There is no other article of clothing that even comes close to being offered in the number of sizes offered in bras. For example, a dress with sizing from 0–16 has 9 sizes. However, a bra with sizing from 32A–38G(D4) has 28 sizes. With all the bra sizes available, (at HerRoom we offer over 500 bra sizes) you would think one could safely conclude there is the perfect bra size out there for me! So, why do so many of us struggle with trying to find it?
The bra sizing methodology dominating the lingerie industry is pretty straightforward. However, a bra size includes two elements — band length and cup volume — and you need to get both right for the perfect fit. As our bodies change, so, too, does our bra size. It’s at this point where bra troubles begin to fester.
The first thing every woman who wears a bra should know is how to change her bra size. Here’s a quick tutorial.
Changing Your Band Size
When you go up or down a band size, you are changing it by 2 inches.
Just Want a Larger Band Size
Are you hooking your bra on the last set of loops, and it still feels tight? You need a larger band size. But, when you increase your band size, you must also move down a cup size to maintain the same cup volume. If you keep your cup size letter the same, your cups will be one size larger in your larger band size.
Example: 38D should move to 40C for a larger band size.
Just Want a Smaller Band Size
Hook on your newest bra on its tightest setting and raise your arms over your head. If your band moves up your torso, you need a smaller band size. But when you decrease your band size, you must also move up a cup size to maintain the same cup volume. Otherwise, keeping the same cup size letter will cause your cups to be one cup size smaller.
Example: 38D should move to 36DD(D2) for a larger band size.
For a more in-depth explanation of band sizing, click here.
Changing Your Cup Size
When you go up or down a cup size, you are changing your bustline diameter by one inch. So, a cup size change is a more refined bra size adjustment than a band size.
Before your change your cup size, first, do the following:
Wearing your newest underwire bra, reach into each cup with your opposite hand and make sure all your breast tissue is pulled inside the arc of each underwire.
NOTE: Avoid using plunge, wireless, bralettes, and minimizer bras when trying to find a new bra size. Most don’t have a precise fit, and a minimizer bra is not designed to tack in the center.
Check that your straps are properly tightened. A quick check is to stand in front of the mirror and lift your bra cups by their straps. If your cups look better, tighten your straps.
Once these two tasks are accomplished, assess your cup size.
Just Want a Larger Cup Size
Breast tissue spillage and/or your center panel not resting on your sternum are signs your cups are too small.
Reducing spillage in band sizes 38 and larger many times means increasing your cup size by more than one size. You will know you are in the right cup size when your breast tissue is contained, and your bra’s center panel is resting on your sternum.
NOTE: Once your true cup size is found, don’t be surprised if your band size now seems too loose. You’ve probably reduced its tension because your breast tissue is now all contained in your cups.
Just Want a Smaller Cup Size
Wrinkling in the cups is symptomatic of your cups being too large. If you’ve pulled all your breast tissue inside your cups, tightened your straps, and you still have wrinkling, move down a cup size or two.
For a more in-depth explanation of cup sizing, click here.
#1 Bra Sizing Mistake
So, here it is. Most women wearing the wrong size bra are wearing a bra in a band size too large and cups too small. I know this to be true because I’ve seen it countless times. Here’s how this mistake probably happens.
Only in the 1990s did bra manufacturers start making cup sizes larger than a DD(D2). Women with larger breasts were left with only the option of increasing their band size till they found a bra that would attach in back. Their fit was terrible, but they concluded that’s how a bra should fit.
Most women in the wrong bra size simply don’t know what a well-fitting bra should look like. They think that full breasts sort of spilling out, smashed together in front, or hanging low is the way a bra should fit. Hollywood has not been a stellar example of well-fitting bras. Hopefully taking my “Yikes & Yeahs” tests has educated you all on what a proper fit looks like.
An old stigma remains that any cup size larger than a DD means you are shamefully too big in the bust. Many modest women, therefore, will not go larger in the cup and instead just move up a band size till it fastens. What a shame because a properly fitting bra makes you look better, and only you know your real bra size.
To see an actual example of a model starting in a 34G(D4) and finding she’s a 30I(D6), watch this short video.
To everyone reading this, please know that my team at HerRoom is always available via chat or phone to help you figure out your new and better bra size if you don’t want to figure it out alone. Many of you know that the women answering our live chat are experts in the field. And for good reason. They truly are! All have years of fit experience along with having graduated from my HerRoom fit training program. We want you in the right size and the right bra that is best for you. My team absolutely knows how to get you there.
Some Final Thoughts…
With a new bra size, it’s always a safe bet to test it out in a long-time, tried-&-true bra style. My 20+ years in the lingerie business means I know which bra styles are consistently bestsellers with low return rates and high customer ratings. So, here’s the list of bra styles that have stood the test of time. They may not be the prettiest, but have been beloved for years. And for those of you pledging to exercise more, here’s the list of bestselling, timeless sports bras too.
YIKES! & YEAHS!
Bra fit blunders are so common, almost every woman makes them. But not you, not anymore. These models are wearing the same bra in various sizes. See if you can spot the best fit for each one.
Founder & CEO
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