
For tight sweaters, choose seamless, uplifting bras.
For bulky sweaters, get a bra that shapes your breasts.
Sheer blouses need a seamless flesh-tone bra.
For tight tee shirts and polos, get a seamless bra.
Halters, tanks, and strapless tops need strapless,
convertible, or halter bras to match.
A business suit without a blouse, needs a bra
designed with a low center panel.