What is a Bra Size?
Your band size and cup size work together to make your bra size.
The size of the band (36, 38, 40 etc.) on a bra indicates whether you have a smaller or larger ribcage. The size of the cup (D, DD, E etc.) indicates a smaller or larger bust.
General rule: If you DOWN size your band, you’ll need to go UP in cup size. Similarly, if you need to go UP in band size, you’ll need to go DOWN in cup size.
Example: the bra you’re currently wearing is 38DD. It's nice & smooth when worn and the wire is sitting all the way around the bust (not on it) but the band is loose and riding up at the back. You would need to try a 36E - going DOWN a size in the band, and UP a size in the cup.
So forget the tape measure, it doesn’t work for most women!
All you need is your current bra and a mirror.
|The band is riding up at the back or lifting away at the front||80% of the support should come from the band of the bra; if the straps are doing all the work it’s not the right fit. The bra should be nice and snug when fastened on the loosest hook and eye. If you can pull the band out more than 4cm, you may need to go down a back size or two.|
|The band is digging in or too tight||The band should be firm and supportive when fastened, as it needs to anchor the bra against your ribcage. You may need to go up a back size if you’re uncomfortable.|
|Straps digging into shoulders||The band may be too big - try a smaller back size for better support. The straps should only give you 20% of the bra support. Wider straps are used for your comfort.|
|Straps slipping off your shoulders||Try tightening the straps (this sounds obvious but they do loosen over time!). Also, if you have narrow shoulders, it’s best to avoid balcony styles that have wide set straps.|
|Breasts spilling out of the top or sides||If the cups are too small, then your breasts may spill out of the top of the cups or at the sides. Try going up a cup size.|
|Cups too loose /baggy||If the cups are too big, the cups will be wrinkled, creased or loose along the neckline. Try going down a cup size.|
|Centre front lifting away from the body||The centre front should lie flat against the body. If it doesn’t, this could be a sign that the cups are too small, causing the breasts to push the centre front away. Your cup size is too small; try a bigger cup.|
Other common fitting problems
|My breasts are different sizes, which one should I fit to?||It's perfectly normal for breasts to be different sizes. For for the best shape and support, fit your bra to the larger breast.|
|Underwires are digging in||Your bust should be completely encased by the wire. You may need a larger cup size if the wire is sitting on your bust at all.|