There is 90% chance that you're stuck in the Bra Matrix. Do you want to get out, and finally get a bra that fits and is comfortable ? Read on !
HOW TO CORRECTLY MEASURE YOUR BRA SIZE
note: use this chart to convert sizes to those of your country.
Forget any measurements that you've got before, whether done by you or even by a "professional". Statistics say that around 80% of women get wrong sizes at a bra fitting ! This is because most manufactures have a very limited range of band and cup sizes, so of course they'll try their best to sell you whatever they have !
At this point you might get a shock. Here are the answers:
Shock no. 1: I've worn a 80B all these years, and now the table told me I need a 60F ! F is a huuge cup, and my breasts are small ! It's explained in my previous post that the cup size is relative to the band size. There is no such thing as a "C cup" or "D cup"; You'll see that a 85 D is a huge cup, but a 60 D is actually quite small. A cup size is the difference between the under-bust and the bust measurement. That means that cup sizes change with the band sizes. It's explained here in a different way. Besides, once gather into the cup the fat rolls that have migrated under your armpits & back, you might see that you actually fill that F cup very well !
Shock no. 2: I know I will hate tight bra bands ! They will be so uncomfortable !
Take a look at your panties. They are narrower than your hips. Do they strangle you ? Most of the time the "too tight bra" feeling is caused by too small cups, not by a too tight band. To test whether the band is too tight or not, try on a tight bra with the cups on your back and the fastening in the front. If the band feels ok, you know it's not too tight. Try bringing the cups to the front and putting them on. As long as the bra is not made of some cheap, chafing material, a snug bra band will be comfortable. Remember that in a well fitted bra the underwires will not poke you anymore, and the bra will not ride up at the back. Most new converts to the right bra size report that they hardly feel the bras on them ! In the beginning, you might try a bra extender if you need time to adjust to the tighter bands.
Shock no. 3: I've never even heard of such a strange size, let alone seen it ! Well, most typical companies don't care much about our breasts, but about making money. Manufacture band sizes 70 to 85, and cups from A to D, convince customers that they must fit into them unless they are abnormal in some way, and that is the reason that 90% of us are wearing the wrong size. However, there do exist companies that sell up to 90 sizes in each model. You can easily buy them in online stores, and on Ebay. I have even written a little guide on buying bras online,and included some great links to online stores !
Q: Help, my measurements seem to be coming between two sizes... so, which one do I buy ?
A: Sometimes that happens. Besides, our bra measurements change a little according to our menstrual cycle. In case of doubt, it is better to err on the side of too small for the band (you can always use a bra extender), and on the side of too big for the cups.
Q: I've got extra flesh around my armpits, and even on my back. How can I get rid of it ? A: Squashed by ill-fitting bra cups, the fat tissue travel away from the breast to the area like under the armpit and even the back. Once you get a bra of the right size, while putting it on remember to use your palm to gather the escaped fat from the underarms or wherever back into the bra cup. After a couple of months, you'll most probably get rid of it.
Q: What is migration ? A: This process of the fat moving back to the breast is known as migration. Someone suggested that it should be better called "coming back into the motherland after exile". lol !
Q: Is it true that my breast size will change after wearing the right bra size ? A: Yes. Most girls reported that their cup size increased and their band size decreased within a few weeks to a couple of months after getting the right bra size. This is mainly due to migration (see above). So, don't buy too many bras in the beginning, your measurements might change soon !
Q: Ok, I've read it all, I know my correct size. What do I do now ?
There is NO possible way that I should be wearing a 105E (40 in the USA). My breasts are tiny, I just have so much back fat that it messed up these measurements. The measurements under my breasts are 48 inches. There's no way that a 40 inch around bra will fit me. HELP!
Hello ! with a 40 inch (122 cm) underbust measurement you should be wearing band size 115 (US 50). 122 minus 5 cm is 117 cm, and the nearest band size down is 115. And according to what you've said, I am guessing that your cup size should be B. Again, I'm guessing, so check it at this table: in the pink column on the left choose your band size 115(50), and then find your breast measurement in the same row. Wearing a bra in your new correct size will help you get rid of a lot of that back fat, just remember to massage it into your bust, gather it into those cups. The fat should migrate, and your breasts may grow a bit, and even go up one cup size ! Hope that helped, feel free to ask anything here or you can even mail me at the_eternal_voyageur[at]rediffmail[dot]com
@eternalvoyageur - I remeasured myself and the underbust was 46 inches (113 cm) and the bust measurement with a bra was 122 cm and without a bra 127 cm. So I should wear a 105E (rounding up like you said) or 105DD if I just go to the closest measurement, which is a 46D or DD in the USA. I went to a store today to try on the 40D that I measured yesterday and the underwire was digging in to the sides of my breasts today but the cups seemed the fit fine other than that. Does that mean I need a bigger cup? Bigger band size? What???
PS: I also sent you an email but I figured that this might be helpful for others to read too.
You measured yourself correctly, that's great ! What brand of bra did you try on in the store ? There are some brands (or models) which have quite narrow underwires, which only work for breasts which have a narrow base. So, I suggest you try a couple of models from different brands. Panache bras have quite wide underwires, and I wear those (but there are other brands too). If the underwires still don't feel right, try size 100 E (one band size down, and cup size up), that should give you a cup that has the same depth but is a bit wider at the base. Again, remember to try on a couple of different models before deciding. Oh, and do get a soft bra at first, padded bras are not a good choice for determining the bra size.
Oops, I forgot to add another thing: how do the underwires lie ? They should end in the middle of the under-armpit area. If they do that, then maybe you have got escaped breast tissue in the area, and you need to gather it all into the cup with your hand. Or, try to put on the bra while bending over. But if the underwire doesn't go into the underarm area, but seems to end in the middle of the brasts, then try the suggestions from my previous comment.
What size would you be in the US?? My size is very similar to yours -- 67 cm band and 84 cm cup. I am having a very difficult time find a bra that fits properly. In the US the band sizes start at 32, but the 32 band size is hard to find and has limited cup sizes. A 34 band size rides up my back, and from what I read that means it is too big around.
@vsetter1 - A 34 band size is way to big for you ! You really do need a 30. And youĺl have to buy it in online stores.I believe I be 30 C in the US. Actually in Europe you cannot find band size 30 in normal stores either, that is why I buy my bras online from the UK. Wow, I checked and Ebay US has almost no band size 30... http://www.figleaves.com/us/ is a nice online store in the US. You can also check the other links in the post Buying bras online: a short guide, and see which of them ship to the US. Good, luck, and let me know if you need any more help !
hi i usually wear a 80B bra size and the salesperson says that i will not be wrong. But the size of the bra makes my breast bulging out and the underwire poking into the side. And i followed the steps to measure my bandsize and is 73cm and my breast measurement is 98cm . i don believed that i can wear a 70 FF .because i know my breast is bigger then B but i didn't know i can fit a F. And i am located at singapore so it is not easy to get a bra this size. Can you help?
@goong89 - Hello there ! Clearly you are wearing the wrong size ! If I understood right, the measurement under your breasts is 73 cm ? If so, then you need a (30)65cm band size (my underbust measurement is 71 cm, and I wear 65). Then your cup size would be British GG. Remember that cup sizes are relative to band sizes. Because band size 65 is small, GG will not be as big as you might imagine it.
Can you buy from Ebay ? I have written a guide about buying cheaply from them. You an ask me before bidding for a model, and I will try to let you know if that model is ok (some models have too big / too small cups, etc.
Hi, first of all let me say this is truly awesome. I'm trying to find my true size, and believe me living in France makes it harder, since high street brands carry 32-36 A-C(D if you are lucky) sizes. I just wanted to point out something regarding the international conversion, because it can be puzzling to french ladies: over here we do not use double letters (and that seems pretty logical to me!). So a UK DD is really a french E, and so on: (UK size=French size) DD=E; E=F; F=G; FF=H... So of course our cup sizes seem ridiculously bigger!
I'm glad that you liked my post ! Ah, the French sizes are another matter. I can't think why don't they make a unified sizing at least for all Europe, if not for the world ? Anyway, the electronic bra calculator does a neat job of showing your bra sizes for Europe, France, UK, US, and Australia http://www.atlastravel.nazwa.pl/mini/
You can try getting bras from British online stores or Ebay.uk , just remember to look for British sizes ! I have written posts on buying bras from Ebay, as well as links to UK online stores. UK seems to be bra heaven... I am in Germany, and here they haven't heard of my size either...
Hello again, As you adviced I ordered bras online (on figleaves btw), and it came as a shock. I bought the Gabrielle bra from Fantasie, and kept the (UK)34E - or a french 90F, european 75E. A year ago I thought I was a 36C; then started having doubts and tried several sizes at a retail store which carries extended sizes (that is, D and DD cups, in french standards) and ended up with 34D bras a couple of months ago, which fitted ok but not perfectly. So imagine my surprise this afternoon when my parcel arrived! By the way, for future references/readers, my measurements are 84cm underbust, and 97 cm bust size (and online calculators have sometimes measured me a ridiculous 38AA). So I'll thank you once again and start spreading the word, because if my medium sized breasts are an E cup, none of my friends wear the correct size!
@Gaelle - Gaelle, I am so glad that you found your right size at last ! Thanks about sharing your story ! I imagine that 9 out of 10 women wear the wrong size. Probably your friends will first think that you are crazy, but later they will thank you on their knees !
@richa456 - Hello Richa, you have to tell me what are your measurements. Please measure yourself loosely in the fullest place of the bust: once with a bra and once without a bra, then use the bigger measurement. Then tightly measure yourself under the bust. Based on these measurements it is possible to find out the right bra size for you !
I am going to sell bras, and I have used myself as a guinea pig. I have thought of myself for years as a 36DD. I am a small woman with big breasts. A 36DD is comfortable, but the panel never fell flat on my chest, and there was a small amount of spillage on the side. I could never find a decent bra: either it was too pointy, or gave no lift, and as I got older, lifting became quite a challenge.
I did try your chart, and it says I should be a 30H. Well, if I wear a 34G, it fits snugly enough around without hurting me. If I put it on the tighest clasp, it hurts me, causing back and shoulder pain. So I don't think I can go a band size smaller.
This is the strange part: there are parts of the cup that seem to pucker, making it seem too big, and yet I still spill a little out of the side. If anyone can address this issue, I would be happy to hear their opinion.
Breasts come in all shapes in sizes. It's not just that they are big and small, but some are fuller. Some women also seem to have an easier time finding bras to fit, so although I appreciate your rules, which seem to be the norm now, even they are not written in stone.
A too tight band shouldn't normally cause shoulder pain. Try putting just the band on with the cups on your back. If it feels ok, but too tight when you put on all of the bra, then it's the cups that are too small.
The puckering of the cup that you described sounds like the cup is too small. Imagine putting a round orange into a narrow glass: the orange would not fit all the way in, and would leave the bottom of the glass empty: not because the glass is to big, but because it is too small. This image illustrates it: http://balkonetka.pl/static/uploads/2008/05/pomarancza-w-szklance.png It could also be happening because of incompatible underwires. I don't know whether you have tried both narrow and broad underwires: Panache makes very broad ones, while Freya bras are quite narrow. Lastly, breasts that are not full at the top (teardrop shaped) fit half-cups better than full-cups.
Thanks for all the information you have on your site. I am currently trying to find my correct size bra, and it's really challenging. I've gone to several fitters who have put me in sizes ranging from a 32D, to a 32DDD/F (US sizes). I am currently wearing a Chantelle Rive Gauche Plunge in 32DDD (32E UK size), but I'm having trouble with the cup fit. I tried this same bra in a 32DD, and it seemed to fit well, except I had a little bulge in the right cup only that showed under my clothes; this bulge could not be remedied by loosening the strap on that side. So I moved up to a 32DDD, and now, I fill out the bottom portion of the cup completely, but it is a plunge bra, and I have a gap at the top where the strap meets the cup that I don't seem to fill out completely. This gap is somewhat minimized when I'm standing straight up, but if I hunch my shoulders forward, it becomes much more pronounced. Is this perhaps just the style of the bra, or does it sound like the cup might be too big? I also have kind of "sloped" boobs that are really full at the bottom and not so much at the top.
I tried measuring myself for the electronic bra fitter and I think I'm sitting right on the border between two sizes. I consistently measure 73-74 cm around the ribcage, and my bust measurement seems most consistently right at 93 cm, but it can give or take 1 cm on any given measurement, so I range from about 92-94 cm. According to the fitter, it says I should be in a UK 30FF; is it really advisable for me to deduct 9 cm from the band? The 70(32) band that I'm currently in feels nice and sits low on my back. Also, I guess we call it "sister sizing" in the US, but wouldn't the sister size to a UK 32E be a UK 30F? It seems that going down one band size and going up two cup sizes would put me in a cup that is too big, especially since I'm still not sure whether or not the UK 32E is too big of a cup for me. I have no idea though, so any help you could provide would be most greatly appreciated.
Your boobs have a teardrop shape, just like mine. I also don´t fill up the top of full-cup bras (which by the way look best on round boobs). Go for balconette and half-cups, where the cups are cut low. If even in those there is a bit of empty space on the top, it´s ok. For sizing, the general rule is: when in doubt, go for the snugger band and the bigger cup. Snugger bands offer more support and keep the boobs immobile. Do you have problems with migrated breast tissue ? If you want to get rid of armpit rolls, I recommend the snugger band. Check how far you can pull the band away from the body in the 70(32). That should usually give you a hint whether you need to go down a band size.I´d advise you to take the 30 band when the model has a stretchable band, and 32 when the band is not stretchy. When you compare the bands of bras from different brands (and even different models of the same brand), you´ll notice quite a difference between the "give" the band elastic has. I also think that you need to go just one cup size up when you go down a band size. To be very accurate, theoretically you´d need to go 1,5 times a cup size... but practically that´s impossible, so some people round it up to two cup sizes. To sum it up, I´d advise you to try one model in size 30F, if only to compare between it and the 32. Chances are you´ll feel better supported. If not, there are always bra band extenders.I hope that helped !
My tightest 32 bra, which is brand new, measures 68 cm unstretched. It stretches to a max length of about 90 cm. When I put it on, I can stretch it so that the band is 9 cm away from my body on the loosest hook. On the tightest hook, I can stretch it about 6.5 cm from my body. This one is the least stretchy of my new 32 bras. About how far should I be able to pull it?
I do have some minor armpit rolls, but I guess this is to be expected because I was cramming my poor boobs into 34b bras for most of my life; that's what everyone always told me I should be wearing. I didn't even have the four boob effect... I had the six boob effect, because I was coming out the top and the bottom! I am trying to move some of that tissue back to the more flattering place where it belongs. Nobody likes armpit fat.
The bra band extenders are a great idea; useful just in case I order a bra online that is a little less stretchy in the band. I think I might go ahead and order some 30 bands from brastop to try for size. What do you think of Curvy Kate bras? Are they pretty standard in sizing and band stretchiness? I want to make sure I'm not getting any brand that deviates too far from about standard, so I have a better idea of my true size. Thanks for all your help!
I´d take a 30 band, since 9cm is rather loose, and if you say your other bras are even looser, you´re not getting much support. Besides, a snug band is really important to get rid of the armpit fat: once you gather it into the cups, the band will keep it from escaping again.
Curvy Kate has some really very pretty bras. The underwires tend to be broad, like Panache. It seems that Criss Cross and Portia have a very tight band that loosens up a bit after a few washings. So I´d suggest getting a 30 and wearing it with the extender till that happens. The Emily seems to have a loose band. Princess is also loose and has small cupsthe material is also plastic-y and can be itchy. Portia is standard.If there is any particular model that I haven´t covered and you´re interested in, I can search for more details.Oh, wow, Curvy Kate bras are on sale at Brastop...