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How to Measure Your Bra Size

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What is Your Bra Size

Far too many women have no idea what size bra to wear. This can lead to many issues. From poor posture to muscle aches, not wearing the proper bra size can be devastating. That is why it is so important to know how to measure your bra size. Here are some tips on that as well as some guidance on what type of bra is best for your figure.

The largest mistake that most women make in choosing their bra size is wearing a bra that is too loose. This is frequently the choice that is made after a woman has worn a bra that pinches her in some portion of her body. That is why this article will cover choosing the right bra for your body as well.

The Most Common Mistakes Made by Women

  • They wear a bra that has a cup that is too small for them.
  • They get a bra that has a chest size that is too loose.
  • They fail to get a bra that has adjustable straps that are properly fit to their shoulders.

This causes many of the problems that happen with the pain and discomfort that leads to thinking that their bras are too tight. This leads them to wear bras that are too loose. This causes saggy breasts.

Bra Sizes Explained

The bra has a band size and a cup size. The number is the band size. The letter is the cup size. You measure your band size by placing a measuring tape around your body underneath the breast. It should be against the upper part of your rib cage. This is what the band size is.

Measure around your chest higher up against your nipples. Now take that measurement and subtract it from the band measurement. Each inch of difference equals a cup size. One example is a measurement of 32 inches for the band measurement and a cup measurement of 35. This means that you would wear a 32C bra. Each cup equals one inch. Starting at A, you go up to B, then on to C as the distance is measured.

Here is another example. Say your band size is a 32 and your cup size is a 34. That means that you would wear a 32B bra. If your band size was a 32 and your cup size was a 33, then your bra size would be a 32A. You should now be able to calculate your bra size. Take this one caution on this. Have another person measure you. You cannot measure yourself. It is impossible. You will always get a wrong reading.

How Do I Adjust the Band Size?

You have to be careful of the band size adjustment. If you fail to do this properly, you will have a bra that can be the correct size, but still fits badly. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to adjust this properly.

1. Take your bra and wrap it around your chest below your breasts. 2. Select the hook that allows you to place one finger under the strap comfortably. 3. Hook the bra closed and place the cups beneath your breasts. 4. Lean forward and cup your breasts with your hand. 5. Gently place each breast in the cup. 6. Raise the straps up to your shoulders.

The next step requires that you check for the fit on the straps. Most bras have adjustable straps that allow the woman to set the height of the straps, as she likes it. This is where you must stop and read the following information.

Your bra should have your breasts in the cup and hold the bra on without any straps. Remember the old strapless bra? Most women have worn one of these at least once in their life. It allows the woman to wear strapless shirts and dresses with a bra. That feeling that you have with the strapless bra is how your other bras should fit. Ideally, the band that goes under your breasts holds up the bra.

Now that you know that information, look at the bra straps across your shoulders. They typically are used to hold up the breasts. If you can pull the straps across the shoulders up and make your breasts move, then your band is too loose. Many women make this mistake.

The strap across the shoulders is just extra support for your bra. If the band around your ribcage is too loose the straps can bring the cups up, but you will have bulges under your clothes. You will hurt and develop bad breast shape. Nothing looks flattering over a bra that doesn't fit. You must have the right size. Always remember these points and you cannot go wrong.

The First Bra

This is the most important phase in your [mdportal.lpch.org/default.jsp?contentPath=/DiseaseHealthInfo/HealthLibrary/adolescent/nbd.html daughter’s development physically]. She has to wear a bra now and you might not know how to measure your bra size for a girl’s first training bra. Have no fear. Take a deep breath and read on to see how to do just that for your child.

When a girl buys her first training bra it is a very special moment. Some hate it and some love every point along the way. Your job as the parent or guardian is to help her get the right fit for this journey into womanhood. Follow these steps.

1. Take a measuring tape and measure the full circumference around your daughter’s chest below the breast region. 2. Now measure in the same manner around her nipple area. 3. There should be little to no difference for most teens on their first training bra.

Buy the bra that matches her chest size below the breast area. Make sure to get a bra that is labeled as a training bra. The choices of colors, materials and padding are up to you and your daughter. In general though, allow her to make these choices. She might want to buy some sports bras as well for gym and play. It will help her foster her own independence as she embraces this stage in her life.

Once she has made her choice, buy her enough of them to last one week. It is important for her to get in the habit of good hygiene now. Any bra should also have at least 24 hours of rest. This allows the elastic to recover from the weight of the breast. Even in a teen that is in her first trainer, this is important. Remember to start any habits now that you want your daughter to learn for a healthy life.

Sizes and Specifics

You now know how to measure your bra size. There are little things that can help with those specifics. Full figures have specific issues that they must deal with. Bras can ride up and bunch. They can develop saggy breasts and even develop pain in their shoulders. There is a way around all of this though. Follow these tips to make wearing a bra a comfortable thing for full figures.

1. Never buy silk and lace bras. 2. Measure and wear the correct size. 3. Choose a bra that helps control and smooth your lumps and bumps. 4. Always buy under wire bras.

Silk and lace bras lack the proper shaping that a full figured woman requires. You can have lace and silk on the outside if the main part of the bra is well supported. Just make sure that you large breasts are not getting their support from a piece of lace. They will not look good in anything. You have large gorgeous breasts. Flaunt them properly by getting a bra that actually fits your body. You will feel more confident and look better.


The next point is important. You should always measure your bras size and wear only that size. Also realize that any weight gain or loss changes your bra size. Most women find that it is best to have a few sizes for those monthly changes that naturally occur. If you fail to wear the right size, your clothes will look really bad. You need a smooth body for your clothes to fit on.

Along that line, try a control bra that allows those bumps and lines to disappear. There are many on the market today that allow just such a cure to be perfect every day. That way you will look better and feel better about yourself. Never underestimate the power of that. Politically correct things are great, but you need to have the look and the feel that makes you comfortable.

Wire is important for support. If you get the right type, you will never feel the wires. If you know how to do this properly, then you will have breasts that stay firm and well shaped through life. So never skip the wires.

Reduce the Size of the Breast

If you are full figured and need to find the size of bra that will make your breasts look smaller then you should consider this. Get a bra that minimizes your breast. They are wonderful for those women that need the extra support and reduction of the breast appearance. Wear the right clothing to get your breasts to look smaller. This can be very important if your have large breasts. Here are some tips for that.

1. Eliminate frilly tops. 2. Never wear anything that accentuates the breast. 3. Wear V shaped tops instead of regular ones. 4. Wear loose fitting tops instead of tight ones. 5. Never wear tops that close near your neck.

Frilly tops are fun and definitely cute to wear. If you have large breasts though, you have to avoid them. They offer nothing for your looks. They will draw attention where you do not want it.

The same applies to anything that has attention on the chest. People will look at the thing that you have on your chest. Then they will notice your breasts. Face it, men look there enough, why make it worse?

How to Measure your Bra Size for a Sports Bra

Exercise feels fabulous. The only problem for women is the bounce of the breasts as they do this. After a while, the breasts can actually become damaged and saggy after jogging without proper support. That is why it is so important to get the right size for your sports bra. During high impact activity the ligaments get torn and you would never even know it. Follow these tips to get the right size sports bra for your exercise.

1. Measure the same as a regular bra. 2. Buy one with wide straps to secure your bra in place. 3. Get one with padding on the straps for comfort. 4. Consider wire sport bras if you are a plus size woman with large breasts. 5. Buy a sports bra that handles air ventilation and perspiration properly.

Always remember that your bra is you defense against sagging. You want a bra that supports you well. Studies show that even women that have small breasts require support for their ligaments. All breasts in all sizes have ligaments that are affected when you bounce up and down or sideways.


You also want one that feels comfortable. That is why it is so important to make sure that your bra has good ventilation. Many fabrics today offer this type of ventilation. They take away the sweat from the body and absorb it into the bra. Just make sure to wash that bra on a regular basis.

Add padding to help your discomfort if you are large breasted. Often the sheer size of the breast causes the discomfort for a woman. That is why padding in the shoulders can be beneficial. It helps prevent the digging that happens in the shoulders with some bras.

How to Make Your Breasts Look Bigger with the Right Size Bra

Small chest women have the opposite problem that large breasted women have. They feel that they need larger breasts. There is an easy way to do this to avoid surgery. While that method has been used for ages, it really doesn't work comfortably. Follow these tips to gain that edge over the larger counterparts.

1. Wear a push-up bra. 2. Wear a padded bra. 3. Wear a water bra.

Any of these choices in bras will make your breasts look much bigger. The push-up bra has the added advantage of making your breasts not only look bigger, but they will also be well supported. Just be careful not to push them up too far. Remember the ligament thing.

You can also use a padded bra to enhance the size of the breasts. The amount of increase that you want to add to your size simply means that you add more padding. One thing that you should note though, your breasts should have the padding under the breasts for the level of support that you need.

Water bras have the added benefit of feeling like a real breast. They add the padding like a padded bra. The only difference is the way that it feels. Some people prefer the way this type of bra feels.

Specialty Bras

As if it isn't confusing enough, some bras have different sizing as well. You have to know that sizing if you are going to get a bra that fits well. You should first take the steps that give you an accurate bra size. Then you have to compare that to the bra listing. Here are some examples.

Maternity Bras

Maternity bras have different sizing for that special time in your life when the breasts grow enormously. Most maternity bras are sized to accommodate this fact. They also often come with handy adjustments for after the baby arrives. The important thing with maternity bras is the support. Pregnancy creates stretch marks. You don't want to have those. Also consider the sagging that can happen. Take care when choosing your maternity bra.

Nursing Bras

Nursing bras are so tricky. You really need a guide for that special time in your life. While some maternity bras offer the ability to breast feed, most lack the proper support that nursing bras require. They also frequently lack the proper ventilation that is required of a nursing bra. This is very important because this bra is how you will feed your newborn child. You should look for the following aspects.

1. Buy a nursing bra that has snaps that do not cut off circulation as you feed your baby. 2. Get the right size that does not limit the blood flow to the breast when you are not nursing the baby. 3. Buy a nursing bra that has a special feature for adding nursing pads. It is important for leaks. 4. Buy a nursing bra that feels pretty.

The last point is pure vanity, but consider how special you should feel as you begin this very special stage in your life as a woman. You should feel beautiful as you feed your baby. The other aspects are seriously important. This is why.

Circulation is one of the most important aspects of nursing. If you do not have adequate flow of circulation to the breasts then you will have issues feeding your baby. In some cases the milk can even stop flowing. Your baby will nurse but get no nourishment.

Nursing pads are very important as well. You have to be able to place pads in the nursing bra to catch the milk that leaks. Even hearing your baby cry can begin the flow of milk from the breast. That is why nursing pads are so important.

They also have to be sanitary. You don't want your baby to get sick from nursing pads that are not properly cared for. So make sure that the bra fits the pads and allows adequate ventilation to prevent infections. Some women even add heating pads to their breasts. It is no wonder why you should take great care when choosing your nursing bra.

The rest is pure vanity. Get a nursing bra that makes you feel beautiful. You will be so glad that you did when you have to deal with nursing every day. Try nursing bras that open with snaps for the easiest access. Ideally, you want a nursing bra that allows you to be discrete as well.

Post Operation Bras

When a woman has her breasts removed from [cancer.stanford.edu/patient_care/services/surgery/breastReconstruction.html disease or other situations], she has a real question to consider. How can she get a prosthesis bra that fits comfortably and fits her well? It turns out that there are special fitters who can help with this.

1. Seek a certified mastectomy fitter for this purpose. 2. They have special training in the field of making the bra work for any woman after a mastectomy. 3. They go through board certified training that helps the woman find a prosthesis that suits her needs and a bra to will make her feel like she has the breasts that were there before removal.

This is very important to the self-esteem of the woman that experiences this life-changing event. Take special care to find one that works well for you. You should use a fitter once you have had your operation so you can learn how to measure your bra size. The changes that happen during that sensitive operation are huge. You must get the proper support to allow good blood flow and comfort so your breast can heal.


All of these bra types and needs require the knowledge of how to measure your bra size. Some require more care than others, but all of them should have good support and comfort. Avoid things like poor circulation by buying one that fits your breasts perfectly. This will allow your breasts to remain firm and lifted through your entire life. Some sagging will happen, but there is no reason to make that worse. Avoid that by measuring your breasts properly.

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This page was last modified on 3 August 2013, at 19:13.
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