How to Figure Out Your Bra Size

For most women, bra shopping is a chore. Running through the department store and buying the same style and size isn’t the best solution to finding a bra that fits. But finding the right size bra can be a life-changing event. Not only is a well-fitting bra more supportive and comfortable, it also provides a solid foundation underneath your clothes so that you can easily transform your appearance, helping you look and feel put-together.

To help you take the guesswork out of finding your size, The Budget Fashionista is here to shed some light on this mysterious system. All you need to do is follow these three easy steps. You’ll just need a flexible tape measure and your best-fitting unpadded bra.

How to Measure for Bra Size

Determine your band size.

Begin by standing straight with your arms at your sides and take a snug, smooth measurement around your back, underneath your armpits, and just under your bust with the tape measure. If the measurement is even, add 4 inches. If the measurement is odd, add 5 inches to get your band size. So if you measure 29 inches around, your band size is a 34.
TIP: If you’re a full-figured women and measure 36 inches or higher, you’ll need to add 2 inches if it’s an even number; add 3 inches if it’s an odd number.

Find your bust size.

Next, while still standing straight with your arms at your sides, measure around your back, underneath your armpits at the fullest part of your bust. Again, be sure you’re pulling the tape measure until it’s taut but not pinching or digging into your bust.
TIP: If this measurement fall in between whole numbers, round up to the nearest whole inch. So, for example, if you measure 361/2, your bust size is a 37.

Calculate your cup size.

Finally subtract your bust size (step 2) from your band size (step 1). The difference will give you your cup size. Remember, each inch of difference is equal to one full cup size. In this case, the correct bra size would be a C cup.

You can look up your cup size here:
if the difference is then your cup size is
less than 1 inches AA
1 inches A
2 inches B
3 inches C
4 inches D
5 inches DD or E
6 inches DDD or F
7 inches G

The Bra Fitting Tips & Rules

Our bodies change for all sorts of reasons over the course of our lives (age, weight variations, pregnancy, and use of the contraceptive pill). So, if you want to look and feel as good as you deserve to, follow these rules.

Do . . .

  • Get measured for a bra at least twice per year by a professional bra fitter
  • Wash your bras in lukewarm water, using a gentle soap like baby detergent, Ivory Snow, or even baby shampoo
  • Never, ever, ever place your bras in the dryer
  • Wait at least 1 week after your period before trying and purchasing new bras
  • Always try on bras before purchasing them—you will not wear the same-sized bra in every bra
  • Rotate your bras every day to extend the life of the bra
  • Focus on fit rather than fashion when looking for everyday bras

Don’t . . .

  • Visible panty-line (I see London, I see France…)
  • Form-fitting top with heavily detailed bra (you can see bra imprint through top)
  • Tube top with no bra (and you need one)

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