The best way to ensure that your bra fits properly is to be professionally measured at a boutique that specializes in bras or lingerie. A professional bra fitter will not only be able to measure you for fit, but will also be able to offer suggestions that guide you to the best style and construction for your body frame, breast size, and shape. You may find that you need to be measured several times before breast augmentation if you aren’t ready for surgery, but feel that you might benefit from new bras after surgery. If you aren’t ready to be professionally measured for a bra, here are fitting guidelines to follow.
To measure for proper band size, place a tape measure directly under your breasts and wrap it tightly around your torso. Adjust the tape measure so it is parallel to the floor and the same height all the way around. Exhale, then adjust the tightness of the tape measure. Most women will need to subtract one inch from this measurement to get your band width. For example, if your torso measures 33 inches under the breasts, your band measurement should be 32 inches.
When new, the band of your bra should fit comfortably across the back when the last closure is used. If the last closure causes the bra to squeeze or pinch, the bra is too small. If there is a gap or if the bra feels loose, the bra is too large.
To measure your breasts for cup size, place the end of the tape measure on your sternum between the breasts. From this point, lay the tape measure across the widest part of the breast, around your rib cage, and back to the front. Although actual cup size may vary between bra manufacturers, cup measurements typically follow a standard measurement. Subtract the band measurement from the bust measurement. The following list shows differences in inches between the bust and band measurements, and corresponding cup sizes:
A-cup: 4 inches or fewer
B-cup: 5 inches
C-cup: 6 inches
D-cup: 7 inches, and so on
Try bras on
Once you take band and cup measurements, select several bras that appeal to you and try them on. Although your measurements will be a good guide, the only way to know if a bra fits properly is to actually try it on. In addition to the fit of the band across the back and the fit of the cups around the breasts, the bra should be comfortable. When trying on bras, make sure that the band is straight across the back without a gap and doesn’t ride up. Your breasts should fill the cups without overflowing, and without leaving gaps between the breast and the edge of the cup. The straps should lay flat without slipping off the shoulder, and without digging into the skin. Try on several bras in different styles and shapes before deciding on the ones you like the best. If you find yourself having to go up or down several sizes in a particular style or shape, select a different bra.
Once you are sure that you have found a bra that fits and is comfortable, try it on with several different tops. You shouldn’t see visible signs of the edge of the cups or band. Keep in mind that when trying on bras, you may need to adjust the straps to find the perfect fit. You shouldn’t need to adjust the closures of the band or spend an excessive amount of time positioning your breasts within the cups. Making a simple strap adjustment, closing the bra on the last hooks, and making minor adjustments of your breasts within the cups should be all you need to do if the bra truly fits.